Friday, October 29, 2010

FEED YOUR FACE: Yummy dry rub

OK. Even if winter is on the way you can still cook on your outdoor grill. Just bundle yourself up, and have at it.

If you do not want to be out in the cold watching the grill, you can still get that BBQ taste.

Here is a recipe for an all-around rub for just about any kind of meat you want to cook, and it is quite good. Here is what you need:

  • 3/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarse salt, either kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne

This makes about 2-cups of rub.

Mix everything thoroughly in a bowl. Store it in a jar or a good shaker-jar with a tight flip-up lid. And keep in a cool dark pantry close at hand. Once you try it, I think that you will use it on just about all of the meats that you cook.

It is good on chicken, brisket, ribs, pork chops, and beef. Also on any game meat.

Just shake it out on the meat, rub it all over, then let it set for about 20 minutes before you cook it up.

So, smack your lips, and feed your face!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Haunted Horse Barn: Part III

As the soldier ran off into the night, the doctor ran to the other soldier, but it was no use. He was dead. The doctor said that he would go back to town and raise the alarm about the other soldier, and said he would also send someone out to pick up the dead soldier.

As the doctor left, the ranch owner ran to the house to check on his family. All was well within his home, so he started to pack up some food and get into heavier clothing. His wife asked about what was going on and he answered her with one word: MURDER! He told her to keep a gun handy and to not let the girls out of her sight. He then told her what had happened, and that there would be a group of men at the ranch shortly. They were going after the soldier that ran off.

As he made his way to get a rope for a horse. He heard the sound of men on horseback making their way into the yard. They were all armed and looked very determined. They were all were asking questions at one time. He ignored them as he saddled his horse. As he mounted up, one of the men said that he had spotted the runaway soldier's footprints in the snow, and that they went north, up behind the ranch.

As they headed out they thought that it would not take long to find him, get him taken into town, and put in jail.

As they rode through the moonlight, it was easy to see the soldier's tracks through the snow. On they rode. After 2 or 3 miles they thought that they should have caught up to him, but the tracks went on. They could see now that the tracks were bloody; the man had no boots, just rags on his feet. They could see in the moonlight that his tracks were headed up over a nearby hill.

They kicked their animals into a gallop. As they raced up the hill, they heard a loud scream. Men pulled revolvers from pockets and holsters, others pulled rifles from scabbards.

As they topped out on the hill they spread out and stopped. Before them was an open snow-covered plain, and no tracks from the soldier. They searched all over for at least a mile around and could not come up with hide nor hair of the missing soldier. They searched until sun-up. Nothing was found.

The men headed back to town, with questions unanswered. The rancher, tired and cold, went back to his ranch. They held an inquest in town a few days later. The soldier that was lost in the snow was charged with murder. The soldier that died in the barn was buried, and there was no one at the funeral.

The other soldiers that had gone up on the Gore? Well, no one knows to this day what happened to them. They never found a trace of them anywhere on the Gore.

The rancher, after all of this, went on with his life, but said that he had a hard time bringing animals into the barn after that.

His oldest girl had been milking a cow in the barn and heard footsteps behind her. When she turned around, there was no one there.

He said that he had more mice and rats than normal in the barn and, at times, when he was in the barn he felt that he was being watched. His wife refused to go into the barn and finally confessed to her husband that she had gone to the barn one evening to get some oil for the kitchen lamp and while she was there she heard footsteps and a man moaning. She than told him that she turned around and saw, lying in the stall, the soldier that died there.

So, this has gone on all of these years. My cousins have said that they have seen the dead soldier in the barn several times, and that he always shows up just before the end of October. There are still blood stains on the floor where the soldier died.

He also shows up in town, where they held the inquest, and out at the cemetery where he is buried. When he shows himself, he is in a ragged uniform and is trying to hold his belly closed with one hand. He seems to be pleading with the other.

I can remember when I helped clean out the stalls in the barn one of my cousins would point to the floor and say, "That's where he died." And, sure enough, there is a big stain on the floor. On some fall nights on October when it is clear and the moon is out you can hear what sounds like a scream off in the distance.

Now years later, I am grown. The last time I was in the barn, I was about 16 or so. I had stopped by the ranch to see it again. The people that run it now are running it for some rich guy from California. The stain was still on the floor. And now that I am older, I can't say for sure what the stain is.

I never did get to see the soldier in all the years we went to the ranch, but I have heard the scream at several different times of the year, so it could be that it happens more often than just in October. I can't really tell what is is. It does not sound like any animal that I have ever heard.

