Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is so much to be thankful for this year. We have been in our house for just over a year, our family is healthy, we have jobs and food on the table, just to name a few. I could go on and on. Every November a few of us in our area who are on facebook post one thing each day that we are thankful for up through Thanksgiving. It is great to actually sit down and think of the things small and large that we are thankful for each day. I am seriously thinking about continuing this throughout the year and see if I can do it.

On the venison updates... we are doing well. Scott got a small buck (fork wanna be) during bow season, then over the course of the first 5 days of gun season we have either shot or were given 7 other deer. This includes a nice 10 point buck that Scott got yesterday that broke him out of his gun season slump. So yes, that is a grand total of 8 deer hanging in our barn. We are going to be doing a ton of butchering over the winter. There are still 4 days of the season and Scott has 4 doe tags left, so we'll see what he comes home with. This year is different from the others where our crew is almost filled up with tags. Think that there is only one, maybe 2 buck tags left. Good season. I'm am thankful for the many deer hanging in our barn as that means we will have enough meat to make it through the year and we hopefully won't have to by any beef at all. I like venison over beef anyway as it is so lean and much more healthy. We'll still by chicken and some pork, but venison will give us burger, steaks, roasts and much more. Scott does all the butchering and I make all the burger. So thankful that Billy and Marc gave us an electric grinder for our wedding. It has already been used so much.

Well, I best get going and finish getting packed up so the kids and I can make the 2+ hour drive to my parent's place than off to my Grandma's for Thanksgiving Dinner. I love being able to spend time with family this time of year. Scott won't be joining us as he is out hiking the woods and swamps as usual. Happy Thanksgiving to all and take time to think of the things you are thankful for.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Winter Is Here!

This has been a very busy & exciting weekend for me. I spent the weekend (Thursday-Sunday) at the camp I used to work at running a Scrapbooking retreat. This was my 3rd official retreat like this that I have run and it was for the most part a success. The only things that didn't work out like planned was 2 power outages due to the 8+ inches of snow that fell on Saturday and Sunday, taking down trees and power lines. It is a bit difficult to scrapbook in the dark. We did have a fun evening anyway sitting around the fireplaces at camp with candles and good friends both new and old. Our second adventure was a rescue trip to help Holly(an old friend and scrapbooker from the weekend) out with her flat tire on the way home. I'm glad that I had lots of practise this summer changing tires on our truck. It took us (4 ladies) under an hour from the time I got Holly's text, got Pricsilla's car cleared off of 8 inches of snow, grabbed a shovel and blankets, drove to find Holly, laugh at the cop who sat in his car until we were almost done, dug out the tire from the snow in the ditch, change the tire, take a bunch of pictures (we all are scrapbookers) and get back home. Crazy fun memories.

We also now have some venison! Yeah! Scott was successful this weekend. It wasn't the "Big" one he was after, but it is a fork with a good sized body. We now have meat and are having tender loins for supper tonight. I am excited. I am also hoping to add to that tonight as I am going back out to sit in my tree. No success last time, but maybe this time.

Everything around here is beautiful with all of this snow. The garden is definitely tucked in with a nice white blanket for the winter. The only thing I'll be digging as I go are my carrots and some may stay til spring. It won't hurt them any.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No Venison Yet

OK, so hunting wasn't successful the other night in the fact that I did not come home with a deer, but I did enjoy my evening in the tree and did get an actual shot off at a nice buck, but was a bit high. I was surprised I even got my bow drawn. I have never done that in a tree before, much less with a nice buck in front of me. I didn't spook him, so the lives to let me get another poke at him next week maybe even Sunday night.

On Thursday I am leading a scrapbooking retreat at the camp I used to run. I am so excited for 4 days of scrapping. Maybe I'll get my book from my college trip to Europe re-done. Than I can move from 1998 to the present. It has been fun reliving the memories though.

You know... I used to like when the clocks got moved back in the fall, not so much now when I have 3 small kids who's bodies don't reset their clocks real easy. For the last 3 days my kids have been up before 5 am. Yikes. I'm praying that tomorrow I'll get to sleep past 5 bells.

