Loyalty Has Left the Building

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“Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs, loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love – can be elusive to humans.” – John Grogan.  My dog Kate has all of the above qualities. I am one of those people that when you come to my house and you tell me you don’t like my dog, I immediately show you to the  door.  We could learn a lot from dogs.

When I was a child a handshake was better than a signed contract because both parties were loyal to the agreement.  Today a so called friend will go behind your back and steal the promotion you were trying to get or if you get it, they will do everything they can to make you look bad.

“Honesty and loyalty are key.  If two people can be honest with each other about everything, that’s probably the biggest key to success.” – Taylor Lautner

So many friendships and relationships now days are void of loyalty.  I see it all the time.  Do we blame it on social media?  Do we blame it on the way we bring our children up?  What do we blame it on?   Ourselves?

Loyalty binds a friendship, and is responsible for us to endure hardship with that person.  Loyal friends see us as someone special to them so therefore they won’t abandon us.  Loyalty is a choice.  A true friend will go with us into the unknown.

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Both of my dogs are loyal and perfect examples of unconditional love.   Not everyone likes dogs so they won’t understand what I am talking about.  Those of you that own dogs know exactly what I am talking about and know how loyal they are.

So let me ask you.  Are you a loyal friend?  Do you know what loyalty is?

Thank you for reading.  Remember to be kind to each other, don’t squat with your spurs on and spread the love.

 

The Joy of Friendship

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Long time friend David Tripp
“The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.” – Hubert Humphrey

David and I met in the second grade and thanks to FB we reconnected.  David is a retired educator and a profound artist and writer.  He now lives in Texas and when he comes to Missouri to visit family we always try to get together and chew the fat.  We try to plan a fishing trip once a year and this past week we managed to get some fishing in.

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Rock of David
There is a rock formation on the Big River up river from the Leadwood Access that David wanted to see.  I had sent him a picture of it some time ago and he did a plein air water color of it that I was very impressed with so I named it the Rock of David.  He finally got to see it Friday with his own eyes and rumor is there will be another plein air watercolor of it in the future.

Since we went to view the Rock of David we decided to get some fishing time in.  The river was low so we pulled the boat up on a gravel bar in the middle of the river and did some wading.  We caught several fish, panfish, David caught some smallies and I caught a spotted bass.  Some of the perch were the size of our hands.  We both thought the day felt like a fall day.

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It was a good day.   We talked about the town of High Ridge that we grew up in.  remembered classmates and wondered what happened to some of them.  Discussed teachers and sports.  Laughed.  There was also a lot of quiet time so we could take a walk down memory lane alone.  We shared war stories and discussed books. We solved all the world’s problems.

“Friendship is the fruit which the year should bear; it lends its fragrance to the flowers, and its in vain if we get only a large crop of apples without it.” – Henry David Thoreau

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Big River
“Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.” – Emma Smith

It is always fun to share the beauty of this part of the river.  I don’t think David was disappointed.  This stretch of the river has never failed to mesmerize me every time I pass through it.

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Big River

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Big River
As the sun began to sink into the western horizon I realized that this perfect day was about to come to an end.  I realized how lucky I was to have a friend like David.  As I watched the sun as it light seemed to make its final escape from the river the realization that the day was about to end, I realized just how we sometime overlook the importance of a good friend.  To think a liberal and conservative spent the day together and didn’t kill each other.  Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed the photos of the Big River.  The beauty of it is stunning and it is easy to get lost in it.   Remember to be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

 

 

 

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Love

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Bourbeuse River near Union, MO

“When you look into your mother’s eyes. you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.” -Mitch Albom, For One More Day

Today I came across  a post that said,”If you could get rid of one thing in the world what would it be?”.  There were answers like hate, greed, corruption, etc..  I sat and did some thinking about this and I came to the conclusion that it was the wrong question.  The appropriate question would be, “What would you do to change the world?”.  I would teach the world to love unconditionally.  Why you say?  If we were able to love unconditionally there would be no hate, corruption, greed etc..  Those things could not survive in a world that truly loved unconditionally.  If a person’s heart was that full of love hate couldn’t survive.

