Bread Recipe

From Bread, to keep the words closer to none. My recipe is by “feel” rather than exact amounts so I’m giving you my best bread recipe guesstimates. The feel of what’s right comes with bread baking experience.

You can print the Bread Recipe here. It’s in PDF.

bread, cast iron

A slow rise overnight in a cool kitchen. A hot oven early in the morning to bake the bread and warm our home. Bread.

2 cups water, around 100*
1 tablespoon yeast, give or take
1-2 tablespoons gluten 2-3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/4 cup honey
6 cups, give or take, white whole wheat flour


 

Add yeast, Italian seasoning, gluten and yeast to water. There’s no need to wait to see if your yeast bubbles if you already know the yeast is alive. Add flour and stir. When the dough is too thick for stirring you’ll pull up your sleeves and start mixing with your hands. This helps you develop the feel of the dough.

Add a little flour at a time until the dough kneads well and isn’t sticky. Again, you’ll learn the feel. This recipe is lazy bread making. When the dough is ready, place it in a cast iron vessel or bread pan and let it rise in a cool spot overnight. It has to be cool or your dough will take over your kitchen, encase small children and scare timid dogs.

In the morning, place the pan(s) in a cold oven, set it to 400* and let it bake. My [propane oven heats quickly so I bake it for 20-25 minutes. If your oven takes more than five minutes to reach 400* you should add time to baking. When the crust is solid and tapping the loaf creates a hollow sound, it’s done.

Bread

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Recipe here.

Slow rise in a cool area gives the bread time to develop flavor. It rises overnight on a cast iron pan in the cool kitchen. Early in the morning, I bake it in a hot oven. Warm bread. Warm kitchen.

bread, cast iron

A slow rise overnight in a cool kitchen. A hot oven early in the morning to bake the bread and warm our home. Bread.


 

People should stop hunting

Food Choices – Who Are You Blaming?

Food choices.

Want to spark a great conversation? Talk about food choices. Someone will have something to say if you hunt. Shop at the grocery store? There’s something to be said about that. Frequent the farmers market, road side stands or buy directly from the farmer through CSA or pre-order? Think we have factory farming and grocery stores so we can stop hunting? Let’s talk.

Everyone makes food choices. There’s no excuse for not knowing what’s in what you’re eating, how it was grown or raised, how it was harvested – be it plant or animal, and the good and bad consequences of your choices now that we have unlimited information available on the internet. It’s easy to find information that will help you make decision.

I’m very fussy about eggs. The eggs below were produced by my chickens and ducks. They’re penned on days I’m not home to keep them safe. Penned, but they’re free to go outside. I water them outside so they have to go out at least long enough to drink. I toss food to them to keep them entertained – bird seed for scratching, ears of corn to tear open and eat, a grasshopper I’ve caught. When the roosters act up I tell them how lucky they are to not be on factory farms. My food choice when it comes to eggs – my chickens first, local second as long as the birds are treated well, or nothing. We don’t buy factory farmed eggs just like we don’t buy factory farmed chickens. So far so good. None of us have died because we didn’t have an egg for breakfast or to bake with.

Duck and chicken eggs

Duck and chicken eggs. The smallest eggs are from a silkie hen.

Bear meat has started a lot of discussion in the last week. Steve Rinella’s video about how he got trichinosis must be getting a lot of hits. It’s bear hunting season and as we know, I shot my first bear this year. I recommend cooking bear meat thoroughly because I don’t want someone to become ill. My friend Robin eats her bear meat rare and boy has she ever taken flack for her choice. Robin’s an intelligent woman. She understands what could happen. She made her choice. I have an opinion on Robin’s choice (you’re shocked, right? ;) ). I would much rather eat rare bear meat than factory farmed chicken or beef.

A goose with an arrow in its chest started an anti-hunting conversation in a Facebook group. The OP (original poster) said this wasn’t doing anything to improve her view of hunters. She blamed hunters. It didn’t occur to her that maybe someone’s bratty kid did this. Blame the hunters – it’s easy…if you’re uninformed. The graphic below is from the conversation.

factory farming quote

It’s 2014 and we’re not lacking information. We should know and DO better.

