Sunday, August 27, 2017


USS McCain "T-Boned" Captain Wrongway Peach Fuzz

This is a good post to illustrate why I write about little trees and plants living here instead of crazy world news and comments. (see below)

One of our destroyers is "t-boned" in calm seas and good visibility and the dancing begins. Seems to me someone on the port side would have seen  this life-sized death star coming at them and sounded an alarm. Many minutes before the hit.

"Excuse me sir, but there is a very large merchant ship bearing down on us, port side. No sir, your other port." At which time, young deck officer pushes the throttle forward to "GTFOH" and the destroyer designed to shoot down missiles in flight, speeds forward out of the path of the merchant ship.

Or even ten minutes earlier, someone starts evasive action "this is not a drill" maneuvers. I want to go on and on here trying to un-ring this bell and understand. But I cannot. All I can come up with is the visual of a sailor on deck looking at the on-coming merchant ship, then looking up at the bridge, back to the on-coming ship and then up to the bridge with both hands in the air. He/she braces for impact saying "are you s******g me? Forty-seven officers on board and we cannot get out of the way of one other ship in our vicinity?"

The underwater bulbous nose of the merchant ship rammed the hull and killed/drowned unsuspecting sailors sleeping or in quarters. Not a glancing blow or serious rubbing of gunnels. It appears to be a straight on ramming, barely missing perfect mid ship.

(And, and---if the truth is that the bridge was hacked and disconnected from the engine room, coms, warning systems and the moving levers or flipping switches caused nothing to happen - then we are indeed a few missile launches away from third-world living. At worst, a five-minute warning to battle stations or all-hands-on-deck would have emptied the living quarters. And would there not already be an SOP for battle stations to be called under any hacking attempt?

"Dumb ass!!" And this is a ship tasked with shooting down launched offensive enemy missiles. Take a moment to read this and see if there are any comments here that just do not seem to meld with common sense. 

 God bless the sailors who lost their lives and their families. God bless!!



Rarely do I walk out the kitchen door and get directly to the chore or task on my mind. Once outside the garage, I am lost in distractions. Thus, it was early last week on the way to garage clean-out and preparation for a dump run that Rocky caught my eye and interest. 

Rocky is a small pine tree firmly set and living in/on a rock. He was a baby when we built this home and when we discovered this youngster starting his life on a rock, we named him and wished him luck. What were the chances a tree can have a life outside here, rooting in a granite rock? Slim to none, but his choice and with our support, we set roots together on this hill.

His space was becoming overgrown with the unwanted. I noticed as I took this picture that we were not holding up our end of the bargain and after studying the photo, I headed back to Rocky, w/o distraction, set to remove the overgrowing intruders on his land

Is it a stupid appreciation and acknowledgement of a tree living a life from the offerings of Mother Nature and a rock?  I know not. But the little guy has guts and fortitude to stay the course. There is a lesson to be learned being around this little tree if only I pay attention. The intruders were winding around his branches, choking out his light and slowly killing him. I looked at Rocky and asked him "What do we say to death?" He replied, "Not today."

Two months ago, this was the last leftover Coleus w/o a home for this season. I just cannot throw things like this away. A scoop of good dirt in the rotted out hole in an old rotted out tree (next to Rocky) and the Coleus was quickly planted with a  "Do the best you can with this place to live."

That Coleus was too freed this day. 

Green peppers ready now. These will be part of tonight's dinner.  Chicken pasta salad  with fresh garden green pepper chunklets too. I enjoy the way fresh garden offerings bleed with fresh flavor into some of the summer meals we prepare.


Her and I have been talking for years now of redoing our kitchen cabinets. Years and years of use and abuse, but the chore was easily put off. We stained and oiled the new cabinets years ago and everyday use has worn off any semblance of their original beauty. 

Re-modeling any part of a house, daily lived in, raises a larger degree of daily discomfort until the project is completely done. This chore also has one other plus beyond "brand new kitchen cabinets" and that is the gutting of crap collected over the years. 

