Sunday, April 25, 2021



Example of gun display. A very good target pistol. Been on the market for years and has gone through a series of changes. History here. Price is right in today's market. Notice it is used. 

Very good first time buyer choice. Ammo available although more spendy. But not the $1 a round found from most sellers these days for center fire ammo. Still affordable to purchase and to plink with. Can learn everything about use, correct terminology in a gun environment and gun safety with this pistol. 

These little pistols are keepers and will shoot forever. Also a great pistol to learn take-down , cleaning, maintenance and re-assembly. 

I heard folks selling and talking pistols referencing handguns as a "weapon". This is a "no no." They are pistols, handguns, revolvers, semi-automatics; not "weapons." I would have hoped folks in the business would get and use correct terminology. 

Regardless, a very good turn out in a small town gun show. All ages, walks of life and both men and women. (Probably just annoyed some one here.) 

Chatter among the vendors indicated very big turn-outs at other Texas gun shows these past few months. Proving the fact that more and more folks are wanting and purchasing guns and ammo. AND NO!! cannot walk into a gun show and easily pick up a gun without going through a background check and clearing through proper paperwork. Vendors can also choose if they want to sell you a gun or not. No reason for a "no" answer. Look or act a little "hinky" is enough to earn a "no" in these troubled times.

Availability of most pistols and rifles: yes. Costs are noticeably higher.  

FOUND MEME ON ACE OF SPADES a few days ago. 

Just have to share because I remember every one of these. Dirt!!!

Lets add:

1. drive-in movies.

2. spit wads.

3. playing stretch (grade school) with our pocket knives.

4. getting our first car at 16.

5. family dinners

6. walking several miles to and from school

7. shooting marbles during recess

8. five and dime. 

9. tetherball

10. high school club initiations. Jail time today!!

11. lake pipes. 

12. public hacks from teaches using paddles with holes drilled in them. Taught me!! Boys only. 

13. AND a school assembly called where "the bad boys" would be marched up on the stage and the principal would deliver the public hacks. We survived and helped build the world. Now it is all be given away and where are the men who will stand up? Hiding at home, living with mom and dad! ok, ok...



Awake at three. Seven hours good sleep. Coffee time. 

Early morning garden protection for possible freeze. A light coat of water mist to all the fledgling plants. Holding at 34 degrees but temperatures always seems to drop a few degrees at day break. 

Neighbor said to mist. Internet gives a more detailed explanation of why it works.

As for me I just misted every half hour. Had there been wind, I would not have had to mist as the wind would have prevented freezing. Did not know that. Neighbor did. 

Bright light on the right was an RYOBI battery shop light. Got it awhile back just in case I might need good light at night. 

Recently purchased a watering nozzle with adjustments from misting to full on. Another good buy as the misting worked perfectly for this need. No way I could have "squirted" a proper light mist. 

There was a noticeable dew on the car windows and I tested each time I went out to see if it was glazing. Close, but did not. 

I knew of this procedure for crop protection but never needed it. Eastern Washington has large fans in some of the crop fields with tall misting nozzles plumbed through the growing fields. All that work and expense because it works. Have seen the same here in east Texas.

So another hands-on east Texas test learning experience. 



Looking at you looking at me looking at you! 



Fence building re-using materials from the oil drilling industry. 



Typical old oil rig drilling pipe and sucker rod fence where ever the eye looks driving back east Texas roads. I have passed some of the best photo worthy fields these past few weeks, but have not had the opportunity to stop the car alongside the high with time to take a good photo. Safety more than anything. 

But this week we were cruising with neighbors running on the edge of the "The Big Woods" outside Gilmer, Texas. 

We found this field rounding a back road corner.  This is a fairly good example of the kind of everyday spring scenery during the coming and goings from home to town and back. I ramble from to time about landscapes here. How common and absolutely drop dead gorgeous are the Piney Woods in east Texas! Not a question.



One of her purchases from Canton's first Monday. Yard covered with bark mulch finally and the deer set in place. One more check-off of her list of Spring things to get planted or set in place. I have never been much of a fan of things like this. But full disclosure, I very much like this. And yes, have given her "atta girls" this week for her efforts. 



