No, They Are Not Just Dogs!

Kate

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My dogs are family and treated like family. Yeah, I’m one of those!! If they don’t like you I probably won’t either. If you visit my house I guarantee when you leave you will have dog hair hitching a ride. I can’t imagine what life would be like without them. Kate is a 2011 model and Eros a 2012. Kate had a few problems when she was a pup. She had crystals in her urine and had hip surgery at a year old.

She slept on the couch and I slept on the floor beside her. When she was healed up she became my ride dog.

I am a retired farrier and she loved going to the barns with me. She took her riding shotgun seriously.

Then there is Eros. He was so little when he was a pup. He now ways 124 pounds.

He can be pretty intimidating. He is a big teddy bear. He is definitely a “protector”.

“A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than you loves yourself.” – Josh Billings

They both have their own personalities. They are good listeners, loyal, and give unconditional love. They are always glad to see you and add joy to your life.

Now don’t get me wrong. They can get sick and leave a big mess to clean up and they can just simply be a pain in the butt. They are a huge responsibility. All in all I still say they are worth it.

Nope they aren’t just dogs. They’re family.

Life 101!

“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” Oliver Goldsmith

Once a person slides through the birth canal and pops out into the world, it’s “game on”, the journey has begun.  Nope you can’t go back.  No matter how hard you try, you can’t scratch and claw your way back into the birth canal and hide.  Now put on your big boy/girl panties and grab life by the horns because it is going to be one hell of a ride.

The first eighteen years is tough.   For the biggest part of those years, someone else makes decisions for you.  There will be times that you will swear those people making those decisions have only one purpose in life.  Yep.  In this complicated world, believe it or not, just one.  Make your life as miserable as they can!  When you start thinking this way, the odds are that you have graduated to teenager status and at this point you know it all.

Then that big day comes.  You achieve adulthood and the biggest surprise, you are alive.  You survived.  Now we are going to see what you are made of.  You thought it was tough when the internet was down for 3 days, well you ain’t seen anything yet.

“No one saves us but ourselves.  No one can and no one may.  We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha

Now folks this stat may blow you away.  Americans between the ages of 18-34 are more likely to live with their parents than in any other living situation.  Pew Research Center’s analysis found that in that age group 32.1 percent will live with their parents.  Marriage/Cohabitating 31.6 percent, Alone/Head of Household 14%, Other 22%               Men are more likely to live with their parents while women are more likely to take a spouse or partner.  Now I don’t know about the rest of you but these numbers blow me away.  Damn if I did that I bet I would still have a curfew of midnight.  In high school my dates could stay out longer than me.  Needless to say I didn’t stay at home until I was 34.  Nope.  Instead I learned how to cook and do laundry.  Do you know how embarrassing it is when your date’s dad says have her home by 1 a.m. and you say I will sir.  Little did he know I had to be home at midnight.

“Life is a journey and it’s about growing and changing and coming to terms with who and what you are and loving who and what you are.” – Kelly McGillis

Well I hope you enjoyed the blog today.  I appreciate you stopping by and reading it.  Shh, don’t read so loud you might wake them up and they might throw me out.  I am still blown away that more people live with their parents than with a partner or spouse.  Be sure to spread the love.

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.

 

 

Finally! Frost On the Pumpkin!

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“How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days.” – John Burroughs

I have waited patiently to wake up and see the pumpkin covered in frost.  I adore autumn.   Bonfires are a must, with the aroma of cooking chili hurrying along to tease the unsuspecting noses of those gathered around the bonfire.  Hoodies can finally come out of the closet.  Animals begin growing their winter hair and the geese head south.

Halloween is just a few days off.  The streets will be filled with goblins and witches seeking to fill their bags with candy.  Then it won’t be long until the turkey will be sacrificed and used as the main course to fill the bellies of Thanksgiving diners.

“Autumn carries more gold in its pockets than all the other seasons.” – Jim Bishop

I had a friend tell me once, note: he hates the fall, that “fall is like the undertaker, preparing the body for burial”.  I guess that is one way of looking at it.  Myself, I like to take drives and admire the work of Mother Nature.  My understanding is that this year the colors aren’t going to be that good due to the lack of moisture.  In the fall the leaves have a chance to “wow” you like the flowers did in the spring.  The squirrels begin hiding food for the winter.  Drum roll followed with a Snoopy dog dance, no more grass cutting and the horseflies have left the building!  Yes!  Sorry.  Got carried away in the moment.

