Monday, December 31, 2012

what a year!

Ben is weaned after almost 6 months.  My nipples are ruined.
The last sunset of 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Back To Eden

Psalms 104:14
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle,
and herb for the service of man:
that he may bring forth food out of the earth
1 Corenthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God

Saturday, December 29, 2012

the road home...

Made the last supply run to Alpine for the year.  Stocked up in case we get some predicted rain next week.  Thankfully, I didn't spend a dime at McCoys today.  I love the view coming home.  Got in around 3PM and unloaded then went out to give the boys a snack.  Walked out to the barn with feed and water and noticed the west fence line had fallen and no steers in sight.  I hadn't put any Tpost clips on that run - just had a couple of extra Tposts at angles holding it up.  For a brief moment I felt like a mother whose child was lost in a mall.  Drove around for about a half hour trying to find them.  As I was heading south, I saw them right outside the SE corner of the fence.  I easily corralled Ben by the greenhouse then chased Bud back across the downed fence.  I was thinking that Bud would want to go off looking for his mama...but I guess Ben persuaded him to just look around the property and stay close.  Fixed some clips on the west run. 

Reckon next on the list is to put up the the rest of the 420 clips so this doesn't happen again.  Since Brewster County is not open range - the last thing I need is an irate neighbor calling the sheriff because my longhorns are on their property.  Dick Cain has been forced to herd all his cattle back onto Agua Fria Ranch so I won't be getting bovine guests here any more (which is really a shame because I love those longhorns - they are the heart of this country).  I think Ben was delivered to me for this reason - Bovine Providence.  39,54,33,0,B,0

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Glynn Family

My friend Mike Glynn and family came out for a return visit.  They brought me some Russian honey from Georgia ( the state..not the country). 

Two pieces of trim and 4 sheets of tin to go to finish off the barn.  This is the view looking NNE with Santiago Peak in the background - 22 miles from TFL.  48,68,24,0,C,0

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Worked my way around the NE corner...cut and primed the parts for the last 3 corners.  Bud's first 24 hours at TFL went well - will take a while for him to warm up to me.  He did good today watching me climb up and down a ladder, listening to power tools, and watching me play with #1.  Ben is really happy to have a four legged friend now and loves his dad that much more.  43,60,27,0,B,0

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

Got a Christmas present for Ben today thanks to Dick Cain.  Another soon to be steer named Bud (He just got banded today).  Now Ben has a buddy.  I see a future ox team.  Bud's mother is only a two year old cow so he is a bit of a runt and was stunting his mother's growth.  He is 5 months old.  Ben is spending his first night out in the new fenced area now that he has a companion (other than Carl).  It's gonna be a cold night and Bud is gonna be missing his mamma so I hope they huddle up together. 48,67,47,0,W,0

Monday, December 24, 2012

trimmin the barn

no time for lights and trees this year
just a home for one who's dear
not a sip of fancy nog I fear
but just a can of beer

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Red Pill

Take it from this guy...choose the red pill. (photo of me by Chris Callis back when hair still grew out of the top of my head)  I was taking the blue pill back in those days.  From Wikipedia: The red pill and its opposite, the blue pill, are pop culture symbols representing the choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red).

An appropriate scripture suggestion for the times we are in courtesy of my friend in Alpine (and Benita Memorial Tshirt screen printer), Rick McDowell from Bullshirtz.

2 Timothy 3
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. 10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra--what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  


Saturday, December 22, 2012

rounding the corner

Made a dent in the north side soffit.  This one is a booger.  Had to clamp some parts in place and mark where my hurricane clips were - take it down - notch it out - put it back and screw it in.  I must have missed that detail in the instruction manual for Ben's barn.  He is keeping an eye on things but not offering much feedback.  55,64,34,0,C, .20

Friday, December 21, 2012

State of the Greenhouse Address

The State of the Greenhouse is?... better than our economy...and the war on bugs is over for now.  Everything is still alive (some just barely).  Still getting chard, spinach, tomatoes, jalapenos and an egg from my hens every 2 days.  I have a monster basil plant still thriving.  As soon as I get Ben situated, most attention should shift to the greenhouse.  I got weeding and lots shuffling and planting to do for the winter...and spring in the desert is just around the corner now.

Trimmed out the west soffit this afternoon.  46,63,29,0,B,0 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Name That Tool

First two people to comment correctly on what this tool is used for win a free Benita Memorial Tshirt.  Speaking of tshirts...of these sizes available (S,XL,2XL,3XL), get two for the price of one while supplies last.  It's a Field Lab clearance sale!  New design coming spring 2013 if the world doesn't end tomorrow.

Did an Alpine run this morning.  Got the above and the last load of lumber for the barn corner trim, some critter grub, and John chow.  While unloading the goods, Carl snuck into the greenhouse and bedded down in his favorite jalapeno plant.  41,60,31,0,B,0

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

kinda windy

Warned about big winds today.  Spent the morning getting Ben fed and situated, picking up stuff that needn't blow away, and just as the wind started - finished hammering in all my extra hurricane clips.  Celebrated the wind with a long to prepare and eat brunch of bacon and potatoes and Field Lab tomatoes and jalapenos with a layed today hen egg.  The wind wasn't really too bad at TFL.  Mostly 15 - maxed here with a 32mph gust.

