Southern Top Shot

Metamorphosis Monday
Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Happy Monday everyone! Personally, I am really ready to get back to some kind of normal after last week. Thank you again to everyone who posted such nice things after the loss of my Grandpa.

I’m revisiting an old post with an update today. You may remember my post about my nephew and his “metamorphosis” from a young man to a Marine. Well, he has been invited to apply as a contestant on Top Shot. Top Shot is a series on the History Channel where shooters compete for the Top Shot title. Bryan really is a great shot, believe me, I’ve watched him! Besides that, he is just a really cool guy and my very favorite nephew (okay, he is my only nephew but it still counts!).

I would love for all of you to watch his 5 minute application video and then give him a thumbs up on YouTube. I don’t know that it will count towards getting him on the show, but I think it would be very encouraging for him.

Oh, and by the way, not only is he a good shot – what most people don’t know is that he lost 98% of his vision in his left eye during a training exercise while he was stationed at Camp David in the Presidential Guard. You would never know it because he just never calls attention to it. I think it is amazing what a great shot he is even without that vision in his left eye!

Check out his video and then you can read about him below! Hope everyone has a wonderful, wonderful week!

I have posted about my nephew (the Marine) before. It is a different kind of metamorphosis to be sure. But, it is an important kind of transformation.  I am so proud of my nephew for so many reasons. I wish you could all meet him. He is a fabulous cook and makes his own wine. Quite the Renaissance man.

Pic of Bryan with me when he graduated from Marine boot camp.
Pic of Bryan with me when he graduated from Marine boot camp (1996).

Today, I want to introduce you to my nephew, Bryan. Bryan is a Marine. He is not actively serving, but, I learned early on, “once a Marine, always a Marine.” The metamorphosis here is what happened to him at boot camp. They took a bright, energetic, clever boy and made him into a bright, energetic, clever man.

My sister, Tammy (his mother), and I went to his boot camp graduation. It was a life changing experience for me. We met with the drill instructors first. They spoke well of my nephew, which was a good thing. My sister and I were ready to take on the entire Marine force, if, for any reason, they didn’t have good things to say about him (which was unlikely). Luckily for us and for them, the drill instructors had nothing but good to say about him.

It was a goose bump moment when we heard the cadence from the young men as they marched towards us in the dark. You could hear them coming from a distance. Once they arrived, they stood at attention until they were dismissed to find their families. That was an awesome time. We saw him go in as as a young man and he came out a Marine!

The day he graduated from boot camp, I asked him what he had for breakfast. He said duck. I was surprised and said, “duck?” He told me that they had duck a lot. He told me that you duck your head and eat as much as you can before they kick you out. Never heard of that “duck” recipe before!

I am so proud of my nephew, then, and now. After boot camp, he was assigned to the presidential guard. He served in Washington D. C. and then at Camp David. He served in Kuwait during the initial invasion of Iraq.

He is no longer actively serving in the Marines but he still has that Marine attitude. He is a truly wonderful man that I am proud to have as my nephew. He is now married to a wonderful young lady and is still making me proud every day. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful young man as my nephew, and, we as a nation, are blessed to have so many like him who serve our nation so we can sleep in peace at night when we lay down our heads.

Thanks Bryan and to all of the other Marines for all they have done and continue to do for our country!

Today’s Lagniappe: Mussels with Garlic, White Wine and Butter
My nephew has become quite the connoisseur. He makes his own fine wine and is quite an accomplished cook. On one of our trips together, he ordered mussels. He loved them. Here is a recipe that I’m sure he would love.

  • 3 pounds mussels
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Rinse the mussels under cold running water while scrubbing with a vegetable brush. Remove the stringy mussel beards as you wash them. Discard any mussels with broken shells.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables cook down, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels and give everything a good toss. Add the white wine. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the mussels open. Stir occasionally so that all the mussels are in contact with the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and a drizzle of olive oil to the sauce remaining in the pot and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with hot crusty French bread.






2 responses to “Southern Top Shot”

  1. Allison Avatar

    I enjoyed your post, and will go watch the You Tube video. I was in the Army Reserve and shooting has always been a thing of mine!

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  2. Liz Avatar

    Awesome! I think that more of our young men could do with a little boot camp! 🙂 I always am so happy to hear a patriotic story like this. Thank you for sharing and give him a thank you too! 🙂


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