Some years back, while my uncle still had the ranch, my cousins were herding cattle up on Gore pass. One of them found a cavalry belt buckle, and another one found a brass piece off of a cavalry saddle. My aunt just told me about this a few days ago when I took her and my Dad up on the Gore. Could it be from the lost soldiers that went up on the Gore all those years ago? And whatever happened to the soldier that ran off that night? I have never heard if anything was ever found. To this day I have not been able to find the soldier's grave in the town cemetery.

So, how much of this story is true? And, what of the ghost?

And the reason for the sheriff to be at the ranch that late afternoon with the siren on was because he was on his way out to the town reservoir where someone had supposedly driven their jeep into the reservoir, which just happens to be on the ranch. He wanted to know if Fay had seen anyone drive past the house in that direction. Fay said that they did not find anything up there except some drunk kids messing around with an old jeep they had bought.

I have personally seen the stains on the barn floor and heard the screams. My cousins found items from the cavalry, and my aunt has confirmed it.

So.... You be the judge.
And have a great Halloween every one

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Haunted Horse Barn - Part II

As soon as the sheriff stopped, Fay walked up to the car door and the sheriff rolled down his window. They talked for a few minutes, neither man smiling or looking too friendly. The sheriff nodded to Fay, started up his car, backed it up several feet, and turned it around and drove down the same road he came in on, kicking up dirt and dust.

We asked Fay what the sheriff wanted and Fay just gave us this funny look and reminded us it was just a few days until Halloween. Stories were going around town. Steve, Bill, and Andy gave each other a look of knowing what Fay was talking about. I, on the other hand, had no frigging idea what they were talking about.

As we headed back into the house the phone was ringing. It was my aunt. She was going to be much later getting back to the ranch than she thought. She and Uncle Fay talked for several minutes in hushed and whispering voices. As they did Uncle Fay kind of looked around the house real fast as if looking for something. And I took notice that my cousins were not in the room with us. So I went looking for them around the house. I found them in Steve's bedroom upstairs. They looked at me when I entered the room and stopped talking. I asked them what was going on, and asked why everyone was acting so funny. They looked at one another, then at me.

Steve set me on his bed and knelt down so that we were at eye level. He asked me point blank if I was afraid of ghosts. I looked at them and said that I had never seen a ghost before, so I would not know if I was afraid of one. They all kind of laughed a little, and then Steve gave me a nudge with his elbow. He closed his bedroom door, sat next to me, and put on a serious face.

The story goes that back sometime in the 1800's that some soldiers had come through Kremmling on their way up to the Gore Range. They came through on horseback and had several pack animals with them that were loaded down pretty heavy. No one knows why they were headed up on the Gore. The reason had long-been forgotten. As they made their way out of town, they headed off in the direction of the ranch. When they arrived they asked for the owner to guide them where they needed to go.

I do not know who owned or ran the ranch before my uncle, but the owner said that he could not help them and pointed the direction they needed to go in. So the soldiers left and made their way out of the valley.

Several days had gone by when, one night, the ranch owner had a knock at his door. When he opened the door, there stood two of the soldiers, bloody and ragged, one without boots but rags on his feet. The other had a gash on his head with frozen blood matted in his hair and a bullet wound in his shoulder. They didn't say anything, but just looked at the ranch owner. The one with rags on his feet started to make his way through the door and left bloody footprints on the porch in the snow. The ranch owner looked beyond these two to see if anybody else was with them, but he did not see a soul.

The moon was bright that night, and Steve said that the ranch owner would not let them in because he had several daughters in the house. So he helped them out to the barn and helped get them bedded down. The barn was snug and warm.

The ranch owner was afraid to go to town to get the doctor because he would have to leave his daughters at the ranch alone. He did not trust the two men in his barn. After several hours his wife talked him into locking the doors to the barn so he could then make his way to town for help. That is what he did. As he and the doctor made their way back to the ranch they wondered about and talked of what had become of the rest of the soldiers. When they got back to the ranch, they went right to the barn and the owner unlocked the doors. As he lit a extra lamp by the door, there was a god-awful scream coming from one of the stalls.

As they made their way in, they saw that the soldier with the frozen feet had taken a knife to the other one and had slit him open from the belt line up to his neck. He then lunged at the two of them, nearly catching the doctor with the blade. He then ran past them and out into the night.

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Haunted Horse Barn - Part I

Well, the day was just like any other on the ranch. Feed the live stock, water the horses, and clean the barn. God, I hate to clean the barn. My cousins hate it also. And seeing how I was the smallest and the youngest, I got talked into sweeping out the stalls and putting down some new straw. My cousins said that they would do the rest of the barn later.

