Sunday, January 30, 2022


Soup pic from Lady Fox Hat up north. 

"Greek Lentil.  Used red lentils, not those gross green ones." 

She is a great cook, colorful in her meal descriptions and I would request a second helping from this pot. 


Dallas 2 x 4 art on October 29, 2019. Apparently all the framing on this new house had just been completed. 

Dallas 2 x 4 art on October 30, 2019 after the tornado passed through. 

Most likely 2 x 6 art. Can you imagine the lumber that must have been flying in this neighborhood when that tornado passed through. 

We were visiting brother-in-law in Dallas that day/night. 

My wife yanked me out of bed and drug me to the tornado shelter in her brother's garage. Underground it is. 

Half-asleep and a little pissed off at being pushed underground while everyone else is yelling at me to get a move on. I am not a nice man under these kinds of conditions right out of the blue. 

I complied until brother-in-law started to slide the top door of the shelter in place, locking us in; underground; under the car parked in the garage.

At that point I said "no!!". Quickly, loudly and without tact. 

Brothe-in-law left a space open above as the winds howled by. His hands at the ready to close the lid should we take a direct hit. With in a few minutes, cell phone info said that the tornado had passed and all was clear. That tornado did pass close to his home. 

I am thankful that others looked out for my wellbeing. I do appreciate. But locking me underground for any reason has never been nor ever will be the answer for me. Never. Non-negotiable!  Our storm sheleter is ABOVE ground...


8th Grade Woodworking Project

I am amazed that this little box made all the way through my life and still be in my "stuff." I had gifted this to mom and she used it lovingly to hold spools of thread and needles. She used it. 

I shipped the box home along with a hundred other items upon her passing. When my wife opened up the box it arrived in, she adopted it.

This past week, this little box appeared from one of the very last boxes to be opened from our move to Texas. 

It still works as well as the day I finished building it.

I picked it up, ran my hands over the shape and worked the lid several times. I set it down and gazed upon its simplicity, beauty and function. 

I learned how to use a hand plane. The fine art of using hand crosscut and ripsaw. The basics of starting the saw cut, principle of a kerf and where to cut it.  To let the saws do the cutting. Not to force them and why easing up on the last strokes prevents the boards of tearing out. 

How to properly use and sharpen a wood chisel.

How to cut a and tongue-and-groove joint using basic hand tools. Drilling holes with a hand rotary drill. How to measure; use a square, sanding with vs. against the grain.

How to set up a coping saw and use it. Turning a saw while cutting provides a wonderful learning curve.  

The very first project I ever built using a drawing and measurements to work from. Each day, the teacher would add lessons on tool usage.

How I struggled to get those edges square using a hand plane and passing those perfections past the teacher's checks using a square. No cheating allowed. That bottom board had to be perfectly square as did all of the edges. 

I passed none of his inspections the first time. I learned patience and the importance of attention to detail. I am sure I also tried to pass by inferior work hoping he "would give it to me." To no avail.

Getting that hinge to work properly was another challenge. It is screwed on, not glued.

I learned how to apply stain and a varnish finish.   

I also learned the love of good working. The wanting to touch and feel the finished product. Perfect joinery where there is no feel of edges. Grain of wood without error.  A build that will last the test of time. 

I realize how the simplest of things and learnings can teach through a life time. Seeds to grow on if I was interested and willing to do the work, apply the effort.

If you are a woodworker, make one of these using hand tools only. Not electric hand tools either. Do not cheat. Please share photo with us here if you do this. 


A new property line barbed wire fence built and installed this week. 

Lost the shifting handle (broke) on the side-by-side and was lucky to be headed into the carport when it failed. Could have failed on the earlier trip  2 miles down the road.

The Walk

Her and I are walking over a mile a day now and noticing the improvement. I still hate it all, but love the extra strength and well-being at the end of the days. Dieting better, but not perfect.

February 2022 in a couple days. Another roll of the dice. 

Love those Canadian truck drivers, ehhh?

I am guessing that the flow of goods coming and going across the northern border has all but stopped. If you are not sure how this will affect you, just wait a day or two. If you are not stocked to the hilt, then you are not!!. 


Forty minutes all in from mixing to baking.

I followed the gal in the video. 

Butter Milk bread.

Heat oven to 425
2 cups AP flour
.75 tsp baking soda
.5 tsp salt.    
Mix all well.

1 cup buttermilk + 3 tbl spoons.
Knead a minute or two. Form a bread ball then flatten somewhat.
Cut deep X across top.

Bake @425. 20 - 25 min. 
I baked on heated pizza stone for 21 minutes, second rack up from the bottom. Baking in cast iron pan a good option.


