Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DID YOU KNOW? Baking Soda

Here are a few things for thought that might even come in handy.

It can be used as toothpaste and for foot powder. If you put 1/2 teaspoon in a cup of water you can make an antacid for when you have eaten too much or the wrong thing. And I've heard that it is also good for upset tummies. I remember my grandmother using this remedy.

It is also good for insect bites and stings. Make a paste of a little baking soda and a little bit of water. Put the paste on the sting or bite. Do not put it on real thick, 'cause if you do it will crack and fall off when it dries.

Use it on your body as a deodorant. You can put some in your coolers before you put them away for the winter so they'll be fresh when you get them out to use the next summer. Of course, if you are going to use your coolers all year, that might not be a good idea. You can use this on other food containers also.

Use it to clean your hands after cleaning fish, rabbits, or other critters. You can even sprinkle some baking soda in your canteens to get rid of that stale odor from them being stored all winter.

You can also make a home remedy for insect repellent. The pioneers used this, and Old Joe made several batches of it every summer.

It's called "Nessmuk Juice." It is made of:
3 oz pine tar
2 oz castor oil
1 oz pennyroyal oil
Old Joe use to "cook" this stuff up outside. Simmer over a low fire until it becomes like a paaste, then smear it on your body. Share it with your friends, 'cause if you don't, you won't have many left. Yep, it stinks just a bit, but it does keep the pesky things from biting you.

If your're out fishing and the others have not used this, they will all know where you are at all times. You might even have to move your tent down wind of them.

My sister and I had some of this stuff smeared on us by old Joe when he took us fishing for the day. We never got an insect bite, and we caught all kinds of brookies that day. When we got back to the ranch, though, we were not allowed in the house. We stripped down on the back porch and had to take a hot bath in a old wash tub.

But it really does work.

So, now ya know.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Quote of the week: 2/27/12

"There are moments of existence when time and space are more profound, and the awareness of existence is immensely heightened."

Charles Baudelaire,
French Poet

Friday, February 24, 2012

FEED YOUR FACE: Mountain Oysters

OK now, no belly aching. You should try things at least once, just to say you tried.

My great grandma, my grand mother, and grandfather handed me this recipe a long time ago. I will admit that, at first, I was NOT going to eat Mountain Oysters. But you know what? They do taste pretty darn good. So don't be a sissy! Give them a try.

So, here is how to fix them up.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
salt and pepper
garlic powder
vegetable oil
1 bottle of beer
1 dozen (ish) mountain oysters (fresh ones are the best, but you can use frozen if you need to)

Make the batter by mixing the flour, cornmeal, and beer. Season it with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Try to make the batter a little on the thick side.

Slice the oysters about 1/4 inch thick, then dip 'em in the batter. Cook them puppies in hot oil until medium crisp.

They are best if served while hot, and with a dipping sauce of your liking. I like to make a little sauce of ketchup with horseradish.

Now, I know that a lot of people won't try this. But, you should really be adventurous sometimes and try something new now and then. Or if you have a relative or someone that you are not really fond of, invite them over to watch a football game, baseball, or whatever and serve these up. Tell them that's all you have for munching on. They won't be coming back to soon to your house.

The first time I had these, was when I was a little kid. It was at Thanksgiving. I heard my grandparents talking about having oysters to snack on before we had our big meal. I had just discovered seafood. I love it all.

But, when they served up these oysters (and they were good), I was a little upset that they were not the oysters on the half shell like I had eaten before. They didn't taste like the fried oysters I'd had at the seafood place, and I said as much to my grandparents. You could have heard a pin drop. Papa and Pappy got up and left the kitchen. Mama hollered at them to come back in the kitchen and explain to me just what it was I was eating.

Papa grabbed his coat, and out the front door he went. Pappy,just didn't move fast enough. He came back into the kitchen, beet red, just about ready to bite his pipe in half. 'Course, I've been munching the whole time on these oysters. Pappy just looked at me and started laughing. Mama, giggled, and grandmother, beet red, giggled. Pretty soon the whole family was laughing.

And I just kept on eating them oysters.

