Slow down and …………………..

Life is made up of special moments which make it worth living.

There are many cherished moments that are missed due to the stress and fast pace of daily living.

We must slow down and remember how precious it is to be alive and to love.    Lessons Learned in Life

Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, MO

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On March 4, 1826, Major General Jacob J. Brown, Commanding General of the Army, issued Special Order No. 13 which he instructed Bvt. General Henry Atkinson, Commanding Officer of the 6th Infantry Regiment , and Bvt. Major General Edmund P. Gaines, Commander of the Western Department of the Army,”…to select some position near the mouth of Missouri River [net exceeding a range of 20 miles] which in their judgement may be deamed [sic] the best for the establishment of an infantry school of instruction.”That was the inception of Jefferson Barracks Military Post.  It was an important and active U.S. Army installation from 1826 through 1946.  It is the oldest operating U.S. Military installation west of the Mississippi River.  It is presently used as a base for the Army and Air National Guard.The first conflict that the soldiers of Jefferson Barracks were involved in happened in 1832 and it was known as the Black Hawk War.  During the Civil War it was used as a military hospital for both sides as well as a recruitment center for the north.  By the end of the war they had treated well over 18,000 soldiers.The Jefferson Barracks Military Post Cemetery was established in 1826.  The first known burial was Elizabeth Ann Lash, the infant child of an officer stationed there.  In 1866 it became a United States National Cemetery.DSC_0007July 31,2018, my daughter in law, grandson and myself visited the Missouri Civil War Museum located in Jefferson Barracks located in the old Jefferson Barracks 1905 Post Exchange Building.  Since its opening in June 2013, it has become one of the largest Civil War Museums in the U.S.  Its focus is entirely on Missouri’s role in the American Civil War.45.The 22,000 square foot museum is filled with over one thousand artifacts and several films are available for your viewing.  Each gallery and exhibit tells a story of Missouri in the American Civil War, from guerrillas and jayhawkers to life on the home front.  There are also galleries on Jefferson Barracks history and the post-war era.6312Pics above are of some of the displays located inside the museum.Personally I think the museum is well worth the visit.  Inside the gift shop is a fine collection of books written about the civil war along with souvenirs.My hat is off to the Missouri Civil War Museum group that was formed in 2002.  They managed to raise 1.7 million dollars for the restoration of the building.  When you see the before and after pics you will see what an enormous undertaking it was to restore the building.  A big thank you to everyone that made this museum possible.The museum is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  You can find out more at mcwm.org.

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My daughter in law who really enjoyed the museum.

Time on the River

 

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Big River near DeSoto, MO as darkness gives way to the dawn.

I have always been mesmerized by the beauty of the river.  Due to flooding it is constantly changing but Mother Nature seems to always protect its beauty.  If only man would cherish the river as much as Mother Nature.  The pollution and the trash left behind has grown, adding an ugliness that shouldn’t be there.

“The River… It’s my world, and I don’t want any other.  What it hasn’t got is not worth having, and what it doesn’t know is not worth knowing.  Lord! the times we’ve had together.” – Kenneth Grahame

On August 11, I decided to spend a very much needed night on the river.  Temps were in the 90s and humidity was high.  I loaded up and went to Mammoth Access on the Big River in Missouri.  A lot of people on the river and I got a lot of stares.  I have had a round with melanoma so I show up in a long sleeve shirt and jeans and really don’t look like I belong.  I board my yacht and head up river for a much anticipated night of relaxation.

As I paddle I look for spots to set limb lines and a place to make camp for the night.  I opted out of taking a tent and would opt to catnap on board my trusty yak.  After finding places for lines and camp I went to an area to do some bass fishing however the fish didn’t seem to like the smorgasbord I provided for them.  I finally started tight line fishing and waited for dusk to show up at which time I would set and bait lines in hopes of catching some catfish.

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Big River near DeSoto, MO as dawn takes over the night.

