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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shipping In and Shipping Out

Anyone with something to sell needs to have a way to package it for shipping. I used to always be on the lookout for shipping boxes for manuscripts and books. Now, I'm on the other end. I've been buying a lot of supplies for the new boat and have boxes stacked to the ceiling in the garage from incoming packages. Some I'll save because they are a reasonable size that I might need them for future shipping, even for present shipping. A lot of them I just have to burn and get rid of like the box that a part came in today. it's a long tube and it's too bad I have no use for it because it's in really good shape and very sturdy. I've seen some tubes that were pretty flimsy but this one is solid. Maybe I can save it after all, coat it with fiberglass, and make rod holders out of it! I love recycling.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Need A Float Tube

Float tubes are excellent fishing tools and gaining popularity for several reasons. They are cheaper than boats, more portable and can get into areas a regular boat cannot, while still allowing anglers the chance to get out into the water. No matter why you use them there are a few tips that will make your float tube fishing more successful.

Be Safe

Always wear a life jacket while in your tube. Some people do not feel like they are in as much danger as those in boats, but float tubes take you out into the water where you're more likely to drown if you end up in the water. Carry a repair kit with you. Tubes puncture easily and deflate. You can keep your trip fun and stay on the water if you have a patch kit on hand. Plan for emergencies. It is easy to relax and forget to watch how far from land you float. You can go further out if you have a plan for how to control your float tube, a set of paddles, or flippers are popular ways of manual propulsion for float tubes.


Chose the type of float tube to match the location you want to fish, and the type of fishing you do. Float tubes come in three main styles: pontoon, tube, and u-tube. Pontoons are more rigid and take more space in your vehicle. They are harder to carry from place to place as well so if you want to camp or hike to out of the way spots they are not your best choice. Pontoons are sturdier and less apt to puncture. They are better for going further off shore because they hold up to more pounding water. Most pontoons have chairs above the raft rather than down in the water making them popular for those who do not wish to get wet and prefer to be more visible on lakes with a lot of motor boating traffic. Standard tubes are the cheapest of the types of float tubes. They blow up and fold away in a very compact manner making them easy to store and light to carry. They are great for anglers who want to get to very obscure places in rugged country. Their lightweight makes them great for fast trips and near shore fishing. The u-tube is a slightly modified standard float tube. They have a floatation tube on three sides with an open front that is easier for older anglers or those with mobility problems to get in and out of. They are light weight and fold up small like standard float tubes.


Wear hip waders that anglers normally wear when standing in rivers and streams to fish. You will sit low in the water in most float tubes and get very wet. Waders keep you warmer and drier than just shorts or pants. Be careful with your gear and keep all fish hooks secure to avoid puncturing your float tube accidentally.

I really think float tubes are cool. With the way things are going with boat repair and spring prep, I may end up having to buy a float tube just to get in the water at all this year.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Young and Old Skin

When we got home, I had to help my husband. He had a painful blackhead in the middle of his back that he couldn't reach. Even at our age, skin needs care that people sometimes mistake for only a teenage ailment. It isn't hard to understand how those things happen, even at older ages. Skin is a porous material and dirt and infections get in easy enough. The trick is to take the appropriate care so they don't take over. Blackheads are simply a temporary failure to drain the bad stuff out of the skin. The reason younger people tend to have such a large outbreak is that their skin is in such transition and so much is going on with their bodies. No matter why they happen, the medications available help get rid of the outbreaks, prevent scaring, and keep your skin healthy.


We took a trip up to drop the boat off for bottom paint yesterday and at the same time, we stopped on the way back at the marina. We hadn't been there since it was snowy and icy. Here's a video of it all green and "liquid" in the right places. LOL

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Gift of Flowers

There are many occasions coming up that 1800flowers can make easier on anyone needed a beautiful gift. Flowers are a great way to express your love on Mother's Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries and many other special days. The great thing about flowers from 1800flowers is that you can get such a huge variety of floral gifts. Some include a keepsake, some include delicious treats, others have elegant settings. All of them are a great way to ensure your gift will be cherished.

