Categories
family Life outdoors seasons, summer,

Hot Summer Days

There’s just something about the light!

Peach says:

Yesterday as Batman and I walked out the front door for a quick trip to town to get salt for the water softener, the warm summer breeze just mentally swept me away!

I said to Batman with a happy smile ‘A hot summer day.’ Usually that would mean mosquitoes, sweat and hair attacked with the frizzies from humidity. But, yesterday it meant everything but!

It meant warm breezes that soothe your soul, and keep the bugs away and a dry heat, not humid. It meant blue skies that don’t quit! Green oak, bay and pine trees! Tweety birds here and tweety birds there! Freshly cut grass! (Thank you, Batman!)

As I got in Batman’s truck, I was remembering past summers. Summer after summer. When we were younger, and the kids were small, and when we were kids ourselves. Summer was a time of low key, anything could happen, there might be an adventure around the corner, let’s climb this tree, let’s make a dribbled sand castle at the beach, homemade ice cream, hamburgers on the grill, lemonade, standing on the big wooden (cable?) spool like it’s a stage, singing Tanya Tucker’s ‘Delta Dawn’.

Praying your parents don’t make you come in for a bath just yet! Being told you look like a tornado ‘hit ya’ (that was code for girl, your are a dirty mess!) which I looked down at myself and assessed they were correct! I was quite pleased with myself!

Sometime ago I realized that to this day when I smell fresh cut grass, I cheer up immediately. Not only because it just smells good, but it immediately takes you back to those wonderful, ‘anything is possible’, summer days! More recently I realized part of that joy, was the fact that getting the grass cut was a success. Dad never had a new lawn mower, so it meant often a lawn mowing task entailed a bit of fighting with the mower to either get it started or keep it running. Once it was cut, we all immediately loved the way it looked and smelled and sort of celebrated another round of a long term battle with the mower, chalking up another win! It felt…prosperous! Not everybody won their battle back then, more so today because we all are more prosperous, whether we realize it or not!

Oh the thrill of school being completed for another year, and being ‘out’ for the summer, (thanks Alice Cooper), of knowing our kids would have water play, run around and have wars and play hide and seek combat style in the neighborhood, and be able to sleep in and have more time with us in the evening, sleep overs, forts, dirt bikes, endless good hearted mischief. It was a good feeling, even if we had to leave them and go to work!

Our two sons have been raised a long, long time and now each have their own families. I still, to this day am happy when school is out for the summer! Just the thought of the good times available to millions of kids everywhere, gives me a lighthearted feeling!

My sweet brother thinks this feeling might be because no school traffic on our respective ways to work. Hmmm…that might be it, too! 😆😆

It’s funny, I was telling Batman that while summer days take me back, fall and winter days I think I’m firmly in the wonder of the NOW! That is a story for another day!

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” — Genesis 1:11-12

Categories
baking bible birthday children family Fatherhood food fun grandchildren Gratitude grilling kids Life Love Mustard on my Collar outdoors parents retirement sugar boogars thankful Word writing

Family!

Peach says:

It’s been a minute since I could slow my roll and make a post without likely falling asleep!

I think I may have mentioned we have two new grand kids coming this year! 🥰🥰🥰🥰

Our youngest son and his sweet girl had a ‘Gender Reveal’ party at the first of this month. She is very organized and really gifted for decorating and doing so in a thrifty fashion!! I’m so amazed at and proud of her mad skills! Everything was super cute and pink and blue, with lots of ways for the attendees to stake their claim on if the baby is a girl or a boy!

My heart was so full for about a week and half I couldn’t process any writing! Then it was work, work and here — take some more work!! 🤣🤣

But you know, I do not say that in complaint! Work is absolutely a blessing! We are made to sharpen our skills and accomplish and serve and lead and train and help and provide! I’ve been both ways, and working is BY FAR the better! Whether I worked as a housewife and homeschool mom and writer or keeping a friend’s child or as a Sergeant in a law enforcement agency that was leading the way for Florida back in the day, or in insurance sales and firearms training, there are so many ways we contribute, we grow and we learn.

