A Tough Decision

“When we adopt a dog or any pet, we know it is going to end with us having to say goodbye, but we still do it. And we do it for a very good reason: They bring so much joy and optimism and happiness. They attack every moment of every day with that attitude.” -W Bruce Cameron

My life has arrived at that very moment. My Great Pyrenees, Eros, has been diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 6. He came into my life as a pup in 2013.

He was so little and I had to help him negotiate the step up into the house. He was full of energy and joy. He bonded well with the two Australian Shepherd females.

I never thought he would attain a weight of 127 pounds. He was so small it was hard to imagine.

He loved sleeping in front of the sliding doors.

He loved the snow and had his paws full with his big sisters but he didn’t back down.

There are so many memories of our time together. He is my protector and one hell of a watch dog. He is quite intimidating to those who don’t know him. Actually he is just a big teddy bear and my own little polar bear.

“Having a dog will bless you with many of the happiest days of your life, and one of the worst.” – Unknown

He is on medication and I am taking it one day at a time. We have some time together as long as his quality of life is good. When that changes then I will make the decision for him to cross the “Rainbow Bridge”. It will be the second hardest decision I ever made in my life but I won’t let him suffer. I pray that he goes in his sleep to save him the trauma of going into a strange room and being put to sleep. If it comes to that I will be with him to the end along with his buddy Kate.

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.

 

 

They Are Family

 

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My ride dog and companion, Kate.

 

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me, they are the role model for being alive.” – Gilda Radner

One thing that I can not wrap my feeble little mind around is how can people abuse animals?  How can folks just give an old dog to a shelter and then they have the nerve to replace them with a new puppy.  It breaks my heart when I see this happen.  Folks whether you believe it or not animals do have feelings.

Kate suffered from crystals in her urine and she had to have hip surgery when she was a year old.  After surgery she slept on the couch and I slept on the floor beside her.  From that time on she was my dog.  She did her best not to let me out of her sight.  She went everywhere with me and since I am a farrier she was my ride dog.  She loves riding “shotgun” and loves to watch the road.

 

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Kate takes riding “shotgun” seriously.

 

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Kate after surgery and her “jammies”.

 

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Kate chilling after surgery.

 

 

 

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

My dad never liked dogs and still doesn’t to this day.  He just turned 84 so I guess it is pretty safe to say he probably never will.  I know they aren’t for everyone but there is no reason on earth to abuse them.

Just imagine, you are 6 years old and your dad puts you in the car and off you go.  After awhile you don’t recognize the area you are traveling in and it appears to be in the country and it is raining.  Finally in a very secluded place your dad stops the car and gets outside.  He opens your door and he grabs you by the hand and leads you over to a log and tells you to sit down.  Then he walks back to the car, gets in it and drives off.  Leaving you there all alone, in a strange place and you are scared.

Now don’t give me that BS that I am comparing apples to oranges.  I am not.  Both are alive, confused, scared and broken hearted.  Neither have done anything to be treated this way.  Thousands of animals are dumped each year just because their owner doesn’t want them anymore.  Maybe I went a little overboard trying to get my point across but animals do have feelings.

Soooooo, if you are thinking about getting a pet remember that they have feelings and would like a forever home and they are a member of the family.  Please, if you can’t accept this then get a “Pet Rock”.

 

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For the cat lovers out there.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love!

 

 

 

 

Your(Self)- Esteem

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Wikipedia tells us that self-esteem reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth.  It is a judgement of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.

I believe in today’s society we place to much emphasis on the opinions of other people.  I like this quote by Emerson, “It is easy to live for others, everybody does.  I call on you to live for yourself.”  

There was a time when I worried about what people thought of me.  I would find myself living totally out of my character in hopes that people would like me.  This went on for some time until one day I realized what a fake I was and how unhappy I was, pretending to be someone I wasn’t.  Let’s face it, when you are a red neck, country, hillbilly you can only hide it so long.  I mean you are what you are and you can’t live a lie just to prop up your self-esteem because it won’t last long.

I remember when I was six my dad took me to the barber and had my head practically shaved.  Now this wouldn’t have been so bad for some folks, however I have this curse that hangs over me.  Large, protruding ears.  Now take away the hair and ………OMG all the kids called me “Dumbo” the elephant.  This fiasco did absolutely nothing for my self-esteem.  It was tough but I pulled through and life went on.

“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” – Brigham Young

As I have matured, during my stroll through life, I have learned to appreciate who I am and what I have accomplished.  When ever I see someone belittled or bullied it infuriates me to no end.  I immediately go into “salvage” mode and a lot of times I don’t even wait until the offender leaves Dodge.  I can remember being put down in front of a crowd and everyone just staring where if just one person would have walked up to me and said “that is not true” then gave me a big hug, my confidence level would have never crashed.  Now I am not saying that no one is deserving of a arse chewing.  If I screw up then I have earned everything I get.

What I hate to see is someone that is trying to improve and all they hear is, “you are so stupid”, “you need to just give up”, etc..  What happened to constructive criticism?  We as a society need to develop a bigger heart and the art of kindness.  Unless you are some kind of egotistical maniac, there are going to be times that you question your own self-esteem.

“Social media websites are no longer performing an envisaged function of creating a positive communication link among friends, family and professionals.  It is a veritable battleground, where insults fly from the human quiver, damaging lives, destroying self-esteem and a person’s sense of self-worth.” – Anthony Carmona

I think the above quote pretty much sums up how I feel about today’s social media.  People just don’t seem to care about one another’s feelings.

