Monday, November 21, 2022



One of my favorite times of the day is the half hour after dinner. Time to sit and relax. Let the meal settle before I have to go outside to attend to evening chores.

Last week while my wife was on the phone “doing some splaining”, she got up, left the room and quickly returned with her .22 long rifle rifle. She handed it to me with one hand, covered the phone and said, “there is an armadillo in the front yard, go kill it.”

Putting the phone back to her ear without missing a beat. She had just tasked me to do murder; in the middle of my happy half hour; in our front yard.

Armadillos are nasty. They tear up a yard the way pigs tear up farmers' fields. Our yard has been hit hard and especially my wife's garden. Chockablock of divots large enough to easily trip over. She carries a hateful grudge. Plus walking parts of our yard is just like walking through a mine field of stumble.

I looked at her and she is pointing out the window. Pursed lips. 

I charge a round in the chamber and put the safety on. She is also showing me the shushing whisper sound with her finger. 

I walk out quietly and there it was. Meandering. Owning the yard. My yard. Our yard.

Oh how I longed for my shooting bench. I can pound nails with a .22 at 30 yards. But on this day, it appeared I had to shoot from a rifleman's standing position. There are trees nearby I can brace against, but that means moving and the damn armadillo is wary now. Crap!! I have to man up.

Rifle raised, left arm braced against my rib cage, sight picture shaky. Shaky is the key word to this whole story. If the .22 had full automatic and I had a large capacity magazine, I could have wreaked havoc. Armadillo heaven.

I calmed down, trying to find the still sight picture, pushed for all the correct shooting rules, breathing did slow the shaking but not really. As the sight picture passed through the kill shot, I squeezed. I did do that.

The dirt kicked up lower left of the armadillo and the damn thing jumped two feet straight up. It did I swear. Had no idea those animals had any physical attributes like that. Time slowed down. I thought, “ok, hit the ground” and I will take shot number two. Adjust aim point.

And I am not making this up just to enhance the story. At the instant the armadillo hit the ground it moved 20 feet to the left the exact say way the road runner disappears in a swirl of dust. From a fixed target, to airborne and then along the ground at lightening speed. Faster than it took you to read that last sentence.

I had failed.  I dropped the mag and shot the next loaded round into a large tree trunk. I did hit that. Stationary, large and not moving. One large dead pine tree for my efforts. I did the unloaded safety rifle drill and picked up the magazine.

Now the walk of shame. I gave my wife a failure sign walking back into the living room. Her man had failed her. I had failed myself. At best, I pissed off one armadillo.

No photo here of dead armadillo with the rifle resting across its carcass, me crouched on one knee with ballcap set to one side. Slight grin. Yea! Getting down to one knee!! Now there is a  dream.

The next day I took her rifle out to practice that shot. Stationary steel target, same distance. I was hitting the target, but shots were low left. Still the same shake and good trigger pull. Low left has plagued my for eternity. And yes I know the common mistakes. I have taught it to many students. How do I over come it. Shoot more often. Plink more often. Practice more often. But the shake!! That damn old man shake.

If that f'ing armadillo ever comes across my small shooting range, while I am set up on the bench, it will be doomed. But the armadillo lives in a different world.

There is a long brush line in the back yard from where the armadillo has exited at dusk. I have seen him several times, but never with rifle in hand or with a plan. I need a plan. Practice, practice practice!



I wish there was a good story to go along with the dent in the pan. 

Her just had me help get down the turkey pan. She set it out along with bread for dressing, pumpkin pie stuff and seasonings. 

She identified the turkey in the freezer that will come out Tuesday to start thawing. Bought an extra turkey last year because you just never know.  And yes, just because, we will fill the hole left by this turkey with an on sale Butterball. Might get a "hankering" for turkey in July. Actually making sure we have a turkey next year. 

Again media headlines say the same thing they said last year. Only the year has changed. "Gonna be the most expensive turkey dinner yadda yadda yadda." A constant media attempt to kill our holiday enjoyment and family gatherings.    

Just her and I with our turkey dinner. Usually is. Family in Dallas has invited us, but that is a long drive and back home late in the dark. We do not do driving in the traffic and dark any more that life mandates. And they are all invited here but the traffic and night driving plays the same for them. A phone call will do just fine. "Happy Thanksgiving!!"

Son up north will be a phone call and some time to catch up on life and living. 

And like every year, I am looking forward to all the "fixins." I look forward to taking the electric knife to one side of the turkey. I like the leg, meat falling off the bone, her a few slices of breast. Dressing, mashed potatoes all covered with gravy and that first bite of hot roll, buttered and drug through all the gravy till it is gone. The dinner will have officially begun for me. Turkey sandwiches the day after rank as high as the main meal. Pumpkin pie slice completely covered in whipping cream. Three days later, we will not want to hear the word turkey till a year has passed.

And within this meal time my wife and I will share the little things in life we are thankful for. A small prayer will start the meal and thanks will be given from our hearts. The simple things in life. Loving and being loved. Great friends/friendships/family. 77 years and 70 years. How fast they have come and gone. Every day now more precious than the ones before. 

The very best Thanksgiving to all of you have stopped by to visit over the years. God Bless.

I'll leave you with this. 

From son:

"Our first deer steaks smothered in onions and other great tasting seasonings. Homemade French fries and Brussel sprouts."


Sunday, November 13, 2022


Middle New Hampshire, election morning. Ten point, 190 pounds. From a kneeling position looking down hill.

Me:  "Were you sitting on one of your shooting benches?"

