Sunday, May 15, 2022









This week's The After intro is inspired by the above meme. Of the clues any of us ever had, I for one have no memory of ever thinking we were the last ones. Nor did I ever think growing up that we had a life less than wonderful. My folks worked their fingers to the bone providing and enjoying those years. 

I was taught that if I wanted, I had to do was work for it. 


We are being told what is coming. Again and again. 

"$7 on pump #2 please." Conversation overheard on Monday at one of our local gas stations. 

Neighbor said that his pump shut off at $150 and the truck was only half full. 

Neighbor also told story of attending a big equipment auction last weekend and witnessed a used 2021 pickup truck sell for over $90,000. 

Grocery store baby formula shelves empty. We have seen this here in east Texas. Babies have survived around the world for eons without off-the-shelf pre-packaged formulas. How did that ever happen? 

There is an abundance of knowledge on this subject. Do your own research. 

Example from 1960:

Example 1965 


Reported diesel shortage on the east coast. This should be no surprise. More failure and crises in the weeks ahead. 

I just saw a fuel bill from NH of 191 gallons of heating fuel for over $1,100. Insane. Just insane. 

This is a world many of us are seeing for the very first time. And it is just the beginning. 

My bet is you have similar stories/experiences.



"This guy came out of the incubator yesterday. I successfully hatched one duck." Puts the cute in cute, me thinks. I learned yesterday that there are now 3 baby ducks.




Her made summer soup from garden fresh veggies. Dunking homemade garlic bread a must.



Two cups firmly packed basil leaves.

Pesto, fresh Mexican white cheese, tomato slice. Full of flavor.


Trucks heading west backed up due to traffic accident. All the trucks moving goods seemed as normal as the sun and rain. 


Warming temperatures keep us inside during the afternoons now. The heat is just starting and again reminds us to get our chores done before 10 AM. Ten day forecast is day after day of 90 degree temperatures and bright sun-filled skies.

Fresh garden producing and our homegrown meals will show up often on the blog for the next few months. How to incorporate all that we are growing and how to preserve? 

One of my chores visiting the farm on the weekends when I was growing up was to pick fresh vegetables from the garden, rinse and bring to grandma's kitchen ready for her to get to the table. I always treated myself to a young fresh carrot pulled from the ground. 

Today I am reminded of those days as I tug fresh onions from the ground, strip off the roots and top-off the greens a few inches above the bulb. The loose skin of the onion bulb sheds easily and a quick rinse in a bucket of fresh water sets those onions for my wife's kitchen as I did then for my grandmother. A batch of fried onions, salads accented with fresh cut onions and greens and a half-dozen gifted to neighbors. 

Once the onion beds are emptied, the soil will be prepped again for another round of growing this season. The plan is to put in more pole beans.

AND finally, not to beat a dead horse here but I believe we are down to 3 months left. June, July and August. This thinking seems to be held by others I read. The bottom line as it always has been here, finish getting as ready as you can for a hard winter and years ahead. No diesel, no food. End of story. 

Rice, canned goods, cooking oil, oats, flour, yeast and foods you can prepare and will eat. Stack it, store it, protect it. I will keep harping on all of this till the lights go out. 

Right now, this day and this minute much of what can be put away is affordable and available. And remember, much of the world has lived on a diet of rice for as long as history has been recorded. 

I appreciate the visit this week. God Bless!

Sunday, May 8, 2022


Old gal has run her race. Scheduled to come down soon. Her magnificent branches will burst into dust when they hit the ground. 


Meme found on Bustednuckles

  A place that makes sense and grounds me. 

Will share/harvest and eat every onion this month. 

Peppers and cabbage. Peppers were water-logged from two days of east Texas rain.

Pickling cucumbers are in high gear.

 String beans are hooking up and climbing more and more every day.

Pruning tomatoes this year in hopes of higher yield. 

Second year garden. I am happy with what I see. Small container garden is producing. 

