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Friday, January 30. 2009
Our latest norther, cold snap for non-Texicans, came in on Tuesday and really let itself be known overnight.Â A north wind, with light rain and chilling 23 degree, temperatures put the deep freeze on our part of the state.Â Because of the ice, school openings and business activities were delayed, and folks like me that had plans for outdoor work, postponed those until later in the day
A thin coat of ice covered every thing; our cars, the mesquite trees and even the gutters on my house froze up!Â One good thing was the moisture.Â We didnâ€™t get any downpours of rain but we did have a steady mist all day Tuesday and early Wednesday morning that gave us the ice.
This kind of weather is unusual around here, but it'll be back up in the mid 60's by tomorrow.Â Just think, we didnâ€™t even get any snow!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, January 28. 2009
This past Monday, Brad and I visited his doctors in San Antonio and finishing up before noon called Randy, my youngest son, to meet us for lunch in San Marcos at Rogellioâ€™s, a great Mexican restaurant.Â Brad and I were also going to stop at Cabelaâ€™s in Buda and stock up on ammo and reloading supplies.Â Soon, Iâ€™ll post a story about that stop too.Â Â
We were loading up on hot sauce and chips, waiting for our lunch and Randy mentioned, â€œDad, you should post the Texas Declaration Of Independence on your blog and write a story about it.Â It rings very true today.â€Â Â We kicked the idea around and it rang true to me!As a fifth generation Texan, I love this State and its history.Â But history has a way of repeating itself and the problems faced by the early Texican colonists are eerily similar to what we face today.Â Our second Amendment is endangered, government intervention has diluted our educational system and our religious freedoms are threatened!Â How was this handled in 1836 Tejas?
To say the least, Tejas in 1836 was a mess.Â Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas,Â was fresh out of prison in Mexico for the â€˜crimeâ€™ of delivering a proposed constitution for the Mexican State of Tejas.Â Tejas was part of the Mexican State of Coahuila, Coahuila y Tejas, and its capital was Saltillo, a very long way off from the Texican colonies.The Mexican Constitution of 1824, had been abrogated by Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (Santa Anna) and replaced by a military dictatorship.Â The Mexican government had invited settlers to the wild, Tejas frontier and promised them a republican government and constitutional liberties.Â Certain political rights such as trial by jury and the right to keep and bear arms were denied by the Mexican authorities.Â No system of public education was established and freedom of religion was denied.Â One point here, the original settlers did agree to become Catholics, but as more folks streamed into Tejas, this became impossible to manage or enforce.
This all came to a head in late 1835 and early 1836.Â Texicans had invaded and captured San Antonio and fortified the Alamo.Â A strong Texican force had seized the Mission at Goliad and Sam Houston had been named commander of the army.Â An armed uprising was well under way!
In early 1836, Santa Anna and his army had crossed the Rio Grande into Tejas to put an end to this â€˜rebellionâ€™.Â As he was besieging the Alamo, representatives from the various Texican groups met at Washington-on-the-Brazos to decide the issue and draft a declaration of independence.
Five men, including George Childress, who probably brought a draft declaration with him to the convention, were chosen to author this important document.Â In record time it was completed and somewhat parallels that of the United States.Â The Texican document has statements on the function and responsibility of a government, a list of Texican grievances and finally declares Texas a free, independent republic.
It was accepted by the convention and on March 2, 1836, 59 Texicans signed it, ended the meeting and headed home.Â These men risked everything, their life, their familyâ€™s and their property, because Santa Anna was â€˜no quarterâ€™ personified.Â However, when he was captured after the Battle of San Jacinto, he did beg Gen. Houston for his life!
The Texas Declaration Of Independence follows:
Continue reading "It Still Rings True"
Posted by Jon Bryan in Politics at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, January 26. 2009
In January of 1979 I flew from Atlanta to Tucson and met Jake Schroder and we experienced a wonderful 3 day, hunt for Mearns quail.Â Jake had his Brittanyâ€™s, Candy and Ned Pepper and I took my Brittany, Rooster.Â Â Â We enjoyed some fine dog work, some hot shooting and a lot of good fellowship!Â Right is Jake and Beech walking in on a covey with Candy pointing and Rooster backing.
The trip was way too short and as I headed back to Tucson, the radio announced that a winter storm had smashed into the southeastern U.S. and travel was becoming difficult.Â Later, at the airport, I was told that Atlanta was closed down due to the ice, but flights were still landing. Â
Calling home, my wife told me that she thought her and Brad could come pick us up in our Dodge Power Wagon, but definitely, the Buick was out of the question.Â That made my decision, Rooster and I would fly on in to Atlanta, the family would pick us up and we would be home by 9:00 PM.
It was a three, hour flight from Tucson to Atlanta and by the time we were preparing to land, the pilot announced that, due to icing, Mayor Maynard Jackson had closed the roads and freeways in the town.Â This sounded like Rooster and I would be stuck at Hartsfield International for the night.