It’s only that I need more sleep than I use to, so I can’t burn the candle at both ends like I did back in my 20s and 30s and somewhat in my 40s!

Alton Brown’s Banana Pudding

So, the days have been so full and among them has been seeing to little details for Batman’s upcoming retirement. There’s a lot of paperwork. Lots of questions with answers sought and comprehension eventually acquired! I remember the days when we longed for and sought for this job, this calling. I remember the struggles and sacrifice and much heart ache, adrenaline rushes, exhaustion, and steady grinding. I’m not entirely sure he understands the depth and breadth of what he has accomplished. All with and through the Grace of God and his own willingness.

I am so grateful and excited for his upcoming next. Scriptures tell us, our latter shall be greater. The path of the just is as the shining sun, shining more and more unto the perfect day!! I’m completely believing that for him, and for me with him! Just. Getting. Started.

Early morning on his work day patrol.

We share birthdays so to speak, my birthday being the day after his! Which is awfully handy!

We started last year getting some of our family together to celebrate on Batman’s birthday and this year was just overwhelmingly everything good and joyful! He grilled and I cooked side dishes and baked. And my brother and his tribe came and our sons and their families!

There was a little friendly horseshoe competition between the guys and lots of wrangling the littlest of the younguns!

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese!
A bit of much needed shade! 😎

We are blessed to have so much family to enjoy! I know this sounds sappy, and I’m quite ok with that! The last two years prior to this, while filled with much of The Lord’s much needed Grace and blessings, were very painful in lots of ways. So, I believe celebration for accomplishments, progress and just altogether sweetness of life are important to life! 😍👏🏻👏🏻

We capped it off by sparklers, and the youngest three of the affectionately known as Sugarboogars, had not so far had an opportunity to experience such things just yet!

There were much squeals of shock and awe and utter delight! Oddly none of them were afraid! Even the almost two year old Loved them! I can’t imagine where they got that from! 🙃 But, I will say my second favorite holiday is Independence Day!! 🎇🎆🎇🎆

Just a bit of sparkly!
‘Taking cover’ behind the woodpile while videoing the sparklers with their cameras their Daddy got them last year! They get SO MUCH pleasure out of them!

I am praying this year draws Batman even closer to the Lord and fills his heart with joy and peace and old dreams fulfilled and new dreams dreamed! That the Lord teaches me how to be more of a surprise and blessing to him! He’s beyond good to me! So very grateful for him!

In closing:

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” — Psalm 138:7-8

Categories
birthday children Cooking Delicious family Fatherhood fishing food grandchildren grilling kids Love outdoors Uncategorized

Birthday

Batman Says:

It creeps up on us once a year without fail, and suddenly “BAM” you’re a whole year older. It’s inevitable, it happens to us all and there is no way of stopping it.

When I was a kid, I like most of us, never worried about age or growing old, I played hard, ran the woods and fields, fished, hunted, trapped and just basically did kid stuff until ma or pa called me home. Every birthday that came when I was young was celebrated with my family, we were not “well off” but mom and dad always made it special and surrounded by my brothers and sister I don’t see how it could have been any better.

The years progress and we get older and have to stop doing “kid” stuff and “act our age” so to speak (something I struggle with having a professional small boy mentality), but I believe we all maintain, somewhere deep inside buried under years of stress and strife, piled upon us by work and trying to make a living, a piece of that “kid”. It’s this small piece that shows up at times to play jokes, laugh at inappropriate times and generally helps to keep us sane in a world that is drifting rudderless nowadays (squirrel).

So, as I look back, I see numerous things from my childhood that have been erased by my getting older and I would like them back at some point in time. Without these childhood things and mentalities we become drab boring adults just muddling our way through life, where’s the fun in that?