In closing I want to thank everyone that took the time to read my blog.  Remember to share the love.

 

 

 

Some of My Pics

 

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Bourbeuse River near Union, MO

 

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Bourbeuse River near Union, MO

This shot I took early one morning and temps were around 42 degrees and the fog was rising.

 

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My childhood friend David Tripp

David and I have known each other since the second grade.  Dr. Tripp is a retired educator who claims two passions, painting and fly-fishing.  He is a very talented artist and writer.  You can see some of both at davidtripp.wordpress.com.

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A little dock diving.

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Amazing what one can do with the photo software out there.

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New addition to the farm, EJ our little cow bred filly.

 

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Eros and Kate

I have bored you long enough.  Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed.  Spread the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monsanto Lake

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Lake Monsanto – St. Joe Park -Park Hills, MO

St. Joe Park is located in the old “lead Belt” area and is made up of 8,238 acres that was donated to Missouri in 1976 by the St. Joe Minerals Corp after ceasing operations in 1972.  It has an off-road vehicle area, two campgrounds, equestrian camping and trails, hiking and bicycling trail, picnic sites and lakes for swimming and fishing.

The historic mill buildings still stand on the site and it has been designated as Missouri Mines State Historic Site.  They also have a museum that houses some of the old mining equipment along with an impressive collection of geological specimens.

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Lake Monsanto

There are four stocked lakes in St. Joe.  Monsanto is the largest that is 30 feet at the deepest point and around 25 acres.  Then there is Apollo Lake, JoLee Lake and Pim Lake which is the smallest.  Boats can be used in all four but only electric motors are allowed.  They do rent kayaks and canoes.  One drawback to me, that definitely keeps me from getting too attached to this place, is the hours of operation.  From April – September the lake opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 8 a.m.; October – March 7 a.m. to 5 p.m..  I really wish they would reconsider their hours.

If you want to fish Apollo or JoLee lakes, you must obtain a fishing pass from the park office.  There are no launch fees.  One can catch bass, crappie, catfish and an assortment of pan fish or perch.  The park uses a “slot limit” of 12 inches to 15 inches for bass.  You can keep anything under 12 and over 15 but you can’t keep fish that fall in the slot.  One practice they do that I do like is that they pass a card so you can record your catch of the day so that they can have an idea of what is being caught.  It is done anonymously.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir

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Lake Monsanto

I have fished Lake Monsanto three times.  It is a peaceful place through the week however on the weekend it can draw a crowd.  The lake has a lot of mill foil in it and a lot of standing timber and a multitude of objects to get your line hung up on.

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Largemouth bass caught

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Channel Cat I caught a couple of weeks ago.

I prefer to use a Rapala floating minnow.   If you watch what you are doing you don’t get hung up as bad.  I also use the live bait mode also: night crawlers.  If I am out there just to relax I just use an empty hook.  On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give Lake Monsanto a 5.  If the state would change the fishing hours to allow early and late evening hours I could learn to like it a little more.  (Hint, hint)  Maybe even issue a special permit if a person wanted to do some late night catfishing.

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Lake Monsanto

Someone asked me the other day if I ever get tired of fishing.   For the record, “no”.  I can never get enough fishing.   When I am fishing I can feel my spirit feeding off the positive energy of Mother Nature.  I sleep better when I have had a full day of fishing.

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Monsanto Lake

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

Life Is What You Make It! Be Happy

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Equine Activities

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life.  Be happy now.  Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future.  Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it is at your work or with your family.  Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” – Earl Nightingale

Henry David Thoreau told us in Walden, “Our life is frittered away by detail.  Simplify, simplify, simplify!  I say let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumbnail.”

Now what an idea.  It seems we want our children to participate in every sport there is.  I think it is kind of sad that these young people do not really get a chance to really enjoy life going on around them.  They don’t have the time to watch a simple sunset or sunrise. Do they ever get the chance to participate in a family meal?

Then there are those who become workaholics and get so wrapped up in their work that they really never learn how fun life can be.  They miss out on so much in their family life and all because “they want their children to have it better than they did.”  Really?  Then start eating together and discussing each other’s day, start taking vacations in the great outdoors.  Hug your children and tell them you love them.  Most importantly teach them to love themselves and have confidence in themselves.

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Photography

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn

So many people look at happiness is a thing of the future, after Johnny graduates, when I get the time, when I get some bills paid off, etc..  Ok, when you get up in the morning, if happiness doesn’t exist in your life then I want you to look in the mirror and say, ” Today is going to be filled with happiness and the only way that can change is I HAVE to let someone change it.”  There are so many things you can fill your life with to nurture the happiness in your life.  I have posted some of those things under my pics.

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Kayaking


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Fishing


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Cooking

These are a few examples of what I do.  Believe in yourself and assign yourself a dream. A dream that will fill your heart, soul and spirit with pure joy.  Live for that happiness now and not for 20 years in the future.  You are your own boss and you are in charge of your happiness.  Surround yourself with people who are genuinely happy and will lift you up and not pull you down.  For those of you that suffer from no happiness in your life don’t give up. Find it. Nurture it. Discover the healing power of happiness. 

Thanks for reading my blog.  It means a lot.  To those of you who take the time to make comments, thank you so much for taking the time to do so.  Spread the love!

 

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.