Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

It was windy and 72 degrees today in Edmond, Oklahoma. What a way to end the year that included drought, the hottest year in history, The coldest temperature in Oklahoma history, and a big earthquake (well, at least for Oklahoma). We survived because, like the rest of the United States, Oklahoma is tough and resilient. Hey, and the Iraq War is finally over! Amen.


Happy New Year!

Eric’sWeb

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Resurrection Fern Pic and Story

Resurrection Fern
Yesterday I posted some pics from City Park in New Orleans that my brother in law Dennis Seals had sent me. One of the pics of an oak tree had an interesting plant growing on its branches. When I inquired about it, he sent me this note, and this new picture:

The plant that you see growing on the tree in the City Park Avenue picture is a fern commonly called Resurrection Fern (or Polypodium Polypodioides if you want to be pedantic). It is very common in live oak and cypress trees in the Deep South. It gets its name because it curls up and turns brown during a drought (really looks dead!), but almost immediately after a good rain it is bright green again. It is an epiphyte (air plant). I have attached a close-up for these ferns (right after a rain) that I took at Carol Sue’s. It ability to “resurrect” might make an interesting note in one of your stories. I grow a lot of ferns and we have a variant of this fern that grows in the ground and on tree roots. I have a few documents to clean up for work before the year is over, but will send some more pictures after the New Year. We also plan to stay put during the holidays – guess that comes with being old!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

City Park, New Orleans Pictures

City Park Ave. Sign
My brother-in-law Dennis Seals took these pics of City Park on a recent trip to New Orleans.

Eric'sWeb 
City Park Entrance

City Park Fountain

Dueling Oaks

Mossy Oak

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ghost, Gold and Murder in East Texas

Front Cover
The ghost of a little girl, Confederate gold, and romance in antebellum east Texas. Read Ghost of a Chance (ebook) for 99 cents, only online at Barnes & Noble. Check it out.

Eric'sWeb

Friday, December 09, 2011

Murder, Lust and Voodoo

Big Easy, a Wyatt Thomas Mystery
Murder, lust and voodoo in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Read the ebook Big Easy, now for 99 cents at Smashwords.com and Amazon.com. The sequel, City of Spirits, is coming soon.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Cougars in Kansas

Cougar near Lewis, Kansas
Just received this pic and note from a geologist friend in Kansas. Seems there are wildcats in Kansas, and not just at Kansas State.

Email note: Evening tour roughneck on Duke Rig 7 claims this picture came from his cousin’s trail camera near Lewis , Kansas . That is the tri pod deer feeder in the background. Don’t know the validity of the story but it’s a great shot nun the less. Fish and Game won’t know doubt tell us there are no big cats in Kansas !

Eric'sWeb


Oklahoma gumshoe Buck McDivit investigates a black panther and a giant wolf dog

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gondwana Press announces publication of Prairie Sunset - of Love and Magic as a paperback original



- popular ebook by Louisiana author Eric Wilder is now available as a paperback original -

Edmond, Oklahoma (USA)

During a late spring snowstorm in a sleepy Tulsa suburb, an old man runs away from his abusive son and meets a woman, perhaps by magic. But there are unanswered questions. How old is too old to fall in love? Take the journey with John and Attie and discover the answer.

Readers at Amazon and B & N are saying: "Couldn't put it down." "Didn't want the story to end." "A real page turner." "I felt bathed in sunshine as I read it." "Truly a special and magical story." "I still have tears in my eyes."

Written by Eric Wilder, author of Big Easy, Ghost of a Chance, and A Gathering of Diamonds. ISBN: 978-0-9791-1654-4, retails for $18.95. Available across the web.

Gondwana Press, Edmond, Oklahoma, is a regional publisher of ebooks and paperback originals.