As I was sweeping and sneezing from all the dust, my uncle showed up and wanted to know where the boys were and why they were not cleaning the barn. So I told him our deal, and that Steve, Bill, and Andy would clean up the rest after I got done with the stalls. Uncle Fay just turned around and stormed off. I went on with my sweeping. Now, I'm sure some of you know how dirty a barn can be. And it seemed that we were all always playing in the the stalls, in the hay loft, in the tack room, and in the grain room.

Sometimes it can get pretty spooky in the barn, you know, creaks and moans, rustling in the stalls, weird noies in the loft. Things just seem to happen there. But at night you could not get me to go near the place for anything.

Well, after cleaning the stalls and putting things away, I thought that I was done. So I tried to turn out the light, which was too high for me to reach. I crawled up on a grain barrel and leaned in towards the wall when all of a sudden the lid on the barrel slipped to one side and down I went. Man! My boots filled up with grain, my pockets filled up with grain, and all the dust from the grain got in my nose. I must have sneezed a hundred times. The whole time I was trying to get out of this 50 gallon barrel.

I finally got out and managed to get the bigest part of the grain out of my pockets and emptied my boots back into the barrel. All of a sudden Uncle Fay was there in the doorway. I must have looked quite the site. He started to chuckle, then started to really laugh. He told me to head for the house and get ready for dinner and that he would close up the barn and turn off the light.

So, away I went towards the house.

My aunt wasn't home at the time. She was at my great grandparents house in town, but would be back later to fix supper. So I went into the dinning room and picked up a bunch of comic books. Course, I wasn't quite old enough to read yet, but I could look at the pictures and make out what the story was about. Pretty soon my cousins came in and we all just sat around and read comics. Uncle Fay came in and sat at the kitchen table, lit up a smoke, and started to read the paper.

The phone rang and Fay answered it. He got a funny look on his face, and said that he would meet them outside. As he hung up, Steve wanted to know who had called. Uncle Fay said that it was the sheriff. He walked towards the door. We, of course, followed him. As we sat outside waiting, we could hear sirens in the distance. Pretty soon the sheriff pulled up in his car.

Come back tomorrow to hear the rest of this story.

Monday, October 25, 2010


" Food is our common ground, a universal experience."
James Beard
American chef and food writer

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FEED YOUR FACE: Baby Back Ribs

Dinner last night was really good. Kathi made some 'tater salad and I smoked up some ribs.

Course, to be honest about the ribs, they had been pre-cooked. No matter. I took the two racks of ribs and did a dry rub on them, then wrapped them in plastic wrap and left 'em in the fridge overnight.

The next day (yesterday), I removed them from the fridge and let them set. Once they were at room tempature I then went out and cranked up the smoker. I set the tempature on the smoker to 220 degrees then placed the ribs on the rib rack. Closed the lid and went and laid in the hammock and enjoyed some of our nice fall weather.

After two hours I went and checked on the ribs. MMM MMM!! Did they look good! I smoked them for those two hours because I like a really good smokey flavor on the meat. Now if I had started with the meat being raw, I would of smoked them for about six hours, at 200 degrees or so.

If you have a smoker, you can smoke the meat before cooking and still have that smokey flavor. Like, if you are going to do a roast, rub the roast with a dry rub of your likeing, then you can place the roast in the smoker for 15 minutes or so for a light smoke flavor, or leave it in for a while longer for a more smokey flavor. Then remove it from the smoker and place it in a pan and finish cooking it in your oven.

Or you can leave your roast in the smoker and let it cook and smoke. It about 20 minutes per pound. And if it is not done well enough, let it stay in the smoker for a few more hours. Now when you pull the meat out of the smoker let it set for about 10 minutes. When you slice it up, you will see how about and inch or so on the outside part of the meat is a different color than the rest. That is the smoke ring.

When smoking meat, I never turn the meat. Also, if it has fat on it trim it back but leave some on the meat. After the dry rub you can put it right on the smoker or rub it the night before you smoke it. When you place it in the smoker you want the fat side up. As the fat renders down while it is smoking and cooking it will add to the flavor of the meat.

So, that's a fast lesson on smoking meat.

Our meal was great and we only left half a rack untouched. Well, gotta have something for lunch the next day, right? Maybe I can talk the wife into sharing. Maybe.

