Don’t know how to say this so I am just going to go ahead and put words to paper so to speak and tell you. I have made mention about going to the city and seeing a specialist and having some tests done. Monday I returned to get the findings and got some news I was not expecting. I am a diabetic and have been having trouble with my kidneys. Blood work has shown I have a serious problem and my kidneys are failing. I expected to hear this and also to learn of a treatment plan. On Monday I was told that my kidney biopsy showed that my diabetes is not the cause of my kidneys failing but instead I have been diagnosed with a rare blood disorder which is attacking my organs.
The last several days I have been sharing this information with my family and a few very close friends. I am still in the discovery stage of this and I have several appointments in the next few weeks with blood doctors and my kidney specialist. The really bad part is that this is a rapid blood disorder which very little is really known about and treatment's options are limited. I am telling you this as many others in the past have stated that the members here are like an extended family. I am still trying to get my head around this and as my doctor said she will be right with me learning about this as she has never seen a case of it.
I don’t just want to stop writing and disappear and leave my disappearance to speculation. I don’t know how often I will write or if I will ever touch on this subject again. I have also decided not to reveal the name of the disease as I don’t want people searching the Internet to find me an herbal cure or to give me their experiment options. Some may take this as being rude but for now this is going to be a private battle. I have been given access to the doctors medical library so I can do my own research and become as knowledge as I can so have I have some level of understanding when speaking with doctors. I have just found myself a new hobby.
I am posting this on the Lake site as many of you have been a part of my life for the last ten years.. In closing I would like to say Kiss your wife, hug your kids and grand kids and pet your dog and don’t let the little things bother you, they really don’t mean much in the big picture. After the DOC told me the news and we talked for awhile she asked me if she could do anything and how I felt. I was at a loss for words and the only thing that came to mind was "It is what it is"
MOST OF THE time I have a hard time starting an opening paragraph for a update here at Lake Iwanttobethere, that is not the case here this past 4th of July as I have many. So I am just going to throw some out there in random order.
4th of July is of course is a time for celebration but it is also a time for bright lights and fireworks and also the time for blowing things up under the cover of fireworks. I received a call from the wife there is one less woodchuck in the garden at the cabin as it was shot by her using my twenty gage. I will need to clean the shotgun when I get home and she told me the body was tossed off the dock into the waters of Lake Iwanttobethere. I started to complain about that asking why she did not just bury it till she told me a big northern scooped up the wood chuck almost as soon as it hit the water. I guess I need to start fishing off the dock with a bigger sucker minnow.
At the RESORT there is no longer a curve in the driveway as Hammering Hank and Skinny blew out the big maple stump that was in the way.
A few beaver dams have been removed from the trout stream (Arlo) and there is a pool that has been deepen (Arlo)
Remember when you were young like twelve or thirteen and you had these great ideas but you lacked finical backing? Well when you get to be fifty or sixty that is no longer a problem. You can use cash, savings, borrow or barter, wheel and deal or share your ideas with others. On the fourth of July this year a number of things were tried that were first thought of in our youth. First off I do want to say that a gathering of men without kids or wife’s are usually done at deer camp and now we have the RESORT where kids and wife’s don’t belong on the 4th. Early in the day the FELLOWS tied several of their kid’s GI Joe miniature solders to bottle rockets duck taped together and then shot them skyward to watch them float back to the ground using their parachutes
Next estes rocket engines were placed inside their shipping tubes with a cherry bomb as a nose cone and launched off into the sky. They gave a satisfying explosion about five hundred feet into the sky. We had to stop that when somehow we shot out a passing drone. The drone sank in the waters of the bay before we could get to it. Funny because Vic had gone out to the mailbox that morning and put up the big sign that said explosives were going to be used that day and it had the skull and bones painted on it. We had borrowed the sign from the mine and will return it tomorrow, funny how people just can’t read warning signs.
The night before we had taken the outboards off the wood rowboats and had a bottle rocket and Roman candle war was held on the bay. I will add at this time the disclaimer that there was no drinking involved by any of the participants, just like it would have been if we were twelve.
4th of July night was a lot of fun as we did something we had been planning for months. We were going to try and out do Nytelyters Fireworks display down on Root Beer Island. I heard on KCUM radio that 43 % of al Americans go to a public fireworks display, the rest stay at home and shoot off their own or do nothing, we had a plan. Some where somehow the FELLOWS picked up what is suppose to be a civil war motar. It is big enough to shoot a bowling ball and of course that is what we started off with at dusk. So does a bowling ball make noise when it lands in the woods on the other side of the bay if we hope no one is there? Does a bowling ball make noise when ten bowling pins are in front of it when they all land on the other side of the bay?" I might add it was a perfect strike about halfway across.
Awhile back I wrote about how the FELLOW had brought back a crane to the RESORT. Well we have found many uses for the crane all the way from a very very high deer stand to moving picnic tables and outhouses around the RESORT. Well it also works very well in moving a civil war mortar to the edge of the bog where the FELLOWS dug it in and used the bog as a cushion. We also moved all of our fire extinguishers to that location and the old boat was filled with water and suspended over the motar just in case it was needed. Now I hear the first shot that was fired was perfectly timed between some shots Nytelyter and fired off and a few people down at the boat landing took notice of the cloud in the sky. Second shot was noticed a little more but our third shot was kind of special. I will take credit as it was something from my youth that I wanted to recreated
When I was maybe twelve or so A couple of my buddies saved our money and we bought about ten boxes of paper book matches from a very young Ma and Ma grocery store and we clipped off all the match heads and put them into a glass freeze dried coffee container that was shaped like a motar..We than ran a cord or something I don’t remember and lit off about 10,000 match heads at the same time. A roar of flame maybe ten feet high went skyward and it was the hottest est coolest thing we had ever done up to that point. Now being 756 months old I wanted to recreate that using the civil war motar. The last several months we have been secretly buying up paper book matches we cut off the heads, and now we put in a bowling ball and filled the motar with thousands of match heads, well maybe tens of thousands of match heads, actually I don’t really know, it filled the area in front of the bowling ball and I guess we forgot about the charge we had placed in behind the bowling ball.
