Fear Not

“Don’t be afraid of your fears.  They’re not there to scare you.  The’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”  – C. Joy Bell C.

15578141_10154246480863041_4499125776728738705_o
Somewhere on the Bourbeuse River

As a child I was afraid of the dark.  I didn’t have a night lite in my room.  Nope.  No night light.  No siree.  You kidding?  I had a freaking flood light.  I WAS going to see that monster under my bed before it got me and carried me off to where ever monsters take little kids.  Thank the good Lord I finally out grew it.

I came across this quote some years ago and I could relate to it so easily.  If they aren’t there to scare me you couldn’t prove it by me because it scared the hell out of me.  I realize now that my fear of the dark was just trying to tell me that there was really something worth it and that I needed to kick this bad boy’s arse and start enjoying the dark.  Finally that day arrived and I put on my big boy panties and never looked back.

When I go to the river I like to get there about 3 pm or 4 pm.  Then I stay all night til about noon the next day.  The rewards of being on the river at night are abundant.  Normally you don’t have too many people to deal with.  You don’t have to worry about getting sun burned.  You are serenaded by frogs and crickets.  Some nights you get to experience light shows like you have never seen.  It is so alluring to experience the magical properties of the river at night.  I highly recommend that everyone experience one night on the river by themselves.  You won’t be sorry.

13439210_10153774100013041_5733357309095426346_n
Fire on the banks of the Big River

In closing someone has asked me what I mean by “share the love”?  Simply share your “passion” or “love” of something that you do with the rest of us.  Cooking, hiking. photography, kayaking etc,  Whatever it may be.

Thanks for reading.  Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless each and every one of you.

“Don’t squat with your spurs on.”

Man’s Best Friend

576073_10151024416498041_918707701_n
Watching the traffic.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” – Josh Billings

Tonight I decided not to write about fishing, kayaking,or dutch oven cooking.  I want to share with you my little red headed girlfriend, Kate.  Kate is 5 years old and is an Australian Shepherd.  She is quite the character.

I am a farrier by trade and Kate is my ride dog.  She takes her job very seriously. just like if you were to drop some food on the floor.  She takes that very seriously too.  Kate loves everyone and she thinks everyone loves her.  I don’t have the heart to tell her that everyone does not love her and there are people who just don’t like dogs.

420975_10150628801308041_1242883318_n
Yep  I’m purty!  Uh huh.

Did I mention that she likes to get her pic taken?  She can be quite the ham.  When she was a pup she had a terrible time with crystals in her urine.  It was quite painful.  Then after she turned a year old she had to have hip surgery.  It was during this time that we came to enjoy each others company so immensely.

540012_10150826463023041_908970282_n
After her hip surgery.

 

Kate is also known for her counter surfing abilities.  Like the night she managed to score a pan of self rising rolls that hadn’t fully risen yet.  Hydrogen peroxide did the job of convincing her stomach to relinquish the rolls to the kitchen floor.  What a mess.

484913_10150646250378041_1881786211_n
End of the trail.

Kate loves to take walks, eat, aggravate, eat, ride in the truck and eat.  Did I mention that Kate really like to eat?  She loves kids and hoof trimmings, which she always seems to manage to deposit the undigested trimmings in my lap on the way home.  She can be a real PITA but I wouldn’t take a million dollars for her.  She is a great listener and a bundle of joy.  She has to be right beside me and know what I am doing.  She ain’t perfect, but she is my (registered name) Meddling Kate or just Kate.

1460127_10151801076003041_521507021_n
Chilling by the fire.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoyed hearing about Kate.  Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless you one and all.

Cast Iron Cooking

When I am not cooking in a Dutch oven I am usually using a cast iron skillet to get the job done. Just like the DOs I will use the skillets outside on the open fire. A couple of years ago I decided to make something to make the skillets a little more user friendly and still be able to cook on wood. I took two golf cart rims, modified them some and welded them together and made me a miniature stove.


Not much writing this morning.  I am going to post some pics of food being prepared in cast iron.

Leg of lamb
Pork sausage and taters
Chili fixings.

Cornish Hens

Sorry but I had some issues with posting the pics and captions. Hope you enjoyed the pics and thanks for reading.

Be safe, be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless !

                               

Intro to Dutch Oven Cooking

“Cast iron is so superior for cooking utensils to our modern aluminum that I not only cannot grieve for the pioneer hardship of cooking in iron over the hearth, but shall retire if necessary to the back yard with my two Dutch ovens, turning over all my aluminum cookers for airplanes with a secret delight.”  – Majorie Kinnan Rawlings, “Cross Creek”

I am an avid Dutch oven cook and have been doing it for many years. So many, I have seemed to lost count. Anything you can cook in your oven, I can cook in a Dutch oven ( DO ). There are DO cooking contests and the International Dutch Oven Society dedicated to DO cooking enthusiasts. Recipes are abundant. There are tons of information out there for beginners.

The picture of the three DOs at the beginning of this article, are mine. You don’t need a setup like this. Some people will pull the grill off their BBQ grill and set their DO inside of it or you can place it directly on the ground. I built my cook station like this to help keep the wind from blowing across my ovens and cooling them.


