Food is where you find it – – urban foraging

I started trying to eat oatmeal for breakfast on a regular basis.  The thing is I really like apples in my maple and brown sugar oatmeal.  Now I know you wondering what does this have to do with urban foraging. Well nothing really other than while walking Layla the other day I came upon some apples in a public park.  Thinking these the ornamental variety I started to pass over them.  But I couldn’t. I had to know.  So I cut into one and it was very tasty !!
So I gathered up six of the ones that were not obviously damaged and finished walking Layla.
These six little apples provided almost a full cup of diced apples for my oatmeal. 

Yes I did throw away about 20% of the harvest.  But since these were ground harvested I didn’t think that too bad a yield.  They cooked down nicely and were very flavorful in the oatmeal.

The lesson here is always be aware of your environment it may hold the things you need at that moment.  Did I already have apples?  Well yes but somehow these that were nature’s gift were better.
I really want to make the point that readiness is so much a state of mind that you carry with you daily.  It’s not about “gear” and “stuff”, it is about knowledge and experience.  If you don’t take the time learn and then go put that knowledge to the test all the gear/stuff piled around you is simply something to weigh you down.
Is getting one freebie while walking in the park a big deal, well you tell me.  How many other people tapped into that resource?  How many other people even SAW that as a resource?  Do you think I’ll go back in a day or two?

I know some of you are into the whole “prepper, end of time, civil unrest, collapse of government” sort of thinking.  I think that there are so many other things that can change your lives in a moment that really do happen to everyday people.  Loss of job, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, injury, illness, are just a few calamities that every day befall people.  While it is good to build your resources in the form of emergency supplies (we’ve all seen milk/bread vanish at the mention of snow) let’s continue to share knowledge and experiences.

I started the Facebook blog Dan Cordray Readiness Resources to share ideas about being ready in life.  But since Facebook changes they way they act, I’ll be posting those ideas here along with the adventures Layla and I find.

So get out, be safe and go adventure!


Tumbling Creek Adventure

This adventure started with a storm,, or least driving through one. But, after hours of storms I found my self in a beautiful setting…

Yes, the boss was watching while I made this post.
Tumbling Creek is in the Cherokee National Forest in TN.  The campground is not that hard to find, if you’ve gotten good directions.  My purpose for being here was to meet some other nomads and enjoy their company.

One of them turned out to be very knowledgeable in the ways of the forest.  Rita told me being raised in Germany she  had to learn all the “womanly ways”.
Now before anyone can protest about sexist remarks, those were her words.  And honestly I’m glad she learned them and is willing to pass along that knowledge.

She stopped by my camp and asked if I would like to go with her to photograph and harvest some mushrooms.  I certainly would!  I’ve never been one to pass up the chance to learn something new about my forest home..

Little did I realize she had found the mother-lode of mushrooms!  Like all things in the forest these were not given up easily.  She asked me to look, look at the forest and did I see anything out of place?  I thought some brightly colored debris had washed up from them creek.  Look to the left of where she is standing.

We had to duck and turn through the brush and trees and even remove their guardian from our path.
 I must say she spotted before I did…

He was a common Black Racer set to scare off any that would find the mushrooms.  I placed him out of our path so we could continue our quest.
Here is what we found…


THIS QUITE THE FIND!!!

Lobster mushrooms and lots of them.

These are not only edible they are quite delicious.

There is probably three to four pounds in this one place.

She told me that to harvest these you should trim them about and inch or so from where them stem attaches to the tree.  This leaves the mycelium intact so that the mushroom will grow out again next year.


Notice how free and clear of blemishes they are.  Rita pointed out that there were no holes in the stems indicating no bugs had been in them.  When bugs enter the fleshy part of the mushroom they often times are headed for the mycelium and the rest of where the mushroom is attached.

 She was very happy with this find.


 And I had a great time with her cooking up the ‘rooms and some fish and a salad of artichokes and black olives.

Doesn’t that just look good???

Sauteed in a little butter with onions.

It all met with cuzzin’ Dick’s approval.

Now that’s how it’s done in the forest.


I’ll be posting some more about the Fall GTG at Tumbling Creek.
Right now the “boss” says it’s time for a walk…

Get out, be safe, and go adventure.

"Free Will"

One of my “Danism’s” states,  

            “Free will allows one to believe whatever they will choose in the face of reality.”

   This is so often too true for many folks.  I knew someone who held onto something they believed they heard even when presented with the truth of what was actually said for many years.  Now this could have just been a case of “selective hearing” or poor “communication skills”, but these misunderstood words have haunted them and impacted their life’s destiny.  When a simple examination of facts along the way should have opened their mind to accept what they chose to believe as possibly only that, their free will to remain imprisoned.

   I will not claim this one since I’m not sure who actually said it first…

“You are a spirit, You have a mind, You live in a body.”
   What sets us apart from all the other living things in our world is that spirit/mind relationship.  I know that some people may believe their favorite pet has a spirit.  On that, you’ll have to take it up when your’ spirit meets your’ Creator, I simply don’t know the truth in that regard.  However, what I do know is that our minds can and do influence our spirit and that is the “free will” in action.  

