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.
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
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
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
The sense of smell has the strongest direct connection to long term memory. In fact, there’s literally a direct connection from the olfactory cortex that receives the incoming signals to the hippocampus where long term memory is generated. All of the other senses have to be processed, filtered, examined and catalogued first, and then the important bits are selected out and sent on to the hippocampus to create long-term memories, but not smell. This is one reason that even a faint whiff of a familiar scent can unlock a long forgotten memory. Continue reading
I recently found a poem that I originally wrote ten years ago. It was quite an experience to read it and get instantly transported back to the breezy cool morning of September 8th, 2005. It was a Thursday morning and I happened to be on the beach around sunrise. I’m still not exactly sure why I was there, to be honest. I guess it just hit me late one night that I had not seen the sunrise over the ocean Continue reading