A Chapter Closes

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I think when we get older we need to step back and evaluate where we are at and what we are doing.  I did just that.  I will be entering my 63rd year on this side of the dirt. Definitely not getting any younger.  Shoeing horses is a somewhat physically demanding job.  You know the old saying, “To be a horseshoer one must have a strong back and a weak mind.”

I started Double D Acres LLC in 2003.  It has been a good run and I was able to build a fantastic clientele base.  I was blessed with some great clients.  At my peak I had 268 horses on rotation.  I stayed busy.

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Aluminum St. Croix Eventer

One question we always get asked, “Have you ever got kicked before?”.  It isn’t have you, it is how many times.  The worst thing I had happen to me was a bruised spleen and 2 busted ribs.  I was shoeing horses 5 days later.

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Meddlin’ Kate

Every farrier should have a ride dog.  Mine is an Australian Shepherd.  She takes her job very serious.

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Dissecting an equine leg at a clinic

i am a firm believer in continued education. (CE).  I can’t thank Bob Schantz, owner of Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop and Homestead Veterinary Hospital enough for all the clinics they provided.  Big thank you to Dr. Amy Rucker (Midwest Equine LLC) and Dr. Joanne Kramer (Mizzou University) for taking time out of their busy schedules to teach at the clinics.  We learn a lot by dissecting the equine limb.  It helps us to get a better understanding of the mechanics of the leg and hoof and how it works.

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Navicular Shoe by KB
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No rotation of the coffin bone
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X-ray of a rotated coffin bone

I would like to thank Dr. Don Walsh for all he taught me about laminitis and founder.  Dr. Walsh founded the Animal Health Foundation to research laminitis.  Laminitis is a painful inflammatory condition of the laminae that bond the hoof wall to the coffin bone in the horses hoof.   Laminitis can cause the coffin bone to rotate and come out of the bottom of the hoof.  It is very painful for the equine.

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My shop on wheels
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Hoof of People Dont Change
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Hoof of People Dont Change

The hooves are of a thoroughbred that I got off the race track.  He had road foundered and I was working with Dr. Ted Kellerman of Homestead Veterinary Hospital and we decided to use Steward Clogs.  He had very poor hooves so we decided to attach the clogs by using casting material.  It worked quite well.

Looking back it has been a lot of fun.  I am going to keep about 30 head of horses on the books.  I will also help anyone who needs it.  I can’t quit completely because I really enjoy shoeing and I still have my three.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Tip for the day:  Don;t squat with your spurs on.  Be kind to one another, spread the love and God Bless you one and all.

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Me trimming one of mine.

Breakfast Bake

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Breakfast Bake

Breakfast Bake

1 can of biscuits

6 eggs

one half cup milk

1 pound sausage

1 cup cheese

Gravy

4 tbsp flour

2 cups milk

4 tbsp butter

salt

pepper

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Biscuits

Cook sausage until done then drain and put aside.  Cut the biscuits into pieces.  Place into a baking pan.  I am using a 12 inch dutch oven.  Mix eggs and mix real well then pour over biscuits.  Spread cheese and sausage over the eggs, milk and biscuits.

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Baked Breakfast

Gravy

Melt butter in a sauce pan then  stir in flour then add milk.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil.  Then pour over mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.

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Breakfast Bake ready to bake.

I made mine with half vegetarian sausage and pork sausage.  I baked mine in a dutch oven. I used a 12 inch dutch oven.  I used charcoal briquettes.  Since it was a 12 inch and I needed 350 degrees I used 30 briquettes.  I used 8 under the oven and 22 on top.

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Placement of briquettes on bottom.
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Briquette placement on top

I rotate the lid a quarter turn clockwise and the bottom counter clockwise every 15 minutes.

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My outdoor kitchen.

I hope  my blog was helpful.  It was quite delicious.  I should have put some aluminum foil on top the last 15 minutes but it turned out ok.

Thanks for reading.  Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless you one and all.

Stay Positive

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Me hard at work.

“Live life to the fullest; and focus on the positive.” – Matt Cameron

It seems like we live in a time where everyone is in a big hurry.  When do you want that? Yesterday!  Yep that pretty much seems to be the norm.  Slow down!  Don’t just stop and smell the roses.  Look at them closely and look at its intricate design. Observe the work of nature and take the time to understand it.