Unconditional love in its simplest form means appreciating someone else for who they truly are.  It means loving  them when they are unlovable, and in spite of their imperfections and mistakes.  At a deeper level, it means never, ever questioning whether you’ll feel any other way toward a person.  You’ll never judge them and you will accept them for who they are.  It means loving someone regardless of their race, religion, nationality and their handicaps.

“To love everyone unconditionally does not mean to give everyone your unconditional time.  Sometimes, to love completely,  we must never see someone again.  This too is love.  This is giving someone the freedom to exist and be happy, even if it must be without you.” – Veronika Tugaleva

I am a firm believer to take someone’s life, one’s heart must be full of hate.  A lot of times it is blamed on child abuse during one’s childhood.  That abuse fueled hate and filled that person’s heart to the point they had no regard for another person’s life and they were willing to take that person’s life without hesitation.  If that individual would have been loved like a child should be, in all probability they would have never taken another person’s life.

If unconditional love ruled the world there wouldn’t be people living on the streets, crime wouldn’t exist, there wouldn’t be any corruption in our police departments or government.  Unconditional love would trump the cause of all these negative things. Our children would know what respect is.  It would end hunger.  Wars would be non-existent.

I am a realist however and know this Utopia, so to speak, is more my imagination than a reality.  A great idea and pleasant thought.  Wouldn’t it be great to wake up some morning to a world like this though?

“We are the world, we are the children.   We are the ones who make a brighter day so lets start giving.  There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives, its true we’ll make a better day just you and me.”We Are The World USA For Africa

I thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I guess it would fit into a fantasy category.  In my heart I think it is a beautiful thought.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

 

 

Finally!!

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David and Mark

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”  – Thomas Aquinas

On June 22 at noon the Geritol Crew finally shoved off and floated a portion of the Big River.  We started at St. Francois State Park and floated to Cherokee Landing.  It was a beautiful day for a float.  David and Mark used Mark’s canoe and I took my Kayak.   Water was low but clear.  We caught a few fish but they weren’t biting very well.  Mark did catch a sixteen inch smallmouth.

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David and Mark
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Big River
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Big River
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Big River at St. Francois State Park
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Big River

It was a great time with friends.  We took a trip down memory lane and revisited our time at Northwest High School.  When we got to Cherokee Landing no one was around so we loaded everything in the truck and headed out to St. Francois State Park and pitched tents.

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My tent at St Francois State Park
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Coffee perking
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Frying the bacon

I am lucky that I got to spend some time with some old high school buddies.  David and I hit the Bonne Terre lake one day.

Thanks for reading.  Hope you liked the pics.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

 

Really?

“Deserves it!  I daresay he does.  Many that live deserve death.  And some that die deserve life.  Can you give it to them?  Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment.  For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” – J.R.R Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings,  #1)

Congressman Steve Scalise was shot in Virginia at baseball practice.  Now a video of his stance on gun control is being circulated.  I came across one comment that made me realize compassion is a thing of the past.  Sad thing is I know the person that made the remark.  Seems their opinion is that karma visited Scalise because he fought to protect ones rights to own and carry guns.

So using that as an example let me see, does that mean the store clerk who banned guns from his establishment gets shot and killed during a robbery that Karma is responsible because he banned guns from his store?

A young girl starts to leave the house and her dad sees how revealing her clothes are and tells her to go change.  She simply puts clothes over those and when she gets out of sight takes the other clothes off.  As she leaves the local Quick Shop a sick individual spots her in her incredibly short skirt and her bosom revealing top and ends up raping her.  Was Karma responsible for that because she didn’t listen to her father?

Then there was the case some years back of the gentleman who despised guns and was constantly fighting to end gun ownership and with the local gun range.  One night while he and his wife were asleep some thugs broke into their house and tied them up and tormented them for hours.  Then they untied his wife and took the husband and wife into the bedroom and the three goons took turns with his wife and made him watch.  When they were done they stabbed her to death and they thought they stabbed him to death however he survived.  Was this Karma showing him he shouldn’t be trying to stop gun ownership?

I hardly think that any of the above events were due to Karma and I would hope that if I ever insinuated that, I would only hope that someone would horsewhip me.  I hope we haven’t become that callused.