It has been a long, dry, hot summer and I am ready for the snowflakes to throw themselves upon the ground until they have reached a depth of 8 inches.  I will have a fire going in the wood stove with a pot of beans cooking.  I will sit and watch my feathered friends eat from the bird feeders.

“October is nature’s funeral month.  Nature glories in death more than in life.  The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming – October than May.   Every green thing loves to die in bright colors.”  – Henry Ward Beecher

I hope you enjoyed my words and I appreciate you taking the time to read them.  Wishing everyone a Happy Fall Season!  Spread the love.

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So You Want To Be A Farrier?

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I remember when one of the local colleges offered an eight week course for folks that wanted to be a farrier.  Over time I had a few clients who told me,”Well this will be the last time you will have to shoe ole Dobbin.”  Me: “Oh yeah.  You selling him?”  They would go on to tell me that they had signed up for the 8 week course at the college and they would be doing their own shoeing.  Out of 6 clients that signed up for the class I only had one client shoe all four feet of his horse.  He then hired me back, said he had enough.

Then there are the ones that sit there and watch you as you work and they tell you, I think I can do that.  Looks pretty easy.   Then there is that age old question, ever get kicked?  Really?

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Then there are the bargain hunters.  They have no loyalty to their farrier.  They are just looking to get the cheapest price they can.  I remember one time while fueling my truck a guy hollers over at me and says, how much.  I said $2.55 a gallon.  He said no, how much?  I said, well it will probably hold around 30 gallons today.  He immediately says, NOOOO!  How much do you charge to shoe horses.  I said, do you have a farrier now?  He said yes but I thought you might be cheaper at which I immediately replied, you couldn’t afford me.  Yep, they are loyal to the end.

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Then you have the internet farrier.  Yep you read it right.  This is the group that cruises the internet to learn everything they can find concerning ” How to Shoe Your Horse”.  So while you are shoeing their horse they are standing looking over your shoulder telling you what you are doing wrong.  I mean geeze, these guys are pros.  They learned from that all important school “Lame Horses or Us.”

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Then you have the farrier that if someone doesn’t agree with your assessment of his/her shoe job they swell up like a little bantee rooster and get their feelings hurt.  Bring a horse into a room of 4 farriers and you will get 10 different ways to shoe the horse.  The lovely world of horseshoeing.  Also be prepared to be told you charge too much.

Then there are the great things you get to experience.  I remember one such time.  I was on the back end of the horse with its back leg over mine when all of a sudden the horse made a gut sound that sounded like a freight train roaring down the track.  I just got out of my mouth, well he shouldn’t colic any time soon, when all at once its tail went up and yep, liquid road apples come out of the back end like it was coming out of a power washer.  Before I could get out of the way it hit me on the side of the head and my back and…..never mind just trust me it was a mess.

Seriously though, I am proud of my trade.  I am a firm believer in continued education.  It is hard work and you have to be well disciplined.  It is too easy to get up in the morning and say, I think I will call in sick today.  You have to be a business man and be able to deal with the public.

I am semi-retired now.  I still have around 40 head of horses on my books.  I am thankful for all those who helped me better myself.  Dr. Don Walsh, Dr. Amy Rucker, Dr. Joanne Kramer, Kelly Case, Bob Schantz, Dr. Thomas Loafman to just name a few.   If you decide to walk the path of a farrier I urge you to seek out continued education through clinics.  Bob Schantz, owner of Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop, along with Homestead Veterinary Hospital, Dr Kramer and Dr Rucker have some great workshops during the winter months.  Be sure to check them out.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I deeply appreciate it.  If you are considering a career shoeing horses I wish you well.  It is hard work but take pride in yourself and your work and it can be a real rewarding experience.  Spread the love!