Imagine, if you will, the rose is your life.  Each petal represents a time in your life.  The rose is composed of petals and they together form the final shape of the whole rose.  Take a petal out and it changes the shape of the rose and weakens it.

Your life is made up of all those different times in your life.  They ALL are important components of your life that form your character.  There are good times and there are bad times.  Accomplishments that we are proud of and deeds we are ashamed of.  Times we learned.  Times we should have kept our mouths shut.  Just like those petals that make up the shape of the rose and strengthens it, those times, regardless of good or bad, shaped and strengthened our character and made us who we are.  Example:  I use to hate to read.  I would just as soon take an arse whooping as to pick up a book.  Then in high school I had a teacher by the name of Lon Simmons  who some how worked his way into my pea brain and found the “desire to read” button and pushed it and opened my mind to the joys of reading.  As a matter of fact he just turned me on to John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and I absolutely love it.  Same school, different teacher, encouraged me to throw my artistic abilities away because HE didn’t think I was good enough.  I have been kicking my arse everyday since then.  One positive event and one negative event but they were both responsible for the shaping of my character.  I turned the negative into a positive by putting the blame on the responsible party.  I blamed him for years when in fact it was I who failed myself.  Instead of proving him wrong I  let him decide my fate.

Some will disagree with me but I think it is good for us to look at those times in our lives so as to get an understanding of why we are the way we are.  I am not saying to dwell on the past by no means.  I am just advocating that it is a good thing to understand ourselves.  I think we need to get rid of all the negativity in our lives also and surround ourselves with everything positive.

“In life, you can blame a lot of people and you can wallow in self-pity, or you can pick yourself up and say, ‘Listen, I have to be responsible for myself.” – Howard Schultz

Thanks for reading.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless you one and all.

A Day on the Lake

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“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”  Henry David Thoreau

What a beautiful day in southeast Missouri!  I never did hear what the high was today but it had to be in the seventies.  My significant other told me I needed to go fishing this morning and I thought about it.  Longest two seconds of  my life.  Now to decide where to go.  I was torn between the river and the lake and finally decided to load the yak and head to Bismark Lake in Bismark, MO.

As I approached the boat ramp and laid an eyeball on the parking lot, I knew it wasn’t going to be a good day for fishing.  I counted seventeen boat trailers.  Bismark isn’t a huge lake, it only consists of 210 acres.  That is when Thoreau’s quote went off in my head.  It was a beautiful day, I had my camera with me and it was a great day to relax.  After all, that is why I came.  If the fish were biting that would just be an added bonus.

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Bismark Lake

 

I unloaded the yak and loaded my gear into it.  I headed across the lake where I had caught fish before.  As I paddled across the lake I couldn’t believe all the boats on the water.  I thought to myself, I wonder how many of these guys knew they really weren’t after fish.  I chuckled out loud and continued my trek across the lake.

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Soft shell turtle sun bathing

Well I am hear to tell you, those fish had lock jaw I tells ya!  I threw everything I had at them (forgot the dynamite).  I didn’t get to the lake til eleven.  When I saw all of those boat trailers I knew any place I fished would have all ready been fished hard.  Talk about PPing on my parade.  Oh well it adds new meaning to “The early bird gets the worm.”  Like my mom used to tell me,”That’ll learn you dern you.”

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Bismark Lake

Even though  I didn’t catch any fish it was a great day to be outside, on the lake, in the yak and spent a good half hour trying to get a pic of a beaver.  He was really camera shy.  Maybe he was afraid the camera would steal his soul.

 

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Bismark Lake
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Soft shell turtles

Well the time came to head back to the truck.  My spirit had been recharged and my soul cleansed.  I had been fishing in the back of a cove that was sheltered from the wind.  As I made my way out into the main body of the lake I noticed there was some choppy water ahead.  The waves would be hitting the side of the yak.  Not an idea situation and the first attempt almost sent me swimming.  I finally decided on another approach that would change the way the waves would hit the yak and after great effort I made it back to the ramp.

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Bismark Lake

Thanks  for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it and if you ever want to fish Bismark Lake I would be glad to give you a tour of the lake.  Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless you one and all.