Another video example that is fun to watch, listen to and learn a few difference's in building and baking  the same loaf of bread. 

Think of setting this loaf, as baked, on the table along with most any meal. Let the guests rip off a chunk. Arrrrrrrrrggg!!

Thank you for stopping by to visit this week..


Sunday, January 23, 2022


Fishing Buddy


E6B Flight computer

 True Virgins Make Dull Companions

True course plus/minus Variation = Magnetic course plus/minus Deviation = Compass course. Apply wind direction/speed for compass heading. 

Anybody remember or use one of these? 

Never needs a battery yet will help you navigate around the world if you in-put the correct information. 

I wonder if this is even taught anymore?


A visual treat on our daybreak walks.


Salmon hitting the nets.


Home-made utility trailer

Vashon Island weekend race.


Check out this site. Refreshing young kid woodworking and videos that are simple, short, spot on, and fun to watch.

Runs like a top. 


Winter in east Texas appears to be what we expected when we moved down from the north. Cold nights, cool breezes and warm days. Planting season just around the corner. 

Appreciate the visit this week.


I want to be here when the last grain of sand drops. Then instantly flip the hour glass so there is time and no one noticed.  


Sunday, January 16, 2022


"Leaving Key West at 05:00 with 12 knots of wind on the nose."

SV Air Speed.


Zucchini/onion/egg breakfast pancake. "Free food" from our dieting point of view. Fried in a smidgeon of bacon grease and butter. The fun part here is the flipping technique.



Her says that "they" do not make these anymore. Have to find them in some net market place and, quite often, the shipping is the same price as the used pot. She found this one nearby for a quick pick up drive and reasonable money. Appears to be brand new.

That same day this pot produced first small batch of chicken broth from chicken breasts.  Twenty six degrees here in east Texas and it is time to "get our soups on!!"

These are great cooking pots. This one will live on the stove top as part of everyday kitchen wear and be used most often for making broth soups.  

Two chicken breasts, skin on/bone in. Ninety minutes on simmer and ninety minutes setting off. Two quarts of chicken broth for soups and chicken meat for dieting eats.

One quart of broth makes two full bowls of chicken soup for lunch. Her wanted some spinach in hers, and mine above was simple shredded chicken, green onion and a splash of soy sauce. Quick comfort food on a cold Texas day. 

We are looking for another similar amber Pyrex pot that is rectangular/oval with lid to be used for oven baking/reheating meals. Refrigerator to stovetop to oven to cooling and returning to refrigerator/ then repeat, all doable in same pot is appealing. Smaller Pyrex also on the list that can be reheated in the microwave directly from the fridge. We left all of this type of cooking ware behind when we moved and miss the function and simplicity.

If you do not have a couple of these kinds of cookware, consider picking up a roasting pan and a soup pot. Some good deals still exist just for the shopping. If taken care of, they will last the rest of your life. 


TAKE A 5 MINUTE RIDE WITH TRAVIS.  Up Mt. Washington. My bet is you will take the whole trip up the mountain with him . 


BIRDS OF PASSAGE. An hour but the photography and story are magnificent. Maybe watch later when time permits. 


Lived in this beautiful state for 55 years. Many friends still there. I think about them often, but more so this week. How the people react to this will be tell tale and worthy of watching. Eastern Washington vs. Western Washington? Stay tuned.

California wants to double the taxes on the peeps living and working in that state.

How many folks from these two states are now packing up and getting the hell out?


Found this video on The Feral Irishman mid week. I think a must watch even though much of the terminology is foreign, at least to me. Maybe just watch and listen. 


Worthy of your time to read. A quickie. Will any of this ever play into your life or those close to you? 


Onion sets are already out at local feed stores. Time now to plant seeds if only I had that small green house I have been talking about. Regardless, time to start prepping the raised gardens. 

Stories of shortage around the country and from a few friends up in NH. On this day here in east Texas most all is still available. Many local small stores and markets have different supply chains and quite often are fat with basics. 

Interstates still full of truckers trucking and trains rumbling and whistling through the days and nights. Add to this local sales in some local stores this weekend. Up to 25% off everything. One time only so must take advantage!!

Winter passed through yesterday leaving a trace of rain snow. Cold winds brought feel like temperatures into the teens this weekend. February is the winter month here. Not sure that I can save the lemon trees. Cats are fat and complain of the cold as they head back into their warm beds. 

Keep planning and stocking up. Help others. Make time to share with family and friends. Good human interaction and a few laughs. Keep it alive.

Thanks for the visit. I appreciate.

Monday, January 10, 2022


"And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very, very
Mad world, mad world"

MAD WORLD  Peter Buka Cover   Volume up and enjoy.