It finally came down to my uncle who owned a ranch. He told me what the oysters were. I didn't believe him for one minute and I kept on eating them oysters. Then he asked me if I remembered being on the ranch last summer, and how they took some of the young bulls and had the vet checking on them. He reminded me that old Joe was there with his pocket knife out and the bucket next to him. I said that I remembered that. Well, my uncle asked, what do you think was in the bucket?

OH MY GOD! Them poor young bulls!

I really felt for them. I think I even cried a little at the time on the ranch. Well, they didn't get the reaction I think they thought they were going to get after eating about a half dozen or so and having decided that I liked them. We had them about every other Thanksgiving after that. I even got Mama to fix some up when I would go to her house. Papa and I would just wolf them down and Mama would have to make another batch, just so she could have some.

So, don't be a baby. As they used to say, "Try it, you'll like it." Whip up a batch and FEED YOUR FACE!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Yikes! I've been remiss on new followers. I want to thank you all for following my blog. It has gotten to the point that I have enough now that it is hard to thank you on a one on one basis. I apologize, because I do really appreciate your reading me and being here.

So, stop awhile, read a few stories and older blog posts. I kind of have a mesh mash of things here: stories (some true, some embellished), recipes, quotes, and sometimes a rant or two. I also have some useful stuff to pass along. There is also some "old" stuff that is new again.

So, thanks for stopping by. Keep on coming around. There are some nice people here. I hope that I can put a smile on your face every now and then and maybe even get you to thinking about a thing or two.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quote of the Week: 02/20/2012

"We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free."

--Ronald Reagan

Friday, February 17, 2012


We all have loved our grandmas. Some are great cooks. Some can sew and knit. And some, like my great grandma, can do all of those things and more. Her name was Pearl, but we all called her Mama. She married at a young age. Her husband, my great grandpa, was a farmer. His name was Luna, but we all called him Papa. They had a farm in Missouri for many years, before moving here to Colorado.

Papa was about 5'5". Mama was about 5 foot, or maybe a bit shorter. They were wonderful grandparents. They spoiled the you-know-what out of me and my sister. They had a tiny house in the town of Kremmling, with a small frontyard and the backyard was somewhat bigger, with the original homestead cabin. On one side of the cabin, Mama had her garden -- some potatoes, onions, carrots, squash, pumpkins, and a chokecherry bush.

She was really proud of her little garden. My sister and I were happy to help her in the garden. The one thing that really set her off was critters in her garden! Even if it was the cat from down the street, YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE GARDEN! My sister and I got spanked a few times for going into the garden. All we had done was take a carrot or two!

Well, one summer, my sister and I were staying with Mama and Papa. We were waiting to go out to the ranch that our aunt and uncle owned. To pass the time, that trip, I brought along my slingshot. I was pretty good! I could hit a can about every third shot or so. Well, as long as it was a good sized can. Like a number 10 can. And my sister was just about as good a shot as me. That is, when she could take my slingshot away from me.

So, there we were, setting on the back steps, me shooting my sling shot. My sister was wanting to take her turn. I used rocks as ammo. But! -- had just figured out that marbles worked SO much better than the rocks.

We must have shot over a 100 marbles that day. Not a single can or bottle in the neighborhood was safe from us. Mama came out to see what all we were doing and to find out why she didn't have any cans to put grease in.

As she came out the door, she said a dirty word, grabbed my slingshot out of my hands, loaded a marble in it, pulled back, and let it fly! My sister and I had no idea of what in the world she was
shooting at, let alone that she even knew how to use a sling shot.

After she made her first shot, she grabbed another marble and let it fly. We watched as she ran back into the house, then came out with a butcher knife and a big bowl.

She then started towards her little garden as fast as her little legs would carry her. Now, we had never seen Mama run before, and it was quite the sight: butcher knife raised up in one hand and that big old bowl in the other. Her hair net sliding off of her head, her apron sliding down around her hips, one stocking down around an ankle. And this kind of wild look on her face! She ran off around the old cabin to her garden, muttering under her breath about them brazzen little bast***s.

