Sunday, May 31, 2009

Maybe Or Maybe Knot...!

Here's something a little bit different for your enjoyment this morning.

With all our talk of camping and of making do in case of emergency, I thought it might be handy to learn a few knots. Now, some of you already know these knots...and some of you may not know these knots. If you do know these knots, then there is no need to relearn them. However, if you do not know these knots, now would be a good time to get to know them. In fact, there is no reason not to know these knots, you know?

In helping with your efforts to know these knots, I've put a picture of some of the more useful knots that you may want to know!

Whether or not you know these knots, I thought you might like to look them over...but then maybe KNOT, you know?

Now, my friend, why don't we just get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit! We can talk about whether or not you need to know these knots, ya know?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tall Tales About Texas...!

You know, there are several ways to tell when it is really, really hot in Texas! If you know what to look for, the animals can tell you.

For instance, there is a lizard here that we call the "Stick Lizard". You only see them in the summer, and they can be easily recognised by the fact that they carry a long stick in their mouth. In case you are wondering why they carry the stick, they use it in crossing the hot country roads.

What they do is start across the road at a dead run, then when their feet get too hot, they take the stick and jam it into the ground. Then the lizard climbs up on the stick and allows his feet to cool off. Then he shimmies down, pulls up the stick, and goes on across the road! Pretty smart, huh?

Here are a few more little known facts about Texas that you may be interested in. Check them out and see if you already knew them.


The Great State of Texas is where...

Armadillos sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.

There are 5,000 types of snakes on earth and 4,998 live in Texas.

There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Texas , plus a couple no one's seen before.

If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites.

'Twiced' is a word.

People actually grow and eat okra.

'Fixinto' is one word.

There is no such thing as 'lunch.' There is only dinner and then supper.

Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two.
We do like a little tea with our sugar!

'Backwards and forwards' means I know everything about you!

Djeet is actually a phrase meaning 'Did you eat?'

You don't have to wear a watch because it doesn't matter what time it is.
You work until you're done or it's too dark to see.

You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH them.

You measure distance in hours. Like its 6 hours from Houston to Dallas .

You'll probably have to switch from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day.

'Fix' is a verb. Example: 'I'm fixing to go to the store.'

You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

Yes, Friday night high school football games is serious football!

You carry jumper cables in your car .. . . for your OWN car.

There are only four spices: salt, pepper, Tabasco and ketchup.

The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local gossip and sports.

100 degrees Fahrenheit is 'a little warm.'

We have four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, still Summer and Christmas.

Going to Wal-mart is a favorite past time known as 'goin' to Wally-World.'

Gravy is a food group.

A cool snap (below 70 degrees) is good pinto-bean weather.

A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola or pop. . . . it's a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor. Example: 'What kind a coke you want?'

Fried catfish is the other white meat.

We don't need no stinking driver's ed . . . if our mama says we can drive, we can drive.

Now let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit...OK?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Special Prayer Call...!

Please help us out. Our fellow blogger and good friend, code name "Bullseye" has a young daughter that is very sick. If you would take a minute, go over to his site and let him and his family know that we are praying for them.

I appreciate your assistance in this. There is indeed power in prayer! The more of us that can offer some prayer, the better.

Thank you so much to all my friends. This means a lot to me and I'm sure to Bulleye as well!

Random Friday Thoughts...!

1. I probably have the only cat in the immediate area that likes Pace Picante Sauce!

Sitting at my desk the other day, I had some chips and a bowl of Pace Picante...perfect way to pass the time. The smaller of my two roomies, C.B. (short for cry baby) got up on the desk as usual to watch me eat, just in case I dropped anything he could get to.

I figured if I let him smell the sauce, he would go away. Wrong...! He actually licked his chops the way cats do when they are interested in some food. So I thought I would take a chance. I put a chip into the sauce, dipped out a fair amount, and offered it to the cat.

He not only licked it all off the chip, but looked at me like he wanted more. I repeated the process a couple more times and each time, he licked off all the sauce! Wouldn't eat the chip, but licked the sauce off every time! His brother, Smokey, wanted no part of it! Truly strange, truly strange!

2. Both my cats have learned if they walk on the printer, they can sometimes turn it on. They like to do that so they can search for the source of the noise it makes when coming on, and try and catch the paper as it comes out when I print something.

I really don't mind this, but the problem comes when they have been outside when the grass is wet! They walk on the paper in the tray, and the paper is all covered with cat paw prints when I try to print something. As long as they can watch the paper come out, they keep playing with the printer...gotta learn to stop doing that!

3. I always thought that cats were supposed to be afraid of getting wet! Both of the roomies like to lay outside on the patio. I guess the concrete feels cool to them. But if it starts to rain, they just continue to lay there. Soaking wet, rolling around, enjoying themselves...until it thunders real loud! Then it's time to run into the house, walk on the printer paper, climb up on Dad's chest with wet paws, and get a hug. If I'm lucky, I'm NOT wearing a white t-shirt.

The good thing about this is that I at least get a hug from them. In fact, I get a hug every time they come in to eat! I think it's only because they have figured out I furnish the food, so they try and suck up at meal time...con cats!

Come to think about it, they are more like teen age kids than Siamese cats! I'm really too old to deal with teens again! Maybe I'm being punished for future sins...and if that's the case, then I must have a really good time ahead of me!

4) Smokey, the bigger of the two roomies, is a bully. He doesn't want to share anything that he deems is his... anything! He shows this fact by spraying anything he wants to claim, which is natural I guess. However, the nephew and I were sitting and talking one day when Smokey came in, backed up to my leg, and sprayed the hell out of my pant leg. Good thing I was wearing jeans, because if I had been in shorts I would only have one cat now!

Smokey doesn't look as much like a Siamese as his brother C.B. He has more grey where his brother has black markings...on the ears, around the nose area, and around the tail. He is almost one and a half times bigger than his brother. Where C.B. chases squirrels and birds, Smokey chases dogs and female cats . Smokey's fur is long, where C.B.'s is shorter.

Another big difference is Smokey likes to do his business in the grass, not the dirt! C.B. likes to find some dirt, like the nephews garden or the flower beds. They both make an effort to bury the evidence, but Smokey hasn't learned that it's almost impossible to scratch grass over the mess. Still, he likes the grass!

Neither seem to like the litter box or the litter, because they will get inside the box only if they can't get outside. That's not a bad thing, but they would rather throw the litter out of the box and onto the floor, than keep it in the box. Why...I do not know!

5. Neither of the roomies are particularly fond of the camper as of yet! They won't go inside and look around, even if I'm in there. Guess after I get more of my scent inside, they will be more open to going in and looking around.

I guess that's enough of this prattle for today. Sorry for the disjointed manner of this post, but I am a bit under the weather, and my mind is wandering a lot as of late. In fact, ever since I brought the camper home, I have almost nothing but going camping on my mind! Wonder why that is...?

Now, my friend, let's get a fresh cup, sit on the patio, and maybe plan a little camping and fishing trip...OK?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Please Notice The Disclaimer...!

Once again, I have managed to screw up.

I posted this photograph below and the story line that came with it before I checked it for accuracy. I was called to task by a reader...and so in keeping with the spirit of being totally honest if I can, here is the story behind the picture as told by Snopes.

Read the full article here.

Seems like I'm screwing up a lot in the past few days! I apologise about that! Have a good day!

Not What You Want To See...!

Sometimes the best laid plans don't exactly work out like you expect!

When you are working outside, a good thing to remember is Don't Mess With Mother Nature!