This year on my birthday I was again surrounded by family, not mom who is off with my sister in Pensacola, not Dad who is in heaven looking down shaking his head at my nonsense, but family none the less, my boys and their families and Peach’s brother and his family. I cannot see how it could be a better birthday than the way it was (‘cept maybe minus the yellow flies, deer flies some call ‘em) we cooked on the grill, played badminton and horse shoes, goofed, talked and caught up. Peach and I have awesome families and kids and grandkids and they all come together to help us old farts remember when we were kids and not to take life too seriously.

Birthdays, long as we’re here, we will have them, they are celebrations that we should embrace and enjoy. Surround yourself with family, be thankful for having them, do not take life too serious, play a game, laugh, and most of all love, and I think you will enjoy each one more than the last one.

Nothin better than your banana puddin’ for my birthday, Peach

Categories
anxiety danger Faith Fear focus grace Hope Life outdoors peace rain The Word Word

The Answer

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.” — Psalm 34:4-5

Peach says:

Hey, Everybody! I pray you are sleeping well as I type this! I know I’m fixing to!

Fell asleep and woke up…that’s never my best. Sometimes I’m too happy to sleep and my mind races…sometimes, the enemy of my soul wants to rush in and whisper things to imagine and worry about. Tonight I talk back with the Word. God’s Word is always the answer, and more effective if we speak it, pray it, declare it. Doesn’t necessarily mean you feel better instantly…but…you CAN know beyond what you feel…and your feelings WILL catch up. I think our culture talks about ‘anxiety’ too much. Gives it too much power. Not because it’s not a real thing. But, because it IS a real thing. Anxiety is a fact. Everybody deals with it. Its everywhere. It’s like humidity or clouds…it’s there…but, so is the breeze, so is the sunshine and the moonlight, and the morning dew and rain from time to time. 🤷‍♀️ it’s not everything. It’s not the boss. We have a Protector, if we will keep our eyes on Him, He will keep us in His perfect peace.

My closing Word to go to sleep with

—“47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” — Luke 6:47-48.

That’s never sounded as good as it does tonight. I hope this encourages someone.🙏🏻♥️

Categories
birthday family fun kids outdoors parents range Uncategorized

Family Range Day

Batman says:

Today is the day! “Yay! We get to go to the shooting range with family!” To me there is no better way to spend time, than being together with family and having great fun. Toss in shooting guns, and teaching young folk firearms use and safety, and you have a recipe for an awesome time.

I’ve been blessed with awesome kin folk, on both sides of Peach and my families. This time we’re together with Peach’s brother, lovely wife and two absolutely awesome nieces.

So here we are, all out at the range, and we get stuff out and set up. Canopy for the sun, table for guns and bullets, and ear protection eye protection, and miscellaneous items. Firearms and kids, be it a 10 year old, or 17 year old, or 50 year old, should always be directly supervised by an adult that actually knows about firearms and firearms safety!

Anywho..at the range we are all set to go and first order of business is safety, safety, safety and safety (this is the ONLY exception to my “safety 3rd” rule). New shooter/old shooter, doesn’t matter which or who, safety is paramount around firearms. We take our time and go over safety, and gun fundamentals with the two nieces and others even if they have shot before.

Then off we go to shoot, it was a GREAT time and I think everyone enjoyed themselves, we all shot each other’s guns the nieces started with a small caliber .22 and shot it AWESOME!! Couldn’t have asked for better from two girls that had never shot before. Even had them do a shoot while moving course later that we threw together just for fun, and they excelled at it. I have been a firearms instructor for a lot of years and in my opinion, if they keep shooting they could go to competitions and do quite well. K (I never reveal family names) did very well, but I believe the sound was bothering her until we got her to wear earmuffs instead of the ear plugs once we made that swap I think it was better for her. She shot well prior to and shot well after, I believe the sound and heat was a bit taxing on her but she hung in there like a trooper. L on the other hand, took to it like a duck to water and shot the whole time and excelled even though her uncle kept making her run the course over and over because he couldn’t get the video he was taking right (hey, I never claimed to be a film maker, have a son that graduated school for that).