Rumor is they started here. An east Texas good eats. Neighbor says the best they like are at Doc's in Gilmer

"We are going to Doc's for hot links. Pick you up at 11 AM if you want to go." 
Her said yes and an hour later we were on the road. 

Hot Links! A cold weather meal according to neighbor. Hot Links are greasy. No other way to put it. But therein lies the draw. I think!

I cannot boast of this being one of my favorite eats nor can I say it falls at the other end of the spectrum. For me, Hot Links are still a work in progress. '

I love sausage, but hot links are different; very different for me. I am used to sausages that are packed tight inside the casing. Hot Links are loosely packed and when cutting the casing the inners tend to fall out. A wet chili consistency of meats and juices. Stay with me here.

If the casing is not easily cut and for me quite often each hot link cut fails and the sausage flattens and self drains. Casing and meat separated on the plate. Scooping is in order. But I am not alone. When watching others, and the place is always packed with folk, their hot links also appear to be like mine. They do not care one iota. 

Before I go further, know that hot links are a buck a piece and a normal order is 4/6/8. Sides are beans, potato salad, chili and so forth. The gals filling the orders pull a high school plastic lunch tray off the shelf, put down a sheet of wax paper and plop the hot link order in the middle of that wax paper. Links are usually still tied together. Redish/dark brown in color. Short, fat, stubby in shape. 

Entering Doc's for the first time one notices the eating set up. No tables. One long U shaped picnic table, with the kitchen at one end. Family style. Find a space for your party, pull out a bench and sit down. 

Withing a minute or two of starting the attack on the hot link order, the school lunch tray and wax paper are starting to look like a puddle of meat, casing and sauce. One chases the meal expansion as lunch progresses. I find pushing the edges of the meal back to the center a norm. Everyone is doing that. 

Bottom line, trying hot links is a must experience. Something I feel the wanting/need to further try and enjoy. But what haunts me most, is the flavor. Grease yes and I am ok with grease. This is how I was first introduced to pizza. Never looked back and miss pizza eateries where hand fulls of napkins need to be applied to the top of the cooked pizza before it is served.

The flavor of hot links tastes neutral. I cannot put into words the flavor. And I try. My saving grace is BBQ sauce. And there it is, hot links scoops topped with BBQ sauce and it all comes together. Even the grease filled chili (not complaining) once topped with a dollop of BBQ sauce finds its home on the pallet. 

Folks come from all around to both Pittsburg and Gilmer just for hot links. Doc's is a busy place at lunch time. Noticeable in take outs and picnic table sit downs. Buzzing. The love for some good east Texas hot links is a real thing. This I do understand.

Her and I will drive long distances for a real corn dog. Talked about that already. Describing each bite. There is something to be said about all of us simply liking what we like. 

And corn dog time has again arrived in east Texas. About an hour away. 



At some time the pot boils over. Left on high with abandon, the boil over makes a mess and if continues un-attended, the boil over becomes a red hot pan bottom, smoke and flames.  

Weekly I notice more and more stupidity thrown into the pot raising the temperature. No attempt to control or look for a simmer. More and more fuel added. A wait and see attitude hoping. Hope is not a plan. Seems more than likely boil over is getting closer. 

Longer reads. Will take you time. Written by a man who has lived what is possibly coming. Sees all the same warning signs. Shares his insights and today's parallels of similar events. 

As always, information is good. Like the thunderstorms that rolled through yesterday, we knew they were coming. Some severe forecasted. Just knowing that storm events were on their way, we upped our evening game plan for self protection. To the shelter within a minute from a dead sleep if we had to. Knowing and a little planning would prevent panic. Also, not every little AFTER storm detail was adequately covered. It never will be. Basics were. 

I believe big storms are ahead for this nation and other countries/nations. Acting today to prevent panic for my family/friends/neighbors is a healthy endeavor. Will the storms pass directly over head, linger for weeks/months or will they burn out before they get here?

Peace of mind comes at a cost of being informed, time and actionable activity. 

