Friday, December 24, 2021



Light through our east Texas front room window earlier this week.

Photo above from the North Pole of Texas.

What the pillow says!!


Little Drummer Boy from   for King & country


Christmas Eve day. Three presents still to wrap and it is just her and me for the evening and Christmas Day tomorrow. Her sister was diagnosed with strep throat just hours before she was due to board a plane up near the caprock in the panhandle. Best laid plans for many months - poof!!

But sister is on the mend and doing fine. That is much more important and a wonderful gift in and of itself. We can visit at the push of a button and the visit is now pushed back to early in the coming year. Life so often gets in the way. 

Son sent pictures yesterday of a Christmas present he recently finished for the son of a good friend of his. A toy box for all of boy's baseball equipment and collections of other toys. An oil finish is applied making it easy to repair some of the dings and dents this box will endure over the years. 

His work is impeccable with absolute attention to detail in the build. The kid has skills. This is not something you can find on the net. This is a homemade gift from the heart. Good things me thinks! 

He said he made this from scraps of wood left over from other projects and some pieces warped and bent; all needing TLC from a craftsman's hands. 

How would you like to receive a handmade gift like this? My bet is you would keep and cherish it for life. 

High 70's today and forecasted to be 80 tomorrow. Joints do not ache and her is talking of weed-eating around the sidewalk today. Imagine that. And no, we do not miss the snow below. Memories are just fine. 

Thanks for the visits this year. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours, God Bless and have a Happy New Year. 

Sunday, December 19, 2021



Another new recipe shared. I followed this site for some guidance. 

Quick, easy, great use of leftovers and open to individual likes. A few drops of hot sauce, in the broth above, added flavor.


Fat chickens greeted us on the deck picnic tables.

Classic Jeep

Texas Longhorn. First close up look for me.

We took a trip the day these photos were taken to Herby-K's seafood restaurant in Shreveport, LA. Two hours to the minute driving the back roads through Gilmer and Marshall Texas and arriving just off of I-20 at this bucket list eatery. Miles and miles of never-ending back roads of homes and farms linked along the entire trip.

Folks already in line and we were early enough to get one of the 4 booths just inside the door. There were more tables out back and on the patio. 

Her jumped on soft shell crab and I opted for butter-fly shrimp with a side of two Louisiana fried oysters as a test taste. The seafood gumbo was different from gumbo I have eaten in the past. The broth was thinner, the bowl was to the brim with shrimp, crab and crawfish. But it was not what I expected. Very good yes and I would have licked the bottom of the soup bowl for the last drop. Just different for me. My bet is that gumbo well represented local Louisiana gumbo.

But next time, and there will be a next time, it will the a large order of fried oysters. Noticeable salty. Fried in corn meal the way it should be done. Every corn meal fish or dinner out of fried sea food here has not been good in my opinion. For me. Too much caked on corn meal. 

There are two types of fried oysters. Excellent or garbage. No in-between. Herby-K's seafood restaurant lives up to the recommendations we were given to go there for sea food. 

Add to this the normal comings and goings of local customers picking up armloads of take out, folks chatting each other up in booths nearby or the natural atmosphere of home-cooking is all well worth a day's outing. 


CLAM DIGGING at Ocean Shores. Mom was counting our razor clam limits before we left the beach. One clam over the limit was costly in fines. 


My first boat build.


Times of our lives. Enjoy here.


My first car. 1956 Chevrolet, 2 door post, 289 cu in with 2 bbl carburetor and three on the column. I had worked and saved since I was 12 years old. 

I often wonder if kids these days will ever know the exhilaration and fun of cars of this era. Probably not. 



Pictures and stories from our friends up north are just fine now. But, "no," we do not miss the cold, snowy bone-soaking cold and all that comes with the long winter months.

Cold this publishing morning, though, here in east Texas. Thirty-three degrees. Temperatures forecasted to be in the 70's with plenty of sunshine this coming week. Fireplace is on and most all of our Christmas gifts have been delivered or mailed. 

Enjoying the comings and goings of neighbors and long relaxed visiting about much of nothing. Cooking some new shared recipes and I am still trying to learn how to make perfect rice. I know the procedures, but have not yet mastered this simple side dish. I refuse to get a rice cooker. 

