Sunday, January 27, 2019



A late Christmas present from close friends. A simple gift yet completely practical and used daily since I opened the present. Easy to carry, no messy wood carrying shirts, no debris falling on the floor coming into the house and no more worry of carrying a corner of an arm load of wood across the kitchen hall wall.


I joked in my last post about the Lord of Weather. How she had failed to fulfill the snowstorm forecast for last weekend. Early this past week, I realized she had a different plan and potentially more dangerous. It was the -4F to +4F degrees, daily highs and lows with wind speeds from 10-30 mph throughout the night and Monday last. This is weather that will kill in a very short period of time if not fully prepared to travel or be out in it. 

A good friend traveled to the middle of New York State for a wedding LAST weekend. He and his wife opted to head home that Sunday night, a 6 hour drive. 

He found that he could only pump a few gallons of gas as the gas station pumps froze as he pumped. Said it was that way all the way home. I, for one, would not have seen that coming and his story is a good reminder to always keep cars topped off when traveling in this kind of weather; better yet, when traveling! A good habit to develop. 

To think that all will fine and normal for needs on the road trip are not, in this case, due to extreme weather. Traveling without bug-out bags, food, water, extra clothing, blankets and other basics can also turn life threatening in an instant.

I would hope that if my wife and I were traveling in this kind of weather, especially with children, that the back of our car would look like we were moving. 


Our garden part 1  and  Our garden part 2

A good friend and neighbor by rural standards. A new home for him and her and their first gardening attempt this past season. If you are planning a garden and new to it all, spend some time with his photos, garden plans and results. And check into his blog from time to time. Fun stuff.



Who does not love a story like this?



We received a party invite earlier this past week to attend an annual game dinner from neighbors who live a few miles east of us. All food wild, locally hunted and guests bring their special dishes. We said yes and it was an opportunity to gather with folks we had not met.

We took homemade bread and a dessert tray. Once the bread was discovered amid the dishes of everything, it went fast. Something about homemade bread that always works. 

The rabbit chili was wonderful. I would not have known it was rabbit had someone not told me. I would have thought chicken chili by the looks and flavor. The Venison Parmesan was the show-stopper for me and many of the folks there. Tender enough to cut with a plastic fork. 

The wild turkey had been marinated the day previously and then smoked for three hours. The host told us to be careful as there still may be a "bb" for two that he did not get out of the breast meat. So, an easy slow chew for that sliced meat. A wonderful flavor giving me a whole new appreciation for the wild turkeys that roam our woods. 

A plate of sliced Venison, cooked medium rare, with the slightest hint of wild. That was followed by bear cooked in similar fashion. Melt in your mouth and no game flavor. The only out of the loop meat I saw hit the table were hot dogs and one guest asked if they were squirrel hot dogs. I do not know if he was kidding. 

I did not try the deer sausage as it was wrapped around a jalapeno and cheese. After watching the face of the gal ahead of me go red, I decided that the heat was beyond something I would enjoy.

Most of the attendees were thirty-somethings. Many married with children. For every adult circling the food table and kitchen counter, there was at least one child. Children were running everywhere and coming out of nooks and crannies. Good-looking kids and each being a kid. Doing what kids do. Play, make noise and stir up a party gathering. I, for one, was in heaven watching folks I had not met before gather for special eats and conversations. The heart of America before my eyes. Took me back to the days I was very young running at my grandparents ranch while the adults visited. Always, always tables and counter tops with homemade local foods and desserts. 

I told our hosts that this was the very best party I have ever attended since we moved to New Hampshire 18 years ago. And my comment in no way negates all of the other gatherings and friends we socialize with. But the life and living in that small home this past weekend was life and living in glorious color. No agendas, no politics, no pretenses, no one sitting with a cell phone in his/her face. 

These folks are the backbone of our country. They are doers, builders, hunters, fixers with everyday skill sets from making a living close to the land. Throw in a masters degree in nursing here and special training there. Mothers and fathers with several children coming and going from their over watch. Most all of these guys and gals can dress a deer from start to finish in the coarse of a normal day. Pluck a freshly hunted turkey or prepare a rabbit for dinner as easily as a townie can order a big mac with fries. 

I sat in my wooden chair, arm resting on a steel safety gate to the downstairs, and watched the ebb and flow of folks having fun. I visited with folks sitting next to me and passer-bys. It was any weekend at my grandparents farm in 1955 all over for me. 

The heartland of our America is alive and well. 


January is gone for all practical purposes. The winter worm is turning and it does not get dark now till 5:15 PM. The days are noticeably 45 minutes longer. February and March can be brats in their own way. But they are the gateway to a new season and will come, go and quickly be forgotten as was January.