Both my wonderful nieces are a pleasure to be around and that’s a compliment to their parents who are two great people. Their dad is a good shot on his own and seemed to enjoy the shooting and the fact that his 3 “girls” were having as much fun as he was. If things go the way we hope I foresee many more trips to the range in his future. The “mom” has always been just a fun person to be around and boy howdy can she shoot a handgun! Everyone can use tips, but when you shoot that well the tips are more about posture, tiny grip changes, and mental focus. The premise starting off was to get the “girls” comfortable with the guns, I think we accomplished that pretty quick, and I also think we need to get back out there before too long has passed so as to reaffirm the habits taught and learned. A couple more times of basics and I think we could sit down and discuss a bit of home defense shooting.

Cart before the horse it seems, anywho to bring this ramble to a close, before I get lost in inane babble, Peach and I had an absolute blast with them all, and it is my sincere hope it started something we can do much more frequently, I hope they had as much fun as I did. If by chance my kin read this, thanks for coming out and hanging out with us, for me there can be no better time than to be together with kinfolk doing fun things. K get mom and dad to buy you good hearing protection, L do the same and both of you will do great if you keep at it. L&M in my old fashioned humble opinion, perfect kids come from great parents you two fit the mold, y’all let us know when ya wanna shoot again and we will make it happen.

Side note to others that read this and are interested, find a competent teacher, doesn’t have to have credentials from fancy associations, just needs to have the patience and knowledge to teach, and go have fun.

Recommended Apparel and Equipment:

Hat with a brim, eye protection (safety glasses), good hearing protection, I recommend a collared shirt (hot brass flies down your shirt it will melt your skin TRUST ME IT HURTS) shorts are ok, I wear loose pants BDU or cargo, but shorts are fine (no one wants to be subjected to these legs) but wear closed toe shoes that cover your foot even tennis shoes or the like (see above about brass) and that you can move in.

As for guns, I have never recommended calibers or types, I suggest you try as many as you can till you find the one that fits your hand and you handle the recoil on the best.

“Peach that was fun, right?”

Categories
family fishing Life nature outdoors peace rest thankful Uncategorized

Fishing

Batman Says:

Quietly sitting on the bank intently staring at the “homemade” cork float as it wiggles and shakes then finally disappears under the muddy water. Reacting too soon I jerk the cane pole up but no fish, my uncle “Russy” says “too soon knot head let him take it a bit longer and I lower the hooked worm and “bobber” back into the pond…

My oldest memory of fishing was that one, I’ve made hundreds since, but that one I remember, and hope I always do. It was simple pond fishing with a stick, some line, and a hook and it was to me the best way to fish, and still may be. Fishing is an activity that anyone can participate in that wants to, just add water and you never know what you may catch. I have since early childhood loved fishing, pretty sure this love came from my Dad, who when he was young loved to fish also.

And by the looks of it, was pretty good at it. I have fished lots of places, sometimes I catch something, other times not so much, but all times I have a good time. Fishing is one of those things that to me is always fun, catch anything or not, I am outdoors and away from people, and fishing.

Part of the fun is finding new places to fish. Peach and I when we were dating used to tromp all over the river and it’s feeder creeks up to our knees without ever a care, she has always been a lil trooper. Catching and releasing the little bream or sunfish we would sometimes get. We would ride down CR13 and wherever a creek crossed it, we would get out and wander the banks and fish or wade out in the creek itself. We used prolly my favorite fishin pole and reel setup in the world (next to a cane pole and bobber) a Zebco 202 rod and reel set. Easy to use, can cast under hand, over hand, sidearm, anyway You want. Pretty good rod came with the set, and it was all we needed. I cannot tell you how much fun that was to do.

