Sunday, July 31, 2022


Young mechanic said he found an old 4Runner that will become his wife's car. Said it needs a little work. And then he went full tilt on the nuts and bolts thing. 

Skill-sets in their highest form. I see parts, pieces and a few OMGs. But this car will be better than new, a head-turner and better than the day it came off the shelf.  I just know there is a lift-kit on order too.

Will follow the progress and share. 

How many husbands to you know who would go through all of this for their wife and young son? For the piece of mind when his family is on the road?


Found this video off of American Digest last week. I could not quit watching. Still do not know why. No!! It is not her; maybe the pending train wreck potential or just maybe she has a knack of sharing her perspectives as a foreigner. How she sees America and all that. Not sure. 



Pear is the smoothest, the pear-orange flavor is next with a little more kick and the orange flavor is fine but with a noticeable alcohol kick. If next year comes about, I will batch up on pear mead. 

Surprisingly little left over debris on the bottom of the half gallons. Pear is still murky though. A small full bottle of orange for a neighbor as promised. The other three...see below. Enjoyed the siphoning. "workworkworkworkwork"!!!

The mead is young but shot-glass worthy now. It all gets better with age.


And just like that, it is August 2022. 

I have watched my share of videos of our leader in all of his glory this past week. Cannot even find the energy of wanting to share here. The reason folks quit banging their heads against a brick wall is that it does not take long to realize the pain and the behavior leading to no good. 

Seemingly though, in every nook and cranny of this country, the behavior continues. I do not know how else to characterize it. And I refrain from the want to constantly chew on all of it as a main diet. But one of these days in the not to distant future..............!!!

The weather forecast for the next 10 days in east Texas brings with it some relief. Maybe. Highs 95 to 97. Not 105-110 like every day for the past month on our patio deck. I am sure we are not out of the woods because the humidity will be higher and that in of its self kicks my ass instantly. Yet, I want to believe. I do I do I do. But August in Texas is summer at its peak.

I have pulled out the GoPro camera with intent to make an August in Texas video. I have not posted a YouTube video in years and would like to get back to doing more with video sharing.  In the mean time, I need to re-learn the software and practice filming. Gives my head other things to think of too. 

A short post. Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed week.


Sunday, July 24, 2022


Winter woodshed is going to be topped off, I am told. It's coming!


Will be ready for end of the year sipping. 

1.5 cups fresh-picked ripe peaches, peeled, halved and mashed using an immersion blender. 

1 orange, juiced    3 lbs local honey   25 craisins

1/2 tsp+ D47 yeast   First racking mid-September. Report to follow.

Mango/honey batch followed on the 17th. Two gallons "on the cook" now.  



It has been my experience that fresh peaches have a  short "shelf" life. Eat, and in this case make booze, when they peak in ripeness. Medicinal purposes and all that.   


I have been a fan of this gal for quite awhile. "Cutie, of course", but what a chef. This gal has serious knowledge/experience and skill sets with world wide cuisine. Fast forward (if you must) to 3 minutes for a very good muffin mix recipe. Give it a try.




SALT AND TAR episode 201

Seven years building a wooden boat from scratch, this couple has finally completed their project, left the dock and headed out the river to San Francisco bay for testing. 

From there to who knows where. They are still youngsters building the world. One of favorite weekly visits. A magnificent sail boat. Magnificent achievement. Enjoy



Costly to repair, me thinks.


A non-eventful east Texas week. Doing time with chores and surviving this ongoing heat wave. We are are acclimating to a degree. Even the cats are out exploring and playing ninja cat and climbing trees in 105 degrees. Water intake for all of us is several gallons a day, not to include cooking. 

Broke down and brought the Dodge truck inside for a good, old-fashioned cleaning and washing. I was drenched from the humidity and enjoyed laughing at my wife's over-splash rinsing. That noise you make with sweat and water running down your face. I did not complain.

I polished the headlight covers and am keeping busy detailing a little bit each day. She is starting to look like the Dodge she truly is!

The world had to get by on its own this past week without my comments.

Have a great week and appreciate the visit.  

Sunday, July 17, 2022


Early morning dew soaks the grass before the sun takes over. This is the only moisture any ground cover gets so far these past several weeks. Maybe just enough to stay alive, but not enough to grow harvestable hay. 

Over the course of these past weeks, we have had but two thunderstorms that I can recall. Often, clouds will release rain that never reaches the ground. We did receive some rain late in the week, four tenths. Just a mile away, neighbors received and inch and a half. 

The brisk wind and driving rain lasted no more than an hour and brought with it a smell of freshness beyond words, cool and welcomed breezes and ground puddles. I am told that two more cuttings of hay could happen this season with more frequent storms like that. Forecasts are not hopeful.


First taste of canned pickled string beans this past week. Her winced up her nose at a taste and held the last half of the bean in the air.  

I guess will have to eat all of these myself. Each and every last one and all the other jars on the shelf. There will no more wincing. This batch is perfect.


Fresh bread, baloney, lettuce, mayo and cheese. Cut on the diagonal and served with chips. Have had a hankering for one for several days and it was all that I knew it could be. Like cookies and milk, one sandwich bite and one chip bite till the end. No wincing!!


I found these three articles tucked together early in the week from Vox Populi blog.  

Russian Gas Supply Cuts Threaten World's Largest Chemicals Hub


In the past few months, we have come across some good prices on bulk beef, chicken and pork. Tucked away in the freezer, we found time and attitude this week to thaw and can that beef and pork. What started out to be a half-day canning turned into an all day task. Canning in 100 degree weather is a challenge, a doable challenge, but still more tasking that canning in "normal" weather. Regardless, it is done and we are finished canning this season. 

Cutting beef into cubes

Stuffing jars with cubed beef.