It’s 2014 and we still have grossly uninformed people touting the benefits of factory farming. This comes from a Facebook group relating to bird watching. The person who started the thread and this person dislike hunters. I replied to say I wish people would stop supporting factory farming and its cruelty and get back to hunting, and included a link for Industrial Livestock Production. I hope it’s read. In this day and age of lazy food, when hunting can take days, months and sometimes years to take an animal, it takes five minutes to stroll through the meat counter at the local grocery.

Brian Kevin wrote this in Down East Magazine: If I’m being honest, baiting has always struck me as a somewhat lazy and low-rent way of hunting big game — if not necessarily inhumane — although this is likely influenced by a kind of swashbuckling, backcountry-adventure ethic that’s arguably more pervasive among hunters in my former Western haunts.

I haven’t seen Mr. Kevin say anything about grocery shoppers being lazy. I doubt he’d insult 100% of the people who read the magazine. I wonder if he’s thought through how “lazy” most people are when it comes to food. The farmer starts the process of putting food on the table. He or she is first to feed/bait the animals. It moves on to the people who load the animals to be transported, then to the person who drives the truck, on to the people who shuffle the animals around, and then to people responsible for slaughtering, skinning, gutting and butchering. The now faceless meat doesn’t take itself to the packaging station, load itself in its current state of pieces into the next truck, or get itself to the meat counter at the grocery store. No food magically appears in the grocery store. Someone does the work. Is Mr. Kevin lazy for his choices? I have my opinion, one that might surprise you.

Food choices. Boy. That’ll get you in trouble fast.

Ruffed Grouse – Black & White Photo Share

I’m participating in the black & white photo share that’s making its rounds on Facebook. Today’s photo is of three ruffed partridges (grouse) that live here. I see them almost daily as I do chores or check the game cameras. One of them crashed into a window last week. After a while she recovered enough to fly away.

Partridge, aka Ruffed Grouse

Partridge, aka Ruffed Grouse

 

Bear Stew Recipe – Cooking Wild Game

Bear Stew Recipe

Bear stew recipe, beef stew recipe

Photo courtesy of Tenley Bennett

Stew is a great way to start cooking wild game, especially bear meat. You won’t dry out the meat even if you over cook.

Thanks to Tenley Bennett and Fish River Lodge for the photo.

I use a cast iron Dutch oven for stew. If I’m home I set it on the back corner of the wood stove and let it simmer a while, otherwise it’s in the oven or on the simmer burner on the propane stove.

3 pounds bear stew meat
3 Tablespoons bacon fat
1/2 C flour

Coat the meat with flour and brown in bacon fat in the Dutch oven. Remove meat and set aside.

1 onion, chopped
1 pound carrots
4-5 large potatoes
3 stalks of celery

Wash and cut carrots, potatoes and celery into bite size pieces. Saute onion, carrots, potatoes and celery in the bacon fat. When the onions caramelize or the bottom of the Dutch oven is coated, deglaze with the wine. NOTE: Room temp red wine. Cold liquid can crack cast iron. It’s rare but it happens.

Add:
Beef stock, enough to cover all ingredients by two inches
Meat
2 cups frozen peas
1 jar stewed tomatoes
2-3 bay leaves
Italian seasoning to taste

Simmer until the potatoes and carrots are almost cooked. You can remove the Dutch oven from the heat and allow the stew to set for 30 minutes while it finishes cooking. If you’d like a thicker stew you can make a roux with equal parts butter and flour. Cook the roux for five minutes, stirring constantly, to eliminate the flour taste. Stir in a little roux at a time. Allow to simmer a few minutes to let the broth thicken before adding more.

Any recipe you have for beef stew will work with bear meat. Be sure to cook bear meat thoroughly.

Putting Food Up: Chanterelle Mushrooms

Putting Food Up: Chanterelle Mushrooms

Chanterelles are one of my favorite mushrooms. I’ve been able to pick more than usual this year thanks to the weather and having found a few dependable places to find these golden gems. It’s nice to have some put up for winter.

Some of the mushroom hunters I know put their chanties up by sauteing them in olive oil then freezing them. I like mine dehydrated a little better than frozen. They’re easier to use when they’ve been sauteed and thawed because they’re already cooked, but then I’m limited to how I use them. I think dehydrating is faster. I clean them, put them on the trays and come back the next day. They’re stored in Mason jars in a dark cupboard. Some are left whole, others pulverized into a powder. There’s no rhyme or reason to how I store them, it’s just whatever I feel like at the moment or space restrictions.