The plane landed and I called home and, sure enough, the town was closed down, but my wife said that she had gotten Rooster and I a room at the Dayâ€™s Inn, if, and a big if, I could get to it. I went to baggage to pick up my shotgun and luggage and then to the claims office to get Rooster, then I found a Red Cap to transport us to the cab station. Â
Luckily a cab was there and the driver told me that he could drive me the two blocks to the Dayâ€™s Inn and he would only charge $5.00, I wouldâ€™ve paid $50.00.Â More luck, the hotel manager told me that because of the situation, he would waive the â€˜no petsâ€™ rule.Â He even got some scraps from the kitchen for Rooster!Â Telling the manager that Rooster was â€˜house trainedâ€™ and I didnâ€™t expect any problem, didnâ€™t assure the manager, who told me that I would have to pay for any clean up.
Rooster, pictured at left, was perfect and we spent an uneventful night in the motel and by noon the next day, the storm had blown through, Mayor Jackson had lifted the travel ban and we were able to get home.Â The entire situation was kindaâ€™ funny and wouldnâ€™t have been any worry if I hadnâ€™t had Rooster.Â However, he was a â€˜trouperâ€™ and since heâ€™d spent the last 3 nights out in the open, Iâ€™m sure he enjoyed staying in the motel!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Weather at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, January 24. 2009
Right on the button, at 5:30 AM during the fall of 1972 in Arizona, I had stopped by to pick up a hunting buddy for a go at some gamble quail.Â The night before he had mentioned that breakfast would be ready at 5:30 so there I was. Â
Walking in I could smell bacon and a new, pleasant aroma that I couldnâ€™t identify.Â Asking him, he replied, â€œThatâ€™s green chilies and onions.Â I picked up the recipe when I lived in El Paso.â€Â I â€˜pickedâ€™ it up that morning and itâ€™s been with my family and I ever since!
Green chilies and onions enhance the flavor of almost any food.Â Itâ€™s wonderful served on, or with, steak, chicken, burgers, pork loin, over eggs, in soft flour tacos, jalapeno cornbread dressing or whatever!Â Iâ€™ve even quipped that it would be good on peach cobbler and ice cream!
Itâ€™s an easy dish to prepare, there are only three ingredients, but down here, in Texas, some work better than others.Â We prefer10/15 onions that were developed at Texas A & M, or Vidalia onions, however, any sweet onion will do.Â Paces or H.E.B.â€™s, Hill Country Fare , chilies are the best.Â H.E.B.â€™s come in a little larger can and any good butter will suffice.
It is an easy dish to prepare:
Take one stick of butter out of the wrapper and place in a skillet. Â
Open one can of chopped, green chilies and add entire contents of the can to the butter.
Peel one, fist size, 10/15,onion and slice, then spread over the butter and chilies.
Set range heat to medium and cover with a lid.
Stir occasionally and cook until the onions are done, approximately 10-15 minutes.
Serves two people.
For larger groups, double, triple or quadruple the ingredients.
If some is left over, itâ€™s great warmed up and served on scrambled or fried eggs.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Random Thoughts at 08:05 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, January 22. 2009
Our deer season closed this past Sunday and my family did our part to thin out the deer herd in Mills County, Texas.Â Our freezers have a lot of deer for the off season; Brad with 2 does and one spike; Jon with 2 bucks; Randy with the largest buck shot, a 15 pointer and a spike, and Colton with a doe.Â We had one guest that shot a medium buck.
We didnâ€™t take pictures of Colton and Bradâ€™s deer, but Randyâ€™s buck, pictured with my Grandson, Sean, was a nice one!
I shot 2 bucks, one a cull deer with 3 legs
And the other, a heavy, 8 pointer.
This year we had a lot of fun, fellowship and some good hunting!Â Changes are in the wind from our State relating to a minimum spread for buckâ€™s horns.Â This has spread across our State and resulted, where implemented, in less bucks being killed, but the ones killed were bigger.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, January 20. 2009
Early in my life I had learned that if you are out in the â€˜wildsâ€™, cooking a meal or having a night, time fire, they worked best if you had a fire pit.Â Always living where there was a copious amount of rocks, Texas, Arizona and Georgia, material for a pit was readily available. Â
In 1993, after Layla and I acquired our ranch, one of the first things I did was start collecting rocks for a fire pit.Â We have lots of rocks so, real quick, I had enough and quickly finished our pit.Â Our cooking tools and techniques are relatively simple.Â Our grill is one piece of expanded metal held over the fire by 2 steel, fence posts, cut to size for our pit.Â We use a special long handled, with a sharpened curly hook on the end, turner or a long handled flipper.Â The mesquite smoke and hot fire really adds to steaks, chicken and burgers!
Last Saturday afternoon it was shirt sleeve weather, so Layla and I decided to crank up our fire pit, defy our local burn ban, and cook us up a couple of rib eyes.