Early morning breaks after a week of on and off rain. Heading into ten days of low 90 degree afternoons. I find proof in photos like this of the hope a new day brings.  

"BOB" returned home Saturday afternoon after a week in the hospital. New alternator belt, idle adjust and a little mechanic TLC.  

Lost misplaced my EDC pocket knife a month ago. Come to find out it was setting in one of the cubbies in BOB. Right exactly where I left it. 

The knife has character now. An old friend. Holds an edge like no other pocket knife I have had. Can open and close one-handed. Easily clips into my pocket. Lightweight. Very comfortable in my hand.

The Elephant in our rooms. 

The $6.49 diesel per gallon price jumped out of the print this morning. I scanned further down and again that number lights up. There comes a point where push comes to shove and there comes a point where the cost of fuel will shut down trucking. I see no other option. The cost of gas is close behind with the same effect of limiting much driving. 

The last paragraph sums it up. 

Not a day goes by where a corner of my mind does not spend time trying to predict the full failure month. A single event/black swan that breaks all the guy wires. Where panic sets in and everyone has that come to Jesus moment in the realizations that all this shit is real. All will recognize the approaching tsunami only to turn for high ground that is out of reach.

The moment we have talked about. Maybe somewhat planned for maybe not. The moment we all know that our lives will never be the same again. And within this meltdown, asking how do we cope/survive/help others/build/communicate/find truths and fight as we will have to?

Not a morning, noon or evening now where my wife and I do not acknowledge a new snippet of this world crumbling. 

The After content this week has been local. Not sure I can continue this week after week. I also do not want to spend todays and tomorrows writing from rabbit holes or shoulda woulda coulda pissing moaning. Yet, these days are exponentially historical. Facing them head on is key!

Focus needs to stay on all we should be doing. Building, repairing, local, health, skills, learning, simple, practice, understanding, trusting, new think, asking what else? 

Appreciate the visit this week. God Bless!

Monday, May 2, 2022



I consider this plant the canary in the "garden cave." It is always the first to let me know it is under stress and that the rest of the garden also needs attending to.

On this morning, a steady rain had been falling overnight and well into the morning hours. The morning sunrise unveiled Mother Nature's green at its very best. Lawns, fields, forests, underbrush and gardens. And the parsley was saying, "enough is enough." 

We need the rain, though. Hayfields will blossom and yield feed for the cattle this coming winter. Ponds will fill. All things growing will stand tall tomorrow. This parsley will pop/perk up and mandate, in it's beauty, that I harvest/share and use daily. 

Parsley is a perennial and comes back through the rough winters just fine. All I need to do is freshen the pot with new soil and some food. Pull at the root ball, open it up and remove some if I have to. Re-pot and give it a good summer home. 



I had temporarily forgotten grilling onions. Gotta be an old age thing, slowly getting worse. Her mentioned how much she loves these (as do I).

Ten minutes later two onions from the garden and one in the onion bin were sliced, seasoned and on the hot dinner grill. How could I forget this?

Garden onions coming on and we need to get them into daily eats. No saving for long terms options. 


A true story and great animation.  Nine minutes


May one 

I see many blogs now covering supply chain/shortages and higher prices. Also many blogs realizing this is going to get much worse for all of us.

More and more talk of elections not happening because of social unrest/violence due to food shortages, higher prices and more covid. Just months away.

Seems reasonable given how fast all of this is progressing. News organizations being outed for making up stories, videos, etc to sell an agenda which negates all print, tv and corporation-linked news reporting.

Wag the dog. Oh how I laughed and shook my head when I watched this movie decades ago. Watched it again last month and did not laugh once. 

I expect, as we near elections, that we will be up to our ears in horse sh*t. 

Food processing plants, this past month, burning down. Not a coincidence.  One might think there is a working plan to starve peoples of the world.

Alternative news appears to be working but I question everything. Everything!!

SITREP 4 25 22  Give some thought to keeping an eye on this guy as long as his posts are available. Take the time to listen.

