Sunday, June 23, 2013


Have you ever been out and on an adventure and wish you had a grill for your fresh harvest?  Well take a look at this little ingenious item.  It's called "Grilliput".  A portable grill for those on the go.  Perfect for hiking, dual sport riding, in your ATV pack, snowmobile, or tackle box.  This thing actually stores very neatly inside of itself and is a full functioning, instant outdoor grill when you need it!

Made of stainless steel, measuring less than a foot, and weighing just over a pound, this high quality, handy cooker will run you around $25. 

Yes, this is a grill.

All the components fit inside itself.

Assembly starts by taking one of the two L-shaped rods and
inserting them into the end of the slotted tube.

After both L-shaped rods are inserted through the slotted tube,
loosely thread the L-shaped rods into the other tube.

After connecting the threaded ends of the L-shaped rods,
place the straight rods into the holes on the solid rod...

...and then slip the solid rods into the slots on the other tube.

After all of the rods are in place, at the same time,
tighten the whole unit together using the L-shaped rod ends. 
Careful not to overtighten.

Now screw each of the legs into each corner.

The Grilliput fully assembled.

We used a folding Ezbit stove to house natural materials for fuel. 
Be careful using too much direct flame heat as it does slightly warp the rods.
We were very impressed with its performance and are looking
forward to getting many meals out of it.

Grilliput website:

Great instructional video for assembly of the Grilliput:

"Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization." 
--Charles Lindbergh

Sunday, June 9, 2013


She's finally here!  Elsie.  Our eight week old cocker spaniel.  After waiting patiently for two years, we have our new baby.  Two years ago, my husband spotted a particular dog on a bird hunting magazine.  Living in Pavo, Georgia, 'Gin' stole our hearts from a simple picture.  After a few emails and a couple of phone calls, we were able to track down the owners of the dog, Jim and Tracy Davis...and it all snowballed from there.  After a couple of hardships and a few prayers, things all worked out how they were supposed to.  I, being Scottish and my husband being German, I started brainstorming for a name.   After checking the origins of names on the internet, the name 'Elsie' grabbed my heart, even before we met her.  In German it means, 'loyal' and in Scottish it means, 'God of plenty' or 'one of God'. 
After traveling close to 7000 miles in just four days, in both car and airplane, some would think we are half crazy for spending that much money and traveling that far for a puppy.  

Life, after all, isn't a dress rehearsal.

The picture that started it all.  
This is 'Gin'.  A uniquely colored cocker spaniel.
The mama of our new girl.

Road trip. 
Driving west from Jacksonville, Florida to Lake Park, Georgia.

Airline tickets were a lot cheaper to fly into Jacksonville, Florida and then drive over to Pavo, Georgia instead of flying into a nearby Pavo, Georgia airport. 

Beautiful east coast sunset.

If we ever have to decide between camping and a motel, we will always pick camping. 
We opted to pack our camping gear in our luggage and roughed it. 

For a few more bucks a day, the car rental company offered a Toyota 4-Runner to us.  Having bigger vehicles at home, we were thrilled.  It suited our needs perfectly.  
(Thank you Sonia at Advantage Car rental!)

KOA's are our favorite campgrounds when we are on the road.  
They are always clean, quiet, very affordable, have all the necessities, and a friendly staff.

Gourmet breakfast

We had to travel light and cautious of what to send on the airline in our luggage.  For the kitchen, we brought the folding ezbit stove and our very portable grill.  For fuel, we used what Mother Nature gave us, sticks from the nearby trees.  

The 'Grilliput' grill completely packs neatly inside itself.  
This was the first time we used it.  I absolutely love it.
(Here is the link for the grill:  I will post on this later.)

A very small and simple town.  
Pavo, Georgia.  Population:  623

The Burger Shack.  
Yes, we ate there.  It was delicious.

We made it! 
Doing what they do, Jim and Tracy were out training a couple of Boykin Spaniels. 

Armed with all of the necessary dogs and the training gear, 
Jim and Tracy's trailer is their 'toolbox' for the road.

This building is the 'dog house' on their property.
It houses the kennels with their dogs and storage area for their training gear. 

The newly constructed ponds for future dog field training.

On one side of the Davis' property is open and beautiful.

On the other side of the property is the rich forest environment for the bobwhite quail.

Our first glimpse of our 'cover girl' mama, 'Gin'.

Proud new mama

Proud new Papa

A very worth it wait for this little one.

Being the sole survivor of the litter, Elsie spent a few weeks of her life scrapping with the older dogs and Skeeter the cat.  Afraid of nothing and very curious!

Jim and Tracy Davis. 
Managers of an 8300 acre bird hunting plantation which includes nine employees, over 40 bird hunting dogs, over 20 draft horses, maintenance on all of the buildings, homes, and equipment, as well as keeping the bird hunting habitat at a premium for when the owners visit in the fall and winter during bird hunting season.

Easily one of the nicest couples we have ever met. 
We were very happy to finally meet them and very much appreciated their southern hospitality.

Gin and Elsie

Georgia was very generous in the heat department. 
The humidity of course, was very close to being the same as the temperature.

Taking most of the day off out of their very busy schedule, 
Jim and Tracy graciously gave us a tour around the plantation. 
This is one of two of the wagons that are used during bird hunting season.  Pulled by huge draft horses, these wagons carry the hunters, the dogs, guns, and even the refreshments.

Elsie on the wagon in her mom's spot and where the magazine picture was taken.  The cocker spaniels ride up front in the corners of the wagon and are used to retrieve the quail after the pointers find the birds for their hunters.  This is a huge tradition in the South.

This is where the pointers are kept.  There are over 40 dogs that Jim cares for on a daily basis to keep them primed for bird hunting season in the fall and winter.

A beautiful view from the plantation owners summer home while they are on the plantation during bird season.

Very unique and rustic d├ęcor throughout the onsite housing.

Because of the heat, we let the dogs take a swim in the newly constructed ponds.
At only seven weeks of age, Elsie thought she would follow suit of her mom and try swimming for the first time.

Looking liked a drowned rat, it felt good to cool off.

Gin loving her water.

Loving to retrieve out of the water, Gin was desperate to retrieve anything.

Yes, that is a baby pacifier. 
Gin made it hers about five years ago when a toddler was present.

A little sad, mama and daughter say their goodbyes. 

Her new world awaits.

It doesn't get much more kissable than that!

Time to head out.  What a fantastic visit.

Not two minutes out of the driveway and the little one was all ready for a nap.
Back on the road and headed back to the KOA in Lake Park, Georgia for her first night away from home.

Elsie had no problems being away from her home the first night.  
She was very anxious to check out the new digs at the campsite.

Dinner time

Since we had a late afternoon flight, we spent quite a bit of time at the airport getting the little one acclimated to her travel kennel and getting her tired for the long flight home.

She loved her little 'den'.

Although she was tired, she was even more curious.

After six hours on the airplane and finally reaching the Portland Airport,
she got her own seat in the car for the three hour drive home.

Most of which she slept.

Still jet lagged after getting to her new home.

Taking it all in on her new lawn.

Her baby 'Barney' made the trip with her.  She still sleeps with it in her kennel at night.

At only seven weeks, she was very interested in a chukar wing.

Adjusting perfectly to her new home.

Unsure of what to think on the first day, 
Katie was a little impatient with the little one after they first met.  
Now after being together for a week, 
they are now the best of buddies and Kate is a very good big sister.

Come this fall will mark their first bird season together. 
These two are going to be great little bird dogs.

I can't wait.

"Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen."  
--Orhan Pamuk