Now all of us being hopefully a little older and smarter we also had brought up the back hoe to hide behind and with Nytelyters fireworks display coming to an end we had Elmer on his cell phone giving us the thumbs up to fire our motar off. It was not what we expected. It was way more!!! I only got to see a brief moment as the flame shot out of the motor and I was blinded by the light. It shot out in an arc across the bay and Elmer said from his vantage point it looked like a second sunset had appeared in the sky. The boom echoed through the bay and seemed to get louder each time. The crowd at the boat landed gave out a collective awe. And when it was done and we could see again we gagged at the sulfur cloud in the air. We all looked at each other with twelve year old grins and as we shook our heads back and forth saying no we said out loud we have to do this again ! Not this year though as the motor was gone. The explosion had driven it into the bog and steam was rising were it had been a moment before. Tiny tripped the release and the boat hanging from the crane dumped its load of water into the hole and the bog closed up around the mortar. We all agreed that later in the summer we would dig it back up, it would be safer that way here at Lake Iwanttobethere
I am now seeing a blood specialist who yesterday in my visit told me that my blood disorder is not curable BUT it is treatable and he has past experience with a patient and has a treatment plan. The next couple of days I will be undergoing yet more testing with another biopsy and a couple of different scans. Going to have some side effects from treatment that are going to effect my pleasant disorder. (Inside joke to those who know me) Treatment will start as early as next week after tests results are in and I will be going through three rounds spaced over 9 weeks. If treatment shows positive results then I will be heading on a road trip to either the Main U or Mayo for cell transplant. I don’t think I will be fishing on opener but if this works the DOC told me I should have a good chance at fishing this summer still. DOC seems like a real good guy but he is a walleye fishermen. Thank you all for the good thoughts they look like they are working Dan
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY has arrived and I am busy working on the short honey do list here at the cabin. Tomorrow I head down to the big city for my first treatment and I have no idea how that is going to work out so I am working on the do list. Weather is cooperating as it is forty-one out and things are melting. Have spent time with the ice chisel cleaning off the deck and I really should go into town and wash the Tahoe. It is about as dirty as I have seen it in a long time. Duncan has been with me most of the time as the last few weeks he has really been hanging around me a lot. In all the busy that has been going around I failed to write anything about his 60 month birthday!
Duncan should be in his prime now and he is still playing the part of a puppy when he wants attention. He has gone from the hiding behind me stage when someone comes over to the bark and stands bravely next to me stage to the now stand in front of me and the "I got this boss stage" when someone comes to the door. After inspecting everyone he will give the OK and let them come into the cabin but no one gets to sit right next to me on the couch but him. He also has gone from sleeping at the end of the bed to trying to take my pillow from me now. Of course the old dogs did the same thing and it is nice waking up and having those eyes of his looking right back into mine. I still miss Buddy and Barney every day but he, Duncan is doing his best to fill the void. Matter of fact I just moved the doggie stairs away from the bed that the old dogs used because Duncan pretty much just steps right into bed with just a little hop.
I put together a seed order and that should be arriving here soon, will be time to start some in the trays. Going to expand my gutter garden system this year and I think do away with planting tatters in the ground. I am going to try growing some tatters in containers though. The space for tatters will now house a watermelon patch as I am going to erect a low ground greenhouse/hothouse and once again try and grow me some watermelon. Some tobacco will be planted but I think only the type used for cigar leaf. I am not going to plant many but just enough to give me another different age leaf for wrappers. My leaf that I am curing is still not ready to smoke but I keep rotating and airing it out every couple of weeks. I am hoping by mid summer I will start rolling cigars and will give them to my neighbor Elmer to try and see what color his face turns.
Summer fishing is in the air, don’t know if I will be able to go out by myself or if I am going to have to plan my fishing days with a partner. I may have to start taking the wife fishing with me I kind of asked her and she didn’t say yes but she didn’t say no either. My fishing calendar has some days marked off but they are all in pencil so they can be changed. The daughter will go for sure but she only has so many days off in the summer and she does have things she wants to do. Depending on how I feel I may be making a lot of short trips or I just might be watching a bobber off the dock a lot. I don’t think I am going to get the old rowboat that cleaning and coat of paint like I had planned. But then again I just might feel good enough to stick to my list. This is after all Lake Iwanttobethere and things happen here that don’t happen anywhere else. Like maybe Denver winning the Super Bowl! Enjoy the game I will here at Lake Iwanttobethere.
IN FROM SHOVELING snow. Have been out three times so far today not that there is a lot of snow to shovel it is just that I get tired quick and for some reason the shovel has gotten heavier. I left the keys to the shovel taped to the handle but it seems no one else in the cabin knows how to start it!
Almost forty out and with the warm weather the snow on the roof is melting and dripping onto the deck. If we had some sunshine it would be melting and coming off the eves like it was raining. I did have this idea of throwing deicer all over the place but my bag is in the back of the Tahoe and the wife took the Tahoe to town. It was a good idea though.
Watched some football yesterday, one good game and one blow out. Neighbor Chuck was trying to get me to go ice fishing again but I decided watching the games here at the cabin was a better option. Saturday Chuck was gone all day as his son is on the diving and swim team. They had the big meet and Chuck sat at pool side for almost eleven hours. He said he had the hardest time not tossing a bobber he had in his pocket into the water.
My winter cold is still hanging on, I think it is going to make it till spring. Just when I figure I got it licked some new symptom appears and goes to the front of the line. Yesterday it was sneezing. Being a big guy I don’t mess around when I sneeze. I figure do it once and do it right. Yesterday I sneezed four times in a row and just about knocked myself out. Number four kind of got away from me and I banged my head against the back of my chair. Felt like I was on one of them four tickets rides at the county fair. Even Duncan who was in the den at the time kind of cocked his head to the side and then just rolled his eyes at me before leaving.