Eric'sWeb

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lyrics to Windmills of Your Mind

Round, like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel.
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that's turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind
Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it's own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind
Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle your head
Why did summer go so quickly
Was it something that I said
Lovers walking allong the shore,
Leave their footprints in the sand
Was the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand
Pictures hanging in a hallway
And a fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair
Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
As the images unwind
Like the circle that you find
In the windmills of your mind
Pictures hanging in a hallway
And the fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair
Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
As the images unwind
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Beautiful!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Earthquake in Edmond, Oklahoma - the big one

As I watched the wrap-up of LSU-Alabama, and Oklahoma State-Kansas State, my house began to shake. It continued for twenty to thirty seconds. Born in Louisiana, I've never experienced an earthquake. Wow!
Eric'sWeb

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dave's Louisiana Bees

David Beatty is my eco-friendly buddy from Livingston, Louisiana. Concerned about the plight of the honeybees, he offers a solution:

Dave's Bees

Dave's Bees
This time of the year honey bees are looking to stock up on 'sugar' to help them to survive over the winter. I'm sure you know that we have lost so many of our honey bees that our human food crops are in danger. Some farmers even rent bee hives to help pollinate their crops. Having said that, it is time to feed the bees. How to do it.

Look around your yard or apartment grounds and find a plant, with flowers, that has bees feeding. Then set a shallow dish in the plant with 'bee food.' As time goes by, it might take several days, the bees will start feeding on the bee food you put in the dish. Now, you can slowly move your 'feeding station' to a more convenient location so you can keep it supplied with bee food. I like to move mine to my front porch. There, it is out of the winter weather and easy for me to keep supplied with bee food.

Now, to make bee food. Place equal parts of sugar and water, 1 cup to 1 cup of water, in a pot and boil for about 1 minute. This will drive off all the nasty stuff your water company puts in your water to make it 'healthy' for you to drink. The bees will love it. I put in a little red food coloring to help attract the bees.

If this works for you as it has worked for me, be prepared to use up to 10# of sugar a week because these little suckers can suck up the sugar water. Pictures attached. It is a lot of fun to watch them, they will not sting and will let you watch them and get very close to their feeding.

Enjoy and let me know if you try this, the bees and our food source will thank you.

Eric'sWeb

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Trip Through David's Yard

My friend Dave Beatty, from Livingston, Louisiana, sent me this story and pics from his yard. Enjoy:

David's Yard

Confederate Roses

David's Fox

Cap't Dave, Sailing on Pontchartrain
The flowers are "confederate roses". Some people might be led to believe that the Confederate rose is a rose that is native to the South. It is, in fact, a hibiscus that hails from China.

One story relates that the Confederate rose was in bloom during a particularly bloody battle of the Civil War. A slain soldier fell beside a Confederate rose, and his blood spilled into the ground at the base of shrub. The flowers, which had started out white in the morning, absorbed the slain soldier's blood throughout the day, so that by evening they had turned a deep, rosy red.

That sort of story makes for interesting reading, but the flowers do, indeed, live up the specific epithet, "mutabilis," which means "variable or changeable." All are large and showy and look somewhat like a large, delicate rose. Some are single, and many are double. On some specimens, the flowers that open early in the morning are snowy white, but by evening they have turned to deep rose. On the second day, they wither and fall from the shrub.

On other shrubs, the opening blossom may be pink, turning to white or even a darker pink as it ages. Either way, many buds are waiting for their day in the sun. At any time, as many as three different colors may show at one time as the flowers fade or darken to their various hues. On some single-flowered specimens, flowers are red and remain so for the duration of their bloom. Some are pink and gradually turn a darker shade of pink as they age.

And the fox, well it is just a fox that is eating corn I put out for deer, turkey and birds. Yes, some foxes do eat corn. I guess they started eating corn when they couldn't catch any chickens in the hen house.

I hope you enjoy these little trips through David's yard.

Eric'sWeb

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Ghost Story for Halloween

Though born in Oklahoma, my wife Marilyn spent much of her childhood in Gurdon, Arkansas. Her dad logged while her mother took care of their six children. Like many families in the south at the time, they had help from a black woman—for an enjoyable read, check out The Help by Kathryn Stockett—that spent much of her time at their house.