Sauteed Chanterelles with chives, ready for the freezer

Sauteed Chanterelles with chives, almost ready for the freezer

Dragonfly ID, please?

These gorgeous dragonflies (or maybe they’re not dragonflies?) and others buzzed around the pond yesterday afternoon, eating black flies and mosquitoes. I’m very fond of dragonflies and appreciate them flying inches from my head to catch the biting bugs while I work in the garden.

I don’t know the identification of any of these dragonflies and will appreciate any help you can give me. Do you know their names? My email address is here, or you may leave a comment below.

black yellow dragonfly

dull blackfly black yellow dragonfly

red dragonflygold dragonflyblack white dragonfly

How does a bear trap work?

How does a bear trap work?

Just like this. Thanks to Norman Poitras for filming this quick and simple, factual demonstration. If you trap a bear you don’t want to shoot you stay at a safe distance and release the snare. A trap isn’t a guaranteed death sentence.

{this moment} Kristin & Matt

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Kristin and Matt Coulombe

Kristin and Matt Coulombe

Book Review: The Perfect Number by Jim Baumer

The Perfect Number
by Jim Baumer

Essays & Stories Vol 1
River Vision, 2014
177 pages
$14.95
ISBN 978-0-9772052-0-2

Read the entire review and you’ll find a giveaway! You can enter to win a copy of Jim’s book.

Jim Baumer is a Maine writer who grew up in Lisbon Falls. His small town background shines in his fourth book, The Perfect Number. Baumer wrote seven essays about a variety of experiences from childhood through adulthood.

The Perfect Number, Jim Baumer, book review

The Perfect Number by Jim Baumer

In The Alter Boy he writes, “The Catholic church was a major part of my parent’s [sic] life growing up, and by extension, my sister and I got pulled into that life and culture.” This one sentence gives you a good indication of where Baumer’s going with this, and he doesn’t let you down. He’s open and honest in his assessment and story on being raised Catholic. In another essay he discusses moving away to find more in religion. It’s not an overwhelming theme in the book and is interesting reading.

Baumer shares his son Mark’s story of walking from Georgia to California in A Northerner’s Journey Crossing The South, and what it was like being a Mainer experiencing the southern part of the country. State by State, you learn about the good and bad they encountered.

I especially enjoyed A Dog’s Life, the story about Bernie. Bernie had definitely personality traits that made him almost human. There’s an element all dog owners understand. “Occasionally, he’d get something really rotten, and he’d puke it back up, more than once on our bedroom carpet, or one of our downstairs throw rugs.” As human as he seemed, Bernie was all dog, and he was well loved.

This book is an easy read. You can read the essays in the order they appear or choose one that is right for the moment. You’ll feel you know Jim and his wife Mary by the end of the book. The essays will remind you of aspects of your life. I found myself making comparisons. Mark started his walk in Savannah, and I lived there as a child. I traveled through the south during the race wars in the 1960’s. I’ve struggled with religion. And the puking dog – I’ve had more than a few.  I’m sure you’ll find commonality in this book.

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Young & Curious – Life as a Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpecker

There are bugs in here!

Downy woodpecker

Ha! More bugs!

Downy woodpecker

This makes awesome noise! Must keep coming back. A hundred times a day. Awesome noise!

Downy woodpecker, firewood

Why are there no bugs? What happened?

Downy woodpecker

I think I can make another hole before she sees me and lobs that tennis ball at me again.

This curious Downy woodpecker is a curious youngster that checks out everything. What’s in the firewood? A bug or two. What’s in the soft boards on the ancient shed? Nothing good. How about that hoe? hmmm…nothing edible but hey does that ever make some great noise. Woodpecker note to self: “Bang on this when I’m old enough to establish territory. Hope the woman doesn’t put it away.”

This is the first Downy woodpecker we’ve been able to watch grow up. He bangs on everything. I’m pretty sure I can hand feed him if I tried. He doesn’t fly away when I pass the suet or seed feeders three feet away. He’s been here since he left the nest, and it was probably the nest I can see from the back porch. He might have been watching his surroundings for a while before becoming a fledgling. He’s comfortable here and with me. He’s fun…until he starts banging on the house’s siding or the hoe. I had to put the hoe in the garden shed and close the door. No matter how many times I bounced the tennis ball off the wood a foot away, he came back. He pecked at the board for a week. He’s a brat – and that’s part of his charm. I hope he stays around after he’s outgrown his curiosity.