 

Imagination: A Good Thing to Possess

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I named this rock formation “Alien Rock”

I didn’t get on the river until around 4:30 p. m. and I knew I wouldn’t have time to do a lot of fishing.  I did realize that the retreating sunlight should present some great photo ops so I began looking for those shots that would show the amazing beauty of Mother Nature.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

My mind was working overtime and my imagination was like that of a 60s “flower child” who had taken a hallucinogenic drug.  I took several pics of the rock I had named “Alien Rock” trying to capture what I was seeing in my mind.  I think the above pic was the best picture to portray what I was seeing and I hope you can see it too.

To me it looks like an alien’s head slowly ascending out of the water just revealing its eyes and nostrils that had just broke the surface of the water.  I imagined it rising completely out of the water revealing a body as tall as the bluffs around it.

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Well, maybe I am losing it.  Maybe the crazy stuff going on in the world is finally taken its toll on me.  Maybe I have drank too many Jack and Cokes in my life time.  Naw, one can’t drink too many Jack and Cokes.  I got it, I need to quit drinking the kool-ade!  That’s it!

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.  That myth is more potent than history.  That dreams are more powerful than facts.  That hope always triumphs over experience.  That laughter is the only cure for grief.  And I believe that love is stronger than death.” – Robert Fulghum;  All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Thoughts On Common Things

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Was the alien there extracting lead from underneath the river bed; after all this is part of the old lead belt, or was he looking for a McDonald’s fish filet sandwich?  Maybe he is stashing green kryptonite in case he ever had a run in with Superman?  Was he a game warden in disguise spying on me.  Oh so many possibilities!

Hello, earth to Wayne.  Well back to regular programming.  Once I figured out what the alien was doing I began floating back to what the locals call the “Bone Hole” and fished as I went.  I managed to catch a small largemouth and several small perch.  I think the alien must have scared the fish off.  Oh crap, it is getting dark.  Where did that alien go?  I am skeered I tells ya!

“Logic will get you from A to Z; Imagination will get you everywhere”. – Albert Einstein

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog.  I am a firm believer that great artists ( painters, writers, musicians, etc.) are full of imagination.  I feel it is a must to be really good at what you do.  I think we need to emphasize it more than we do.  One can not suffer from too much imagination; well maybe I need to rethink that one.

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

 

 

A Little Humor From the Barn

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“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” – Mark Twain

This a true story however the names have been changed to protect the pranksters.  No humans were hurt and there was said that you could hear equine laughter throughout the barn.

One morning some years back, I arrived at ABC Stables where I had scheduled 4 complete sets of shoes.  I backed the trailer into the area set up for farriers and I began setting up to shoe horses.

The barn had hired a barn manager about 3 years before.  He was an old cowboy who had paid his dues.  Quite the jovial sort of fellar.  Everyone called him Bubba.  He really enjoyed a good chaw of tobacco and was an excellent horse handler.  He was there to hold the first horse I was shoeing that morning because sometimes he didn’t particularly like my cologne or something and would make my life as miserable as a horse possibly could.

Now we are down to the last character in the story.  He was kind of like Tiny Tim, Dirty Harry and Barney Fife all rolled into one.  We called him Jim Bob.  Now Jim Bob had just recently bought a 15.1 hand buckskin quarter horse.  Now it just so happened that he bought it off a fella by the name of John Boy.  Now John Boy was such a crook that he could make a used car salesman and a politician seem like outstanding citizens.

Now John Boy had told Jim Bob that the horse he sold him was 15 years old and only rode to bingo games by a little old lady from Pasadena.  Well Jim Bob had the vet out to float his horse’s teeth and he asked the vet how old he thought the horse was.  The vet without hesitation said 20 years old.  Now Jim Bob had a slight dilemma, how old is ole Dobbin?  This worked overtime on the mind of Jim Bob and the real problem was that Dobbin wasn’t registered so there was no record of his birth.  All this is what led to the happenings in the barn on this particular morning.

I was shoeing the horse who on that morning was giving me fits because all I had was regular ole shoes and no “Air Secretariats”.  Bubba was doing his best to make the ole horse stand still and it was about to get on our last nerve.  Then, along came Jim Bob crying like some 3 year old child who had their ice cream stolen right out of their hands.  Oh woe is me, I have a horse and I don’t know how old he is.