A railroad track winds through the little town, and for years, the locals have reported seeing strange lights on the tracks. One late October night, Hattie, encouraged by sisters Sharon Ann and Marilyn, and a shot or two of their dad’s bourbon, told them the real story behind the Gurdon Lights. The Gurdon Curse, as told to me by Marilyn, is her recollection of exactly how Hattie told it to her and Sharon Ann on that spooky night, so many years ago in southwest Arkansas.

The ghost story, just in time to give you a few chills for Halloween, is free in ebook format at Smashwords.com and Barnes & Noble. I hope you’ll check it out.

Eric'sWeb

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Rainy Sunday in Oklahoma

Stranded Lake Hefner Boats

Lake Hefner Cove

Much Needed Rain
It’s not news that Oklahoma experienced the second hottest summer in U.S. history in 2011. Texas won this one, and I'm glad they did. Oklahoma is also in the throes of a drought that has dried ponds, lakes and rivers. Yesterday, Saturday, much needed rain moved slowly across the State, and Texas, also suffering from devastating drought. It’s Sunday night, and the rain continues.

Marilyn and I had brunch at a restaurant on Lake Hefner, and I took a few pics of sailboats mired in the mud. Maybe, there’ll be enough run off to refloat them in a few days. I got a little wet when I fed the dogs and cats tonight, but hey, I’m not complaining.

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Monster in the Mist

September saw temperatures reach a hundred degrees here in central Oklahoma but when October arrived, it was if someone had pulled a temperature switch. We have already experienced fifties and even forties, and day after day of drizzly weather. Today was no different.

After work, as I set out on my walk, a misty haze cloaked south Edmond. Walking is good exercise and great stress relief. It must also increase the blood flow to the brain because I always seem to solve my toughest dilemmas, or remember something from my veiled past whenever I walk. Tonight, I remembered something that had occurred many years ago. How I forgot this incident, I will never know because it was one of the most singularly frightening moments of my life.

I was a freshman in college at what is now the University of Louisiana at Monroe. My brother Jack had started there the prior year and convinced me to join an ROTC precision drill team called the Fusileers. I did, enjoying the camaraderie immensely. Toward the end of the first semester, we underwent an initiation called Hell Week.

During Hell Week, we initiates had to go to class everyday in full dress uniform, and then hang around the student union in case a senior Fusileer wanted to make us do push-ups, or recite the memorized, rhyming answer to specific military questions. I can’t remember a single rhyme, but I knew them all by heart during Hell Week.

Hell Week culminated with Hell Night. There is a giant, mostly abandoned gravel quarry on the outskirts of Monroe. During Hell Night, the initiated Fusileers dropped off us uninitiated in the darkness to try to find our way to the entrance. Along the way, the upperclassmen would ambush us with firecrackers, cherry bombs and M-80’s - legal fireworks at the time. The night was dark and hazy and we had no flashlights. During a particularly frenetic ambush, I somehow got separated from the group.

I must have walked a mile without calling out because I didn’t want the upperclassmen to capture me – having heard about the dire consequences the entire week. I soon realized that I was lost and began calling out.

The gravel pit was like the surface of Mars, rugged, rolling and completely barren of vegetation. Hazy rain had soaked my fatigues, my socks and boots wet from running through pooled water. When I stopped to listen for the other Fusileers, I heard something quite different and unexpected. It was the whumph of some large animal, coughing to get the attention of anyone near it. I didn’t know what it was, but it scared me. Not having a good grasp of what direction I was moving toward, I started away from the sound.

There was no moon or stars, only darkness and a persistent mist rising up from the broken gravel beneath my feet. I called out, “help.”

No one answered.

