Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stink Bugs

According to my grandson, they don't taste as bad as they smell. In a salad, especially with Asian-Seseme dressing, they are delightful. The extra crunch is similar to pine nuts, quite mild, with extra protein of course. If this discovery catches on, says my grandson, he will try to market them. A sandwich bag with a dozen stinkbugs ought to fetch a dollar. Storage should be no problem, since the critters survive the harsh winters and thrive in warm weather. 

No kitting, we're open for business!

Monday, June 27, 2011

From Doves to more Doves

Doves start out early. By that I mean, they lay two eggs even when the weather may snow on them. The dove had nested in our herb-box, under an ever-bearing strawberry plant. By accident I scared her away one cold morning. She stayed gone forever, it seemed. I thought for sure her two eggs would die because of the cold. But, she stuck with it. She sat and sat and sat on them eggs. I know she didn't hunt for food. Her mate must have sustained her.

Meanwhile, the strawberries ripened all around her. As usual, my wife and I didn't get a ripe one. The squirrels have a knack beating us to the crop. I can just see momma dove, after the eggs hatched looking eyeball to eyeball at those feisty squirrels.

Three weeks of sitting and being vigilant, daring cats and snakes, the babies slept under her downy belly. Soon they got too big for the momma to hide them. Their little beaks stuck out the side of the momma. All this time, the daddy helped feed the bunch.

Then in a flutter one flew away. A couple of days later the second one did as well.

Would you believe it, It wasn't two weeks after that, two new eggs were in the same spot. Life started over again. another cycle, with God looking after it all. Was it the same pair of doves?

Large Mouth Bass

Just the other day I mentioned to my wife, "I haven't been fishing in several years."
She simply answered, "Why not?"

I didn't have an answer. I'm retired. I am able to walk, or drive down to the pond. I don't need a permit. I got several rods, lures and the rest. . . Soooooo, I went fishing. The rooster-tail was already on the line. The hook was rusted, but able to hold one hooked. Several things were against me however. The reel was so dusty it would hardly turn. The fluttering spoon on the lure did not flutter. The sun was shining, (not too good for bass). There was scum on the pond. But, I flicked out the line anyway, over and over again. Not really enjoying the fishing, but the quietness and the laughing of the frogs.

I flipped the lure to within one foot of the edge on the other side of the pond. Bam! I knew right away supper was on the line.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Termites in new furniture?

I've been designing and building furniture out of reclaimed 100 year old wormy American Chestnut. The latest item I built is an eight foot long dining room pedestal table. The top, four by eight feet, is glued together with one inch thick window trim I took out of the old house. (see old post). 

Underside of table top

Floor joists I used.

The pedestal portion I built out of floor joists, a full two by ten inch rough cut oak timber, also out of the old house. I had removed the random width chestnut flooring, and used it to cover the floor in our new cabin. I noticed when I removed the six-teen foot long timbers that it had some termite infestation, but not enough to jeopardize the strength and looks for the job at hand. When I sawed the pedestals for the table, I placed the termite holes on the bottom so as not to be seen when the table was complete. The few holes, along with the normal defects of rough wood, I puttied to get the surface smooth.  I did little to cover the holes facing the floor. 

After taking the final product to the cabin, I left it alone for a week. When we returned, several nice little piles of very fine sawdust lay on the floor. Well, what do you think?

I had the timbers at my house for over two weeks before I started the job. I did not know anything would crawl out of it; or did it? I always thought termites need moisture. Dampness deep in the ground. I know they do not like light.

My question is: do these critters croak after a period of time? Or do they waltz around the house to check out more wood to chew on? 


Thursday, June 16, 2011


Let me tell you about an invention that is so practical, so usable, and in most homes a necessity.

It is a toilet paper holder, mounted on the side of your vanity, that slides out for easy access, and slides back out of the way when done. No more twisting your back. No more reaching across the room. No more knocking over the freestanding holder.

You think sliced bread was a good invention, you need to check this out!

Click here:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Novel: Red Solstice

After six years, I think the Novel is ready to be published. An author friend told me, "It's time to lay the baby down." The first draft was nearly 130,000 words. I have sharpened it to 94,000 words.

I self-published my first work, A TIME AND PLACE, The Making of an Immigrant, and sold over 3,000 copies.

This novel, RED SOLSTICE, I plan to publish electronically, as well as a hard cover version.
The subject is a WWII soldier missing in action. Declared dead by the German government, but survived eleven years of captivity.
I wrote the novel in the first person. Following is the intro page to the novel.

We immigrated to America when I was fifteen.
All was new––the vastness, the people, the language.
The old however, was etched deep in me.
I never knew my father.
He left before I was four years old.
He went to war and never returned.
Missing in action, they say.
For more than sixty years
I’ve wondered what might have been.
I had to write this book,
To cross the troubled waters,
To feel his struggles, as they may have been,
To rest my mind.
How could I find his words?
How could I portray his pain?
How could I calm my own nagging heart?
I myself needed to put on his shoes;
Step into a time that I never knew.
Yes, it is he I needed to become––
To at last get to know him.