Sunday, October 6, 2019


A good video of a fellow building his own home for his family. Doing all the work himself. A 3 year time lapse video I found on 90 Miles from Tyranny.

Enjoy this fellow talking his way through the first three years of the home he designed and built. 

The photo above was taken 16 years ago during our new home construction. For builders, these kinds of photos are an art form of a moment in the process. 


I am still impressed with Samsung S7 photo quality at a moment's notice. 

I had been carrying my phone outside this past week while working around the year. Wandering our back trail over several weeks of fall foliage and depending on the light, offers some remarkable views. What struck me most was how well the cell phone picked up the sky over the colors. I never see this in my Canon camera until playing with it in post production. But the cell phone camera did pick it up and gave a very indication of a final photo. Although the colors are not popping, the sky and view down the path was worthy of saving.


It will not be long now before local home photos again show the onset of winter.

I realize much repeats here, but it is times of our lives. Fall leaves will lose their colors and quickly fall to the ground. The forest will be lost to the trees and readers may again have to endure more musings of cold, first frost and first official snow fall. Once that begins, past seasons will again be but a memory. 

Over the course of the past year, we are spending more time outside for a little hard work sprucing the up the old homestead.  A hot cup of tea, visiting of life ahead and seeing the fruits of our labor; quite an excellent way to reacquaint ourselves with days when we were younger and media was a no-never-mind! 


We spent part of 2006 and 2007 living in South Africa. We were going to be there long enough to warrant the purchase of a used car and we chose  an older Land Rover Defender. 

Why not add some more fun to this adventure and this vehicle forever set us in a love affair with this vehicle. We so wanted to bring "Ginger" home, but because of her restively young age, she was not importable to the states. We tried, asked a lot of questions, but in the end we had to leave her behind.

She had a gas v-8 engine with 4 (more with the lower gears) on the floor. 

We did learn that owning a Land Rover means having our own trusted mechanic too. That holds true today here in the states. 

Our advice is to never buy any Land Rover without first finding a mechanic and not a dealership mechanic, but a real mechanic that makes his/her living working on and repairing these vehicles. Once you have secured your own trusted mechanic, go for it. Also make sure you can keep her garaged and out of the weather when she is not being driven. Stay on top of the little things, learn basic maintenance and drive it often.

Another reason to purchase this vehicle was South Africa-specific. Land Rovers were not sought after by hijackers.

THE NEW 2020 LAND ROVER is not your fathers/grandfathers Land Rover. My opinion.

If one plans to drop $50K and more, might I suggest finding a real Defender  that will never ever loose its value. It will also be an investment and offer the real driving experience. Used Land Rover Example. There are still many for sale and in excellent condition. These older Defenders will always turn heads and bring "ohhhhs" and "ahhhhhs" from any car lover.

Pull an older Defender up next to a new one and folks will still gather around the older Defender every time. The older Defender will have a name and is a recognized member of the family.



Homemade beef stew has been on my mind for over a month. A rainy Wednesday morning gave me a good excuse to make beef stew this past week.

Any good meal preparation should be proceeded with quality ingredients. Grandmother had everything fresh from the farm from which to feed her family. I think her and my parents' cooking set deep flavors in me as I was growing up.

I have learned to cook from good ingredients first before the process. 

The meat shown here was the best boneless chuck roast I could find at the market.

The smaller of our two dutch ovens was used. I am trying to cook just for two and have yet to achieve that plan.
The meat was trimmed, cubed and floured in a plastic bag of flour, salt, pepper and a little garlic salt. 

Then browned in the DO in olive oil and some butter; on low. This is a little time consuming, but taking the time to brown the meat pays off in flavor. I was satisfied having at least 3 sides well browned.

After the last small batch of cubed roast, I added a third of a can of beef broth and a sprinkle of flour left on the plate. Still on low heat, the bottom dregs of the DO were stirred into a rouix and thinned a little more as needed. A full squirt of tomato paste was added and rouix was cooked for a few minutes for thickness and making sure the bottom of the DO was scraped clean of "debris." (My better half says that debris is a Louisiana term).

Larger cuts of 2 onions, a few washed carrots and celery were layered in the rouix to fill the pot. Some thyme and basil added for flavor. Oven set at 290 and cooking for 6 hours, then 250 for the final two hours. 

Check the stew during the last few hours as it may be done ahead of time. If so, turn off the oven and let it rest in the oven till dinner time. 

Red wine can be added to this along with other veggies as per individual tastes..

My wife always adds a third of a head of chopped cabbage and a jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce. No tomato paste or tomatoes. Her (actually, her mother's) recipe is thicker when it is done. Mine always has some noticeable broth. Both excellent.

The full dutch oven pictured above cooked down by a third and small baby red potatoes were added the last 2 hours of cooking.

In a perfect world of no dieting, I would serve this stew over a bed of rice, pasta and/or make sure that there were hot home made rolls on he side. 


I found this video by accident. If you have not seen this before or know of the Ibex, you will be amazed and appreciative of this animal by the end of the video. Walking on the edge of the edge w/o issue. Enjoy.


An incredible must watch movie. Released in June of this year. 

If  you love movies about folks who do not stop or quit when many other people tell them they cannot do something, you will embrace this story. If you love boats, you will love this story. The last 10 minutes of this movie is one of the best ever.

My wife says this is a feminst movie. I disagree. This is a human story for every corner of the world.

I promise you this story will stick with you for a long time. 


Peak foliage passing this weekend. Temperatures noticeably colder. Mother Nature starting to deal from the up coming winter deck.

Thanks for the visit this week. 

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