Safety First!

I live in southeast Missouri and kayaking has become very popular. On the weekends the area rivers become very crowded with kayakers. I see so many that aren’t wearing life jackets. I myself used to be one of them. One day I just happened to put it on and ended up dumped in class II water and if it wasn’t for my life jacket I would have drowned.

For those of you who don’t know the water classes:

A – Lake water; still

Class I – Easy smooth water, light ruffles, clear passages, occasional sand banks and gentle curves

Class II – Moderate

Class Iii – moderate difficult

Class IV – Difficult

Class V – extremely difficult

Class VI – extraordinarily difficult

Safety devices have a purpose in life and are there to keep you safe.

I know they are cumbersome and can get in the way but they can save your life. There are those in your life that would appreciate you using one.

I have been boating and kayaking for 50 years. Never came close to drowning until that one dreadful day. It wasn’t the first time I had been dumped. Unfortunately when learning something new unplanned things happen due to the lack of experience.

Just keep in mind when you get in that kayak or boat that the decision as to jacket or not could be a life saving decision.

In closing I would like to remind everyone that if you pack it to the river take it home with you. Please don’t leave your trash on the river or lake. Keep our water ways clean.

Spread the love and be kind to one another. “

Kindness

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

Kindness was alive and prevalent in the 50s and 60s, I think any way. Folks now days seem to have a bur under their saddle. There is so much hostility in the world. I don’t know if it is because their undies are too tight or maybe there is a lot more stress in the world today.

The good thing about kindness is it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s free and it can make such a difference in someone’s life including yours.

There are so many simple acts of kindness that we can perform also. Smile at someone, open the door for someone, compliment someone, or just say “hi” and ask them how they are doing.

You have 30 items in your cart and the person behind you has 1. Let them go ahead of you in line.

I know people can be rude. Always remember there may be a reason for their rudeness. A family member might have died, their spouse might have left them, or they might have been hit with a medical bill they can’t afford. There are all kinds of reasons, just remember that before you judge them.

I can remember when kindness abound in the farming communities. They always helped each other. Even they have changed. With a hay shortage some years back in Texas, farmers in other states took advantage of Texas farmers and was selling them hay at over inflated prices. There were some though who out of kindness just gave them the hay to feed their animals.

We as a society need to bring kindness back into the world in epidemic proportions. Set a goal of doing 3,10 or even more acts of kindness a day. Hate can be eradicated with love and kindness. Let’s make the rest of 2019 the “Year of Kindness”.

Remember to spread the love and be kind to one another.

Simple Man?

Well you know what’s wrong with the world today, people done gone and put their Bibles away. They’re living by the law of the jungle not the law of the land. Well the good book says it so I know it’s truth an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. You better watch where you’re going, remember where you been. That’s the way I see it. I’m a simple man. Charlie Daniels/Simple Man

Simple : of simple origin or modest position. Just what is a “simple man”?

I think of myself as a “simple man”. I am easily entertained and have been told that I am a damn good cook.

I am not a religious man, I am a spiritual man. I am happier in a kayak on the river than sitting in the theater or in a sports stadium. I prefer to do my own cooking than eat out at a restaurant.

I love camping. At 64 I still prefer a tent over an RV.

Some people call me hillbilly, redneck or country boy. Don’t care what you call me just don’t call me late to dinner. Like Hank Williams Jr said in his song, I can skin a buck and run a trot line I will survive.

I stand for the National Anthem. I open the door for a lady and I still say yes sir and yes ma’am. I believe in the second amendment and I am a Patriot and a member of the NRA.

What the world needs now is love, respect and a little more common sense. Every time I hear the old Wizard of Oz song If I Only Had A Brain, I think of our Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I love my animals and I consider them family. If you come to my house I guarantee you will leave with dog hair on your clothes. If my dogs don’t like you then you can bet your sweet arse I won’t either.

Burn the American Flag and your walking on the fightin’ side of me. There’s nothing prettier than a new born filly ‘cepting maybe a new born speckled pup. If you talk bad about my mamma that would be a huge mistake.