So if you got a smoker, use it this fall and winter. And feed your face!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I found this information about pan sizes while going through some old recipes of my grandmother's. I never thought about it before, but it might come in handy to know.
  • 8-inch pie pan holds 2 cups.
  • 9-inch pie pan holds 1 qt.
  • 8-inch square pan holds 2 qt.
  • 9-inch square pan holds 2 1/2 qt.
  • 9 x 5 x 2 inch loaf pan holds 2 qt.
  • 9 x 5 inch pan holds 1 1/2 qt.
  • 10 x 6 inch pan holds 3 1/2 qt.
  • 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan holds 3 1/2 qt., and
  • 10 inch bundt pan holds 1 qt.
I don't know if she used this or not, but like I said it might come in handy someday. Or you could dazzle your friends with this info. Who knows? I just thought it was of interest.

So when your feeding your face you can have and idea of how much your eating. (Like I worry about how much I eat!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

FEED YOUR FACE: Baked Salmon Recipe

Here is a tasty recipe for Fall. Even nicer if you can go fishing and catch the salmon yourself.

  • 4 salmon fillets, 5 to 6 oz each
  • 1/2 large orange, zest and juice only
  • 1/2 large lemon, juice only
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder- use less if you do not want it to spicey
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a shallow dish (but large enough to hold the salmon), combine the juices, salt and pepper. Add the salmon, turning to coat with the marinade.

Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, turning the fillets once.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line a shallow baking pan with aluminum foil and grease with a little of the melted butter.

In a small dish, combine the orange zest, brown sugar, chilli powder and minced garlic.

Rub the marinated salmon with the brown sugar mixture. Place in the pan and drizzle with the remaining melted butter.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes.

Man this is yummy for the tummy! This will work for a lot of different types of fish. Serve it up with some rice, and corn bread and you got a meal that will knock your socks off.

The first time, I had this was at a family gathering of a friend of mine. His grandmother was from Cuba. And it was her birthday. Man! The food was great, the music was great, and they had this punch..... I think I might have it written some where. But that is a story for some other time.

So enjoy, And feed your face!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Inspiration never arrived when you were searching for it." -- Lisa Alther, American Novelist

Friday, October 15, 2010


OK, friends at were talking about green tomatoes yesterday. And now I'm wanting some fried green tomatoes. It is driving me bonkers.

They also talked about green tomato mince pie. Never heard of it, but I am willing to try it. Since I cannot have real mince pie or pecan pie. (nut allergy) So now I am on the hunt for some green tomatoes.

Maybe we still have a few on the vine in the back yard. Maybe I will slice a few, and dry them to use on pizza later this winter also.

Also, put a smile on your face. Its Friday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


This is a true story. It was told to me by my Uncle Fay. It takes place up on the Gore, above Kremmling, Colorado. I, myself, have not seen this, but I have heard it from other people also around the area.

Uncle Fay used to own a large ranch up in Kremmling, right out side of the town limits. And also had a lot of land up on the Gore above the ranch. And as you know, my sister and I use to spend a lot of our summers on the ranch. There are a lot of stories of ghosts and such all around this area.

Uncle Fay raised a lot of beef on this ranch, and had a hard time keeping track of all his cows. When this took place, he was up on the Gore looking for some of his cows. The area he was in had some real old growth pine trees. Now, there is one real old tree that has been hit by lighting who knows how long ago. And it is at this tree that Uncle Fay has come to look for his cows. He tells me that he was up there at about 5 PM in the afternoon, and was having a hard time finding cows, when all of a sudden, his truck quit running. Said it was like someone just shut it off. And he could not get it to re start.

Seeing as it was cold out and starting to get dark, he decided that instead of trying to walk back to the ranch, he would just sleep in the truck if need be.
So, Fay kept trying to start the truck about every hour or so, with no luck.
Fay told me that at about 2:30 or 2:45 AM, he woke up cold and tried to start the truck again, with no luck, when he suddenly thought that he saw something out the rearview mirror.

As he truned to look, someone knocked on the driver's-side door, and when he turned his head to look out the side window, there was no one to be seen. So he got out of the truck, walked all the way around it and didn't see a thing. As he was getting back in the truck, he said that he saw a blue light over by the big old pine tree.

Fay said that the light did not seem to be from a flashlight, and that it was a dark blue light that seemed to be setting on the ground. As he aproched the blue light, it moved to the other side of the tree. And as he got close to it, it seemed to stay about 10 feet from him. As he turned to go back to the truck to see if he had a flashlight, the light vanished. When he got to the truck, he heard what sounded like a voice saying, "Why are you here?"

Now it takes a hell of a lot to scare Fay, and this really had him going. He turned around real fast in the direction of the voice, and there in front of him, about 10 feet away, are all of these little lights. Blue, green, red, yellow, orange, and purple. And they are floating in the air, and moving around one another!
Uncle Fay is about to flip; he has no idea what these are, or where they are coming from.