 This is probably the best example of using your free will to influence your life’s destiny and so your happiness and fulfillment.   Now I am not advocating that everyone run out fall lockstep into what Mr. Hill presented. Simply consider that your free will is the key to control or unlock your mind for greater things. There are those that will say, “isn’t that just some trick to manipulate life or just make yourself feel good”
Cheap parlor trick I would think not.  Using your mind to balance the truths that are presented in this world with what your spirit perceives actually frees your spirit to pursue your destiny without fear.
   This is not to say that you can simply “will” your way to a happy and successful life.  First, you define successful not I, then go back and read (better yet follow the link) the line again.  It speaks to expected failures!  You present yourself with the YOUR expectations and the reality of where you exist in life, then your mind can (and will) conceive a reality for your spirit to follow.  YOUR REALITY.  Some of my friends lead very complex lives full of activity and rewards.  These people enjoy the pursuit, not just the physical rewards of cars, houses and possessions.  They seem to deal with (no thrive) on the stress that comes with that lifestyle.  Others, choose to be content with a less demanding lifestyle and ties to few possessions.
Could one trade places with the other? I think NOT!  You see each have made the commitment in their minds to pursue what their spirit now believes.  That belief is the balance between the sacrifices they are making for the rewards they pursue.  Those sacrifices are different for each, just as the rewards.  The executive may not be able to conceive sleeping in the wilderness to witness nature any more than a mountain man could conceive being imprisoned in an office every day for years.
   There is an interesting point here in that as your body changes and your mind gains more knowledge your spirit matures through life’s success and failure.  You may find yourself now using your free will to change the path you are on.  If so, this is what brings freedom and happiness.  OR, you may find that your path is one you choose to play it to the end bringing other fulfillment’s.
Again it is that mind/spirit relationship that allows free will to even exist.  Keep examining life for the truths that are conceived by your mind and confirmed by your spirit.  This balance is what keeps your free will from choosing a path of destruction.  Remember in all things there is evidence of truth. Those that choose to examine truth and conviction are the happiest in life. 
 
   Going back to your pet… he/she may have a spirit that may travel with your spirit, but my guess is the Creator did not make that same mind/spirit relationship in other living things.  That’s why we are all special and unique from the rest of creation.

Requested video

From time to time I have someone ask me to post how I do a certain thing or another.
This video is a demonstration of a homemade “woodgas” stove in use.
Now the stove was made out of a couple of coffee cans and another can (refried beans maybe).
The pot rest is made from hardware cloth left over from another project, otherwise can be purchased at any “big box” hardware store.

Having things….

“To have much in life, waste nothing.”

Not your’ resources,  whatever they may be large or small.

Not your’ time,  there is a season for all things and you need to do all things in their season.

Not your creativity,  mind-numbing activities such as watching other peoples imagination played out on a screen doesn’t challenge your’ own, at least read a book for escape.

Not your faith,  I didn’t say religion that’s a whole different topic, believe and act even though it may appear not to be true at that moment.

Not your’ energy, remember just like your time you have life energy that must periodically be renewed. If you use it in a way that does not bring reward you may exceed the level that can be regenerated.

Remember it’s all those little things that add up to create the whole or the hole.
It’s your choice of adding or subtracting the little things that decides hole or whole.
So be safe, get out and go explore the world you live in.

So I’m trying to decide to move the blog from my.opera.com/fireman428 to here or just leave it there.
This seems like a good blog home but, I’m going to post some videos and other things just to try it out.
So here goes…..

 
So this was a quick video from earlier this year 
while I was in Mississippi.
And when we got to Merriweather Lewis Campground
Layla and I were pretty hungry.  😉

So, I guess I’ll try a few more posts before I make a decision.  Right now gotta get ready to go commit work, not such a happy thing

Stability or Slavery

OK, OK.  I haven’t been as diligent as I thought I would be at posting here on a regular basis.  But when you can marvel at the simple things in life it’s easy to get distracted and I tell you distracted I was last week.  You see I left Kentucky and went to Arizona to join a bunch of people at the RTR and was absolutely distracted that week.
The time in the desert just living simple so you could simply live was something I really needed at this point. I think there’s a Dan-ism in there somewhere. It was a time that I was  surrounded by people who knew that stability sometimes is spelled the same as slavery.  I have to say it was difficult to come back to the ”slavery” of a regular job just to be able to say that I have ”stability”, whatever that word means it our society today.
When I got back to work and begin to share the adventures and travels I could see that look in their eyes, the desire to be free.  And, yet, the fear of the lack of stability held them as slaves to their current thinking and locked them away. Well gee, I guess I’ve got to go to sleep and try to get enough rest to jump back on the treadmill-of-life in the morning and take care of those things that have to be taken care of before I go to work. Or, do I really?

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