Springtime is the perfect time to send flowery gifts to the people you love. Nothing brings the spirit of springtime into their home like a gorgeous bouquet of tulips.

1800flowers has a huge assortment of springtime arrangements to brighten any day. You don't even need an excuse, or a special day to give someone a gift that will make them smile, or make your own day brighter with a lovely daisies, roses, or lilies. I love giving myself a little pick-me-up with some "springtime inspiration" like this one:

There's no end to the beauty flowers bring into a home. Their fragrance soothes the senses, their beauty enlivens the soul, and the brilliant colors brings cheer to a room.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crab Fishing in Louisiana

Louisiana is home to excellent crab fishing, and many local dishes contain the delightful shellfish. You will find crab in both inland and shallow water where you can cast pots by hand, or in the deep bays where you must release and retrieve boats off a boat.
Recreational anglers may have up to 10 pots. You must apply for a recreational saltwater fishing license along with your basic license, and each pot used requires its own license. You can get your licenses at the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.


All crab pots must have a stainless steel tag attached to them for identification purposes. Do not set crab pots in any areas where boats navigate.


Crab pots, trawls, nets trotline, or handheld lines are legal.

Types of Crab

The two most common type of crab in Louisiana are blue crab and stone crab. Blue crabs exist in the brackish inland water. Stone crabs live in the bays and deeper waters.


Broken down, lost, or discarded crab pots littering the waterways are a big problem. They cause ecological problems for organisms living in the water and block navigation in channels and shallow water.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Springy Decisions

In case you haven't figured it out in your own neighborhood just yet, spring in Illinois has definitely sprung. Even though the weather is still unpredictable it remains largely warm and comfortable. It is at these times that my thoughts turn to all things outdoors--both here and on the water. For home I have a constant running thread of work to develop beautiful outdoor d├ęcor in a rural setting. Everything from ponds to pathways are on my list of things to do. Of course, there is my garden. I have my tomatoes and peppers started inside now, and they're doing well. I have to get the spot tilled where I want my permanent summer garden to be, but I can't decide where that will be this year so I am driving my husband nuts. Every weekend he sits ready to jump on the tractor with the tiller attached (a new toy) and waits for me to tell him where. And every weekend I sort of shrug and say "I can't decide." I think pretty soon he's going to decide for me.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Low Down on Bladex

Bladex was a commercially used weed control herbicide. DuPont, in cooperation with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) phased out the use of Bladex on cropland in gradual stages, completed in 2002. Bladex was most effective for weed control on peas, vetch, lentils, onions, potatoes, sweet corn, chickpeas, and field beans.


Bladex was designed as a post-emergent herbicide to kill weeds after they appear. Farmers spread it across fallow fields that developed weeds during a long layover in the winter, or on growing fields developing a weed problem. It was extremely effective for broadleaf weeds and grasses, even those that were difficult to destroy such as black nightshade and nettles.

Application Problems

One of the biggest drawbacks to Bladex as a herbicide is that it required almost perfect soil conditions. It was ineffective in either sandy or clay soil. In sandy or clay soil some crop damage, although temporary, could occur.

User Safety

Although Bladex is not toxic when used in the recommended fashion, use care when applying the chemical. Always wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect the skin from irritation and possible rashes. Bladex is poisonous when absorbed through the skin. Wash skin immediately upon contact. Wear goggles and dust mask when using this or any chemical herbicide. Bladex was not a known carcinogen. As with any chemical, notify the poison control center if anyone swallows the product. Rinse immediately upon contact from eyes.


Bladex had little to no interaction with crops and immediate planting after application caused no problems. Do not apply where run-off into streams, rivers, or other ground water sources exist. While Bladex is not dangerous to crops, double applications do kill crop plants. Do not overlap applications.