This Thanksgiving I cooked a 13 pound turkey in my largest DO.  It was my first and it was the best turkey I ever ate.  For the most part I use charcoal briquettes to heat my ovens. One method is the 3 rule. If I want my oven at 325 degrees and it is a 12 inch oven, I would subtract 3 from 12 and get 9. So I would put 9 coals under the bottom.  For the top I would add 3 and get 15 so I would put 15 on top.  Another method would be to double the 12 and get 24.  I would take a third of that, which would be 8 (bottom) and leave me with 16 on top.


I hope you have found this article interesting and helpful.  I have ruined many a dish trying to master the art of DO cooking and so will you probably.  Don’t give up.  I will try to do some more in depth articles in the future.

Thanks for reading.  Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless you one and all.

The Allure of the River

“The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are always inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson : Excerpts From Nature


(Bourbeuse River at Union, MO)

The river awakens a reverence within me.  I am mesmerized by its beauty and intrigued by the mystery the water carries with it.  As the water makes its way by me I realize that same water will never pass by there again.  It came from somewhere upstream.  Maybe a feeder creek or even from the very beginning of the river.  What has it seen?  If it could talk what stories would it tell?  Where has it been and where did it come from?


(Big River near DeSoto, MO)

My dream is to float the Big River and the Bourbeuse River from their beginning to their end.  Just so happens both rivers empty into the Meramec River.  Two of my friends, Mark Nelson and David Tripp, are planning on joining me for a week long float on the Big River.  Really looking forward to it.  If you have never consumed a meal cooked along the river, you have no idea what you are missing.

Thanks for reading.  Be kind to one another and share the love.  God Bless you one and all.

REJUVENATION!

Emerson wrote in his journal, ” I have heard a clergyman of Maine say that in his Parish are the Penobscot Indian, and that when any one of them In summer has been absent for some weeks a-hunting, he comes back among them a different person and altogether unlike any of the rest, with an eagle’s eye, a wild look, and commanding carriage and gesture, but after a few weeks it wears off again into the indolent drone like apathy which all exhibit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I lie here in bed reading these words I can hear the wind howling outside my window.  It is not long before my mind is filled of memories of past summers fishing and kayaking on the river.  The very source that awakens my spirit and cleanses my soul.  My significant other, her daughter and grandson also have a love for the river and I cherish our time together on the river.  I was lucky enough to share some river time with good friends David Tripp, Mark Nelson and his grandson.  We had a rather “large time”.

I always come back from my river expeditions with renewed energy, a new love for the simple things, dreams that were rekindled, a strut in my walk and a “giddy up” in my “get a long”.  The fires of desire were once again burning.

When I think of these times of healing the mind, body and soul, I think of a candle.  It can only burn so long before it burns out.  Then we have to relight.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless each and every one of you.

New Year’s Resolution Time

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.”  Goran Persson

Wow!  It won’t be long and 2016 will be in the past and we will be entering into a New Year.  It seems the older I get, the faster the years slip by.  Every new year brings new highs and lows.  Happiness and regret.  

The year 2016 seemed to be a bad year for musicians.  Glen Frey, David Bowie, Prince, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard, George Michael,  Sharon Jones, Joey Feek, to name a few.  ISIS made the news numerous times as it carried out terrorist attacks throughout the world.  Britain leaves the European Union.  WikiLeaks was busy.  Election like no other and last but not least, the Cubs win the World Series.

As the year comes to a close and everyone reflects back on 2016 the urge to make a new year’s resolution will come to life within us.  Lose weight.  Stop procrastinating.  The list goes on. 

In 2016 we saw a country divided in areas of politics, health issues, gay rights, presidential candidates and even division within the political parties themselves.  I hope 2017 will be the “Year of Healing”.  My New Year’s resolution is going to be to love everyone, share the love and and not to be a cause of the division within this country.

Thanks for reading. Share the love, be kind to one another and God Bless you one and all.

Prostate Trouble?

“The problem with having a sense of humor is often that people you use it on aren’t in a very good mood.” – Lou Holtz

I know, I know.  Disgusting subject.  For those of you who don’t suffer from it………..Thank your lucky stars.
Unfortunately I am one who is cursed with this aggravating and frustrating problem.  Basically the way it works is you will typically be busy doing something  and your brain will tell you that you need to go “tinkle”.  As you start your trek toward the bathroom your prostrate will send a message to the brain saying that you didn’t start soon enough.  Then you see the porcelain throne coming into sight and your journey and moment of relief is near.  That is usually the point at which time you find out that your prostate wasn’t lieing to your brain and you come to the realization that you are about 20 steps shy of your goal.  The dribbling begins followed by a slam dunk and you think to yourself, maybe I better invest in some Depends.

I devised a plan where I tell the people around me that I have a slight “tinkle” problem where I might holler out ” turn your head” meaning that I am having a “tinkle attack” and I would greatly appreciate their cooperation and please turn away so I don’t offend anyone.  Now I have found that this works quite well when you are with a small group of friends maybe out camping or fishing.  However, I am here to tell ya that it DOES NOT work well in Walmart.  No siree.  People act like you are tinkling on the produce or something.  So be careful if you are in Walmart and PLEASE try not to tinkle on any ones Jammie’s.  

Well that pretty much sums it up.  Please understand I am not making fun of people who suffer from this problem.  I can tell you it is quite frustrating.  Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope it made you chuckle a little.  Have a great day, share the love and God Bless you.