I heard the whumph again and realized it was not my imagination. My heart began racing as I also realized that the sound was drawing ever closer. I tried moving faster which resulted in a face-first plunge into a cold pool of water. Another chill ran up my spine as I heard a low growl on the hill directly behind me. Unable to get away, I lifted myself into a sitting position and turned to face whatever was stalking me.

On the rocky hill above me, I could just make out the moving shadow of some dark, four-legged beast. With my heart racing wildly, I prepared for its attack, something that never occurred. Over the hill behind me appeared the old World War II Jeep the head Fusileers used to move about the rock quarry. I could see its lights coming up from behind. When it topped the hill, the lights flashed briefly on the beast at the top of the hill.

All I ever saw was the red demon eyes of some misty apparition. Lights from the Jeep blinded me when I turned around, the beast gone when I glanced away into the darkness.

“Wilder, where the hell have you been?”

“Lost, Sir,” I said.

Major Pfrimmer glanced at his watch. “Damn good thing for you it’s after midnight or I would have had to wash you out. You may be a sorry sack of shit, but you’re a Fusileer now, so get in the damn Jeep."

I crawled into the open vehicle, regaling in the smiles, handshakes and shoulder slaps from my fellow initiates that had also survived Hell Night. Someone passed around a bottle of cheap whiskey and I imbibed, forgetting about the monster of the mist with glowing red eyes until forty years had passed, during my walk through a hazy Edmond neighborhood.

Eric'sWeb

Mama Mulate's Sticky Creole Muffins - a weekend recipe

Mama makes a breakfast muffin that is sticky, gooey and totally decadent. She rarely cooks them except in the morning, so mostly only her family and closest friends have had the pleasure of trying them. Since each muffin contains probably a million calories, this is likely a goodly thing. If you ever eat one, you may get permanently hooked. On the addiction scale from one to ten, these muffins are a ten. Enjoy, but try not to eat the whole pan.

Ingredients

• ½ c sugar
• 1/3 c butter
• 1 egg
• 1 ½ c flour, sifted
• 1 ½ t baking powder
• ¼ t salt
• ¼ t nutmeg
• ½ c milk
• 6 T butter, melted
• 1 t cinnamon
• ½ c sugar

Directions

Cream ½ c sugar and 1/3 c butter, and then add the egg. Sift dry ingredients, except cinnamon and the second ½ c sugar. Stir in milk and creamed mixture. Fill 12 muffin holders and bake in 350° oven for 20 to 25 minutes. When muffins are done, dip in the melted butter, and then in the sugar and cinnamon. Serve the muffins warm and try not to eat more than one before you leave the kitchen.

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Mama Mulate's Blackberry Dumplings - a weekend recipe

Mama has a potion or spell for just about anything, and also has an enormous sweet tooth. She grows many of the ingredients for her potions in her lush backyard. Even though her blackberry bush requires little attention, she watches it like a hawk until the delicious berries are harvested. Once they are, her friends are usually the lucky recipients of this delicious dessert. Try it and enjoy.

Ingredients

• 3 pts blackberries
• ¼ c water
• 1 c sugar
• 1 ½ t butter
• 2 c flour
• 3 t sugar
• 1 t salt
• 1 egg
• 3 ½ t baking powder
• Milk

Directions

Combine blackberries, water, sugar and butter. Let mixture sit. Sift flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into bowl. Add egg and mix well. Add enough milk to make batter stiff. Bring blackberry mixture to a boil. Drop batter, a spoonful at a time, into boiling mixture. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Mama serves her dumplings with whipped cream, but vanilla ice cream is also good.

Eric'sWeb

Eric'sWeb

Sunday, September 18, 2011

John's Story, Prairie Sunset - of love and magic

How old is too old to fall in love? The question haunted me when I read a newspaper article in the Oklahoman about an old man that had disappeared from his son’s house during a late spring snowstorm.

