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.

 

Duality

Victoria Ray

Duality is found everywhere in nature. We usually call it ‘yin’ and ‘yang’.
Yang is the energising, activating and motivating principle of life. Yin is the nourishing and building principle of life.

Here some examples: 

  • driving the car, playing sports, multitasking, drinking coffee, eating spicy, making deals/business is yang activities. It is also hot, bright, fast, dry, aggressive, male, daytime, sun. 
  • sleeping, mediating, getting massage, eating oatmeal is yin activities. As well as it is cool, dark, slow, soft, stable, moist, female, night, moon. 

So if we’ll look at our hormones in the body, we’ll see that stress hormones are yang and sex hormones are yin. They are also harmoniously balanced and complement each other perfectly, because they are actually aspects of the One. 

makyaj-sanati-11If you remember I’ve told you before that every human being has a life force or energy (you can call it Soul…

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My Thoughts on Fishing

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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

I have been fishing for a lot of years.  I had the big bass boat with the big gas guzzling motor on it.  I fished bass tournaments, mostly held on lakes.  Then one day I was diagnosed with melanoma and had to have it cut off.  They didn’t get all of the cancer cells so they cut some more and this time got it all.

Growing up we always fished the rivers.  So I decided to sell the bass boat and head back to the river where I had learned to fish and I have no regrets.  I bought a kayak and started fishing with ultra-light gear.  I prefer a spinning reel loaded with 4 pound test line.  I like a medium action rod.  If you catch an eight ounce fish on this rig it feels like it weighs five pounds.  I have a lot of fun with this set up on the rivers.

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Two of my favorite crankbaits, Wee Craws by Rebel.

“Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world.  It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way.  A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.” – Ted Hughes

My favorite way of fishing is with a fly rod and reel. set up.  Personally I have a difficult time trying to cast from the kayak.

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Minnow and shad look- a-likes that I love to use on the river.

There are all kinds of different artificial baits one can pick from.  There are soft baits, jigs, crank baits, spinner baits, top water lures, just to name a few.  For those of you who would prefer using real bait there are worms, crawdads, minnows and crickets.

Here in Missouri I would say the 4 most sought after fish are large mouth bass, small mouth bass, crappie and the catfish.  In Missouri we are blessed with some great places to fish.  I fish the Big River and the Missouri Department of Conservation has designated several miles of the upper part as a Small Mouth Trophy area.

 

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Large mouth bass

 

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small mouth bass

 

“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” – Steven Wright

I hope this post helped inspire some of you to pick up some fishing equipment and head out to the river or lake.  It was short so feel free to ask me any question you might have.

I hope you enjoyed my post and thank you for taking the time to read it.  Remember to share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equine Laminitis

 

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Rotated coffin bone.

 

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No rotation.

 

Somewhere in time’s own space there must be some sweet pastured place

where creeks sing on and tall trees grow, some paradise where horses go.

For by the love that guides my pen, I know great horses live again.

Stanley Harrison

Well it is that time of year when the pastures start to green up and the sugars come to the top.  Some horses can’t handle this sudden onslaught of sugar and the result is laminitis.

Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae of the foot – the soft tissue structures that attach the coffin bone of the hoof to the hoof wall.  The inflammation and damage to the laminae causes extreme pain and leads to instability of the coffin bone.  When the coffin bone rotates it becomes founder.  The only sure way to know if the bone has rotated or become founder is by taking a set of x-rays.  Unfortunately the term “founder” is used loosely and what is just a case of laminitis is labeled founder.  You cannot have founder without laminitis but you can have laminitis without founder.

A good owner, veterinarian and farrier team can do a lot to help these horses if caught early enough.  In severe cases they can have a bad ending though where the coffin bone drops through the bottom of the foot.  It is usually in the front feet, all four feet can be affected.

Symptoms

  • Reluctant to move and they rock back on the hind quarters.
  • They will lie down a lot.
  • It will be hard for you to pick the leg up because of the pain  in the opposite limb
  • The hoof wall and coronary band are often warm to the touch.
  • A hoof tester will reveal pain  particularly when applied over the toe area.
  • The horse will have a strong, rapid digital pulse.

Laminitis can be caused by insulin resistance as well as retained placenta, overfeeding grain, septicaemic  conditions, obesity, and lameness which prevents weight bearing on one of the legs.

I recommend taking the horse off grain and put on dry lot until you are able to get a vet out to evaluate the situation.  The vet will figure out what has caused the laminitic episode and then devise a plan to get the horse on the road to recovery.  He/she will take x-rays and if there is any rotation they will get together with the farrier and decide what kind of a shoe package they want to use.  Steward clogs and heart bars are a common prescription.  I use a Myron Mclane pad and a bar shoe.