We ran after Mama and caught up with her as she reached her garden. Lying in the garden were two of the biggest rabbits I had ever seen, both of them flat-out dead, one with a parcel piece of carrot in its mouth.

Mama looked at us and said "Rabbit for dinner tonight!" My sister and I just stood there looking at her and them two rabbits. She laughed and said, "Close your mouths -- you're catching flies." We followed her back into the house, never saying a word. We watched as she dressed out the rabbits. We stayed in the house the rest of the day. My sister and I didn't really talk, or do anything. We just kind of sat there and watched Mama.

Later, Papa came home from work. He cleaned himself up and we all sat at the supper table, still watching Mama. Our plates were full, then Papa said grace and they began to eat. My sister and I, on the other hand, just sat and stared at Mama. Papa looked at us, asked if we were hungry, and -- if we were -- why were we not eating.

My sister and I both started to talk at the same time about how Mama had shot TWO rabbits with my slingshot.

Papa started to laugh, and Mama kind of turned red in the face and asked, "Haven't you two ever seen a grown up shoot a slingshot before?" We answered that we had, but we had NEVER seen a grandma shoot one before.

Well that was the wrong thing to say. Her face became even redder, and she kind of puffed herself up. She told us that she grew up shooting a slingshot, and that she helped her dad put food on the table when she was a little girl. She then got up and left the table.

Papa just sat there and tried to keep from laughing more. He told us that he was married to her for over two years before he found out that she was such a marksman with a slingshot. He said he came in one day from plowing and was washing up on the back porch when she came around the corner from the chicken coop carrying a dead raccoon. She had the coon in one hand and a slingshot in the other. He asked her what in the world she was doing, and she said that she was saving the chickens and wanted to know if he liked raccoon.

He told her NO, he didn't want any 'coon. Then he asked where she got that slingshot! She told him she made it herself, and that she and her brother used to make them all the time. Papa said he never knew that she could shoot like that. He had a old single shot .22, but she wouldn't touch it.

My sister and I just sat there, fascinated, and listened to Papa. He told about her chasing some fellow off the front yard with her slingshot. She nailed him several times in the butt. Papa found out later that the fellow she chased off was running for some office, and was making the rounds to get support for himself. Papa said the guy won his race, but never came to their place again.

The next morning, my sister and I got up, ate breakfast, and headed right outside. Mama was on the quiet side and sat there drinking her coffee. After we had been playing for a couple of hours, Mama came outside. She had a slingshot in her hand. It was old, you could tell. And it was a thing to behold. It was shinny, from years of being in someone's hand. You could see the grain of the wood. And it was bigger than my store bought sling shot. Hers had a bigger pouch to hold rocks and such. She had a leather bag in her other hand.

The bands on hers were flat, while mine was the round tube type of band. In that leather bag she had what looked like white and brown marbles. They were the roundest rocks I had ever seen, and some were real marbles. The white and brown ones were handmade marbles from clay. The round rocks, she got from a stream many years ago when she was a child.

Mama sat on the steps with us and we all took turns shooting at cans. She would shoot a tuna can standing on edge from about 20 feet or so, and hit it two more times before it stopped rolling and fell over. AND she could hit a bottle or can tossed up in the air! It was a great afternoon.

We never did make it out to the ranch. We were too busy with Mama, shooting our slingshots. When Papa made it home, he sat and shot also. He couldn't hit anything. But it was fun just the same.

When Mama went in to start supper, my sister and I sat out with Papa, had a Coke, and just kind of sat there. Papa laughed and said, "You know, I'd hate to really make that women mad. The way she can shoot that slingshot, I bet you couldn't get to the end of the street without her peppering your behind a dozen times."

As he got up, he said "Yep. . . don't mess with grandma."

Mama and Papa have long since passed. The memories of them and time spent are still with me and my sister. And that leather bag and slingshot of hers? Well, the last time I saw it, it was in her casket at the viewing, placed there by Papa.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


What's that saying? Better living through chemistry. Or is it, better life through chemistry? I can't remember.

