Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: family friendly

June 2018 Fishing Trip on the Angelina River – A Short Story

Southeast Texas alligator

The day started a little earlier than others when the alarm went off at 5:00 am. As soon as the alarm went off a war of attrition began in my head. One voice was talking about how comfortable the bed was and to forget about the fishing trip. The other voice was telling me to get up and go because in a few weeks the full brunt of the Texas heat will be here.

Realizing in another three or four weeks the July heat wave will be upon us, I decided to crawl (though reluctantly) out of bed and head to the shower. There is something refreshing about getting a morning shower.

Attire for the day was Levis jeans, green Carhart shirt, and Justin leather work boots. Typically, I wear shorts and sneakers on fishing trips, but this trip was different. Part of this trip was for pictures and videos. Rather than walking through a swampy area with sneakers, to decided to wear boots.

All of the gear had been loaded in either the Toyota T100 truck, or in the Weldbilt aluminum boat the night before. All that needed to be done was take a shower, get dressed, grab my everyday carry gear, and head out the door. I had wanted to leave the house around 5:30, but was able to leave around 5:20 or so.

Driving to the Angelina River

The Peace and Quiet of Nature Photography

Bee Tree slough on the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas

For some people nature photography is going somewhere, taking pictures, and the go back home.

My personal feelings on nature photography and nature in general, people and nature have a special connection that has been forgotten. Up until around 10,000 years ago humans were hunter-gatherers. We followed the herds and were in tune with nature. However, all of that changed as the last ice age ended.

As the curtains drew closed on the last ice age, the large animals that supports our ancestors died off. A great number of animals even went extinct. Probably as a result of the mass extinctions, our ancestors turned to farming and gardening. Rather than following herds, our ancestors domesticated various animals, such as the goat, sheep, chicken… etc. Rather than foraging for wild edibles, crops were cultivated.

In the grand scheme of human history, we have a hundreds of thousands of years as hunter-gatherers, and 10,000 years of town and city building. In the grand scheme of human history, cities have been around for the blink of an eye. The rest of our history was sent in sparse communities, and as hunter-gatherers.

Nature Photography, Peace and Quiet

Barbecue Cook Out For a Family Reunion

Smoked barbecue chicken on a pit

For a Saturday the day started off early. Rather than sleeping late, I had to get the pit fired up and ready for the cook out. My family was having a family reunion which honored my aunt, uncle and my dad.

My contribution to the family reunion was 20 pounds of chicken and 7 pounds of sausage. However, to have everything ready on schedule I had to start the pit around 8 am Saturday morning.

The fire box on the smoker is 2 feet and 6 inches long. To start the fire I typically use a small bag of self-lighting charcoal, with wood stacked on top of the charcoal. The wood is stacked with two pieces long ways, and two pieces cross ways.

It is as simple as lighting the bag and letting the wood born down to coals. When the first pieces of wood have turned into coals, additional pieces of wood are added. Usually, two pieces of oak wood are added, each piece laying at 90 degrees to the other.

Enough about the wood, let’s talk about the chicken.

Using A Pocket Compass While Hiking With The Dogs

Dogs on a hiking trip

Awhile back we talked about a 50 cent pocket compass I ordered off Ebay. Rather than buying the compass from an online store, just go straight to the source and cut out the middle man.

Paracord zipper pulls were added to my packs, and then the compass was attached to the paracord. Is the pocket compass a primary land navigation aid? Of course not. The pocket compass is used in conjunction with other navigation aids.

For example, while on a recent hiking trip with the dogs we stopped next to a nice pool of water to take a break. While the dogs were playing, I looked at the pocket compass to make sure we were headed in the right direction.

I know the area and there was no way we could have become lost. A pipeline passes through the forest just a few hundred yards from where the dogs and I stopped. Then there is a dirt road that bisects the pipeline. No matter which way we headed, we would hit either the road or the pipeline, as long as we traveled in a straight line.