Heads up and look for the good. It is there. You may have to turn off the media, and put down the phone. Give it a little time.

Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Did you get the memo last weekend?

You did not because I called in sick and failed to send that memo. 

The Flu! 

I had vowed not to get sick this year and knew I wouldn't because I was staying away from crowds, washing my hands often and thus, exempt. 

Apparently, all it takes is one small crowd or two small children coughing in the nearby distance. Or was it one of the places I touched while out and about? There are always people when I am out and about. 

The flu came on last weekend and was enough to decommission me from all chores. 

To the doctor Monday and found that I was still inside the first 48-hour window of the onset of the flu.  Meds could still be prescribed to minimize the severity and length of the illness. 

My wife was by also coming down with symptoms and also prescribed the same round of meds. 

Long story short, we were only grazed by the flu bullet this season.  I have been constantly tired and sleeping a lot; even to the point of feeling rested. No staying power, though, past a couple of hours.  My wife has done much better.



With a lot of time on our hands, my wife has turned to some baking. 

The quiche to the right was her first. Wonderfully done and the taste of smoked salmon a treat. 

Quiche #2 was a broccoli and cheese. Simple, quick and lasted one day. No photos. 

Quiche #3 was sausage, green pepper, onion and cheese. My favorite! Everything breakfast served in a pie crust. 


IT WILL KILL US   TED talk by Jay Tuck

YMATA blog started when "the after" was tomorrow and beyond. Ideas of being prepared and being self-sufficient were to be at the center of many discussions.

Today, "the after" has arrived. Most are not ready and it may be too late. Not to be another one spreading doom and gloom this week, but this for the purpose of being informed. We ought to pay attention. 

This TED talk is worth sitting back and listening. 

Artificial Intelligence is advancing at a rate beyond imagination. 


KATELYN OHASHI   Gymnastics Floor Routine. 

If you have not seen this yet, then you will enjoy. This is what a "10" performance looks like from start to finish. Have you ever seen a gymnastics routine finish like this? All 4'6" of her!!

In the smallest of worlds, our past two weeks have been mostly housebound. Healing from a glancing blow of this season's flu, finding some entertainment in meal preparations and a getting needed rest. 

With a smile on my face this morning, my imagination envisions the Lords of The World, sitting around their table. The Lord of The Flu says to The Lord of The Weather (while pointing to my wife and me) "they both escaped the ten down days of miserable sickness I set upon them. Can you help me?"

The Lord of The Weather says "Yes." With a wave of her hand, a twist of the wrist, she adds, "let the many also partake."

From their round table this Sunday morning The Lord of Weather has not lived up to her forecasted 27" snow fall. Most folks received 8"-10" of powdered sugar snow. User-friendly and easy to move/re-move. If I were ordering snow type and amounts last week, this is what I would have ordered.

This also perfect for those who are out playing in snow, other than making snowmen.

The storm is falling apart now with freezing rain and snow mix here in middle New England. Maybe 2" more max. 

Very low temperatures tonight and tomorrow will have this storm's leftovers frozen in place tomorrow.


 Have a wonderful week. Thanks for the visit.

Sunday, January 6, 2019


This is not a winter for this old man. So far, Mother Nature is toying with me. Rain, sleet, melting then freezing, add a little wet snow and repeat. 


Mid of the New Year 1st week, 2019. Gonna be a bumpy ride this year for peeps.

"The beginning of the end" some write. Impeachment paper work filed before week's end. Newly elected congress woman screaming across the aisle to impeach the M***ker. Apparently reaching across the aisle for the good of the order looks much different when in power. Never saw that coming, huh? I digress!!

I find the coming into any new year to be anti-climatic. I do not begrudge the happy happy and gathering of folks for the midnight hour. I cannot though ever remember that moment to be worth all the hoopla. Five minutes into the new year, most folks are packing their bags and goodies and hitting the roads home.

For the past few decades, NYE has been normal to bed times here on the hill. Maybe a vague midnight awakening from distant fireworks. The dog would always arrive within seconds and noticeably plop down near our bed for safety and security. She always received a pat on the head from the wife or me for reassurance. 

The only noise I remember this new year arrival was the plopping of wet snow sliding off the metal roof and hitting the edge of the deck below. Seemed abnormally quiet; the arrival. 

I think this new year, 2019, will be one for the record books and looked back upon as a year of groundwork laid for epic change in the worlds we live in. There will be no coming back to the ways of old, other than storytelling. 

What ever is coming, what ever the trigger(s) for major change, the uptick this year will be noticeable locally, state, nationally and worldwide. The writing is on all the walls and one has to have his/her/its head deeply embedded in a hard sand not to see.  

