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

Instant Gratification

Americans are obsessed with “instant , gratification”. According to ABC News credit card debt exceeded 1 trillion dollars. USA Today reported in May of 2018 that the average credit card interest rate was 16.71%.

There are very few that will wait and put money back to pay cash for something. Instead they break out the plastic and purchase what they want now, not later.

There are those financial experts that say it is good for the economy. There is no argument that it helps the bottom line of corporations, banks, retail companies etc. but what about the American consumer? They do great when the economy is running like Secretariat coming down the back stretch.

What happens when the economy starts to tank? People start losing their jobs. Interest rates start to creep up. Loan defaults make headlines. At this point a lot of folks have more money going out than coming in.

Is it worth the trade off of starting a flourishing economy with plastic? Right now the economy is doing good but what lies around the next bend? A recession? Depression? The past tells us the government will take care of the financial institutions that make bad loans but what about the American consumer?

With our elected officials so eager to pass so many useless laws or duplicating existing laws, why don’t they do something to pass a much needed law?

I believe it is time for the government to address these excessive interest rates and help protect the American consumer. Put a cap on interest rates that an institution can charge. Silly me. I forgot where they get the money for their campaigns.

Banks pay 1 to 3 percent for a regular savings account. They won’t give us a decent rate but slam us when they loan us money. So not fair to the consumer.

If you make a late payment on one card another card can raise your rates even though you weren’t late on their payment. When your debt to income ratio becomes excessive they can raise your rates. Twenty nine, thirty percent even!

It is time to take control of this excessive credit card debt and demand something be done about these atrocious interest rates. “Instant gratification” has to be put on hold and Americans need to start living within their means. We need to take control of our debt.

I am by no means a financial expert or perfect and this is merely my opinion. I am speaking from experience. If you don’t agree with it we will just have to agree to disagree. Common sense tells us if we are spending more than we make that sooner or later we are going to tank. The only way we can outspend our earnings is through the use of credit.

Spread the love and be kind to each other.

The Cycle of Mother Nature

“The promise of spring’s arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter. ” – Jen Selinsky

No matter how much one dislikes winter it is an intricate part of the cycle of the seasons.

Winter is a time when Mother Earth becomes dormant and enters a state of hibernation. It is the season known for creating depression within humans.

The trees stand naked all except for a few leaves hanging on refusing to fall to the ground.

The winter snow and rains begin a state of decay. This will add much needed nutrients into the earth that will feed the vegetation and tree roots. The moisture from the winter snows and rain is stored in the earth waiting to quench the thirst of the seed planted by farmers in the spring.

“Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows. Lies the seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes a rose.” From the song The Rose

The spring sun’s warmth coaxes the seed to sprout. The bare limbs of the trees start to bud out and the leaves begin to grow. The grass begins to green up and Mother Earth’s landscape becomes peppered with the color of new flowers.

The warmer temps of summer soon take over. These temps help escalate the growth of the plants. Fruit becomes bigger on the plants. The warm nights help the plants grow even faster.

Fall finally arrives and harvest time approaches. As the temps cool the landscape begins to show the breathtaking colors of fall. The growing season starts to come to a close.

Once again the onslaught of winter arrives. Once again Mother Nature has come full circle. The cycle of the four seasons is once again complete.

Spread the love and be kind to one another.

Walk Your Own Way

“I don’t know where all the rivers run. I don’t know how far. I don’t know how come. But I am gonna die believin’ each step that I take ain’t worth the ground that I walk on if we don’t walk it our own way.” From the song Bang A Drum

I once was a follower. I was afraid to do things my own way. I was afraid of being wrong or offending someone. Then one day I heard Chris LeDoux sing these words and it caused an awakening in me that changed my life.

I did a lot of soul searching and looked back at my life in a new way. A way that I had never really imagined.

I will admit that I am hardheaded and by far I am not the sharpest tool in the shed but I realized I had the right to do things and believe the way I wanted too. Right, wrong or indifferent I should believe in me.

There are those who will try to make me believe I wasn’t able to make the right decisions on my own. That I would fail if I didn’t listen to the majority that instituted what they believed to be right for me. News flash, the majority isn’t always right.

I thought to myself how could these people tell me what was right for me when they had never experienced my heartaches, my celebrations and other life experiences. We can’t let people live our lives for us. We need to walk this world in our own way.

It was one of the most important changes I made in my life. It raised my self esteem to new heights. I finally felt like somebody. Don’t get me wrong. Yes I made bad decisions and choices and still do but I made them. No one else did and most importantly I learned from those mistakes and couldn’t blame anyone but myself.

No matter what you do in life or what decision you make there is always going to be someone who disagrees with you. It is inevitable. What is important is how you handle the situation. Do you cower and relinquish your opinion to please those people or do you stand up for what YOU believe in and stand your ground?