Anyway, I think I'm going to live. My ears popped today. I can hear the kid next door hollering at his mom. Plus, I feel almost human. No more being in the sick bed. (YAY!)

Maybe I can milk it for another day or two. I kinda like having Kathi wait on me. 'Course all good things must come to an end. I've got things to do, worms to dig, eggs to fry, gold to dig, dirt to sift, things to cook in the smoker, housework. . . wait -- I need to also get the boat ready for fishing. And did I say housework?

Maybe I'm not as well as I thought I was.

Oh well, I am feeling much better. And "thank you" to all of you out there.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Quote of the Week: 2/13/2012

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."

--Charles M. Schulz

Saturday, February 11, 2012


A roll of TP, a box of Kleenex, numerous napkins. About two gallons of juice. I thought it was a cold. The result's are back.

I have a friggin sinus infection!
Steam. Lots of steam, and maybe a shooter or two of Jack Daniel's. ........ Well it sounds good, even if it doesn't help.

(You all have to read this like, when you talk with a bad cold, and a stuffy nose.)

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Ever had one of them days when nothing seems to go right? Like, when your toilet backs up, and you grab the the plunger and start to plunge away, and the handle breaks. So you head off to Home Depot or a hardware store to buy a new plunger. And on the way you're following a truck with lumber and stuff and the tailgate falls open and a box of nails falls out of the truck and the nails go everywhere.

And, of course, you can't miss the nails and you end up with two flat tires. And you only have one spare. When you go to change the tire, you find that you have no jack because you used the jack the other day helping a friend change a tire and left the jack at his place. So you call the auto club, have your car towed to get it fixed, and you get some smart a$$ kid who is going to fix your tires and he gives you the third degree about how you should always carry your jack.

Then the wife calls and would like you to stop at the store for some milk and eggs on your way home. So your car is fixed, the smart a$$ kid reminds you to get your jack back, your wife calls again and adds flour and pot pies to the list of things from the store. So, you pay for having the tires done and you leave for the store.

On the way to the store, you remember that you need to talk to your brother in-law about the tools that he borrowed from you last week. You then notice that you are low on gas. So you stop to fill it up and the nozzle doesn't shut off in time and you dump an extra five dollars of gas onto the ground and two dollars worth on your pants. You go in to pay and you reek of gas.

As you drive off, just a bit ticked off, you head for home. The smell of your gas soaked pants is making you woozy and your crotch is starting to sting. But wait! You still need to go to the store!

So you turn around and head for the store. Once at the store, you reach into your pocket for the list you made of what the wife wanted and instead you pull out this gas soaked paper, the ink smeared and you can't make out the list. But you think that you can figure it out.

You proceed to get flowers, a couple of pies, bags, and a cake. On your way out of the store, you notice that everyone is looking at you and holding their noses because of the smell of the gas. You jump in your car and head home. You just have to get out of them pants! You arrive home, carry your store purchases to the door and find you have no keys.

They are locked in the car.

And, of course, you don't have a spare anywhere around. So, you set and wait for the wife to get home. As you set there, you get a bit hungry so you get into one of the pies. You have nothing to eat it with, so you use your hand and take a chunk. It tastes pretty good. So you have some more. While you are enjoying your pie, your wife drives up.

She walks up to you. You have pie on your face and your shirt. You reek of gas. And you try to tell her why you smell, and can't get in the house. And you have pie smeared on your sleeve, because you didn't have a napkin. As she lets you in the house, there is a message on the phone that you left your credit card at the store.

Your wife then makes her way to the bathroom and sees the mess and broken plunger. She throws up her hands, and heads to the kitchen to put away the things you bought. She looks in the bags, and asks what in the world you bought and asks why you didn't write down what she wanted.

You tell her you had, but after the gas soaked your pants you couldn't read the list, so you just bought what you thought the list said. She throws up her hands again. You go in to change your pants in the bathroom and step right in the mess on the floor, slip, fall, and now you smell of poo, gas, and have pie on your shirt and face. Your wife is muttering in the kitchen about sending someone to the "home" or putting something or someone away.