Adding garlic pepper and Billâ€™s Seasoning, our steaks were ready for the fire.Â I might add that Billâ€™s Seasoning is manufactured in San Saba, 18 miles south of us and is available in central Texas and is not nationally distributed. Â
Wood is no problem since our ranch is covered up with mesquite, mesquite being the State Nuisance Tree of Texas and also the State Cooking Wood Tree of Texas!Â Building a Boy Scout style fire and adding a little starter, I soon had a nice one going.Â Â
The coals were ready, so on went the steaks and one turn and 6 minutes later they were done to our preference.
The finished product, rib eyes cooked medium rare; aÂ sturdy glass of Shiraz wine, excellent with steaks and good for your health when not taken to excess; home made bread with Falfurrias butter (only available in Texas); covered with green chilies and onions and we had a meal fit for royalty!Â The recipe for the green chilies and onions will follow shortly.Â
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 08:05 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, January 18. 2009
With a mess of quail or a good, thick steak, nothing goes better than sautÃ©ed mushrooms.Â Bob Baugh, one of my hunting and fishing buddies and former business partner sent me one of his old recipes that we hadveshared many times.Â You have my assurances that these mushrooms are tops and will enhance the enjoyment of any grilled meal!
SautÃ©ed Fresh Mushrooms
By Chef Bob
40 large fresh mushrooms, stems sliced away, washed and patted dry
1 stick butter
2 sticks butter, diced Â¼ in. and softened
Salt and pepper
In a large, sautÃ©, pan, melt 1 stick of butter, add mushroom caps, heads down in the pan and increase the heat.Â When caps are lightly browned, turn them over and continue to sautÃ© for one minute.Â Add Maderia and deglaze pan, a flame may ensue momentarily.Â When the Maderia has evaporated, turn heat to the lowest setting possible and add diced butter, a little at a time, while shaking the pan until all the butter is added.Â It is important to keep shaking the pan while adding the butter.Â You do not want it to become oily or liquefy.Â A smooth and glossy sauce should be the result.
Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with the chopped parsley.Â Serves 4 or 5.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Random Thoughts at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, January 16. 2009
Iâ€™m a â€˜cold warâ€™ veteran, too young for Korea and too old for Viet Nam, but whenever Iâ€™m out and about and I see a man wearing a WW II, Korean or Viet Nam, veterans, ball cap, I always stop, go up to him, shake his hand and thank him for serving and protecting our way of life. Â
Two days before Christmas, I was over in Brownwood finishing my shopping and spied a WW II/Korean veteranâ€™s, ball cap and, like I always do, went up to the man and held out my hand.Â He took my hand and accepted my thanks, then, from out of his coat pocket, he removed a paper and handed it to me.Â On the paper was a poem that he had written, a brief description of why he wrote it and his picture.Â This surprised me and I told him about my blog and he said that I could put this on it if I wanted to.Â Everyone will enjoy this!
Robert W Hickeyâ€™s picture shows, among his medals, a Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.Â In WW II he served with the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Division on Mindanao Island, P.I. and was wounded on 12 June 1945 at Mandog Crossing in the hills above Davao.
â€œI served with the 931st Engineer Aviation Group on Kadena, Okinawa from March, 1950 until April, 1951.Â The debris of WW II was still scattered all over the island.Â The day the Korean war started we were taken to the rifle range to reacquaint us with firearms, since they knew weâ€™d be going to Korea.Â As we rode to the range I watched the waves of the East China Sea rolling into the shore.Â That night I was assigned Charge-of-Quarters duty which necessitated staying awake all night in the company office to receive visitors and answer telephone calls.Â There were none of either.Â In order to pass the time I wrote this poem, â€œMonuments Of Battleâ€
â€œMonuments Of Battleâ€
â€œThe coral reef still guards the beach
There we once fought to land.
The endless waves still pound and beat
Upon the ageless sand.
The sun still shines upon the palms
And the jungle echoes with a million songs.
The world goes on with life and love
With never a thought to us above.â€
â€œIt was a beautiful place,
This sunny south sea isle,
A land of joy and happiness
When the Gods of peace did smile.
A land not meant for battle fields,
A name known only to a few
That would fill a book of history
Ere our bloody task were through.â€
â€œThe landing craft that charged the beach,
Thrusting through the spray,
Sit and rust upon the reef
Where they were tossed that day.
The rusty blade of a bayonet,
Broken and cast aside,
Lies in the sand and marks the spot
Where a brave man fell and died.â€
â€œAn empty clip from a carbine,
The stock of an old M-1,
The rusty bottom of a canteen cup
Reflecting the light of the sun.
These are our markers, our gravestones,
Our monuments left behind,
That will follow their makers back to the dust
As our deeds fade from the mind.â€
Posted by Jon Bryan in Random Thoughts at 08:05 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
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