Life Is Precious

“I hope I can be like the autumn leaf, who looked at the sky and lived. And when it was time to leave, gracefully it knew life was a gift.” – Dodinsky

We live in such a fast paced world today. Always on the move. No time to enjoy life. We have became a society of instant gratification.

So many people take others for granted and even life itself. We assume that when the sun rises tomorrow everything will be the same. Will it?

We are so busy that we don’t take the time to reach out to friends and family to just hear their voice or to see how they are doing. There is no guarantee that they will enjoy tomorrow. There is no guarantee that any of us will see the next sunrise.

How many times have you entertained the idea of calling them or sending a note or card and you didn’t do it? Then a couple weeks later you hear that death has knocked upon their door.

Life is precious. Friendship is a gift. Celebrate life every day and give thanks that you were given another day to enjoy life, friends and family. Don’t take anything or anyone for granted.

Get up early and watch the sunrise or at the end of the day sit, be still and watch the sun set. Stop! Slow down! Take the time to enjoy your life, family and friends. Tomorrow may be to late.

Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy Coffee is done.

I couldn’t sleep so I decided to get up and get a fire going and make some Cowboy Coffee. I know there are all of those designer coffees available and I can’t forget Starbucks. I was told one time you never had a real cup of coffee until you had one from Starbucks. Well I beg to differ.

Ain’t nothing better than a cup of Cowboy Coffee when made right. I use Kent Rollins recipe. I use 1/4 cup of coffee grounds to 1 quart water. The pot in the pic is a 4 quart. Don’t add grounds until water is warm then bring to a rolling boil for about 4 to 6 minutes then remove from heat and let rest 2 minutes. Then pour about a cup of cold water around the inside of the pot and down the spout. That will settle the grounds. If you prefer it stronger add more coffee or boiling time. Check out Kent Rollins at Kent Rollins.com or check him out on YouTube.

Waiting for it to boil.

A lot of friendships have been made over a cup of coffee. I myself always love sharing a cup of coffee with a friend. When I am out camping and get the coffee going it doesn’t take long for the aroma to get the other campers attention. I don’t know how many times I have had people stop at my camp and partake of my coffee. Like anything else it took me a while to master the art of making good Cowboy Coffee. Kent Rollins taught me through his videos and he is one heck of a Dutch Oven cook.

A couple of notes. If you grind your own coffee the coarser it is the longer it has to boil. Cowboy Coffee is best when made in a seasoned pot. You have heard all good things come to those who wait, well you have to have patience when you make coffee this way. The wait is worth it though.

Lazy Man’s Stew

Decided to do something different this time. For those who know me they know I love to cook and Dutch Oven cooking is my method of madness.

I would normally do this in a bean pot on a wood stove but I like to let it cook all day and this particular day I didn’t have that luxury. I make a fire pit out of rims and a 10 inch dutch fits snugly in the center of the rim. Works perfect.

The reason I call it Lazy Man’s Stew is because for the most part you are just opening cans.

1 pound top sirloin steak

3 tbsps olive oil

2 tbsps minced garlic

1 medium onion (diced)

12 oz Heinz mushroom gravy

24 oz beef broth

4 tbsps Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tbsp salt

1/2 tbsp pepper

1/2 tsp curry

2 medium potatoes (cut in 1/4 inch cubes)

15 oz canned carrots

15 oz canned green beans

15 oz canned corn

2 glasses Elderberry wine

Add olive oil to Dutch oven and when it gets hot add onions and minced garlic. Cook,stir frequently, until onion is clear.

Then add meat.

Now pour your first glass of wine. (optional)

When meat is cooked add the gravy and beef broth. Then add the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a rolling boil and cook for twenty minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Pour your second glass of wine. (optional)

Lower heat (I raise the pot higher off the fire) and let simmer for an hour. Remove from fire and let sit for 10 minutes then serve.

As you can see I always use my finest China.