Sad thing is that I know the person who made the comment and they are good people and it is totally out of character for them.   I am in no way putting them down or trying to discredit them.  No doubt there were others that thought the same way.  I credit it to all the turmoil that was caused by the last election.  Emotions are running high.  We need to slow down and quit fueling the fire of hate and discontent in this country and make peace with each other and move on.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” –  Mother Teresa

Opinion : a view or judgement formed about something not necessarily based on facts or knowledge.  This is another word that I have been seeing thrown around a lot out there.  Yep you are entitled to your opinion however,…..wait for it………a little bit longer, ok you ready??????? SO AM I!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for reading.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.  I had just one more thought, what if Trump is the work of Karma because liberals voted for Obama twice.  LOL!

 

The Ugliness of Failure

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford\

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Big River above Leadwood.

I had posted that I was taking a seven day float on the Big River.  I planned everything except my physical abilities and the water level of the river.  Some time ago around the early 80’s I busted my right foot up pretty good.  Doctor said about the only thing I didn’t break was my toes.  He told me  he had some good news and some bad news.  I said lets start with the good news.  He said I might walk again but if I did it would be with a cane.  I said well now lay the bad news on me since you all ready PPed pretty good on my day.  He said I really don’t think you will walk again.  Well, he missed that one.  I do have a lot of pain from time to time with it though.  I didn’t expect the river to be so low and couple that with the the extra weight of supplies, there were a lot of places that I had to get out and pull the yaks.  By Sunday my ankle was swollen the size of a large grapefruit so I decided to call it quits.  I have all ready started working on a better plan.  I failed at what I started out to do and it makes me sick.

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My rig I used on the trip.

I did manage to leave Mounts on Saturday morning around 9 am.  It started out pretty well.  I met some folks along the way and the day was beautiful.  The back float was doing a great job.  Then, then, then, BAM!  The float was following right behind the yak when the current sucked into a tree and then a sudden stop.  It caused the front end of my yak to go under water and then the whole yak started taking water causing a 63 year old man, who looked like a beached whale, to eject himself from his kayak.  To make it worse there was an audience.  I was glad to see them though.  They helped me drain the kayak and get it back in the water however the tent and sleeping bag got soaked even though they were tucked into dry bags.

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Big River

I am not going to accept defeat.  I am all ready planning a new attempt sometime in August or September.  I have to get all my supplies in one boat.  I am thinking, lose the cooler and water.  I am going to do some research on water filters.  Secondly the only food I will carry is MREs and protein bars.  That will help a lot.  I am also going to have to find a good boot with support that will take the water.  I really believe I will be able to do the 7 day float then.

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My friend David concentrating on his fly fishing.

“Some of the best lessons we learn are learned from past mistakes.  The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.” – Dale Turner

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  It is deeply appreciated.  Be kind to one another.  Share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

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Big River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost There

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{Left to Right} Mark’s Grandson, David, Me and Mark

“Remember the most valuable antiques are dear old friends.”  – H. Jackson Brown Jr

I thought the above quote was quite appropriate however I can’t speak for David and Mark.  In the movie Wild Hogs four middle aged men hit the road for adventure on motorcycles.  So I guess for three guys hitting the open river for 7 days in kayaks and canoe, I guess we would be called the Wild Yaks.  Hopefully we wont hear banjos.

Some months back I had mentioned to them that I was going to do a seven day float on the river and they thought it was such a great idea that they wanted in, so on Saturday the Geritol Crew will begin a seven day journey down the beautiful Big River.  I guess we should call it the Rice Krispies float because every time we get out of the boats you can hear snap, crackle, pop.

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One of the places we will pass by.  I call it Rock of David,  because my friend David brought it to life in water color.

I hate to say it but this float trip was brought together by Facebook.  Mark, David and I graduated together and were reunited by Facebook.  I will let you know how many bottles of Geritol we go through.  Instead of butcher, baker and Indian Chief we have, retired teacher, bails bondsman and semi-retired horseshoer.  What a combination.  Well with three wild sixty-three year old men unsupervised on the river, I think the bails bondsman will be most beneficial.  I just hope I don’t overdose on Geritol.

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Another site we will see on the Big River

I have our trip planned to cover around 6 to 8 miles a day.  I hope we reach Cherokee Landing by Monday evening.  Our final destination is going to be Washington State Park south of De Soto, MO.   I figure it is about a forty-five mile float.  I hope to get lots of pics and fish.  My wish is to some day float the whole Big River and Bourbeuse River.