MAD WORLD  Janet Devlin Cover



METALLIC CAT    For Yellowstone fans. The horse in the stall, last episode S4? 

Notice loose reins with riders one hand on horses mane and other hand on saddle horn.



I have a folder on my desk top this week labeled misc. I am finding photos my mother kept and in her passing years ago, I put many of her saved photo over the years into large folders. This week I am finding in those folders, photographs I have taken and photos others have taken. They range over a long period of years. 

These photos bring stories to the surface and many have caused me pause. Time in life now to ponder, wonder and reflect. 

So, some photos and stories, none of which are connected other than all have passed through my life. They are fresh in my memory early this new year.

Mom when she was young.

Guessing this was taken in the early 1930's.

From my mother to my father, written on the back of the photo above.

Your one and only. (I hope) Love me and remember me. 

 X X X X & more.”

If I had a million, I'd give you half. You are my people. I love you.

I must admit, that in all of my years, I never knew that mother was "a looker." All of my years she was mom and mother. I saw her age naturally and get old. 

But now in the scanning and looking back of family photos do I see the beauty in her that surely caught my dad's eye. There are so many photos (before me) while they were dating and in their young married lives that depicts their love for each other; their youth.

I wish I knew the history behind the above photo. My mother would have loved telling me of stories of this day and era, had I only asked.

Good size Bristol Bay salmon and a good days catch. 

My father in the early 1940's salmon fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska. He told me that he earned a penny a fish and after 4 months of being gone from his "Dora", would return home with around $1100 after expenses. Just a little more money than the average yearly salary earned in those days.

Two men fishing crew and sail boat in Bristol Bay, early 1940's.  Gillnets hand fed over board and then hand pulled onto the boat. Photo most likely taken by my father in the boat he was fishing in. 



Zoomed in.

Photo from iPhone and taken a year ago by Mrs. neighbor.


Pork roast taking us into the new year. A Boston Pork Butt (bone in). Fat side up, salt and pepper only, a drizzle of olive oil and splash of chicken broth on the bottom of the Pyrex dish. Covered in foil and oven cooked 7 hours at 250 degrees F.   

This photo taken day 3 dinner. Flavor from the first serving and only improved. Inexpensive cut of meet. The last leftovers turned into pulled pork with BBQ sauce on a toasted bun. 

Diets now. This meal is all legal with a small portion of potato. Salads and so forth till 30 pounds are gone. I do not miss the sweets, but the pasta, rice and bread. Now just memories. 



Leaving Miami for Key Largo. Water ways look busy.

Sun Set


Project(ing) a new work bench with table-saw built-in. Will share. 

Freezing weather comes and goes. Rain also. Lemon trees stressing and the cats prefer to sleep much of these cold days away snugged in their beds. 

Thanks for the visit. Will leave you with this which is FOR THE GREATER GOOD! 

Sunday, January 2, 2022


End of the year sun set.

The bottom has fallen out of the warm and comfortable December past. Warm days with comfortable breezes have given way to twenty degrees this morning and the need to turn on the fireplace. The new year is here and East Texas weather has started it few weeks of winter. I will get to wear my “Winter is Coming” coat a few times through February.

This new year was brought in with a “bang.” Her and I, of course, slept through it, briefly awakening to the noises of local celebration. We talk every year of joining the noisemaking and hoopla. But early bedtime always wins and there is no desire to get up when the mind and body are in full tilt rest mode. If the local celebrations were at 04:00 in the morning, we would be up and happily join in. But that is not the case nor practice.

Medium to heavy “plinking noises” ushered in this year. Maybe full magazines with folks celebrating one round at a time. No rapid fire, just deliberate single round actions lasting all of 5 minutes. Missions compete.

I thought a “happy new year” to myself, rolled over and completed one of the best nights' sleep in weeks.

The holidays are now officially over. I think many folks are as happy that all this has come and gone and “normal days are here again.”

I was not sure at this time last year about anything. And that represented the bottom rung on the ladder. I wondered about Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year.

This morning, a year later, I am stumped. I do not know how else to describe the difficulty of writing weekly without stirring the same pot of swirling worldwide stew. Rabbit holes everywhere. And who wants to read muttering hemming hawing unfinished thinking aches pains, another pot of soup on the cook and you better be ready for what is coming?

I choose to wallow awhile.


We had the talk earlier that morning. We agreed to behave. 

There was to be no digging in the mud hole. 

No sooner had we come to that understanding did she return with a smile on her face. Happy and in need of hose/soap washing. 

When I started laughing, she began to shake with happiness too.

She was a good ole girl. I sure do miss her. 

Maybe a good roll in the mud to clean out some cobwebs this new year, but do not expect photos.

Thanks for the visit.