Monday, October 28, 2013

The Best So Far

This weekends Chili Cook Off was the best so far.
We cooked in Whitewright TX for the Firefighters Fundraiser and we cleaned up.

First off I want to say how proud of the wife I am for getting 1st place chili. She almost cried when they called her number. I knew she won the moment I tasted her chili right before turn in.
I won 4th place with mine and was happy about that.
After we turned in our chili, this place has a people's choice award where all the public gets to go around and taste everyones chili. They bring little cups and we fill the cups and then they score how good it was on a card. The wife and I decided to combine our two chilies so we would have enough for everyone. Well, we ended up getting 2nd place In peoples choice.

On top of all that we also won a 75.00 dollar voucher for the wife to get a body wrap, a 75.00 dollar Academy gift card, a 25.00 dollar Walmart gift card and the best of all, A night out on the town in a brand new Cadillac and a 100.00 dollar gift card to a fancy restaurant I can't even pronounce.

Last year all together we won about 1300.00 dollars worth of prizes but nothing on the chili. This year we won about 500.00 worth of prizes and three trophies.
The wife now has 4 points and I have 3. We need 12 to be invited to the world championship.

This kind of weekend is what makes me come back for more. We had a great time, with great friends cooking for a great cause with a great outcome.

That's it for now,

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Chili, Chilly Weekend

No, really it is going to be a chilly, chili weekend.

There will be rain most of the day Saturday with a cool North wind while we cook chili at the North Texas Firefighters Fundraiser in Whitewright Texas.
We do not have a sponsor for this cook off but being we had to register a month ago and I gave them my word I would be there, we are going.

No complaints about the weather, I have a tent with walls so it will be a great time no matter what, wish us luck.

Other than that, I think this weekend will be the first time we will need to light the fire place. That would make a great Sunday right there. The Cowboys playing, a fire, and a big pot of cabbage with fresh baked corn bread. Holy crap, that's living right there.

Y'all have a great weekend,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Biggest Threat To A Prepper

The biggest threat to a prepper is not the zombies charging down the street to pillage your stash. It is not your so called neighbors and friends while you are away. It is not the government making tougher restrictions on how you live. It is not even a natural disaster. Why, it is because we are prepared for all those sorts of things. The biggest threat and most devastating thing to a prepper is simply a little ole mouse.
    This little creature can ruin just about everything you have worked for before you even realize it.
Food storage's are a mouses Walmart. Once they find it, it's over. They tell all their friends and family and before long you are overrun.  Traps, Cats and Poisons are fine where applicable, but it will not keep them all away all the time. You might even think you are rid of them and then the next time you reach in and grab that fresh loaf of homemade bread, you find a hole eaten all the way through it. 
What's that old saying, "If you build it they will come." Well I say, "If you store it they will come." Now with cooler temperatures, the mice are looking for a warmer environment. They are coming out of the fields to your storage room full of all those goodies.   
There is nothing worse then having to throw away good food because it was not stored correctly. If you find bags or boxes that have been chewed open and some of it's contents are gone, I would not chance it unless I was starving and just throw the whole thing away. I am not going to risk getting sick eating from where a mouse was or happen to peed on.

If you are already going through the effort of storing food, then why not protect your investment with a little more effort. The best way I have found is plastic buckets. You can get them free from the grocery store if you ask, I get mine from the bakery department. They are the small buckets that the icing came in. Leaving the food in the packages, I can put almost six months supply of elbow macaroni in one of those.  This goes the same with everything else that comes in a package. It does make rotation a little harder, but it's worth it. Just label the bucket and your set. They also stack easy so you can have more room for other things.

These little buckets are also great for making up a survival cache. By placing the essentials in it for a weeks worth of meals they are great to take on road trips just in case. Plus if "It" did happen and your friends come knocking, you can give them a bucket of food so you are not taking away from your storage and your family. Just a thought.   

The box foods don't fit too well in a bucket so I use totes. It is more of a pain to do this with the box foods because you can only see the tops of the box, but it's better then throwing them away because of a hungry critter. Date the box tops so with a quick glace you can see what's for dinner that night.
This is the same for all the breads. A tote with small holes drilled into it holds all the bread and keeps it fresh and everything else away.

If you never had a problem like this then that's great. It will happen though and unless you want to waste food, money and time then I suggest taking the extra time to protect your investment. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Always Too Short

Her visits are always too short. The oldest girl is back at collage now and we are all back to our normal routines. I won't see her again until Thanksgiving.
 Here she is sporting her birthday gift we got her at this weekends chili cook off. We got back in time to make the Sunday cook off in Dennison Texas. This cook off was sponsored by The House Arta Built
If you want to learn something then you need to read this blog. It is amazing to say the least. We can't thank our sponsors enough. The money raised this time was for the American Red Cross.
BEB and the wife got final table and I got 6th place with our chili. We also won 2nd place in show. 
The weather was perfect for a birthday and chili cooking weekend. I wished I could have stretched is another day or two though.

