Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Won!

A Week In The Life Challenge

Because I participated in A Week In The Life Challenge put on by Ali Edwards -- I also entered into the drawing at the same website. There were 4,563 people who attempted to win and I was one of the lucky winners!! What did I win?I will receive a Black 12x12 Everyday Stories Albums from Xyron -- can't beat that! Thank you to Ali Edwards and all of her sponsors for a great challenge. I had such a fun time doing the challenge - I find myself logging my day in my head just as I was last week so that I wouldn't forget to blog about it...now each day's information is just bouncing around in my brain with nowhere to go.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Week in Our Life: Day 7 (Sunday -- the last day)

5:00 - I wake up out of habit but make myself go back to sleep. This happens continuously until 7:00 -- when I finally get up. Whew - my first full night's sleep in at least 10 nights.
I take care of Shadow - let him out - feed him his breakfast and get myself ready for our day. 7:40 - I act like I am being quiet in the bedroom - but "accidentally" wake Paul up. We eat our breakfast together and chat.
8:00 It is a very rainy day but we don't want to stay inside so we are out the door - goin to the woods.
We plant some food for the deer from a bag of seed we got a few weeks ago.

Here Paul is throwing out seed on the backside of the hole that Skyler and I dug a while back as a watering hole for the deer -- it is pretty deep and as you can see it is pretty full. There are tracks showing that the deer are already using it. We hike for quite a while and check on our previous food plots.

The May Apples are blooming and I took this picture of these shooting stars that were blooming as well.

As we wander we hear a sharp snapping sound and find that a huge oak is coming down - slowly. We sit down to watch and see if maybe we will get to see the HUGE oak come down.
Picture #1 - The tree is going down notice the split up the side of the tree at the bottom.
Picture #2 - It is well on its way down.
Picture #3 ... batteries died - no picture once it hit the ground (total letdown) but it was amazing - like a huge explosion as it took other tops of trees out as it went - very cool - we wish Skyler could have been with us to see it! It is hard to tell from the photos but the drop down to that creek is about 20 feet - it had a long fall.

While we are in the timber we do a little bit of mushroom hunting - no luck. We don't go to our "honey hole" cuz there are other people who like to pick the mushrooms there -- so we are stuck looking in places where they aren't as prevalent.

12:00 - We return home -- we are soaked to the bone from the rain but so happy to have had some time together.
I make us some yummy venison tacos. When we are just about to eat we get a call that Jess is ready for us to come pick up Skyler. We quickly eat our tacos while I fill out some rebate forms.

We drive to pick up Skyler and when we are almost there - we find out there is a ton of water over the road so we have to go way out of our way to get to Jess's house. Skyler and Jessi went to the movies last night and saw "Oceans." Sounds like it was a good movie. After visiting with Jess - since she lives just down the road from the Klauers - we stop in to say hi and drop something off. Ella is such a cute baby! Skyler decided to try out the boys's guitar and seemed to be trying to look like Johnny Cash -- I don't know that she got it done... When we return home Paul watches NASCAR and I try to catch bits of it with him while I bring my garage sale containers, etc. downstairs and help Skyler make cookies. Skyler asked if she could do EVERYTHING by herself. So she pretty much made these cookes and the frosting all on her own - with just a little help when I hear Teaspoon and see a Tablespoon grabbed out of the drawer or when I hear confectioner's sugar and see granulated sugar being grabbed -- she really did an awesome job.

Skyler was excited to use the frosting "gun" as she called it that she got from Aunt Tonia today (thanks Tonia) -- it was super easy to use and I can see some decorated cakes in our future!! Great job on your cookies Skyler!
Paul goes out to mow our yard.
This is not our typical weekend. Usually we would have mowed our in-town yards yesterday afternoon - but we didn't because of having company. Because of the rain - we can't do them today - our push mower would just clog up. We are hoping that we can get the mowing done tomorrow night.

Skyler and I plant the rest of the flowers I bought the other day and we also plant some cabbage in the vegetable garden. Skyler is great at planting flowers - she is so quick!
Skyler, Paul and I all play some catch -- we are trying to help Skyler at her position of catcher and making throws to 2nd base - she's got a strong arm so will do great as a catcher.
I do some more weeding in the gardens -- with all of our gardens, that is a never-ending task. The weeds are so much easier to pull after a rain. I pull some of my rhubarb to be cut up -- it is already wanting to go to seed so I pull off the seedheads as well

I put my chickens to bed for another night and fill their food and water. Chickens sleep up on roosts - like turkeys - so if they lived outside they would be sitting on a limb all night. It doesn't sound or look very comfortable -- but they love it.

When I finally get back inside the house, Paul and Skyler are watching America's Funniest Home Videos. I catch the last 15 minutes with them and then start my chores. Time to do laundry, unload and load the dishwasher, wash hand dishes and scrub down the kitchen from the cookie making session. Food and water to Shadow.

8:45 - Get Skyler to bed, read a chapter with her, pray and hugs and kisses.

9:00 - I get another load of laundry goin and work on this post.