Speaking of Duncan his birthday is a short week a way. February first will be his 60th month birthday and he will have to share it with the daughter’s lab Buster and one of my grand kids. I have to go to the big city for a late afternoon visit but when I get back we are going to have a birthday party. The granddaughter is on charge so I don’t have a clue what it is going to evolve but I have been promised there with be ice cream, and cherries! We will also be celebrating Elmers birthday, he forgot when it is, sometime in the spring he thinks so when ever someone has a birthday this time of the year he just adds his name to the hat. I tell him he should be like me and just celebrate every month but he says I already have that distinction here at Lake Iwanttobethere
TIMES HAVE CHANGED a lot from going to sitting at DOC Burriem’s store front office to the big city. Back in the day You would enter into the office after walking around the rope that DOC would tie his car to the old hitching post. The rope was an old habit of DOC’s that he had from when he had his horse and buggy. You would go inside and find yourself a seat either on the tattered leather couch or the oak chairs that were rescued from the town’s library when it was remodeled. DOC would come out and ask who was next and you waited your turn unless you were bleeding to much and it bothered the other patients. A collection of tattered Field and Streams or Outdoor Life magazines would be on the coffee table and maybe a Fish and Fur if no one had taken it home. An air pot with luke warm water and some packets of freeze dried coffee with a short stack of paper cups were on a table, but no one ever used them.
Now the last few days here in the big city I have been in and out of a few waiting rooms. Big screen TV’s are the norm and two kinds of coffee and tea are common. I had a test this morning where the waiting room had fresh baked cookies! Yesterday I had a PET done which is a Positron Emission Tomagraphy. I went to a city clinic and was escorted through the building and out the back exit. I could not recall anything I said in registration that would have gotten me kicked out but as I left the building I stood in front of a big trailer and the PET machine. The thing was mobile and as I talked to the tech he told me it cost three million dollars, now that is an expensive RV. I spent forty minutes in a tube and the wife watched the whole thing, her being a nurse she thought it was great entertainment and later told me she should have brought popcorn.
This morning I had what I hope is the last test for awhile, a bone marrow biopsy. It was not that bad at all, but then again it might be because I had a DOC who does them all the time and I will always take experience when it comes to drilling a hole in my hip. Now a few hours later as I sit back at home in my big easy chair I just feel like I was on the receiving end of a good hip check with no pads. Monday I start treatment as all of the tests were to set up baselines and will be used to determine what drugs will be used. When it was all said and done the Lab tech told me I had done good and she told me a little story about an old guy who was 89 and still raised beef, he was there for a bone biopsy. He was a wiry guy who jumped right up on the table and when they were done with the procure she asked him how the pain was, he told her "Compared to being kicked by a two ton bull it was not all that bad."
So what I have learned these past few weeks is that everyone is different and don’t listen to much to how bad things can be but it is not that bad an idea to listen to how good things will be, I want to thank the people who have reached out to me and a big thanks to a few of you that have gone through what I am about to start out on and have offered me your support. Stories from the Lake might be a little different for awhile as I am looking at things a little differently but I will sure try and keep the fishing reports coming from Lake Iwanttobethere
BEING SICK CAN sure take up a lot of your time. Monday I had my first chemo treatment and the day was spent waiting in waiting rooms for doctors who were running late and lab reports. I got a rundown of side effects from the doctor then a more tailored one from my nurse. She was a better resource as she knew what the drugs I am taking were going to do. I got a mess of steroids which she told me may give me some insomnia, she was right! I finally fell asleep at 6 am Tuesday morning and only slept for five hours. Gives a guy a lot of time to think when you are laying in bed with your dog looking at the ceiling.
So if my Honey Do List is not long enough I thought up a bunch more things to add on to it. Yesterday afternoon I was feeling pretty good so I went down to see Big Earl at the General Store and I had my list with me. I filled the cart with light bulbs and dog food, dog bones a replacement handle for the toilet which I had noticed a crack in and I know will break anytime now. Shopping at Ma and Pa’s Grocery where Pa said he can set my up with some baby steaks and promised they would not be scrap cuttings. He was going to cut me up some nice thick slices of bologna but I told him that is not on my list so instead he carved me up some turkey.
Went to see Burt and Bart at the barbershop and got a buzz cut, good chance I am going to be losing some hair so I would rather have it be small pieces then long. Didn’t get my beard trim as for some reason that is not affected. Burt cut my hair and for the first time ever he said it "Was on the house" I still gave him a tip and made him take it. Walked outside and my head froze, must remember to bring a hat along now. This morning I had yet another test to go to and when I left the cabin and I had the hat pulled down low but it was cold enough I could feel my beard freeze on the walk to the Tahoe.
Sitting here now catching up on e-mail and answering the phone. Most of the calls are actually for me and not for the wife which is strange. Late this afternoon I am going to go do a house inspection for my daughter and her husband who are looking at a place closer to us here at the lake. Been awhile since I have done one and it will not be an official one but will be more of a walk through to see if I notice anything that will flag the house. I don’t like doing them in the winter as you can’t really check the roofs out and the grounds but It is on paper a pretty good deal and there ready to move out of the tiny house they are in now. I am also hoping they are going to get it as I will be able to dump a lot of stuff I have and will no longer be needing. Would rather keep stuff in the family then selling it to strangers or worse yet just giving it away.
A lot of other stuff going on but I have this do list in front of me that needs to be attended to while I am feeling good. Tomorrow is another session and I am planning on expecting some down time. DOC tells me I should stay as active as I can be and when I told him I write a blog he told me to make sure I stay on top of it. Good for me to keep my mind working and good to not drop any hobbies matter of fact he told me I should try and find even more ways to be active. I told him he needs to find out what is going on here at Lake Iwanttobethere
SPENT A GOOD portion of the day just dozing. Got to take advantage of when I can sleep as Mondays are not good days for me. Grand daughter was here and the last of her girl scout cookies were picked up and then she had to leave for her cross county ski lessons. As luck would have it no sooner did she leave then a light snow stared to fall. Just a few flakes here and there but as the afternoon went on they covered the cleared deck to a depth of perhaps an inch or so. When evening rolled around the son in law was over with the dogs. Tonight they are heading out on vacation to Missouri where we have some relatives. They will be spending a week down there and we checked the weather and they are going to go from the snow of here to temperatures maybe as high as sixty, I would have like to gone with.
The black lab and the Austrian shepherd said good-bye to their owners and made themselves comfortable here. The shepherd up on the couch and the lab tucked into the corner on his bed. Duncan just looked on and gave me the "House guest look" of his and climbed under my desk to lay at my feet. The wife was gone as the two young grandsons took her out to dinner which left me home to take another nap. Ever notice that it is hit or miss when you get on the Internet? There are days when I can spend the entire afternoon finding things to read or going on the boards and typing away and then like today it is just quiet, at least for me.