“A river seems a magic thing.  A magic, moving,, living part of the very earth itself.” – Laura Gilpin

I finally finished getting the lines set and baited around 8:30 p.m.  I then set up camp and  set up for tight line fishing while I waited until time to run my lines.  I like to run my lines every 2 and a half hours.  All I seemed to get was empty lines with no bait.  There was a bait stealer loose in the Big River.  My luck wasn’t much better with my tight line fishing but I did manage to get a good fire started.

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The night got cool enough that the fire actually felt good.

Finally I managed to catch a drum, or stone perch.  I put it on a stringer because I had plans for it.  I also managed to catch a sucker but since it wasn’t high on my culinary preferences I returned it to the river.  They are pretty bony.

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One of Missouri’s suckers.

Around 4:30 a.m. my beef stew MRE had began to wear of so I prepared the fish for breakfast.  I didn’t have anything to cook it in so I improvised and rigged up quite a contraption to cook it with.  I used some green tree limbs and fashioned sort of a spit and cooked it 10 minutes on each side and I am here to tell you it was delicious.

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Breakfast on the river.

The darkness began to give over its control to the rays of sunshine.  I headed out to run my lines and take them out.  As I was running the lines I heard something that sounded just like a lamb.  I use to raise sheep so I know the sound all too well.  I could hear it but couldn’t see it.  finally it broke out of the brush and to may surprise it was a fawn still sporting its spots.  I figured it got separated from its mom and hopefully it wasn’t an orphan.  Then I got my answer.  I hear the bleat of a doe and the fawn spun around and headed back into the brush giving what sounded like a very happy round of bleats.

“A river or stream is a cycle of energy from sun to plants to insects to fish.  It is a continuum only broken by humans.” – Aldo Leopold

All the lines were empty and void of bait but one.  I noticed that it was wrapped over a limb but is wasn’t moving so I figured I had caught one and it wrapped the line around the limb and got off.  I managed to pull the line and limb up but to my surprise the line wasn’t empty.  No sirree!  As it broke the service I found a 20 pound, at least, soft shell turtle hooked by its foot.  This means that its head was free.  Now I am here to tell you when it comes to the length of a neck the giraffe has nothing on a very pissed off soft shell turtle.  Now the pucker factor has kicked in and his neck extends way out, jaws snapping and barley misses my arm.  We wrestled for a while and I was finally able to unhook him and I gave a sigh of relieve that was probably heard in St. Louis.

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Phot of Big River by Double D Acres LLC.

After all the excitement and I calmed down a little I headed up river for about 2 hours and then turned around and fished my way back to the boat ramp.  I managed to catch one small Largemouth bass and that was all she wrote.

It wasn’t a very productive fishing trip but the relaxation and peacefulness I enjoyed was priceless.  Being alone on the river without any distractions is the perfect way I have found to cleanse the soul and recharge the spirit.  I have always said when I die I want to be cremated and my ashes spread in the river.  That is the only place that I can experience a true sense of peace and tranquility.

“A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I apologize for being a little long winded.  If you get a chance to sit on the bank of a river, close your eyes.  Listen to the running water and feel its energy.  Like us it has a destination.  A beginning and an end.  It has its low times (summer) and high times (floods).  Outside the interference of man, dams and levees, it manages to take out any obstacle in its way to its destination.  We can learn a lot about life from a river.  Remember to spread the love.

 

A Big Thank You

I am just shy of 250 followers and I would like to thank all of you that have chosen to follow my blog.  It is deeply appreciated and you all are deeply appreciated.  I try my best to get by every ones site and read your blogs.  I need to do a better job.

I am a firm believer that a Thank You goes a long way and that we don’t tell people enough that they are appreciated.  I think we tend to assume that they know.

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Remember to spread the love.

 

Kindness

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hey you with the sour face and pissy attitude.  If you smile I promise it won’t break your face.