As for me I am going to fight for what I believe in even if I stand alone. Maybe it is because I have grown older but I really don’t care what people think of me any longer. I have walked the earth long enough to know that I am never going to please everyone and not everyone is going to agree with me. Not everyone will like my writing or political views. Not everyone will like my photography or my horseshoe art. What is important is how I handle it and that I always “walk it my own way”. If we don’t learn to believe in ourselves we do our spirit, soul and our being a great injustice.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It is so deeply appreciated. You may agree or not agree with my opinion but if you don’t I respect that because we all are entitled to our opinion. We don’t however have the right to demean, harass, or stoop to name calling if we disagree which seems to be the norm for so many people.

Remember to spread the love and be kind to one another. Kindness doesn’t cost anyone anything.

A Day on the St. Francois River

The St Francois River is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is 426 miles long and meanders through northeastern Arkansas and southeastern Missouri.

In the springtime they have kayak races on the part that goes through Silver Mines Park. Fishing is fair with a large variety of fish.

They were calling for a high near 70 degrees for today. That was all I needed to hear. I was river bound. I decided to try a new place that I had found. It was on the St Francois River in an area I had never fished.

I really didn’t think the fish would be hitting anything that I had in my tackle box. Just 3 days ago the high for the day was 9 degrees and a front was moving into the area today bringing rain with it. Well that wasn’t enough to stop me. I loaded the yak in the truck and headed out for a day of peace and relaxation.

The air temp was 55 degrees when I got to the river and the water temp was damn cold! It would not be a good day to flip the yak.

The water clarity was clear and water level was normal for this time of year. I didn’t go upstream 20 yards before I had to get out and pull the yak through the riffles. Once through there was a good 300 yard stretch with numerous deep holes and lots of structure and cover for the bass to suspend in. I knew to get them to hit I was going to have to drop my lure right under their nose.

I knew as cold as the water was I was going to have to fish a slow moving lure. This time of the year bass are lethargic and slow to attack the food source. So my choice was a pig and jig and a Charley Brewer slider worm.

The morning really started off slow. Not one single hit in 4 hours. Then a little after one p.m. I got a hit and set the hook. Didn’t appear it was going to be much of a fight then I guess it decided, not today bucko and the fight was on. After about 5 minutes I got it close enough to the boat so I could see it. OMG!!!!! He was big. My heart started beating 200 beats a minute then crap: I forgot the dip net.

Well he dove under the yak and popped up on the other side. With the help of the cold water it tired quickly. I got it up to the yak and I lipped it and put it in the boat.

OMG! What a beauty. I put it on the board and it was a hair over 20 inches. I admired its beauty and returned it to the river. It was a spotted/Kentucky black bass.

I caught two more spotted/Kentucky black bass.

Eleven and a half inches

Thirteen inches

All in all it was a great day. When I pulled out of the river it was 68 degrees. I felt good. I really needed that.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It is very much appreciated. Remember to spread the love and be kind to each other.

All photos are property of Double D Acres LLC and May not be reproduced without written consent from me.

The River is Calling

I know I write a lot about the river. It is a big part of my life. I know it is hard for some to understand my passion for the river. For those that don’t have a chance to enjoy the river I hope you can get to experience it through my writing.

I love to be on the river at early dawn. Just as the fog starts to lift off the river. You can hear the fish hitting the top of the water partaking of their morning breakfast.

Songbirds fill the morning air with their beautiful music and the squawk of a Heron can be heard.

The river is my utopia and my kayak is my yacht. The world seems so perfect there. I have watched deer cross the river 10 yards in front of me. Watched beaver hard at work and have had Bald Eagles fly above me. One early morning I had an otter swim up and put his paws on the side of the kayak.

I can sit for hours and listen to the sound of the water working it’s way through the riffles. I can feel the tension start to melt as I begin to relax. There is so much that goes on at the river.

It’s a place one can go to take the time to know themselves better.

It’s a place to shed your troubles and worries.

It’s a drug you can’t overdose on.

It’s a place that can cause you to be overwhelmed with joy.

It’s a place where your soul, spirit, and mind can be healed.

In time it is a place of memories.

I am truly addicted to the peacefulness of the river. My love for the river has been around for a long time.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate it. Remember to spread the love and be kind to one another.

One Tin Soldier

“Now the valley cried with anger, mount your horses draw your sword and they killed the mountain people so they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure, on the mountain dark and red.  Turned the stone and looked beneath it, Peace on Earth was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend.  Do it in the name of Heaven, you can justify it in the end.  There won’t be any trumpets blowing come the judgement day.  On the bloody morning after…one tin soldier rides away.”

In 1969 the Canadian pop group, The Original Caste, recorded the song One Tin Soldier written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter.  It was during the Viet Nam war era and was considered by many an anti-war song.

