As anyone who has attempted to grow a vegetable garden can tell you, tomatoes can be some of the most rewarding, frustrating, challenging, and, at times, infuriating plants to grow. They can be temperamental, even fragile, and sometimes you can do absolutely every single thing correctly (or almost correctly) and you still lose your crop. There are bugs, fungi, worms, viruses, bacteria, blights, rots, and everything else in the world that can kill the plants, the fruit, or both.
In fact, at times I’m surprised there are enough tomatoes successfully grown in the world for us to have things like ketchup or pasta sauce.
In case you can’t tell, this year’s been a rough one in the garden.
Poster advertising the WW2 Victory Garden program
On December 7th, 1941 the United States was hit by the Empire of Japan in a surprise attack on our naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii–the date that will live in infamy. Though every moment of our lives is a dividing line in time, few moments are as clear a dividing line in the history of the world as that moment. It was that surprise attack that launched the US full steam into World War 2, started the research project that would eventually unlock the power of the atom, and destroyed one of the darkest, most evil creations of man’s history, the Nazis. There’s no question that like other major historical milestones (the detonation of the first atomic bomb, the assassination of JFK, or the attack on 9/11 to name a few) the world was suddenly divided into the “before” and the “after” of that event, and nothing would ever be the same.
We are currently living through one of those milestone events in history. Continue reading
Reagan proudly displaying “her” deer. She loves when I cook venison and can’t wait to taste her deer!
One of the questions I get most often about hunting is why I do it. We have grocery stores where you can go buy beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and at the right stores, even venison for relatively affordable prices. The meat is high quality, clean, and readily available. So why do I layer on clothes, hike miles through rough terrain, and sit hours in the cold, at times wet, wilderness waiting for a deer to happen buy so I can shoot it?
The simple and yet incredibly complicated answer is it’s a part of who I am. Continue reading
I would like to take a moment to say thank you to someone who has shown me unconditional love and support from the moment we started dating nearly 13 years ago. Without my wife, Courtney, and her steadfast faith in my dream there’s no way I would have seen that dream realized today as I start the first day of my new career as a full-time author. Continue reading
For most of us, Christmas is over by now. The presents have all been unwrapped, the stockings have been emptied, and now we face the task of returning to the day-to-day routine that, for a brief time every year, gets suspended in lieu of the holiday season. Many of us, myself included, have returned to our day jobs, albeit reluctantly, and soon the kids will be returning to school. It’s sad how fast the spirit of love and generosity that is at the heart of the Christmas season fades into the background as daily life begins once again to take over our thoughts and our conscience. But before that warm fuzziness of Christmas gives way to the cold reality of going to work before sunrise in January, I want to take a minute to talk about the difference between “thankful” and “grateful.” Continue reading
I dropped the tiny screw for what must have been the fifteenth time. Instead of trying to fumble with my stiff, thick fingers to pick it back up and start the process all over again, I simply stared at it. For nearly twenty minutes I’d been trying to thread a tiny screw into the hole in the drawer rail and attach it to the side of the drawer. This would complete the assembly of the first of six drawers that would eventually go in my new dresser. Sweat was beading on my forehead and my hands had started to shake.
I knew I was fighting a losing battle…..I just didn’t want to admit it. Continue reading
Expanded Kit in the box
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about First Aid and how even in common household situations it is a good idea to have some basic First Aid supplies and knowledge on hand. It only takes a small slip with a chef’s knife for an evening cooking dinner to turn into a trip to the urgent care center or emergency room for stitches. Having the proper supplies on hand and knowing how to use them can sometimes save hundreds of dollars in doctor’s bills and insurance costs. Continue reading
When looking into the basics for disaster and survival preparedness, there are a few staples that cannot be ignored. Food, water, security, and First Aid are typically the big four that most specialists will agree are absolutely necessary. Secure these four things and you’ve gone a long way to ensuring your immediate, if not overall, survival. I did a post on finding water a couple of months back, and today I want to talk about another of the big four survival necessities; First Aid. Continue reading
Some of my early obsidian points and a field found paleo-style blade
I’ve talked about flint knapping a little in my books and I figured it’d be good to let people know what that really is. At its most basic, the skill or art of flint knapping is the shaping of stone to make blades, points, and other implements. When you think about the classic, often inaccurate image of Native American combat, you think of bows and stone-tipped arrows, spears and tomahawks. Those stone projectile points, weapon blades, and tools such as drills, grinders, scrapers, needles, fishing hooks, harpoons, and dozens of others were all possible with skilled flint knapping.
However, from the time the first European settlers set foot in North America, the art of flint knapping was on borrowed time. And, for a while, it nearly disappeared completely from the cultural lexicon of America. Continue reading
When I was in kindergarten, the school bus didn’t go where I lived. It would stop in the curve on the red dirt road where the massive old cedar tree stood. My brother and I would get off the bus and start walking the quarter mile white dirt road to Nanny and Granddaddy’s. Their small brick house stood at the end of the white dirt road, hidden by a thick screen of trees that bordered broad fields of tall tobacco. Continue reading