The numerous casinos now prevalent all over Oklahoma weren’t in existence when I wrote this book. There was, however, Indian bingo. I drove through Red Rock, Oklahoma—site of a huge bingo gaming facility— the very day I read the article about the old man. It was springtime, flowers blooming and trees just beginning to bud. Like the flowers and trees, the story sprang forth in my mind, not letting me rest until I’d committed it to paper.

The Battle of the Bulge tale that John tells is true, at least as far as I know, recounted to me by my own father, a code clerk during World War II. Growing up, he was always my hero. His era produced many heroes, mostly unsung, their stories never told.

For awhile, I had the book posted on the website Authonomy.com, where authors critique each others' books and make suggestions for improving them. One author suggested I expand the book and resolve many of the questions left unanswered in the original version. Once I got started, the characters came alive again in my mind. When I finally stopped writing, the new version was almost fifteen thousand words longer than the original.

When is it too late to fall in love? Read John’s story, Prairie Sunset - of love and magic, now available across the web, and find out.

Eric'sWeb

Psychodelic Nights

There's a storm brewing outside my window as I pen this story, all my dogs seeking shelter, warned of the impending squall by rolling thunder and lightning flashes.

I am a Vietnam vet, all manner of drugs available to me during my tour. I mostly passed on the drugs, fearing that I might be incognizant during an attack. Some of my fellow troopers saw things differently, wanting to feel stoned rather than face a possible unpleasant situation without some sort of anesthetic. Years later, no longer worrying about physical death, I learned to anesthetize myself against the mental pain that had begun attacking the fortress of my soul because of a rapidly failing marriage.

Carol, my girlfriend at the time, was also my drug guru, guiding me carefully down a path of knowledge and abuse. She was a gorgeous blonde-haired woman with smoky blue eyes, heaving breasts and a sardonic smile. She chain-smoked and always had a cigarette in her hand, except when she was burning a joint.

On a night such as this, we attended a concert and laser light show at the fairgrounds of Oklahoma City. As a noisy thunderstorm raged outside, hundreds of drugged-out latter day hippies raged inside, listening to psychedelic music while watching a colorful light show projected on the ceilings and walls. Like everyone else in the house, marijuana zonked Carol and I, the promoters of the event expecting as much. They did not care, nor did the off-duty Oklahoma City cops acting as security guards.

The time was the late seventies, long past the sixties hippie era. Radio stations were playing disco, as the English musical invasion had mostly waned. You would not have known it that night as hundreds of stoners watched a light show performed to the songs of perhaps the greatest psychedelic band ever - Pink Floyd. The music and drugs caused me to recall a time from my not so distant past.

The last movie I saw as a civilian before becoming one with the military was Easy Rider. To say the movie affected me is an understatement. I rarely remember a movie for a week after seeing it, but almost forty years have passed since viewing Easy Rider and many of the scenes remain lodged in my mind.

What I remember most is the noir scene in the St. Louis #1 Cemetery where Wyatt and Billy take two whores they recently met and do drugs in perhaps the most surreal vista ever filmed in an American movie. Maybe I remembered this scene when penning Big Easy because hero Wyatt Thomas has a tryst with his own girlfriend at the St. Louis #1 Cemetery, the burial spot for famous New Orleans voodoo mambo Marie Laveau.

Eric'sWeb

Carol and I watched the laser light show, and then sated and satisfied we returned to her tiny house. Too stoned for lovemaking, we simply tried to sleep before Monday morning returned us to stark reality. Lying in the darkness of Carol’s bedroom, I stared at ceiling shadows, recalling the many bizarre events that had occurred in my life, and pondering what the next day might bring.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mama Mulate's Cajun Tomato Fritters - a weekend recipe

The mirliton is an aggressively-growing vegetable that thrives in south Louisiana, and dominates Mama’s backyard. An itinerant cheapskate, the voodoo mambo can’t stand to see a single plant go to waste, and compensates by creating many mirliton recipes. Here is one of her favorites.

