Monday, January 31, 2011


As with most of the things we do, thinking and rethinking is a major part of the process. Replacing our fishing boat was no different. The few dollars that we have to deal with, make it imperative that we get the maximum service and longevity for each dollar spent. As we studied the various features and weighed them against the way that we fish, we found that some were of no use to us and some just absolutely hit the nail right on the head. The boat that we picked seemed to be the one that fit our style of fishing the best. Here are a few pix:


How many times over the years we have discovered a dragging, sagging or broken safety chain, I don’t know, but it must be many, many times. It has happened often enough that we habitually leave the drivers side window down as we start off to listen for such problems.

The new boat has spring loaded safety cables can’t drag, sag or even rattle.


When fishing with live bait, there can come a time when keeping baitfish and caught fish separate, comes up. This boat has two separate live well systems, each with their own 500 GPH pump and drain. In the photo above, the two water intakes are covered with a stainless strainer.  The bilge pump is a third 500 GPH system.


The raised white letter sidewalls on the tires weren’t an option that we would have had to pay extra for, and it would have cost extra to replace them.



They will send a lettering kit along with the trailer license plate, for the registration numbers that match the lettering in the photo.


We chose this dealership, in Hot Springs, for the same reason we did at our last boat purchase, their location in proximity to the lakes that we fish. Thinking they will be nearby should something come up.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Our Nissan 4x4 has mostly sat in it’s carport as we traveled about for a couple of years. Usually we jump start it, change the oil and take it to the lake for Jugfest. This year, however, a jumpstart and oil change just didn’t cover all of the bases, the engine had developed a high rpm miss. The engine’s miss was particularly noticeable when under a load. Since we use the li’ll pickup for boat pulling back and forth to the lake, we needed to clear that miss up. Yep, it was tune up time.


A closer look revealed a series of squirrel chew places on the high tension wires that run from the distributor cap to the spark plugs. A quick trip to the auto parts store for a cap and wires cleared that miss right on up.


While there under the hood, I checked the air filter and discovered that the squirrel had hidden a few acorns under there and had also chewed on the filter a bit.

Squirrels, don’t ya’ just love em ‘ !

This year we won’t have to worry about Squirrel  damage, as we plan to take the li’ll pickup on the road with us. We have really missed being able to drive the Jeep trails  out West, and getting twenty five MPG will be a big plus for us.

Did ya’ catch the wild date stamp on the photo’s ? I forgot to set the date on the camera when I replaced the battery’s.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Today was the day that we went to Hot Springs and picked up our Boat. You know that we just had to get it in the water ASAP !

A quick stop to top off the fuel tank:


And then, after getting it tanked up, it was on to Kirby landing to dump it in the water for the first time. Lake Greeson is quite low and we put the first hour of twenty hours of break in time on the boat and engine.

The lake was quite smooth and the air had a bit of a chill to it until we slowed down and ran with the wind at the same speed then it was really nice .

As we continually changed speed to keep the engine from developing a spot in the throttle that it wants to settle in at, the hour went by all too fast and it was time to head for the house.

The boat surprised me in how quiet the four cycle engine is, and how smooth it is at  speed. Though not seriously fast, it is quick and will serve us well for many years. We wanted a boat that was wide enough to be stable, especially while landing large catfish, and it has proved to be just that.


Part of the deal with the boat purchase was that we got a Bass Pro VIP card that gives us a 20% discount for two years. So, we’ll put a few new things in the boat in the way of safety and convenience items.

Oh, yeah, we are thinking about jug fishin’ at Greeson !

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Two years on the road have left their mark on our house and all of the out buildings. We just have not been here to do the many little things that are needed on a regular basis to keep a place up.

When we got home we were a bit shocked at how quickly things had gone down hill. Here is a look at the wood shed cover:


Our plan to get rid of stuff and put the house on the market is going well at this point. We are recovering roughly .10 cents on the dollar.

Like the wood shed, the cover on the shop has gave up the ghost and the tools inside are looking pretty rough.


I put the shop equipment on Craig’s List today.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Last year while at lake Greeson, during jugfest 2010, Harm’s Weigh, our deck boat for many years, sold. As it gets closer to time for jugfest 2011, we have been boat shopping. Today, we finally nailed down the last few details and have agreed to buy a new Tracker Marine Pro Team 175. Here is a look:


You may notice that there are similarities between this boat and the last one.  Yep, our style of fishing kind of needs certain features.

Pro-Team-175-TF_img8474_700 A clear foredeck will give the needed room to land large catfish.

Here is a link to the boat’s specifications :

Pro Team 175 Specs. Link

We are looking forward to seeing all of our friends at Jugfest 2011 !

Saturday, January 15, 2011



Snow topped mule barn.


Plum Tree broke down from snow weight.


Cedar tree sagging heavily.


Ice forming on 5er.


15 inch wheel gives some idea of how long the thing actually is.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


We displayed our senior pass to enter the National Park at no cost and to only pay half price for our campsite. The sun was shining and it was 71*, and we were wearing shorts, tee shirts and flip flops as we parked the trailer.

Dream alert, dream alert ! Pinch self, wake up !

Last year this time we were at the Padre Island national seashore, camped at Malequete campground, $4 cost per day. We used it as a FOB or, forward operating base, as we wandered aimlessly up and down the far South Texas beaches. We became so acclimatized to it that one day I found my self whinning about having to be inside paying bills instead of outside in the sunshine. Here is a look :

At the end of this year’s seven months of workamping and touring around the country we decided to spend the Winter at the house getting ready to put it on the market.