My advice, which I, too, will take, is keep knees bent, stay away from crowds, stick to your plans, work the work, live and love the life and prepare for down times to be as self-sufficient as possible. 

If you are one that will have to leave and you should know that by now, practice the plan. Hard snow flakes in your midst might have to be left behind. Your other choice is to drag them kicking and screaming with you. But if the day comes where you realize your immediate survival need to leave, you will not have the time nor energy to do so. If you are leaving, it will be a new ball game with different rules.

If you are planning on digging in and you should also know that by now, then keep digging and shoring up the moat. 

There are absolutely no guarantees. None. BUT a few cans of soup, rice, powdered milk, flu/cold meds, toilet paper, ability to meet 4 seasons for you and yours plus hundreds of other little everyday items tucked away may make the difference short and long-term. The supply chain failure may very well be a part of a down-tick. That will be an ugly in your face fact. Prepare. If you have children and people that depend on you, then you have no choice other than to be ready.  None. 


Worthy of time reading

THE BURNING PLATFORM   A fourth turning article. He follows this closely and explains it well. Put this blog into your reads this year.


A fellow who is a nurse and works in an ER. He pulls no punches. Writes exceptionally well also. Also tracks the Ebola outbreak.

Playful new breakfast try by my wife in the photos above. Baking pan sprayed, 2 thin ham slices, cheese crumpled in, one egg each and baked for 12-15 minutes a 400. Let rest a minute after out of the oven. All 4 disappeared in a cone of silence. Next time will be put on toast and or a slathering of Hollandaise sauce. 


SHOOTERS ON MY MIND   from Seacoast on 

"The bodies are piling up. So is collective traumatic stress: emotional numbness, anger, anxiety, guilt, denial, withdrawal. Not the best characteristics to restore open, civil discussion and repair a shredded democracy."

(I cannot help but wonder if  "impeach the M***ker" is part of civil discussion?--most likely just fine because the screaming was passionate)

Not an adjective left behind!

There is no getting away from the ever increasing hanging of fear over this great land. If 2018 was bad, then this year is going to be brakes-off, loosen the reigns and let 'em run full speed out of the gates. To hell with the direction, be it flat and smooth nor laden with ruts, trees and cliffs obscured by bramble. 

Of all this social unraveling beginning to happen now, the hyping up and grandstanding this week in political/social circles, one of the emotions threading through me is not one of fear. I do not fear the man or woman's path I cross. I do not fear wind blowing through the trees, shadows in the late afternoon nor the car running down the highway with a rear tail light out. I do not go out of my way looking for every bad trait or pending bad behavior projected on to my fellow man. Nor do I ascribe a negativism and pending life ending doom to the most minuscule duck out of order. Who can or wants to live like this? 

The author of this article is having difficulty with daily norms and likely dug into his fears.  Pity the poor kid delivering a couple hot pizzas for lunch there.

What's in your lunch bag? 



.22's LR in                                                             .22's LR out 


My wife happened on this show a month or so back. The 2016 season. After watching for a few minutes we were hooked. To date, I cannot tell you what it is about this show that holds us from start to finish. The competing bakers sure. What they try to bake, yes. The hosts and judges, a little bit. But the major draw that keeps us glued, not sure. Regardless, we are in with all shows on record so as not to miss a drop of ganache.


I/we like cooking as evidence here from cooking topics covered. My wife dabbles and I am guessing that her Lemon Bundt Cake with icing last week just may have come from watching this show. Not sure, but she had a smile on her face and treated her final cakes with much TLC. The flavor was excellent and all 4 cakes were gone in a half-hour when friends popped over for tea and a post-holiday visit. 

This morning it was my turn with King Arthur Flour Apple Spice Cake mix with Bourbon Glaze. Our current cake baking thus far comes from a box using KAF cake mixes. And why not? We have the big KAF baking book and will get to that in due time.

We get out the KitchenAid mixer, a few tools and all the ingredients along with instructions. Set the oven to 350 and "bakers-bake." Neither of us have any illusions that we can bake. But all the fun of mixing, baking and drizzling glaze is there. And the flavors are wonderful. 

Like other products talked about here, I am not trying to push the product, just talk about it. KAF is in local stores and the main store is in our back yard. They, of course, are on the net.


A week into the new year now and winter is wearing as I all-too-often mention. The photo above is what we are dealing with as new weather accumulations have no where to run off and temperatures have not been helpful. Eleven degrees tonight. The snow cover on the driveway above is now all the glaze ice. Off to throw 5 gallons of salt and 5 gallons of sand after publishing this morning. But we are warm with plenty of homemade soup to supplement.

No promises here this new year. Gonna keep plugging away following my suggestion of "living and loving the life."  

Thank you for the visits and keep checking in from time to time.