Introducing “Tuesday’s Top Ten!” echo, echo, echo. I’m going to give this a try for a couple of weeks and see how it goes. The top ten could be any number of things…top ten quilting tips, top ten vegetables and fruits you should grow, top ten deer recipes, top ten ways to potty train…it could go on and on…so let’s get started.
If you are a guy I’d love for you to read this post but I just heard there are some great deals over at The BassPro Shop. Several pages of clearance items. AND, the new 2011 Catalog is out! So, skip on over and check out their website. Don’t forget to come back another day and check out my hubby’s grilling magic!
Ladies, we’re friends right? Now that it’s just us, I know I can trust you to keep these tips and tricks in your pocket, right? Shake your head yes. Very good. You have to pinky promise, you won’t share or tell guys about these Top 10 Hunting Tips. Now that we’ve gotten that taken care of we are all sister for life. Let’s get down to work….
In our family, to be taken seriously as a female hunter you have to be able to do two things. 1. Clock as many hours in as the guys. 2. Shoot and hit. The shooting takes practice and patience but you will get it. Now, why is the time clock such a problem? Well, A. We don’t like the cold. B. We get bored easily. C. We can’t hold our pee.
So for my first “Tuesday’s Top Ten,” series, I’m going to share some top secret hunting tips for us girls….some you might be familiar with, others you might think are crazy…either way I hope you can take something from the list and prove to the boys that girls rock!! The secret to this is making sure they don’t find out about your tips & tricks. What they don’t know won’t hurt them and in the process you’ll earn their respect while havin’ a little fun.
1. Invest in hand, foot and body warmers.
1a. Send your hubby to McDonald’s Playland with the kids for ice cream or out to the barn while you get ready.
1b. To keep the menfolk from cacklin’ about how you couldn’t stay out there because it was too cold (and to keep you out there)….the first step is to grab one of your microwaveable warming pouches used for keeping food warm at potlucks. Warm it up as warm as your microwave allows. Stuff it nonchalantly into your hand muff warmer thingy. Cute, huh?
2. I hate to suggest spending money but I highly recommend these shirts and pants called Cuddle Buddies. Great for keeping warm in a drafty, 120 year old home and perfect for your first layer of hunting clothing…double layers of long-underwear will work too.
3. Layer, layer, layer, baby! Start with a turtle neck (I think they still make them) then the Cuddle Buddies followed by long-underwear, fleece lounge pants, overalls**, followed by a hooded sweatshirt – this is your back up warmth pouch, winter coat***, orange sweatshirt with hood. Before zipping your coat tie on the hand muff, see #7, then cover the muff with coat. The coat will help preserve the heat.
4. Toe Warmers!! This is a pretty common one. I like to use three pairs at a time. Used correctly and with ample coverage your toes will be nice and toasty for hours. First, begin with a regular pair of boot socks. Remove the adhesive from the bottoms and stick them to the bottom of your feet. Next, put on a good pair of insulated outdoor socks – the guys won’t have a clue you’ve got extra warmth going on. Next, prepare your boots. Take the second pair of toe warmers and adhere them inside, on the top of your boot, above your toes. Finally, place the third pair on the bottom as intended. Depending on your warmth level you could leave out the first pair. It just depends on how well your toes handle the cold. Mine do not fair well…thus, the three pairs of warmers.
5. Body Ache Warmers – I can think of the brand name but they advertise there products for relieving pain. You can adhere the patch right to your Cuddle Buddies, near your lower back. This will also help to keep you calm and relaxed while waiting for your harvest.
6. Your Head – Another area that cries, “let’s go in, please, please!!” Begin with a fleece headband/ear cover. Use a hand warmer and place it in the top of a regular stocking cap. Then cover with your blaze orange stocking hat. If you get too warm you can always take the first one off.
