Tuesday, May 29, 2012


"The way to get good ideas, is to get lots of ideas, and throw the bad ones away."
--Linus Pauling, American scientist

Monday, May 28, 2012


I'm sure that a lot of us spent the weekend with family and friends. We had two graduations to attend and, of course, ate way too much.

A friend I have known since 4th grade had surgery to remove a brain tumor he didn't even know he had. The surgery went well and he is now at home resting and doing well. He served in the Air Force after high school. A Vietnam-era veteran. Me? I've never served, but really wish that I had.

I've been lucky. I've got more than one best friend. I've had five. Two have passed on: one from cancer, and the other from congestive heart failure. One of them served in the Air Force. I've had other friends and family serve also, and those who have passed are all missed, on a daily basis, by their family and friends.

Those who have gone before us, who served, paved the way for the rest of us. They are the heroes. They gave all for us to be able to enjoy the things that we have and the freedom to be a great nation. And though, things and times may look bleak, WE will survive as a nation as long as we remember those who gave all.

So, say a prayer. Say a whole lot of prayers for those who didn't give up on us. They fought for us. They fought for each other.

God bless our service personal, living and dead, and our nation.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

SELF RELIANCE EXPO: Colorado Springs

OK, we joined the ranks, kind of. We took some time and made a little trip to our neighbor south of us -- Colorado Springs. Nice drive, if you miss rush hour traffic. We went to the Self-Reliance Expo on Friday and spent the night in a hotel.

This is the first self-reliance expo that I or Kathi have been to. I'm not really sure what we expected. I thought that it would be bigger. 'Course, I guess I was kinda expecting it to be more like a gun show. The people were great and answered all our questions. We tried some of that "prepper" food. Some of it is quite good! (Thankfully, they didn't have any freeze-dried brussell sprouts.) We looked and listened then ate some more.

There was only one gentleman there selling firearms. Half of his table was filled with rifles, and the other half was filled with pistols and revolvers. The NATGEO Doomsday Preppers tv people were there recruiting for season 2. But we never saw anyone at their booth. (Ha!)  We didn't really have time to listen to any of the speakers. I found out after I got back home that a friend in our little blog world was there and did a talk on the main stage.

If I'd have known, I would of stopped by her booth and said howdy. She was with the people from Backwoods Home Magazine. She blogs at Rural Revolution. Patrice has lots of good things on her blog. So, if you get a chance, go visit her. When they have the next expo, I will be looking her up.

We didn't take a camera, but should have. There is just WAY too much to try and tell about this expo. I'd put it right up there with a Tanner Gun Show. They have some things that some of us just can't do without. And other things, if you have the bucks, and a place to bury it. That might be just what the doctor ordered. Like, this huge, I mean, like 14-foott tall or more food storage container.

If you bought one, you would have to have them bury it in your backyard in the dead of night or have some property somewhere that people can't see what you're doing to bury this hummer. I like the idea, but for the average Joe like me -- I'd be better off burying stuff in a 50-gallon drum.

There was the storage of extra food, freeze dried or dehydrated and canned goods from your local store,  to supplement what you are eating now. It is not a bad idea. Buy it or join up to have it delivered right to your door! It will save you some of your hard earned paycheck and give you some peace of mind. I found even the meat that was freeze dried was pretty good.

Just think of some of the recipes you can come up with! Also, maybe it might be something to talk to your church about. Do they have any extra food on hand in case of a natural disaster in your neighborhood?

Just a thought.

Monday, May 21, 2012

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: 5/21/2012

"In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks."
John Muir, Naturalist and Author

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Scoopin' poop. Everyone has done it  at one time or another. Litter box scoopin', dog poo scoopin', rabbit poo scoopin'. . . the list could go on and on.

