In search of a new hunting lease

With sad news, our hunting lease was for sale and unfortunately has been sold. As the new owners have plans for personal use, we have vacated the property and are now in search of a new hunting lease. With any luck, we will find something in advance of the 2022 Texas Whitetail season starting. More to come...

Happy Memorial Day

“This is the day we pay homage to all those who didn’t come home. This is not Veterans Day, it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom.” - Tamra Bolton

My Heart Hurts After Uvalde Tragedy

My heart generally hurts after learning of the tragedy in Uvalde. Having been so effected by the Southerland Springs shooting back in 2017, which was just a few miles from where I grew up, Uvalde is almost two hours away, but it still feels just as close to home.

I don't have the answers as to how to prevent tragedies like this from occurring again. There likely isn't just one thing that can be done. Banning this gun or that kind of gun isn't the solution. It will just shift the method by which these tragedies occur to something else.

In general, I do believe that there needs to be more strict background checks. I think there that firearm education needs to occur. To "legally" hunt, a person needs to take a Hunter Education course if they were born after a certain date. Perhaps before a person can "legally" purchase or own a firearm, they should have to take some kind of safety course. Taking it a step further, perhaps even take a refresher course every 5 or 10 years to refresh on old content and learn about new laws, changes, etc.

There will never be one thing that can be done to stop this from ever happening again. In the end, the Uvalde shooter seems to have had many issues, and if what I have read is correct, could have easily taken him down a different path and hurt a different group of people in a different way or even just himself.

This event is another in a long line of many in which we have to ask ourselves why, but we need to be realistic about what can legitimately be done to prevent events like this from occurring. I think the sobering realization is going to be one that many of us don't want to hear or may even laugh at, but being nicer and kinder to those around us would be a good start. Making people feel alienated, unwanted and unliked is likely how one gets onto a path like this.

Our politicians seem content on arguing about how to solve this problem, but in the end, I think the solution starts with the politicians changing the process. I think the politicians should set a better example by working together rather than constantly bickering and calling each other names. Additionally, the election process is horrible in which I think most would agree takes everyone back to the worst possible time of being in elementary, middle or high school. They stop short from calling their opposition the worst possible names about what they represent and who they are.

Fix the real problems and put meaningful policies into place. Setting a better example would be a good start and legitimate legislation that really makes sense without sacrificing constitutional rights would be a good second step. Societal issues don't fix themselves overnight and the change is difficult, but it's going to take everyone to make it happen including our leaders taking the first steps in the right direction. In essence, they need to lead by example and we need to demand it from them.

A Weekend Getaway

Dawn and I enjoyed a short weekend getaway in the Marble Falls area. We stayed at nice little 2 bed/2 bath cabin in Kingsland and spent Saturday antiquing and shopping in Marble Falls. We decided to eat lunch out while we were shopping and we saw a restaurant that sounded interesting, and in fact it turned out to be fantastic. If you are looking for some incredible Louisiana Cuisine and you are in the Marble Falls are, please find some time to check out The Real New Orleans Style Restaurant.

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Edgar Allan Poe’s Song: To —

This is one of my favorite poems written by Edgar Allan Poe which was written in 1827.

      Song: To --

      I saw thee on thy bridal day-
      When a burning blush came o'er thee,
      Though happiness around thee lay,
      The world all love before thee:

      And in thine eye a kindling light
      Of young passion free
      Was all on Earth my chain'd sight
      Of Loveliness might see.

      That blush, I ween, was maiden shame-
      As such it well may pass-
      Though its glow hath raised a fiercer flame
      In the breast of him, alas!

      Who saw thee on that bridal day,
      When that deep blush would come o'er thee,
      Though happiness around thee lay;
      The world all love before thee.

Country Captain Recipe

In our house, this is a cold weather staple. Just thought I would share. If you decide to try it, I hope you enjoy.

Country Captain


  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup dried currants or raisins
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • ¼ pound slab bacon or fatty ham, chopped
  • 12 chicken thighs, skin on, trimmed of excess skin and fat
  • 1 large flavorful dried chile, such as guajillo or pasilla, split, seeds removed
  • 2⅓ cups carrots, peeled, and sliced (1/4-inch thick rounds)
  • 2 cups yellow bell pepper, diced (about 2 peppers)
  • 2 cups yellow onions, diced (about 2 medium onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 can 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cups white rice, cooked
  • ⅔ cup slivered toasted almonds, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pour the broth into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Put the currants in a small bowl and pour enough broth over them to cover.  Set aside.  In another small bowl, combine the curry powder, garam masala, salt, and black pepper and reserve.

Scatter the bacon in a 4 to 6 quart enameled cast-iron pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Stir the pieces around occasionally until the bacon is firm and just golden brown, about 5 minutes.  With the slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a small bowl and reserve.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot, reserving the excess fat in a small bowl.  Brown the chicken thighs in batches over medium-high heat, taking care not to crowd them in the pot, until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.  Add the reserved bacon fat, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the pot becomes too dry.  Remove the chicken and reserve in a medium bowl.

Add 2 teaspoons reserved bacon fat to the pot (if there is none left, use 2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil).  Add the chile and toast the chile in the fat, about 30 seconds per side, until very fragrant.

Add the carrots, bell peppers, onions, and garlic and cook until slightly softened, about 6 minutes (see personal changes below).  Add the tomatoes, spice mixture, ginger, and the currants and their broth.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down to a puree and the sauce has thickened around the vegetables, about 8 minutes (see personal changes below).

Nest the chicken thighs gently in the vegetable sauce so that the skin side faces up and is above the surface of the gravy.  Tent the pot loosely with foil and transfer to the middle rack of the oven.  Bake until the country captain resembles a roiling stew around the chicken thighs, about 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake until the sauce has thickened further and the chicken skin is just beginning to crisp, about 15 minutes more.

Remove from the oven; skim any excess fat from the surface, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Discard the chile.  With tongs, transfer 3 thighs to each of 4 wide, deep bowls filled with 1 cup hot white rice.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken and the rice and garnish with the reserved bacon, almonds, and parsley.

Serves well with a nice soft french bread or whatever your bread preference is.

Personal Changes:

  • I actually cook the carrots, bell peppers, onions, and garlic until they start to caramelize.
  • I simmer the veggies with the tomatoes about 20 minutes. I like to cook off more of the acid with a longer simmer time.