A little while ago the wife came home with a smile on her face and complements for the grandsons who were perfect gentlemen on their dinner date. I kind of poked around for some leftovers in a doggie bag but there were none. I got a call from the Lodge that Lenny was looking for his girl scout cookies and he asked if I was still delivering, I had nothing better to do so I told him to hang tight and I would run them over. They were the last ones I had here so it was all the excuse I needed to get out. I left the dogs home and told the wife I would be back shortly and she questioned me if I should be out driving, told her I needed the air and she told me if I felt that good I could just as easy go shovel. I declined.
Just enough snow had fallen and it was the light stuff, I started the Tahoe and backed out and turned the wipers on to take the snow off the windshield and deposit it on the drive not in my parking space. Slipped it into four wheel drive and headed down the drive. Made the turn on the road that takes me to the Lodge and took it out of four wheel drive and started drifting around the bends on the new snow. No other tracks and the woods were dark with just the light from my headlights reflecting off the new snow. Not driving reckless but driving with control I let the back end of the Tahoe break loose in the corners before giving a little gas and straightening out, Like a skier going down the hill I worked my way through the gates to town. Sometimes simple things like driving in snow can be so much fun. I dropped the cookies off and headed back to the cabin about half way there I came up on tail lights gliding around the turns and I followed at a distance behind. A little more snow was falling and the wipers were on but it was as much fun going back home as it was coming into town. I watched as the lights blinked out in front of me and as I turned to go up my drive I saw Elmer was walking away from his truck in his drive. We had both just gone out for a drive on a snowy night here at Lake Iwanttobethere
THAT GUY, I am that guy! I went back to the hospital on Friday for my last plasma washing that went off without a hitch. Since my sessions were done they pulled out the chest tube, applied pressure and a bandage and I was allowed to leave. Ten minutes later I am at the emergency entrance waiting for my wife to bring the truck around and I reach down and find myself wet on my side. My pressure bandage had not held and I was bleeding, a lot of excitement there for a few minutes as I yelled for some help and several nurses came to bring me to the emergency room. I held my hand to my chest as blood poured out around my fingers and we got me to a room and some gloved up nurses. I ended up spending another day in the hospital as they had to give me a transfusion of two units of blood to get me good to go home again. This is the short version I don’t think I am going to write a long version of this story, but it was finally nice to get rather then receive blood for a change... Just saying I am that guy when this kind of stuff seems to happen.
I am beaming here at Lake Iwanttobethere, just back from the DOC’s office where we discussed the current treatment plan. The good news is that my unplanned stay at the hospital last week was a success as my blood work came back today and I am back inside limits on several tests that were way out of bounds and were getting into the critical stages. I did gain 25 pounds in water weight but have already shed it all in the past three days. Let me tell you walking around with all that made balance and blood pressure tough to control. I see some stories coming so you might want to grab a can of Hamm’s when I start posting them...
GOOD NEWS, BAD news It has been a couple of weeks since I have written but things have not been quiet here at Lake Iwanttobethere. I have spent most of my time in bed and for some reason my laptop will let me read what is going on but not let me post. I have in my mind written at least a dozen stories but they did not get posted. So here is some of the topics I did kind of write about and I will now show in a very very brief format.
About a month ago I started feeling a heaviness in my left leg and about two weeks later on a Friday night the entire leg blew up and I was off to the hospital. Long story short I had developed a deep blood clot in my left thigh which kept be in the hospital for three days till I could adjust to a blood thinner. I will now be on a blood thinner for at least the next 90 days. It took me another week to find a pain killer that will let me tolerate the constant 24/7 pain from the clot. The pain feels like someone hit my thigh with a sledge hammer and it does not go away. Stairs are almost impossible to do by myself so add that to something caused by a side effect.
Good news is my kidney function has returned to almost normal and with it my blood pressure has returned as well as my heart beat has risen. This means the lightheadedness and dizzy spells have gone away ! Matter of fact I may even have to go back on pressure med to keep them in the normal range. My favorite fishing daughter has joined me as she had an mri done on her ankle and is now sporting a cast. The two of us now spent Friday nights together with our crutches and me with my walker having the wife wait on us.
Smelt season has come and gone and I never did get to make it down to the fry tent in the parking lot, although Elmer did bring me a foam plate of them which went down pretty easy.
Fishing season has of course started and I will no longer have a need for the countdown unless I start one for me and when I will wet a line. A couple of yeas ago my neighbor Chuck and his wife got rid of their horses and even though there was talk of adding some beef to the fenced in pasture nothing happen till now. No beef but Chuck is about halfway done putting in a three hole par there golf course. The trail has been widen from my place to his as he uses his lawn mower to ride the course and mow the fairways as he goes. I can of course use my mower to do the same thing once I can stand up and swing a club.
Crazy weather the other ay as we hit 94 in the shade and then the thunderstorms came through dropping the temp 30 degrees in an hour. Today finds us in the fifties with a constant steady wind bending the trees. Not a good fishing day so I am not missing anything. Pain pills make me sleep a lot and I am OK with that, don’t hurt when I sleep and the next thing we are trying to cure is the tingle and numbness in my hands and feet. Makes it tuff to type and even holding a fork can be challenge. Holding on to the soap in the shower has been all but impossible. Told the wife to go to the General store and buy me some soap on the rope otherwise I am going to have to make my own! My to do list is usually about ten things long and if I get one thing done I am quite happy with myself. If I do three things I am doing to much and end up paying for it for a couple of days after. Today’s thing was to write a story to let you al know we are still here, still reading your stuff and hoping to read some good fish stories. This is the first time in forty years that I do not have rod sitting at the ready by the back door, feels really strange here at Lake Iwanttobethere
YESTERDAY, ANOTHER RAIN day so it was not a fishing day so I have yet to lose a day. I should note here that I am referring to the far side of the lake where the season open last weekend. This side of the lake is still a few days away. I am moving around better and spending more time back in the den and surfing the web. I have noticed that when I leave the den chair and head to the living room that the old couch and chairs are not very comfortable. I broached the idea with the wife that perhaps it might be time to buy some new living room furniture and to my surprise the wife agreed it may be time. I started off with a nice overstuffed chair and perhaps a couch and she added a love seat to seal the deal and I surprised her by saying that was good with me as long as I got to pick the furniture. She agreed which surprised me! Got her back by in listing my oldest daughter who loves to shop and it didn’t take much for the daughter to set a date to take me furniture shopping.