I appreciate the visit this week. Have a very merry and blessed Christmas.

Sunday, December 12, 2021


 3 Methods of Transport

A postcard from my father salmon fishing in Alaska to my mother living in Raymond, Washington. Marked June, 1937. It read: "Hoping you are ok. Please write often. Say hello to Boo Boo." I believe they were dating at this time in their lives.

Another post card exchanged from my mom and dad. What a beautiful city and represents my memories of my days I often visited that city. So much change. 

The information on the back reads, "Seattle, the principle seaport on Puget Sound, is one of the busiest cities in the Northwest. Fishing, manufacturing and lumbering are the chief industries," The post card was, "Made in the U.S.A. by E.C. Kropp Co."


I found this pass while going through a box of old family records. This is the ship my father worked on and mom was invited to see the launch. The U.SS. Pursuit. Click on some of the photos and history of that ship.

Times have changed, huh?


Young Leroy or Bobby. From my aunt's box of left over photos and family papers. Left to my mother after my aunt passed. A small box of her family photos. On the back of this photo is printed "Lusterlite Finish Will Never Fade." I zoomed in on this photo but did not try to clean or enhance. A hundred year old photo and still looks great. 
I do not know what to do with the small handful of photos. All friends way back when. "Aunty" never had children and those branches of the family tree are long gone, but I cannot toss them away. Will use new rubber bands and re-package in the old box and set with all other history.

One common thread through out all of these old black and white photos are the girls and guys next to their cars. The automobile and the young took to the freedom and mobility coming out of The Depression. 
Automobiles and young ladies are still center pieces in many of today's photos in all of our family histories. 

Go ahead and stand on the hood and front fender of your Dodge Charger with a friend on your shoulders. Send me that photo to share. 



This past week was a kitchen full of cookies, granola and Chex Mix batches and her measuring, mixing and baking. Me? Waiting patiently for any small "mistake cookie" not worthy of gifting. 

Thanks for the visit this week.

Sunday, December 5, 2021


A gun for Alec.

Her and I have been NRA pistol instructors for quite a few years now. Early on I wanted a "tool" to help teach sight alignment and grip. I wanted it to be a safe gun teaching aid and also safely be a hands-on teaching aid that students could pick up, point and readily see/practice grip/sight alignment. 

And within all of the use of this tool, we mandated and reminded students to exhibit safe use when pointing and learning. The use of such teaching tools always reinforced the basic gun handling safety rules. 

I see now where Alec is saying that he did not pull the trigger. So here is a gun that Alec can absolutely present with that argument in hand. There is no trigger. 

All of this absurdity and an actual plea that he was some how "absent" within the act of physically grabbing, cocking, pointing, trigger pulling and killing another human being, is beyond me.  

Is it possible that Alec is blowing smoke where the sun don't shine? Not sure.

I will though remain open minded to see how the experts sort all of this out. 



Just wants some green grass and good eats. The horse is now in "time out" in a near by pasture. 



This week is text book comfortable weather. Daily forecasts come down to "warmer than yesterday." All sun, brisk mornings, gentle breezes, t-shirt afternoons. Some rain every 10 days or so, but not enough for what the lands want or need. Dew well coats anything green and growing and it appears this seems to help all of this hold its own. The ponds are down to "too low."

CChip, Sugar and Cranberry Oatmeal. All with some crunch.

Her is into the seasonal cookie bake, granola bake and I am going to try making Chex mix from the recipe on the back of the boxes. Maybe tweak it somewhat. Everyone will get cookies and home-baked items for gifts this season. 

Neighbors dropped off enough gumbo after Thanksgiving for her and I to have our fill. Old family recipe. The flavor heat was one notch over my red line. The short version of all of this moment is that now my red line is one notch higher and I am have found that craving in flavor heat that says one more bite, one more bite, one more bit until the bowl is empty. 

Cleaned the fridge out of all the T-day leftovers. Turkey soup in the freezer. 

In an attempt to cut down on all of the high carb meals, all lunches this week and next will be some zero carb(s) soup. Well, as close to zero as I can get. And only one helping. Diet Eating healthy and losing that fracking 30 pounds again is the anvil over my head. Will ease into this with a 90% effort. 