Store in a cool, dry place. Keep Bladex in its original container and keep away from children, pets, or livestock. Transportation vehicles must have a hazardous chemical warning sign posted. Seal all containers tight. Do not store with other chemicals, or seeds, and keep out of direct sunlight. Avoid storing where frost occurs.

Spills and Disposal

Do not flush spills into drains. Soak up with lime. Dispose of chemical in an airtight drum buried in accordance with the FDA.

Prepared for the Future

I used to work for a life insurance company, and even though that was more than 25 years ago, even back then I would get a little confused over some of the terms. It is a very complicated business. Two of the most important terms to understand are term life and whole life. Those are also the two most often confused, or misunderstood terms. With term life insurance there is a pre-determined end to the policy. It is good for the number of years designated. A 10-year term policy ends 10 years after the start of the policy. These are very good, usually much cheaper premium policies for young people who have new families and lots of responsibility. For instance, a 20 year term might be designed to pay for the house, school and college costs for young children, and living expenses for a surviving spouse if the main income spouse passes in that time period. After 20 years the children would be grown, and out of school, the mortgage paid off, or close to it, and living expenses much less. That makes term policies a very interesting and financially smart investment.

Fishing for Steelhead in the Great Pacific Northwest

Every year the fish return to the various streams to spawn and give anglers the thrill of catching trophy-sized sports fish. From the Snake River to the Lower Columbia and many smaller rivers that lace through the state, trolling the beautiful waters is a relaxing way to experience the thrill of the catch.


Anglers have a good chance of catching steelhead in all of the rivers in Washington. Some rivers are better than others are though, and many have a big reputation for larger than average steelheads. The Cowlitz River, and Tokul Creek located on the Snoqualmie River become quite crowded during steelhead seasons because those areas have a reputation for record sized fish.


Guides are a great help, especially when fishing unknown waters. They know the best places to find steelhead, what works and what doesn't for attracting the fish, and you won't waste time finding camp, setting up, or have to worry about finding your way out of the wilderness alone. There are guides at all of the river locations in Washington.


Anyone 15 or older must have a fishing license in Washington state for ordinary fishing. However, everyone, even children under 15 must complete their own "catch record card" for steelhead, and some other regulated fish. Your catch record card will arrive with your license. You must return it no later than April 30, even if you do not fish, or did not catch fish during the season. In addition, if you lose your catch record card you must report it stolen to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Rules and limits on steelhead and other fish in the Washington waters change frequently. Consult the DFW (Department of Fish and Wildlife) before each outing for the latest information on the location you want to fish.

Trolling From a Boat

Trolling is a slow moving method of traveling bait through the water onboard a boat. Most boats employ special motors specifically for that purpose as they move at a much slower pace than the average running motor of the boat.

Manual Trolling Techniques

Trolling techniques differ when on shore. On a boat a motor does the work for you, but if you do not have a trolling motor, or you are fly-fishing from the shore you can still employ trolling methods manually. Cast the line and wait for it to get to the bottom of the river. Slowly reel the line in, preferably at a speed slower than the river's current. This technique becomes more important in the many areas of Washington rivers inaccessible by boat.

Jobs on the Go

Boy it's cold here again. Overnight the temperatures dropped at least 20 degrees. I know it's typical spring, but for someone who is looking forward to warm weather fun in a few weeks, it's aggravating. Even with all that and looking at other locations it might be nice to live, there aren't any other areas that have no problems. There's always something. If we were to move to the east coast hubby would have to find a different job. I saw some places in Philly that would be beautiful. I'm not sure any warmer though. I think the winters there are about the same as here. For a job, at least there is the Internet to help out. Using a Philadelphia job search to find what is available in the area is a lot easier than driving around looking for help wanted signs.

We have even considered a houseboat and moving up or down the river with the change of seasons. North in the summers, and south in the winters. Nice, but try and find steady employment that way. Not happening. I could always do my job anywhere, but I don't make enough to support us, even frugally, and living on a houseboat isn't really all that frugal.