Fay runs to the truck and tries to start it, but now the battery is dead -- it won't start. He doesn't even have a dome light. As he sets and watches, all of these little lights are flying around his truck, and around the old tree. Fay told me that by this time, he counted at least 25 of these lights.

At some point, he fell asleep in the cab of the truck. When he woke up, he said the first thing he did was to set up slowly, it was still dark out, and when he tried the truck, it started right up. He decided that he would send one of my cousins up to look for the cows, he wanted to get the hell off of the mountain, and get home.

So he drove home and told my cousins Steve, Bill, and Andy what had happened. And of course they laughed and picked on him about it for awhile, Until it happened to them.

None of them like to go up around this tree to this day. I have taken Kathi to it several times, and have pictures and everything. Its a neat place to go and the old tree is huge, it has rocks in its bark. And the view from up around the tree is great. I have not spent the night up there... yet. But I'm going to.

I am taking a camera and several flash lights, just in case.

Nobody knows what they are; but, people still talk about them to this day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This can be fun for kids, too, with mom or dad helping out.

Put the number of eggs you want to eat in a ziplock bag. Seal tight and squeeze to scramble.

Open the bag, add all the fixings for an omelette -- cheese, ham, peppers, bacon bits, salt and pepper. Anything that makes you happy. Put all in the ziplock bag, reseal it, and squeeze it some more to mix all the ingrediants.

Let out all the air that you can in the bag or you will get water in your eggs. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then place your bag in the boiling water. Let it boil for 20 minutes.

There you have it! You can eat right out of the bag or dump out on a plate.

We used to do this on camping, fishing and hunting trips when I was a little kid. I thought I was so grown up that I made my own eggs. You can mix these up before you head out on your next mountain trip. They stay good in your cooler for several days. Just mark what you put in your eggs on the bag.

So, enjoy and feed your face!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Days like this

Days like this remind me of riding the high country. Camping out by horseback, setting in front of a roaring camp fire. The aspens in all the golds, reds, and oranges. And a breeze with a bite that makes you scrunch down more into your coat. The beaver ponds have ice around the edges. And as you look up to the higher mountains and see a dusting of snow, you hear an elk bugle in the distance.

The sun is just starting its trek across the sky. It is time to finish that last cup of coffee and eat that last biscuit with bacon. The frosted grass crunches under your boots as you make your way over to the corral. Time to pick a mount and saddle up. You pick out a little paint, and watch as she tosses her head. You can see her breath on the wind. As you saddle up, a few others come to get their mounts also. These men that you ride with have had years of experience with cows and ranching. I, being the green horn, am teased and picked on a bit. But it is all in good fun.

As we mount up, the orders are given of who rides with who. I am to ride with one of the old hands from the ranch. The man I ride beside is so at ease in the saddle as we make our way through the trees. He rolls a smoke and lights up. As we wander along, he asks me how I like this job of playing cowboy. I try to not sound too excited as I answer, "I love it! It is something I have always dreamed of."

As we make our way along we spot a few cows and I am told to go around on the right side of the cows, but don't spook them. We circle the cows and turn them around to go back the way we came. This old cowboy tells me that I am doing fine, and might have a future as a cowboy. The sun is up higher now as we make our way back towards camp, when we come across five more cows. The old cowboy and I gather them up and keep on moving along. Along the way we run into a few of the other cowboys with cattle that they have found. We bunch them all up together, and push on towards camp.
A couple of the cowboys start to rib me again about being a greenhorn. I just smile and take it. The old cowboy tells them that I'm doing a whiz-bang job and that I am pulling my own weight. They all hush. It seems that the old cowboy has final say about things on this round up. As we round a bend, we see a few brook trout break and jump in a beaver pond. The old cowboy says that we will come back and catch a few for lunch, and looks at me with a wink.

We hit camp and push the cows to a holding pen. We can see several cow trucks setting with the motors running. One is already backed up to the cow shoot and is ready to be loaded. Along with the crisp air is now the smell of diesel fuel, cows, horses, and campfire. The loading does not take long. We are sent back out to get more cattle.

Now, this old cowboy has been around my uncle's ranch for many years. He seemed like he was old when I first met him years ago. He seems to be stuck at the same age as when I first saw him oh so many years ago when I was a little kid. He lived on the ranch in one of the old bunk houses next to the big house. He always had a smile on his face. And when he smiled it was with his whole face. Wrinkles that were always there just seemed to get deeper every time he would smile, and he had the brightest blue eyes I had ever seen. He wore an old cowboy hat that had seen better days and boots that had to be as old as he was, a faded green shirt with patches on the elbows. His Levi's were as faded as his shirt.