I like being alone. Life is simpler that way. You don’t have to worry about hurting someone’s feelings, entertaining them and there is a whole lot less drama.

I don’t know if these things are indicative of a simple man but I think of myself as one.

Remember to spread the love and to be kind to one another

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.

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.

Is Mother Nature Trying to Tell Us Something?

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

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The calm before the storm hit Monsanto Lake.

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

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

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

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

Coldest April followed by hottest May

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

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

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Joy of Friendship

=-“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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My story begins in a small second grade classroom located in the High Ridge Elementary school in the year 1961.  That is when David Tripp and I became friends.  I begin writing about our friendship on the eve our next adventure.  I hope you find it entertaining.

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My house for the weekend

 

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David’s home for the weekend.

As I have stated in the beginning David and I met in second grade.  We went on to become graduates of Northwest High School in House Springs, MO.  We went our separate ways and were actually reunited through social media.  In 2010 our ole buddy Tommy Parton planned a fishing day and we saw each other face to face for the first time in over 35 years.  After that reunion David and I started getting together once a year to do some fishing and reminiscing.  The subject of this blog is our 2018 trip.

David is quite an accomplished artist and is quite busy with art shows so it is hard for him to get free.  We finally got it pinned down for this year and we decided on Silver Mines.  I did a blog on Silver Mines in the fall 0f 2017.  I used to visit the area when I was a teenager.

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Trail leading to the old dam.

We arrived around 11:30 am and began setting up camp.  The weather forecast called for rain and wouldn’t you know it, they actually got it right.  Now I am here to tell you when two 64 year old men go tent camping there can be some humorous moments.

The first one was getting our lean, athletic (yeah right LOL) into those tents.  Now let me tell you that is no easy feat.  The best way I found was to just drop to the ground like you are on fire then do the worm through the tent entrance.  Ahh, I am safely with in the cocoon.  Oh crap!  At sometime I have to leave the cocoon.  When the time came I once again did the worm through the entrance and there I lay on my belly.  A grown man who looks like he has fallen and can’t get up.  I finally muster enough energy and coordination to get up and it sounded like somebody poured milk over a bowl of Rice Krispies, snap, crackle, pop.

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David in his element.

Now I have to tell on my friend David.  The ground was causing David some problems. so to help him sleep we went to town and he bought him an air mattress.  Now David’s tent wasn’t 2,000 square feet.  So David sets about placing this spacious mattress within the confines of his tent.  I now know what it looks like when someone tries to put a size 38 waist into a pair of 34 jeans.  However I do now know it can be done!

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The old dam.  You can see we did get some rain.

Well the weather more than PPed on our parade.  It poured.  I lost track but I think we survived four typhoons and a hurricane.  Both our tents were one man tents.  David had a Magellan and I had a Bushnell.  I can say they both were fantastic through the storms.  Only tense moment with my tent happened at 3:05 am.  My bladder woke me from a deep sleep and when I tried to get out, the zipper was stuck.  When you are 64 years old you just don’t have the holding power and knowing this I began to panic.  Finally I was able to get it unstuck and I found I could get out of the tent easier than I thought I could.

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Old overflow at the damn.

 

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Path to dam.

 

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Near Turkey Creek.

 

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Part of the dam that is left.

 

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Bridge across Turkey Creek.

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“Of all the things which wisdom provides to make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship.” – Epicurus

Friendship is the greatest gift someone can give you.  Don’t take it for granted.

Thank you reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Spread the love.

(All pictures were taken by me and are the property of Double D Acres LLC and can not be used without my permission.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                               

 

 

 

 

Respect; A Two Way Street

“People have different reasons for the way they live their lives.  You cannot put everyone’s reasons in the same box.”  – Kevin Spacey

 

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Drag races in Bonne Terre, MO.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone had  the same likes and dislikes?   I would think the world would be a very boring place.   Everyone would be driving the same kind of car, eat the same kind of food and wearing the same clothes.  Being different and unique can be a good thing though and sometimes a bad thing.