Cleaned this time around. Sanded, stained and several coats of varnish which will allow for easier clean up. I am hopeful that is the last ever remodeling work we ever do. Hopeful!!



A close friend came to visit her and I this weekend. Early 50's and a grounded person. When he drove up and caught me half napping in a lawn chair, I told him I was practicing relaxing for his visit. The three of us sat for several hours talking life other than politics.

He and his lady have purchased a home and are in the process of life changes. Kids all off in college or graduated and in the work force. Time for them now and all that they have been planning for years, all coming together within the next two months. We are excited for them and now that they are neighbors by country mapping, we can gather more often to eat, drink and be merry. I always smile and laugh in their presence. Always!!

We are planning a meat / jam canning day soon. Her and I have been canning for quite awhile now and they are interested in being walked through the process. Also a batch of new mead making with local honey and fruits. A few of the batches we made a couple years ago are starting to peak which motivates us to batch up again and enjoy the mead making process together. 

His recent batch has a 15% alcohol content and opened our eyes going down. My batch was sweeter. We played with mixing the two together and achieved a wonderful blend. Perfect shots!!



I watched a few different news stations and the weather channel coverage of this past week's eclipse. And it again became apparent to how screwed we are as people depending on any news cycle to get a story right. News anchors and reporters are out to lunch and that is being very nice. Orgasmic at times, hyping. Out of breath. But stopping in the middle of the hysterical reporting to tell us that it was somebody's birthday yesterday. WTF.

Early on we are to learn that it will never ever again in our lifetime event. The news stations I watched were in agreement on that thus pimping the importance of this eclipse. After an hour or so, that was pared down and with just one question to an internet search engine I am able to learn by myself by simply asking the question: "How often do eclipses occur"? One; two and three explanations and answers. 

That they were all using different numbers to represent the speed of the eclipse across the USA was comedic.

Point being, that in the event of war, catastrophe, or large scale world event or anomaly,  there is not a chance in hell we will receive any truthful reporting. Best we be ready on our own, whatever that looks like, for YMATA. And in the instance where a news outlet is getting the event correct, we will unknowingly revert to a Henny-Penny belief system from years of conditioning of fake news. I see no up-side.



Preparing for Nuclear Disaster


Keep in mind now that the constitution does not give you a right to yell wolf in a crowded theater. 

Heads up and have a plan. Thanks for  your visit this week. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Thirty-three cents, caramel corn and eleven peanuts, give or take. Still like the flavor but a lot has changed since Cracker Jacks were first introduced and, in the 1950s, this kid's staple snack. I would open the top, bump it against my lips and fill my mouth with a wonderful mixture of caramel corn and roasted peanuts. I think folks have always complained that there were never enough peanuts and appears this complaint has stood the test of time. 

Youngsters back then were smart enough not to eat the prize inside. Decoder rings, noise-makers and enough prize variety to keep us coming back for the snack and the prize lurking inside the box.  

Today, the prize is a paper sticker. Hard to light a kid's imagination after a quick sugared high with a sticker. Dull and sad. But what is today that was the same yesterday? 

Two boxes of CJ eaten here as I start this week's post. Yummy. Anyone wanna trade for a Step up to the Plate fuzzy baseball image guy sticker? 



It's a Perogi. Lithuanian origin as this recipe came from the old country and grandma's kitchen. The only time I can remember it being made was when were at the ranch. Mom would help grandma make them for afternoon lunch. 

All the ingredients then came from the farm - other than the flour for the dough - milks, creams, eggs and cottage cheese. As I think back now, I believe that this dish was a money-saving way to add flavor and bulk to different meal options for feeding a haying crew and using ingredients from the farm.

From grandma, via mom's handwriting:

If any left over you can cut it up and fry in butter. Very good!