On a ranch or farm there seems to be more poop scoopin' than other places. I've done more than my fair share of scoopi'n over the years. When we first came to Colorado, Pappy, my grandfather, had rabbits. Lots of rabbits. A whole chicken house full! I remember going out with him to feed his rabbits. Of course, all that food makes for lots of rabbit poo. (I once was told the little pellets were raisins. Yet still, I'm not warped. . .) Along with the rabbits that Pappy butchered were the little bunnies he sold. He also sold rabbit poo. The rabbit poo was watered down in a pile outside of the chicken house, and mixed with some shredded newspaper and garbage, like coffee grounds, crushed egg shells, and all the other stuff you use to make compost.

He would bag it up and sell it to the neighbors for their gardens of flowers and such. I thought it was fun to go into the rabbit house, scoop up the poo, and put it in a wheelbarrow. I was helping. And I got paid 25 cents. So, that was my first poop scooping experience. Then we moved and had to get rid of all the rabbits.

We got a dog. Second poop scooping experience. But, it wasn't like doing the rabbit poo. I didn't really care for having to do it.

Then my sister and I got to go to the ranch. My aunt and uncle had this huge ranch up in Kremmling. There were cows, horses, chickens, goats, lambs, dogs, cats, and some wild critters that came up to the ranch house, such as elk, deer, skunks, rabbits, and even a mountain lion once or twice. (I think they could smell some of old Joe's water repellent or bug spray.) There was even a bear or two because of Aunt Nadine's berry patch. So, there was tons of poo. You could walk hardly anywhere without stepping in poo.

You ever scoop horse poo? Now, that's a job. I'd never seen so much poo. Uncle Fay was always scoopin' it out of the barn. Well, he talked me and my sister into helping him one day. We made short work of it. Instead of a wheelbarrow, he had this wagon hooked up to a tractor. We'd scoop the poop and throw it into the wagon. What my sister and I didn't know was that there was a cow barn or two also.

Did you know that scoopin' poop can be an all day job? We didn't.

And once you fill up that wagon, you have to also unload that wagon. The ranch had a special place to unload all that poo. Our cousins called it, POOP MOUNTAIN. You have never seen such a HUGE pile of poo in your life. And there was more than one of these mountains. Now, why in the world would you have all of these piles of poo?  They were so big that one time Uncle Fay had several of these big old belly dump type trucks come out to the ranch, and they used a front end loader to load up the trucks, and haul away the poo.

Well, my cousins, being the way they are, always had something going on, even if it was a little on the scary -- or just a might illegal -- side. Did you ever have a road apple fight? Do you know what road apples are? If not, it's horse poo. And when it dries it is almost like throwing dirt clods, except that if you get hit in the face with one??? It doesn't taste like dirt.

Every now and then we would all end up at POOP MOUNTAIN and have some of the best poop fights in the world. 'Course, once the flinging of the poo starts, there is more than road apples being thrown. Did you know that you can throw a cow patty just like a Frisbee? But, you have to make sure it is dry enough.

It was so much fun. Where else could you throw stuff and not have to worry about knocking someone out or putting a lump on someone's head. The only bad thing was that you had to watch how you laughed. If your mouth was open too far you could get a pie or apple right in the mouth. But we never knocked a tooth out, like you could with a dirt clod.

It seemed that Aunt Nadine always knew when we had been out to POOP MOUNTAIN. She would catch us about 20 or 30 feet from the back door and make us get undressed on the back porch. And then it was straight to the tub for a bath. Once, Aunt Nadine was gone and Old Joe saw us coming. When we got close enough, he told us to turn around and march down toward the horse barn. When we got down to the barn, he made us get undressed, and he proceeded to pick us up one at a time and throw us into the horse trough. He made us scrub up and he used a pitch fork to pick up our clothes, which he then carried at arm's length, up to the back porch.