Until next time,


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fun Birthday Weekend

My oldest daughter is coming in from collage tonight to celebrate her 21st birthday. We have big plans this weekend and I think she will really like the gift me and her momma got for her.
This girl is something else. I could not be more proud of the life she is living and the woman she is turning out to be. Even though I am suppose to be the teacher in life, I often find the roles reversed and she is the one that pulls me through the tough times. When she is home everyone's mood is better, more laughter is echoed through the house and the sun seems to shine a little brighter even on a cloudy day. Her bubbly personality just seems to get to ya and you start feeling the same way, you can't help it.
It seems like just yesterday she was only eight years old and in my mind I still see her that way. It slipped away so fast. 
She asked me a while back if I had any regrets. Even though I have always taught her to live without any, I said I did. My biggest regret was chasing the dollar and not spending more time with her while she was growing up. I didn't see that until she was gone.

I got her for the next couple of days and we are going to have a great time.
I will keep you updated,


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Long Time Coming

It's been a long time coming to get back out and do some shooting. With the shelves being cleared of most all ammo for the past few months and the limits put on how many boxes I could buy once I did find it, made it where I didn't want to waste any on targets. The days of shooting hundreds of rounds down range may be over, but a few every now and then won't hurt.
A friend of mine had a custom 308 build for him and wanted to give it a try. The range finder found the fence to be 150 yards out so we set up a target and got after it. My shot went high left and right through this 2 3/8" metal fence post. This thing is a beast.
Nice firearm and would love to own one.

Now being I can find 22's again, it's time to start tinking some cans.

See ya.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chili Filled Weekend

This weekend was nothing but Chili Cooking.

Both days we cooked in Sanger Texas by the lake. Saturday's cook off was was sponsored by and
dedicated to an old friend, YOF. Rest in peace my friend.
The money raised went to the Elks Charities. I took 2nd place in the Beans, the wife got 14th with her chili. We cooked inside due to the threat of rain all day. We had a blast.

Sunday's cook off was sponsored by lottajoy. Please run by her blog and check her out. The money raised went to the Gold Triangle Charities.
We decided to cook outside just because. It did rain on us a little but it was much better than cooking inside again. We didn't bring our tent so it was pure redneck cooking. We used a table as a wind break and cooked right off the tailgate, loved every minute of it. The wife nor I placed with our chili but it was still fun. We did place 2nd in show, I don't know how but we did. I guess it's my bubbly personality.

It was a great turn out and a lots of fun. I want to say thanks to all that came out in support of us, and a big thanks to the sponsors. Next weekend we will be cooking in Dennison TX at Loose Wheels, so if you are on that side of the world come by say hey.
If you are looking to sponsor our cooking team at a cook off you can hit the donate button on the right side of this blog to do so. A sponsorship spot is $40.00. This money is not for me in anyway, it is for the entry fees and goes straight to charity.   

That's it for now, Y'all have a great day,

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I Hate Change

If everything stayed the same, I would be a happy man.

I hate change. I hate not knowing what I am doing. I hate not knowing where to go. I hate starting a new job all together, but it had to be done.

Over the past four years I got comfortable at my job. I knew everything there was to know about it, all the procedures, all the requirements and all the specifications. Now all that is thrown out the window and I have to start all over again. It may be the same kind of work, but everything is different. I guess when it comes right down to it, I hate not knowing.

Just four years ago I was in the same situation. I remember how bad it was learning all the ins and outs of the job I just left. I almost walked off at least a dozen times, but I didn't. This is the same thing. I am already second guessing my decision to leave, my brain shuts down and all I want to do is go home. I am afraid I will let my new employer down and most of all I am afraid I will let myself down.
The good thing is I know this will pass. I know in a couple of weeks I will "get it." They are paying me good money to do a job I already know how to do, it's all the little things that I have to learn like the documentation, people and responsibilities I am now in charge of. Plus the new job site I have to transverse on a daily bases that I don't have a clue where to go.

Give me a couple of weeks or so and I will get the hang of it.

Thanks for letting bend your ear,

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Beautiful Chili Weekend

Finally, we cooked chili in chili cooking weather again.
The front blew in bringing some rain and dropping temps down in the 40's. Strong North winds and drizzle all day made cooking pretty miserable, but no one complained at all. Just the day before it was in the mid 90's so we were all loving it.