Have you ever felt like saying that to somebody?  I just don’t get it.  I know that some people could be having a bad day.  I get it.  However, even though I try to avoid them, I have bad days and if someone says something or smiles at me I still manage to respond back.  After all they aren’t the reason I am having a bad day.  It is totally my fault because I let it happen.

Just recently we were having one of those days that the heat index was 105.  I was coming out of Rural King and this guy was going in.  He looked like he had a pretty rough day sooooo I say, “If this temperature drops any more we will have snow by morning.”  He stops and stares at me and I thought oops.  Maybe I shouldn’t have said that but then he busts out laughing and says thanks man, I really needed that.

One day while checking out at a quick shop the cashier just seemed like she was having a bad day.  She rings my stuff up and says do you want a bag?  I said am I that ugly that you think I need to put a bag over my head?  She thought for a minute and just busted out laughing and thanked me for making her laugh.

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

Being kind to someone is a good thing.  The real neat thing about it is that it doesn’t cost you anything.  Nada. Think about this. The person sitting next to you on the bus could be contemplating suicide and an act of kindness could possibly save their life.

There is no such thing as too much kindness.  At the present time the world could use a whole lot of love and kindness.  Especially social media.  I don’t think I have ever saw so much hate and discontent.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.  Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” –Scott Adams

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Remember to spread the love and be kind to one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is Mother Nature Trying to Tell Us Something?

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution.  What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” –Evo Morales

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The calm before the storm hit Monsanto Lake.

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” – Willa Cather

It seems lately that Mother Nature has lost her mind.  Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and other destruction has been in the news lately.

Ice and Snow in Florida- Early January brought snowflakes to the Florida panhandle for the first time since 1989 ( since 1885 if you are talking about January)

Snow in the Sahara- Algeria received 15 inches of snow.

Coldest April followed by hottest May

Four nor’easters in a row- Northeast US was hit with four winter storms in one month

Fires are destroying thousands of acres in California while parts of Hawaii battles with the destructive forces of a volcano.  What does it mean?  Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something?  Is Mother Earth crying out for help?

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“It also called upon traditional people in the Four Directions to strengthen the healing ceremonies and asked people to heed the warnings of Mother Earth.” – Dennis Banks

Most folks are going to say I am crazy but I am a firm believer that Mother Nature is trying to warn us that unless we quit destroying Mother Earth things are only going to get worse.

We can’t keep pumping chemicals into our rivers and streams and air.  Mother Nature’s filtration system is getting plugged up.  Think of it as the air filter in your furnace.  It traps all the bad stuff that would hurt the furnace and when it gets full you take it out, throw it away and put in a new one.  Mother Nature can’t do that.

The only way we can help is to get our heads out of our asses and get serious about a plan to heal this planet.  Hell folks, according to Steven Solomon, author of “Water: The Epic Struggle For Wealth, Power and Civilization” , “Water is overtaking oil as our scarcest natural resource in the world.”  We need to desperately change our way of thinking.  We need to realize that we can’t keep depleting our resources without a plan to replenish them.  Trees have a big job in the ecosystem. Some countries are completely destroying the jungles and not replanting.  Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other poisonous gases and emit oxygen.  Don’t know if it is true or not but I once heard that one large tree can supply a day’s worth of oxygen for four people.  What happens if we keep cutting the trees without replanting and suddenly there aren’t enough plants to produce the amount of oxygen needed to sustain life on Mother Earth?

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I want everyone to think about something for a minute.  Yeah maybe I am crazy however, what if Mars once looked like Mother Earth.  Oceans, rivers, mountain streams, vast forest land, occupied by some greedy, uncaring inhabitants.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  It is deeply appreciated.  Remember to spread the love.

 

Happy Fourth of July

 

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Liberty: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.

On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence.  For the next two days congress focused on the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  On July 4, 1776 it was approved and there have been celebrations ever since.