Cut milk down to one half cup (maybe inserted after recipe made)

1 full recipe of dough
1 lb. package of cottage cheese curds (Lucerne at Safeway's)
1 whole egg plus one egg yolks- makes 15 or 16
3 small eggs
1/2 or 3/4 cups of milk
3 1/2 Cups of flour approx. to make rubber like dough
Salt to taste (Note: I see this a lot in mom's old recipes)
This makes a large batch of dough

    Use low cal cottage cheese curds and squeeze dry - (or use an CC curds available. Dry curds were most important)

    Add one egg to cottage cheese curd, a little salt and mix well.

    Pinch off a small portion of dough and flatten evenly in the palm of your hand and add cottage in middle of dough.

    Squeeze edges of dough together to seal in mixture.

   Put into boiling water with salt to taste for about 15-20 minutes and serve hot with sour cream. 

   Can be put in baking dish and put in the oven with a little butter and sour cream over it. 

I was not a huge fan of the hot boiled Klatscus served with sour cream or butter. I ate it w/o fuss, but not one of my favorites from the farm lunch table. BUT nothing matched the cold leftover Klatscus the next day, sliced into 1/2" wide strips and fried in butter. The dough and the cottage cheese would take on a butter crisp from the frying.




The moon is going to cover the sun and block out the light for a few moments. Gonna be an event. Peeps are flocking to the forecast dark swath across the USA from Oregon to South Carolina. Starts a little after 10 am in the north west and finishes a quarter to three in the south-southeast.

I am trying to think of some of the after headlines. But I know in my heart that I cannot be clever enough to top the real situations folks are going to experience and the headlines. "Get the widow on the set." Accidents, altercations, eye and camera lenses burned, emergency room visits, power outages and the need safe places. End of the world stuff with hands fluffing the air; omg omg. Animals running a muck down main street.

If I was of a mind and wanted to join the crowds (stay away from crowds), I think I would position myself a day ahead of time in an out-of-the-way knoll, free from peeps. May be hard to do. Someone will already have a lemonade stand set up ahead of me to turn a quick dollar. Well, thirteen cents after permits and taxes.

This is probably the only full eclipse to see in my remaining years and I am not motivated by a need to experience the quick darkness. I think anti-climatic for the work involved to get into the path. Although we are going to experience nearly a 70% here on the hill. Might be eerie.

I took this pre-eclipse photo earlier this morning. Seems to be an anomaly gathering near the bottom. What does it mean? Is it them?

You saw it here first.

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Northern New Hampshire river. Photo taken by lineman hiking in and inspecting power line towers this past week.


(Winter is Coming. Words of warning and the constant need to be prepared. Comes from The Game of Thrones, Season 1, Episode 1. "Winter is coming" is  appropriate today.) 

Chest thumping, from the thrones of the world, is at an all-time high. The rising tide of headlines promoting a nuclear weapons exchange as a stand-in for problem solving, is beyond common sense understanding. Mine for sure. "We are entering the most dangerous three months in our nation's history" read one. August, September and October. Another hints that within the next two weeks: a nuclear event. When this blog is posted, there will only be a week left on that prediction. 

When the thrones' dominoes start to fall into a world warring, all predictions are a global crap shoot. No matter how this is sliced, you and I are going to know times unlike today. So, is it time for all of us to get together with family and friends to shore up our walls, fill the moats and top off the larders? What will be the trigger event(s) that put you into the seriousness of days after? What will put you into your prepped vehicle to head out of the big city a day before everyone else? What will put you and yours to the point that your daily coming/going and movements around your home go into full security mode?

Trump's recent tweets of "fire and fury" and "locked and loaded" do not set me at ease yet necessary to handle the boy king. But what the hell is the recent comment to "Invade Venezuela" because it is a mess? 

And with the ever-increasing "fear porn" reporting/commenting from media and social outlets, I am surprised we are not a nation drowning in Xanax. 

Times are serious enough now for all of us to step up our games once more and being prepared as best we can.

As much as I would like to strike a serious chord above, I just cannot resist ending this here and sharing this video.



Out of Sync

I was out of sync this past week.

While starting a day mid-week with dog heading out the door for morning dog business, I felt like my ducks were not in a row.