This is a picture that someone took who works on an oil rig. He was going to take a picture of the lightning and was unaware of the tornado until the lightning illuminated it!

This is a one-in-a-million photo...............

Taken Thursday night, April 2, 2009 . Lariat Sandridge Energy South of Ft Stockton , Texas.

I think I'll just continue to stay inside during thunder storms. I really don't need a picture of the lightning that badly, ya know?

Now, my friend, let's get some coffee and sit on the patio for a while...oh, and keep a watch on the sky for any storm clouds, OK?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

True Then, True Now...!

The year is 1907, a little over one hundred years ago.

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

As I've said before, the Truth is always the Truth! Now, my friend, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a while, OK?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What A Trip Across Town...

I have to share this with you! It was just too nerve racking not to...

Many folks not familiar with cities the size of Houston just can't imagine what going across town means. From my house to where I needed to go to pick up my trailer is about 24 miles. Getting there involves taking the toll road, then highway 288, and finally loop 610. A lot of freeway driving indeed.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but this time two things sort of complicated the situation.

First, it was a holiday weekend and the police were out in full force checking for drunk drivers and such. Secondly, the tags on the trailer expired in July 2008! I just knew that if I hooked up that trailer with the expired tags, started across town on three freeways during a holiday weekend with the police out in all their glory...I was going to get my very first ticket!

Oh, and the best part was that I have never, ever pulled any type of trailer with my truck and I have never pulled this particular camper before, so I had no idea what to expect, ya know?

But trying to stay positive about the whole thing, I went down to the auto parts store, bought the wiring harness and trailer ball and spent the day hooking everything up. Then I loaded myself and the nephew in the truck (Yes, he sorta volunteered to go after I twisted his arm ) and off we went on this adventure!

We managed to get across town without incident, backed up to where the trailer was, and hooked her up! The lights all worked, except for one burned out bulb. I had no spares. The trailer hitch, after sitting for a year, was rusty and didn't want to co-operate...some WD-40 was in order, but I had no WD-40! Naturally, after I talked to the hitch in my calm and persuasive manner (and the nephew gave it a good kick!) the hitch went right on!

The only concern I had was if the tires would hold up. I had a spare on the trailer, but again I forgot the plugs and the air compressor in case we did have a flat! Just another case of poor planning on my part!

So, hooked up and tested we set out onto the network of Houston Freeways, on a holiday weekend with police crawling all around, towing a trailer with expired tags, driving my truck never tested with pulling a load of any kind, while trying to remain positive about the whole thing!

Guess what? The trailer towed like a dream, the truck pulled like a champ, the tires held up fine as did the hitch! We were passed by at least two police cars that paid us no attention at all! The traffic was extremely light, not at all like a holiday weekend. The nephew didn't even say anything about the hundred or so times that I told him how easy the camper pulled!

All in all, I'd say it was another very good day! The sun shone on us and that was a good sign. In short, the muses that watch out for ill prepared folks like me decided to smile on me this time!

"Just a warning this time" I could hear them say! I believe them! I learned another important lesson today. Double checking isn't enough, triple checking isn't enough...there is no such thing as checking enough! As for me...POINT TAKEN!

Camper is home, loading starts tomorrow, the tags will be updated as well...and the truck goes in the shop for the final road check. I'm pleased, I'm tired, and I'm a nervous wreck!

Now, my friend, let's get a cup of fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a while, OK? I could use a break and a bit of a rest!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yesterday Was Good...!

I finally found just what I needed to make my day! I bought a Coleman pop-up!

True, it isn't a new one, but I'm a good example that being an older model is sometimes a good thing! Now, just in case you forgot where I'm taking this little rascal, let me show you the view from what will be my front yard!

While I am building my cabin or shack, I'll be able to sleep off the ground in this. I found it on Craigslist at a good price...a VERY good price! The canvas isn't sagging, the young man who set it up didn't put the inside braces completely in place. When we went over to see it, we finished putting the braces in place, and it stretched out like it should.

The inside is in wonderful shape for an older camper. No tears or rips in the canvas, no mold or mildew, no signs of water leaks, no holes in the screening, no burns or discoloration on the counters, all cabinet doors latch properly. All is good!

The small table you see can come out altogether, or be laid down to make another bed. Sleeping six is not hard, but there will only be! So I just need one bed, and the rest can be used as sitting spots if and when I have visitors.

Plenty of windows, plenty of light, and nice and cozy inside. What else could anyone want? A good book, a fresh pot of coffee, and a LOT of piece and quiet!

Now, my friends, let's get a fresh cup of coffee, sit at the patio table a bit, and think about all the adventures ahead of us. Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What Grandma Never Told Me...!

I think I've figured out how the old folks managed to get through so many hard times!
They had some pretty awesome medicines back in the "Old Days"! Take a look...!

Now, I'm not even going to make any cracks about any of these medicines. I think the pictures speak for themselves! Don't you...?

C'mon, my friend, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio a bit. I promise... no additives in the coffee, OK?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Let's Talk Coffee This Morning...!

As you know, I do like my coffee! I like it a lot!

After all, we share coffee each and every morning, don't we? The question I want to ask this morning, is how much do we really know about coffee?

I thought I knew a lot, but after reading some of these bits of trivia about coffee, I was surprised to find I didn't know as much as I figured. Why not take a look and see if you knew very many of them? Hey, at least it's better than having to read the newspaper on a Saturday morning, right?

"Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and as sweet as love" - Turkish Proverb

52% of Americans drink coffee.

A acre of coffee trees can produce up to 10,000 pounds of coffee cherries. That amounts to approximately 2000 pounds of beans after hulling or milling.

A scientific report form the University of California found that the steam rising from a cup of coffee contains the same amounts of antioxidants as three oranges. The antioxidants are hetero cyclic compounds which prevents cancer and heart disease. It's good for you!

Adding sugar to coffee is believed to have started in 1715, in the court of King Louis XIV, the French monarch.

Advertisements for coffee in London in 1657 claimed that the beverage was a cure for scurvy, gout and other ills.

After the decaffeinating process, processing companies no longer throw the caffeine away; they sell it to pharmaceutical companies.

After they are roasted, and when the coffee beans begin to cool, they release about 700 chemical substances that make up the vaporizing aromas.

An arabica coffee tree can produce up to 12 pounds of coffee a year, depending on soil and climate.

Australians consume 60% more coffee than tea, a sixfold increase since 1940.

Beethoven who was a coffee lover, was so particular about his coffee that he always counted 60 beans each cup when he prepared his brew.

Before roasting, some green coffee beans are stored for years, and experts believe that certain beans improve with age, when stored properly.

Before the first French cafe in the late 1700's, coffee was sold by street vendors in Europe, in the Arab fashion. The Arabs were the forerunners of the sidewalk espresso carts of today.

Brazil accounts for almost 1/3 of the world's coffee production, producing over 3-1/3 billion pounds of coffee each year.

By 1850, the manual coffee grinder found its way to most upper middle class kitchens of the U.S.

Caffeine is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances. Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level may be reached after drinking about 5 cups of coffee.

Citrus has been added to coffee for several hundred years.

Coffee as a medicine reached its highest and lowest point in the 1600's in England. Wild medical contraptions to administer a mixture of coffee and an assortment of heated butter, honey, and oil, became treatments for the sick. Soon tea replaced coffee as the national beverage.

Coffee beans are similar to grapes that produce wine in that they are affected by the temperature, soil conditions, altitude, rainfall, drainage and degree of ripeness when picked.

Coffee is generally roasted between 400F and 425F. The longer it is roasted, the darker the roast. Roasting time is usually from ten to twenty minutes.