Downeast Lakes Land Trust Honored with Prestigious State Award

Downeast Lakes Land Trust

I’m partial to Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT). It’s close to home in Grand Lake Stream. They do a lot of fantastic work. I finally met Tanya Rucosky face to face last week when I went to DLLT to hear Kyle Ravana, the state’s deer biologist, speak. I’ll be working with DLLT in the future and participating in a program I’m not yet talking about (ohhhhhhhh the mystery!). I was excited to see this press release in my inbox. Congratulations to them!

AUGUSTA, MAINE: The Downeast Lakes Land Trust was presented with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Conservation Land Owner Land of the Year Award in a ceremony at the Augusta Civic Center on October 21 hosted by the Department’s Landowner and Sportsmen Relations Advisory Board.

Nominated by the Maine Professional Guides Association (MPGA), Executive Director Don Kleiner said, “We were delighted to nominate the Downeast Lakes Land Trust because of their interest and willingness to see Maine Guides and other recreational users of the land base as a critical part of the future. Their vision includes guides as an important part of … the future of the land they manage. The DLLT sustainably manages…for wildlife habitat, forest products, and public recreation. DLLT provides guides and sporting camps an environment that supports their continued success, contributing to the preservation of the heritage and culture of Grand Lake Stream.”

The IF&W’s Landowner/Land User Awards highlight the positive relationship between landowners and users across the state. “Over 90% of Maine’s land is privately owned. Outdoor enthusiasts rely on the generosity of private landowners to allow public access to their land. Additionally, the responsible and appropriate use of private land by various user groups has helped to build relationships between landowners and land user groups, which allow many outdoor recreational opportunities to flourish. The IF&W Landowner Relations Program seeks to maintain Maine’s unique heritage and ensure that the outdoor recreational opportunities available today, will continue to be available to future generations.” said Shon Theriault, Game Warden Captain for the Maine Warden Service.

On accepting the award, Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s Executive Director David Montague said, “This is a great honor and a testament to the hard work of the Trust and its supporters. It challenges all of us to maintain high standards of land stewardship while living up to our motto of ‘Forests and Lakes – For People – Forever.’”

About Downeast Lakes Land Trust
Downeast Lakes Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by local residents in Grand Lake Stream, Maine. The trust contributes to the long-term economic and environmental well-being of the Downeast Lakes region through the conservation and exemplary management of its forests and waters. The trust sustainably manages the 33,708-acre Farm Cove Community Forest for wildlife habitat, forest products, and public recreation, and is working toward the purchase of the adjacent 22,000-acre West Grand Lake Community Forest Project. More information is available on its web site, www.downeastlakes.org.

 

Tips for cooking bear meat.

Tips for Cooking Bear Meat – Bear Chops

It took five years but I finally did it. I finally shot a bear. We are enjoying the meat. Last night we had chops for supper and this time, I remembered to take pictures so I can write about our meal.

Tips for Cooking Bear Meat

Bears can carry the parasites that cause trichinosis and toxoplasmosis. You must cook the meat properly just as you do pork.

  • The internal temperature of the cooked meat must reach 160 degrees and stay there for a minimum of three minutes.
  • You shouldn’t have pink meat or pink juice dripping from the meat.
  • Be cautious around bones to be sure the meat is cooked. Bones absorb heat and slow the cooking process.
  • Over cooking bear meat isn’t better than cooking it correctly. Well done doesn’t mean burnt or dry.

A good rule of thumb as told to me by Erin Merrill (who also shot a bear this year) makes it easy to remember – season like beef, cook like pork. My bear was a lot smaller than her 457 pounder and she graciously shared a roast with me. We’ll cook that this winter.

All that said, let’s cook. This is a how-to, not really a recipe. We had chops for supper last night.

Bear meat is very dark. Most beef isn’t this dark. I removed the fat around the edges to help keep the flavor good. Bear fat can be quite strong.

Tips for cooking bear meat.

Bear meat is very dark.

Season the meat, if you’d like. I used Grill Mates Steak Rub on one side of the chops.

Tips for cooking bear meat.

I seasoned one side only because I was a little heavy handed when I sprinkled the seasoning.