On this day I would like to share with you some of my favorite quotes that pertain to this day.  It is a day that should never be taken too lightly.  Just like life it can be gone in a blink of an eye.  Protect your rights.

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited.  There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” – Ronald Reagan

I really feel in today’s society people have a tough time wrapping their minds around the meaning of what our former POTUS was saying.

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” – Benjamin Franklin

This my friends is why it is so important to protect the “freedom of speech”.  Benjamin Franklin had enough insight to understand this.

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“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

A perfect example of this, in my opinion anyway, is the TSA.  Our government has made it a nightmare to travel by air.

“When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.” John Basil Barnhill

Pretty much self explanatory.

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“Those who nourish the hope that it will be possible to keep central +government free of the corrupting tendencies of power and to staff it with a freedom loving elite, overestimate the virtues of both the  electorate and the elected, and underestimate the normative power of structural processes even over well-intended functionaries.” – Robert Neff

All too obvious in our political system.

Happy Fourth of July to everyone out there.  I didn’t mean to put such a downer on today’s holiday.  As you celebrate today remind yourself it is about much more than fireworks.  We lose more of our freedoms every year.  It is time to stop the bleeding.  I leave you with some lyrics from Janis Joplin, Me and Bobby McGee.  “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.  Nothin’ don’t mean nothin’ hon’ if it ain’t free…..”

I hope you enjoyed my post today.  Thank you for taking the time to read it.  Spread the love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Much Needed Night on the River

 

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Smallmouth Bass caught on the Big River. (13 and 3/4 inches long.)

Finally on June 23, I was finally able to feed my addiction, I spent the night on Big River near Leadwood, Mo.  They were calling for rain both days however I only got sprinkled on a couple of times.  To top things off the night sky was sporting an almost full moon.

My adventure started around 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.  I put the yak in the water and headed up river.  I fished as I went along, looking for places to set my limb lines and a place to set up camp.  I had opted not to take a tent and was looking for a place sheltered from the west in case a storm blew up.  I finally found a perfect gravel bar that had a 10 foot bank sheltering me from the west winds so I continued up river so that I could let the current bring me back down the river.  That would make it easier to fish that stretch of the river.

As I fished my way back to the camp site it started out a little disheartening.  Fish didn’t seem interested in anything I had to offer.  Then I caught a rock bass and even though it wasn’t very big it was a start.  I ended up catching several panfish and 8 smallmouth bass under 8 inches.  Then I hooked something of size and the fight was on.  When using an ultralight with 4 pound test line you can’t rush things.  I had no idea what it was then it came straight up out of the water and did a tail walk.  It was a largemouth bass.  We went back and forth for around 10 minutes and then it did its fifth tail walk, gave me a big grin and spit the lure out of his mouth and I am pretty sure he was laughing at me as he hit the water and disappeared.  Damn the luck.

 

I made it back to the camp site, unloaded the yak and got a fire going.  Now f you have never started a fire with wet wood you probably have no idea how frustrating that can be.  With no fish, Vienna Sausages were on the menu.  I had 7 limb lines out so I rigged up a line to fish tight line from the bank, baited with nightcrawlers. I ran my lines at 11 p.m. and all the bait was gone and no fish.

I ran the lines again and still no fish so I went back to camp.  Around 15 minutes after I got in camp I heard a growl come from up on the bank.  Now there are many different kinds of growls.  There is the I don’t like you growl, stay away growl and the I am going to scare this old man.  This growl wasn’t any of those.  It was more a kick arse and take names kind of growl.  I slipped over and got my 45 out of the water tight box and stood real still.  After around 5 minutes, but it seemed like 5 hours, it moved on.  I let out a sigh of relief and went back to fishing.

Around 3 a.m. I heard something making a racket in the direction of one of my limb lines so I shove off and head in that direction.  I shine the limb that my line is tied too and the limb is shaking up and down and going in all directions.  I ease up and grab the line and start pulling it in and on the either is a huge snapping turtle.  It decides it wants to come aboard my yak and the fight is on.  Only problem was I didn’t have room for a 30 pound snapper.  I finally got him loose and headed back to camp.