I have been lucky enough to work with Dr. Don Walsh founder of the Animal Health Foundation.  The AHF is dedicated to supporting research and education about the disease of equine laminitis.  Checkout their web page at http://www.ahf-laminitis.org.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.  I appreciate it.  I just did the highlights about laminitis/founder.  I hope you enjoyed it and it was helpful.  Remember to spread the love.

 

 

 

Nature: The Healer

 

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Big River

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

I have always been drawn to nature ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper.  I have always had the opportunity to get lost in the allure of nature and fill my mind and spirit with its serenity.  I am truly blessed.

I truly wish that everyone could have a chance to immerse themselves in nature for one week.  No outside interferences and primitive camping only.  I really think it would change peoples lives.  Nature has a way of taking all the negativity you have accumulated and shed it from your inner being.  If you decide you want to do this sometime, I have put together a little something I hope will make it a pleasurable experience for you.

A Guide To Help You Find Yourself

You need a place to camp.  I recommend using state campgrounds in conservation areas.  They usually have walking trails.  Some have creeks, rivers and lakes in them which add to your “things to do list”.  Fishing, kayaking and canoeing become available for you to use.  They make it easy to get lost in nature.

If you are serious about finding yourself, I recommend primitive camping because, in a way it brings us back to the ways of our ancestors.  No electric.  No running water. No TV!  Wow, I heard a lot of moans then.  It really is a humbling experience.  It will make you appreciate a lot of things in your life.  Go by yourself.  Make sure you practice meditation during your time in nature.  It is the perfect venue to use mediation for cleansing your soul, mind and spirit.  A good book doesn’t hurt either.  Now I am not talking A Thousand Shades of Purple or Yearnings of a Desperate Housewife/Husband.  Maybe a self-help book, philosophical, spiritual and thought provoking.

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Camp on 12/16/2017

 

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Camp 12/16/2017

Cook your own meals.  If you don’t like cooking there are some really delicious MREs on the market.  The object of this week long camping trip is to be able to live within your own little world for the whole week so that you won’t be distracted by outside influences or ideas.  This time is to be used for you to find yourself.  Tame your demons and deal with the skeletons in your closet that seem to be holding you back to achieve your dreams.  A good time to evaluate yourself and where you are at in your life.

“Walk in nature and feel the healing power of trees.” Anthony William

 

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Sunrise

Get up before dawn and sit in solitude and watch the sunrise and the beginning of a new day.  Listen carefully as the wildlife begins their day.  Get lost in the sun as it rises in the east and let your imagination run wild.  Track your thoughts and feelings in your journal so that you will have it to remind you of that morning when you are back at the daily grind.

 

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Sunset

Then an hour before sunset make your way to some place you can watch the sunset as  your day comes to an end.  In the solitude absorb all the things that happened that day.  Be sure to add them to your journal.  As the sun slips into the west listen to all the new sounds of the forest as the fingers of daylight recede and succumb to the darkness.  Hear the coyote howling in the distance as the symphony of crickets began their night of music.  Relax and enjoy and clear your mind.  Let the serenity of the night lull you into a peacefulness that is hard to explain.  Once you feel it you will never think the same.

In closing I would like to say I am a realist and know that not everyone would be comfortable in this setting.  If you like the idea and never experienced it please by all means go for it.  You won’t be sorry and you will be a new person.  You will appreciate more in life and you will like yourself better.

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” – Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Thanks for reading.  If you have never done this and do take up the adventure please let me know what you thought about indulging in such an undertaking.  Don’t forget to spread the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bad Mood Not Allowed

 

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Big River near Leadwood, MO

” Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them.  It depends on the mood of the man whether he shall see sunset or the fine poem.” –Essays and Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson “Experience”

According to Merriam-Webster mood is a conscious state of mind or predominant emotion.   Emerson shares with us his thought that what a person sees is dependent upon what type of mood one happens to be entertaining at the time.  A thought that after thinking about it, I find to hold a lot of truth.

How many times have we cheated ourselves out of a breath taking sunset simply because our mood wasn’t right?  Now I won’t argue the fact that if your mind is in the right place a beautiful sunset can change your mood if you allow it to but it doesn’t always happen that way.

I remember a time in my life that I had went camping with a group that everyone there seemed to put a capital “n” in negativity.  Sitting around the campfire that first night I knew I was in trouble.  I honestly can’t remember any of them saying something positive.  I let it infect me and my mood was horrible.  I didn’t get one good photo that weekend.  I was definitely not on my best game.  I didn’t really realize until sometime later how much your mood can dictate the quality of your photography, painting, writing etc..

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Big River near Leadwood, MO.

The two photos were taken by me in the summer of 2017.  They are pics of the same rock formation taken from different angles.  You look at it from different angles you get different views.  You see different details.  It is like looking at something in a good mood or a bad mood.  There are going to be things that don’t look the same.  This applies to life also, not just to your creative abilities.

