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Fox Squirrel Courtesy of Pete Walker

There was a time in my life, I was a whole lot
younger and had more hair, when me and one of
my best friends went camping, packing in and
hunting a lot.  We were just teens and apt to do,
or try just about anything at least once.

When you have hiked into the wilderness with
nothing but a sleeping bag, gun, fishing tackle
and very little to eat, one learns how to survive.

I was telling my wife this morning about cleaning
and cooking squirrel.  We had a package of
stroganoff mix, added water from a stream and
squirrel meat.  Honestly, for all the work of
skinning it and cleaning it, the little guy was not
bad eating.  The smell was really not bad either.

Chipmunk, Courtesy of Michael Seraphin, DOW.

However, if one of these little rascals is all you
come across, don’t bother yourself with it.  I can
promise you my wife has already named it Fred
and it is a pet.  Besides, there really is not enough
protein in one of these.

Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Courtesy of The Washington DC Library and the DOW.

Jackrabbits are real stringy, and tougher than
woodpecker lips.  They smell pretty bad when
you skin and clean them, and so does any kind of
rabbit.  You really want to watch out when it
comes to transporting these lanky critters.  It is
not wise to drive a load of them home, inside the
vehicle with you.  We, my friend and I, were
nearly eaten alive by fleas.

Western Rattle Snake, Courtesy of Pete Walker.

Now here is a very tasty morsel, but smells
worse than two-week old dirty socks filled with
rotting meat.  Seriously, think about the way a
snake digests its food (meat).  It rots in there as
it moves on through the belly, body and all.

Whistling Marmot, Courtesy of David Hannigan.

Many years back, my friend and I hiked up a
mountain just a few miles north of where I
currently reside.  A freak snow storm hit and
our skinny back sides were stuck up there for a
week.  There was this noisy, whistle piercing
our hung over heads and we were real hungry.
Even as a kid I was a cranky old man.  We made
short work and a tasty tidbit out of that big
ball of blubber.

Yes, I am ashamed to admit it, but sometimes
a young man has to do, what a young man has to
do to stay alive.  My wife and I have a rule, if you
kill it (even by accident) you skin it, clean it and
eat it. 

You will all be happy to know I am no longer a
hunting man.  Like I said before, my wife has
named them all Fred.  She would beat me bloody
about the head and shoulders if I did any of this
stuff now.  Besides, I am getting a little too old
for all that work and I have grown to love the
wild beasts around my place.  I enjoy providing
them all with a nice safe place to live.

 Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond.

All Photographs are “Courtesy of” the great
people named in the captions and were obtained
from the Colorado Division of Wildlife website.

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Whipped cream coffee & sandwich

Image via Wikipedia

Approximately six years ago, my wife’s son got
her hooked on the Vinte’ Starbucks Mocha
Frappacino with two shots of espresso, and of
coarse, tons of whipped cream.  He should have
been ashamed of himself, knowing how
susceptible his mother is, to such fantastic
delights.  She is the carbohydrate, raw sugar and
espresso queen.  However, she does not have the tiaras to
prove her royalty, but it is true.

Three years back she proceeded to get me
hooked on the same Starbucks drink with, yes
(my head is hanging low in shame and severe
self loathing) the additional espresso and a
whole lot of whipped cream.  Who would have
ever thought that being a sweet mocha caf-fiend
whipped cream junkie could be so blessed
heavenly.  I am a true sap.  I know she led me by
the string around her cute little pinky into my
tragic addiction just so Iwould be her Starbucks
supplier.

Happily, I can say I did get even a few months
ago.  In my abnormal desire for anything sweet
and satisfying, I stumbled with beady bloodshot
eyes down the ice cream isle at the grocery store
frantically searching for the magic container at
the end of an hallucinated rainbow.  Sweating
profusely, I was literally frothing at the mouth.
Suddenly, there between two other brands sat
the crown jewel of cold creamy gems and I knew
at once I was saved.  My guardian angel was with
me.  Trembling, I hastily grabbed up two pints
of Starbucks Mocha Frappacino Ice Cream, even
though it does not come with added espresso.  I
raced home hoping not to get a ticket for licking
from an open container.  Vengeance is a tasty
delight, because now she buys my ice cream.

Wait a minute, me thinks I have been duped yet
again.  My lady uses my coinage.   

Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond.

Years ago I placed drywalling on the back
burner only doing it on a part-time basis.  I
decided to buy a little grocery store in the
town of Bailey and see how things shook out.

The Bailey Country Store was a lot of fun and
work, but well worth the twenty years I spent
there.  It was the one place on main street
where everyone gathered to chat, flirt, this
is how I met my wife,
and once in a while get
free snacks.

I learned quickly that if I wanted to sell things,
I had to have product to sell.   It was very
important for me to ask the local customers
what they wanted.  Before long I carried a little
bit of everything, from a great selection of food
and household items, to electronics, hardware,
makeup and pantyhose, vitamins and over the
counter medicinal items, kitchen utensils, rolled
up feather beds, towels, Kamasutra oils, movies,
and gift items.  You name it, I would carry it
right down to the old building’s ghosts.

I love to cook and cooking requires a full array
of spices.  Not everyone likes the spices I do, so
as they neared their expiration date I would pull
them and replace them with new ones.  I soon
had a vast collection of unsaleable spices.  This
required fast thinking to keep from losing money
on them.  I came up with my own version of the
Santa Maria seasoning for beef, and a kick butt
hot Cajun seasoning blend for chicken.

I utilized my butcher shop and pre-seasoned tri-
tip roasts, wrapped them snugly at put them in
the case.  I did the same with my Cajun recipe on
wings.  The food was selling so fast I could hardly
keep up, and it was not just the meat.  People had
to buy everything they needed for the full meal.
Before I knew what hit me, I was up to my blood
shot eyeballs in alligators. 

People started coming from all over to buy meat
from my butcher shop.  Whenever someone 
asked how to cook the roasts my line was, “Just
roll it around on the grill for six to eight beers,
about forty-five minutes.  A few less beers if you
like beef really rare,” 

I hung in there for a few (twenty) years of twenty
four, seven work.  I was very proud of that place
and, as you can imagine, my recipes.  People
came and went, nothing took place in
Park County without word of it arriving
at the good old BCS first.  Life was a constant
gathering of dear friends.

I do miss the Bailey Country Store and all of the
people who stopped in.  There is a huge lonely
spot in this old drywaller’s heart.  Yet, I still run
across customers from back then and we’ll shoot
the breeze just like old times.  They always scold
me for having sold the business, because good
meat and customer care are so hard to come by
these days.  It was an honor for me to serve Park
County, and residents of Bailey, Colorado and all
those who traveled from everywhere to buy my
Santa Maria tri-tips and Cajun style wings.

By the way, this really does make my wife “The
Butcher’s Wife.”
  That is what she gets for
watching that movie so many times.  Just
don’t tell her I said it’s fine to call her that,
and you can.

Copyright 2011, by Glenn Raymond.