As the darkness started retreating and the light started to flood the morning sky I heated up some water to pour into my MRE and made some coffee.  Around 5:30 a.m. I began breaking camp and loaded the yak and headed back up the river for some fishing action.  At 9:30 I heard the awfullest racket coming  from downstream around a bend in the river.  Finally I see several cows making their way up the river crossing the river and heading up the hill on the other side.

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That was pretty much my weekend in a nutshell and what an enjoyable night it was.  I needed to recharge my spirit and the adventure in nature was what I needed.  I can’t wait to see what the next river adventure brings.

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did my river adventure.  Stay safe and spread the love.

 

John Muir – “Father of the National Parks

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“The practical importance of the preservation of our forests is augmented by their relations to climate, soil and streams.” – John Muir

My blog today is about a man who every outdoorsman, or one who loves frequenting the National Parks, should know.  He was a naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist and activist for the preservation of wilderness.  His name was John Muir.

John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland, on April 21, 1838 and died December 24, 1914.  He was also known as “John of the mountains” and “Father of the National Parks”.  He also founded the Sierra Club.  He was well known for his writing.  He published two articles about Wilderness Preservation in The Century Magazine that influenced the US Congress to establish Yosemite National Park in 1890.

“Only by going alone into silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness.  All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” – John Muir

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The Muir family left Scotland in 1849 headed for America.  They started a farm near Portage, Wisconsin.  The farm was known as Fountain Lake Farm and it has been designated a National Historic Landmark.  He enrolled in University of Wisconsin – Madison at the age of 22 and in 1864 moved to Canada until 1866.  Indianapolis was his new home and he went to work in a wagon wheel factory.

In September of 1867 Muir began a 1,000 mile walk that started in Kentucky and ended in Florida.  You can read about his journey in his book A Thousand – Mile Walk to the Gulf.

“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.” – John Muir

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John was very active his whole life trying to save the wilderness and was at home in nature.  Some controversy followed him concerning some of his activism, but his love for the outdoors prevailed.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Remember, spread the love.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

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It’s Your Life; Who’s In Charge

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“Sometimes we make the process more complicated than we need to.  We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how long it will take or how hard it will be.  We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.” – David B Wirthlin

In the picture above the river represents your life and the dam represents control. Who/what controls your life.

Old cowboy saying, “A woman finds her a man she wants and says I can change him.  A cowboy finds a woman he wants and says I hope she never changes.”

So many things  can control your life and you may not even know.  Drugs, alcohol, gambling, and sex can all become a control issue. Most of the time they are pretty obvious to your friends and family and garner a lot of attention sometimes resulting in one getting help.

There is one form of control that literally breaks my heart.  Low self esteem.  It can make you a prisoner in your own world.  Some people don’t even realize they have it.  If you were bullied in school, had abusive parents, always ridiculed and never complimented or parents that never interacted or did things with you, then you probably battle with low self esteem.  Good news  is that if you are, you don’t have to.  With the help of some family members, friends and YOU, YOU can heal yourself.

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These wildflowers are representative of a new beginning.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are one that suffers from low self esteem, to beat it you have to restore your self confidence.  You have to quit listening to others and believe in yourself.  You are somebody.  You are beautiful.  You are a good person.

It’s not gong to be an easy row to hoe.  You are going to have to be strong and unwavering.  Create yourself a negative free environment and begin a healing process.  Surround yourself with positive friends and family and seek out a good counselor.  All these people will be good for you.  Again I stress you have to believe in yourself and take control of your life.

For those of you that have an addiction, you will have to use a little different approach but you can get control of your life back.  Surround yourself with positive people and again, find yourself a good counselor.  Set realistic goals and don’t lose sight of them and don’t ever give up.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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