I got up this afternoon to the smell of baking cookies and I should have known something was up. Double batch of oatmeal raisin cookies were cooling on the racks and I had not even asked for them. Round three or so Elmer just happen to drop by and he had a plastic bag full of pie pans. I thought he had gone to the thrift shop only to find out he was cleaning house and all the pie pans were ours that he was returning. Around four or so there was a knock on the door and here standing in the rain was Burt from Burt and Barts Barbershop. Well I invited him in and he headed for the kitchen with a paper bag in hand. I was trying to renmber if we gave him pie in pans when instead he opened the bag to reveal his haircutting cape. He told me the wife said I needed a trim and didn’t think I could get into his chair at the shop so he being a friend that just happens to be a barber came out to give me a trim at home. He then looked me over and said the wife was right, I needed a trim and then some.
Well, I sat down in the chair and did not protest too much, I could use a trim on the beard and I was not going to let the wife any where close. Another knock on the door and in comes DOC Buriem and Vic and right behind them was Chuck with a twelve pack of Hamms. Since I could not go to the barbershop it looks like the barbershop came to me. In no time the scissors were nipping away at my hair and small talk about the upcoming fishing season and small wagers over who was going to catch what were made. Hamms were cracked open and raisin oatmeal cookies eaten between sips of the beer. I did try a sip of beer and a cookie and I will tell you it is an acquired taste.
With cookies and beer gone the guys left and I was looking a little better. The wife cleaned up the hair from the floor and Duncan kind of gave me a second look to make sure I was who I was. It is still raining out so another day where fishing was not going to be happening on either side of Lake Iwanttobethere
WHEN WILL WE get two nice days in a row? That is what the guys at the Lodge are betting on this week. Yesterday was decent out till out of no where a big time thunderstorm appeared. Hail, strong winds and rain fell like it had been dumped from a bucket. I was out in the yard and did not have time to make it to cover but we did have a tarp close at hand. We stood in the middle of the yard and the grand kids held onto the tarp and my head acted as the center pole of a makeshift teepee. We were at least kind of dry from the knees up, the rest of us got drenched.
The storm passed quickly but was followed with small showers but by then we had umbrellas at the ready. Most of the time was spent in the garden and we got a lot planted. Potato buckets were made and planted. Corn was planted along with the cucumbers and onions. The 3rd big raised bed was filled with dirt and beds number 1 and 2 were planted with carrots and radish. I know we are way behind time wise but the weather has not been all that great so we may catch up here in the next few weeks. Bought a new small lawnmower to mow the hill with and number two grandson was itching to try it out. Told him the grass was going to have to dry so he did not get to mow, but said he would be back.
Wife got a new swing for her birthday which is coming up and a little rain was not going to stop her from putting it together. As I write this she is kicked back swinging away. National Donut Day was celebrated here and I convinced the wife to take me down to Amy’s Bakery. She was promoting the day with buy one get five free and some people were complaining she was only offering the deal on plain cake donuts not everything in the shop. I happen to prefer the plain cake donuts so she got no complaints from me as I dug in the white bag that held a dozen tasty treats.
Cabin is quite again as the city dogs were picked up last night and with the grand kids gone Duncan and I have the place back to ourselves. Gus told me in a telephone call last night that the Bait Room has been doing brisk business. I have to get up there this week sometime and get a tackle order in. Also the grandson needs to restock the crawlers as Arlo has been doing fine in the trout fishing and his group he has been taking out has been losing more bait to the trout then catching trout. I have a doctor’s appointment first thing in the morning so I will try to get over there then. I was going to borrow some tomato plants but since I did some transplanting here at the cabin and the plants have just blown up. End of the week I think I will go ahead and plant the tomatoes and see what kind of luck I get in growing them. I was going to plant my sweet potatoes in bags but I found a big big tote that I am going to fill with dirt and try out. Always like to do some experimenting when I am gardening.
I did go and buy a cement mixer, it was on my list for this spring as I have about a thousand pounds of potting soil to be remixed and additives added. The potting mix will be used to fill pots on the deck and all the five gallon pails that are used in my rain gutter gardens, The rain gutter gardens are started a little later then the big garden so they are still on schedule. With no tobacco being grown this year there will be more vegetables planted and experimented with. I also have a few concrete sidewalk sections that need to be replaced if I get around to them here at Lake Iwanttobethere
Never enough time come fall here at Lake Iwanttobethere or maybe I should say daylight! End of open water fishing but bird hunting, mostly grouse is here and the river still calls. Sometimes you can carry a rod in one hand and a shotgun in the other but more then once I have tried to shoot a grouse with my fishing rod. I have given up on getting in that last round of golf but who knows maybe fall will last long.
Week before the start of deer season here and it is of course busy with planning. Have not seen a deer until last night when I was dropping off the mother in law and walking the creek by her place a nice six point buck ambled down the bank. Gave me plenty of time to look him over and count his rack, not just a snap shot guess view but a careful look. I watched as he ignored me and walked back into the brush to disappear into the night, I wish him good luck, next week he is going to be busy hiding.
Well Packing up here getting ready to pull out tomorrow for deer camp, We all have names for our deer camp and we call ours the HOTEL. I write updates from Lake Iwanttobethere here and I am thinking that maybe when I return from camp I will instead just put those stories here under the blog. Make is easier for those who read the stories to just check out the blog which is what I really guess the stories have become. See ya soon and hopefully I will have a few good stories to tell.
DAY LIGHT IN THE SWAMP my grandmother used to yell that up the stairs at me to tell me it was time to wake up when I would visit her back when I was young. For some reason sitting on the stand Sunday morning as I watched the sun rise in the swamp I thought of her and her morning wake up call. Sitting in a deer stand gives you lots of time to bring up old memories and to solve the world’s problems. Sunday morning in the stand it felt warm and as the day went on it did get warm, sixty-two was reported by one of the guys checking the thermometer at the Hotel. I spent the morning on the swamp stand, my usual place. I watched as the sliver of a moon was chased by the morning sun and the gray of the swamp turned red from first light.
