Sunday, September 24, 2017


The blog I have written this week follows below with mushrooms and fun stuff. It has been a good week, a grand week all things considered. No complaints. Getting back to playing with the camera and looking closer at little things. Writing for fun. So forth. 

I am going to publish here now. It is Sunday morning, dark outside, dog pee'd, first cup of coffee from the first minutes of brewing. The best cup of coffee of the day as it is stronger. Each morning I tell her she makes the best cup of coffee ever and she "harumps" saying it is the same coffee she makes every morning. I adjusted my chair, turning on laptop to check the temperature of worldly news.

I found this and started to cry. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve.

Paul Harvey from 1965. I graduated in 1963. Went to Vietnam in 1967 and again in 1969. Graduated from college in 1973. Worked career and family in a country I love to the core of my soul. Ups and downs. Retired now. All that this country promised has worked. I gave to it as it wanted, expected and as taught by old generations of people who gave all, everything they had to the advancement of good for their children and their children's children. Sometimes hard, very hard and more often than not, laughter and growth in all corners. I thank God daily and have for many, many years. A life this long has not happened without oversight guidance and help from others. I want for the same country and world as my ancestors.

If you do nothing else here, as you come across this weeks blog, please take the time to watch Paul Harvey's Sunday Sermonette of 52 years ago. I also ask that you pass this on to others who have not seen nor heard this vintage insight. Bookmark it, keep it, visit it often and continue to share it. 

If I were the Devil.   


These mushrooms rank right up there with spiders and snakes. Warmer weather, morning dew and some rain, these little fellows sprang up over night. They do come and go every season and this photo captures how nasty they look.



Another photo from last week taken from the top Mt. Sunapee. Chair rides are open to the public on the weekends this time of the summer season. A very peaceful run up and down the mountain and feels like folks visiting have the whole mountain to themselves.



There are many creative folks in this area and they take time to paint the month of October around their houses and barns. Back roads start to come alive with still life opportunities for fun photography. Pumpkins for sale and displayed in a joyful manner. 



"Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  Baaaaaaa" A perfect photo till I walked over to mom and kids without snacks. Did have mom's attention though. 

We found these newly-built bird houses on a pole a few years ago. Visited with the owner and builder. He explained that winding plants were planted at the bottom and would eventually take over and add to the overall affect. Take just a moment and check out the individual bird houses and appreciate his talent in design and building. Also see the ring placed around the bottom to define and stabilize the flower growing area. Easy to weed. Gotta make one of these. 


I purchased this outdoor stove a year or so ago. First, thinking for an emergency. Throw and go along with other bugout items. 

Secondly as an outdoor stove to play with and learn  how versatile  a stove like this can be. 

The price for the stove and case was under $20 and a sleeve of 4 wrapped Sterno butane cans for cooking also very inexpensive.

Frying fish outside takes all the smell and mess out of the house. Makes for easy clean up. I set up the cooking station on the outdoor BBQ.

During recent family visits from Dallas, the stove was set up in the garage and served as an extra cooking station for kitchen stove over run. 

Would be a great set-up for tailgating. 

I am happy with the amount of heat a butane stove like this puts out. Boiling water seems almost instant. Very low heat can be maintained for simmer, but not in gusting wind.

One can of butane lasts quite awhile. Safety feature to engage the butane can for cooking and then disengaging when not in use is well designed.

The stove along with two sleeves of butane (4 each) would be enough to cook for 4-6 weeks in an emergency situation. Add basic pot/pan/cookware and outdoor/emergency cooking needs/wants are easily met. 

Downside for this set up is the limitations of having butane cans for cooking. Not for backpacking. Needs to be used in well-ventilated environment. Like any new tool, I believe it should be used a few times before depending on it in an emergency or before using it for outdoor cooking for friends and family.



Crash Course in Preparedness.  Week 1   Week 2 

Extensive. Good for planning if you are one of the left over beginners. Good for review if you are working preparedness. At least bookmark for future references and guidelines. 

Thanks for the visit this week. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Full disclosure. I had help. 

