Campfire building is a skill that can add to your outdoor enjoyment, save your life, or cook your food. Having that skill can turn an uncertain chore into an enjoyable task. Let's take a close look at the basics of building a campfire and then we can turn skill that into any style of fire required, from large bonfires to small cooking fires, and everything in between.
Some readers have been asking for an update on Velvet Lady, who joined our family on January first. Between amazing growth spurts and eating enough to feed a small army, Velvet has also been learning at a phenomenal rate. Learning new things about the world around her, about becoming member of a family, and how to be a smart and resourceful dog. There is so much learning at this point that you try to incorporate some sort of learning into everything. One of the most important things to learn for any puppy, in any situation, is who leads the pack and where they fit into the pack hierarchy.
It wasn't long after we brought Willy home that we began to suspect he was a bit smarter than the average puppy, or even the average black lab. Labrador retrievers, as you may know, are considered very smart dogs and the breed ranks in the top ten for intelligence. Still, Willy had a lot to show us and our realization of just how smart he was didn't happen until he got older, even though he began demonstrating his intelligence at a very early age.
It wasn't just one thing. I could point to many things Willy did and you'd say, "Oh sure, but that doesn't really make him special, does it?"
Up North in Wisconsin, living in the many lakes, rivers, and streams is an elusive fish properly called a muskellunge. Most people, me included, just call them muskies. "Get any muskies this year?"
Muskies grow quite large, but are not North America's largest fresh water fish. Still, record-breaking muskie push 60 inches long, 30 inches in girth, and tip the scales at 50 to 60 pounds. There are lakes with legends of giant fish, and tales that go back into the dim past.
It has been a while since I updated Velvet's progress. The last five weeks have been an amazing period of growth, learning, and bonding. There have been a few very trying moments as well. Clearly the reason God makes puppies so cute is so that you don't strangle them before they grow up and become well behaved family members. She has been very bratty at times in the last couple of weeks, but has made some momentous strides as well.
I mentioned in my last post about Velvet that I was making her puppy food. This was turning into a monumental undertaking as I had to make a batch of food for a week and freeze half, or make it twice a week. At the rate she was eating and growing, it quickly became too much. I think it was the right choice at the time because she was underweight and needed to catch up.
I will freely confess, this is not my adventure. No, this belongs entirely to someone else. I'm more than certain that if my mother had found out I did something like this, I'd have been grounded for a lifetime from everything except school, and even that would have been in question. No, this is not my adventure, but still a tale worthy of telling for in a way this is partly about me, even though it is not my adventure.
This story takes place in Small Town America. A town much smaller than the one I grew up in, and even more close knit. It has all the elements required for adventure. A bit of danger. Some internal fortitude. The surety of youth and the belief that one will never die.