Sometimes I heard my uncle say that old Joe came with the ranch.

So, as we went back out to find some more cows, Joe started to talk to me. He told me about how he had worked on ranches all his life, and that there was no other thing that he would ever want to do. And how he had been married five times. Three of his wives had left him cause they could not handle ranch life, one had died, and the other ran off with some other cowboy. He didn't seem bitter or angry. He said, "it is what it is."

After a while we ran into about 20 head of cows eating grass and milling around a beaver pond. Joe got down off his horse, fumbled around in his saddle bag, and brought out a tin can with some fishing line wrapped around it.

Joe sat on the bank and rolled a smoke, unwound his fishing line, and tossed the line into the pond. It wasn't more than 30 seconds and he pulled out a nice brook trout. He caught seven nice trout. He told me that his fishing rig was something they use to use when he was a kid.

His fishing rig consisted of a soup can, fishing line wrapped around the can (it had about 25 feet of line on it), some hooks kept in a tobacco bag on some cardboard that he would stuff in the can. He used what ever he could find for bait, and today he used a gum wrapper. He would kind of jiggle it through the water. I tried years later to catch fish with a gum wrapper lure at the same beaver pond and had no luck. (But I have caught fish this way.)

He finished up with his fishing, put away his fishing rig, and climbed back up in the saddle. He handed me the willow stick that held the fish, and we picked our way around the cows and headed them towards the camp. When we arrived back at camp there were more trucks.

Joe took the fish from me and gave them to my aunt, who was being our cook and nursemaid if we needed one.

No one got hurt that day. It seemed that I spent a week in the saddle. I don't know how many cows were rounded up. My aunt made us some great meals. And the other cowboys finally accepted me like I was one of their own.

Who would have thought that a kid of ten would get to be a real cowboy on a real roundup.

I think of that four days now more than I used to. Old Joe is long gone. So is the horse that I rode. The ranch is gone also, but where it all took place it is still there. I have gone back countless times over the years. I have brought friends and loved ones there, and even buried a four legged friend by the name of Jessie there (who used to go with me whenever I went there).

The beaver ponds are still there, teeming with fish. And so are the memories. The trails are there and someone else runs cows on the land. The land has changed, but hasn't changed, if you know what I mean. I try to see things as I did back as a child. The wonder of the colors on the aspens, the sound of a creek. the sound and smell of an open fire. The creak of a saddle under you, the smell of the pines. And yes the smell of cows, horses, and frost on the wind.

Some things are meant to change. I just wish that I would have or could have changed things back then. When I was a child, all I ever wanted to be was a cowboy. A real cowboy. To be able to work on a ranch and live that style of life. But if I had, I would not know the people that I now know and love.

I think of those times on fall days like this. And I am glad that I have people that I can share it with today. I also thank my aunt, uncle, cousins, old Joe, and my parents for letting my dream be real, if only for a few summers all those years ago.

Monday, October 11, 2010


"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life asby the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." -- Booker T. Washington, American author, educator and black leader

Friday, October 8, 2010

FEED YOUR FACE: For a Cool Fall Meal.

Here is a simple meal to do for one of those crisp fall nights or if you're in a hurry to get to work and don't know what to do for dinner.

Buy some Polska Kielbasa, or Brats -- beef or whatever you like.

Also do not forget to get some crock pot liners and you will need a jar of sauerkraut.

We use beef kielbasa, 'cause that's what we like, and 1qt of our favorite sauerkraut.

Get out your crockpot, put in a liner, place the kielbasa in the crockpot and then dump the whole jar, or if you don't care that much for 'kraut, use only half the jar.

Place the lid on pot and you're ready to turn it on in the morning and head out the door.

Turn it on low and walk away. By the time you get home it's time to set the table and dish it up. The meat will be fork-tender and the flavors will have blended.

I hope you like this. It is easy to make and with the liner you have easy clean up.

When we have this at our house there are no leftovers.

So enjoy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Well, after cleaning the patio it's lunch time.

So I cranked up our smoker grill and put on some beanie weenies and a hot dog.

After only took about 20 minutes or so, and I was in hog heaven and feeding my face.

Of course I saved some beanie weenies for the wife. She loves them too.


This is a little late of a post for Thursday.

Today I was starting to clean up the patio for my wife. She is having some family members over for a few drinks and munchies of some kind on Friday night.

I started to sweep and move things around, and had to move one of my grills out of the way. (You know how us guys are about our grills.) Well, as I was moving it, I decided that I would clean it up a bit also just in case they would like me to grill them something.