Every little bit helps. 

God Bless. Thanks for the visit.

Sunday, April 18, 2021



East Texas is greening. First hay mowing later next month and I am guessing that there will be two mowing seasons this year. Rain and sunshine produce here.

Temperatures warming. The late afternoons are perfect for these aching bones. Not quite a long hot shower, but warmth that noticeably soaks over time.

Not sure if I should apologize to readers about too much weekly writing of our daily living here. Not exciting, yet a perfect world for us. Older folks enjoy the simplicity of sitting, visiting and I for one, am amazed every morning as I head out to visit the garden. Quite often overnight will bring seed from just breaking the ground to full sprouting with an inch growth. A birthing.

It may not be rocket science, but there is a lot to learn to getting things to grow. Bugs enjoy what we are starting to grow. How to control? Watering? I tend to over-water. That can actually drown plants. I did not know that. I am getting better, but dry dirt sends me to the watering hose.

Perfect days are a lot of sun followed by a night of quick thunderstorms. Mother Nature seems to prefer her sun and her watering. I can see that in the freshness of the plants the morning after a good rain.

The food chain here is fresher all around too. It can be seen in the local markets and of course the weekend farmer's markets. Fruits, vegetables, eggs, chicken, pork, beef and baked goods. More choices of very good eats. Last cut of romaine test planting above, earlier in the season. There is sweetness and a freshness that is hard to put into words in the harvesting of garden fresh. 

Chicks are in brooding pens in feed stores. Their chirping cannot be missed walking in. They are begging to be scooped up and taken home. But they soon become a job, at least would be for me. Too late in life. But fresh eggs are worth the work. Fresh farm eggs are in the loop now.



As a younger man I always saw the older people in a different light. Not negative nor sympathetic, but viewed in the end of years. I thought how limited they were, not able to get out and go fast like "us younger" people. They must be missing so much?

Today I realize they were looking at my youth and were rejoicing in not having to ever go through the learning experiences still ahead of me. If I was judging them, then they were, too, probably judging me. “Poor young man, has no clue what is ahead of him...the upsides, downsides, hours and hours of work and keeping everything and everyone running and fine tuned.” They had lived the learning curves still ahead of me at that time of my life. They had no desire to keep it up and for sure not to have go through all of that again.

I did not realize the quality of life in the later years that come from a rocking chair and chatting, a drop-dead nap in an old worn-out chair and owning the days as we chose. Leisurely running in 1st or 2nd gear and being able to pull over and stop the engine for a while, on a whim.

I did not see that life slowing down would brighter colors of smaller insignificant moments, the beauty of nature and the wonderment of the large world we all live in and time to talk with my wife. Slower living and learning at a pace where it can be more appreciated and enjoyed.

To my point. Blogging in these summer months ahead may focus a bit on these small 3 acres and the bigness of east Texas. The changing world around us and these past 5 years of worldly comments and opinion may pass me by for awhile. Well, unless the aliens land. I'll have to talk about that.


Many a youngster have started from sitting on the fender of an old Ford tractor as their grandparents drove to work the fields, then to their first driving lessons, then to themselves driving farm equipment years before becoming teenagers. 

Everywhere here is a photo-rich environment. Old tractors with every kind of attachable implement still work the land. I am a big fan of what man has made to get jobs done. And it is not thrown away. Just set aside till a job arises calling for the tool needed. A PTO (power take off) and a three point hitch has changed many a landscape into food producing or building needs all over the world. Man and machine.

Ready to go to work!



Everyday eats till they are all picked. I cannot take credit for these.

Neighbor brought them over as he cannot eat them as fast as they are coming on. His wife, my wife, do not/will not, have anything to do with a radish. So it is just the men eating. 

He has a great crop. Different species. Says he likes these the best as they do not get "punky/mushy" late in the growing season. 

Cleaned, washed and then dipped in salt sprinkled on a paper plate. Great crunch right out of the ground. A hint of heat and great flavor. I will do these later in the season for winter picking. 

