Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkey Day & Aden's 5th Bday Party

Due to my being a klutz (a gallon of water dropped from 3 feet covers an area of 1 3/4 times the length of your mop reach in all directions), and the side of a cardboard box full of canned goods we were taking to share with our children breaking, we were just a little late for the beginning of dinner. Do you know how far and how high the splatter is from just one quart jar of canned tomatoes dropped from the height of 3 feet???

I do! And it's NOT a pretty sight either!

And the combination of Hot Pickle and Sweet Pickle juice is toxic, and tomato juice doesn't do a thing to help it either! Luckily the jar of pickled red beets stayed intact or I'd still be cleaning that up. Out of a box of 12 assorted jars only 3 broke. What Luck!

But anyway we made it over to Angie & Eric's before dinner was over. As usual Ang put on a terrific spread. Her heritage breed turkey was fan-tastic (Wifey says we are definetly raising our own turkeys next year). She also introduced us to 2 side dishes that are now MY favorites, mushroom risotto and corn casserole (similar to my own escallopped corn but MUCH better). You will have to ask her for the recipes.

The jar of hot pickles hardly hit the table and my daughter Sarah was all over it.

My son-in-law Eric, my son Eric and daughter Sarah. She REALLY likes my hot pickles.

They were just a little warm.

After dinner the clean up crew got started.

Ginger was a lot of help too!

Careful Aden.

Dad got to do the larger things.

Aden's birthday isn't until Monday but we celebrated it early. Aunt Sarah decorated her a worm cake she requested from her Mom. It needed a few more candies to finish the face.

Hey, when are we goin' to eat my cake, it's my Birthday yunno!

After many alterations to redo the face and candle placement that the kids had rearranged, it was finally time!

One of her presents was a very pretty hat given to her by Uncle Eric and Aunt Andrea.

We all got to try it on.... Wifey & Me....
But Daddy didn't want to give it back.

I got in a little play time with my grandkids, Aden and Ethan.

And Grandma got to help Ethan search for objects in a "Where's Waldo" type book.
All in all, we had a terrific time and a wonderful Thanksgiving Celebration.
Thank You Angie and Eric.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nature Can Be Cruel

I was a funeral for a childhood friend today. We grew up together along with his younger brothers. I hadn't seen him in over 34 years, so came to pay my last respects. As I pulled up to the funeral home I noticed this strange hearse. Luckily I had my old camera in the car. Unluckily I suck at taking pictures with it.

The 3 wheeled motorcycle that pulles it was really sharp as was the carriage it towed. The brass lanterns and hardware and the clear glass made it look like the old horse drawn hearses.
On my drive home I spotted this and had to investigate it further.

The tree was in the ditch of an old gravel road, not another tree for 1/2 mile in any direction.
This poor young raccon must have been chased up this tree probably by coyotes, lost it's footing, and got wedged into spot in the tree where it couldn't get purchase to get out. This probably happened a couple of nights ago during the snowstorm. Or maybe just last night, the crows and hawks had not gotten to it yet.
Even though I was a hunter, or maybe because of it, I HATE to see an animal suffer. And to think of how long this poor guy suffered just makes me sick. Mother Nature can be as cruel as she is beautiful.
I have always believed in the one shot, one kill, principal and if for some reason the animal didn't expire immediatly, I was fast with the mercy shot. And I would rather let an amimal get away than to take a chance of only wounding it. And that is one of the reasons I no longer hunt. The muscle spasms in my arms and hands make accurate shooting a thing of the past. Oh, I'm still good with a snap shot and on a good day I am ALMOST as accurate as I used to be. But to me almost isn't good enough. And my last deer hunt left me with a bad enough experience to sour me from doing it again. But that's another story.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Snow Is For The Birds

Although you can't see them because I scared them off when I opened the door.
Our local flock of sparrows and chck-a-dee's seem to be enamored with wifey's creation.
So now she offers a challenge to Agnes: she wants to see a photo of the kids making a snowman!
And I'll include all the rest of my blogging friends in that challenge.

This little guy is her return to childhood. A dirty little snowman was the best she could do with our wet sloppy mess the weatherman refers to as snow. It looks like it's pleading to the sun to put it out of it's misery. But the birds were perching all over it like pigeons on a park statue.
When this mess freezes we will probably loose our muffler on the van.
And it sure isn't doing my wood pile much good either, but I was just too tired to cover it after splitting it. Better luck next time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Turn To Rant

This morning I received 2 e-mails that disturbed me quite a bit. I don't get too political usually because I realize the futility in trying to explain the corruption of our elected officials and the complacency of our citizens. However, the quote at the end of one of the e-mails really hit a nerve! The subject matter of the email is also one that I happen to agree with, but that is not as important as the message it conveys. Here is the email:

Subject: I do not know how true this is, but it could happen.