So, now the patio is on hold. As I was taking the cover off I thought that I would only need to change the foil in the bottom. WELL, that just wasn't going to get it. As I removed the tray I saw all of this real fine ash.

This grill runs on and burns wood pellets. It is made by TRAEGER, a bbq grill and smoker all rolled in to one, and it makes some real fine BarBQ. Anyway, here is all of this fine ash. So I go and get out my shop vac, plug it in, turn it on, and go to town sucking up all the ash.

I guess I should have checked the vac first.

I had loaned it to someone in the family, like a year or so ago, and had not used it since. When I cranked it up, I had the shop vac behind me. I was really going to town on the ash when I just happened to look up and see this REAL FINE cloud of ash coming out of the shop vac.

Now there is fine ash ALL over the patio, chairs, tables, planters, me, and our dog Nugget. And he is setting on the patio, covered in all of this fine ash and looking at me, like," what the $%%$ are you doing!" Nugget is yellow lab and golden retreivier mix; he is 9 years old.

So now I have a bigger mess to clean up, plus the dog. There are now footprints from me and from the dog, plus one butt print (from the dog, not me) on the patio floor.

I took some pictures to show.

The rubber seal for the lid on the shop vac is missing, and it is not in the bottom of the vac.

Lesson for the day: When you check out stuff that you loan out, don't take it for granted that it will be returned the same way you lent it out. I loaned it out to my brother-in-law, and he used it to suck up water from a leak they had last year. Check stuff out before using your own stuff when it comes back.

I hope you all have a better day then I'm having this afternoon.

HHMM. Maybe I'll grill something for lunch today. Then clean the patio.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Years ago, when I was about 10 years old, my grandparents had a family reunion (on my granddad's side of the family). We called my granddad Pappy.

Now I just happened to be spending the weekend with Pappy and grandmother. You know how it is staying with grandparents. Great food. Late curfew, late night TV, and -- did I mention? --great food. Also there are stories of when they were young and on the farm or out chasing cows and working ranches.

Well Pappy's relatives showed up Saturday morning. And, I'm like, who the hell are these people!? I don't know them. Pappy was all excited. I guess he hadn't seen these people in awhile. In fact, he said, it had been about 20 some odd years. He never talked about any of them, so to me they were stangers. My dad showed up, and he didn't know who they were either.

So my grandmother talked my dad into staying and wanted him to cook lunch on the grill. So he and I ran off to the store to get stuff for hot dogs, hamburgers, and all the stuff you need to pull off a good BarBQ. While we were in the store, I asked him who these people were. He said, "I don't know who the hell they are, I've never seeen them , or heard Pappy talk about them."

So after getting all we needed at the store, away to grandmother's house we went. When we got back, my dad started up the grill and grandmother made up the hamburger patties. I had to help set up the tables and put out paper plates and plastic silver ware. (I still do not why you call plastic forks, spoons, and them flimsy little knives silverware.)

While all of this is going on, Pappy is talking up a blue streak with all of his relatives. After about 20 some odd minutes of him flapping his gums, (thats one of Pappy's sayings) he announced that he had to go to the bathroom. So up he jumped with his smoking pipe in his hand and headed for the house. (Never could figure out why he had to smoke while using the bathroom, unless it was to mask certain odors.)

Pappy was gone for about 5 minutes and came back out to take his seat. And of course, as a 10 year old, the first thing I noticed is that his pants are unzipped. Before I can say a word to him, this kid who is like 18 or so shouted out, "PAPPY! Your barn door is open. Your mule is going to get out!"

Now, as a relative, would you shout something like that out to your family member when there are others around that you do not know all that well or just met for the first time?

Pappy didn't miss a step or blink a eye, but responed right back to this kid (I guess he was a cousin or something). Pappy said, pretty loud, "Damn mule can't get out if it can't get up."

My dad dropped the burger he was flipping, grandmother spilled iced tea all over the table, and I tripped over a chair. I think one of his older relatives swallowed his chew! And everybody just burst out laughing.

Now, how often have you embarassed grown ups when you were a kid? And when you did, didn't you catch hell about it? And here I was, with all of these grown-ups, and my face is as red as a fire truck. Now, I knew about the saying "your barn door is open," and most people, when you say that to them, look down and zip up, never giving you any kind of response.

But, oh no, not my grandfather. And whenever we said that as kids we never had anybody respond. I guess no one could come up with anything to say. But now! Now I had an answer to "your barn door is open."

Come to think of it, you know, I got to see a lot of the inside of the office at school for that one!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Did any of you ladies out there ever have one of those batons that you twirl when you were little? You know, the kind with the big rubber knob on one end, and a smaller one on the other end. Did any of you get good at twirling it?