Coffee is graded according to 3 criteria: Bean quality (Altitude and Species) Quality of preparation Size of bean

Coffee is grown commercially in over forty-five countries throughout the world.

Coffee is the most popular beverage worldwide with over 400 billion cups consumed each year.

Coffee lends its popularity to the fact that just about all flavors mix well with it.

Coffee represents 75% of all the caffeine consumed in the United States.

Coffee sacks are usually made of hemp and weigh approximately 132 pounds when they are full of green coffee beans. It takes over 600,000 beans to fill a coffee sack.

Coffee trees are evergreen and grow to heights above 15 feet but are normally pruned to around 8 feet in order to facilitate harvesting.

Coffee trees are self-pollinating

Coffee trees produce highly aromatic, short-lived flowers producing a scent between jasmine and orange. These blossoms produce cranberry-sized coffee cherries. It takes four to five years to yield a commercial harvest.

Coffee was first known in Europe as Arabian Wine.

Coffee, along with beer and peanut butter, is on the national list of the "ten most recognizable odors."

Coffee, as a world commodity, is second only to oil.

Commercially flavored coffee beans are flavored after they are roasted and partially cooled to around 100 degrees. Then the flavors applied, when the coffee beans' pores are open and therefore more receptive to flavor absorption.

Dark roasted coffees actually have LESS caffeine than medium roasts. The longer a coffee is roasted, the more caffeine burns off during the process.

During the American Civil War the Union soldiers were issued eight pounds of ground roasted coffee as part of their personal ration of one hundred pounds of food. And they had another choice: ten pounds of green coffee beans.

During World War II the U.S. government used 260 million pounds of instant coffee.

Did you read that last one? Wonder what the PTB did with all the fresh coffee...? Another mystery, I guess!

Now at the sake of sounding redundant...let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a while, my friend! Don't worry, it's not instant! I wouldn't do that to my friends...!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Reason For The Red Poppy...

Here's a little more of history straight from the pages of the Farmer's Almanac.

Since World War I, poppies have been a symbol of remembrance at Memorial Day. The red poppy was used to symbolize the blood of those who died in service to their countries.

The idea started in 1918 when American Moina Michael read the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by Canadian John McCrae in 1915 during World War I. She began wearing poppies in memoriam and sold them to others, using the proceeds to help veterans.

After World War I, veterans sold artificial red poppies to help raise money for French and Belgian war orphans. Today, donations to veterans’ groups are often marked with a token paper red poppy.

Tip: To prolong a poppy’s life as a cut flower, plunge the stem in hot water after cutting.

If you have a family member that was a veteran and is buried nearby, why not take this opportunity Monday, May 25, to visit their graveside and leave some flowers or a small flag or just a short prayer of thanks. The important thing is to remember everyone that gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we enjoy. It's a small symbol, but it's an important one.

We must always remember that "Freedom is not free!"

Now, my friend, let's get some coffee and sit on the patio...we can toast to all the Veterans, OK?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do Me A Favor, If You Will...!

If you don't mind, I'd really like you to do something for me this morning if you would.

My friend and fellow blogger, Meadowlark, is having a little contest of sorts on her blog. You can find the details by just visiting her site and checking it out.

It should be an interesting experiment. Basically, everyone just sends her a picture of their front porch...kinda cool and very different, to say the least!
Every once in a while, we all need to do something just a bit different, something that's fun and maybe just a little bit silly! That's what helps to keep us all sane, after all!

While we are in the mood to do something a little different, Let me take this mornings post to say a big "THANK YOU" to everyone that drops in and visits. I know that we all have many things we need to get done during the day. Many folks have jobs, a lot have chores or kids, others have businesses to tend to.

My point is that nearly all of us are busy, and don't have a lot of extra time to spend on the Internet...except me, of course! I'm just an old retired guy that does this cause I love it. I'm talking here about everyone else.

For various reasons, many folks are kind enough to drop in and visit, some almost daily! Many leave comments and I appreciate that a lot, but most of all, I appreciate the fact that you all find the time in your schedule to come by.

I consider myself very fortunate to have so many people that return here to read some of my babbling and rambling. It certainly makes it more fun to write something and have people enjoy it. Sort of gives a person a lot of satisfaction to have others take the time to even consider my thoughts and talk about them some.

I don't think that I fit into any particular niche or category when it comes to topics. Much of the time I just start out by jotting down some small idea, and suddenly the rest just sorta spills out!

Sorry, I'm rambling again! All I'm trying to say, although clumsily, is I really do thank you each and every one for coming here and being a reader! It means a lot to me. It really does!

Now, my friend, let's get some coffee and sit on the patio a bit. Hey, maybe Meadowlark would let me send her a picture of our patio! Ya reckon?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Really, Really Want One...!

This is the one thing I can think of that I really, really want!

What started me thinking again about this was a mention by Meadowlark yesterday about front porches. Now we all are familiar with front porches. Nearly all houses have one, and most all homesteads and cabins and farms and fishing shacks! All with porches!

My cabin or shack will certainly have one! Can't imagine having a cabin without one, but that's not the main thing I want. Sitting on that porch, I want a great big rocking chair!

I don't want just any rocking chair, but a chair with character, with soul! I want a rocking chair like my Grandma King's old rocking chair. Big enough to move around in, big enough to tuck your leg under ya if you wanted to! It has to be made out of wood. Probably maple or another type of wood that's good and sturdy.

Another reason it needs to be made from wood is that a rocker made from wood will, after time, get a certain sound to it. Usually the rockers themselves will develop a small, comforting squeak while rocking. That squeak, although very quiet and very diminutive, is often enough to make you nod off for a nap.

The arms need to be wide. I mean, wide and flat enough for a good book to be balanced on, wide enough for a grandchild to sit on while talking to her Grandpa...just like I did as a youngster with my Grandma King!

I have imagined that rocking chair ever since I started planning on building a cabin. I have actually seen myself coming out of the cabin after supper, sitting down in that big ole wooden rocking chair, on the front porch of a home I built myself, and gently rocking back and forth while watching the sun setting to the soft songs of the birds as they start to bed down for the evening.

I love that vision, me sitting on the porch in my great big rocking chair, feet propped up on the railing...with a cup of coffee in my hand. I love that rocking chair. I've never seen it, I've never touched it, but I love it! To me, that chair is representative of freedom. It is a symbol of what a man can do if he has a vision and remains true to that vision.

I'm a simple man. I don't ask for much out of life, just a small piece of land to call my own, with a small little shack on it that I built myself. Attached to that small cabin or shack will be a porch and on that porch, in all it's wonderful glory, will be my big ole rocking chair!

Man, I love that ole rocking chair!

Now, my friend, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio a bit. Sorry, there's no rocker...

Too Many Users And Takers...!

As of late, I find myself around more of the users and the takers.

The people I'm referring to are the ones that believe the whole world revolves around them. They seem to believe that everything that is done is for their benefit. They take and take, always using what they take from others but with no concern for those they take from.

These people are the takers of not only things, but of dreams as well. They have no dreams or visions of their own, so feel that no one should have any either. They bring nothing to the table of life, offer nothing of value to share, and do their best to discourage any original action unless it is directly for them and their benefit.

These parasites use , but never replace. They use, but never ask. They use, but never share! Left to their own devices, they are worthless and empty. They have no purpose except to take. When they have no one left to take from, they perish. If they cannot take the lions share of the dreams of others, they destroy those dreams if possible.

