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

 

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

 

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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

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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.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                               

 

 

 

 

Bad Mood Not Allowed

 

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Big River near Leadwood, MO

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

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

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

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

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Big River near Leadwood, MO.

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

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

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Picture Of catch by my friend David.

 

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Same photo as above but unedited.

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Fishing

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

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

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

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My friend David and me at Bonne Terre Lake

 

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

 

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Mark and David during a float on the Big River

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

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My fishing buddy (grandson) Catfish Kid

 

 

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Catfish Kid strikes again.

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

Following pictures are of fish that I have caught.

 

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Channel  Catfish

 

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Largemouth Bass

 

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Smallmouth Bass

 

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

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

 

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Big River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Big River

 

 

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Big River at Leadwood Access

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

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

(All photos were shot by me)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would Like To Teach………..

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

When you look at the picture above what do you see?  Do you see someone that appears to be a loner or do you see someone that appears to be a person who enjoys nature and sunrises?  It is impossible to form a true opinion without knowing a little more about the person and the situation.

We seem to be living in a society that is quick to criticize and very judgemental.  We don’t seem to need all the facts and, the “truth”, …… well that is purely optional.  We seem to care less whether we destroy someone’s reputation or creditability.  We don’t hesitate to destroy one’s self esteem with a wag of our tongue.  What changed and why have we turned into a heartless society?  It seems that the media doesn’t care if their story is true or factual, they just want to be the first to print or air it.

 

 

“The only measure of judging a human being is through that person’s character, because is not determined by race, religion, gender or social status.  And one who recognizes this simple fact of human life behaves the same with the scientist, the janitor and the sex worker.” – Abhijit Naskar Human Making is Our Mission: A Treatise on Parenting (Humanism Series)

My Grandma Bobbie told me a lot of things through the years but I think the smartest thing she ever told me was , “if you can’t say something nice about someone then just don’s say nothing at all.”  Those I believe are such true words to live by.  Native Americans said, “don’t judge me until you have walked a mile in my moccasins.”

You ever wonder how different things would be if we looked at people through our hearts instead of our eyes?  How many possible friendships have you lost because the person was obese, nerdy, ugly, backwards, etc.?  The reason I labeled them possible is because 99% of the time you probably walked away with out giving them a chance.  It happens and you know it.

So you are at a party and you see this person sitting there all by themselves.  Your first thought is why are they by themselves.  Then the chatter of the grape vine starts around the room and it isn’t giving the person any good reviews.  Do you ignore them or do you try and get to know them.  News Flash!!!!!!  Hearsay isn’t all that reliable and other people’s opinions are nothing more than a manifestation derived from jealousy or egotistical action.   Take the time to strike up a quality conversation and listen to them.  You never know, you might just find your new “bestest” friend in the world.  Take a chance.

So your mission today (should you decide to accept it) is to start learning to put aside the appearance and look into that person’s heart.  That is where you are going to find what truly makes this person who they are.  It may be the last time you ever see them. Then again one of you may inspire the other to do something great!  You had the idea in your head but you needed a nudge and that person might just be the inspiration you needed.  There are so many possibilities that something might come out of it but if you don’t interact with that person you will never know.

 

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Photo provided by Pexel

The sun will rise in the east in the morning and a new day will begin.  Treat people like you like to be treated and for once let us try and get along for a change.  Learn to look at a person through their heart.  Listen to your heart and not other people’s opinions.

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

 

 

 

 

 

What Is “Life”?

“Life has no meaning.  Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life.  It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” – Joseph Campbell

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I have been MIA because of that nasty viral infection that is make its rounds.  It is some nice stuff, let me tell you.  I am behind on reading the blogs that I follow and have a lot of catching up to do.

My combat with the infection took me to the doctor’s office.  While sitting in the waiting room I looked around the room at all those that had ventured in to seek medical help.  There were around 11 waiting and ranged in age from 27 to 80.  There were only 4 males including myself.  I watched as they sat there patiently waiting for their turn.  As I watched my mind began to ask, I wonder what life means to them?

Is life just existing to them or is it so dear to them they have a fear of dying?  Is it exciting and always in party mode or do they prefer sitting in a chair reading a great book and sipping on hot tea?  Life is what YOU make it.

Life can be so strong and virile one day and it is so fragile the next.  We think we are on top of the “world of life” one day and wake up to find ourselves in the abyss of life gone wrong.  Life is full of highs and lows and your quality of life depends on how you manage those highs and lows.

“Whatever we are, whatever we make of ourselves, is all we will ever have – and that, in its profound simplicity, is the meaning of life.” – Phillip Appleman

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When one is at their low point in life they, as I see it any way, only have two choices.  Put on your big boy/girl undies and take life by the horn and make some positive changes in their life or lie there and wallow in self pity and rely on the enablers in your life to help you along.

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“We get to CHOOSE the meaning of our lives.  Our lives mean exactly what we say they do – no more, no less.  Each of us chooses their path in life.” – Johnathan Lockwood Huie

Life is simply what YOU decide it is going to be.  YOU write the definition.  People, experiences and God can help you along the way but You have the final decision.  Prepare yourself through education, understanding and knowledge.  If you don’t love yourself then learn how to.  Parents listen to your children, just because you wanted to be a great athlete, accountant, doctor, lawyer, etc., it doesn’t mean that it will be a good fit for them.  Let them make that decision.  What’s that you say?  You aren’t going to let them make a bad decision.  Yeah, right just like you never did, right?  Encourage them to be their own person and to write their own “Book of Life.”

Once again thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blog.  It as well as any comments, is deeply appreciated.  Now go spread the love.