When Aunt Nadine came home, we were still in the trough, splashing and having a good time. Old Joe told her where we had been. She laughed that he didn't take us into the house and use the tub. Old Joe rolled a smoke, looked Nadine square in the eye, and said "water is water."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Well, I missed posting on Monday. Had to do some errands. So, I didn't get a quote up. I am taking my son to his doctor appointments on Monday mornings. Yesterday, after we were done at the doctor, we went by Fort Logan National Cemetery. I wanted to meet some of the guys who are in the Colorado Patriot Guard Riders.

We met, we talked, and I and my son were asked if we would like to stand with them for a fallen soldier. I'm now a member of the Colorado Patriot Guard. I was humbled and  honored to be able to stand for one who has stood for us.

I'm looking forward to doing more. Now I'm really wanting to get another motorcycle. They have some awesome bikes. I've already got one picked out. Now it's just a matter of time and dollars. But it will come.

The Patriot Guard was on hand for my nephew's funeral when he was killed in Afghanistan. They did a fantastic job. I'm just sorry that I didn't join sooner. So, I'll drive my truck until I can get a bike. Kathi will have a hoot when I get her on a Harley!

I see some future road trips coming up, too.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Remember the drive in movies? It seemed like there was at least one in every town. They all have, except for a few, gone the way of the Dodo bird. The only one I know of right now in Colorado is one that is a motel/drive in. You can watch a movie from a rented room. Or I guess you could set in your car and watch. There is also an alligator farm down the road. Go figure.

Anyway, the drive in was fun. You could take a date or take a bunch of friends. At some drive in's, they would let in a whole carload of people for like three dollars. I can remember loading up 15 people in my old Chevy Biscayne. And that was without putting people in the trunk! The trunk would be loaded up with popcorn, candy, a cooler or two for pop or beer. We would take and make our own popcorn. Many a mom would let us use their popcorn makers.

We would go get a whole package of popcorn, pop it, and then put it in trash bags or paper grocery bags. (Remember bagging your groceries in paper bags?) It took several people popping corn to fill the bag's. Pop was pretty cheap and so was the beer, if you didn't mind drinking some really bad, cheap stuff. Then it was a matter of picking up everyone and getting to the drive in before the movie started.

The drive in was also a great place to go on a date. It didn't cost you an arm and leg to take your girl out. And you could double date. You would want to pick the right movie. The horror movies were the best. It would get to a scary part and your date would let out a scream and jump into your arms. 'Course, I had that backfire once.

A buddy of mine and his date decided to go with us on a date to see Jaws. We picked up our dates and made our way to the drive in. We didn't have any popcorn or stuff to drink, so we hit the concession stand.
We bought two big buckets of popcorn and some drinks. We made our way back towards our car and made some plans along the way. He and his date would set up front and towards the right side of the front seat. Me and my date would take the back seat and set towards the left side of the seat. That way, you're not blocking the view of each other. (Like your really going to watch the movie, right?)

As the movie progressed, things were going good. We were right at the part where the shark bashes in the back of the boat. It was unexpected and lots of folks let out screams. And, so it was in our car! Except, my buddy was the one to let out this girly scream. I mean one of them real high squeaky type of girly screams. And when he screamed, he threw his bucket of popcorn up in the air. His date screamed, cause he screamed. And the car was full of popcorn, front and back, and a drink or two was in the mix.

Now, this friend of mine? He's a man's man. Real deep voice like a fog horn. He looks kinda like Animal from the muppets. Drives a muscle car. Gets into fights, and doesn't take crap off of nobody . . . and he lets out this girly scream. I mean, I'm laughing so hard that I had to get out of the car. Everyone around us was looking, and there we all were with popcorn and pop all over us. My buddy was telling me to be quiet and quit laughing.

His date was then in tears 'cause she was drenched in pop and the popcorn is sticking to her all over and the seats of the car were wet, and there was popcorn stuck to the head liner and on the windows. It was so bad that the manager came out to the car and actually told us to keep it down. Cars were honking, head lights were flashing, and my buddy was chasing me around the car. I couldn't stop laughing, and my date was setting on the ground laughing, too.