Found this deal on bacon quite by accident. Small, local grocery store and butcher shop had small packages of this bacon in the cooler and we tried a couple only to find out that it is probably some of the best bacon we have ever eaten. Her ordered 10 pounds and opened the box when she got home like it was a Christmas present. 

Ziplock bagged and tucked away in the freezer. 

Do you save your bacon grease and use it when cooking?

My grandmother had a large tin of bacon grease stored under the kitchen sink. Mom did too. I remember the term "dollops" was used quite often as a unit of measurement when this was used for meal preparations. 

At end of afternoon meal, grandmother would bring in the large dog dish, scrape any and all table scraps (including bones) into the bowl and add a very large spoon full of bacon grease on top. I would deliver the dish to the dog and always shook my head at the conglomerations of leftovers and grease that dog would dive into. Only one meal a day for for the dog and he never turned down a dinner.

Bacon grease. Start saving it.   


If you do nothing else here this week, give this video your full attention start to finish.

Best wrap our heads around planning for two to three years for self sufficiency. 

This field is less than a mile away and last year this photo portion would have been full of bales of hay. These two bales of hay well represent what a portion of a hay field is producing today due to extreme heat and lack of rain this season. 

One bale of hay three summers ago. Tight, large and healthy.

Field of cut hay three summers ago. Each row full and rows close together. 

East Texas cut hay field and bales aplenty three summers ago. 

Hay yield in the fields around us today is 25% of what it has been in years past. Cost to produce one bale of hay today is $100, up 4 fold. Cattleman are thinning their herds and the sale barns have farmers/trailers/cattle lined up on the roads outside the facilities. All over Texas. To see this happening in our back yards puts the nails in the coffins of reality. 

I hear talk from now, very good friends, explaining that the price of a bale of hay is advertised for $115 dollars and a buyer must purchase of an entire trailer load. That cost is not worth it.  Unrealistic. It is what it is and the farmer is front line as are the cattleman. All over Texas it is like this. 

Hundred and six today and we saw a hundred and eleven just a few days ago.

326 blogs so far here in The After blog. All are in some degree talking of getting ready and being ready for possible long-term down times. We know what this is going to look like now. No one I visit with or read has their head in the sand. 

All the crap stories that are fed to us daily mean nothing when compared to being able to feed your family, keep a roof over their heads, meet monthly bills and help good folks who come knocking on your door. 

And as sure as God made little green apples my friends, all of this is coming to our doors and soon.

Time is very short. Measured in weeks now. Skill-sets, skills-sets skill-sets. Did I mention skill-sets?

More thoughts from east Texas with Sunday morning postings. God bless, have a good week and much appreciate the visit. 



Sunday, July 10, 2022


Neighbor to the west grows watermelons and cantaloupes every season. Early July, he sets some of the ones he has picked on his roadside stand and sells on the honor system. Still warm from the morning field, this watermelon was the best I have ever eaten.

Yesterday was a tough one for being outside. Has been a long, hot June and the rest of the east Texas summer is still ahead of us. We are inside the daily Extreme Heat weather warning each day now.

T-shirt rotation. Drenched from sweat, I change out to a dry one off the line. They dry in this heat quickly. 

You never know?


Most of the garden has succumbed to the heat.  Tomatoes rot on the vine in the direct sunlight. A few peppers left and not sure if the string beans will produce. 

New compost bin working wonderfully. 

30 pounds of cats, measured.  Enduring the heat remarkably well.

Have a great week. Appreciate the visit.

Sunday, July 3, 2022


  Just a reminder. 


She Nails It

H/T to Irish

Humanitarian Crisis More on this in the Sit Rep below. 

Food Rationing found on The Organic Prepper

Sit Rep 6-29-22 Take the time to listen. He covers many topics that helps paint a good picture of what is happening around the world. 

NC Renegades  and especially "boots on the ground" videos

Visit several times a week for real-time updates affecting us all.

Weeeeelllllllllllllllllllll. Good News

Commission to Allow Russia to Resume Transports to Kaliningrad


Friendly visitor(s) this week:

When we have to go back to old school.

Neighborly gift. Pickled squash. Looking forward to trying this.

Hot Red Pepper Jam

My wife's first try at hot red pepper jam. Excellent flavor with just the right amount of heat. Also a bonus accompanying Asian flavor that will go with meats and rice. Another batch on the cook today. 

Just finished cleaning a pound and half of peppers on the top gate of the side by side. Peppers off the vine clean quickly. No kitchen mess. No more picking a few days ahead of canning. 

A partial gallon of white vinegar and small clean rag for cleaning my hands also pre-set in the side by side. I have learned the hard way of wiping sweat from my face and adjusting my glasses with pepper hands. Yes, I could wear gloves but that makes the job more difficult (for me).

Another Ryobi electric tool added for lawn care. Impressive and very happy with this choice. It is nice to be able to turn the mower on its side and wash the bottom w/o oil and gas leaking out. Plenty of power and run-time to get lawns mowed. 

Why Ryobi? Because every electric tool I own is that brand and batteries interchange with the weed eater. [FWIW: I receive nothing from Ryobi for the mention.]

Daily helper: Louise, of the Thelma and Louise sisters.

Independence Day 2022

Today and tomorrow our grill will turn out toasted buns, hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, chips and all the "fixins." Just her and me. Quiet. No traffic passing by the house. Maybe a trip to the neighbors for a visit.

From American Digest. Four part series of War and Peace. 

We will be starting this series this weekend. Ten days ahead of triple digit temperatures and no rain. Gonna be housebound for a good part of these coming days. Have also just started the second read of Alas, Babylon. 

Have a wonderful Independence Day weekend. Thank you for the visit.