Spent the afternoon planning the final assault on the barn project.  Ben likes to help by keeping me alert and aware of my surroundings (him).  Luckily, he still aims low.  We had some good romp time together today.  His reward was some fresh wheat grass to practice grazing on.  66,79,32,0,W, .18

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Put a second coat of paint on 10 lengths of trim.  Lots of thinking and measuring = slow progress.    Painfully worked my way around the SE corner and finally got the east soffit done by sundown.  At this point, the only thing getting me through this unplanned project is my love for Ben.  I hope he appreciates my attention to detail.  52,81,30,0,B,0

Monday, December 17, 2012


more trim up...more trim primed...tried out the 75-300 lens this afternoon.  55,67,41,0,W, .15

Sunday, December 16, 2012

the right to choose

Society today is all about the right to choose, and the reliance on government to protect that right and protect us from things that the media leads us to believe are no longer our own responsibility to control .   Who is in control?  My life here is all about taking control of my own future and taking personal responsibility for all my needs.  Our freedom to take control and responsibility for our own lives is rapidly being taken away from us.  Far too many have chosen to pray upon government to support and protect their lives - as long as they still have the illusion of choice.  The masses think they will still be free to choose their options as they slowly give away any chance of freedom by relying more and more on government to protect their perceived options.  From what I have seen in the world and my own life, trust in God and faith in the Word of the Bible is not an option to be protected by is the ONLY option. 

Isaiah 40
3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  4 Every valley shall be exalted , and every mountain and hill shall be made low : and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:  5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed , and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.  

Isaiah 41
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed ; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.  11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded : they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish . 12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.  13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Field Lab Saturday

52,68,42,0,B, .30

Friday, December 14, 2012

a good curd

Tour for Will, Latrice, and Kathy (mom) this morning.  Had a great long visit with them - topped off with 4 tshirts sold and a generous contribution to the BenFund.  Thank You!  Maybe Carl will stop attacking visitors if I start a fund for him.

Windy and cloudy so I headed south to do some much needed laundry.  Tried my second batch of cheese this afternoon.  We have mozzarella now.  Used the instructions from the link I posted before and got an exceptional curd using 1 1/2 tablets of Junket rennet (instead of 1/4).  Just added one teaspoon of salt and no extra stuff.  Checked a sample before I wrapped it for the fridge - taste and texture just like the real thing.  I guess that is because it is the real thing.  66,76,49,0,W, .20

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Two visitors today...Ashley is already making the move to Marfa from Toronto...CJ is planning his escape to Terlingua from Florida.  Shot their portraits with the dust filled Panasonic.  Shot the finished gate and some sky with the new camera.  (would have been nice it the manual mentioned formatting the SD card before page 45).  Why is it all the high end stuff never has a quick start guide?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

camera prep

Cleaned house for a couple of hours...unpacked the camera gear...charged the battery...worked on Ben's gate a couple of hours...started reading the 323 page manual...have yet to load the software.  This rig has lots of bells and whistles that will take some time to master - like taking the first picture.  52,66,23,0,C, .20   

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Built the gate frame...primed and painted and hung.  Latches and wire go on tomorrow.  Got my new camera today. Not even gonna take it out of the box till I clean the house in the morning.  45,61,25,0,C,0   Late Update:  Just saw this on Facebook and thought it worthy to pass along.

Monday, December 10, 2012

conceptual art...

The wind kicked in around 2AM and lasted for about an hour last night...advance warning of our cold front.  Hard to sleep when stuff is bangin' around outside.  Figured out in the morning that one of those banging sounds was my unlatched greenhouse door.  Ben had a rather large late night snack of fresh wheat grass.

Hit below freezing for the first time this season.  The greenhouse temperature got down to 38 so the plants got chilled but are OK.  Did an Alpine run for more barn trim.  Picked up some special parts for an art project that has been on my mind for years.  Will unveil the masterpiece around Christmas.  42,62, 31.7,B,0

Sunday, December 9, 2012


When I worked in NYC building sets and props, the pace was maddening.  No time to think about anything other than getting the job done on time.  If I wanted to succeed, the luxury of patience didn't exist.  The big reward was the payout at the end of a frantic job.  As time went by from job to job, I began to miss the chance to actually enjoy the process vs. the "big reward".  I began to add stress factor to my estimates until no one would could pay me enough to rob me of the enjoyment of the process.  My new life in the desert is all about embracing patience....rather easy to do when you aren't distracted by deadlines and debt and I can now appreciate the time and the process.  Popular culture has destroyed patience.  God tests our faith by our patience.  His time frame serves us all but tests us on His schedule, not the one our earthly bodies have learned. 

Hebrews 11 KJV
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.  36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  37 For yet a little while , and he that shall come will come , and will not tarry .   38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back , my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

James 1  KJV
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting .   2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing .   5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering . For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed .  7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.