How many does it serve? Depends on how hungry you are.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog. Feel free to give me some feedback in the comments.

Update On My Eros

2013 – 2019

“Dogs die. But dogs live, too. Right up until they die, they live. They live brave beautiful lives. They protect their families. And love us, and make our lives a little brighter, and they don’t waste time being afraid of tomorrow. – Dan Gemeinhart

He will be missed deeply. Lots of good memories. Cancer is an ugly disease. RIP my good friend.

Lazy Day on the Big River

I finally got to float the Big River. First time this year. My school buddy Mark Nelson and I met st the Huddle House in DeSoto for breakfast at 7 a.m.. after a hearty breakfast we headed for the river.

We left Mark’s truck at Merrill Horse conservation area and drove to Mammoth CA. We got the yaks in the water about 8:30 and headed down river to the Merrill Horse Access.

There hadn’t been enough rain to cause the river to rise but the water was stained and not as clear as usual. The water was cooler than I thought it would be with all the hot weather we have had.

Mark chillin’ on the Big River

The fish weren’t cooperating and had apparently ate before we got there. We didn’t really care because it was a beautiful day to be on the river.

Finally the fish got their appetite back. The first four escaped the hook and swam for freedom. I was 0 for 4. Patience finally paid off. I caught a small largemouth.

Then I finally caught a small smallmouth.

I caught a spotted bass then we had to head for the boat ramp.

I fished this stretch a lot last year. It is approximately 5.4 miles. Last year I saw a Bald Eagle 4 times. I was disappointed I didn’t see it this time.

Mark caught about a 10 inch bass and a perch.

“The River is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it’s going to go and where you’ll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don’t let anyone deter you from that. – Eartha Kitt

True Friendship

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” Woodrow T Wilson

Friendship is the glue that binds people to each other. True friendship can bring happiness into one’s life.

Fair weather friends tend to give friendship a bad reputation. They cause heartbreak and create a stormy relationship.

“A friend is someone who understandS your past, believes in your future and accepts you just the way you are.” – Unknown

True friendship is when you both realize there are certain topics you have to avoid talking about.A silent understanding that sometimes you just have to agree to disagree. It’s respecting each other’s believes and ideologies so as not to jeopardize your friendship.

“The friendship that can cease has never been real.”- St. Jerome

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

Aw the Memories

As I sat at the window today watching the snow flakes dance to the ground my mind revisited the memories of my childhood.

I remember sitting in front of the window watching as the snow blanketed Mother Earth.

I loved walking in the woods while it is snowing. Not everyone realizes you can hear snow falling to the ground. It has its own distinct sound. You have to stand really still and be quiet and you will here it. I have to admit I only heard snow fall in the woods where it was really quiet.

I remember the year we got our hands on an old car hood. They make great sleds. It held all six of us but it took all of us to pull it back up the hill.

The last ride of the day was a wild ride. The slope now had an ice sheet on it. Now all we have is the hood and we needed steering and brakes to go with it. Off we go down the hill and we blew by the old stopping place and on the cuff of a new distance record. Then “BAM”! We hit the side of a car parked in the driveway. Now let me set the record straight. That car wasn’t there when we put the hood in motion. No brakes, no steering. We were hollering at the driver and he just waved at us.

I am happy to report that no one was seriously hurt and we walked away. Now for the car there were two perfect head imprints in the side. The car hood slid right under that car and came to a stop.

My mind became flooded with memories of snowball fights, snow forts, building snowmen, and sledding. I could taste my mom’s snow cream. That was always a treat we looked forward to.

A cat jumps up in the tree in front of the house and wakes me from my trip down memory lane. Guess I better put some hay out for the horses.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it and maybe took you on a trip down memory lane. Spread the love and remember it doesn’t cost to be kind.

Christmas 2018

I sit here in the midst of a “Winter Storm Warning” where they are predicting 6 to 9 inches of snow with some areas getting a foot. I am as excited as a child on Christmas Eve. Yes I am a “snow bunny “.