You're sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door. Half-awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers. At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way. With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your shotgun. You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door and open it. In the darkness, you make out two shadows.One holds something that looks like a crowbar. When the intruder brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire. The blast knocks both thugs to the floor. One writhes and screams while the second man crawls to the front door and lurches outside. As you pick up the telephone to call police, you know you're in trouble.

In your country, most guns were outlawed years before, and the few that are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them useless. Yours was never registered. Police arrive and inform you that the second burglar has died. They arrest you for First Degree Murder and Illegal Possession of a Firearm.

When you talk to your attorney, he tells you not to worry: authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter."What kind of sentence will I get?" you ask."Only ten-to-twelve years," he replies, as if that's nothing. "Behave yourself, and you'll be out in seven.

"The next day, the shooting is the lead story in the local newspaper. Somehow, you're portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men you shot are represented as choirboys. Their friends and relatives can't find an unkind word to say about them. Buried deep down in the article, authorities acknowledge that both "victims" have been arrested numerous times.

But the next day's headline says it all: "Lovable Rogue Son Didn't Deserve to Die." The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into Robin Hood-type pranksters. As the days wear on, the story takes wings. The national media picks it up, then the international media. The surviving burglar has become a folk hero.Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he'll probably win.

The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized several times in the past and that you've been critical of local police for their lack of effort in apprehending the suspects. After the last break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time. The District Attorney uses this to allege that you were lying in wait for the burglars.

A few months later, you go to trial. The charges haven't been reduced, as your lawyer had so confidently predicted. When you take the stand, your anger at the injustice of it all works against you. Prosecutors paint a picture of you as a mean, vengeful man. It doesn't take long for the jury to convict you of all charges.The judge sentences you to life in prison.

This case really happened.On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk , England , killed one burglar and wounded a second. In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term.

How did it become a crime to defend one's own life in the once great British Empire ?It started with the Pistols Act of 1903. This seemingly reasonable law forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and established that handgun sales were to be made only to those who had a license. The Firearms Act of 1920 expanded licensing to include not only handguns but all firearms except shotguns.

Later laws passed in 1953 and 1967 outlawed the carrying of any weapon by private citizens and mandated the registration of all shotguns.Momentum for total handgun confiscation began in earnest after the Hungerford mass shooting in 1987. Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed Man with a Kalashnikov rifle (AK-47), walked down the streets shooting everyone he saw. When the smoke cleared, 17 people were dead.

The British public, already de-sensitized by eighty years of "gun control", demanded even tougher restrictions. (The seizure of all privately owned handguns was the objective even though Ryan used a rifle.)Nine years later, at Dunblane , Scotland , Thomas Hamilton used a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public school.

For many years, the media had portrayed all gun owners as mentally unstable, or worse, criminals. Now the press had a real kook with which to beat up law-abiding gun owners. Day after day, week after week, the media gave up all pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on all handguns. The Dunblane Inquiry, a few months later, sealed the fate of the few sidearms still owned by private citizens.During the years in which the British government incrementally took away most gun rights, the notion that a citizen had the right to armed self-defense came to be seen as vigilantism.

Authorities refused to grant gun licenses to people who were threatened, claiming that self-defense was no longer considered a reason to own a gun. Citizens who shot burglars or robbers or rapists were charged while the real criminals were released.Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted as saying, "We cannot have people take the law into their own hands."All of Martin's neighbors had been robbed numerous times, and several elderly people were severely injured in beatings by young thugs who had no fear of the consequences. Martin himself, a collector of antiques, had seen most of his collection trashed or stolen by burglars.

When the Dunblane Inquiry ended, citizens who owned handguns were given three months to turn them over to local authorities. Being good British subjects, most people obeyed the law. The few who didn't were visited by police and threatened with ten-year prison sentences if they didn't comply. Police later bragged that they'd taken nearly 200,000 handguns from private citizens.

How did the authorities know who had handguns? The guns had been registered and licensed. Kinda like cars.

Sound familiar?


" does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."--Samuel Adams

If you think this is important, please forward to everyone you know.

The second e-mail has to do with the new postage stamp coming out for the Christmas Season.

How ironic is this ??
They don't even believe in Christ and they're getting their own Christmas stamp, but don't dream of posting the ten commandments on federal property? USPS New Stamp

This one is impossible to believe. If there is only one thing you forward today.....let it be this! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am Flight 103! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon ! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the military Barracks in Saudi Arabia ! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa ! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE! REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on 9/11/2001 ! REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks! Now the United States Postal Service REMEMBERS and HONORS the EID MUSLIM holiday season with a commemorative first class Holiday postage stamp. REMEMBER to adamantly and vocally BOYCOTT this stamp When purchasing your stamps at the post office. To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those AMERICANS who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors. REMEMBER to pass this along to every Christian and/or Patriotic AMERICAN that
you know !!!