You change clothes and take your wife's keys to unlock the car. You find that you now need to get the smell of gas out of the front seat, but it is past 6 p.m. and everything is closed.

So, for tomorrow, you make a list of what needs to be done. You tell your wife about all that will get done and she looks at you kind of funny like and tells you to not worry about it, she'll have it all taken care of.

The next day after you get home, the wife is there ahead of you. A plumbers truck is in front of the house. You don't say a word.

There is a meal on the table ready to eat. You don't say a word.

There is a new plunger by the chair. You don't say a word.

She has also been to the store. You don't say a word.

As the night gets later, she asks if you are alright. You say you are fine. She says good.

She gives you a little gift, one of them new gadgets. It is for tweeting or something like that. And it has a list for things that you need to do.

You try to explain about yesterday and tell her that it was just one of them days.

I don't think she believed me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


You know, sometimes life can be a real bugger. When we were younger, we had all kinds of energy. But not a lot of brains. As we got older, we got some wisdom along the way. 'Course some of us didn't follow that wisdom. We were "busy" going out, working so we could have a few dollars to go out, or just kind of bumming around.

Then there are the ones who were "over achievers." Those people busted butt, went on from high school to get degrees and such. Sure, some of them made some money. But, I don't know of a single one today who is doing what they got the degree for. Life interrupted along the way or they decided to do something different. Things change. And so do people.

Like me. I've changed. I always thought that I would always be fit and trim. Well, I'm hard to fit now. And the only thing I trim now is the grass in the yard. I always wanted to be in shape. I am now round. Round is a shape!

This is some of the wisdom I have gleened over the years. One of my friends now has a job at an ice cream shop. His degree was in engineering. Another works driving a truck. His degree was in mining engineering.

My friend who works at the ice cream shop was on the hefty side when we were in school. He is now skinny as a broomstick, married, and has three grown kids and a grandchild. His wife is a fantastic cook. I try to avoid eating at his house. All I have to do is talk to him on the phone and I gain like 3 pounds each time.

The other guy? Well, he has been married three times. Has two kids from his first marriage and one grandchild. His present wife is also a great cook. Thank goodness they live out of state. I'd look like the Goodyear Blimp!

My wife Kathi is also a great cook. And it shows. I'm needing to get bigger expando pants. 'Course, I'm lucky. I get to work from home. On some days, I don't even get dressed. I can work in the lounge mode. You know, sweats, and maybe a hat. And when you work from home, well, you sometimes go over board and forget to cut back on what you eat. Like cupcakes or brownies. And now them damn Girl Scout cookies!

So, the wisdom I have found as I get older is to eat in moderation. Chase you significant other, as best you can, around the house every now and then. Spoil your grandkids. Give them some sugar every now and then, then send them home to their parents. Love yourself and others. Say I love you more often to family and your friends. Quit worrying about things that you can't change. Remember that you can't fix stupid, so don't even try.

Watch a sunset, watch a sunrise. Catch a snowflake on your tongue. And, as I was told by a friend, maybe go out and fly a kite. Or listen to the sound of a train in the distance. or of kids playing. Smell the coffee in the morning. Smell the fire in your fireplace. Close your eyes every now and then and just listen. What can you hear?

Now if I had the energy I did all those years ago and the wisdom that I now have, and could just slow life down a bit: just think of the new things that we could accomplish in the years that we have left to us.

Oh yeah, those two friends of mine? They both are thankful that they didn't stay with the jobs they were supposed to be doing. They both have said that they are so much happier now than they were. Me? I've never been happier. I've traveled around. Camped, hunted, fished, and seen things that a lot of people will never get to see. And, I finally married a woman who does not mind that I get a bit wacky at times. I have family and friends, some close, some not so close, a bunch on the computer, and a bunch in person. As they say, a stranger is a friend that you just haven't met yet.

So gettin' older really isn't that bad. I just wish every now and then I could just go back in time, with what I know now. . .

Monday, February 6, 2012

Quote of the Week: 2/06/2012

"To read without reflecting, is like eating without digesting."

Edmund Burke,
British politician and writer