Sitting here looking out the window enjoying my Baileys and coffee watching the snow fall my mind wanders back to Christmas 2018.

This is a Cook It All manufactured by the Lodge company. It is made of cast iron and I have wanted one ever since I saw it. You can bake, stir fry, grill and so many more possibilities.

What makes this so unique is that I received it from a “Secret Santa”. It was delivered to my front door. It took me by surprise because I hadn’t ordered it. I opened the invoice and all it said was to deliver 1 Cook It All to my address and it has the address of Lodge where it shipped from. Then there is a two word note ” Merry Christmas”.

I still don’t know who sent it and who ever you are I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I absolutely love it. Thank you.

The second surprise was a gift from David Tripp and his lady friend, who I consider a very dear friend. It has opened my eyes to what a good cup of coffee tastes like.

Now every morning I have this ritual where I fill the grinder with coffee beans and grind them fresh every morning. It has taken my morning coffee experience to a whole new level.

Maybe 2019 will be a good year after all.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you. Remember to spread the love and to be kind.

A Lazy Day on the River

 

DSC_0050

Big River near Fletcher, MO.

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

On October 9, my long time friend Mark and I finally got together for a float on the Big River.  We have been trying to get together for a float for 3 months now.  It was well worth the wait.  The temps were in the upper 70s, and the water was clear.  It was overcast with the sun popping out from time to time.   All in all it was setting up to be a great day.

DSC_0037

Big River near Fletcher, MO.

I brought along 3 poles and Mark had brought only one.  I use ultra-lights with 4 pound test line.  We launched our yaks at Mammoth access and planned to float to Merrill Horse access.  I believe it is a little over 5 miles.

The leaves on the trees were starting to change colors but unfortunately their colors hadn’t matured yet.  It was quite breezy however we were able to handle it. The river was low but we never had to get out and pull our yaks across shallow places.

 

“Rivers run through our history and folklore, and link us as a people.  They nourish and refresh us and provide a home for dazzling varieties of fish and wildlife and trees and plants of every sort.  We are a nation rich in rivers.” – Charles Kuralt

big smallie

I caught this nice 15 1/2 inch smallmouth.

The fish bit real well for a while and then they shut down.  While they were biting they weren’t picky.  We caught them on a Rebel Wee-Craw and Floating Minnow, Pig and Jig, and Plastic Worms (two different colors).  We caught perch,  largemouth and smallmouth.  The length limit of smallmouth in Missouri (on the Big River) is 15 inches.  I choose not to keep smallmouth because it takes one 6 to 7 years to reach 15 inches.

DSC_0040

Big River

“The River…It’s my world, and I don’t want any other.  What it hasn’t got is not worth having, and what it doesn’t know is not worth knowing.  Lord! the times we have had together!” Kenneth Grahame

Everything was going smoothly and then it happened.  My paddle broke and we still had some swift places to get through and without the proper paddle they would have been difficult to navigate.  This is why one should always carry a knife with them.

Well I think Mark and I would be classified as country boys and maybe a hillbilly tag on myself.  So we went to work and fixed the paddle good enough to get me back to the boat ramp.  McGyver would have been proud of us.

 

43487603_10155941658823041_8726308990583046144_n

Paddle Repair 101

It was a good day.  I always enjoy my time on the river and it is nice when a friend goes a long to enjoy it with you.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Be kind to one another and 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

DSC_0049

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.

DSC_0005

My house for the weekend

 

DSC_0007

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.

DSC_0062

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.

DSC_0058

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!

DSC_0086

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.

DSC_0091

Old overflow at the damn.

 

DSC_0064

Path to dam.

 

DSC_0014

Near Turkey Creek.

 

DSC_0098

Part of the dam that is left.

 

DSC_0016

Bridge across Turkey Creek.

DSC_0060

“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.)