Banana Kefir Egg Smoothie

Are you starving and needing something delicious right now that’s not junk?

Banana Kefir Egg smoothie in a glass

This is creamy, sweet, zingy, aromatic, full bodied, filling, easy, fast, portable and packed with real food.

If you have an immersion blender, just throw in a banana, a raw egg, some kefir (or yogurt, buttermilk or whole milk), add a few drops of vanilla extract and a teaspoon or two of maple syrup and whip it up. Sprinkle some fresh grated cinnamon on top.

Sip this while you are making the rest of your meal or dump it into a to-go cup. The nutritional value and flavor of this (or any food you make) is ramped up if you use organic ingredients, eggs from your favorite chicken lady and home made kefir or yogurt that has no sugar added.

Icy Looking Glass Falls

The temp was 12F which is cold for this part of the world. But this morning I wanted to see an icy waterfall, so I put on my warmest clothes, took my coffee, camera and tripod and headed north on Hwy 276.

12F at 7:04 am

Like most falls that drop more than a few feet, there is a constant mist soaking everything nearby, encouraging moss and ferns to grow.  However, when the air temp has been well below freezing all night, everything is sheathed in ice. Here is a series of photos I took this morning. The blurriness of some is because of ice on the lens filter which I had to scrape off with my fingernail. It made a “romantic”, vignette effect … completely unplanned, but nice. As usual, I slightly increased the contrast and deepened the colors to make it look more like what I actually saw. Compare these with ones taken in the fall.

Overview of Icy Falls

Closeup of icy falls

Closer up of falls

Falls with icy branches

Bent icicles

Pointy log in icy stream

Icy tree trunk

The view downstream

Looking Glass Falls is a few miles north of Brevard on Hwy 276 and is visible on the right side of the road with easy concrete stairs going down to near the base, making it VERY popular when the weather is nice. However, I was the only one there this morning.

Ron standing on the walk in front of Looking Glass Falls

What to do with your new mushroom log.

Your logs are completely maintenance free, after you find a good location for them.

Fresh mushroom logs stacked up in the shade, in the rain and off the ground.
Fresh mushroom logs stacked up in the shade, in the rain and off the ground.

Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Set it outside in a mostly shady spot, like the north or north-east side of a structure or under some trees.
  • Don’t put it under cover, since it should get rained on.
  • Keep it off the soil by setting it on some rocks, bricks or boards.
  • It is very important that your logs do not dry out by prolonged exposure to direct sun or high temperatures.
  • Optional: Colonization of a freshly inoculated log is accelerated by keeping it in a cool (room temperature) place indoors, in your basement or in the garage, wrapped in plastic for a month or two during the coldest time of the year.   Then set outside in a shady spot as described above.
  • Don’t let it freeze hard the first few weeks.  A solid week of freezing daytime temps might kill a freshly inoculated log, but you probably won’t see that if you live in WNC.
  • After they have incubated for a 8 months or so, you can “force” a flush of mushrooms by soaking them in a stream of tank overnight, or putting a soaker hose on it for several hours.  This is a good thing to do too in hot dry weather.

That’s it, they should produce a first flush in 8-12 months, and keep producing sporadically (usually after a wet cycle) for 1 or 2 more years.

Sibly Pond Reflections

I think this is a nice abstract taken of a reflection of trees and leaves at Sibley Pond in Marietta GA.


I went down to this peaceful place one morning in May 2015 to meditate and think about the commitment I just made to move away from Marietta and basically start a new life in Brevard, NC.

Christmas Kombucha

This is one bottle of several that I added cherry and apple juice to for the second fermentation. It made a wonderful color which I tried to capture in this HDR photo.

A fresh bottle of Christmas Kombucha

If I ever create a commercial product, each bottle would come with a scoby like this one so anyone could start their own continuous supply if they wanted to. It is also important that it is drinkable “straight” which means it has to have the right balance of sweet, tart and fizzy.


Here is something to look forward to …
Tomato Sandwich Deluxe

This section is the home of PappaRon’s real food basic recipes.

Stuff I regularly make for myself or friends and family.

Main Meals
Meatloaf (with smoked option)
Pulled Pork (or any meat)
Roasted Chicken (easier than you think)
Savory Rice (cooked in bone broth)
Oxtail Stew (beefiest thing on the planet)
Borsht (mixed garden vegetable soup)
Shishliki (marinated lamb kabobs)
Stuff In A Pan (use a frying pan like a wok)
Deluxe Tomato Sandwiches

Sides, Beverages and Intermediates
Bone Broth
Nutritional Coffee (feed your nervous system)

Apple Pie
Bark Chocolate
Best Popcorn Ever

Looking Glass Falls

Just a few miles north of Brevard on Hwy 276 is this most accessible, picturesque and classic waterfall.

You can literally see it from your car, but it is worth getting out and walking down to on the well maintained boardwalk any time or day of the year (especially in the early morning when it’s not crowded with tourists).


Making Memories

Here is one of my old favorite photos that awakened my interest in digital photography on a bright spring day. I knew from then on, that nature photography would always be a part of my life.

Yellow and orange sunflower petals and pollen on a black background
I was working in my yard at Abney Lane, near Dallas GA and I accidentally broke off a stem with small sunflower in all it’s glory. I was going to just toss it in the compost bin but it was so beautiful and the color got my attention. I remember that day fondly because of how vibrant the spring garden was.
As a photo, it is way over saturated and contrasty but I don’t have the original. But it’s not so bad as Abstract Art! I think I took it with my Canon G1, which was my first digital camera and the first in their successful “G” series.

All the photos on this site are mine, unless otherwise stated. I will try to make them high quality and integrated with the content. Technically I could call myself a professional photographer since I have gotten paid for some of my work. As I build my portfolio here, I may start selling prints because I’m sure some will resonate with fellow gardeners and nature lovers.

Brevard Area Geography

The landscape near my adopted home town of Brevard NC is dominated not by the mountains and the waterfalls (which Transylvania County is famous for), but the broad fertile plain of the French Broad River. It is one of the oldest rivers in one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. Its meandering character contrasts with the many waterfalls and narrow valleys surrounding it.

We are in a fertile valley on a plateau nestled between the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment (along the Eastern Continental Divide) to the south and the Southern Appalachian mountains to the north and west. It is geologically stable, and hurricanes and tornadoes lose their fury before getting here.

This land must have seemed like a paradise to the original human inhabitants who probably lived happily here for thousands of years. The plentiful rainfall, fresh water, varied terrain and fertile soil creates many diverse habitats and a rich ecology. If I was the leader of a tribe, I would take advantage of the abundance of animal and plant life for hunting, fishing, clothing, cultivation and medicines and make a “permanent” settlement.

… more later … this post is a work in process


If you want to go way back in time here are some good links to help visualize the geologic history of the southern Appalachians.
Here is a series of 5, 10 minute videos.
Here is the Wikipedia page.