These people try and insert themselves into the lives of others, as they have no lives of any value of their own. They want to share the friends of others, as they have no friends of their own. They want acceptance from others, as they cannot and do not accept themselves.

The rest of us can refuse to let the users and takers from infiltrating our lives if we only admit that we know them for what they are. They might pretend to be friends, but offer no acts of friendship. They may act as family, but do not hold to the same values that our true family does. They may say they are part of our community, but do nothing to contribute to the value and good of the community!

I, for one, will not set a place at my table for such as these. I will not allow the likes of these people to darken my doorstep any longer. There will be no welcome at my fire for those that follow the path of using and taking.

I, and the rest of my friends and community, will offer help to those that need help and cannot do for themselves. We will teach those that really want to learn to better themselves. We will serve gladly as guides for those that really want to follow the same path as we, as long as they wish to someday help to guide others that are lost or confused about where our path is.

We will share our bounty with those that share in our labor. We will share our friendship with those that offer their friendship in return. We will offer a place in our community for those that really want to become a viable part of that community. There will always be a place at my table for those that do not expect a larger portion than the others at the table.

I will share what I have, but will not give it away. I will help you, not do it for you. I can only feel your pain and share your happiness if it is truly heartfelt.

All I ask is that you wear no mask. Be honest with me, expect honesty in return. You may ask of me, but make no demands. I will gladly accept you as a companion on my journey, as long as our paths lead in the same direction. When we must part and take different paths, may we do so with a smile, a handshake, and a memory of a pleasant fellow traveler.

Now let's get a fresh cup of coffee, my friend. And please, share my patio for a while, OK?

Monday, May 18, 2009

An Unsettling Feeling...!

Do you ever have an unsettling feeling?

You know the type I mean. It's not quite an uneasy feeling, but at the same time it just isn't comfortable. It's a lot like the feeling you get in the back of your mind when you start to wonder what you forgot when on a trip.

It's the kind of feeling you get when you know you are alone, but you keep glancing behind you just in case. You just can't help it. That feeling that is somewhere between gloom and comfort. A feeling of restlessness.

I'm wondering if it all the negativity of the city that I'm somehow being affected by. Sort of like waiting for the other shoe to drop. I somehow get a vague feeling that I should be doing something, and yet I can't think of what I should be doing.

Maybe I just have rabbit in my blood. Maybe the wanderlust is catching up with me. Maybe it's nothing more than the weather...who knows?

Whatever it is, it's a nagging feeling that just won't go away. All of last night and so far most of today, this feeling is hanging on, is being very persistent. If I have learned anything at all in all my years, it's to pay attention to my feelings, especially if they continue to linger more than just a little while.

I'm double checking everything I can think of and making sure that the animals are within close proximity, but they too seem to be picking up on something. For some reason, the cats are sticking close and wanting to be petted a little more than usual, even my Mother's cat. I thought that it was because Mom was out of town for a visit at first, but for the past two days, she has been very close and even tolerant of the two roomies when they are on the patio at the same time.

Something is coming this way. I'm not sure what it is, I don't know if it's anything major or not...just that I should be ready just in case.

Maybe it's silly and just in my head. Maybe I just need a strong drink. Maybe I need another cup of coffee. Or maybe, just maybe...I should be getting ready to hunker down for a bit. Whatever the reason, I'll be spending a lot more time inside today, paying close attention to the news on the web.

I guess maybe it's like the old saying goes..."This to shall pass". C'mon, friend! Let's grab another cup of coffee and sit for a bit while listening for the warning bells!

Taking The Morning Off....!

I'm taking the morning off, as I have several things I need to get straightened out in my head first.

I don't want to write something I'll be sorry for later, so instead I thought I would just start the week off with a little bit of music, OK? Hope you enjoy it...

Now, my friend...let's get some fresh coffee and sit quietly on the patio. I could use the company!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Truth Is Always The Truth...!

I found these quotes from Daniel Webster that I wanted to share.

Why Daniel Webster, you say? Because I believe him to be one of the greatest statesman of his time. What he said back then applies to the current state of our affairs. In fact, these statements may be more relevant today than ever!

When great men make statements regarding freedom and liberty, those statements never grow old, never go out of style. That's the way it should be. After all, truth is always the truth, it never changes. The only that ever changes about the truth is our ability to recognise it.

Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts will follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.
Daniel Webster

The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.

Daniel Webster

We are all agents of the same supreme power, the people.

Daniel Webster

We have been taught to regard a representative of the people as a sentinel on the watch-tower of liberty.

Daniel Webster

What a man does for others, not what they do for him, gives him immortality.

Daniel Webster

God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.

Daniel Webster

He who tampers with the currency robs labor of its bread.

Daniel Webster

One country, one constitution, one destiny.

Daniel Webster

The people's government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people.

Daniel Webster

Can you see the clarity of what this man said? Do you understand why I think he was a great statesman? I know you can see the truth in what he says, surely!

Now my friend...let's get some fresh coffee, sit together on the patio, and breath in the fragrant and wonderful smell of freedom!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Important Updated Lists...!

We had a good discussion yesterday about shelf life of certain food products.

For a Prepper, the most important thing we have is up to date information. In keeping with that thought, I wanted to post this article. I started to just post the link, but decided to post the entire article. It's written by some very knowledgeable people, and is well worth the read!

In Consultation with Stephen Portela


Determining the storage life of foods is at best an inexact science as there are so many variables. These range from the condition your food was in when you first purchased it and many other factors. This page was written with input by Mr. Stephen Portela who has over 30 years of professional food storage experience. This information should be used as a general guide only, and should not be followed "as the gospel truth" because your results may be different.


Factor #1: The Temperature Temperature has more to do with how long well dried foods store than anything else. The USDA states, "Each 5.6C. (10.08F) drop in temperature doubles the storage life of the seeds". Obviously, there is a limit as to how far this statement can be taken. However I expect it basically holds true from room temperature down to freezing. No doubt, the inverse could also be considered true. "Each 5.6C. (10.0F) rise in temperature halves the storage life of seeds." This theory holds true for non-garden seeds as well.

About a year ago we got an unopened paper bag of white flour which had been stored at 70F, in a dry climate. It had been sitting for 3 years in a closet. It made fine looking bread but had such an 'old' and bad flavor that it was difficult to eat.

For another example, a couple of years ago in the Puget Sound area we were given a 4 gallon can of wheat that had been stored up high in a garage for about 30 years. This part of the country is not as hot as some places, yet in the summers the average garage still gets up into the 90's. Even though wheat will store for 30+ years under good conditions, the bread from this particular wheat was very bad tasting and after a few batches we ended up throwing the wheat away (something I always dislike doing).

Counter these stories with several examples told by Mr. Stephen Portela, Walton Feed's manager: He stores his long term food storage in his basement where the temperature hovers around 60F. The experts give brown rice a 6 month storage life because of all the oils in it that go rancid. Yet, Mr. Portela has been eating from a supply of brown rice that has been in his basement over 10 years. It is still wholesome! In another example, there is a family living near him who purchased a supply of food in #10 cans 30 years ago. Their basement hovers around 58F. After 28 years, Mr. Portela took a sample of many of these items to the Benson Institute at BYU to have it tested. The results can be seen at the bottom of Mr. Portela's welcome page. You will see everything tested had a 'good' to 'satisfactory' rating except for the eggs which had a 'minimum passing' rating. After 28 years I think it is most interesting that it passed at all. Mr. Portela tells me as 30 years have now passed, their storage is still in very good condition.