Her shakes her head when I eat these. Maybe it is the crunch. Or the "wows" over and over. I told our neighbor that it is a good thing we cannot grow beer, have them come on like this and be the only two responsible for the consumption. 



I saw that a couple of my onions were going to seed. I knew that it was too early in their growth, not exactly why. Much like the pine trees that went dormant during this past winter hard freeze and then came out over-producing pine cones for future growth and species preservation, the onions were doing the same thing. 

Sensing a hard cold or experiencing too much sun and too little water, the plants go into seed early. The wanting or need to keep the species going is a corner-stone of Mother Nature's ways. Seeing this first hand is a good lesson. 

These new days of warming temperatures and direct sun warmth and heat have thrown the onions into a panic. I have been watering, but not often enough. The onions are strong; best I have ever grown, but early seeding teaches me to better monitor their needs and what they require. 



Two nights of rain. The garden has exploded. This photo shows yellow squash, lemon leaves have doubled in size and the onions above are very happy. 

All the watering and over-watch and no results like Mother Nature. Maybe we should all stand out in the rain for an hour or so sometime. What have we got to lose?


Ahhhhhhh.... Rain IS the reason. A little research.


More from Selco and found on the Organic Prepper blog site.



During a recent trip to Tyler, TX, this past week, we stopped in at several major shopping stores and were pleasantly surprised at how well the stores have been re-stocked. Filled to the brim with everything, for the most part. 

Full circle ride from fully stocked, to shortages in all areas and now back to fully stocked. Not sure how this holds across the lands but comforting to know the country can still bounce back. C19, political landscape and media design/cooperation with fear mongering and working an agenda have taken a toll this past year. 

Within all of this, stocking up is still possible, good deals if you shop and plan. Bottom line, we are all in the after now. Trust our eyes and our guts in taking care of ourselves and our loved ones for more down times seemingly in the plan. 

Food prices rising. Have seen these stories across other blog sites.

"It can't happen to us? 

Appreciate the visit and have a blessed week.

Oh, ya got an extra couple minutes. Meet "Skidboot" and his owner. Your heart will thank you. God Bless folks in Texas.

Sunday, April 11, 2021



Not delicate or quality pie slicing techniques. Twisting turning motion from the pie tin to the plate. Slice delivered with a downward twist on the front. 

Not homemade. Store bought. Neighbors bought an extra while shopping down south. Wife said to. As for me, I will not buy one. Simple: I cannot quit eating once I start. It is painful to turn my back and try to find something to occupy my mind and time. Distractions! Will power is zero!

I imagine piemakers with extrusion guns full of chocolate pie filling and one with the same of whipped topping. A machine then finishes it off with chocolate sprinkles. Then boxing, storing and shipping. Eight bucks. I would pay $50 on the street corner. So best never to bring one home.. 

I forget about it soon enough. But not this past Easter Sunday. Set it in the fridge Saturday night and it sat there for 9 hours. Waiting. I refused to open the door and make eye contact. And I could not sneak a midnight taste as the queen bee would know in the morning.

In a world gone mad, we can still find a chocolate pie.



How did your junior year teenage daughters/sons do with their high school project this past school year? 

This 17 year-old east Texas high school young man did quite well don't ya think?

All built/welded from scratch!!

Schools open! Teachers teaching! Kids achieving! Kids learning! Who knew?

Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.



A throw back to days of old. Many a weekend visiting my grandparents farm and helping haul large pales of milk from the barn to the cooling creek. Grandma sending me back down to the creek to skim a few pints of cream off the tops for her kitchen cooking.

"Teach a man/woman to fish." It's true!

Easter weekend. 
Fishing, like hunting, for sustenance. 

Family freezers now full of fish fillets for a year. Neatly stored along with hunting seasons deer meat.

Look at the tip of the front fin of the cat fish and see the brighter solid bone from the inner fin towards the tip. That tip is a razor sharp needle and will easily draw blood if grabbing the fish incorrectly or, quite often, when the fish flip flops while trying to handle it. 

East Texas norm of frying cat fish is dragging the fillet through corn meal and then into the frying pan. Folks here love it. But the bride and I are used to a light batter on fish and prefer to use a tempura mix. We have been told that 7 UP mixed in self-rising flour works well too. 

