Sunday, June 30, 2013

suggested reading

"When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil this is still left in him.  When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less."

"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way."

"You don't have a soul. You are a soul...You have a body"

Lewis is the ideal persuader for the half-convinced, for the good man who would like to be a Christian but finds his intellect getting in the way.  
New York Times Book Review

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

room to grow

Transplanted my sole avocado pit to plant success as well as a gifted fig tree.  92,101,64,0,B,.32

Thursday, June 27, 2013

grapefruit nest

Put 2 new graphite molds to work today...cast 17 coins.

Built a little shelf for my lone grapefruit.  I named it Harold after my grandfather who used to always bring us fresh grapefruit from Florida.  It's about the size of a baseball now and hanging on for dear life.  Finished drying and conditioning the rattlesnake skin - mailing it to South Africa on Monday. 93,105,69,0,B,0

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

still meltin'

Casting some half ounce sterling silver coins for folks from Benita's Facebook page that missed out on the ingots.  The old girl had been gone now for almost a year and a half yet her page still has over 2,000 fans.

Did some transplants today in the greenhouse...a new pineapple start, 3 tomato plants, a moringa tree, and 2 grapevines.

Caught the edge of a late afternoon storm with some pea hail.  Funny thing is, the ranch canal digger was out all day "grading" my road a little deeper.  82,105,73, .24",B,0

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

more macro

Playing with a cheap macro lens on the Canon T3i.  94,107,76,0,C,.18

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I Shall Not Be Moved

Big trees and bodies of water are two things you don't expect to find out here in the desert...but they exist.
This is probably the largest cottonwood in the area and it has deep roots nourished by a year round pond.
We sang a hymn today called I Shall Not Be Moved.  "Just like a tree that's planted by the waters - I shall not be moved."
Trust not in man - but in the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh ; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited . 7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh , but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked : who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

ratty carrots

Pulled my carrots today.  Figured it was about time since I planted them a year ago.  Never really tended them very well - just kept watering the greens.  Haven't had much luck with root crops out here but at least I have something to add to some soup.  94,105,80,0,B,.7

Friday, June 21, 2013

nice sky and maters

Highlight of my day was seeing this speech by Clare Daly before the Irish Parliament.  93,108,76,0,B,.6

Thursday, June 20, 2013

your feed dollars at work

Bought the first official feed for the boys today with ingot money. They have a nice big round bale coming this weekend.  Thank you again for helping feed Ben and Bud.
Mixed up a magic potion to tan the snakeskin from the recent kill.  I learned this from the rattlesnake hunters that came out last year for the film shoot.  Three equal parts - distilled water, glycerin, isopropyl alcohol.  Soak for 3 days then stretch out to dry.  I finished off the skin from last year with some Bick 4 Leather Conditioner before I mailed it to Ben Fogle back in England.
Kinda missed my Ebay sterling searches so I checked out some recent listings - found a deal too good to pass up.  Got over a pound and a half of soup spoons for a future project....perhaps some sterling coins.
Carl and the girls got their favorite dinner tonight...shredded cabbage and carrots with quinoa.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

fixin' stuff

The boys love chewing on yuccas...that's why I have pallet fences around the two growing in the pen.  Every now and then they figure out how to get to the plant so I go out and screw the pallets back together.  I reckon I could build something more substantial but that would take all the fun out of it for Ben and Bud.   Pepino's pump finally quit after 2 seasons - have some spares on hand for just such an occasion.  These are cheap little 12VDC bilge pumps from Harbor Freight.  93,104,70,0,C,0

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

road report


Monday, June 17, 2013


Dispatched my first rattler of the season Saturday evening.  It's pretty creepy how its' headless body continued to coil around in a ziplock bag in my fridge for about an hour.  Dressed it out Sunday afternoon and ate it for lunch.  Not much meat on this poor little guy but he was big enough to kill me and there are too many places for him to hide near the house so I got him first.  Gonna tan the skin and send it to my friend from my high fashion days, Josie Borain who lives in South Africa - in exchange for a trinket from her country.