Past years I have gotten in all the wood myself. Some help from son when he came over unannounced. But I could boast that I got the winter wood in and stacked. Those days are over. Only excuses now centered around aches, pain and an accompanying work attitude problem. Apparently, cartilage is very important inside joints and goes unnoticed in our youth.  Regardless, every day now I can enjoy this art work. It is the first thing I see topping the driveway and the first thing I see on our first trip outside with the dog in the morning. There is great pleasure in the little things in life.

Acorns starting to fall. When one falls from higher up and hits the metal roof of the "chicken shed", it sounds like small arms fire. No warning and I cannot help but jump. Soon, it will be a common sound that blends with winds blowing and those damn leaves falling. I see the row of smaller pine trees are doing the family thing, too.


"I told her I would get the car and move around the store to load them while she paid for them. When she walked around where I was I noticed right away she was limping. She said a small boy about 3-4 years old was walking with his parents and suddenly tore loose from his dad. While on a dead run and looking back at his dad, he went about 6-8 ft and hit her right on the knee that she had had replaced and from which was almost fully recovered. She fell backwards with him on her bad knee and hit full force on the blacktop. More x-rays and was told it was a compound fracture......Oh, yeah, after the parents said sorry, they put the kid in the carrier like they should have at the start."

A good friend on the west coast sent this x-ray photo in a recent email along with the story. I asked for permission to share and he said OK. The x-ray photo and his explanation of what happened to his fiancee says it all.

We do not heal as quickly in our later years. Falls like this are some of our fears. My friend's fiancee is entering physical therapy as of this post and on the road to recovery but "pissed" that much of their summer time together was lost to a young child on the loose.



Brother-in-law captured this hawk parked on the ledge of one of his office windows in north Dallas. There are apparently a lot of pigeons in this area and he thinks the hawk was pigeon-gawking. It was lunch time!!


Young son is one of the few lineman remaining here and sent this photo of the project they have been working on: the rebuild and replacement of cross-arms on a long run power line structure in the northern part of the state.

The majority of lineman have pulled up and gone south for storm work resulting from hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

These new cross-arms are pre-built by several linemen working out of a centralized yard and then slung out by helicopter for installation. 

An Afternoon View to the East


to the West

Surprising that photos I take using my cell phone are so much better than from my Canon 7D. Even learned how to edit in the phone before sending. Very little  Photo Shop editing needed.


Lake Sunapee as seen from Mt. Sunapee

Vacation this past week along with family up visiting from Texas. Sleeping in, good conversations about a lot of nothing, son and fiancee joining for lunch out yesterday and full turkey dinner this afternoon. 

I so love to sit and watch everyone visiting, laughing and engaged in living. These are moments when everything in a life lived is worth these exceptional moments together. There runs a deep satisfaction, happiness and peace inside of me that words cannot describe. I am a most lucky man. 

Thank you for visiting this week. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017


Short post this week.
(House torn up because we are doing a major throw away and cleaning. About three days left.)

I opened up a can of dehydrated apple slices. The can has a 30 year storage life and it sounded like letting air out of a tire when the can opener went in. I want to start cooking with some of the storage products. 

The apples tasted just fine out of the can. Soaking and or warming for fifteen minutes brings them back to life. What better way to give them a test than trying an apple pie?

I filled the purchased pie shell with the drained, re-hydrated apple slices and poured a bit of the remaining liquid (with some corn starch) to make a nice syrup. Remember, this is an experiment. Then, I used a second purchased pie crust for the top, using my personalized paring-knife-tree-branch for venting.

Baked the pie according to instructions and it came out nearly perfect. I would have like a little more syrup if true perfection was the goal. Next time. 

The final pie never lasted long enough to get a photo. OK. I lied. I was too lazy to take the pic. 

We have visited the nearest long-term home storage retail location several times to purchase some of these dehydrated foods. On our first visit, we were greeted by the leader of the local parish and he explained all that the church does for its members and the local community. Being self-sufficient is their way of life and they live it. I remember that he told us he brought 2 tons of hard red wheat into his marriage, 30 years ago, to show he could provide for his new wife. He remarked they have a little over a hundred pounds left.


Time to dump out bug-out bags and re-pack for changing seasons. Prayers and help for storm survivors are in order this week. Thanks for the visit.  

Sunday, September 3, 2017


 The long walk.

Town errands to run early last week and I had decided that this week's post will have nothing to do with pissing, moaning and worldly things. Camera in hand and back roads to town, I worked on looking at the drive through a camera lens.