Ingredients

• 4 tomatoes, finely chopped
• 2 mirlitons, finely chopped
• 1 green chili pepper, deseeded, and finely chopped
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 ½ cups flour
• ½ bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
• ½ bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Vegetable oil

Directions

Combine all ingredients, except flour, in a bowl. Add enough flour to make a thick batter. In a frying pan, heat oil until hot. Drop the batter, by spoonfuls, into the oil, and fry until browned. Turn once to brown on both sides. Remove fritters with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper towels. Enjoy.

Eric'sWeb

Friday, September 16, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

And When I Die

War is a game I played when I was young. I didn’t know at the time, it was a reality that would steal my youth.

I was twenty three when I went to war. I didn’t get much time off during my stay at Fort Polk, learning how to kill, maybe two weekends. One of them I spent in Chalmette, visiting then wife Gail and her parents. I traveled there on the bus and the trip was memorable, not in what I saw, but in what I felt.

Leesville is the Louisiana town just outside of Fort Polk and one word describes it—seedy. The Leesville bus station fit the bill. I can’t remember how I got there, though I probably hitchhiked from the base. The lobby reeked with the vague odor of despair, the station empty except for the lady that issued my ticket without seeming to see me, and about a half dozen GI’s; like me, they were all privates.

I sat alone in the back of the bus, reveling in the legroom but saddened by the darkened loneliness. We were fifty miles out of town when one of the GI’s began to sing. I wasn’t very old. This kid was younger, probably no more than eighteen. There was a song out at the time called And When I Die. Laura Nyro wrote it and Blood, Sweat and Tears had a hit with the song. The young man had no accompaniment and sang it much slower even than Nyro’s version. His words tore the heart right out of my chest. The young man was an Eleven Bravo, same as me. We were both infantry bullet-stoppers bound for the human gristmill that was Vietnam.

Like me, he was probably afraid of death. I was afraid of something much worse—the decisive act of taking another human life. I didn’t know if I was up to the task, even though I’d had the act of ultimate enactment drummed into the very essence of my soul for the past four months.

The song’s lyrics ripped at my heart, though didn’t make me cry. I was drenched in the steel resolve of personal survival at the time. I would do what I had to do. I only hoped that any act of violence I might ultimately have to perform wouldn’t corrupt my soul—at least not forever.

Eric'sWeb

Friday, September 09, 2011

Critters, Crows and Moonies - Pics

Scooter, Princess & Oscar

Watch Crow
 A few pics I took in my backyard the last day or so. The dogs, crows, and the spiders are loving the cooler weather.

Eric'sWeb

Garden Spider

Bloomin' Moonies

Spider & Moonies

Oscar & Princess


Scooter & Princess


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Man Behind the Naming of Route 66

 Ever wonder how Route 66 got its name? Read this article and find out.

  Naming Route 66

  Eric'sWeb

A Change in the Weather

The weather is gorgeous here in Edmond since the cold front, and ensuing rainstorm moved out the heat dome. My moonflowers also appreciated the milder weather, blooming as never before tonight. Yes, they smell as wonderful as they look.


Eric'sWeb


Monday, September 05, 2011

Mama Mulate's Green Gumbo - a weekend recipe

Buy on Amazon and BN.com
There are as many varieties of gumbo in New Orleans as there are streets with French names. One variety, Green Gumbo, or Gumbo Z’herbs, is little-known and generally found only in New Orleans. Catholic’s often serve this meatless gumbo (although meat may be added) on Good Friday. Superstition has it that a new friend will be made for every different green leafy vegetable used in the gumbo. Mama, a naturally suspicious person, always uses seven different types of greens. Here is her special recipe for Green Gumbo.

