The weeds have been temporarily tamed, bird and deer feeders are filled, and a sense of normality has returned, at least for the time being.
Kay and I began the DASH ( Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Monday. This diet, named the No. 1 diet by US News and World Report the last 4 years was advised by my doctor to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. We’re going one step further using the DASH weight loss diet, an hope to drop a few pounds as well as lower the two metrics mentioned above; thus far, I’ve been medicine free for the last couple of years, and this should greatly facility this trend. Starting the diet proved to be difficult as I fished with long time fishing buddies, Ed and John. This was my first time to fish in 2014. We fished the reach from Lower Rim Shoals to above Ranchette Access. We began fishing near the power lines, drifting downstream, and I was into fish immediately, catching the first 3 for the day. And then John struck, with a large 18+ inch brown. I caught a couple more fish, as did John. Ed and I switched off, as I was suffering from an overbearing headache that began early morning. Ed and John proceeded to catch fish—lots of fish—the rest of the day, with several browns being brought to the net. Kay spent part of the day in Mountain Home for her annual physical. We both are relatively healthy, particularly for our ages, and we thank the good Lord for that. With warm temperatures and the lake at 83°, we uncovered the pontoon and stowed the cover for the next few weeks, enjoying a couple of hours of floating in Lake Norfork.
Kay visited Dr. Lane in Calico Rock on Tuesday morning for a dental appointment; she has had a sensitive tooth for several months. He applied a topical treatment, and she should be in good shape in a few days. Lake Norfork beckoned us again in Tuesday afternoon, and we invited John and Sandy, but John had hurt his back a few days ago, and they could not make it. The water was deliciously refreshing. Kay received a surprise call from Lynn Charlesworth, one of our neighbors in the RGV. Lynn and Clint live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and we’ve known them for 3 years now. They are an integral part of Circle 3, and lead and assist with a lot of our activities—they are good folks! Kay and Lynn caught up on all of the “goings on” of folks who enjoy our daily 4 PM palapa time in the Valley.
Kay again visited the medical clinic on Wednesday morning for a blood workup, and stayed in town for a haircut. The morning found me fishing the Norfork River for the first time in over 9 months. After walking in and fishing briefly near the private access, I connected with neighbor, John Igleheart. Fish were “midging” at Mill Dam Eddy, but hard to catch, with only 4 bing taken. John and I opted to walk upstream to the riffle above the island. Fish were sipping on the surface of the tailout, and we both caught lots of fish. We enjoyed a phone conversation with Regi and Jim Miles of Fredricton, New Brunswick Wednesday evening before heading off the the lake. Regi and Jim are our next door neighbors for 4 months at Bentsen Palm Village RV Park in the Rio Grande Valley. Our Canadian friends mean so much to us, and it’s quite nice to communicate with them in the summer. John accompanied us to the lake, and we all enjoyed the refreshing water and conversation.
John Igleheart and I fished again Thursday. Fog hung over the river for an extending period of time this morning. It was not a repeat of yesterday, but we both caught fish, mine mostly using dry flies. Kay and I hit golf balls in the late afternoon, and she is hitting the ball remarkably well, and spending quite a bit of time working on pitching and chipping—now, she’ll beat me even worse.
About mid-morning Friday, the doorbell rang, and Ridge came up the stairs hollering for DD and KK. We had not expected them until Friday evening, but welcomed the early arrival. We sat on the patio while Ridge played, and spotted a rare Baltimore Oriole near the bird feeding station. This was our second “rare” bird to visit Dunnhill this week, including the immature male Summer Tanager earlier. After a brief visit, his dad drove up the hill to meet up with his dad from Illinois and some friends for White River boat fishing. Ridge, Karyn, Kay, and I suited up and drove to Lake Norfork for some great time floating and mostly splashing in the refreshing water. Ridge was reluctant to come into the water, but once in, he splashed and kicked for about an hour straight. He especially liked being towed under the anchored pontoon boat by his KK. We returned to the house for the rest of the afternoon, until he and Karyn left to visit with Ridge’s other grandfather. They returned about 9 PM and we all retired for the evening.
Up early Saturday morning, Kay, Karyn, and Ridge were off to Mountain Home for the Farmer’s Market and other shopping while I prepared for a few hours’ fly fishing with Karyn. Upon their return, Karyn and I donned wading gear and walked in at Mill Dam Eddy. A slight flog hung over the water resulting in few hatches and fish not rising. These conditions persisted most of the morning. We waded upstream along the left descending bank of the island, and fished the riffle below the plunge pool along the island with no success. Wading further upstream, we fished the riffle formed by the plunge pool, and Karyn succeeded in a half dozen hook-ups and long distance releases, including a couple really nice browns. Further upstream, in the tailout of the riffle above the island, fish were occasionally rising, but wouldn’t take the Pink Cockleburr. We waded back downstream and fished the plunge pool again, with limited success. Ridge took a 3-hour nap, awaking mid-afternoon full of energy among 3 tired adults! We lounged around the house, staying out of the oppressing heat. Karyn made monkey bread for the guys (her hubby, his father, and her hubby’s friends) up the hill, we had dinner, and she and Ridge drove off to visit them for a short while. We received shocking news late in the evening from Sandy who texted that KTLO reported the death of Dennis Charbonneau as a result of a motorcycle accident—he hit a deer—on Push Mountain Road. Dennis and his wife, Debbie, were our builders, and the most ethical, honest contractor with whom I have ever dealt (40+ years of construction)! Dennis was 66, and an overall great guy. His accident and death really shook us to the bone and we went to bed very unsettled by this tragedy.
After a restless night, we were up early Sunday; Ridge slept in. This proved to be a busy day for us. We said goodbye to Karyn and Ridge, and were off to church. Back home for a brief breakfast, we drove to central Arkansas for my niece’s wedding. She raised an outstanding son and Down-syndrome daughter as a single parent, making the necessary relationship sacrifices along the way. As the younger of the two reached adulthood, she began dating again and met the love of her life—well deserved! We arrive back home late afternoon, and Kay took food to Debbie Charbonneau and I tidied up the house before hitting the sack just before dark. Maybe when the house sells, we’ll have a normal week!