Behind every person is a reason as to why they like the things they do or the life style they choose to live.  Something, somewhere, one day (or week, month, year) happened that influenced a person to take that first step onto the path of life they wanted to live.  Now you and I may not agree with the path they choose but Newsflash cupcake!  It doesn’t matter because that individual has their rights too.

If we don’t respect the beliefs and ways of others how can we expect them to respect ours?  I see a lot of that in today’s world.  Why can’t we learn to agree to disagree?  There’s no good guy, there’s no bad guy, there is just two people who believe differently for different reasons.  No one is right and no one is wrong.  Let’s quit arguing and fighting.  Debate is good as long as it is in good form.  It can even be healthy.

“Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect.  We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.” U Thant

One of the biggest problems that I see is when someone tells me I have to respect their way of thinking then shows no respect to my beliefs.  For instance you don’t like dogs,   I respect that and I won’t bring my dog to your house and I won’t force you to like my dog.  So don’t come to my house and tell me I am going to have to get rid of my dogs and accept your way of thinking because you don’t like dogs. 

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My dog Kate

Respect, like common sense used to be common.  Now days neither one are.  I don’t know when or how it happened but it did.  Respect is an integral part of every day life whether we want to admit or not.  I hope one day respect and common sense make a come back.

“When was it that men agreed to respect the appearance and not the reality?” – Henry David Thoreau

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and a big thank you to those of you who follow me.  Remember to share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Hole or Two

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If you use Facebook I am sure you have seen this before.  If you have used one you are going to know where I am coming from but if you have not I may be hard to follow.

My story begins in Lafe, Arkansas in the 50s.  My grandparents had a farm located here.  They lived in an old farmhouse with out running water and ………NO BATHROOM!  Yep you heard me right, no bathroom.

Now it just so happens that they did have an outhouse.  Because of their glamorous aroma, especially in the hot weather months, the outhouse was located some distance from the house.  Did I mention that it didn’t have electric in it.  Anyway ours wasn’t just any old outhouse.  No siree!  It was a genuine two hole privy.  Not just one hole by two!  Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, we were styling.

Or were we.  Now if you have never seen a two hole privy let me tell ya, the holes ain’t that far apart and there is no divider or stall like you see in the public bathrooms today.  Nope, just two holes cut in a piece of wood.  However my grandpa had installed a couple of real toilet seats which added some comfort.  Now for the life of me I can not, CAN NOT, imagine two people sitting there, that close together, beside each other having their morning bowel movement.  I read that back and it even sounds sick.  I don’t ever recall seeing two people coming out of the outhouse together.  One hole would have been enough.

 

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Grandparents old house.

Now when I was knee high to a grasshopper I became acquainted with my grandma’s tom turkey.  Now he had somehow figured out that I was terrified of him.  Now in my defense, if you have never seen an old tom all puffed up and strutting his stuff and coming at you don’t pass judgement on me.  I am here to tell ya that will scare the devil out of you especially when you are only 5.

Now every time I had to go to the bathroom that old tom would be between me and the outhouse.  I need to explain something at this point.  When a guy is headed for the outhouse that can only mean one thing because there were plenty of trees to tinkle behind.  Ok now that I explained that, when you have had a big plate of biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast time is of the essence.  It is dangerous to be playing around at this time.

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Another view of the old farmhouse.

My grandparents got running water in 1970.  All the kids, there were nine, chipped in and had a well drilled for them.  Then five years later my uncle and I put a bathroom in the old farmhouse for them.  I remember one visit in the summer not long after we installed the bathroom, I saw grandma grab the TP and head for the barn (outhouse had finally succumbed to gravity).  I asked her why she didn’t use the bathroom and she said it was too “purty” to mess up.  That winter when I was down visiting and the snow was whirling she used the inside bathroom.  I guess the bathroom wasn’t that “purty after all.

I had a lot of fun on the farm.  I wish my son would have been able to experience some of the things that happened on the farm.  It was a great time in my life that I will always cherish and Grandma White, well she was a saint and the sweetest person you ever met.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.   I hoe you enjoyed it.  Remember share 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.