I got to walk! My chili got 9th place and I won this nice little mug as a trophy. The wife and the daughter got 13th and 14th.
Our team also won first place in show getting this really neat metal trophy. We weren't going to do show, but we really liked the trophy.

So now we are looking for sponsors so we can keep cooking. For 40.00 dollars the wife and I can cook next weekend. If you are looking for something to do with forty dollars that will go to charity then hit the donate button on the right and we will put your name on our cooking box as a sponsor for this chili year. The money from all the cooks at these cook offs go to the charity of the ones putting it on. If that's something you feel led to do then we appreciate it and will give you all the credit when we win.

We had a great time this weekend and I hope to continue cooking.   

Talk to ya tomorrow,

Friday, October 4, 2013

Empty Fields

The pasture is empty, the barns are quiet. 

Today, the last truck pulled away with what was left of the animals we had here on the Mini Farm. Sad day yes, but in the end it had to be done.
The money from all the animals and the recurring feed bill every month will be put in the A/C-Heater fund. We can heat the house this winter from wood but next summer I will have to have the A/C unit replaced so we can live here. It is hard to justify all these animals and not have A/C and heat so they had to go.
The new job I start on Monday comes with a raise so that will help a little out as well.
More frugal living is a must now and that's okay, been there done that before. I'm not above eating beans for a few months.

The oldest girl and her wreck is moving along. Her car is being fixed and will take two weeks to be completed, the estimate is $5800. Not too bad for the amount of damage that was done. We got her in a rental car now so she can function while at college. This has been a nightmare to say the least.
The only thing I can really say about it all is that when it rains, it pours.

The good news is this weekend a cold front is moving in dropping the lows to in the high 40's and the highs in the low 70's for a few days. This will help on everything including the mood.
It will make this chili cooking weekend perfect even if it does rain a little. Unless we get some sponsors for our team, this will be the last weekend for chili cooking so we will be giving it our all.

I wanted to say a quick howdy to all the folks over a Feedspot. Welcome to MDR and if you need anything just let me know.

Short but sweet.
Wish us luck,

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Yup, I did it, I fired my employer today so I am now unemployed, I am free.

I gave them a month notice I was firing them and still they waited till the last minute to get a replacement. I spent only one hour with the poor guy this morning before walking out the door. He was like a deer in the head lights.
My work is very technical and a responsible company would have send someone out at least a week in advance before my last day. Now, they are all screwed.
This weekend we will be cooking in Gainesville Tx at the Lavender Ridge Farms Fall Festival.
After that we will be taking a break due to saving money for the new A/C-Heater unit for the house. If I were not the one putting this cook off on I wouldn't be doing it. That would look kinda bad If the guy who set everything up and has all the answers didn't even go.
It's going to be fun. So if you are up that way and are looking for a really nice place to spend the day, come on out.    

By the way if you were wondering. I start a new job on Monday. In my line of work you have to change employers about every three to four years to stay on top of the curve. If not then you get passed by on promotions and pay. New people coming in from other engineering firms are getting top dollar and after a while they start coming in for more than you make so that is when you have to make the move. Loyalty for your company is non existent and they feel the same to the people they hire. If they can find someone to do your job better and cheaper then you are out the door.
I admit I am a money prostitute. I sell my expertise for as much as I can get and who pays that is who benefits from it. 

That's all I got for now, see ya on the flip side.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Basking In The Shade

I have had this Shade project lingering over my head for sometime now and even though summer is almost over and we are tightening the belt to afford to replace the A/C-Heater unit in the house, this one little thing had to get finished.

Over the past few months I have been collecting materials for the patio shade.
At first I wanted to build a nice wooden structure that looked all fancy, but after pricing everything out I quickly realized that was not going to work. A $3200 patio cover was not in the budget.
So I started to think cheap and designed it, but even then with cattle panels and lattice work it was going to cost $400. Yes, it is a far cry from the first design but it was going to look like crap and I was not going to be happy with it.

My cousin called a month ago and asked if I could use a automatic sun shade. Well sure I could!
I had some heavy wall pipe already on my trailer and down in the barn I had some lumber, lattice work and broken bags of concrete I have been collecting from the cull piles at the lumber stores. I make it a habit to go by and look through the cull piles at least once a week. You can save a butt load of money that way.

I set the posts last Thursday and somehow during all the other things that was going on Sunday, I managed to finish the project. It just so happens I had my labor force (the girls) there at one time and I took advantage of it.
  This shade even has a remote control. All I have to do it hit the button and it automatically unrolls itself. Now that's high cotton right there!
Not a bad little project that will come in really handy and all for $18.00. That was the price of the u-bolts to hold the boards on the metal pipe.

See ya,