Here is a look out the living room window this morning as I prepare this blog post:


Though it hasn’t snowed for several days now, the temperature was down in the teens last night and the forecast for tonight is down in the single digits, so, the snow hangs on.

Geeze ! Who’s idea was it to not go South to the beach this year ?

I think I’ll go back to daydreamin’ of beach scenes like this:

Aaaa ! Yes ! now that’s more like it ~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Snow, yep, we got it ! Photos pretty much speak for them selves.


There’s a tow dolly under there some where !


Still snowing, and, they say it will continue for another few hours !


Streaks of ice running down the side of SPF-60


Mail Box at the end of the drive way.


No Blue Birds living here now.


Mule drawn mower.


Fifth wheel pin and step ladder.


Ice chest.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


When I heard the weather channel meteorologist say it, I wasn’t sure I had heard it right. I had came in to the 5er to get a cup of coffee and he said “ a snow storm of epic porportions ! I thought, “geeze ! Did I just hear that ?” Turning the volume up, I listened until I heard it again.

It was time to stop my current project and get ready for some serious Winter weather.


We had already picked up a ton of hard wood pellets for the pellet stove. Extra propane was delivered and the 100 pound propane tank hooked up to the trailer.

Then I changed the oil in the Yamaha generator and test ran it, getting extra cans of gas for it, you know,  just incase we lost power. We are about as ready as we can get, I think  .  .  .  .  .

The forecast seems to be a bit variable though the weather experts can all agree that it is going to be a heavy snow. They just don’t know how far South it will drive when it comes through. Or, it seems, just how much ice will be associated with the front.

The power company trucks and their linemen and crews are staged nearby, the State Highway crews are at their yards getting the salting and plowing equipment ready, Police officers are staged and ready. So, now,    .   .   .   .

The wait begins  .  .  .  .

The next morning:

Sunday morning, slept in, strong winds  buffeting the 5er all night. Woke up expecting snow or ice. But, Nothing ! Through breakfast and coffee the weather channel is showing on their radar that we are getting some winter mix.

The wait continues   .   .   .   .

Lunch time:

Heavy snow falling, quickly covering everything. As I sit in the office slide out I note that it is a dry powder that billows with occasional gusts of wind.

Time for a second pot of coffee. I am through paying bills and will start getting the income tax stuff ready.


This photo taken just after lunch is of a red squirrel is raiding the bird feeder in the snow. Click on the photo for a closer look. More snow in the forecast  .  .  .  .  .  .

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Snuff is a powdery Tobacco product that can be used several ways, as displayed in the photo below, it has been packaged for sale in various ways. Here in the Ouachita Mountains snuff has been generally considered a Woman’s tobacco and was most popular here, when sold in containers that could be used around the house.


The small tin on the left could easily be carried in a purse and refilled from the larger brown bottle. The drinking glasses were really popular because they could be re used and many had special designs on them.

One of the most popular ways to use snuff, was to remove it from the container with a “sweet gum brush”, and place it in between the cheek and gum.

Sweet gum brushes were a small, short branch from a gum tree sapling that would be frayed on one end and the fiber resembled a brush. The brush end was used to get the snuff powder from the container.

Gathering these sweet gum brushes with G’maw Crowell and a Rat Terrier named “Scoop” one mild Spring time morning was my last hands on experience with them.

The sweet gum brush method was  considered to be more “lady like”, where as men usually carried a “twist” or “plug” of chewing tobacco that they could bite or cut off with a barlow pocket knife.

Many small businesses in town had a “spittin’ and whittlin’ “ bench out front, where the men would chew tobacco, spit, and whittle with their barlow knives, as they discussed topics of interest, while the women were inside shopping.

Some of life’s most valuable lessons could be learned while listening to the “big boys” Talk while spittin’ and whittlin’ at a store front bench.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


At the stroke of midnight we all gave a mighty cheer and the date suddenly was 1-1-11 ! We’ll not see that happen again in our lifetimes !

We had all gathered at Betty’s sister’s home to play domino’s and ring in the New Year. After a large meal of Ham and all of the trimmings imaginable, everyone retired to the living room where we all caught up on what’s been going on. The air was filled with rapid fire chatter, children commenting on their Nintendo DS stuff and stories about loved ones that weren’t with us this year. Then it happened, the sharp sound of the large box of double twelve dominoes being dumped out on the kitchen table. All else ceased. It was “game on !” It was time for full contact Mexican train dominos.

I shot a few photos the next morning during breakfast, you know, the “morning after’ kind of pix. After all of the dust had settled. Here is a look.


Chocolate gravy a’ simmerin’ on the stove.100_2415

Home made jelly fer’ them cathead biscuits.100_2421

Golden brown catheads, straight from the oven. 100_2423

Chocolate gravy and “sawmill” gravy. He, he, he, now, that’s a’ livin’ large !100_2424

Coffee black and hot.


Wicks trimmed and filled with coal oil, they are fully functional as well as decorative.100_2417


Then there is the Mustang GT in the driveway. Let’s see, there’s all of this  very laid back antique stuff in the house, then, outside in the driveway, a muscle car, with manual transmission, and a personalized license plate !