7. Your neck – For your neck we will use a multi-use tool. Find some scrap fabric or go to the clearance area of your local fabric store. You’ll only need 1/4 of a yard. Fold the fabric in half and cut 5 inches wide. If you sew, sew each side, reinforce the bottom which should still be a fold, leave the top open. Measure 20 inches and cut the remaining off of the open end. If you do not sew, have no fear. You can use a hot glue gun or purchase the no-sew products from Walmart, Target or sewing store. Find yourself about 5-6 cups of corn or enough to fill your sack. Fold the open ends in and sew or glue shut. Reinforce with a second stitch. Now you have your own neck warmer. Just microwave for 30 sec. until you find your desired temp. Try to preserve the heat by placing the warmer under your hooded sweatshirt, use your bibs to keep it in place and then coat.
**Side note: Use 1/2 yd. and make two. On your second one place small droplets of lavender oil or a citrus oil to help relax or revitalized your body.
8. Your fingers – for me this is the worst part. Once my finger was so cold I couldn’t even tell if I had it on the trigger or not. First, find a pair of those cheap, thin gloves the sell for $1 at Walmart. Put those on along with a hand warmer in the palm of your hand. If you are a Droid user, you will want to cut a very small hole in the pointer finger. (If your a lefty then cut the whole in the right mitten) If you do not do this you can forget about #9 because the phones respond to body heat rather than pressure. The mittens which open up to gloves with the finger tips cut-off are next. Place a pair of warmers on the inside of the mittens as far to the top as possible. Then another on the other side of the mitten. part to keep the top of your hands/fingers warm. a cloth pair of gloves then put the mitten/gloves on top. Don’t forget that your food pack is also there to help keep your hands warm.
9. Boredom – If you have one, take your smart phone along. If not, find something similar that you can silence. I have learned so much about my Droid X just from sitting out in the bales. And, have gotten some amazing photos. Even a phone that is textable can keep you entertained. My pesky good-hearted, brother-in-law likes to take goofy pics of himself and send them to us all. And, don’t worry, as long as you remember to keep scanning the area you won’t miss any deer.
10. Buy some depends. Just remember to stash a plastic sack in the bathroom before you leave and some newspapers in the garage next to the garbage can. Run right in claiming you have to pee and remove your business, place in the sack put inside your hooded sweatshirt and head for the garage where you will drop it into the garbage can.
And, presto you just had yourself a relaxing time with God and nature without kids screaming, fighting or asking you to do 10 different things at once. It helps you re-center and re-focus.
If you have any ideas for future Top Ten’s, by all means share!
Have a great day!!
P.S. I’m joking about number 10 but I had you going didn’t I?? Come on, admit it, you were falling for it and thought I was crazy. Right? Love it! Gotcha!
P.S.S You might be a tiny bit correct about the being crazy part…but just a bit!
Smiles and hugs to you all!
Remember to live each day as though it’s your last and take not for granted what you’ve been given. Let those positives flush free your desires for things you have not been given, or this will only create negativity from within.
Tonight at 5:26pm, deer hunting came to end until next fall. We have 5 different weekends from mid-November until mid-January. Before first season I said, “This is going to be my year!” And, it probably would have been if I didn’t have what my pesky, goodhearted, brother-in-law calls “deer fever.”
My first mistake really is out of my control. BUT I have and will continue to practice. I stink…I mean really stink at estimating distances. I thought my target was at approx. 170 yards. Knowing that my firearm was shooting a little lower than where it was sited in, I took my shot a tad bit higher. After it was over we took the range finder out and determined the target was actually closer to 150 which would have been right on had I not added that “tad bit.” First lesson re-learned, always carry your range finder!!
On my next attempt things were really slow and there was nothing in sight. I continued to check in between the bales but was keeping from standing up completely. I had reached the point of peeing through my long-underwear, jeans and camo, insulated, Cabela’s bibs. No, thanks. I got up to leave the blind and there he was. Right on the other side of the main bale. Urgh! He was spooked and jumped over the fence to the neighbors ground. That gave me the motivation to stay. Just 10 more min. I could do it!! I think I can, I think I can. Well, I couldn’t and got up to leave. As I began walking away I realized the buck had jumped the fence and laid down just on the other side. URGH!!
