Sunday, March 3, 2024



Warm winds are blowing in east Texas. Temperatures testing the mid-80's for a couple days and all of this has brought on a need for me to get my hands in good dirt and put seeds in raised gardens and pots. Two new rose bushes are exploding and projects are yelling at me to get with the getting.

Sitting in our two lawn chairs mid-afternoon looking south at deer and horses grazing and running the fields across the road is more important, though. Call it lazy. To-do projects are not going anywhere.

My wife's cat jumps into her arms and settles in for a long haul. The cat turns her head to her chest trying to get as close as she can. Her claws knead the hollow armrest of my wife and life in cat world is on high. To the right, onions are happy, red potatoes with eyes pointing up are in the dirt and an old potting/growing bench awaits my energy to move it to a better sun/shadow position for this season. Last summer's sun and heat cooked most everything I planted in the current location. We'll see. Gonna try carrots again this year.

Neighbor has onions, potatoes in the ground and is planning lettuce, radishes and spinach. I told him that I will help him eat all he can plant and he commented that he would add a few extra rows. We do enjoy driving into the fields, pulling fresh veggies and eating radishes right out of the land with only a dusting off of dirt. Rinsing fresh lettuce and spinach, shaking off the water and filling a salad bowl for dinner is icing on any meal.

The side by side is in the shop for oil, filters, greasing and a general check up for this coming year. It is my most favorite tool for the yard and visiting folks down the road.

Being outside mowing the lawn and cleaning winter away is getting in the way of sitting on the computer posting. Not complaining, just "splaining." 

Local cattle being turned into new fields to graze. The green grass is coming on but not yet able to sustain herds so bales of hay are still added for a few more weeks.


A good friend in NH has collected a dozen or so gallons of maple sap and after a lot of boiling, produced the above homemade maple syrup. I cannot tell how thick this is but makes my mouth water for a plate of pancakes or french toast dipped in NH maple syrup. I would have invited myself over - which is "tacky" I know - but he would have said yes and I would not have over-indulged.

Backyard homemade stove for cooking the collected maple sap.


His homemade solar-powered chicken coop is now up and running. We talked of having backyard chickens (he and I) for a few years. His plans have finally taken shape.

and this just in 

NH maple syrup batch#2 this weekend.

Proof of what guys do. We build, cook, make, fix and then sit back and watch. Most guys can sit for hours just looking at an accomplishment. Is there a beer in his hands? Go with your gut on this one.



Lunch out last week at BIG SMITH'S in Sulpher Springs. They have a Facebook page but I cannot find a website to link-share here. Regardless, the food is BBQ at its best. But the onion rings are why we go. 

Four of us could not eat this serving. Looks like we can when they arrive at the table, but we cannot w/o over-dosing and becoming overly full. Waitress said that folks new to the restaurant want to put in an order for two but that she advises against that. Besides, this is a starter with brisket, sausage and sides to follow. 

Peanuts in shells on the table and are to be enjoyed waiting for your meal. Throw the spent shells on the floor. Yep!! Do not scoop shells in your hands/napkins and put on a plate to keep things tidy. 

If you ever are close to or are passing through Sulpher Springs, Texas, stop in for wonderful BBQ the way you would expect it to be in Texas.


Along with the warm weather of late, a new pellet grill/smoker followed me home after lunch at Big Smith's. I had found the one I wanted that fit my wants. 

After burn-out, seasoning and a first quick try with a few kielbasa, a 6 pound whole chicken is seasoned and on the roast, as I write. All of this is new to me and everything in the whole process comes with a learning curve. I figured a chicken would be a good first test for learning. I think the worst I can do is over cook it.

I have watched many you-tube videos and done much research on the net asking questions about using a pellet smoker/grill. The technology is surprising.  I have warned my wife that I expect some failures and mistakes in the summer grilling season ahead. A back-up Caesar salad is already in the fridge for her dinner tonight in case this chicken is DOA on arrival. 

I have found videos from MAD BACKYARD  to be on point and helpful. Gets me grilling without a lot falderal.

But damn this is fun.



I have even missed web-browsing the order of worldly events these past couple weeks. Surprising, I am no worse for wear. 

Appreciate the visit and will update this first pellet grill/BBQ chicken dinner next post. 




  1. You’re making me hungry. Pellet grills are the bomb. I miss having my chickens but will do it again some day.

    1. Fished Fork once many years ago, liked it but got smoked. Not really a big water fisherman.