Had a nice gusher this afternoon and now my road is closed for at least a couple of days. Got my truck back here on Saturday - made a run to the post office this morning to ship out the last of the ingot orders  The swamp has turned into a jungle of mesquite and black eyed susans.  79,107,71, .50",B,0

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Preparing your heart...

The photo is an earless lizard native to the area.  They are characterized by having no external ear openings, presumably to prevent sand from entering the body as they dig.  And yes, even without ears, they are able to listen.  Church was cancelled today so I worshipped with my other church family in Raytown, MO.  Pastor John Wiley had a wonderful message about training yourself to prepare your heart to hear the Word of God...a habit worth working on.  He has much to offer if you learn to ask with all your heart and are able to listen for the answer. 

Proverbs 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.    

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found , call ye upon him while he is near:

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish , neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.   

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Two months of planning, buying, cutting, melting, pouring, sanding, stamping, polishing, and packing and I am finished.  The last of the ingot orders are ready to ship on Monday.  Nice to be able to offer some hand-made value rather than have a blog loaded with meaningless ads just to count on pennies per click-through.  Kinda at a loss now as when any major project wraps up.  I celebrated with a blueberry served with my special tiny spoon that was saved from the furnace.  What's next?  91,98,66,0,B,0

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Shot down to Study Butte for some last minute supplies late this morning.  Dilly dallied down there about 10 minutes too long.  As I was heading back north on 118, I saw rain falling on the vortex.  Made it a mile out  and parked it off the road just before the bad wash since I was starting to slide all over the place.  I might have made it all the way but I have gone 5 1/2 years without getting stuck in the mud out here and didn't want to spoil my record today and end up blocking the road or rutting it out.  The mile and a half walk was rather refreshing but kinda muddy.  Drizzle most of the afternoon with more rain expected overnight and through Saturday.  Balance of the ingot orders won't ship till Tuesday.  68,89,74,.35",B,.24

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

so tall

Chances of rain coming up = supply run to Alpine.  74 of 100 ingots have been finished and mailed off.  Needed a day to let my fingertips heal from the polishing routine.  Bought some special tape to protect them for the final assault.  Got a huge sotol bloom just south of the greenhouse.  This is the tallest I have seen out here...and you can make some killer booze out of the plant.  91,102,75,0,B,.36

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A peculiar knack for the perpendicular

Just learned today that there is an updated photo on GoogleEarth of TFL taken 4/18/13.  Pleased to double check my near perfect rectangle of a pen I built for the boys.  I measured the long diagonals by hand when I built it.  Doesn't get much more rectangular than that.  Check it out on GoogleEarth and see if you can find Ben and Bud.  89,101,73,0,B,0

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Boys

Broke the news to Ben and Bud today that their feed bill is paid for the next 6 months.  Bud is rather independent and didn't really care.  Ben just likes to play fight the foot.  They will both be grateful even if they don't know it yet.  All the orders will ship by the end of the week.  Cheers! 87,100,74,0,B,.30

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Shekel of Tyre

It just so happens that the day the producer arrived last week to try to woo me (unsuccessfully) into a reality series, I got an order in the mail.  A couple of weeks ago while searching online for some info about silver, I came across a site that offered inexpensive replica coins. They had a section on coins of the Bible. I ordered some coins that I gave to my brothers and sisters at church today.  It just so happened that my testimony and gift fit right in with the sermon.  The Shekel of Tyre is the most likely currency that was paid to Judas when he betrayed Christ.  I thought it was rather fitting that my order arrived when it did.  Every man has his earthly price...but beware of the ultimate price to be paid.

Matthew 27 : 1 When the morning was come , all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death : 2 And when they had bound him, they led him away , and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned , repented himself , and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying , I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said , What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed , and went and hanged himself . 6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said , It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 8 Wherefore that field was called , The field of blood, unto this day.