Me and Mo…..

hat tip to Melinda Fowler for taking the picture.

Smoked Country Style Ribs

Campground Full!

Breakfast made over the fire.

Well I went and got a little project to work on this spring in my copious free time:  A 60 watt solar panel array for charging batteries.

I have wanted to experiment with solar for a while and looked at another similar product over Christmas but it was only 45 watt and I didn’t like the reviews it got.  This one got some pretty good reviews and it is heavy.  So when I get caught up from the lack of activity in January I will spend some time working on this as an back up power source for my radios and camper.

I also got to looking a the windmills that generate power and found that fascinating as well.  But they are quite a bit more expensive than the solar panels I got so I decided that the learning curve was costly enough with the panels before doing a windmill.

Picking sweet corn today……………between meetings and physical therapy. 

Morgan was a big help as always!



Cooked some on the grill over the weekend and it was GREAT!  Let it soak in water for 3 to 4 hours in the shuck and then grill for about 30 min turning it every so often until the shucks are staring to burn and the corn is done.  GREAT!

Got the big screen out and the projector to watch the first three original episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Fun night by all………….

When I go camping I don’t spend a lot of time in the camper looking at TV.  But when I go in the camper and want to watch TV, I want to see a picture, especially if there is severe weather.

Well thanks to the Big Switch I cant even get the local stations with any regularity when out camping now at Rend Lake.  I can get Channel 3 and 8 most of the time, can get Channel 6 “when the wind blows right” and cant get Channel 12 at all.  So I am stuck with ABC and PBS for the most part.  Oh yea each has three channels of nothing playing, unlike 6 and 12 that have a weather channel at least where you can see a radar. 

So WSIL and WSIU are on my TV, WPSD is there sometimes and KFVS is AWOL.  But then again I am thankful for that to some extent, I get sick and tired of their “live, local and late breaking” news theme.  KFVS and their theme are more recorded, tired and redundant and not very local to anything I know of. 

The more I think about it, I am glad I cant get anymore than two channels on the TV.  There sure isn’t much to watch anyway…………….

One of the best parts of camping is cooking out over a fire or Coleman Stove. Here is an easy one pot meal that everyone likes. Its called the Mountain Man Breakfast and it feeds four hungry campers or six not so hungry campers!

This works great over a fire in a Dutch Oven. It also works great over a Coleman Stove. But you have to have the Dutch Oven……..

Cut a pound of bacon up into bite sized strips and then cook.

Cut up a few good sized potatoes and have them ready to put in the Dutch Oven.

When the bacon is almost done, remove it and dump in the potatoes. Cook until brown.

Scramble two eggs per person and have them ready.

When the potatoes are done, dump the bacon back in a stir to mix everything up good. Then pour in the eggs and let them cook. Flip the whole mess a couple of times to make sure that the eggs are done and then serve by slicing like a pie.

Just before the eggs are done, top with cheese and cover for a minute to let melt. 

There is never any left……………

On the “to do list” for the next week:  (in no particular order)

  • Pull some available N test.
  • Split the pile of wood up that has been in the back yard all winter to get it out of the way
  • Clean out the camper that I took on the field exercise this weekend
  • Clean out my office and find all the stuff I have missed the last two weeks during planting.
  • Get the anhydrous parts I need and get the tool bar ready to side dress
  • Go through all my vacation pictures and video and edit/post them to the website as promised
  • Same thing for Knob Creek pics and video
  • Make a video of the Auto Steer on the planter.
  • Clean up my office and shop, again
  • Begin to get ready to pull a few soils samples
  • Clean up the junk about the barns, clean out one of the barns, fix one of the barns, tear down one of the barns, paint the barns and bins. 
  • Sharpen the blades on the lawn mower and bush hog
  • Install the chopper on my combine
  • fix the leaky cylinder on the field cultivator
  • go shoot my guns and practice a little for one of the upcoming Appleseeds
  • Spray, Spray, Spray, Spray.
  • Do some general maintenance on the grain truck, get it inspected and haul the remaining beans out of the bin.
  • Go to a long drawn-out and possibly redundant Extension Council meeting.
  • Get ready to fix and renovate a couple of waterways, if it quits raining.

That is the short list……..most of which wont get done this week.  None of the outside stuff if it rains again.

More severe weather is forecast for this weekend……………………………yea.

Heck, I spent all day yesterday trying to get my check book to balance and am still not there yet……………………

To put away for the year the super secret hidden mobile bug out bunker on wheels.

We got a lot of use out of it this year and hope to get a lot more next year.

This winter I plan on remodeling the part of the bedroom on it to make it a little more user friendly.

Last week we went on our first camping trip of the year. The kids were on spring break and wanted to go out for a trip and it was a good time to get everything out and dust it off and see what was going to work and not work for this year.

The weather was cool, OK cold some nights but was nice on the days it didn’t rain. And man did it rain a couple of nights, but it was really good sleeping those nights. I don’t think I rolled over except once on Thursday night when the storm came through. The rain hitting the camper sounded like white noise on the radio and I slept like a log!!!

However on Saturday the sun came out and it was very nice all day long. I was able to get out and do some work on the camper while the kids went on a long bike ride. Then on Saturday night we do our traditional camping ritual of a steak fry over the “survival tv” or fire.

We basically had the entire campground to ourselves for the time we were there. That is until Thursday night in the middle of the storm about 10 or 11 o’clock we had neighbors move in. They came in a camper and had two boats and four vehicles and ended up parking on the road because the grass was so wet. They stayed a couple of night and were gone on Sunday morning before we got back from church.

About the only people out were the fishermen back in the cove we camp on Saturday. Two reasons I suspect they were fishing this prat of the lake vs. the rest of the 18,000 acres or so. First it is closest to the boat dock and second it was somewhat out of the wind for the day. Most of the guys fishing had on heavy clothes so I know it was cold out there.

Anyway it was a good time had by all and gets us tuned up for the next trip. Which will be when it is a bit warmer and drier I hope. But the most fun camping I have ever had was when it was less than ideal!! Like waking up and sticking your head out of a tent and seeing two inches of snow on the ground!!! Awe those were the days!

Well after going to Ridgway to work on Saturday morning it was home to enjoy a beautiful day getting ready to go camping. I don’t know when we will go yet for the first trip, but I know we ran out of firewood last year so it was time to put the kids to work to get some split up. I have been cleaning out a water way and it was making some pretty good wood. It seems like it takes a lot of logs to make a small pile of logs but it turns into a big pile of split wood.

There is nothing more relaxing to me than to sit around a campfire at the lake and just stare at it.

When I was at Ft Knox for PJOC in 1982 the PJ’s had us practice making fire. We had fire building races and such that were pretty fun and educational as well. (for those that don’t know, PJOC stand for Para Jump Orientation Course. It was a orientation course of the US Air Force Pararescue men, the guys who go in behind enemy lines to rescue downed pilots. PJ is the nickname for the Pararescue men.)

The PJ’s and our SERE instructor called our campfire “survival tv”. It has one channel and everyone watches it. How true it is.

A campfire is not only used to cook by and to warm by but it is also very calming and therapeutic in many ways. Often people who are lost or separated from their groups in the wilderness comment that building a fire made them not only warm but also made them relax and calmer.

Just look around the “survival tv” set the next time your camping and see the looks, the stares, into the fire, and see the calm expressions on the faces of those that sit around it.

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