One of my sisters had one, and she could kind of twirl it with one hand. But she couldn't do diddly with it in the other hand, so it did not get used much. It sat in the garage collecting dust.

Until one day.

We decided to play basball and could not find the bat. We had a tennis ball and mitts, but NO bat. Now I do not remember which one of us came up with the idea to use the baton as a bat. (In our family we always came up with a way to make up games that no one has heard of.)

Now outside of our back yard is this HUGE field and the back fence with no gate to the field. So instead of taking our game to the field we decided to play in our own backyard. Our dad was in the kitchen of our house and could see us from the kitchen window.

We picked out where 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base was. Our field was set, small as it was. My sister decided that SHE was going to be the first to bat. What could I do? She was the oldest and bigger than me. Plus there were only the two us us at the time to play.

So up to home plate she went. Home plate was a paper plate that we nailed to the yard with a huge nail that we used as one of the tent stakes for the family tent. My dad never could seem to have all the tent stakes when he needed them. (He seemed to lose lots of things over the years after we got a hold of them.)

My sister took her stance and I pitched -- or more like threw -- the ball her way. I was not trying to hit her, but if it did she would take her base after chasing me down. She set on me and took her middle knuckle and rapped me in the center of my chest about a dozen times. Now with just the two of us playing, she had first base and goes back to bat again.

I rubbed my chest and this time heaved the ball at her. It's a line drive right to me! I caught the tennis ball. . . right to the crotch.

I grabbed myself and the ball and squeaked that she was out.

Now, our dad has been watching all of this through the kitchen window. Does he ask if my chest hurts from the rapping she gave me? Nope, he never saw it. BUT he did see me catch the line drive and wanted to know if I am okay then tells me to walk it off (as if I can even stand up straight).

Now it is my turn at bat. You would think that when you use a baton for a bat you would have the big knob at the top and the small knob at the bottom, as how that is what my sister did.

I had the big knob at the top for more weight on the tip as a bat. I was gonna knock that tennis ball a full two backyards. I was ready. She threw the ball. Swing and a miss. Second ball, swing and a miss. Now I'm really mad and holler at her to throw it right. Seems every throw was to the wrong side. I'm left handed and she kept throwing it behind me. (I found out later that she was trying to hit me in the butt.)

Our dad, of course, hollers that if we can't play nice we can't play at all. We say okay. Next pitch: wind up. . . swing. IT'S A HIT! TWICE!

I hit the ball and it sailed over her head. She jumped up trying to catch it and the big knob came off the baton. She missed the ball as it went over her head and that BIG knob hit her right in the thigh and swept her feet right out behind her.

She screamed. I made it to 1st base. She was on the ground, still screaming, and I was almost to 2nd base. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something coming out the back door. It was our dad. I never made it to 3rd base. Instead, I cleared the back fence by about a foot. My dad had to slow down enough to make it over the fence. By the time he cleared the fence, I was on top of the hill in the field and was putting quite a bit of distance between me and my dad.

Now, my dad never did catch up to me. And it seems that I stayed out in that field for several hours. My sister came and got me later after the swelling went down on her leg. You know, that big knob from that baton left a big blue and purple bruise on her leg. Of course, she played it up like SHE was really hurt. HA! Bet it didn't hurt as much as the line drive I caught.

When I got home, I was read the riot act by our parents. You know, "YOU COULD HAVE REALLY HURT SOME ONE! YOU COULD HAVE PUT AN EYE OUT! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!"

Well, we thought it was a good idea. But we never did play baton ball again.

Go figure.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quote of the Week

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss


How about hush puppies? No, not the kind you wear on your feet. I'm talking about the kind that you put in your mouth.

I love hush puppies. They are good with more than just seafood. So lets get started.

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 egg

2 teaspoons bacon drippings, melted

1/3 finely chopped onion

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowel, and mix well.

Melt enough shortening in a skillet or deep fryer to completely cover the hush puppies.

Heat to a temp of 375F.

Drop batter by big spoonfuls (about 1 1/2 inchs in diameter) a few at a time into the hot oil and deep fry until crisp and golden brown, 2 - 3 minutes or so (please be careful not to burn yourself).

Drain on paper towels and serve.

Note: test your first hush puppy, fry until golden brown and cut in half. If not done, cook the others longer.

OK, Now these puppies are just plain good with just about anything. Soups, stews, crawdads, beans. Almost like eating corn bread, only smaller.

I use to take and put them in with my lunch when we went duck hunting. Makes a good little snack also.

So feed your face and family with these. And enjoy.