Shadows became trees and brush piles and tall brown grass stopped being deer. I could hear the cawing of a distant crow and the fluttering of sparrows just passing through. Just after full light a gun shot rang out, not from my side of the swamp but from the other side. One shot, a clean miss or a clean kill, I sat in the stand and wondered which and I strained a little listening for a following shot, nothing. I turned a little on the bench seat so I could face the trail that leads into and out of the swamp, Maybe it was a miss and as I watched the trail I could imagine a buck creeping down it from the far side of the swamp to my side. After a half an hour I figured it, the deer was taking its sweet time coming or it was not coming at all.
Around ten or so I made the slow walk back to the Hotel, I moved slow as I was over dressed for the warming day. Half of the guys were already back and the inside of the Hotel was littered with orange hunting coats and sweatshirts. Hats and gloves and laughter. Coffee pot was resting on the black potbelly stove and it was warm inside the Hotel. Already some of the guys had moved chairs outside and the rocking chair on the porch was already occupied by Elmer. Big Earl was making flapjacks as the second breakfast was being served. The night before we had our steak dinner and guys this morning were still full as they went out to the stands. No one had seen a buck, a couple of does were seen but they are off limits this season. Two grouse had buzzed Chuck’s stand, he descried the experience like being in the tower in Top Gun and having Maverick do a fly by. Never saw the birds till they were right on him.
The plan was to gather and watch the football game on the old black and white TV but I went back out to the stand to sit. I shed the long underwear and by kickoff I was back in the stand enjoying the warm southern breeze and listening to the football game. I had brought the little transistor radio from home and had an ear plug stuck in one ear, the other one I had cut off. Gave me the football game and let me listen to what was going on around me. I was not really expecting to see a deer but have learned a long time ago that deer like fish are not always where they are supposed to be. To prove my point I spotted four gray squirrels leapfrogging across the ground. When I first heard them in the leaves I thought I had a herd of deer heading in my direction and I didn’t move. I watched with my eyes and I waiting for the sound of the crunching leaves behind me to get out in front of me. Pretty hard to do when someone scores a go ahead touch down in your ear. Don’t see gray squirrels here very often and four of them at one time had me thinking they were a family just passing through. Things got quiet after they moved on and I sat in the sunshine wondering to myself why I don’t just sit in a tree more often here at Lake Iwanttobethere
( Nephew is heading back to town so he is going to drop this off for the wife to post, maybe Monday? Weather is suppose to turn cold by midweek with rain maybe snow up this ways. Welcome the snow, not to thrilled about the chance of rain )
SPENT THE MORNING deer hunting from the front porch of the Hotel. I had my blaze orange on and my 30-30 was loaded and with in reach. Rain was falling and the only thing moving was me rocking slowly in the rocking chair. I did not expect to see anything and as far as deer go I didn’t. I could have sat inside the Hotel with my feet up and close to the black pot belly stove. Coffee pot would be with in reach as it usually rests on the top of the stove. Thing is, if I did that then I would have no chance at seeing a deer let alone taking a shot at one. Sitting on the front porch with a roof over my head and some building at my back to block the wind was still a better chance of seeing a deer then being inside.
With the long deer season here at Lake Iwanttobethere one thing is for sure and that is that the weather will change. Have had highs in the sixties on opening weekend and now today it is raining and if Sunshine Ray is right it is going to change into snow, maybe. Just me and Elmer here at the Hotel today, everyone else is counting vacation days and will be back on the weekend or have wife’s they still want to be around. Just kidding dear in case you read this. Now I suppose you want to hear about the deer, you might as well stop here. We have seen does and fawns but no one has seen a buck let alone tried to take a shot at one. What we have seen is a lot of grouse at least Chuck has. He says and this is Chuck mind you that they fly down from the trees and follow him as he walks the path to his stand. He has to stop and tell them to leave but they being grouse don’t understand and continue to follow him to his stand where they then take up positions in the trees around his stand blocking his view of his shooting lanes, that is Chuck’s story and as we know everything spoken at the Hotel is taken as the absolute truth.
As I watch the rain fall here I let my eyes wander around the site. Not much has changed we like it this way. The sign over the door is changed though. Long time ago we borrowed a sign from down at the Lodge that was posted in the small meeting room, it simple says " No Politics, No Religion, No Mother-In-Laws" you don’t talk about those three things and you don’t have to many arguments. I see now someone has added in pencil "Cell Phone Reception" must be one of the young guys who hunt on the weekends. We always tell the young guys we have three bars out here, all you need to do is take a right at the road and go down a couple of miles and you will find them. Of course if it an emergency you can climb the big pine and you might be able to get a signal out but once again we like it that way.
With no deer stories to tell you I guess I don’t have a lot to write about. Full Hotel on the weekend and we expect to see the same guys here this next weekend. Saturday night is steak night and there was some talk about that. Steak is not cheap, especially when it is the main course of a meal. It was brought up that maybe Chuck could supply some grouse for dinner but now he is taking to defending his brood. I am going to run home this afternoon, take a shower and exchange empty pie pans for full ones. Elmer forget his bag of books and his bottle so I will pick them up for him. I’ll pet Duncan on the head a few times and look for my missing cigars. I had packed a full box in the bottom of my duffel, you know to share with the guys. I open the box to find just sixteen of them and a note from the wife saying one a day is all I need. With the rain falling here I have my coffee cup in one hand but my other hand is missing a cigar, here at Lake Iwanttobethere
SNOW CHANGES EVERYTHING come deer hunting. Thursday night into Friday morning snow fell here at camp. I would say there was about six inches on the Hotel’s porch railing when I went to walk out to the swamp stand. Almost didn’t make it off the steps as there was some ice underneath the snow but I had a hand on a railing when one foot slipped out from under me. I went back in the Hotel and told Elmer to watch his step when he comes out then set off to the swamp stand. By ten I had not seen anything and the wind was up and the sun was breaking through the clouds. Snow was melting on the branches and I could hear and see dripping water falling on my stand. The family of gray squirrels came through I am guessing around nine or so. Not just passing through like I thought, they live around here somewhere. They work their way across my line of vision leap froging in front of one another, for some reason they reminded of clowns coming out of a VW at the circus. Only now with the snow on the ground they are quiet, as the leaves are now wet and buried.