The bottom line is even with the very best packaging methods, if you are planning on storing your food in a warm environment, it will only last a fraction of the time it would last if stored in a cool, dry place. It is important you also find a place where the temperature remains constant. Frequent temperature changes shorten storage life. If you don't have a cool place for your food storage, plan on rotating your storage quickly enough to prevent food loss.

Factor #2: Product Moisture Content

By looking at the USDA nutritional tables, dry beans, grains, and flours contain an average of 10% moisture. Although it is very difficult and unnecessary to remove all moisture from dry foods, it is imperative that any food be stored as dry as possible. Foods with excess moisture can spoil right in their containers. This is an important consideration when packing food with dry ice as moisture condenses and freezes on the outer surface of the dry ice. For long term storage, grains should have a moisture content of 10% or less. It is difficult to accurately measure this without special equipment.

Factor #3: Atmosphere the product is stored in

Foods packed in air don't store as well as in oxygen free gasses. This is because air contains oxygen which oxidizes many of the compounds in food. Food storage companies have a couple of different processes for removing the oxygen:

Displacing the oxygen: This is done by purging out all the air in the product with an inert gas. Nitrogen is almost always used because it is the most inert gas known. People doing their own packing occasionally use dry ice which gives off carbon dioxide gas, and probably works just about as well.

Absorb the oxygen: Oxygen absorber packets do just that. Air contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, leaving about 1% for the other gasses. If the oxygen is absorbed, what remains is 99% pure nitrogen in a partial vacuum.

If oxygen absorber packets are used, care must be taken to use a storage container that can stand some vacuum. As air is sucked into your container as the oxygen is absorbed, it reintroduces more oxygen that must be absorbed. Before long, the oxygen absorbers will have absorbed all the oxygen they can. Obviously, your product won't be oxygen free under these circumstances. Walton Feed gets around this problem with their plastic Super Pail buckets by purging the product first with nitrogen before tossing in the two oxygen absorber packets. This way the absorbers have little or no oxygen to absorb and don't create a vacuum within the pail. As cans work well under a partial vacuum, purging them with nitrogen isn't necessary before inserting the oxygen absorber packet and sealing the lid. Large seeds store better in nitrogen. On the other hand, small seeds, like many garden seeds store better in air. For this reason Walton cans their garden seed packs in air.

Factor #4: The container the product is stored in

To get the best storage life out of your product it must have a hermetic (air tight) seal. Containers that do this well are:

# #10 Cans
# Sealable food storage buckets
# Sealable food quality metal or plastic drums

Whatever container you use, be sure it is food grade as your product can be tainted with whatever the container is made from. Plastic sacks are not good air tight containers, for even if they are sealed, the relatively thin plastic 'breathes,' allowing air to pass through. Paper sacks are of course even worse.

There is some concern as to how good a seal is made by the lids on plastic buckets used by food storage companies. Manufacturer studies show an extremely small amount of air transfer. This amount is so small, however, that it can be considered a hermetic seal. It has also been found that the lids can be re-used several times without dramatically degrading the performance of the seal.

People who purchase products from food storage providers are often concerned about receiving their buckets bulging or with one side collapsed in. Collapsed buckets occasionally occur when ordering from Walton's as the elevation of their packing facility is above 6,000 feet. As the buckets are shipped to a lower elevation, the increased ambient air pressure can sometimes push in one side. If a side is popped in, it is a great indication that the bucket is indeed sealed. And this also holds true for buckets that might be under a slight amount of pressure. If either condition concerns you, crack the lid to equalize the air pressure. You can do this without seriously degrading the storageability of the product within the bucket. Remember to re-seal the lid after doing this.

Bulging cans: Some bulging cans have been returned to Waltons. In almost every case, these cans held mixes that contained baking powder or soda. These cans were sent off for bacteria analysis and came back negative. It is believed that occasionally the extremely small amount of moisture found in the product interacts over time with the baking powder or soda and creates a small amount of carbon dioxide gas.


The Soft Grains
# Barley
# Hulled or Pearled Oat
# Groats
# Rolled Oats
# Quinoa
# Rye

Soft Grains have softer outer shells which don't protect the seed interior as well as hard shelled seeds and therefore won't store as long. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 8 years at a stable temperature of 70F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.

The Hard Grains

Corn, Dry
Durum wheat
Hard red wheat
Hard white wheat
Soft wheat
Special bake wheat

The Hard Grains all store well because of their hard outer shell which is nature's near perfect container. Remove that container and the contents rapidly deteriorate. Wheat, probably nature's longest storing seed, has been known to be edible after scores of years when stored in a cool dry place. As a general rule for hard grains, hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 10-12 years at a stable temperature of 70F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.


Adzuki Beans
Blackeye Beans
Black Turtle Beans
Garbanzo Beans

Great Northern KidneyBeans
Lima Beans
Mung Beans

Pink Beans
Pinto Beans
Small Red Beans
Soy Beans

As beans age they lose their oils, resist water absorption and won't swell. Worst case, they must be ground to be used. Storing beans in nitrogen helps prolong the loss of these oils as does cool temperatures. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 8-10 years at a stable temperature of 70F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.

Dehydrated Vegetables

# Broccoli
# Cabbage
# Carrots



Dehydrated vegetables store well if hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen. Plan on a storage life of 8-10 years at a stable temperature of 70F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.

Dehydrated Dairy Products


Powder Eggs
Butter/margarine Powder

Powder Milk
Morning Moo Whey Powder

Dehydrated dairy products generally store very well if stored dry in hermetically sealed containers. Plan on a storage life of 15 years if stored at a stable temperature of 70F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures. One exception is Morning Moo. As a new whey based product, it hasn't been tested for long term storage. Plan on rotating this product after 5 years.

Flours and Other Products Made From Cracked/Ground Seed

All Purpose Flour
Bakers Flour
Unbleached Flour
White Flour

Whole Wheat Flour
Cornmeal Mixes
Refried Beans

Cracked Wheat
Germade Gluten
Granola Wheat Flakes

After seeds are broken open their outer shells can no longer protect the seed contents and seed nutrients start to degrade. Don't try to store unprotected flours longer than a year. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 5 years at a stable temperature of 70oF. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.




Pasta will store longer than flour if kept dry. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 8 - 10 years at a stable temperature of 70F. Pasta should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.

Dehydrated Fruit

Fruit doesn't keep as well as many dehydrated items. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 5 years at a stable temperature of 70F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.

Honey, Salt and Sugar

Honey, salt and sugar should keep indefinitely if stored free of moisture. Watch out for additives in the honey. It is possible to buy honey with water and sugar added. This honey generally doesn't crystallize like pure 100% honey does when stored for a long time. If there are additives, there is no saying how long it will last.

Peanut Butter Powder

Peanut butter powder will not store as long as wheat flour. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 4-5 years at a stable temperature of 70F. It should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.

Brown and White Rices

Brown and white rices store very differently. Brown rice is only expected to store for 6 months under average conditions. This is because of the essential fatty acids in brown rice. These oils quickly go rancid as they oxidize. It will store much longer if refrigerated. White rice has the outer shell removed along with those fats. Because of this, white rice isn't nearly as good for you, but will store longer. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life for white rice of 8-10 years at a stable temperature of 70F. It should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.

Seeds or Sprouting Seeds

All viable seeds are hibernating tiny living plants that only need moisture and warmth to sprout. And much like a chick in an egg, all the nutrients this little life needs to spring into existence is contained within it's shell.

