As Good As It Gets

Had a hot date with a coupla 20 lb. King Salmons last weekend, river kings,  which were spawning in the Big Manistee River on the west side of the state.  These fish are about four years old and are returning up stream to spawn and die after having lived and matured in Lake Michigan.  They are silver and shiny (like Airstreams!) when they are growing but by the time they swim up river, they become dark speckled, splotched and blackish as their flesh rots away in the dying process.  The life cycle of salmon is gruesome.  Google it.

Lance, proprietor of Scout Trout Charters, just might be the best river man on the waters up there.  I say that, because he handled his boat and the waterway AND my meltdown with grace.  Yes, I had a full blown meltdown/breakdown.  These fish broke me.  They beat me up and  I cried like a little girl when I lost ANOTHER one of them after a good fight.  I tried not to let it happen.  I bit my lip.   I tried to think happy thoughts.  Then, flushed with humiliation, heat rising off my cheeks, the dam broke and the crocodile tears just kept rolling down.  Did I mention Leroy?  He fishes with Adam in the big Lake Michigan tournaments.  It was a “special” moment for him too.   I might be smiling in the pictures, but it was a rough day.

The guys tried to give me a “charity rod”–one where they had done the actual hooking and were willing to let me reel the fish in. You know, “just the tip, just for a minute, to see how it feels.”   I shot Lance “the look” and he backed right down.  Because no. Because hell no.   That’s way too lame for a grown woman who owns her own bass boat even if she is beet red, busted, and sniffling with snots.

The difference between pan fishing and salmon fishing is like the difference between a high school football player and an NFL player.  Salmon fishing is true sport fishing.  The rest is all practice.  The rods and reels are awkward and heavy.  River salmon fishing is a combination of catching a drift as one does with a fly rod but also casting using a bait caster.  For me, everything was on the wrong side of my body.  The reel was on top and needed to be cranked with the right hand–totally opposite of a spinning rod.  I lost more fish than I got.

In an act of conservation, we let all the ladies go to lay their eggs.  We kept three big males, each between 15 – 18 lbs.  That’s six sides which feeds 12 people and that’s as good as it gets on this trip.

I lied.  The best part was afterwards, when I climbed into the back seat of Lance’s truck, and saw this sticker.

Going Up?


Elevated English

Every now and again, using my honed and boned up arsenal of persuasion words, I ratchet it up notch just to get a little tingle up my leg.  It is a high to successfully use my brain in conjunction with my mouth.  I should do it more often.

Throw in a few practiced looks and the occasional wink, and watch how the receiver then ups his word game.  Keep it going and the unprepared will eventually falter (wherein all snickers must be retained).

Extrapolate, Excoriate, Exacerbate and Masticate…

Innocuous, Synergy, Visceral

Fluid or Fluctuate, not Change.  Change is a nickle word.

Heinous, Innocuous

Let’s be Pithy



The eff word is abused, misused, over used and bastardized.  Any back door Santa, adept with a word arsenal,  knows dalliance or osculation will do.  You get more with a little sugar.  Enjoy the ride.

 My Words of Mass Construction! 



No More Cuddles


A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, “I’m sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.”

The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead,” replied the vet.

“How can you be so sure?” she protested. “I mean you haven’t done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.”

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck.”

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman..

The duck’s owner, still in shock, took the bill. “$150!” she cried, “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”

The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it’s now $150.”

Who Needs Lasagna

pizza 7

Here’s the art of the “quickie” pizza pie!    Instead of hand tossing a crust (Martha Stewart needs to die), I cracked open a can of Pillsbury Pizza Crust Dough and pressed it into a greased 11×14 baking sheet.  Set the oven on 400.  Get ‘er good and hot.

Next I went to my cold bin of misfit food:  leftovers that had almost been forgotten.  There, I found a few mini wheels of salami, some diced pepperoni, BACON BITS, and a little sliced ham to create a meat-lover’s pizza.

Luckily I had a bag of shredded mozzarella cheese and a container of orphaned Eye-talian cheeses.  There was a basil plant on my window sill that needed a trim.  Grabbing a 14.5 oz. can of tomato sauce from the shelf and a pot to throw it in, I fired up a burner to reduce and thicken the sauce while the crust was baked naked for 8 minutes…just like the package says. Ok, I added the naked part.

To the simmering sauce I added some garlic, onion flakes, red pepper flakes, and 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning.  Stirred that till the oven buzzer rang.  Grabbed the half baked crust out of the oven and went into assembly mode.  Crust, sauce, cheeses, meats.  Badda Boom, Badda Bing.

Popped the whole thing back in the oven for 8 more minutes to melt the cheeses, heat the meat, and fill the house with bacony pizza goodness smells. The whole process was 16 minutes.  Who needs lasagna?  This pizza was gone in 60 seconds.

The very best part about making this pizza was when I looked out the kitchen window and saw my sweet hens digging up worms in the backyard!



The Lake Isle of Innisfree


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;

And live alone in the bee-loud glade. 

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.


I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

                                                                                  ~ W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939


I relate to this poet in that day or night, his mind is always on its way “home” to a quiet lake where he yearns to be.  Earlier today, Remi and I left civilization behind and braved the spring gusts to commune at  Walden’s Pond.  It is a four acre lake hidden on our farm.  There Remi dug holes until her white underbelly was camouflaged by dirt.  She splish-splashed her way along the frigid shore, hunting the plops that frogs make.

There I found a place to quiet my mind and marveled at the new life beginning to spring.  We found tiny buds sprouting on prickly bushes and delicate purple petals bursting past the marsh grasses up toward the sun.  Sadly, I found the remains of a yearling that did not survive the state record snowfall we suffered this year.  Even in death there is beauty in the woods  when considering that this deer, through flesh, blood and bone,  has given strength to other animals in the circle of life.

One day I will live the dream that is this poem, leaving behind schedules, conflicts, and scheduling conflicts! to live out my golden years in a bee-loud glade.  My canoe will rest on the bank and, under it, you’ll find my trusty fishing pole.

Here’s Your Sign

True Story:  Yesterday I was at my local Target Store buying a large bag of Purina dog food  and was in the checkout line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

Really…what did she think I had, an elephant?  So, since I was feeling especially mischievous, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again.  I added that I probably shouldn’t because I ended up in hospital last time, but I’d lost 10 pounds before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry.  The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again.

I have to mention here that

practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.

Horrified, she asked me if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off the curb to sniff an Irish Setter’s butt and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

I’m now banned from the Target Store.

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