By ten thirty I am ready to head back to the Hotel and I get out of the stand and work my way back slow like. In my footprints I find a set of hoof prints waking in my steps. I stop and look around where the tracks head off the trail and into the woods. I make a note that I better keep a better eye out on the trail. Seeing some deer tracks always helps the sprits, lets me know that I am not alone. I return to the Hotel and find the steps shoveled off, and Elmer’s tracks heading toward the stand of cedars. I get some coffee and some cookies and go back out and sit on the rocking chair and wait for Elmer to get back.
Just after dark the first set of headlights appear in the darkness coming from the gravel road. I am sitting in the rocking chair and I watch as the convoy of white pickup trucks lead by Big Earl in his Suburban with the plow down make their way into the clearing. They look like a UN peacekeeping group until they all step out in their blaze orange. The first Friday of deer camp which happens to be the second weekend calls for us all to drive over to Maggie’s for the all you can eat spaghetti dinner. After gear is all stowed away and everyone is caught up we all pile into my Tahoe and Big Earls Suburban. With all the extra weight of the guys I have no problem making it out on the now plowed trail.
We drive over to Dave Maggots resort where he puts on a big feed for the local hunters. For the longest time no one would really eat there as he called the place "Maggots" then he renamed the place after his dog Maggie and business picked up. We still call the place Maggots and enjoy telling the younger guys in our hunting group to watch out for the chucks of mystery meat that is in the spaghetti sauce. Speaking of younger guys we do have a new guy hunting this weekend, Chucks son in law Scott has joined the group and will be having a try out this weekend. Should be an interesting weekend as Chuck told him to make sure he brings up a coffee can for the stand. Big Earl always brings up broken bags of charcoal to the Hotel for burning out at the stands when it gets cold. Every stand has a metal coffee can with a couple of holes punched in the bottom. You bring out some self lighting charcoal in a bag, put it in the can and you have a nice toasty little heat source. Scott brought out a plastic coffee can so we will have to see how that works out here at Lake Iwanttobethere
Posted from Maggots I mean Maggie’s Resort in the heart of Lake Iwanttobethere deer hunting country
NOT LOOKING TOO good here for the rest of deer season. I am sitting in a booth at Maggots, I mean Maggie’s Resort watching ran fall and putting a few thoughts down on the laptop. This morning I had to help Chuck get his truck out of camp as he had well problems back at home. I gave him a couple of tugs with the tow strap that was hooked up to the Tahoe and got through what is now becoming a muddy trail out to our gravel road. Since I was already out I decided to come over to Maggie’s and do lunch and take advantage of his free wi-fi.
No deer have been shot at camp but I had a chance that I should have kept to myself. Sunday morning I was comfortable taking a nap in my stand when I was woken up by a snapping branch, at least that is how I am telling the story. Having done this a few times before I woke up just moving my eyes and as I looked around I didn’t see anything. Listening hard I didn’t hear anything out of place either. Sound of a crow and tree branch creaking some but nothing out of the ordinary. I was thinking that dang family of gray squirrels must be back and I looked over where they usually come from. Nothing there either so I was just about ready to readjust myself when I saw the muzzle of a deer just off to my right and below the railing of my stand. Now how did he get there?
I am saying he as I could see a couple of small branches growing out of the top of his head that as I watched became antlers about two points each. I am thinking a four pointer and I am waiting to see if this dude has a big boy's body. Of course the heart rate is starting to tick up a little and my hearing is about as keen as it can be. I ease my arm over and get the 30/30 in a position that if this little buck eases out a little more I will have a shot. Time passes, I don’t know how long as a minute can seem like ten or it may have just been a few long seconds but the deer puts his head down and his eyes go behind a tree and I take the chance and ease the rifle a little closer. I stop and the bucks head comes back up and he looks right in my direction. I freeze and wait, the buck drops his head but I keep staring and sure enough he snaps his head right back up still looking right at me I think. The next time he puts his head down I pulled the hammer back on the 30/30, big mistaken. The click sounded like someone opening a beer can in a movie theater and the little buck was high tailing it away from me with that tree between him and me.
Well, I went back to camp and mentioned the missed chance and that is all I have heard about since then."At least I saw a buck" I reply in my defense and I would show them the tracks but all the snow has melted and now I am hiding out at Maggie’s watching it rain and having a big piece of apple pie. Dave says he heard it is supposed to rain for the next three days then get cold. Usually by this time of the season the swamp has frozen over and my swamp stand is a good place to be. Not this year, I may be spending the next few afternoons on the porch, sitting in the rocking chair with a roof over my head and some hot cider in my hand. Deer camp in the rain is still a much better option then going home and working on some project here at Lake Iwanttobethere
Posted from Maggots I mean Maggie’s Resort in the heart of Lake Iwanttobethere deer hunting country
GOT THE HEATER on here in the den, not that it is cold just damp as outside the window rain is falling hard hitting the deck. I am home from the Hotel at least for now as Elmer and Vic are holding down the fort so to speak. Been a steady drizzle for the past two days and today it has rained hard a few times. A little while ago Chuck was out plowing the water down his drive and filling in some pot holes and a couple of ruts that were forming. The problem with the well was fixed and Chuck now wants to just be dry for awhile. I think he is just plowing the water for something to do. I was out for a little while as me and Duncan took a walk around the yard checking on things. I did have to push up the tarps over the wood pile as rain had made puddles on top.
One bright red apple hangs from the big tree, I know there were more of them left the last time I picked. I could not reach way up in the tree so I left them but it appears the combination of wind and rain has knocked them off the tree. I looked around the base of the tree and found no apples but did see several hoof prints in the soft ground. Looks like the deer have been here while I have been away at deer camp. Spent some time under the boat house inspecting the new roof which is keeping things nice and dry. Puddle Humper sits quietly waiting her next fishing season which is several months away. Duncan follows me around, water dripping off his coat but him being a lab he could care less if he is wet. I had traded in a fishing cap for wool hat with a brim to keep the falling rain off my neck and face when I first came out. I had checked the jumping bass on the wall thermometer and the red needle was at fifty, which for the middle of November would be very welcomed if it was not raining.
I walked down my drive doing an inspection as I went. Got the mail and then went over to Elmer’s box and got his out to. I tucked the mail under my coat to keep it dry and I walked up Elmer’s drive to his place. I used the key under the flower pot to let myself in and dropped his mail on the table and noticed he is already getting seed catalogs, a little early I was thinking as I pulled the door closed and put the key back under the pot. I cut across the yard to the short trail to my place and the rain was a little less although the drops seemed to be bigger coming off the trees. I had to wait a minute as Duncan found something interesting to sniff at and finally we were both back in the cabin. I used a towel to wipe my face off before wiping the water of Duncan’s back.