Like boiling an egg, heating a seed will kill that little life within it. However, unlike an egg, a seed can withstand cold temperatures. As seeds usually remain edible after the life within it dies, we must use different criteria when determining sproutable seed storage life. And again the big deciding factor is temperature. The big seed companies freeze their seed between seasons to promote long life. Of course, you can also do the same thing. Plan on a storage life of 4 years at a stable temperature of 70F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures. Rita Bingham's Sprouting Book suggests that "Vacuum sealed or nitrogen treated seeds store longest, with a shelf life of up to 15 years." This is presupposing they are kept very cool or frozen.

Alfalfa is a unique seed as it actually germinates better if the seed is 2 or 3 years old. Most any sample of alfalfa contains 'hard' seed and 'soft' seed. Soft seed germinates within two days while hard seed germinates in about a week. The problem is, by the time the soft seed sprouts are ready to harvest, the hard seed may not have germinated yet. As storage time draws on, the hard seed turns into soft seed. Older seed germinates closer together. Stored in good conditions, alfalfa seed should have a good percentage of germination up until it is 8 years old.

Total Vegetable Protein, made from soy beans, has an unusually long storage life. Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 15-20 years at a stable temperature of 70F. TVP should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.

Yeast, a living organism, has a relatively short storage life. Keep yeast in the original metal foil storage containers. If the seal remains intact, yeast should last 2 years at 70F. However it is strongly recommended that you refrigerate it, which should give you a storage life of 5 years. Frozen yeast should store for a long time.

All contents © 1996-2000, Al Durtschi. All rights reserved. This information may be used by you freely for noncommercial use with my name and E-mail address attached. Revised: 3 Dec 1996

Al Durtschi, E-mail:

Now that we have a fresh list...let's get a fresh cup of coffee and sit on the patio. OK, my friend?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Eisenhower Strawberries...!

That's what my Dad used to call pinto beans...Eisenhower strawberries!

We ate a lot of beans when I was young, but I didn't mind. In fact, beans and cornbread is still one of my favorite meals! However, in a worse case scenario when you are being forced to eat them all of the time because of a shortage of other foods, I can see where someone might have to get really, really creative.

Now we have already covered "Pinto Bean Pie" like Grandma King used to make, so today I wanted to share this recipe for something a bit different. This is a side dish and if you like fried cornbread, you should love this! Just try it!


1 1/2 tbsp. salad oil
1 sm. onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 med. size fresh jalapeno chili, seeded and chopped finely
2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/8 tsp. liquid smoke
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 c. yellow cornmeal

Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic and chili in about 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil until onion is limp. In a bowl coarsely mash beans with potato masher, they should stick together. Stir in onion mixture and seasonings, mix well.

Sprinkle cornmeal on wax paper, then divide bean mixture into 8 portions. Make cakes about 1/2 inch thick. Coat each cake with cornmeal. Put remaining oil in frying pan and heat. Brown cakes, turning only once.

Serve with salsa, fresh is best. This is a very different side dish.

Now, I know that this may sound a little off the wall, but remember that this is all about using your food storage in ways that your family won't get tired of. It's about getting the protein you need from your's about staying alive!

Now...let's get a fresh cup of coffee and sit on the patio, OK, my friend? Oh, just help yourself to the bean cakes there!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Like Riding Through A Ghost Town...

Wednesday, I had to go to VA for my monthly blood test.

I like to leave about 11:30 or 12:00 in order to beat the traffic. It's just at 20 miles one way, and although most of the trip is on the toll road, I do have to go through several neighborhoods to get to the Beltway.

As I was driving down the streets, I started really looking at all the houses and their yards...I mean really looking! There was no one around. No one at all!

In the two neighborhoods closest to where I live, the only people I ever saw in the front yards were the lawn guys. They were there with their mowers and trimmers and leaf blowers, doing everything they could to make all the empty front lawns pretty.

Imagine, all those empty lawns just sitting there pretty much looking like the lawn next door. Occasionally, there would be a lawn where someone had decided to dress up a bit with flowers and shrubs just as though the owner was voicing some discontent with looking just like everyone else! Imagine that...a real live individual! Well, almost!

What was missing? Mainly, the kids and signs of kids were missing! No toys, no swing sets, no wagons or bikes or kick balls or basketballs or anything like that! Just grass. Trimmed and watered and looking all pretty just like the neighbors grass, but no life! The whole neighborhood could have just been a movie set, with card board houses and artificial grass. It was as if all the people had packed up and left, ya know?

From the time I was a kid, the front yards were centers of activity, especially for kids. In fact, my house was on a corner lot in one neighborhood. We had two china berry trees in the yard, and we took full advantage of those two trees. We climbed them, used the broken limbs for other toys like guns and swords, used the berries themselves as throwing weapons, missiles hard enough to sting but not injure.

Our yard was played in, not just by us, but all our friends in the neighborhood as well. There were paths worn in it to the garden hose, to the front porch, and to the trees. It wasn't all that big, but it looked bigger than the neighbors yard because it had life! It had soul! It had kids, for goodness sake! Complete with all the trappings of kids playing outside! Even if we were somewhere else, you could tell that kids lived there.

The one thing that our yard didn't have much of, was grass! I remember once someone asked my Dad why he didn't plant some grass in the yard and have us play somewhere else, Dad answered "There will be plenty of time for grass and a pretty yard when the kids are gone. Right now, what matters the most is that they are enjoying the yard and their home...and that the most important thing to me!" Did I mention that both my parents knew what was really important?

If nothing else, I should get my neighbors to let me put in a garden in all those empty yards. Think of all the food I could grow in just two or three more yards! Man, I could feed a small army!

Oh, wait! I forgot one thing...the yard wouldn't look just like the next door neighbor's yard. It wouldn't be just sitting there, all watered and trimmed and pretty. It wouldn't look like an artificial, movie set neighborhood yard would look different, it would have a look of life! What a monumental waste!

Well, why don't we get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit. We can watch the birds at the feeder and then at the bird bath, having a good time. If we get bored with that, we can always just sit here and watch the garden grow. Great way to spend the morning...!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Red Zones Have A Reason...!

When you live in the big city...ANY big city, one of the things you notice more and more is the fact that some folks think they own the world!

It seems like the fancier the car, the more rules are ignored. Common courtesy doesn't even exist for some people!

The main problem with that, is that sometimes by not being courteous, by not obeying the rules, you could put other people's lives in jeopardy. Sometimes, even courteous and friendly folks like firemen have to do what ever they need to rectify the situation. This photo just proves my point!

The Red Zone is there for a reason! Maybe now they will pay attention! Then again, maybe not...!

However, once in a do see something that's akin to wisdom and humor in the big city. Take a look at this picture...

Now I think we should just get another cup of coffee and sit on the patio for a bit. OK, my friend?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Is An American...?

What constitutes an American? Not colour nor race nor religion. Not the pedigree of his family nor the place of his birth. Not the coincidence of his citizenship. Not his social status nor his bank account. Not his trade nor his profession. An American is one who loves justice and believes in the dignity of man. An American is one who will fight for his freedom and that of his neighbour. An American is one who will sacrifice property, ease and security in order that he and his children may retain the rights of free men. An American is one in whose heart is engraved the immortal second sentence of the Declaration of Independence.

Americans have always known how to fight for their rights and their way of life. Americans are not afraid to fight. They fight joyously in a just cause.

We Americans know that freedom, like peace, is indivisible. We cannot retain our liberty if three-fourths of the world is enslaved. Brutality, injustice and slavery, if practiced as dictators would have them, universally and systematically, in the long run would destroy us as surely as a fire raging in our nearby neighbour's house would burn ours if we didn't help to put out his.