At my third opportunity was a romantic date night in the blind…romantic for us. We had a babysitter and went hunting together. I was trying not to put a damper on the mood but I was irritated with myself after prior attempts. With that said, I had really gotten myself pumped up for this go around…maybe too much. I wanted to get one so bad that I stirred up every ounce of anxiety in my body. Although it was controlled as we patiently waited for supper to appear, my nerves went out of control when my prey came into sight. My biggest fear was spooking the deer before I was able to get myself into a steady position. Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the blind and it’s not easy maneuvering two people in a small space with two firearms. I got over to the other side with my hubby instructing me to brace my body against the corn bale before I took the shot. As any good wife would do, I didn’t listen. The barrel was making circles and I missed all three shots. Ugh! Hence, “deer fever”.
So my “deer fever” has continued over the last two months and sadly tonight was my last chance. In order to get a deer, you have to see a deer. And, I did not.
Squirrel and Turkey seasons are next! And, next fall is another season. The best part is my dearest hubby has taken on a lot of the cooking and cleaning so that I can have time to hunt.
So even though I didn’t get a deer, I have a wonderful dear!
**Warning: this post contains information pertaining to hunting which we depend on for food and survival. If this is offensive then please check out the ‘In the Farmhouse’ page and category. I respect your opinion and I ask that you respect mine. I can not explain our desire to hunt any better than a fellow blogger, The Country Man’s Wife, so I direct you to her site. Specifically, her response to the first comment following the post “Tree Stand Celebration.” (she also has a cute post today about her babies)**
On to my post….Got Meat?
Well, we almost did not have any meat until last night. We’ve been running low on our deer & beef and only remaining ground meat are specialties like breakfast sausage. Great for breakfast, not my favorite in spaghetti. Store bought meat contains too many artificial ingredients and ‘what ifs’ in my mind. My favorite butcher is an inconvenient 35 miles away. So I’d really prefer that someone harvest a deer.
Bow season/harvest in Illinois begins Oct. 1st. Since that day we haven’t seen one deer on our property. This is the longest dry spell in our family’s history. Now there are several theories floating around but just when you think you have the species figured out they do something else. Needless to say my hubby had been in the dumps as of late. So I kicked him out to the great prairie. Ok, he called our neighboring farmer and asked if he could hunt out on his property. Just before the sun set he saw two deer within shooting range. He shot at one that was only 15 yards away and missed. His second shot at about 40 yards was a hit. Hmmm?
Through the dark, wet night with thunder rumbling from above and lightening streaking across the sky, out he & my brother-in-law went to locate his harvest. The blood trail was strong at first and then trailed off, probably due to oncoming rain. Finally, they found the buck.
Certainly not a trophy buck, but we don’t hunt for trophies, we hunt for survival.
I was jumping up and down, “We have meat, we have meat, we have meat!” No more sausage spaghetti, hurray! Not really, but I sure was relieved.
So now I can answer my question, “Got meat?” Yes we do!! My next post is going to be another recipe. One which makes a tantalizing meal that easily double as an crowd pleasing appetizer. Following that post, a review of another fellow blogger who has inspired me with a challenge.
‘Til next time!
I keep saying this but here it is again…last week was one of the busiest weeks we’ve had this year. We finished the renovation to the downstairs bedroom. Pickle has ‘unofficially’ moved in and Willis has decided he’d rather stay & share a room with Pudder. Until his 6 then he’ll move. We hosted Pickle’s Cub Scout Pack cookout/campout, we attended the dedication of the garden Memorial built for my mom’s boyfriend who was killed on Christmas day and my sister-in-law, my new nephew and I attended a bridal shower.
For the most part I’ll be covering the Cub Scout Pack Cookout/Campout, so pay attention!! At times it was pure craziness! It was sooo much fun though!! Overall I think everyone had a great time. My personal favorite event was The Treasure Hunt Maze. We had agreed to host the cookout back in March or April. In anticipation for the event we allowed a portion of our ground to grow into mostly foxtail. As it grew we mowed a maze into the grass. I would sometimes get lost but always find my way home again. Seriously. To add an extra ‘bling, bling’ to the maze and to help our Wolf Den accomplish an achievement we added the treasure hunt element. The scouts and their siblings were divided into groups of 3-4.