Catfish are good eats!!

Scraps please!






Wrap up.

For the 5 years that I have been blogging, I have often run across comments and folks exploring ideas of leaving the big cities and finding an out of the way place where living and common sense prevail. Where an individual family can still become self-sufficient. Where an economy is working and employment available for anyone who wants to work. Like minded people. 

We, too, were looking (3 years) but more from a retirement point of view. Then C19. 

Timelines changed for many reasons.  The last year of blogging here covers all of this. 

I see the same concerns/discussions today. Folks looking to move. But how to? Can we? Where do we go? These question plus hundreds more come into play and each have to be addressed.

Bottom line. All parties have to make the commitment. All have to work all the changes and problems to over come. All parties need to be ready for a mix of failures and successes. Be able to leave things behind. People behind. Family behind.  All will be weighed against what the new future can hold, longterm. Anyone dragging their feet will all but foil the attempt at what the new future can hold. Know this to the "Nth" degree.

A very good friend of mine told me a story of starting this kind of serious conversation with his wife and she broke down in tears at the idea. That was good information. Best to find all of this out at the get go.  

You will have to accept the idea that life/living can get worst in the move. Life/living can get better in the move. BUT it probably should not be the same as what you are living now. 

Have the hardest of conversations. Lay the whole deck of cards out on the table. See where that leads. Do not rush into the move. If you can visit the places you are considering. Spend a day or two driving the area. Money and time well spent. Moving somewhere only to find out it was a major life mistake can best be solved by spending some time in that local. 

Grandpa Charles and Grandma Rose left Russia separately with nothing but a small bag and the clothes on their backs. They were healthy, had excellent hard work skill sets and left everything behind for the coming to America. Everything they knew and loved in Russia was given up for the prospects of a new life.  They met each other in Chicago, she as a mail-order bride working off the indebtedness rather than marry the man who bought her, he to escape the life under the Czar
We can all achieve anything we think we are big enough to do.


Situational Awareness: A good read and re-visit of keeping our heads up.

Thanks for the visit this week. I appreciate. Have a blessed week. 

Sunday, April 4, 2021


At breakfast the other morning I  said to my wife, that this time in
our history is the end of our era. We both are planning for another 10/20 years, the good lord willing, but those career and working years are done.

A good amount of our energies now focus on  our basic living responsibilities during these aging years. Also planning future needs/wants for in home health and general care.

In these last years, our lifetime has taught us that we do not need much in the way of things to be happy. Food in the fridge, a few chunks of meat in the freezer, storage shelves with basics need not be more than getting through a half year of emergency. We no longer need a 30 year roof. Ten years now is our future thinking. “Less is more” has come full circle, become a way of living and that adage has proven/proving to be true. Time is what has the most value now.

Time to fully enjoy nothing happening. Visits with old friends and wonderful neighbors. A drive to town for a chocolate dipped cone and noticing the beauty and vistas along the way.

We both have traveled the world and the 50 states. The stories of our previous lives and our current years together are also proof that we did smell some roses along the way. A bell curve of memories for both of us. Do it all over again? Maybe, but only with the granted wish of getting to do that with our current knowledge base and experiences of the years gone by.

We have lived full circle in the changing world of media. From newspapers, books and radio through this age of all consuming electronics. These days we choose to go back to minimal media.

No TV news of any sorts and there is so much radio static in our little part of Texas, that radio reception is spotty to the point of annoyance. Even that medium is filled to the brim with advertisements and someone else's opinion push. Her still likes the distraction of something on during the day for background noise. But someone else's noise coming into our home now is followed by the off button. Two people ranting at each other is proof positive. Who in the hell wants to live like that, or listen on a day by day basis?

Sports today has been corrupted/politicized from top to bottom. Sad!! Although, we may get in some highschool football games this fall. Then again, most likely will need papers to get though the gates. 



Several of our pine trees appear to be dead or dying. Hundred year hard winter freeze appeared to have killed some east Texas vegetation. 

Well, not so much. 