The question we grapple with now is what else should we worry about?

For example. Get a new battery that will take care of the truck, SUV and side-by-side should one of those batteries fail. Battery prices have gone up and I should just do the purchase while I can find one. I found one Tuesday last, but put off the purchase. Bad think! 

I do not want to get caught up in  "panic/unnecessary" purchasing, yet a battery failure and no batteries to be had is a reasonable scenario I can solve today. What else? 

For 76 years, everything I wanted was at hand. Work, purchase within the budget, charge/pay off and so forth. If I could not afford or need today, there was always a tomorrow. Always. 

Toilet paper taught us an exception to this think. Ammo taught the same lesson. Today, chicken is somewhat scarce and prices up. Automotive stores tell me some of the oils they have always carried are "out of stock." And the beat goes on. La de da de de, la de da de da

So what to do la?

Asking: "What do I need to get done before October/November?"

What is coming will not be short term. --------------


Just racked a batch of pear and orange mead. Gallon and half siphoned off with a glass for first tastes. Wonderful. Pear is the smoothest. Both have good alcohol content. One of the half gallons is a mixture of both. 

Will rack again in 4 months and then again just before Christmas. 

I am not sure when the fresh peaches come on here, but plan two gallons of fresh peach mead using local honey when the peaches come in.  

Why? Medicinal purposes, of course. 



I rolled over in bed early last week and bumped my head in the process. This little rollover looking for a better sleeping position knocked the rocks loose in my head. Vertigo ensued and I have spent this past week trying to get them all back where they belong. 

Luckily, there is a mechanical fix of hanging my head over the bed and following a few instructions, eventually settles this all down. This happened to my wife a few years back. She fixed hers and is now my coach and helper in the alignment of my head rocks. 

Aging brings with it all sorts of new things to deal with. But causing myself problems while sleeping is not something I need to add to the pot. 


Late posting again. Yard work and many neighbors stopping by Sunday to chat, share onions, a gift for my birthday wife, neighbor needing a few odds and ends for a batch of mango mead and a fellow who was kind enough to pound a few T-posts for tomato plant support. 

All had time to sit and talk away an hour about family and stuff of no never mind. 

I did get in my first cook of "Sheppard's pie" for Sunday dinner. Set out all the parts and pieces, turned on the video and followed along. Did not use peas, W-sauce (used soy sauce) or Marmite. The meat sauce rocked and the mashed red potatoes worked wonderfully. Her even had seconds. 

Thunder in the distance now. Hoping that the rain predicted this morning and afternoon does indeed happen. The garden loves the Texas magic rain. 

Final first planting this season. Started the squash from seed and turned them loose yesterday morning.

God bless and thanks for the visit.

Monday, April 25, 2022


 Loren Allred on BGT 2022

I wonder if this performance will be clouded with her already being a professional singer. Golden Buzzer and all. Regardless, always a beautiful rendition of "her song."

Another performance. Easy to watch and listen to. I think sung better here than on BGT.

I am going to have to follow her this season out of curiosity and to just to hear her sing.

Another excellent Golden Buzzer moment.



An Easter dinner not planned.

Wife covered the leftover roast with the dregs from the roasing pan and  put it to rest below. Habit!

A quick trip to town just prior to Easter Sunday to pick up a few basics. We found prime rib roasts on sale. $5.99 a pound. Picked out two beautiful 6 lb. roasts and an Easter dinner planned itself. 

I enjoy prime rib from time to time. Who does not? But no matter how properly seasoned or cooked, the roasts always seem lacking in the perfect prime rib flavor for me. 

This time though we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the roast. One hundred percent perfect in flavor. Well-done portions to rare rare.  Melt in your mouth and all that.

The perfect prime rib roast does exist but apparently not every time, at least for us. That flavor promise is what brings us back especially when on sale. 

Her said several times that we will most likely not see these prices again. 