Tips for cooking bear meat.

Tips for cooking bear meat.

Tips for cooking bear meat.

I chopped a small onion and added minced garlic and butter to the cast iron fry pan while I let the chops sit for a few minutes.

 

Turn the heat on medium. Add the chops on top of the onions and garlic when the butter has melted and covered the pan. Cook for five minutes, then turn. Continue to cook until pink juice shows on the top of the meat, and turn the chops again.

Tips for cooking bear meat.

When juice appears, turn the chop again.

Test the meat for pinkness at the bone. If necessary, turn the heat off. Cast iron holds heat well. There’s probably enough heat now to finish the cooking.

Tips for cooking bear meat.

Supper was fantastic. There are four chops per package so we’ll be eating them again later in the week. I think I’m going to brown them in butter then simmer them in mushroom soup. I dehydrated a lot of chanterelle and lobster mushrooms this year.

I’ve been collecting bear recipes from friends and will be sharing them. As I’ve mentioned, fitness and diet have taken on a much bigger role for me this year. Bear meat has six grams of protein and two grams of fat per ounce. I seldom ever cook or even eat butter these days but for bear I make an exception.

Kristin & Matt are Married!

Kristin and Matt were married at Northern Outdoors over the weekend. It was perfect, even when it rained.

the first dance

Their first dance

cutting the cake

kristin matt cake 2

 

Bride's family

Steve, me, Kristin and Matt, Taylor, Donna, Dad

Preparing for the wedding

Taylor’s turn to have her makeup done

robin kristin

The Limb Grip – On Sale

The Limb Grip – On Sale

Not a hunter? Keep reading anyway!

With archery season in full swing and rifle season starting soon it’s time to check out The Limb Grip by Rhino Force Industries. Online SALE now thru November 1st! 20% off Limb Grips! 10% off t-shirts! FREE SHIPPING on all orders!

On Sale - The Limb Grip hunting accessory

The Limb Grip

The Limb Grip isn’t just for hunters. You can use it to lift your pack, camera and other gear into a tree stand or observation platform. It’s not just for bows and rifles. I’ll be writing a review soon but for now, know that I LOVE this piece of outdoors gear enough to be pro-staff for The Limb Grip. I wanted to let you know about the sale now!

{this moment} Kristin & Matt

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Five years. A move to another state. Career change. Grad school.
Kristin & Matt
to be married tomorrow
Our hearts could not be fuller

Kristin Follette & Matt Coulombe

October 18, 2014

Young Bull Moose

It’s wedding week. Kristin and Matt are being married on Saturday. Steve and I went out to gather red pine cones, Old Man’s Beard (lichen, similar to Spanish moss) and Reindeer moss. We rounded a corner and spotted this young moose in the road about 150 yards ahead of us. I jumped out of the truck with the camera (of course) and took a couple of photos.

And then his friend showed up. He’s walking out of a 50′ x 100′ clearing. I kind of hoped they were going to fight but they’re young. When they started to leave I made a few cow calls but ehh…girl…whatever.

Friends this October, rivals in future years.

Young bull moose

Four points. He’s probably 16 months old.

Young bull moose

Not interested in us

4

5

Supper with Veterans

About six years ago George and Terry Gallagher drove to Lee and knocked on a door. That knock helped improve many lives.

The Gallaghers were looking for someone to share their beautiful camp on Upper Sysladobsis (Dobsis) lake in Lakeville Plantation. They were specifically hoping to open their camp and hearts to veterans. At House In The Woods in Lee, Paul and Dee House needed a location to host veterans and their families. You can read more about the Houses and House in the Woods on their website. George Gallagher read an article in the paper about House in the Woods and before long he and Terry, along with friends Mimi and Joe Baker, were at the door step. “God had his hand in it all,” Paul house told me.

partridge, ruffed grouse

(file photo)

Steve, my husband, called me late Friday morning to tell me he’d been talking to Peter Shay, owner of Molunkus Stream Camps in Molunkus. “Peter told me he has veterans on a bird hunt up to camp.”

I have a soft spot for veterans. There are a lot of them in my family. My Dad, brother, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather, great uncles, great great grandfather…a lot of vets in my family.  Crashing parties isn’t my thing. Really, it’s not. But they’re veterans. They deserve recognition. “Do you think I could drive over and write a story?”