Fishing does something few things can, it causes you to let go of silly things and stresses, the longer you stick at it. The longer you fish, the more you see how relaxing it is to be away from work and worry. Fishing should be a legitimate medical reason as to why you took a day off work, instead of using vacation or sick days, you should also accrue fishing days (I may have stumbled onto a genius idea). I have no doubt in my mind that if a study was done, it would prove me right, one fishing day a month would make a happier more productive employee (squirrel ran by).

I recall one summer my sister and I spent the time with my aunt and uncle who lived in Georgia, somewhere just outside of Atlanta. I had an awesome time there as when they were working we had free run of the place. There was a perfect creek down below their house and my sister and I played in it for hours, it also led to a bigger creek that eventually fed a lake (try as I might I cannot remember exactly where this was, getting old robs too many memories) and there was a dock there. My sister and I would fish from the dock for hours on end and I honestly cannot remember if I ever caught anything, I do remember my sister catching a beautiful colored fish which we later found out to be a rainbow trout!! (We let it go, but that’s what my uncle said we were describing). Up the road a very short walk, past stands of blackberry bushes (more thorn than bush but I have no idea what it’s called if it is not a bush) which we later that summer went back to and picked buckets full of and my aunt made blackberry cobbler (sorry another squirrel). Anyways, up the road was a pond, looked like coffee with creamer in it and we went there just once that I recall but we caught catfish, oh my did we ever, it was probably the most fun fishing I remember from that whole trip, cast a line out and wait and eventually without fail a catfish would take the bait. These are memories that leave an impression on a young person and I am glad I experienced it.

I am the kind of person that likes pretty much all fishing and I carry poles in my truck on the off chance I spot a “fishin hole” along my way that may require my fishing assistance. Yes, I have actually been late to things due to stopping at a promising looking creek along the way to see if there are any fish.

I have deep sea fished, worked on a charter boat, fished in lakes and rivers, but my most favorite is fishing in small creeks and ponds I can walk around. Be it with a cane pole or fishing rod, I’ve even used a fly rod (I am really horrible with it but I have caught fish with it) and I like them all.

(That’s me in my flooded yard learning a bit about fly casting)

I remember being in Ft Eustis, Virginia in the military and fishing in a lake there, not sure if I caught anything, does not matter, I do remember I had fun in doing so and that’s all that matters. Fished again in Honduras while there in the military, in the Caribbean and in fast flowing ice cold rivers coming straight off the mountains, again not sure if I caught fish, do not remember doing so, but I remember the fun I had just fishing.

Peach and I over the years have fished all over in lakes ponds rivers and oceans, we have creek fished and sat in the side of the road and fished in ditches, simply because we love being and doing things together, and we love fishing. It’s cool that we have this like in common, would be sad if it was not something we both liked.

As we grew older and we got more and more responsibilities, fishing was pushed aside. But as things often do when you like doing them, fishing kept popping up and we still went off and on. Through the years we have gone times that we totally forgot about fishing and all the sudden one day we are headed out to fish.

Most days we kinda want to catch fish but rarely do we really ever want to keep them so we go and if we catch any we usually release them quickly. The fun is in the trip not the actual keeping.

So many times we have caught and released fish after fish and I cannot think of a time we regretted any of it.

Fishing takes patience, which most of us adults no longer have lots of. But in order to enjoy fishing you are forced to slow down and be patient, while waiting for the fish to bite. If you cannot make yourself be patient, slow down, wait for the fish to bite, you will probably never really catch many.

Being patient, waiting at times for hours is not easy when you are really young, or older (and have lost your patience from years of aggravation) but in fishing it’s a “have to have” to be successful, if you are counting the day a success by catching fish. If you’re like me and no longer think the day is a failure if you do not catch anything, then you are well on your way to being “successful”

In today’s hurry up and make all the money you can world, a world where you can not seem to slow down for a few minutes much less a whole day, I in my humble opinion wish everyone that wanted could come sit in the shade on a creek or pond bank with me and watch a bobber dance on the water while no thoughts or sounds of man or being in a hurry intrude, trust me my friend, for a brief moment in time you would be so much happier.

Come on Peach, let’s go fishin”