On Sunday the kids and I baked a pumpkin! I had never done it and wanted to see how it would turn out. I picked one of our smaller ones, the kids cleaned it out and I put each half in a baking dish and in the oven on 400 degrees for and hour. When it was done I took them out, scraped out the "meat" and sent it through the blender. Some we ate for supper; Scott and I liked it, but the kids didn't and the rest I froze in 2 pint jars for later use in a pie, bars, muffins or whatever. My friend Rebekah and I are going to get together soon and experiment to see how it will turn out.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Silence of the Woods

In a mere short couple of hours I will be peacefully sitting in a tree, bow in hand, enjoying the silence that surrounds me. I can not wait! At lunch today (made by Adin - is first mac and cheese almost completely by himself), Scott commented on how it wasn't quiet out today which is good for bow hunting. I reminded him that I wasn't talking about natures noise, I was talking about one 4 year old and two 2 year old's noise. This time of year has always been a favorite of mine, whether it is bear hunting or deer hunting, I love the time that I get to just sit in the tree and wait. It is during those times that I am able to recenter, collect my thoughts and chat with God uninterrupted. It is lovely - the wind in the trees, the birds that haven't flown south, the red and gray squirrels. This year there are no acorns and the bugs are done for the year which is good. I don't even mind the tree swaying a bit anymore. When I first started sitting in a tree, I was way nervous and a bit un-trusting of the tree and the stand. I have now found new trust in the stands that we are using, my ability to use tree steps or the climber (I like my climber best) and a new love and appreciation for the trees.

There is also the plus side of potentially getting a shot off on a deer (no bear hunting this year). Around my stand there has been a nice 6 pointer and a couple groups of doe. One is a group of two and they are pretty calm tempered along with the single doe hanging around. The group of three are much more jumpy and skittish, so we'll see who shows up near the stand tonight. This is my first night out in the tree in two years for bow season so it will be great no matter what happens. We are in desperate need of some venison soon, I think we are down to our last pound of burger in the freezer and we have no steaks or roasts left. This is perfect curing weather also, upper 30's to low 40's during the day and below freezing at night. Last year was the first year we cured our venison longer this way and even my old buck was nice and tender. Way good.

Scott has been out most mornings and nights so far in November. He started out not being picky (just needing meat), but that changed last night when a really nice buck crossed his path and brush got in the way. Scott was not a happy camper when he got home last night. Now he has buck fever for this one particular buck. Hopefully he'll be able to narrow him down.

Other than the wonderful evening ahead, today has been a pretty productive day for me. Pantry is cleaned and organized (lots more room in there than I thought before I cleaned it - I guess another shopping trip is in order for the basics) Fridge is cleaned out and spotless, laundry is in progress and a couple load of dishes have been done. Now to tackle my tupper ware drawer! That is a scary drawer. So I best be off. I'll be sure to update on my hunting outcomes as I go. I hope others are able to get out and enjoy nature in what ever way they see fit.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Splendor - By "Me" Lizzy

Mom let me blog again today about our exciting Halloween Weekend and preparations.

It all started with mom letting us carve our pumpkins that we grew in the garden this summer. They were so cool and so "big" (at least to us). This pumpkin was special because it was the first pumpkin to grow in our garden and it turned orange even before summer was over. We were worried that it wouldn't last until Halloween, but it did just fine. Guess you can tell how new we are at this gardening thing.
We all got to sit on the table to carve the pumpkin and we weren't real sure about "digging in" at first, but then it got kind of fun. Mom also said that she would roast some of the seeds and then we could eat them. Adin got to decide how mom carved the face. I think it turned out pretty well for a boy!
We roasted the seeds with garlic and salt. They turned out so yummy. I think that Adin, Elle and I ate almost all of them for a snack one day. Good thing that we have 2 more big pumpkins to harvest seeds from. Hope you like the pictures.

We also went along with the garden theme for our costumes this year. I was a broccoli, Elle was a carrot and Adin was a "mato" (Tomato in Adin speak). Because it is always so cold up here for Halloween, Mom made our costumes out of fleece so we were nice and warm. Mom says she even remembers having a blizzard one Halloween too. Can you imagine! Wow.
We joined up with our twin cousins who were each a half of watermelon, Grandma was a scarecrow and Buppa was the sun. Mom and Auntie Greta were the farmers and Uncle Nico was the "rain" and Daddy had to work, not fun.

We went to Greta and Nico's for their Halloween party, parade and trick or treating. We got lots of stuff. It was a great weekend. I love all of the candy we got, but I still think I like carrots fresh out of the garden better.

It was such a busy weekend, that it didn't take me long to fall asleep after it all. Silly mom for sneaking in and taking pictures. Well, it is lunch time and we are having fresh carrots that we just picked this morning from Adin's own garden, so I have to go. Maybe Mom will let me blog again soon and I hope that you all have fresh carrots you can have for lunch also. Bye!