Sunday, December 25, 2022


Last weekend, early in the week.

ME:   "Still on storm duty?"
SON: "More than ever: 22 spans of wire down. Just rolled up on the job.            Pitch black.  
          Been all over New Hampshire for the past 48 hours." 

Big cold rolling across the country coming before Christmas.

Lineman will be out working in the weather to do their very best keeping the lights and heat on when the power goes out. Many will not be home for Christmas.

Drop off a box of coffee and a box of doughnuts if you happen upon a utility storm crew. Say thank you. Son says that folks who simply say thanks to them is reason enough to do what he does. "Nothing like seeing the power and lights come back on in a blacked-out neighborhood."



She saw some fellow advertising raisins on the net and was weaving bread/adding raisins. She decided to give it a try and 6 loaves later had it perfected. These loaves were the first so I think she got it right from the get go. 

Impossible for us not to sit down and not tear off a piece of warm bread right out of the oven and coat with melting butter. We did and it was grand. This bread shines as toast in the morning.

Several loafs gifted to neighbors and a couple set in the freezer. 

Cookies have been sent, have arrived and family happy to have a taste of old family cookies their mother and grandmother use to make. No one does this but my wife. The simplicity of simple homemade gifts. 

Local neighbors and folks who cross our lives through out the year. The smiles on the faces of our local refuse pick-up crew is always a gift.  A smiling "Merry Christmas" given and received.

The kitchen counter and table have been mostly cleared now. A real feeling of the Christmas spirit alive and well here in a small corner of east Texas.



I did not know how hearty broccoli was as a winter vegetable. The spots on the leaves above were wet spots from a colder than usual night. This floret is the second harvest. 

Nine degree temperatures coming the night I took this picture so all was harvested to include a cutting of the best looking leaves for dinner. Chopped, boiled and eaten with a touch of butter and salt. Very tasty and full of nutrition.

I plan to do a larger planting of this vegetable next fall. 



Check out this weather site. Add it to bookmarks as you can check anywhere on specific current weather. Excellent for this particular cold weather moving in from up north. 



Slept in this morning. First cup of coffee, several small gift exchange with my wife and both of us finding a Christmas card that tells of good love between husband and wife. Simple. 

Tradition continued this morning with my father's Swedish pancake recipe. Buttered and coated these with syrup. Stick a fork in the edge, roll it up and cut in three bites. Last a few seconds, but is heaven. Thanks dad!!

Last day and night here for the cold snap that covered the country. We weathered it all w/o issue. A little planning helped.  

Lineman son just called and is still on storm duty. They are heading up to the middle of NH. Said that yesterday, Christmas eve, there were  80,000 with out power in southern NH, this morning there are 9,000. 

He also said that he had just been raised up in the bucket when the micro burst rolled through southern NH the other day. He said limbs and debris were flying all around him as he rode out that wind gust. Also said that when all was said and done, the bucket truck could not move forward or backward due to all the downed trees and debris around them. Hell of an work office experience, huh?

He said the crew had just had breakfast, were heading out to pick up "truck groceries" and get to another repair site. Also said that the foreman has dinner reservations made for later tonight. Chinese. He will get a hot Christmas meal as will his crew. HT to the foreman for taking care of his crew. 

Wife delivered the last batch of cookies yesterday afternoon. Neighbor brought over 2 helpings of Crème Brule yesterday for our Christmas Eve treat. He bakes quite often and tries new recipes. We are a test bed for him and oh so happy to "be there for him." Just wonderful.

From east Texas, Merry Christmas. Say it with me: Merry Christmas. 

Appreciate your visit this day. 

Sunday, December 18, 2022


2nd cookie batch (oatmeal and cranberry) to share with family/close friends. 

Russian Tea Cakes getting first coat of powdered sugar. 

One-bite wonders!!



Yep, I do miss this particular day at the start of winter. First snow. I always enjoyed that moment. Would always prompt me to fill the wood box in the garage and plan accordingly to weather reports. 

Tortellini soup

Picture sent the same day from one of our very good friends who live a few miles away up there. 18" measured.

Flat bread below to accompany the soup. Yay! 

I would always ask if she was accepting company for lunch when she would share what was cooking on her stove. 

And yes, we would put on winter clothes and drive over for homemade soup/ bread and visit an afternoon away.  But if they had an 18" snow fall, we would have stayed home.

Meanwhile in east Texas (same day).

Last 2 pieces of fried catfish. Catfish has been nagging me for a few months to pick up a few fillets at the local market. My wife was giddy when I told her what I had brought home for dinner.




A nostalgic look back in time. I remember some of these names and attempts.


Eleven degrees forecasted later this coming week. That is cold in anyone's book, but in east Texas it is just not necessary!! I have lemon trees to cover and keep from freezing. Cats need extra blankets and a small heater will be kept on in the shop. A cold snap for a few day as Christmas visits this coming weekend. 

Son sent this picture on his 4th day of storm duty driving the roads of south west NH.  Looking for outages, downed lines etc. Easy to understand how snow load on tree limbs can take down power line. 

