The preservation of western cultural and the American Cowboy. Sharing the history of the early trail drives, the Chuck Wagon and those who pioneered untamed land. The content is for educational and entertainment purposes. Cowboys and Chuck Wagon Cooking reviews cooking techniques, products and western gear which today is part of western life style. We hope you will enjoy your visit and look forward to comments, recipes and shared heritage. Thank you for your visit. Hope you follow us along the trail of news, stories and the Cowboy way.
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Little Gifts of Love, Often the Heirlooms of Life

Each year, I like to take time to make something special for my son during the Christmas season.  Too often today, it seems we buy things only to see them out grown, break, fall apart or become junk in a throw away society.  I wanted something that would last a life time and become a keepsake.

It first started out wanting to get him some wood toys when he was just 2 years old but I could not find him the toys that I felt were once made with quality that would last. Sure, there are some awesome toys out there, remote control, radio control, video games, etc.  I just wanted something perhaps unique.



So not finding what I wanted, I began making some of his first toys. They included a pull toy duck, a dragon and even a Seal where the balancing ball spun as it rolled along the ground. Other items where race cars, Semi-trucks, fire truck, tractor, bush hog & wagon, Airplane, treasure chest filled with wood blocks and so on...Even a late 40's pick-up truck with the spare on the side of the bed hauling a horse trailer.  I even went to the extent of making the horses tail to have real hair. My son's grand mother shared a lock of hair to place on the horses - well on the tail section of the horse as to always be remembered in the years to come.

These were special toys then and today, while Austin does not play with them anymore, he still displays them in his bedroom proud of his dad making them for him. They slowly become heirlooms that he states he wants his children to have which is still plenty of years from now. Nevertheless, the sound of it excites me perhaps in fifteen more years since he is merely 13 now.

Some of the many things I have always appreciated was the gift someone took time to make rather than just purchased. That does not mean I do not appreciate those gifts too but things like my mother who long ago made Christmas Stocking crocheted and decorated to fit each person such as my stocking being a cowboy snowman with a stick horse, my red bandanna from when I was my son's age, a tiny little six-shooter and my baseball pin. It was made especially for me with weeks of care.

I have always enjoy those special gifts where someone has made fresh cookies and treats, placed in a basket. A few times, I've received some cool homemade jellies, barbecue sauces, special spice blends and even my favorite winter scarf is handmade just for me by my wife. These are sincerely gifts that are remembered and cherished. Sometimes, it is just nice to receive even purchased items put together in a basket to fit the person the gift is for. What out door cook does not appreciate a really awesome apron, cookware, sauces and spices placed in a basket with your name of it?

However, sometimes folks may not be as crafty and there is nothing wrong with hard earn money purchasing a beautiful gift. This year I received something I really thought cool that fit my personality which is Christmas Tree Ornaments.

They are exclusive Bradford Editions collectibles that feature Chuck DeHaan's inspiring equine portraits re-created on three unique, spiral-shaped ornaments. Each  triple-fired Heirloom Porcelain, individually handcrafted with rich 22K gold highlighting the edge of the elegantly curling ornaments. A golden scripted titles each ornament with a matching hanging cord. They will continue to be on our tree in the years to come forever remembering how special the gift is. 

However, this year, I wanted to again make something for my son Austin which would maybe become an heirloom but something he would enjoy and use. Since he has out grown his wood toys, doesn't need furniture, enjoys outdoor cooking and knowing we did not have a tri-pod, I decided to make him one where we can hang a dutch oven or coffee pot from when Chuck Wagon Cooking.  I had material left over, so I made a custom branding iron to go along with our other items of cowboy cooking. Austin loved it and today wants to learn the old skills of the blacksmith. Additionally wants to learn more about wood working and  carpentry skills as the do it yourself skills that might come useful years down the road.  While college is still in the plan, nothing wrong with good skills and the heirlooms of life.
Hand made Tripod for Cowboy and Chuck Wagon Cooking

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