Peter didn’t think they’d mind. “They’d probably like that,” he said. They were with Paul House. I knew of Paul only by name but I’d heard a lot of great things about him so I stopped splitting firewood, grabbed pen, paper and camera, and headed toward Molunkus. With a little more than an hour to think about it, I started wondering what I’d been thinking. Strangers. All of them. What was I thinking going in unannounced and uninvited to say “Hey, my name is Robin and can I write a story about you?”

George Gallagher had appetizers and supper waiting. I heard many times what a good cook George is and how well he takes care of everyone. George is a modest man. He doesn’t say much when the compliments on his accommodations and cooking roll in. He says he has a couple more years of hosting and cooking in him still, “God willing.”

“It’s a lot of working standing on their feet all day,” Paul said of George and Terry. I sat down to supper with George, Paul, Ted Clark, a Maine Guide who helped with the hunt, TJ Emerson and his father Jim Emerson, and Andrew Quinn. Dan was headed home with his yellow lab, Brittany spaniel and vizsla dogs. Gracious people to have invited a stranger to their last supper together before heading home. Ted’s German shorthaired pointer pup curled up on the ottoman for a nap after a long day of bird hunting.

Paul told me about losing his son, Sgt Joel House, and what being with other families going through the same experience meant to him. He now offers a similar experience to veterans and their families and Gold Star families, giving them the opportunity to spend time outdoors with people who have similar situations, at no cost. “There are a lot of good people who help and volunteer. They make donations and hold fundraisers. It all comes together. God provides money when it’s needed.”

Paul is grateful to a number of people who help make House in the Woods possible. Jerry James sets up a bird hunt in Oxbow. Everyone gets together on Sunday and they hunt from Monday through Thursday. People donate money, time, guiding, accommodations, lobster, and more to these hunts. When there are back to back weeks of hunting the veterans and family members have a meal together on Sunday as some prepare to leave and others are arriving. There are sometimes 15 to 20 veterans together.

Peter SeeHusen organizes hunts. He knows farmers who can use some help keeping the populations under control to protect their crops.

TJ and Jim Emerson hosted a spring turkey hunt in Corinna. One veteran shot both of his turkeys in one shot! This was the fourth year for this hunt. There have been hunts in Corinna, Harmony, Unity and Newport. After the hunt in Newport there was a supper at the Legion Hall so well attended they ate six turkeys, and they weren’t small, wild turkeys. Doug McDonald organized a cookout after the Harmony hunt.

It takes a lot of of work to put this all together. We talked about just a handful of the people who make this possible. There are bear hunts with 18 to 20 people participating between two weeks. And there are bobcat hunts (more about this at the end). Two veterans tagged two bobcats in a three day hunt. There are hunts for women as well as men.

This bird hunt is now an annual event. They were looking for partridge, woodcock, and if one happened to show up, turkey. They hunted on public land on Wednesday and Thursday and at Molunkus Stream Camps on Friday.

Andrew Quinn started with a turkey hunt. He shot more partridge on Friday than anyone else. “Shooting a bird was a bonus. Everyone involved is wonderful. They’re knowledgeable so they improve the quality of the hunt,” Andrew told me. He’s there mostly for the camaraderie. He’s not a talker until he’s spent time with other veterans. They understand at least some of what he experienced at war. When he started talking I put my pen down and listened. It’s hard to imagine. I can picture it as though it were a movie on television but that’s not comparable to being there. Andrew is so kind, honest and well spoken that I wanted to say “tell me your story.” I think I want to know but one, that’s a lot to ask, and two, I’m not sure I really do want to know. What he shared with me gave me a greater appreciation for veterans and made me think back to when my brother was in Kabul. I’m grateful that people like Andrew, Tj and Jim have places to come together to share camaraderie.

As you’ve read and probably already knew, these opportunities happen because of the generosity of people. House in the Woods can use a few things. Money. Donations are always accepted and hugely appreciated. They are truly a non-profit, not just a legal non-profit. Time. Is there some way you can pitch in to help in the area of Lee? A bit of driving is just fine. (Penobscot County, outside of Lincoln.) And, an affordable bobcat hunt. If you have a camp or run dogs or do anything related to bobcat hunting and are inclined, please let us know. You can get in touch with Paul and Dee House here.