***We pause this program to add a SIDE NOTE: One of the greatest part of our Pack is how family oriented we are as we organize things to include all of the siblings of each scout. Back to our regular programming….***
At the beginning of the maze there was a sign with a question & three answers. Each answer took the group a different direction…if the the question was answered correctly they found the next sign. At each sign they were also rewarded with a prize. The last prize was really brilliant on my part. **Pat, pat** I purchased glow sticks & bracelets. We knew where they were once night fell. Of course, they spent most of the time in the maze.
We also did some pumpkin decorating, played a little flag football and of course, S’mores and campfire songs!! I have LOTS of favorites in this post…I was a die-hard 4-H Camper growing up. I even volunteered as a part-time counselor and later took a position as a lifeguard & full-time counselor. My absolute FAVORITE song is ‘The Skitters & the Bedbugs.’ I was having some senior moments and could not remember all of the words. I jumped on the wonderful Google search engine and found that there were many, many, many versions to the song. I never did find the version I learned – but something fairly close. This morning as he was getting ready, Pickle had found the version I printed out & edited. So as he got dressed, ate his breakfast, put on his shoes, I listened to him singing the song. All of a sudden I had an out of body experience & I remembered more of the version I was taught!! I’m so excited! So I’m going to share a mixed up version of it with you! You should feel very, very special.
Tomorrow’s post will be about one of the skits several of the parents performed. It was hilarious! I might even include a couple more campfire songs…stay tuned!
Here is the song…enjoy!
I woke up Sunday morning and looked there upon the wall, the Skeeters & the bedbugs were playing a game of ball.
The score was 19-20, the skeeters were ahead, the bedbugs hit a homerun & knocked me out of bed!
Chorus: Singing, eenie-meenie, minie, mynie moe, catch a bedbug, bedbug, by his toe & if he hollers, hollers, hollers, let him go, singing eany-meany, minie, moe!
***This is where I forget the next verse…something about “I see London, I see France, someone has lace on their ___________ I don’t think they say underpants but can’t remember.*** Here is the verse I found online…
I went downstairs to breakfast, I ordered ham & eggs, I ate so many eggs, the ham rolled down my legs!
My mother was a German, my father was a spy & me the little taddle tail I told the FBI!!
We didn’t feel the last verse was appropriate so we DID NOT use it but here it is…
I fell into the sewer, and that is where I’ll die, they didn’t call it murder they called it SEWER-CIDE!!
Happy camping!! Wow, I think I’ve had too much coffee this mornin’!
P.S. For those of you who are keeping track, there have not been any additional deer harvested. :0( I did get a lottery either-sex shotgun tag!! Woohoo!
The weather has turned cool, the leaves are changing into beautiful colors, the combines are spinning their wheels and spiders are plentiful. (Ugh!) I realize the first official day of fall came & passed a couple of weeks ago but until today I just wasn’t ready or in the mood. I LOVE the fall but it reminds me that winter comes next.
We took a drive up to my hubby’s grandma’s farm which is currently getting a face-lift. As we drove I admired the new colors and a funny story from last year came to mind. Willis & I were discussing the change of summer to fall. I told him that there were four seasons and proceeded to list off Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Immediately *with a capital E! LOL!* he exclaimed “No, no, no, Mama! You forgot deer season!!!” It was another one of those moments when I thought my tongue really would fall off from biting it so hard. I tried my best not to giggle and said that he was correct there is a deer season. I couldn’t resist emailing his teacher and sharing the story. Apparently, I had again forgotten another season. The class had also been discussing the change in seasons and when they listed our four traditional seasons he insisted they were wrong and proceeded to correct the teacher by saying…
“No, no, no!! You forgot deer season & combine season!!” So in our home we celebrate six seasons during the year! You can’t fault him for being wrong. The eyes of a child sure can simplify life and put things in perspective.