Ingredients

• 3 pounds leaves of (choose your own seven greens) collard, cabbage, radish, turnips, mustard, spinach, watercress, parsley and green onion, equal portions, chopped very fine
• 1 onion, white, large, chopped
• ½ red pepper pod
• ½ tsp. black pepper
• 1 bay leaf, finely chopped
• 1 sprig thyme, finely chopped
• 1 sprig parsley, finely chopped
• 1 sprig sweet marjoram, finely chopped
• 1 clove of garlic
• ¼ tsp. allspice, ground fine
• ½ tsp. cayenne
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• ½ cup flour, all-purpose
• boiled rice

Directions

Wash the leaves thoroughly then remove coarse midribs. Pat dry. Put greens in a large pot with enough water to cover. Add black pepper. Boil for about 2 hours, strain and then chop very fine. Save the water in which they were boiled. Combine cooking oil and flour over medium heat in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.

When hot, add chopped onion and chopped sprig of parsley. Stir until roux reaches a rich peanut brown, and then add the chopped greens. When the leaves become brown, pour contents into the water in which the leaves were boiled. Throw in the bay leaf, thyme, sweet marjoram, red pepper pod, clove of garlic and allspice. Stir slowly. Place pot over low flame and simmer, partially covered for about 2 more hours, adding cayenne during the process. Serve with rice and French bread. Enjoy.

Eric'sWeb

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Morning Mist of Blood Free at Smashwords

Buck McDivit, cowboy detective and protagonist of Eric Wilder's first novel Ghost of a Chance, returns in the mystery/thriller Morning Mist of Blood. Read it for free at Smashwords.

Eric'sWeb

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oklahoma Burning - continued

My step-daughter Kate started college this month at Redland's Community College in El Reno, Oklahoma. Tonight, she called, worried about Marilyn and me.
"You're in the path of a flash fire," she said.
She wasn't quite right. The fire burning acres of red cedar trees, dried grass and many homes and farms is still east of us, on the other side of I-35.
Wednesday night is my night out with the boys. We all end up at my place where Marilyn, a wonderful cook, always has something wonderful for us to eat. On the way home, I couldn't help but see the thick plume of smoke just east of my house.
Marilyn cooked gumbo tonight to the raves of everyone present. When everyone left, she suggested we turn on our sprinkler. I hardily concurred.
Today is the last day of August and the Oklahoman says it marks the hottest summer for any state in the Union, ever. 107d today. Yes, it's hotter than the hubs of holy hell here.
Eric'sWeb

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oklahoma Burning

Saw the smoke billowing on the horizon this morning after leaving the dentist’s office. I could still smell it tonight when I went for my walk. This is the driest summer I can remember and it’s surely the hottest. Today marks the 57th day of triple-digit temperature in OKC. Several towns in Oklahoma are approaching 90 days.

Grass Fires Claim 12 Homes in OKC

Eric'sWeb

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pond Scum and Summer Heat

Attack of the Green Creature

Dave's new truck and Airstream
My friend Dave Beatty, who lives in Livingston, Louisiana, sent me a couple of pictures lately. His pond was almost empty when it finally rained. It didn't take long for a green scum to form once the sun came back out. Fed up with the heat, he bought a new pickup and Airstream trailer.

"I'm spending next summer in the mountains of Colorado."

I don't want to hear it, Dave. It was 108 in OKC yesterday. We don't even have ponds to have green scum on anymore. They all evaporated.

Eric'sWeb

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mama's Steamed Oysters - a weekend recipe

Mama has a PhD in English literature, but when it comes to sports, she isn’t a typical academic. A track star at the University of South Carolina, she participated in world-class sprints and relays. Her sleek body still attests to her former athletic prowess.

Another dirty little secret, Mama likes professional football and loves the New Orleans Saints. She attends every home game, at least when someone else is treating, that is. A recalcitrant cheapskate, she refuses to pay what she considers an exorbitant price for tickets. When she can’t see her beloved Saints playing in person, she often hosts a game party, serving steamed oysters, a New Orleans favorite.