A dozen garlic clove shards set in slits throughout the roast. A light coat of olive oil hand rubbed in. Then sprinkled with DASH Garlic and Herb seasoning bend and hand-patted into the roast surfaces. Let set one hour before cooking.

Into the oven at 425F degrees for 15 minutes and finished the 2 1/2 hour bake at 375.

The above mentioned DASH seasoning is worth having on the kitchen shelf. We find it universal for meats, soups, stews and vegetables. Again, not pushing a product. Just sharing personal opinion. 


An early harvest. Onions not fully developed, but I have decided to start using as meals may dictate. Scalloped potatoes needed this onion. Also an abundance of greens that bleed fresh flavor from this single onion. 

Cabbage, onions and potatoes.
Fresh and hot!


QUICK FIX to keep deer from eating the lemon trees.

The lemon trees in their new permanent home are budding wonderfully. We have one buzzy bee we see in the afternoons working both trees. Time will tell.

AIRSPEED under sail some where in the Bahamas.


ARE YOU READY FOR WHAT IS COMING? A half-hour of your time well spent and think of adding his situation reports to your weekly reads. 

The 3rd and 4th quarters of this year are just around the corner. Time is short.


'Tis the season for potato salad. I used red potatoes this time with fresh garden onion and parsley. The bride says this salad is always perfect, but using red potatoes has raised the bar. "Best ever." Vern always said that "every bite must have crunch, a piece of pickle and egg" to qualify for a top notch potato salad. This salad is always best the second day. 


It's a PTA folks!! I will stick with my hot, warm, fuzzy feeling showers thankyou.


Gifted fresh bee honey on dollar, add water-only biscuits. It is all about the honey. Heaven!

It has been a week of having some place to go every day and not being able to get to my last garden chore, planting pole beans. I gave up a day of fishing to finish this project. The growing season waits for no one. 

Two home made bins for pole beans. Filling bin #2 and completing the major garden planting. We do have two planting seasons so in a prefect world, I will get to more planting in July. 

A wonderful east Texas rain soaks the land this morning. 

Late post this week. Appreciate the visit and God Bless!

Sunday, April 17, 2022



I tell my son that he has a natural eye for great photography. 

I am always pleasantly surprised at some of the photos he takes, seemingly with such ease. These kinds of photos present themselves quickly and are not easily re-created. 


Gifted a bucket of pecans from a friend of a friend. We borrowed a nutcracker for the pecans and set to work learning what locals already knew about pecan shucking. 



An excellent story. Good for the heart and a slice of days past. Take the time to enjoy this story and the telling. From Bustedknuckles blog.



Two years now living in east Texas and this is our first try at homemade gumbo (using a package seasoning base). 

Followed directions. Used half homemade chicken broth and half chicken base seasoning with water. One pound of sliced sausage as the stock heated to boil. Added 3 pounds of uncooked shrimp the last three minutes of cooking. Could have added more sausage and shrimp as this made a big batch of stock. 

Served alongside hot, white rice. 

 The heat and the flavor were perfect. 

My wife, having history of living in and working out of New Orleans, says this flavor was great, but the gumbo she is used to "had more moving parts."

An early morning drive down to a lake.


I saw Bob Hoover perform at the Reno Air Races. I knew the name and new of his skills as an airshow performer. I never knew the whole story.

Regarded by many top aviators as the very best fighter pilot ever. Take the time to watch this documentary. Excellent storytelling and remarkable pilot/man. 

We have finally gotten some soaking rain here in east Texas. The garden explodes when the rain is followed by a couple days of sun. It is magic in my view. (Pole beans sprang up last night.)

Her flowers are also in tow, pushing out color and cascading growth from hanging baskets. The simplest of times.

All of the sky-is-falling predictions, the constant barrage of news that is no more than words on pages, media dancing purposefully out of step and a president looking to shake hands with thin air causes me to look over my shoulder as a new default.   

There is a quiet in this world that screams, "widen the moat and tend to the drawbridges."

Thank you for the visit this week. Happy Easter and God bless.