 

The River

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Big River near Leadwood, MO

Too many times we stand aside and let the waters slip away

’til what we put off ’til tomorrow has now become today

so don’t you sit upon the shoreline and say you’re satisfied

choose to  chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide…

Garth Brooks/ The River

Hello everyone!  How about this weather in the midwest?  It feels like May has arrived early.  Very mild temps and lots of sunshine.  I definitely have “River Fever”.  I can hear it calling my name.

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Big River near Leadwood, MO

Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper I have been drawn to the river.  It is a place where I can go and relax and recharge at the same time.  It is a great place for photographers and artists to attempt to capture the beauty of nature.  Time spent at the river will mend a broken heart and help a person to deal with the death of a person close to them.  The perfect place to meditate, clear your head, and do nothing at all.  A place to take the family and enjoy time spent together.

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Smallmouth Bass caught on the Big River

I am an avid fisherman and kayaker.  I love spending time on the river in my yak and fishing.  Some days I even put bait on the hook.  I usually fish using an ultra light rod and reel with 4 pound test line.

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Bourbeuse River near Union, MO

I love the mystique of the river. When I float and fish a new section of river my mind begins to wander, what is around the bend?  How deep is the water.  Who has been here before me.  Did early settlers use this river? etc..

My favorite time on the river is night time for sure.  You aren’t living until you have been serenaded by a bunch of chirping crickets and croaking frogs with a beaver keeping time with the rhythm by slapping its tail on the water and the distant howling of the coyotes.  Natures own natural choir.  The stars twinkle bright and sometimes you get to see a shooting star.  The river takes on a whole new life when the sun sets and darkness falls upon the river.

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Big River near Leadwood, MO

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  If you haven’g taken the time to explore the rivers I hope I have piqued your interest to do so.  Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless you one and all.

Hawn State Park

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Pickle Creek in Hawn State Park near St Genevieve, MO

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.  Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.” – Anne Frank

What a beautiful day here in the Show Me State, Missouri.  Mind boggling weather I tells ya!  I don’t know what the high was today but temps were in the sixties.  I have a feeling we are going to pay for this beautiful February weather we have been having.  Well me and the little woman decided to take a trip to Hawn State Park.

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Cripple Creek

Hawn State Park is located in Ste. Genevieve county near Ste. Genevieve.  The park is made up of 4,953 acres and was established in 1955.Inside the park boundaries are three state designated Natural Areas.  They are Pickle Creek, LaMotte Sandstone Barrens, and Botkin’s Pine Woods.

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Bluff on Cripple Creek

The park offers camping, fishing, picnicking, and has three trails for hiking:Whispering Pine Trail – 10 miles, Pickle Creek Trail – 1 mile and White Oak Trail.  There are 9 campsites open all year.  They have fifty camp sites.  They have full service and primitive sites.  There are also some walk-in sites.  They also have a day use area for picnicking and an open picnic shelter that can be reserved.

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Cripple Creek

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs

How many of you out there have and have not took advantage of states’ park systems?  If you have never taken the time to just go somewhere and immerse yourself into the serene, peaceful, relaxing atmosphere of nature it is time you make plans to do it “yesterday”.  Have some alone time with mother nature and let her have the time needed to heal you.  I use that time to recharge my spirit and to cleanse my soul.  You will also learn a lot about yourself.

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Cripple Creek

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Be kind to one another, share the love and God Bless you one and all.

Possum; The Other White Meat

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This is actually squirrel cooking but this is the way I prepared the Possum
“Good painting is like good cooking; it can be tasted, but not explained.” -Maurice de Vlaminck

Oh my.  I can hear all the groans out there.  He really doesn’t eat possum does he?  Well…yes he does.  My grandmother really had the art of preparing possum mastered.  She could make it taste like a $20 t-bone.

If you are wondering, I am kind of a hillbilly.  I grew up dining on squirrel, deer, groundhog, raccoon and an occasional opossum.  My dad wasn’t too fond of the other white meat.  Come to think of it he wouldn’t even attempt to partake of a muskrat.  The great thing about these animals was you didn’t have to go to the store and buy them.  The only cost was your hunting license and shell.

My grandmother was the one who basically taught me how to prepare each one of these critters for the dinner table.  Squirrel- usually fried and make gravy from the drippings.  Squirrel and dumplings was my favorite. Raccoon- Boiled until all the grease had found its way out of the carcass.  Then it was either baked with sweet taters and carrots or pulled off the bone and simmered in beer, butter and bbq sauce for a couple of hours.  Groundhog – prepared the same way as the raccoon.  Deer – prepared pretty much the same way as beef.