The local forest service here and life long neighbors have explained that the hard freeze caused the pine trees to go dormant for their own survival. Now coming out of that, the new growth at the top of the trees is an indicator they are doing just fine. "Give them time; a few months..." before making any final decision on removal. 

The abundance of pine cones is also a sign from the trees how important it is for species survival. They are over-producing pine cones and future seed. Pine trees are serious about their kind continuing on. 

I also thought Jack and John Lemon trees had lost their battle to winter. Even though they were kept in the garage with a small heater going, they withered down to one or two leaves left on their branches. Now leafing and budding this seasons lemons.

Time and weight take their toll on a several-year-old bale of hay.

Maybe a little (more like a lot) TLC to get back on the road. But who would not like to travel in this? Been setting for 7 years and just this weekend the young owners are taking it home to mid west. They plan to rebuild and refit. 



Sweet and sour spare ribs served over rice.

A throw back to my early teen years. This was one of the meals I often asked my mother to make. The secret is in the sauce and slow  cooked pork ribs. 

The homemade sweet and sour sauce was basic. Mom used canned, ringed pineapples and cut them into chunks. The juice from the can mixed with some brown sugar, a dash of apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and the pineapple juice. Thickener was corn starch and a couple tablespoons of water. The color and added sweetness comes from Maraschino cherries and a tablespoon or two of the juice adds a special sweetness. 

This is always a work in progress. Making the basic sauce and then taste testing. 

I used a basic recipe from YouTube and memories of what mom use to do. 

The flavor and richness was wonderful. I will use the same sweet and sour sauce on chicken next time. 

The wife is not a fan of any sweet and sour on anything. So this plating was just for me. Pork ribs, rice with soy sauce worked for her.


Not photo worthy, a cup/pot of broth. 

Three fatty chicken thighs simmered in a 3 quart pot with lid. I do 2 hours. The chicken meat stripped of fat and bone junk, makes a great warm lunch meal on its own. Add a dash of salt. 

Skim the pot with a small strainer. Then add a small spoonful or couple cubes of chicken bullion. If you have a container of left over chicken broth in the fridge, add that. Won ton soup mix if you find it; a small spoonful. Two circles of soy sauce. Bring to a simmer.

A cup of this to sip on during the day or with any meal is wonderful. Cold afternoons. Add fresh diagonally sliced green onion. Excellent for helping the common cold or flu? Remember when we were able to take care of ourselves and family when these seasons rolled around every year?

Boil any kind of flat noodles and add at meal time to a bowl of this soup. Always with fresh sliced green onions. OR thin strips of left over steak, chicken, pork or ham. Keep in mind that it is the broth and other additives are just a flavor tease. 

Add frozen won tons. Perogies work. Make em or buy em. 

Regardless, I find a good cup of homemade won ton soup a wonderful comfort food. 

Find chicken bullion and won ton soup mix. Keep some in your kitchen cabinets. Both add flavor to cooking meats and vegetables. A dash here and there.




A good read found on the OrganicPrepper blog site. 

Written by Selco. This author has lived through and survived down times and recognizes what is happening in this country. A no BS approach in the telling and offering of advice.  He is an author I read and take to heart. Seek his other writings and stories if you are of a mind.


April 2021. Remember April's past when you could recognize an April Fools Joke and distinguish that from world reality? And when playing a joke on someone else was funny. I miss the days when most folks had a sense of humor and were playful.

Rain and sun this past week. First potatoes poking through the dirt rows. Cabbages screaming growth. Fresh lettuce leaves now on the table. 

Carrots finally. I had just about given up on them, but the day after a good rain, they have started. Looks to be a decent first attempt. 

Seasonal yard clean up done and now it will be every two weeks of mowing, weeding and perimeter yard cleaning. The planting of flowers along the road front. I think the bride plans on throwing wild flowers everywhere she can. 

Easter today. Dinner for two will be relaxing with leftovers this coming week. Good Friday in East Texas is also the day official garden planting starts. The possibility of any freezing nights will not threaten. This according to locals and history.

Appreciate the visit this week.