Surprised this year at the lack of Christmas card displays. Minimal at best and a gal working at one of my favorite stores was noticeably indifferent to not having ordered husband, wife, son, daughter and other assorted family Christmas cards. Her Christmas indifference was curious. I have not seen this before. 

Locally, prime rib on sale through Tuesday. Still high, but it will be quite awhile before we see lower prices again. BOGO deals. If they look good, a couple two-bone roasts are in order. 

Thanks for the visit this week. Days getting longer. The new year just around the corner. 

Sunday, December 11, 2022


 'Tis the season!!

All packaged and delivered by the week's end. And "no", I cannot sneak even one. Well, she did break two. I should not complain. 



Another day at the office. 



From Bustedknuckles.

It has been decades since stories of the flu season for us. And it is the Flu!! Textbook. Look it up. We checked every symptom box off. Everyone!!

I feel as though both my wife and I have finished this "go around." I still am not 100% for a long day with energy. But that is improving. The story from Bustedknuckles is very typical of those coming down with the flu this season. All the elderly neighbors here have had this or are finishing it up. 

Advice? Prepare and have all of the OTC items on hand. Honey, tea, chicken soup, parts and pieces and anything else you deem necessary. 

No need to get tested for C19. It is the flu. A personal opinion though. Experience here is that you will be on your own to get through this. Rest, fluids, repeat, repeat, repeat. And you will eat the north end of a south bound duck when your appetite returns. Best fully-cooked though!!

And if you get this, you will understand that you will not want to talk to anyone and have no visitors. If you think you will be back to work in two days; well, good luck with that. 

More important, anyone at work expecting you to come back soon ought to remember how apparently contagious this is. 

Wash hands again again again and stay away from crowds.



This article from The Burning Platform caught my eye yesterday and worth sharing. I am not sure what most folks are seeing, but our outings have been a trip to a doctor's appointment. A trip to the pharmacy. No other shopping.



Going after a squirrel in this pic. Looks well-fed and healthy. Nice animal.


MADISON BOAT WORKS  Sailing the Marquesas

Started their adventure in the San Juan Islands, Washington state. 

They publish once a month or so. Good videos to cast and watch. A sailing channel where we get to see a lot of sailing and their adventures. Relaxing and great photography.

It took me mere seconds after starting this video to sing out loud, "We got eighty feet of waterline, nicely making way."

Of course I had to watch this video and lyrics. A true story told in music. One of my favorite songs of all time!!

"The girl who twice ran away"


Strange weather for me this December in east Texas. Not Texas, it is me. I am used to the very defined and consistent seasons of NH and New England. 

The past weeks here have been wet, cloudy and dreary. Temperatures in the 40's, 50's and 60's. Can plant onions in a few weeks and with that, kick off another growing season. Days start getting longer. 

Ponds, pools and lakes are filling up. We comment daily on the need of the lands here for more rain. Fields are displaying noticeable greening.

A fresh bale of hay yesterday had just been rolled over the fence by a local rancher for a local neighbor. Took these two horses no time at all to get into it.

A good week. Twinges of the Christmas spirit delivering a few dozen home made cookies to local businesses who have treated us well from the day we arrived here. Smiles on faces. All replied "and a Merry Christmas to you."

Thanks for the visit this week. 

Sunday, December 4, 2022


"Picking up a load on a 230 kv"

Lineman talk for working a problem while the wires are hot. These guys actually become a part of the circuit. There are parts of the country where the electricity cannot be shut off to do a repair. There are only a few guys who can and will do this work. Son is one of them.

Say thanks to these fellows when you pass by. They very much appreciate that. On a cold cold morning, drop off a box of hot coffee, a few doughnuts. There are times that is all they will get to eat for hours on end. 


THE ENGLISH with Emily Blunt. On Prime. 

I care not what any critics give this mini series, it is a 10 out 10 all the way around. Emily Blunt is classic, not a snow flake and just watching her sit a horse is the icing on a cake. Excellent story. Excellent acting and a look into some realities of our early history.  Not for children. 

If you are tired of the crap that today is called entertainment, then this series will give you appreciation that there are still folks out there who know how to make a western movie with grit and an actress who can play a strong woman's role and who is at the top of her game!!



Nearing two weeks now. The Flu!! Hit us both two days before Thanksgiving. Text book. My wife went through all of this a little faster than I did. An immune system has been our savior and our ability to take care of ourselves. Liquids. Lots of rest. Energy levels just enough to get back to the couch or bed and sleep. 

Phones off. Drapes pulled. Gate closed. Neighbors have checked in and interesting to note most all have and are going through the same flu symptoms. Rest, liquids topped off with more rest. Just slow for all of us to get this all behind us.

The weather outside has been cold and rainy. Cold by Texas standards.  


A quick spurt of energy lasted long enough for her and me to get our basic Christmas decoration hung up on the gate for this season. This will be as good as it gets.  

Watch/listen a wonderful piano presentation of INTERSTELLAR 


Thanks for the visit.