Who was this “Tin Soldier”?  The message simply put is that human greed and violence is futile.

The Mountain people seem to be isolated from the rest of the world and dedicated to protecting the treasure that they coveted so dearly.  Did they believe they had a solution to the greed and hatred that was consuming the governments of the world buried underneath the rock?  Would it end the oppression of the weak?  Could the Valley people be representative of an affiliation with a Christian religion?  It’s possible that the “Tin Soldier” was a messenger from God whose job one day would be to bring judgement on those who had committed violent acts against others with the hope of bringing “Peace on Earth” to fruition?  The answers to these questions are entirely left up to the interpretation of the listener.

It’s clear the Valley people believed that “tons of gold” along with other riches were buried beneath the stone.  The Valley people wanted these treasures for their own (greed) and are unwilling to share the treasures with the Mountain people.  Upon the answer from the Mountain people, with our brothers we will share all the secrets of our mountain, all the riches buried there, the Valley people shouted mount your horses and draw your sword and they killed all the people on the mountain.  They turned the stone to find the treasure “Peace on earth”.  No gold.  No riches.

They declare war on the Mountain people and as they stand upon the mountain dark and red with the blood of the Mountain people they find the answer to all the inequities of the world, Peace on Earth.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I have no evidence that this is the message of Lambert and Potter.  It is merely nothing more than the interpretation of this listener.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love and to be kind to each other.

Trust to let go!

Savvy Raj

Trust and Dancing.

As you dance with another…what matters most is the trust you place on yourself and your partner. To dance as one unit moving in synchrony and feeling the harmony of your beating hearts . This is the ideal connection which makes a dance come alive in the moments.

Yet as much as trust is a much needed trait in dancing together as a couple, often trust takes time to build and is also a subjective matter amongst dancers.

To trust is to let go doubt

To trust is to allow space for growth

To trust is to know patience in waiting

To trust is to allow space for faith

To trust another is not easy
For one and all…
To some it may be the most difficult
But trust is certainly worth trying!

To trust takes effort not assumptions
It takes practice in time and space.
For…

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Aw the Memories

As I sat at the window today watching the snow flakes dance to the ground my mind revisited the memories of my childhood.

I remember sitting in front of the window watching as the snow blanketed Mother Earth.

I loved walking in the woods while it is snowing. Not everyone realizes you can hear snow falling to the ground. It has its own distinct sound. You have to stand really still and be quiet and you will here it. I have to admit I only heard snow fall in the woods where it was really quiet.

I remember the year we got our hands on an old car hood. They make great sleds. It held all six of us but it took all of us to pull it back up the hill.

The last ride of the day was a wild ride. The slope now had an ice sheet on it. Now all we have is the hood and we needed steering and brakes to go with it. Off we go down the hill and we blew by the old stopping place and on the cuff of a new distance record. Then “BAM”! We hit the side of a car parked in the driveway. Now let me set the record straight. That car wasn’t there when we put the hood in motion. No brakes, no steering. We were hollering at the driver and he just waved at us.

I am happy to report that no one was seriously hurt and we walked away. Now for the car there were two perfect head imprints in the side. The car hood slid right under that car and came to a stop.

My mind became flooded with memories of snowball fights, snow forts, building snowmen, and sledding. I could taste my mom’s snow cream. That was always a treat we looked forward to.

A cat jumps up in the tree in front of the house and wakes me from my trip down memory lane. Guess I better put some hay out for the horses.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it and maybe took you on a trip down memory lane. Spread the love and remember it doesn’t cost to be kind.

Christmas 2018

I sit here in the midst of a “Winter Storm Warning” where they are predicting 6 to 9 inches of snow with some areas getting a foot. I am as excited as a child on Christmas Eve. Yes I am a “snow bunny “.

Sitting here looking out the window enjoying my Baileys and coffee watching the snow fall my mind wanders back to Christmas 2018.

This is a Cook It All manufactured by the Lodge company. It is made of cast iron and I have wanted one ever since I saw it. You can bake, stir fry, grill and so many more possibilities.

What makes this so unique is that I received it from a “Secret Santa”. It was delivered to my front door. It took me by surprise because I hadn’t ordered it. I opened the invoice and all it said was to deliver 1 Cook It All to my address and it has the address of Lodge where it shipped from. Then there is a two word note ” Merry Christmas”.

I still don’t know who sent it and who ever you are I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I absolutely love it. Thank you.

The second surprise was a gift from David Tripp and his lady friend, who I consider a very dear friend. It has opened my eyes to what a good cup of coffee tastes like.

Now every morning I have this ritual where I fill the grinder with coffee beans and grind them fresh every morning. It has taken my morning coffee experience to a whole new level.

Maybe 2019 will be a good year after all.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you. Remember to spread the love and to be kind.