“Friends…they cherish one another’s hopes.  They are kind to one another’s dreams.” – Henry David Thoreau

As our time draws closer my mind wanders back to the times in school when life was so much simpler.  Then my mind rockets back to the present making me realize how much different things are today.  We all seem to have a little more snow on the roof.  Our step doesn’t have as much spring in it as it used to have.  I know some mornings I get up and notice that the “git” in my “git along” all ready got up and left without me.  Our friendship has endured a long time.  I am looking forward to taking a trip down memory lane this weekend, going back to a time when you all climbed into one car and dumped all your change out to get enough gas in the car to ride around all night.  Life was good.

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Another place on the river we will pass by.

Thank you for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Be kind to one another and share the love.  Don’t squat with your spurs on and God Bless you one and all.

 

 

Where Has Respect Gone?

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Sunset in Bonne Terre, MO

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” -Bryant H McGill

Respect is a way of treating or thinking about someone or something.  A person can show it by being polite, taking your hat off, standing or just agreeing to disagree and move on.  Just last year some football players decided not to show their respect and knelt for the National Anthem.  Freedom of Speech?

“Treat people the way you want to be treated.  Talk to people the way you want to be talked to.  Respect is earned not given.” – Hussein Nishah

News Flash: You don’t have to like someone to respect them.  I think there are a lot of people out there who really have a problem grasping this concept.  There are people who are nothing but egotistical, arseholes.  I had some teachers and bosses that fell into that category but I respected them because they were good at their jobs.

Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one.  Social media seems to be an avenue where people like to voice their opinions.  There is a certain group out there that believe their opinion is the only true one.  They believe it so much that they won’t even give your opinion any respect, listen to it or even acknowledge it.  I don’t believe I have seen so much arguing over a sitting President in my life.  Folks let us quit acting like a bunch of  high school kids.  It isn’t worth it.  Let it go.  There has been times I didn’t heed my own advice and it solved nothing and just caused hard feelings.  All it does is bring negativity into your world.   The main stream news media is all ready doing a great job of sewing the seeds of hate and discontent we don’t need to be doing it too.

The protesters that block the highways are the ones that blow me away.  They want me to respect their right to protest but they won’t respect my right to use that highway.  Really?  Did they ever stop to think that someone in that traffic could have a medical emergency, might be a doctor called into the hospital to save someone’s life, etc., so senseless.  Look at the Ferguson riots.  They couldn’t show respect to the businesses that served their community.  Protesters burned them to the ground demanding respect for their cause.

Parents used to respect teachers.  Some of the things I have heard from people mostly go like this, “I think the teacher has it out for Johnny”, the teacher just doesn’t understand my child, etc..  Pretty much the norm of the times.   One of my clients was livid because a teacher took her daughter’s cell phone from her for texting while taking a test.

Bottom line is parents need to teach their children respect.  We need to start getting along together.  Thanks for reading.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

What The World Needs Now……..

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Near Labadie, MO

“Words are singularly the most powerful available to humanity.  We can choose to use  this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair.  Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” – Yehunda Berg

What the world needs now is love sweet love……How many of you remember this song from 1965?  What does the world need now?  Compassion, understanding, love, peace, more happiness, less hate?  What does the world need now?

As I lay in my tent in the early morning hours I could hear the thunder created by the approaching storms.  It wasn’t long before the accompanying lightning started illuminating my tent.  It sounded so angry.  I imagined it was fed up with the human race and that it was here to unleash its rain to cleanse the earth of hate, racism, murder etc..

I think that people need to learn how powerful words can be.  They can cut like a knife or sooth one’s pain.  If you call your child an idiot or stupid you sure aren’t helping that child’s self esteem.  If you want them to succeed use words of encouragement.  If you are a bitter person then keep it at bay when you are with your children and friends.  Don’t poison them with your bitterness.  Learn to be pleasant.  As I have grown older I have started heeding the words of my paternal grandmother, “If you can’t say something nice about someone then don’t say anything.”