Possum – Now grandma preferred to boil the possum until all of the grease had been boiled out of it. Then she would would put it in a baking dish and add seasoning, potatoes, carrots and onions and she would bake it until the veggies were done.  I did try deep frying one time and it was quite tasty.

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Part of my cowboy kitchen
Then one night I had just got finished skinning a possum and had a fire going in my outside cowboy kitchen.  So I decided to cook this possum over an open fire.  There was one thing I didn’t think through very well.  The possum would have to be turned to cook both sides.  Well I hadn’t par boiled this particular critter.  So that meant he was full of high octane possum grease.  As I turned it on the fire the grease began to find its way into the fire below it and  then, then. then….WHOOOOOSH!  The fire came to life.  It had to be like Mount St. Helens erupting. The night was lit up.  Finally the fire calmed down and I was able to finish cooking a fine meal.  Next time I will be prepared.

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Another part of cowboy kitchen
Well I hope I didn’t gross you all out too bad.  Thanks for taking the time to read it.  Be kind to one another, share the love, God Bless you one and all.  By the way you know why the chicken crossed the road?  To show the possum that it could be done.

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Part of cowboy kitchen

Influences and Life

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there.  Everything influences each one of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.” – Maya Angelou

As we go through every day life we are bombarded with the influences of the people and things around us.  We can become the casualty of an “ear worm” so easily and  there you are singing at the top of your lungs, “Oh I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener, that is what I truly want to be, cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener, everyone would be in love with me.”  Snappy little jingle; only if life were that easy.

As we work our way from childhood to adulthood we become subjects of the influences of our mother, father, grandparents, etc..  As we meander down the road to becoming adults these influences begin shaping the “being” we will become.  Manufacturers spend millions, as evidenced by this weekend’s super bowl, to promote their product.  They gamble on advertising agencies to create ads that will influence consumers into buying whatever it is they are selling.

There is a plethora of “influences” that we automatically deal with every day.  We have to be smart in choosing which influences we allow our minds to follow.  There are positive and negative influences.  Our mission in life is to learn to discern which of these influences are best for us.  We need to seek those that will make us proud of ourselves and that fortify our self esteem.  The type of influences that will generate honesty, love, integrity and caring into our character.  Positive influences will make us feel better about ourselves and give us the strength to face the negative things tossed our way.

Thank you for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it and please feel free to tell me how you feel in the comment section of my blog.  Be safe, be kind to one another. share the love and God Bless you one and all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hermann, Missouri

Oh Shenandoah, just to be near you, far away, far away, Cross the wide Missouri.- Shenandoah

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Missouri River at Hermann, MO

Hermann, Missouri is located on the Missouri River and is the county seat of Gasconade County.  The city was established in 1837 and dedicated in 1842.  In 1983 it was designated as first federally recognized American Viticultural Areas.  The designation recognized the renaissance of an area of vineyards and wineries established by German immigrants during the mid-nineteenth century.  My favorite winery is Adam Puchta.

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Down by the Missouri.

This day was in December of 2016.  Myself and the little woman got up one morning and decided it was a good day to take a road trip.  We had a good time that day and enjoyed the little German town.  The Missouri had a lot of ice on it.

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Hermann, MO
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Hermann, MO
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Ice on the Missouri

Some of the wineries in the area are Stonehill Winery, Hermannhoff Winery, and Adam Puchta Winery.  Don’t forget about their festivals.  Wursfest (fourth weekend of March), Maifest (third weekend of May), Garden Tours and Plant Sale (first weekend of June). Hermann Wine & Jazz Festival (August 19,2017), Hermann Heritage Day ( September 9-10, 2017) , Oktoberfest (every weekend in October) and Christmastime in Hermann (first tw0 weekends of December). tourism@centurytel.net  If you need a place to stay there are numerous bed and breakfasts, hotels and even a campground.

Well a big thank you to all of you that took the time to read my blog.  I hope you all enjoyed it and maybe we will bump into each other on the streets of Hermann, MO.  Be kind to one another, be safe, share the love and God Bless you one and all.