We were asked to leave. Can you believe it? As we left, cars honked and kids we knew from school made remarks, laughed at us, and just gave us all kinds of grief. I was still laughing and getting punched in the arm by my buddy. The girls were getting madder than two wet hens. Wait! They WERE wet. We took them right home.

My date snickered and said she had a real good time. I tried to pick some of the popcorn out of her hair. As we walked towards her front door we both started to laugh again. Her mom opened the door when she heard us. She had a funny look on her face as her daughter stepped into the house. Neither one of us said a word. She walked in and her mom closed the door.

I was laughing all the way back to the car. My buddy wasn't. He dropped me off at my house. I have no idea how it went when he took his date home. The next day, I had bruises on my arms from my buddy slugging me so many times. I called his house and his mom said that he was out getting his car cleaned. I found him at the car wash, bent over with the vacuum hose in hand, sucking the soggy popcorn out of his car.

He gave me a bad case of stink eye and I knew I was in for it. So I stood on the far side of his car. I was informed, in no certain terms, was I EVER to say a word about "The Scream." I promised. 'Course, one or the other of our dates had different plans. He still catches it from time to time as the years have come and gone. I can still bust a gut just thinking about it. My buddy sold his muscle car years ago. He told me about how, as he was cleaning it out, he found some old petrified popcorn between the cushions in the backseat.

He said that it brought a smile to his face. His wife wanted to know what he was smiling about. He told her. They called me the next day. She wants to try to get him to scream like that so she can hear it.

I told her to go rent the movie Jaws.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Here is another way to cure your Dutch oven. The leftovers from it can be used also.

If you want to really season your Dutch oven, place it on the stove at the lowest setting that you can. Now fill it all the way to the top with Crisco, lard, or oil. Put the lid on it and leave it alone, but keep an eye on it.

As it processes, you may need to add more oil or whatever you started with to replace what was absorbed by the Dutch oven. Bring it back up to the top. Now, when you see the outside glisten, it's done. It takes several days to do this.

The oil will have turned black and can not be used for cooking, but it makes great waterproofing for your boots, moccasins, and other leather things. The only problem is that every dog or cat in your neighborhood will be following you around 'cause it does smell.

Old Joe seasoned a brand new 2 quart Dutch oven like this on the ranch one time. He always had some cast iron ovens and skillets in his little bunk house. And he always waterproofed all his boots at least once a year.

He even once put this oil on his old saddle, but he only did it the one time 'cause after he had oiled it up and put the saddle up in the barn the ranch, for some reason, was taken over by about a 1000 cats. They had cats of all kinds. Even two Bob cats showed up! And, of course, a ranch always has a dog or two, but they all of a sudden had about a 1000 dogs also. Plus, several coyotes, that tried to fit in with the dogs. You couldn't get near the barn.

Joe took his new boots and put the oil on them to waterproof them. He sat them out on the little porch of the bunk house. The next morning, the boots were gone! All Joe could find the next morning were some bear tracks around the bunk house.

After about a month, Joe was able to get to his saddle in the barn. He saddled up his horse, Old Dusty, and proceeded to climb into the saddle. As he turned Dusty towards the road, Joe slide right out of the saddle and landed on his butt. A few of the other hands saw what had happened. The younger ones laughed and the older ones knew better and turned their backs towards Joe.

Joe jumped right up. Dusty kind of had his head turned towards Joe as if to ask what happened. "What did you do?" Well, Joe got right back on old Dusty and started down the road. We all watched as Joe slid from side to side, forward, and backward on his saddle. He looked like a real tenderfoot on his horse.

Dusty showed up at the barn about half an hour later with Joe nowhere to be seen. As Dusty was being put in his stall, my aunt came out and said she had to go to town to pick up Joe. Seems that Dusty had "wandered off." When my aunt came back with Joe, we saw that the back end of his jeans was as shinny as a new silver dollar!