Watched this simple cabbage soup video.  Have made similar soups before like this and fully enjoy them. I do like all of my vegetables and do not tire of eating them. Flavor comes in those first minutes of cooking mixed veggies.

Fired up outside cooking island to make cabbage soup, less the cabbage.

Decided to go with leftovers in the veggie try, the freezer and fresh from the garden. Added tomato past, white wine and one medium home grown/roasted red pepper. 

Cooking station not fancy but full function and room to work.

Leftovers of last batch of roasted red peppers. A few folks will get a small jar of my home grown/roasted red peppers this Christmas.

Soup: celery, carrots, onion, one russet potato, neighbors turnips from the freezer, 1 small can tomato paste (use a half can if you want more of a brothy feel), salt, pepper, Adobo seasoning, fresh garden cut spinach, one medium red roasted red pepper, the juice from a half lemon (use a whole lemon from the market), basil, thyme, a very good steady splash of white wine, jar garlic, a box of chicken broth, one bottle of water, and fresh cut parsley stirred prior to the first bowls for lunch. Simmered all of this for about 30 minutes. 

Making soups is always a work in progress. No matter the size of the container I cook in it always fills up before I am done adding ingredients. Her just shakes her head and every time. Yep, every time. She did give me the look when trying a taste. I told her I did not add peas to which she said nothing. 

One medium roasted red pepper here, finely chopped, gave this whole batch prefect heat flavor.  Adding one of the larger peppers would have been closer to my red line. The power of peppers.


I want the 1962 white convertible. 

If I could own a 1962 Corvette now, it would be parked in our living room on a protective carpet. The top would be off. A dust rag would be close by and I doubt that a day would go by where I did not sit in it, left hand on the steering wheel and the right on the gear shift lever.  Could not resist moving that dust rag over some of the best design lines in the history of time several times a day. I would never tire of this visual and mechanical work of art. 

Maybe it would be parked so we could sit in it and watch the tv on the wall when we wanted to. I would have no problem being obsessed with all of this. 

My bet is that her would allow me this indulgence. Somehow, some way, we would find room for that art display inside the house. And be damn sure it would also be driven often. 

A white one, please, if you have an extra 1962 Corvette that needs a loving home.  Great conversation piece, huh?

Just made myself laugh!!



A new eatery. Have driven by this small market/gas station too many times.

Less than 10 minutes of back roads to a popular dollar store, across from which there is this market.

A few weeks back our patio deck contractor told us that this marketplace makes the best hamburgers anywhere around here. 

Neighbors shop there, but have never eaten there. Local lake folk visit there regularly for most anything from dining to fresh farm eggs and any type of stop and shop needs.

Friday we were on the road at lunch time, picked up a few items at the dollar store and noticed this market again and decided to give it a try. A local bucket list for us. 

Surprise surprise. Now the best hamburger in east Texas we have found and we have found some great hamburgers. 

The gals who work, cook and run the front counter could not be nicer and more helpful. Like old friends with a "hon" here and there thrown in like melting butter. 

We ordered two hamburgers, "all the way", I sat down at one of the many country-style tables while her went to the back corner of the store for farm fresh eggs. Two killer burgers delivered five minutes later along with a Dr. diet pepper. Seasoned fries.

Seven napkin hamburger. No knife or fork used.

Hamburger ordered "all the way" with seasoned fries. I doubt that many food photos do justice to the moment. Worth a try though, huh?

I visited with the gal who said, "I made your hamburger" as we started to leave. I told her on a scale of 1-10, that the hamburger was an 11.8. She beamed and I told her we were regulars now. The menu is large and if all of the other offering's are as good as that hamburger, we have just found another  gold mine in our back yard. 

On those Friday or Saturday nights when the dinner hour arrives and we have nothing planned, excellent eats/choices are just a few minutes away. 

It is the little things in life.



Drove with neighbors to the North Pole of Texas Friday night for the lights and merriment of folks enjoying the rides and a visit with Ms. Claus. Simple relaxing fun outing. 

Appreciate the visit this week. Will leave you with farm fresh eggs. Enjoy!