Ingredients

• 4 dozen oysters, shucked
• Salt and pepper to taste
• A dash of cayenne

Directions

In a steamer, steam the oysters in a mixture of water and beer for about 5 minutes. Combine with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne. Serve on crackers with drawn butter and, or Tabasco sauce.

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Excerpt from Morning Mist of Blood

The weight of the heavy cat hammered him into the mud. Jaws would have clamped his jugular, holding him in place with two large paws until his last breath escaped from his body, but Buck had ducked and pivoted, the beast’s claws raking only his back. Having no other weapon, he grabbed a double handful of mud, thrusting it into the panther’s eyes.

Some primeval instinct guided his hands, the panther howling in outrage when struck in the face with the globs of sticky mud. The ruse worked for only a moment, but long enough for him to dive down the ledge to the creek. The fall should have knocked him silly, except he landed in shallow water. Plowing ahead, his heart beat double-time as his mind raced for answers, knowing the panther would be on him in a flash. The water wasn’t deep, but flowing rapidly and he let the current carry him forward.

He couldn’t hear the big cat but somehow knew it was bounding after him. When he reached solid ground, he sprang to his feet and began running toward light, maybe from the moon, in the roof of the arboreal tunnel. He didn’t make it very far.

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Eric'sWeb

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Edmond, Oklahoma Marks 25th Anniversary of Post Office Massacre


Mystery and controversy still shrouds the brutal mass killing that occurred in Edmond, Oklahoma twenty-five years ago, and many deep wounds remain unhealed.
Edmond Post Office Massacre

Eric'sWeb

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sweet-toothed Cat

Butter Cup
There was a stale chocolate doughnut in our kitchen that Marilyn decided to feed to the birds or squirrels outside. She threw it under the bird feeder, returning a few minutes later to find Butter Cup polishing it off. I knew she was a finicky eater but didn't know she liked doughnuts. Guess I know now what to give her for treats.
Eric'sWeb

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Revised and Enhanced Prairie Sunset

Coming soon! Newly revised with an extra 10,000 words. Everyone loves Prairie Sunset but many say I ended it too soon, not telling the whole story. Well, check out the revised version (director's cut). Hopefully, all your questions will be answered. If you're sixty, or over, I think you'll like this book.

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Mama Mulate's Chilled Mango-Melon Soup - a weekend recipe

Mama Mulate’s backyard is a tropical maze of garden pathways, stone masonry, fountains and birdbaths. Flowering vines grow up trellises and the back fence. Ferns, flower baskets and wind chimes hang from the eaves of her large covered deck where tropical ceiling fans provide a steady flow of air when you’re lounging in her porch swing, or comfortable rattan furniture.

Mama also has a garden where she grows peppers, okra, melons, and many other vegetables. What she doesn’t grow in her own backyard, she buys fresh at the French Market, a destination she likes to visit early in the morning.

Summers are always hot and humid in the Big Easy. The City’s residents—at least those that don’t have a mountain retreat—have found ways to stay cool and healthy. Mama loves making chilled soups and then serving them on her covered deck to the slow whirring of overhead fans, dripping of water in the fountains, and sounds of crickets and tree frogs. For a wonderful summer respite, try Mama’s chilled mango-melon soup.

Ingredients

1 large cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 large mangoes, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 limes, juiced
½ Tbsp. cinnamon, ground

Directions

Puree melon and mango chunks in a blender, until smooth, with lime juice and cinnamon. Pour into a large bowl, stirring well. Chill for at least 3 hours. Pour into glass bowls, garnish with strawberry slices and sliced almonds. Serve and enjoy.

Eric'sWeb

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Juan's Oilpatch Fajitas

The oilpatch is a tough place to work though sometimes it has its rewards. Last month, while working on a well in Logan County, Oklahoma, completion unit owner Juan cooked shrimp, beef and sausage fajitas for everyone. They were, I can attest, wonderful.
Eric'sWeb

Juan and his wok
Wildfire
Juan's Crew
Fajitas on Plastic
Spectacular Wildfire Sunset