Using a Pocket Compass

Spring Is a Beautiful Time of Year

Spring time sprouts on a fig trees

Spring is a wonderful time of year. Everything is blooming, birds are migrating, leaves are coming out, and farm supply stores have their plants in stock. This is one time of the year that is special to a lot of people.

The cold wet weather of winter is yielding to the warmer temperatures of spring. Old man winter is not finished though as March is an active time of year. The back and forth between cold and warm weather may remind observers of young boys having a shoving match on a school playground.

Eventually though, as sure as the sun sets and rises, old man winter must yield to spring, and spring must yield to summer. Before the oppressive summer heat sets in, maybe we should get outside and enjoy the warmer weather?

The winter of 2017 – 2018 will be one for the record books. Most of the nation has been cooped up in our homes for weeks on end. Our only ventures outside have been to go to work, home, buy groceries.. and the absolute necessities.

Difference Between GMO, Hybrid and Heirloom Seeds

Spring plants at a local outlet store.

What are the differences between genetically modified organisms (GMO) sometimes called GM, hybrid and heirloom seeds? Some people think hybrid and GMO are the same thing – they are not the same.

GMO – Genetically modified organisms. The seed has been modified on the genetic level. For example, a scientist may splice the gene from a fish into a corn seed. In nature that could never happen.

Hybrid – Cross pollination between two related species. For example, cross breed a horse and a donkey and you get a mule. A mule is a hybrid between two closely related species. In the plant kingdom, closely related plants can cross pollinate. If the seeds from a hybrid are saved, the seeds may be sterile. If the seeds do grow, the plant may not be like its parents.

Heirloom – Pollinated by its own species. Saved seeds will bear true to form. The seeds can be saved from this plant, and replanted over and over.

Watch The Dogs And I Walk Around The Farm

Puppy on a nature walk

Dogs and I went for a walk around the farm and made a video about it. I was looking for oak trees that may have blown over during a recent storm. The roots of oak trees run close to the top of the soil. When the soil becomes saturated, and then we get some high winds, there is a chance an oak tree will uproot an fall over.

Once we find a tree that has blown over, it is just a matter of cutting the tree up and splitting it for firewood. Unfortunately, we did not find any blown over trees this trip.

Pine trees on the other hand, they have a deeo tap root that is supposed to be around half as deep as the tree is tall. Because of the tap root, pine trees rarely blow over. If the winds get high enough, a pine tree is more likely to snap in half than blow over.

Nature Conservation Area

Society Needs Jesus Back In Our Lives

Kevin Felts, blogger and political commentator

Jesus taught a message of love, and for that he is hated. What does that say about society? It says there are some people whos hearts are full of hate. The very idea of spreading the message of “love your neighbor” causes them to go into a rage. They start babbling about things to discredit the message of love. Why would someone fight against love? Why would someone want the world to be filled with hate?

The simple answer is their hearts are full of hate.

The mouth is a reflection of what fills the heart. A lot of people will disagree with that. However, when a person argues against Jesus, who only taught peace and love, their heart is not filled with love.

Society has been taught there is no GOD. What examples can we look at when societies reject GOD? China comes to mind, and so does Russia.

Losing Love For The Land

Dumping trash in rural areas

There was once a time when our ancestors roamed and followed the migrating herds. Our very survival depended on what the land produced. Migrating herds ate the grass, and we ate the animals. Plants grew roots and berries, and we are the roots and berries.

Somewhere around 10,000 years go something changed. Hunter gatherers were slowly replaced by farmers. No longer did our ancestors depend on migrating herds, as we raised our on herds. No longer did we have to forage for roots and berries because we raised our own.

Then came cities, money… and eventually the industrial revolution. Somewhere along that timeline we no longer looked at the land as something to be loved and cared for. It was a resource to be exploited and harvested.