During one of my stops, photographing rolling hills and lush green fields, a man walks behind me and says something about my picture taking. Not negative but more of announcing his presence. I turned around to find him carrying an open breech double-barrel shotgun.  Matter of fact and not out of the norm for this state. I asked if he was hunting to further open some dialog and he quickly responded that he had "to euthanize a very sick duck."  This was not a time for idle chitchat. The man was on a difficult task with a humane obligation to one of his farm animals. We do not see these moments and rarely know of them. But owning farm animals or pet comes with end of life decisions, too. 


A very real lifelike cardboard cut out holds a sign outside of the co-op store in downtown Concord. One of my favorite stores to shop when I am in the area. I opt for their piping hot chicken noodle soup around lunch time.  Tastes so much better than the grease just a few blocks down the road. The smells walking into the store are like no other I know of. I will often go out of my way just to be closer to this store around lunch time.  An abundance of deli, buffet and fresh baked options along with a full grocery store of basics and bulk items. Soup to nuts for sure.


A streak of sunlight bisects the reader board at a roadside farm stand on one of the main streets just outside of Concord.  I asked the young man if I could take a photo or two explaining I wanted to blog about local farm stands this week. He hesitated saying that he was curious why I wanted to photograph his stand. He said that he was closing early this season due to lack of business. I asked why and he said he did not know. "Not enough people are stopping this season." There was a quiet resolve in his voice. I told him that I was surprised as this farm stand and location has been on-going as long as I can remember during the summer growing months and into early fall. I thanked him for allowing me a few photos.


We have lived near the Diamond Hill Farm for years now, driven by several times a month and never stopped in. Always full of seasonal vegetables, fruits and locally grown and produced products from other vendors. All it took this week was the final effort on my part to slow down and pull in the driveway. They were fine with me taking a few photos and I thoroughly enjoyed walking this old farm building with stalls full of interest. Local fresh produce in abundance.

A young mother with her daughters came in while I was exploring. Mom went on about her shopping while the girls found this interactive marble maze. The noise of the falling marbles drew me to their location. The older daughter had started the marbles falling and was sitting completely taken with the random falling of marbles, the spinning gears and plopping sound from the marbles. I asked mom if I could take this photo of her playing and noted I wanted to get a photo from the back of the girls. She said fine and little sister immediately became interested in this, too. With just a little coaxing, I set this photo in motion. A good photographer would have captured this the moment as it unfolded but, in this day and age, I always ask permission. Besides, half the fun was setting the girls to this task.

I am a fan of life-size art. And again, I have seen this before but never ever taken the time to stop and enjoy. Art that draws attention should be taken in and appreciated. I have been too lazy. But this past week, I again slowed down to stop and enjoy. The little sign below this art says. "Suspense  Saplings, Hand Made Rocks and Stainless Steel. Andy Moerlein   $5000."


Not too many years ago, the ability to get a panoramic photograph entailed several stills from the camera and then a stitching option within a photo editing program. Doable with a little effort. Today, with my smart phone, a panoramic photo is one of the options and all I have to do is hold the camera steady as I move across the view I want to photograph. Technology inside the phone and camera option does all the work for me. Even the dog came out wonderfully and she was looking around while I was panning. 

We hired two young men for a few hours this week to clean up parts of the yard, add bark mulch and edge around the front yard. Yard work that I absolutely hate - but end results I love - put off so long that it never ever gets done. Her inclinations mirror mine. 

The young men worked several hours at a reasonable rate. Pleasant to be around and knowledgeable of landscaping and handy man jobs. I ran the tractor  bringing up bark piles from down below and they moved it as needed. Her supervised. 

The lawn has a wonderful edge now and all we have to do is a little maintenance as we mow each week.  


Labor Weekend 2017

The sun was just breaking over the hills yesterday morning when I drove to town to get a couple photos of the flags framing our little town. 

From the post office, running west a few blocks, the heart of our town was bathed in the red, white and blue.

Labor Day--

"...constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."


Has been a challenging week for many in this country from Hurricane Harvey. Flooding will continue for several weeks and another storm brews off shore. Too early to tell, but a storm brews. North Korea pushing harder.

Stay alert, prepared and be ready to act. Have a good week and thanks for visiting.