Younger folks can better herd their cats and align their ducks moving in the same direction. Takes youth, energy and a desire to do all of this on a daily basis. Think of the band leader in front of the orchestra with arms raised, eyes scanning the group and moving them to his/her directions. Quietly, smoothly, to thunderous when needed. But all it takes is one tuba player to trip and stumble into the band and the conductor will be up a good portion of the night getting the band ready to play the next day. Life comes with trips and stumbles. 

But nothing has tripped or stumbled here. Maybe I feel a pending duck problem and am uneasy about that.  Fall is over the horizon and it is my favorite time of the year. Cooler temperatures, no bugs, gardens coming on and harvesting daily for the next few weeks.  Fall foliage bathes the North East from north to south in glorious color. Maybe a change of seasons and passing time affecting me? Maybe the chores around the home that I am not attending to?

Behind on the wood stacking and only me to blame. 

Two cords of wood on the ground out back and in years past, all of this would already be stacked in the wood shed. Half of it also needs to be re-split for quicker drying. Her and I can no longer easily handle the larger pieces from the woodshed pile in movement to the wood stove during winter.

Home Woodshed Art 

Neighbor's full woodshed with room for some utility storage.
I like it!!



Check in with your peeps this week.  Thanks again for stopping by.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Our flag always turns my head. Touches places inside me.  It always has and always will.

I take the flag flying, painted on a race car as shown above or proudly shown on the side of a home or old barn, as a sign of healthy spaces.

A flower pot on a driveway entrance with a small American Flag. A flag firmly pinned to a tree on a back dirt road. The flag painted or nailed to the side of an old barn is one of my favorites. Old barns draws me too. Maybe it is the history and the stories the old barn can tell. Maybe it is the roots of the family still living on that land that tells a story. I suppose, old man, old flag, old history, old school.



Local yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers for $0.50 cents each. Pay in the little white can using the honor system. The little black sign in the top right back say "No Farms-No Food." And yes, folks stop by, pick up fresh produce throughout the day and the honor system for paying works. If it were not for our garden coming on now, I would have picked up a few here today. Fresh local corn will be next and flood these little stands for a few weeks. How many places these days where the honor system works?



I am finding a plethora of stories and the pushing of the HBO Television Series, "Game of Thrones". For me it means not much as neither her or I have watched this series. We have basic cable but have not stepped up to one of the major carriers of movies or made for TV series networks. They all want access to our credit cards and that is where we draw the line. 

We miss the good stuff. "Deadwood", "Better Call Saul", "Justified", "Battlestar Galactica" and "Firefly".  We started with the first episodes of those series and then were not able to go without.  But "Game of Thrones" had flown under our radar.

Recently, I decided to learn more. Why a first season of 2.5 million viewership to this season with 25 million viewership? Why all the hype? Why the references and comments from many sites I visit? I paused long enough to do some reviews and look deeper into the story. Was it something we were missing? Was it worth an investment to purchase Season 1?

I think, yes.

After the first two episodes this past week, I think we are in for the long haul. A good series must be started from the beginning and new viewers like us need to be patient enough to go the course w/o looking for spoilers and hints of past seasons. Have to do that.

Explicit and graphic and more to come. But; like Deadwood and Justified, graphic is ok if well written into the story and the times.  True to the peoples of that/those worlds, behaviors and mores of the era. Besides, there are dogs and dragons to come and we are fans of both.

If the grandeur of the filming seen in the first two episodes is also a hint of what is coming, then this, too, is worth our time. We are already adopting some favorite characters and disliking others. A mistake?

Another upside is that we are staying up later and not enduring the muck of cable television.

At time of publishing this weekend, GoT, seasons 2 and 3 rest, near the DVD player. Season 1 has us now. The writing, the story-telling and the acting is exceptional. Add two more fans this week to the twenty five million this season. We are acting like children on the edge of our seats. An addiction. 

The last minute of the last episode of season one was worth the price of admission.


Will leave you this week with simple enjoyment. Lego engines blowing up. I think these guys would be fun to hang with. 

Appreciate the visit this week.