I don’t care who you are but when you are in a bad mood and have to make a decision, ninety percent of the time it is going to be a bad decision.  For those of you who have lived with someone that has excessive, erratic mood swings, you know how much moods effect life AND you know how miserable they can be and you.

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Picture Of catch by my friend David.

 

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Same photo as above but unedited.

So if you would, imagine your moods like the filters I used with this photo.  Your mood decides what kind of day you are going to have just like the filter I used decides how colorful the fish is going to be.  I hope everyone is understanding what I am saying because moods are very instrumental in what kind of day you are going to have.

So remember when you get up in the morning and get that first cup of coffee in you, that it is time to start getting in that “good mood” you need to make your day enjoyable.  Tell yourself this is your day and no one is capable of messing it up unless you let them.  Put that smile on your face that is going to be greeting people all day long.  Clear yourself of any negativity.  Now go back to bed and say the hell with it!  JUST KIDDING!  Now put your big boy or girl panties on and go out into the world and ……… “Be happy, don’t worry, cause when you worry your face will frown and that will bring everybody down”……….

Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Fishing

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“Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world.  It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way.  A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.” – Ted Hughes

Well the little rodent says that we are going to have six more weeks of winter.  That tells me that I am going to be fishing in the cold.  If you have never fished before you won’t understand but those of you who have, well you understand totally.

Fishing is something that can be shared among friends.  It is a way to get together and enjoy each others company and catch up on old news.  It is relaxing and a good way to recharge your spirit.  It is a great place to find yourself and cleanse your spirit of all the negativity that has latched onto it.

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My friend David and me at Bonne Terre Lake

 

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Mark’s grandson, David, Me, and Mark ready to float the river.

 

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Mark and David during a float on the Big River

We have been on a couple fishing trips and we all three graduated together so there is always lots to talk about and we always have a good time.  A fishing trip is one hell of a friendship bonding agent.  We try to schedule a fishing trip at least once a year.  it is always a good time.

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My fishing buddy (grandson) Catfish Kid

 

 

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Catfish Kid strikes again.

One thing I love about fishing is you can share it with the young-uns.  Me and the Catfish Kid caught some fish.  He sure does love to fish so we have drowned a bunch of worms.

Following pictures are of fish that I have caught.

 

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Channel  Catfish

 

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Largemouth Bass

 

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Smallmouth Bass

 

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One of the Big River’s panfish caught by David.

Last but not least.  If  you have never been fishing on the river before, the scenery can blow you away.  One of my favorite times on the river is in the fall when all the leaves are changing colors.

 

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Big River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Big River

 

 

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Big River at Leadwood Access

I hope you enjoyed my little piece on fishing.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  If you are looking for a new adventure be sure and check out fishing.  It is laid back and very enjoyable.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love.

(All photos were shot by me)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing Up!!!!

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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

The year was 1964. We were one out away from winning first place.  The count was 2 and 2 with a runner on third, score tied 1 to 1, and the bottom of the ninth, when “bam” the batter hits the ball over second base and our dream of winning the championship is crushed.  There were eight teams in our division and only first and second place got trophies.  Unlike today not everyone got trophies.

We failed.  We tasted failure.  Looking back on that time in my life, I remember how we all became closer and how we vowed to work harder.  We were hell bent on improving our skills and becoming champions.  In 1965 our dream came to fruition.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but rising every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have spent a lot of hours through the year thinking about this and I believe in my heart that failure is the reason we became champions.  It built character and made us work harder.  It didn’t scar us for life or fill us with low self esteem.

We didn’t get participation trophies.  We earned them.  I think the big difference between now and back then is that the “family unit” was a lot stronger and more endeared.  Don’t get me wrong, we were a long way from perfect.  I remember fathers that just gave their child hell if they lost.  Losing wasn’t an option.  These are the actions that were detrimental to childhood development.  It wasn’t the losing that caused the problems, it was bad parenting.  Parents that wouldn’t take the time to teach their children that it wasn’t wrong to lose.  That it happened.  It was an integral part of life whether we wanted it or not.

At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure.   And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful.  As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure.” –  Erin Cummings

Maybe I am just an antiquated, set in his ways, old man but I truly believe it is time to go back to the “olden days” and teach children what failure is and how to use it in their favor.  No, everybody doesn’t get a trophy for participating, you have to earn it.

Then we need to teach them the importance of taking responsibility for their actions.  That they are in charge of writing their “Book of Life” and they decide what is going in it.  Teach them that “failure” can actually be a good thing.  We also have to teach them how to cope with failure and how to use it to their advantage.

Thank you so much for reading my blog.  I appreciate you taking the time.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Spread the love.