Now this one is just plain stupidity on our Postal Services part.
While I hold no ill will against any persons religion, I do feel it is in EXTREME POOR TASTE
to do honor to the Muslim religion during a Christian Holiday and while we are at war in the Middle East.
Now I am as patriotic as the next guy, and I had a super nephew killed in Iraq, who I miss daily.
But I am not going to boycott this stamp for the reasons listed in the e-mail.
I AM going to boycott it because of the reason of poor taste. After the holidays I will use the stamp, the same as any other stamp.

Too Busy To Blog

Two weeks ago we bought a small used wood stove at a real low price and with the help of my son Eric, installed it on our back porch. It helps heat the house and provides a warm place for our 3 outside cats who will be wintering on the porch.

All that first week we gathered all of the wood we had accumulated from trimming and removing trees here on the farm and any scrap wood we had from projects. Stacking it and splitting it as needed (the old fashioned way). I never realised how much wood one of these things eats. Our meager supply of seasoned wood was just about gone in 1 week.
Monday while going over to my brother John's to help him butcher a deer (and bring home some fresh venison) my van broke down. Luckily I was only about 1 mile from town and limped it in to where my son-in-law Eric works. He said the alternator was shot. I got a ride home from my buddy Dan, just in time to unload a huge pile of branches off my pick-up and get ready to got to my first day of physical therapy for my shoulder, to keep it in shape for future surgery and help aleive some of the pain.
After PT (Painful Torture) I went home and called some junk yards looking for an alternator. Luckily I found one close by and had just enough time to get there before they closed. I got the alternator and figured that since I was close by, I would stop over to Johns and pick up some seasoned wood he had laying around. We loaded up the truck with the help of his grandson Nick and I even got some venison (since I haven't been able to hunt he has provided me with venison). On my way home the truck started acting up, I dropped the alternator off at my van and limped on home.
Tuesday morning Dan picked me up for our chiropractor appointment and them took me back to get my van which Eric had fixed during his lunch hour. It worked fine and I went home and we unloaded the truck and stacked wood.
Wednesday and Friday I had more PT. Saturday it was shopping and getting hay for the rabbits. Today I spent the whole day sawing wood into proper lengths and spitting it.
In my FREE time, besides taking care of the livestock and feeding the fire, I was kept busy with other chores, such as:

Letting these guys in and out every half hour.

Petting poor Harley who is not ready for winter and is suffering from "cabin fever".

Find ways to entertain these two of the three brothers.
And cuss at my slow computer and ISP.
Today my wife made her first attempt at baking bread. She used the recipe on our daughter's site
As you can see it turned out pretty good and tasted GREAT. It was even better than what my mother used to make. (SORRY MOM) But of course mom never used bread flour, just all purpose flour. Thanks for the recipe Ang. We will be making lots of this from now on.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008



For being the first brave soul to post a picture of her refrigerator on her blog and starting such a huge blogging phenomenon. I give this award to Michelle

For also "showing her stuff " and creating such a huge blog scandel, I give it to Danni

And for all of her "hard work" to keep it "REAL", I give it to Marcee,
along with the following "AWARD" from her bestest bud, Dorothy!!!

I hope you all enjoy these AWARDS and pass them on as needed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Awards

I have made an award for Danni at On the way to Critter Farm... because I think she deserves it for all of her hard work and trying times fostering donkeys and for her to pass on to anyone that she thinks needs or deserves a Donkey Hug.

I was also gifted with an award from my "Blog School" teacher Lisa at Laughing Orca Ranch

and would like to pass it along to the following people for their great blog sites:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My River - Part #2

While the Cemetery Road Bridge was being dismantled, I went up river to the Elmwood Road or Dump Bridge as we called it. Downriver the water was muddy because of the constant truck and loader traffic in the river to remove pieces of the old bridge. It was called the Dump Bridge because the land between the north and south branches of the river where they met was used as a town dump. The bridge was a small narrow affair only about 2 car lengths long and barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass. People normally only crossed it one car at a time.