Harold Ickes
May 1941

As you can tell, I didn't write this. This is part of a speech that Mr. Ickes gave to encourage our support of helping Great Briton in WW2, but I thought that so many parts of this speech were pertinent to the way that things are today I wanted to share a small part of it.

Folks, this is powerful stuff! Not only is it strong, but it is just as true today as it was in 1941, maybe even more so.

Now let's get a fresh cup of coffee and sit for a while on the patio. OK, my friend?

Monday, May 11, 2009

They All Fit Me Just Right...!

I really miss the swimming holes,
The fishing spots, the old cane poles,
My sneakers with the worn out soles,
They all fit me just right!

I miss the joy of holding hands
And special rings from cigar bands,
The homegrown fruit from road side stands!
They all fit me just right!

I miss the rides in pick up beds,
With clear night skies above our heads,
The snacks of homemade jams and breads!
They all fit me just right!

I miss the times of home made toys,
Of long haired girls and short haired boys,
When hugs topped off my list of joys!
They all fit me just right!

I miss the smell of fresh cut hay,
Of fresh turned dirt on plowing day
And watching daylight fade away!
They all fit me just right!

I miss the quiet talks with friends
That seemed to never have an end!
Someday we'll have those talks again
And that fits me just right!

Jim King
May 2009

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a while...OK,my friend?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day...!

What can we say about our Mothers?

Most of it has been said so many times by so many people. How many ways can we say "Thank You" that we haven't said before? Truth be told, there is just no way to ever thank them for all that they have done, and for all they continue to do.

Mothers are all special people. They never stop being mothers and doing what mothers do best...trying to guide and direct us in the right direction. When it seems as though everyone in the world has given up on us, our mothers are still there giving their support. They always seem to believe in us and encourage our dreams.

Over the years, mothers have struggled to teach us how to get along in the world, how to make the best of any situation. They care for us when we are sick, scold us when we need scolding, doctor us when we need a small bit of doctoring, and even warm the seat of our pants for us when we need that as well! All of these things they do just because they truly love us, even when we don't think they do!

A Mother's love is unconditional. No matter how badly we screw up, they still love us. When we break their heart with unkind words or unseemly actions, they still love us. They will go to the most extreme measures to protect us, sometimes from ourselves and our own actions! That's what Mothers do! They just love us!

I think that there comes a time in every one's life when we suddenly begin to see the influence that our mothers have had on us. There comes a time when, if we are very lucky, we suddenly realize that not only is that special person in our lives our Mother...but our friend!

What a blessed day it is, when we do realize that! To sit down and talk with our Mom as a friend, gleaming what wisdom and advice we can, whether it be to get a recipe, discuss a book, ask about a bit of family history...whatever the reason, it's special!

Even if our mother is no longer with us here, we can still enjoy the talks, the advice, the sharing, the unquestioning support! As long as the memories of our Mothers still live in our hearts, they are never really gone. They never really leave!

So today, instead of just saying "Happy Mother's Day", maybe we should try saying "Mom, I love you!" as well! Say it out loud, say it with feeling! She will hear it, even if she isn't here in person! You really can't say it enough or too often, you know.

Oh, just one more thing! If you are lucky enough to still have your Mother here, go up and give her a great big, heart felt hug! Many times a hug can speak volumes more than words alone, believe me!

Now, why don't we get a fresh cup of coffee and sit on the patio a while, my friend! It's good, just like Mom used to make!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Blast From The Past...!

I'm sorta missing the more innocent days lately...

So, just to get a taste of them once more, I decided to put together my own version of some good old fashioned Saturday morning entertainment like we used to have! I think a couple of you will remember a few of these!

As often is the case when hearing an old song or seeing an old memorable scene from a movie, the floodgates open to a past we thought was forgotten, but really was merely misplaced somewhere in the attics of our minds. See if you don't agree...

And how many times did you spend the most of a Saturday at the movie matinee...?

Of course, no trip to the movies would be complete without the Saturday you thought I forgot, didn't ya? Not on your life, my friend!

Now let's grab a fresh cup, sit on the patio a while, and reminisce a bit about the "good old days"! OK, my friend?

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Small Dose Of Inspiration...!

Well, I thought that we could all use a good dose of this.

I don't care if you have seen it before, I don't care if you really don't think you want to watch it once more. The whole point is we NEED to see this! Not only because of the Eagle, not only because of the music, but because it's time for us to realise that WE are America!

We the people! Not the politicians or the courts or the media or the news folks, but us! All of us! You see, it doesn't matter what "party" we belong to! It isn't a matter of what religion we are! It isn't important what race we are! What really matters in the long run is that we, as a people united, standing shoulder to shoulder...WE ARE AMERICA!

Please, let's take the time to be thankful for the liberties assigned to us by our forefathers for safe keeping. Let's put aside our differences long enough to wave the flag a bit. Let's reaffirm the fact that freedom is never free! It's like the song says "United we stand, divided we fall!"

Now come on, my friends. Let's get a fresh cup of coffee and sit for a while on the patio...and enjoy the fellowship of Freedom!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Well, I Tried...!

I should have known better, but I did it anyway!

Like my Dad used to say "Go with your first impressions!". I really should have listened to him. So after the attempt to interact with the "real world" and the folks that live's back to the Hermit ways for me.

I'm no longer going to spend my time and effort trying to understand why people act the way they do. Not my problem anymore! I will no longer make myself available to criticism and demeaning comments! Not my problem anymore! I will no longer try and serve as a guide and mentor for folks headed down the wrong paths that I have been down myself! Not my problem anymore!

Most of the people in the so-called "real world" tend to lean very heavily on the negative side, and that's bad...but it's not my problem anymore! Negative attracts negativity, as you have heard me say many times. I will not be around negative people anymore...period!

If you don't want my advice...that's fine. I wish you well! If you don't really want to hear my answers, then don't ask the questions! That's fine. I wish you well! If you really aren't interested in making things better around you...that's fine. I wish you well!

I'm going to stick to my friends in the virtual world, as they seem to have a much more realistic view of what's going on than many in the "real world". I'm sticking to a community where common courtesy and respect is commonplace. I'm sticking to a community that is not afraid to say "Thank you" and mean it. I'm sticking with a community that is not above offering to help if needed, and will do so without being asked.

From this moment on, as far as the "real world" is concerned, I am back to being a Hermit! Best for me, best for the folks that want to live in this madness called the "real world!!

That doesn't work for me...but if it works for others...fine. I wish you well! In the end, it's NOT my problem anymore!

Now, to my friends in the better world...let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit. I could use a good dose of quiet time with people that really do know the important things in life!! Know what I mean ?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just So There Is No Mistake...!!

Does that make it clear enough ? I hope so...

God Bless America...!

The Way It Should Be...!

This is the way it should be for all of us that want it.

This is the way it WILL be if we have our way! This is the kind of life many of us want, many of us need! So listen up, Uncle Sammy...!

I, for one, don't want your intrusion into my life anymore. I don't want your help or "guidance" anymore! I do NOT want your opinion of what is good for me forced down my throat anymore!

Your idea of a perfect world does NOT fit mine. It's time to pay attention to what I say, what we say! How should it be? Sorta like this...

Now just in case you still don't get the message, Uncle Sammy...then this is another way of saying what a lot of us are really feeling! Maybe this is clear enough for ya!

Now if you'll excuse friends and I are gonna get a fresh cup of coffee and sit on the patio for a while. You can join us, or you can just go away and leave us alone! Got it? Good!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Like Things Simple...

Isn't it strange that when we were younger, we never seemed to listen when our folks tried their best to warn us about the world and give us a bit of guidance?