Say NO To Black Friday Say YES To Family

Kevin Felts political commentator

Which is more important, finding something on sale, or spending time with the family? Are we a nation of morals and values, or are we a nation who sells family time to the highest bidder? Black Friday has become a disgrace to the civilized world.

No longer do we sit with family members, talk, and enjoy the company. As soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, out the door we go to find the best sale. By doing so, what are we teaching our children? Which is more important, listening to granny and grandpaw, or finding a good deal on a TV? That is the dilemma we are faced with.

Once granny and grandpaw are gone, they will never be replaced, their memories gone forever.

If a TV breaks, it gets replaced with a newer and better model.

My Childhood Playground

When I was a kid growing up in Bridge City, Texas, my buddies and I would hang out in a section of woods that borders a marsh. We would build trails through the woods, tree houses, go camping, just do what kids did.

As my buddies and I got older, we stopped hanging out in the woods and started socializing more. After we stopped maintaining the trails, they were slowly reclaimed by nature. Within just a few years the trails were almost impassible.

Two decades later, Hurricane Rita pushed through the area and uprooted a lot of the old oak trees.

While visiting with my mom and dad for Thanksgiving, I took a camera and headed off into the old trails.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalist

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Regardless of religion, creed, color, race or sex, we all should find something to give thanks for.

All year long our lives are filled with something to do. Whether it is working, shopping… whatever it may be, we do not always spend the time we should with family. Thanksgiving should be a time we visit with family, talk, share stories, and learn from our parents and grandparents.

My grandparents and great grandparents had so much knowledge that was not passed down. What was it like when they were growing up? My great grandmother lived through the depression, two world wars, and two major conflicts. What was it like to see the world change that much? What was it like to go from kerosene lanterns to putting a man on the moon?

Justice League Movie Review

The Justice League movie is getting a lot of undeserved bad reviews. My wife, my daughter and I went to go see Justice League at Tinsel Town in Beaumont, Texas on November 19, 2017. I felt I got my moneys worth.

When we go to the movies, we pay to be entertained. I was entertained and had a good time.

The negative Justice League reviews are nothing more than a reflection of how terrible DC has been able to capitalize on decades of super hero comics.

Take Batman for example:

How many people have played him over the decades?
How many times does the origin story have to be retold?
Ben Affleck has received a lot of undeserved negative reviews.
Each Batman series seems to have no tie-in with the others.

Democrats Becoming Increasingly Unhinged

Kevin Felts blogger and political commentator

Since the election of Donald Trump the Democrats have become unhinged. This has interrupted the peaceful transfer of power.

When one party loses an election, they are supposed to accept the results and work with the party that now has the majority vote. This peaceful transfer of power did not happen after the 2016 election.

Democrat controlled media continues to push the idea that Russia swayed the election. Since nothing is coming from that, now articles of impeachment have been filed.

There are numerous reasons why Hillary lost, and none of them are related to Russia. The honest truth is, democrats are undermining the republic. Rather than working with the GOP and President Trump, democrats are digging in their heals and will grid lock the government for the next four years, and maybe even the next eight years.

My dad told my today’s democrats are not the same democrats from decades ago. Democrats use to stand for the working people. Now they stand for gay rights, illegal immigration, and debauchery such as abortion. Millennial democrats see any corporation with republicans as an act of treason against the democrat party. What the millennials do not understand, the party’s have to work together, or the government will grind to a halt. There “has” to be some give and take on both sides.

We Need Shows Like Hee Haw

Would you like to know what is wrong with society? We need more Hee Haw and less reality TV shows. We need something families can sit in front up and have a good laugh.

As I write this post I am 49 years old, and will turn 50 in a few months. When I was a kid in the 1970s, mom, dad, my brother and I would watch Hee Haw. More or less mom and dad would watch the show and my brother and I would sit in the living room with them.

It was an hour filled with good family time, talking, laughing and having a good time. After Hee Haw was over, it would be time for a bath and bed.

Society needs something to bring families back together, and not drug, sex and violence laden reality TV shows.

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