Monday, May 7, 2012


"Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it."

--George Santayana, Philosopher, Poet

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A waste of $2.44

Kathi here.

I do not like to waste money. BUT -- I just spent $2.44 I'll never get back on something really crappy. (Can I say crappy here to you all?)

I love bacon. I love cheese. So, wouldn't a bacon AND cheese product be totally wonderful? One would think!

Well, in theory.

But I'm here to help YOU not waste money on the same thing: Bacon-Cheddar Popcorn.

It didn't even smell very good when it was popping, but once I tasted it? Eeeuuuwww.

Nugget likes popcorn, so I offered him a bite. He came over, half-opened his mouth, sniffed the bite of popcorn, and backed away. Now, THAT'S pretty bad.

Save your money!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


How many of you remember Sunday dinners? Every Sunday when I was a kid, we would go to grandma's house after church and have dinner. She always had it ready. All she needed to do was to get everyone to set down. Then she would start setting food on the table.

We always had mashed potatoes with either white gravy or brown gravy, homemade biscuits or rolls or homemade bread, with butter and her homemade jelly. Some Sundays it would be fried chicken or maybe fried pork chops. Some Sundays it would be home made meatloaf or even a big pot roast. There was always a big pot of coffee for the grown-ups.

There would be corn, peas, or green beans with little bits of bacon, though sometimes it might be corn on the cob. Sometimes we had some type of salad, which you'd pick out your own dressing for. We'd have okra, spinach, collared greens, tomatoes -- just about every thing you could think of showed up on that table at one dinner or another.

For dessert, there could be homemade cake. Mine favorite was chocolate. Or she would have made pies: cherry, blueberry, apple, rhubarb, strawberry, blackberry, banana cream, lemon -- you name it, Grandma could make it.

She always had the table set so nice. Flowers of some type, depending on the time of the year. Napkins folded just so. Coffee cups with saucers for the grown-ups. Water glasses and milk glasses for the kids. A tablecloth to go with the time of season. And everyone was dressed from having come from church. And she always had an extra place setting at the table. Sometimes someone from the neighborhood would show up to eat dinner with us.

Sundays came and went. The meals were always a family thing for us. As grandma got older, the Sunday dinners slowed down. They weren't every Sunday, but.maybe once or twice a month. We tried to have the Sunday dinners at our house, but they just didn't seem the same. One of the parents would have to go get grandma and bring her to our house.

After the meal, we didn't set around and laugh and talk like the years before. Things were much more subdued. And as time went by, we didn't stay dressed in our Sunday clothes. And the table wasn't set as nicely. The meals just didn't seem to have the same feeling as they used to.

Things were changing, times were changing, and -- of course -- we were changing. We kids were growing up. Mom and dad were older. And grandma . . . she was getting older too. The Sundays of the past were gone. She could still cook. She could still get around. But it was harder for her to do things. And her eyesight was going.

You could still go to her house. The sights and smells of our childhood were still there. The smell of fresh brewed coffee and homemade bread, and cookies, and all the pies. The smell of furniture polish, the dollies on the tables. The little dust particles dancing in the strip of sunlight coming from the living room window. The nick-nac's on the shelves. These are things that I remember.

Getting the family together is hard now. It seems that we have lost something as family's. Everyone is on a different schedule. We all seem to be in a bigger hurry now. And everyone seems to always have something to do or some place to be.

I would like to start an old tradition again. Let's see if we can bring back the tradition of the Sunday family dinner. No going out to eat! A meal at home, homemade, or as close as you can get to it, with family and/or  friends. Let's set and enjoy a meal together without being rushed. Share some time, tell some stories, play a game. If you can, invite some people over.

My friends, life is too short. We need to slow down every now and then. Our friends and families will not be here for us forever. It's maybe time to get to know one another all over again. And what better way can you think of than. . . A SUNDAY DINNER.