There is an old adage that as we get older, we are amazed at how much smarter our parents have become. Guess it's always been that way!

I was the oldest out of four children, and the only boy. It only stood to reason that I knew everything already! I didn't always take direction well and very seldom listened to advice.

Only now am I starting to understand fully what my parents were trying to share. It's a crying shame I couldn't have done so at a much earlier age. It would have served me well through some self inflicted tough spots.

Anyway, I found this song that pretty much says all that my Mom and Dad tried to say to me when I wore a younger man's clothes. The information and the message is timeless, passed down from one generation to the next, destined to fall again on deaf ears! I guess it's true what they say...youth is wasted on the young!

I started off thinking that I knew all the answers, but now I realize I don't even know many of the right questions! Sort of seems backwards, doesn't it?

Alright, my friend! Now let's get a fresh cup of coffee and sit on the patio for a bit. We can discuss how much we didn't listen to and learn from when we were younger...

Monday, May 4, 2009

I Miss My Dad...!

Let me tell you a bit about my Father.

We started our relationship of father and son in a strange way. You see, it was a time of war! The Second World War, the Big One, the War to end all Wars! It had many different names, but like all wars, it did one separated families from their loved ones.

My mother and father were no different than many other young couples of that time.They married young, then shortly after were separated from one another.

You see, my Dad was in the navy. Shortly after their marriage, Dad left to return to his ship to finish the job he was sworn to defend this great country of ours! He was gone a long, long time.

Back home, my mother discovered that I was on the way! As happens in time of war to many young brides, my mother was left to face the birth of her first born without her husband there for support.

Luckily, she had plenty of support from Dad's family and there was no shortage of baby sitters after I was born. I had a lot of attention. I had a lot of love. The one thing I did not have was my Dad. After all, the war was still going on!

My Dad missed my first haircut, my first steps, my first words. Mom showed me his picture every day and told me who he was. She told me yesterday that I wore out one picture looking at it so much.

Then one day, the war was over! My Dad was able to come home! I was 18 months old, and my Dad and I had never seen each other. Mom, with me in tow, went to California to meet his ship, along with thousands of other war brides. You can only imagine the crowds and the chaos, as so many husbands and wives tried searching for familiar faces in the massive sea of humanity!

Suddenly, there he was! Dad spotted Mom and I in the crowd somehow, and began to approach us with a large smile on his face. As Mom spotted him and pointed him out to me, I'm told that I reached out my arms and, though I had only seen him in pictures, said "Daddy!"

Over the years, Dad and I were not always close. I was young and stupid, and couldn't see how my Dad could know what was good for me. Luckily, that changed a lot as I got older. We finally got to the point where we actually talked about things. Great day!

The first time I shook my Dad's hand was when he drove me to the bus leaving for basic training. I asked my Dad to stand as my best man the first time I got married. I named my first born son after my Dad. He was a good man!

I would sure like to sit with him for a bit and share a cup of coffee,as he was a big coffee drinker as well! I'd like to ask him to share his thoughts on all that's going on today! I'm pretty sure that I know what most of his answers would be. After all, I am his son.

One thing I know without a doubt! If he were here, he would join us in reaffirming his Oath, he would be a Prepper in the truest sense of the word. In other words, my Dad would still be a patriot! As long as I knew him, he was true to his family, true to his friends, and true to his Country! My Father was a good man, a good friend to me, and a good American!

I miss him...a lot!

Now, let's get another cup of coffee, my friend! We can sit on the patio and toast to my Dad...God Bless Him!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Politics Are Bad For You...!

Most of us already know that politics can mess with your head and take the simplest things and complicate them completely beyond understanding.

Now I have actual proof that engaging in politics is extremely bad for your health. I have suspected this for some time, but when you find pictures that validate those beliefs it can be shocking! I must warn you that these pictures are NOT for the feint of heart or for those with weak stomachs...

Now what you are seeing here in the first picture is Arnie before politics, when he was still just a body builder! The following picture shows poor Arnie after the movies, the marriage, and the involvement in politics.

It would appear that we were right from the beginning! Politics are BAD for ya! In fact, they are harmful not only for people on the receiving end of the "help" from the politicians, but it would appear that they are unhealthy for those involved as well!

I just wanted to point this fact out to you this morning, OK? Now I don't know about you, but I'm in need of a fresh cup of coffee for sure!

Should we vote on it?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Let Me Mess With Your Head...!

Just to clear the cobwebs caused by all the stress of the past week!

I know that we have all had a lot to process, to ponder, to pretend that we understand. Our minds get foggy with the issues forced upon us by the mainstream media and the talking heads. If we are going to have to listen to double talk and get our brains all twisted up in a knot all week, them we might as well use the weekend to untwist and unwind a bit!

In order to assist all of my fellow twistees in becoming untwisted and unfogged, I decided that this morning instead of having cartoons, we should have a little bit of fun activity for our brains...or maybe I should say, with our brains!

So, ready or we go! Enjoy!

If one doctor doctors another doctor, does the doctor who doctors the doctor doctor the doctor the way the doctor he is doctoring doctors? Or does he doctor the doctor the way the doctor who doctors doctors?

I thought a thought. But the thought I thought wasn't the thought I thought I thought.

I need not your needles, they're needless to me;
For kneading of noodles, 'twere needless, you see;
But did my neat knickers but need to be kneed,
I then should have need of your needles indeed.

Betty Botter had some butter,
"But," she said, "this butter's bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,it would make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter--that would make my batter better."

So she bought a bit of butter,
better than her bitter butter,
and she baked it in her batter,
and the batter was not bitter.
So 'twas better Betty Botter
bought a bit of better butter.

The soldiers shouldered shooters on their shoulders!

I think that's enough to get us started! Mind feeling a little less muddled yet? Are you a little less twisted, mind-wise? I thought that would do the trick!

Now let's get another cup of coffee and sit on the patio for a while, my friend!

Friday, May 1, 2009

A New Start, A New Season...!

You know, like all of the celebrations we have in modern times, the modern day celebrations of the 1ST of May come from long ago.

When I was a kid in grade school (a 100 years ago) we used to have to dance around the Maypole while holding long ribbons tied to the top. At the end of the dance, the Maypole would be all wrapped up. I believe this little festival was called "May fete" or something akin to that!

For all I know, we could have been engaging in some type of pagan ritual or something! Not that there would have been anything necessarily wrong with that, but the thing is...I don't ever remember anyone teaching us any history behind what we were doing.

Anyway, we had fun, got to dance for the parents, dress in costumes ( I don't remember what kind) and best of all...didn't have classes for the rest of the day!

Now you know that the Hermit's mind is a vast warehouse of totally useless trivia, and I thought I would astound you with a bit of trivia about May 1ST over the years! OK, I didn't get it from my memory, but stole it from the Old Farmers Almanac!

It's true that my memory is like a vast warehouse, unfortunately that warehouse is mostly empty! Anyway, here are some interesting happenings from prior Mays...hope you enjoy this!

May 1, 1707 Great Britain formed

May 1, 1830Birth of labor activist Mary “Mother” Jones

May 1, 1931 The Empire State Building was dedicated in New York City

May 1, 1950 Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize

May 1, 1961 Harper Lee won Pulitzer Prize for her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird

May 1, 1967 Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas

That's all the dates I'm gonna give you for now. After all, this is NOT a cram session for a test or anything, but merely is for information purposes, OK?

Now , MAY (pun intended) I suggest that we get a fresh cup of coffee and adjourn to the patio, my friend?