About 10 years ago they replaced that bridge too, after a young woman was killed there when she drove off the side of the bridge. It sat in the middle of a tight "S" curve on an old gravel road. It had happened before in about 1969 in the middle of winter. My brother and I were hunting nearby and heard a strange noise, a little later we heard sirens, and so started walking down the river on the ice. When we came in sight of the bridge, we saw a car with it's front end in the river and it's rear bumper resting on the bridge, almost standing straight up & down. The police and fire department were there and they had just put the driver, an elderly man, in the waiting ambulance. He was injured but okay. After this accident they put strong guardrails on the bridge and approaches. This last time they moved the road, built a new bridge with almost no curve and paved the road. The new bridge sits a little to the east of where the old one sat.
The following photos were all taken during the normal mid-summer low water level.
The area where the new bridge sits was once a snapping turtle egg laying ground. I had watched many of them laying eggs in the sand there and saw the hatchlings emerge and head to the water for the first time. The stones at the base of the pilings almost fill what was once a deep pool of water in the very shallow river. I had caught many pike by casting near those bushes that extend over the water.
The river ran a little deeper and stronger on that side and those branches effectively hid the pike waiting in ambush.

These photos show what lengths a young fisherman will go through to get out to the big stones in the middle of the river, to get better access to prime fishing spots, without getting his feet wet. Underneath the new bridge are two large stones that I used to catch tons of rock bass and bullheads from underneath. The bullheads were a favorite of my mother.

This photo shows the only spot on the river where I ever caught chain pickerel. (After I discovered wading to fish with lures.) These photos are all from the east or up river side of the dump bridge over the north branch of the river.

Here is the red barn from part#1. Behind the barn is the south branch of the river.

Here is a closer view.

This is the west or down river side of the bridge. To the left is the old dump and to the right is the OLD Elmwood Road. The water is deeper here and is home to smallmouth and larger rock bass.

The old bridge sat almost on top of this area, it is a deeper pool that my brother and I helped create by adding more stones to the rapids in the upper portion of the photo. After 45 years of spring run offs, the area around our dam has filled in with smaller stones and gravel.

Somewhere in these two photos is a pike fingerling about 6-7 inches long. I know it is there somewhere, but all of my photoshop skills failed to bring it out of hiding.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Tour With Morris

Hey; Whatcha Doin'?
Oh, well why not take a walk around with me?

I really like the flower garden but there's not much going on there right now. My stupid little brother Fraidy Fredy always has to tag along with me. He is very insecure.

This one still smells interesting even though its dead.

Hey Merlin, your supposed to smell the flowers not lay on them. That's my very independant brother. He usually only shows up at meal times. The Moocher!

What's going on across the road?

Oh, it's just the farmer checking out his field.

There goes OLD Miss Stuck-up, she is sooo rude, she won't let anyone but my owners get near her. Screams that she has seniority, whatever that means.

Ok, time to move on. They let those rowdy morons out again. When I'm inside they act all nicey,nicey but the minute were out alone watch-out. It's every cat for himself!!!

Oh, that, well, it's just a fun place to watch for birds.

Now this is my favorite, it's an old pear tree that my owners refuse to cut down. The bark is the only thing holding it up. But since it still produces a few pears they let it stand. Excuse me a minute....

See I can almost push it over. And I like how my paws smell after sharpening my claws an it's bark.
Oh, they do cut down some trees, they took these down last week and left the branches piled up for the wild rabbits to knaw on and birds and mice to hide in, but I can find them anyway. I don't eat the nasty little things, but they sure are fun to scare and play with.

I don't know why they didn't finish cutting down this one too.

Or why he spent all day putting in this pet door. I sure as heck ain't gonna use it!!

Now watch where you step here...

Do you see the size of the spines on that cactus??? I didn't think that stuff would even grow outside in Michigan, but here it is.

There's one of them pesty chickens. I don't know what they got them nasty things for. All they do is sneak up on a guy when he's trying to catch 40 winks in the nice warm sun, and then wham, they peck you, don't laugh, they bite hard!!!

Oh, stuff it. Noisey beast....why don't you do something usefull...Like cleaning out around that darn cactus so a guy can see it better.

Here's the chicken coop. It looks a lot nicer since the finished it.

Can you believe they spent a whole day burying electric cable, and burying that metal post just for that silly little light.

Them goofy birds are out picking though the leaves they put all over the garden. Sure makes it harder to use as a huge litterbox now.

Looks like they're all busy lets sneak inside...Shhhh!

DANG, there's still one in here.

Them chicken sure leave some strange looking poop in them litter boxes. And the vile things don't even cover it up when they're done.

Then my owners actually pick that stuff up and take it inside and store it. Merlin told me they eat it....that's just too sick to be true. He thinks he's sooo smart. Dumbass!

The rabbits are in here too. I like to watch them.

And they are sloppy eaters so I always get some of their leftovers. Tasty stuff and I get it all to myself, unless that big black dog comes in here too!

Ol' Freddy won't come inside. He just don't know what he's missing.
Well thats about it for today, its getting dark and time to go in for dinner.

Hey, that light wasn't such a stupid idea after all.

Ah, desert!!! If only they would let him out of that cell. I don't know what he did, or how long his sentence is, but I'll be waiting........