In her words via text message:

"I was actually, but mostly just to stay hidden. I was the top of the hill outback looking down.

Okay, I can give you the full story. I let the dog out through the shop only to pee so we wouldn't make noise. No outside lights on. Then I put on my hunting clothes after leaving them in the cedar closet to keep my human scent down.

Went out the front porch with gun to not make a sound. Loaded and cocked my gun, safety on and crept up the driveway slow and methodically. Stopping if I made a twig snap.

I crept up the path to a concealed position making sure to stay behind a tree in front of me. Then I moved slowly over to the bench for cover. I stayed there for 30 minutes until it was light enough to see.

Saw legs, thought it was a cow and mentally argued with myself about how a cow could be down there. Then I realized it was the buck. 

I made a noise clicking off my safety and he looked up. I got terrified that he saw me and was going to run. Adrenaline started to pump and my arms shake. I had to get my breathing under control so I would not miss. Then I took the shot.

He ran off. I reloaded again and took chase. I followed in the woods. No hair, no blood. I saw a downed tree and thought it was him. I started to whoop then realized it was a tree and laughed at myself. 

Then I looked to another spot and found him lying down about 30 yards from the shot. I started to yell with happiness.

I kicked him to make sure he was dead because my dad went to stick one once that was playing dead after the shot and almost got him with its horns. 

It was a great moment realizing I shot the biggest rack like I was hoping for and ran back to the house to tell my fiancée. 

I marked the deer by putting my orange hat on him so I could find him when we got back." 

"Yeah. It was my very first gutting alone. I did damn good per my dad's teachings. I video chatted with him and showing him my work. "

Deer season in Texas too. Most all of our friends are out hunting or someone in their family is. Yep!! Skill sets.


Water stand progress.

Nearing completion of water filter stand. Just a shelf to add to hold filtered water, stain and apply oil finish. Wife is very happy with this little piece of furniture. 

Just found this this morning on NC Renegades from Sarah Connor. A twitter post, give it a few moments to load. 

Not sure if this will ever make the evening news. Worth the quick read and keeping an eye on this story. If this is true, how can this country move ahead?


A 12 minute video from The Patriot Nurse. Elections opinion. 


Short post this week. Thanks for the visit. Have a blessed week. 

Sunday, November 6, 2022


Still available from the net for delivery. For all the right reasons, should the need arise where we have to be self sufficient in the event of a small injury. Just as possible, to be able to help a neighbor.

As an older man, my skin has gotten thinner on my arms and tears at the slightest scrape or cut. I bleed. I bruise. I heal. Putting a good band aid on the wound no longer works as taking the band aid off also can take a chunk of skin with it.  

All of my life, my forearms have borne the brunt of protecting me from things like doors closing in my face, falling objects or unexpected items coming at me. Reflex response. 

Today, those responses are alive and well, but the simplest of reflex protective response quite often ends in some bleeding wound. These above wound seal have been tested, used and work wonderfully.

Quite often, I do not even know I have injured myself until I see blood running down my arm or my wife asked me what in the hell did I to myself.

A fellow neighbor is also an older gentleman and experiences similar bleeding from similar wounds. We have shared a few of the smaller packets with him and he now swears by them. Carries packets on the tractors when out in the fields working. 


An early morning gift. 



I have not had this kind of success with broccoli before.

Hearty, resists the cold and in doing so, produces sugar in the process. The leaves become sweeter. Most important to me is the longer term of my garden feeding us on a daily basis. Steamed, sautéed or wilted in a salad. The broccoli plant feeds before and after the florets are harvested. More will be planted next season. Optimistic, huh??



Part of a lineman's on the road goods. Departing early in the morning for a job a few states west. Right smack dead in the heart of the beast. High end work with energized power lines. 

Dad will worry but he tells me not to. Has good guys with him and all well trained and grounded in the times of our lives. But a dad worries.



Gluing finished frame today. Having fun and good for the head. 



Lanny Wilson - Heart like a truck.

I would listen to more county western like this. 


ARTIST TALENT I wish I could draw like this. 

FROM NC RENEGADES . I hope we are wrong. Short video. 

Maybe park information like this in some, not too far off, corner of our minds. 


A good week in east Texas. Some rain that was greatly needed. Temperatures wonderful. Winter is coming. 

Gas fireplace on to take the morning chill out of the house. 

But the elephant in the room is getting larger. No October surprise. As of today with elections 2 days away, no red flag or EOTW catastrophe that I know of. 

Lots of local shooting around us yesterday and last night. Loud booms. But this is not out of the ordinary. Could be feral pig hunting or just plinking. Normal Saturday night in East Texas. 

Folks I visit with up north, locally and day in and day out, chatter with my wife, find growing concerns for coming upheaval. Blog chatter is of a red wave. I would expect this using common sense from experiences of the population these last two years.  Change for the better of country and all folks. But common sense, as I see it, just might be for old men. 

Folks up north talk of empty shelves in the stores. Here in east Texas all seems normal. I think because we are closer to food belts and food production. Prices are up, but availability appears ok. May be that it is that there are more small stores and markets to shop. Most dollar stores are well stocked.

But if there is indeed a real diesel shortage, it is just a matter of time.  

Two days to mid-terms. We have voted and at our place of voting we were told that early turn out is very high. But I wish they were hand counted.

I appreciate your visit. I do. Put in last minute items as you see fit. Love those close to you and be kind to others who pass through your days. Stay away from crowds. Do one thing you have been putting off for weeks now. 

Say a few prayers even if you do not know how to pray. Give it a shot. Just you and God. He hears. Yep.