“If we lose love and self respect for each other. this is how we finally die.” – Maya Angelou

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Sunset near Bonne Terre, MO

Respect seems pretty hard to find anymore also.  I hardly ever hear children say yes sir/ma’am or no sir sir/ma’am.  You go to a restaurant and children are up and running around while the parents sit there completely oblivious of what is happening.  Parents please, there are other patrons in there eating, make your children behave.  I remember one time at a Dennys a child about 5 or 6 ran right in to the server and caused her to drop a whole tray of food.  Parents didn’t say a word.  Respect those around you, it goes along way.  The big area today that is lacking respect  is opinions.  Every individual is entitled to their opinion whether you agree with it or not and the right thing to do is to respect that person’s opinion.  We seem to have a group of people today that think you should respect their opinion but it will be a cold day in hell before they will respect yours because in their mind you are wrong and that is that.

Common Sense is not so common anymore.  Just yesterday an elected governor made the statement that 93 million people die form gun violence.  Really?  Common sense has left the building.  Americans are holding grudges against each other because of the election.  Families have been splintered and divided. Again, really?   Why?  Common sense tells you friends and family will be there to help you before some politician will.  Common sense tells you guns don’t kill people.  People do and they have to be carrying an awful lot of hate in their heart to do it.

In this country we seem to be in a downward spiral that is rapidly becoming faster.  What can be done to stop it, learn to love one another and get along.  Stop fighting with each other.  Why is it so important to be right and someone has to be wrong?

Thanks for reading,  Share the love, be kind to each other and don’t squat with your spurs on.  God Bless you one and all.

Preparation

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Near Bonne Terre, MO

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” – Confucius

Preparation – Something done to get ready for an event or undertaking.  I have always believed that success will never happen without preparation.  I know, I hear all the groans out there.  Yeah there have been those times that I have succeeded without preparing but I am here to tell ya that a blind hog will find an acorn every now and then.

Two friends of mine from high school and I are going to do a 7 day float on the Big River.  We are going to camp on sandbars and all three of us are over 60.  I am a firm believer in being prepared, especially for an event like this.  I bought a one man tent, summer sleeping bag and a few other things for the trip and I want to know they will perform well for me.  Tonight we were supposed to get some heavy rain and storms so I wanted to see how the tent is going to hold up in this situation soooooooo, I am camping in the backyard tonight.  I started the fire with what ever materials I could find and used the old trusty ax and steel.  I have had people laugh at me for doing this but the way I see it is if I NEED to start a fire to be able to survive I want to know I can do it and the only way to have enough confidence in yourself to get it done, is by being prepared for anything.

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Fire I started using by using ax and steel.

I guess I am to the point of being a fanatic because I have been known to take off into the woods when it is raining cats and dogs and I see if I can start a fire.  I am not batting a thousand I can tell you that much.  I do feel confident in surviving if anything major happens.  I really feel that confidence is a major part of success and you gain confidence as you prepare.  For example, as you were flying over the Rockies the jet engines fail and you crash land in the mountains.  No one has any idea how to start a fire.  You think, well I have read about it but never done it.  I don’t care who you are, you are going to fail unless the good Lord has decided to make you the survivors savior.  Now let us think about this scenario, your plane has crashed and you have discovered that you are the only one that has any idea on how to start a fire.  You think to yourself, well I have started over 40 fires in various conditions, I got this,  Prepared=Confidence.

There was a time when our children were prepared for life.  Then some know it all came up with this idea that we shouldn’t spank our children and that everyone is a winner, no losers and everyone gets a trophy.  Really?  This is ok I guess if we lived in a perfect world but for those of you who think we do pardon me as I slap you.  We don’t live in a perfect world so it behooves you to realize that some day you will fail and you will lose, so put on your big boy/girl panties and suck it up buttercup.  It is part of life’s learning cycle.  Now for those of you who think I might have been a little harsh here all I can tell you is that I care about people and I want to see them succeed.  I want to help them and you can’t do that by telling them no one loses.

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My home for six nights on the Big River

This will be home for tonight.  They are calling for storms but it doesn’t look like it is going to happen.  I really want to see how it fairs in the storms.  It is going to be my home for 6 nights and I want to be sure it will perform to what I need it to do,  Maybe tomorrow night.

Thanks for reading.  It is very much appreciated.  Remember to be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.