Well I wasn’t really in the mood to deal with him soooooooooooooo, DRUM ROLL, yep I said it, “Jim Bob there is one way to tell how old that horse is, count the anal rings and that will give you a real good idea how old he is.”  Well Bubba almost swallered his tobacco and he chimes in, “Damn I forgot all about that!”

Jim Bob is standing there looking at me with this goofy look on his face and says, “Please tell me, how does one determine the age of a horse by counting the anal rings?”  I said, well you know how a tree grows a ring for one year of age.  A horse grows an anal ring for every 5 years of age.  By now he is looking at me like I am crazier than a bedbug.  He then says I can’t even believe that I talk to you two at which time Bubba and I blurt out at the same time, but it is the truth.  He turns and walks away cussing us the whole time.

I was just getting ready to nail a shoe on the second horse I had to do when Bubba starts saying, lookie there, quick look.  So I put the horse’s foot down and look down the shed row and………..yep, there was Jim Bob holding the horse’s tail up with one hand and running his finger around the rectum of Dobbin looking for anal rings.

Needless to say Bubba and I begin laughing so hard that Bubba almost swallered his tobacco again.  I had tears running down my cheeks I was laughing so hard.  Then…yep Jim Bob caught us laughing and was madder than a wet hen.  He cussed us up one side and down the other.  He didn’t talk to me for three months.

I hope you enjoyed my story.  Thanks for reading and 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!

 

Almost There

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Another site we will see on the Big River

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

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

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

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Another place on the river we will pass by.

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

 

 

Oh, The Memories

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My grandparents home in Lafe, Arkansas

“Take care of all your memories.  For you cannot relive them.” – Bob Dylan

During Memorial Day weekend I headed to Lafe, Arkansas for the yearly family reunion. Driving south on  67 was a real treat.  It has been quite a while since I had made that trip. As I traveled down the highway my memory drifted back to when I was a child and we use to make that trip as a family.  I could hear my sister saying, “mom Wayne touched me” or “mom Wayne is sitting too close to me”.

After some time I came upon a place in the road that really stirred memories inside of me.  My grandpa had got me a pup and helped me get it in the car.  I named the pup Penny. We made it about an hour up the road before Penny began to whine.  It didn’t sit well with my dad, no siree.

My grandparents lived in this house for as long as I can remember.  When I was a yung -un I thought that house was so big.  After I became an adult I realized it wasn’t as big as I thought it was.  One of the things I remember is that when we had family get togethers my grandma would put the desserts on her bed just outside the kitchen door.  We called it the “dessert bed”.  We had a well on the porch that we pulled water up in a well bucket. All the kids got together and drilled them a well in 1970.  They now had running water.  Then in 1973 my uncle and I put an inside bathroom in for them,  That summer my grandma refused to use it because in her words it was too pretty to mess up.  That winter when the temps dropped and the snow flew grandma decided it wasn’t as pretty as she thought because she began using it.

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Grandparents house in Lafe, Arkansas

My grandpa had 3 ponds on the place.  I remember one day while fishing with two of my cousins and my cousin Billy Jean hooked my cousin Clois’s eye lid.  Man my cousin could scream.  My grandma had an old root cellar off the back porch where she kept the food she canned.

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Front door to grandparent’s house

As I stood there looking at the front door my mind was drawn back into time remembering all the warm times we enjoyed in their home.  The front porch used to be screened in and there was a porch swing on each end.  They had a wood stove for heat so we slept in feather beds with so many covers on you, it was almost impossible to turn over.  As I stood there I could smell the coffee and bacon like it was real.  When I was young these smells woke me up and I would run to the wood stove to try and get warm.  Oh the memories.  I could go on for ever.

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Headstone of Great Grandparents

In closing I would like to mention that my ancestors fought on the side of the South.  My great grandfather’s name was Robert E Lee White.  That should suffice as to which side my family supported.  Since the new mayor of St. Louis is removing a confederate statue I will never spend any money in the city.  The mayor can believe that the Civil War was about slavery.  I remind her that over 200,000 African Americans fought on the side of the Confederates.  I would also like to remind her how racist the American flag is to the Native Americans.  It is a symbol of lies, murder and of the people who took their land away from them.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed reading it.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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