Not really supposed to be here at the cabin as the plan was to spend all my time up at the Hotel. I am thinking maybe I should go down to the Lodge for a few hours or maybe I will just go up to the Resort and hang out there. Vic had gone up yesterday to the Hotel to keep Elmer company as Marv is spending time with his daughter Tess deer hunting. Just Dock Burriem alone at the Resort and we are starting to keep an eye on him. Us old guys are starting to keep an eye out for each other not that we are asking but it just seems to be the right thing to do here at Lake Iwanttobethere
DECIDED TO STAY at the cabin today, had a few things that needed to get done that I had kind of forgotten about. Early this morning the rain finally let up and a strong wind from out of the South was starting to dry the deck off. Of course it did help that by noon it was almost sixty out and I was soon outside just working in a sweatshirt. I put the riding lawnmower away after blowing it off with the leaf blower, next in was the tiller as the ground was just to soaked to use either one of them. Last of the leaves did not get mulched and the garden didn’t get that last till in. Shovels and rakes were put away and the snow thrower was gassed up and rolled to the front of the garage. Apple picker was tucked back up into the rafters and Duncan’s water bowl was brought into the cabin.
Of course this was all stuff that was supposed to have been done before I went to deer camp but had forgotten to do. I think in the back of my mind I had this plan on actually shooting a deer and I would be back from camp and would have this all done before the snow fell. Well, no deer and no snow but it looks like the snow coming is a sure thing and the deer is pretty iffy. As I was putting stuff away I was thinking why I dislike this part of fall. In the spring you take stuff out of storage as you need it, shovels and rakes and clothes line poles. Lawn mowers and weed wackers and leaf blowers. Brooms and hoses and hoes, all you have to put away in the spring is a couple of snow shovels and the snow blower and maybe some let over deicer.
With nothing left to do I decided that maybe I would take a walk out the back trail and sit on a stump and deer hunt. Just so happen I had my hunting stuff in the back of the Tahoe. Now I am not going to admit that this was planned but sometimes things just have a way of working out. The wife distracted Duncan and I slipped out and took the trail down to the big stump and I made myself comfortable. Sixty out, some wind and sunshine and I figured with all my apples missing that I had just as good a chance of scoring a deer here as I did up at the Hotel. A couple of hours later I saw no deer and the sun was gone. Wind was still blowing, matter of fact it felt like it was getting stronger and the rain started to fall, yup, Just like up at the Hotel.
I got back to the cabin before it really started to rain hard, I changed clothes as the wife came in and told me she heard that Joe had died. First thing I did was look up on the wall where my picture of Lady my first black lab hung. Everyone around here knows who Joe was, he was a dog trainer who trained dog trainers. I had met Joe when I got my first lab looking for some pointers. I knew his son who told his dad I had gotten a dog and Joe told his son to send me and the dog on over. I spent some time watching and learning and with pointers from Joe, Lady became a pretty good gun dog. Joe had moved away and I had lost contact with him but hearing his name brought back a lot of memories of Lady and Joe’s pointers. That was over thirty-five years ago, funny how time fly’s even here at Lake Iwanttobethere
I DID NOT last long on the swamp stand this morning, I got cold. As I get older my circulation seems to be like an old boiler that has long out lived its warranty and is just one broken part away from being replaced. Some days my hands and feet are warm and no gloves are needed and other days my hands need to be held close to the pot belly stove and they take forever to warm back up. Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon out on the swamp stand, the wind was on my right shoulder and I had it pressed up against the trunk of the tree using it as a wind break. I had layers of clothes on and a couple of them chemical heaters tucked away at the small of my back. No sunshine, lots of wind and some snow fell. Not a lot of snow, just enough to cover the rails a little and rest on my shoulders and pants until a gust of wind would blow it off. It was a good day to sit as I was warm even though it was in the twenties.
The walk in was slow as I took my time, head up looking for any sign of deer. Hard going though as the ground was now froze at least the small pot holes with water were. I walked around the first couple of them but after I saw that they were froze I just walked right over them. No tracks in the little snow pellets on the ground. I was hoping for some tracking snow but I was looking for the big flakes that are almost warm when they fall, not the little pellets that are almost like sleet and sting if the wind catches them and hits you in the cheeks. My beard deflects most of them and that is why guys grow beards for deer hunting, at least that is what I tell the wife. Of course I have had my beard for about thirty years so that excuse may not fly anymore.
This morning I made the walk to the swamp stand and the wind was in my face, Not much of a wind but enough that it was cold as it blew across the snow covered trail. I climbed in the stand and soon had all my zippers zipped and my hat down over my ears. My chin was resting on my chest and my eyes were just slits that I looked out at the swamp as day light arrived. I knew I was in trouble when I got the first shiver up my back.
The sun rose quickly or so it seemed and with it the wind seem to get stronger. Still a few trees around my stand with some leaves hanging on and I watched as the leaves were spinning on the branches like pinwheels. I tried to hunker down inside my coat even deeper hoping to find a warm spot but I got another shiver instead. I watched the trail coming out of the swamp and there was no movement, the more I stared the more I saw nothing at all. No birds, no sound of crows and the family of squirrels were late. Decision time came, should I call it a morning and come back out later? Then a large gust of wind shook the stand and I made the call to head back to the warm embrace of the pot belly stove back at the Hotel.
One last look around and I climbed down. I headed back with the 30/30 resting in the crook of my arm. I could feel the cold metal right through my coat it seemed. I had the wind at my back and it was pushing me down the trail, it almost felt like it was telling me to get out of the woods. I came around the bend in the trail and let out a single curse word. Across the trail a tree had fallen, too big to climb over and long enough that I was going to get wet walking around it. But that was my first thought. I made by way around to the bottom of the tree and the edge of the swamp was froze, I didn’t press my luck but moved around the tree to the other side of the trail and back up on firm ground. Going to need the chain saw or better yet I think Scott is going to be up hunting tomorrow, young guys like cutting up trees in freezing weather here at Lake Iwanttobethere