Speaking of deer season…it started at sun-up on Friday morning. At 7:15am, my brother harvested his first doe of this year’s ‘Deer season.’ He closed the day by harvesting a button buck. I called him yesterday evening and just moments before he had two walk under his stand. Don’t worry, I asked that he leave a few for the rest of us!
Have a great sunny, fun week!!
I LOVE Kenny Chesney’s new song “The Boys of Fall.” It reminds me of times gone by at high school football games and now Pickle’s first year of JFL. Football is one of many signatures of fall. The title of Kenny’s song reminds me of other boys of fall. Last year, I had a lovely time taking some of my most favorite & special pictures of ‘my boys of fall.’ I’ll include one of each…
And, it doesn’t stop there…Bow Season starts in 5 days & we’ve been watching for some other boys of fall lurking around the Magic FarmHouse. As luck would have it we’ve been able to spot several of these ‘boys,’ as they chow on our beans & corn. Which is nice to watch, however, not so good for our feed next year. Do you know what kind of ‘boys’ I’m talking about yet? Let’s see…
He’s not my favorite one or the biggest but I’d defenetly settle for him as my first kill. This year will be my second or third time hunting deer. Once Willis & Pudder lit up our lives, I decided to stay out of the stand and just be mama in the camper. This year has been an epiphany for Willis who is suddenly addicted to going hunting and staying in our ‘sky cabin.’ Prior to this year he was too afraid to crawl up the 14 foot ladder – he’s been there once last month and wants to go back just as soon as possible.
And, this will hopefully be Pickle’s first year hunting. For his birthday & early Christmas present he received his first 20 gauge. Between my work load and school volunteer responsibilities, football, Cub Scouts, housework, the house renovation and outside work, I’ve had a shortage of time to get both of us enrolled into a hunter safety course. Ok, simply put, I’ve not stop to take the time. In my defense it’s been hard to schedule around football practice & games.
***Side note: How do some of these women have time to maintain successful blogs, home school, be business women and mamas all at the same time?***
Anyway, this time I may have blew it & we might not make our hunter safety coursework. Tomorrow, I hope to know for sure. Pickle has decided he’ll miss his last game to go through the course this coming Sat. From what I understand the state doesn’t require the class but it’s always been my rule that the boys complete hunter safety prior to hunting. And, I’m not budging on the rule.
So there you have it….all of **MY** Boys of Fall!!
If you’ve read the recent raccoons posts (With A Hotdog Stick, A Huntin’ I Will Go, The Saga Continues – There Are Hardly Words, Raccoon Update…), you know that we’ve recently been having raccoon problems.
Last weekend we attended our NWTF’s (National Wild Turkey Federation’s JAKES Day. (JAKES stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) The kids get to do all kinds of activities when assist them learning about hunting and fishing (I’ll have another post on that topic later). One of the ‘stations’ is discussing poaching and safety with a Conservation Officer. When Q&A time came around, I asked what our options might be for getting rid of these raccoons (who our living under our neighbors deck). He said remove the food source?! I tend to dislike using this particular slang word but “Really??”
Con #1: Cutting down our 5 Mulberry Trees would mean no more Mulberry Wine. Which isn’t good because my hubby has become famous for his wines. One of the most popular is the Mulberry.
Con#2: Three of the trees provide shade for the pasture.
Con #3: Two of the trees are the older two boys’ favorite climbing trees.
Con #4: The ducks love to eat the mulberries, especially when they are swimming in their pool which is located under one of the trees.
Pro #1: Fortunately, we collected our berries when they first came on back in early June. Part of the problem is that it was a fantastic crop this year. Finally, almost two months later, the berries are beginning to thin out – hopefully, eliminating part of their food source.
Pro #2: We later found out that if the ‘coons are that much of a problem our county allows us to apply for a nuisance permit….I’ll have to remember that for next year.
Pro #3: The kids keep their tree and shade for the pasture. ;0)
Glad we’ve got that all figured out now! Stay tuned for more wine making posts! (our blueberries came in yesterday)