9:15 - showers and get ready for bed. Hope to get to bed by 10...but usually my best plans don't quite work out that way. So if I look tired the next time you see me - give me a break - I may have only gotten 3-4 hours of sleep the night before :-)

Next week looks to be just about as busy as this week again -- no rest for the weary. As I mentioned, we need to mow in town yards tomorrow night, Skyler has 2 nights of practice, I need to go to Iowa and purchase Skyler's birthday present we decided to get for her this year, I haven't gotten groceries in well over a week -- so we desparately need groceries, Tuesday after Skyler's softball practice there are conferences at her school in Reynolds, Thursday we get to start turkey hunting all over again - this time trying to get Skyler a turkey -- and Sunday is Skyler's birthday so the weekend will be very busy.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what goes on behind the scenes of our life. It has been fun to document -- even the very mundane tasks -- as sometimes I wonder where our day went, and this way, I can see we actually do get some things accomplished -- even if we always feel we are behind and meeting ourselves coming and going. I have enjoyed reading everyone else's blogs as well this week!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Week in our (Tired) Life: Day 6 (Saturday)

Revision to last night. My prediction on getting some sleep was wrong again. I turned off our light at 12:35. So I got 3.5 hours of sleep - yeah, that isn't enough.

4:00 a.m. Our alarm rings. Paul is going to try to call a turkey in for a buddy of his this morning. Since I had planned on getting up at 5:00 and actually still have some stuff to price and load for the garage sale -- I decide I might as well get up. I have time to eat my bowls of cereal again as well as drink some Green Tea as I think I might need a little caffeine to keep my eyes open today. I try to drink green tea every day -- however, I have only gotten it done 2 days out of these last 6.

I price, pack and haul a bunch of stuff to the truck. Every time I do a garage sale I say I won't do another one -- but I always change my mind. Then when I am in the process, I remember why I didn't want to do another one. Never again!!

Here is a picture of our truck loaded down with crap.

5:45 Sky and I are out the door headed to Longview Park in Rock Island -- yep I've got my knife in my pocket -- for those of you who know me well. I'm thinkin' isn't there a "right to carry" law in Illinois? Could I go with a pistol in a holster? I guess that might drive the sales down a bit...

6:00 We arrive at the sale and we have a great corner spot. We begin setting up like wild people.

7:00 My friend Kris arrives to set up her 1/2 and she is pretty surprised at the amount of stuff that we brought... :-)

8:00 The sale has officially started, but people have been going through for an hour already. I am still trying to finish setting up because we keep getting interrupted with people buying stuff (what is that about?). The whole day is very busy with lots of shoppers. This is the busiest sale I have ever been a part of. Unfortunately, other than my Nordic Trak (which didn't sell) I don't have any "big" stuff - basically just clothes - and most of that was bought second hand so it pretty rough. It takes a lot of clothes at .10 a piece to make much money.

This is a picture of Skyler - she was a great help setting up and helping to take money from buyers.
At just about noon it finally begins to rain. This is perfect because we got the morning rush, but now that it is raining -- we get to tear down and don't have to sit through the afternoon lull until 2:00. So in a 4 hour sale, I made over $110.00. Nope, not gonna get rich -- but not bad for the items I had and only having 4 hours to sell.

Tear down and a big thank you and good-bye to Kris. Sky and I go straight to Goodwill and all that didn't sell is now their problem.

1:30 - I get home and find that Joe, Lance and Lance's kids are at our house. The guys work on turkey fans and plaques for the afternoon and I spend the next couple hours uploading turkey pictures, chasing chickens and cats for some little girls that don't get to see them very often.

I cut up apples, hand out fruit snacks, push little ones on swings, count the money from the sale, cover my potato plants with mulch, and weed in the gardens.

I get a call from Jessi, Skyler's aunt, that she would like to take Skyler to a movie and shopping for her birthday. She also would like to keep her overnight and bring her to a pancake breakfast in the morning. Wow -- this is a great surprise!!

I sit around a bit and visit with the guys for a little while -- they are always amusing. I get my shower and we eat a quick supper.

5:00 I take Skyler into the cities to meet Aunt Jessi so that Skyler can have her birthday movie and shopping spree. Thanks Jess! Unfortunately - I think both Paul and I are too tired to get to do anything fun...I think on tonight's agenda is probably to get some much needed sleep.

5:45 I stop at Goodwill on my way home to drop off one more item I forgot to drop off and I get to see a lady back into the building once - and almost a 2nd time. It might not have been amusing if not for the screaming Goodwill worker who was trying to make her stop. I was able to control my laughter until after I dropped off my box and got the heck outta there. If any worker from Goodwill reads my post and needs a witness to the accident -- I never saw a thing -- I was never there.

6:00 I get home and since it is just Paul and I tonight and it is pouring down rain, we decide to make a run into town just to see if there are any good movies out for rent at the Movie Gallery. We wander the isles but don't find anything that appeals to us so we head back home - but sometimes it is just fun to be together no matter what you're doin.

7:00 - At home Paul works for a bit on a turkey fan and I go ahead and clean my shotgun from turkey season and get it put away until next time.

Paul and I hang out and watch Norbit on TV (we only have a handful of channels - so not a lot to pick from - but that movie is funny).

To bed by 10:00 and hope to be rested for tomorrow.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Week in our Life: Day 5 (Friday)

Well, I posted last night thinking I would get to bed by 9:30...wrong again. I was so tired but knew I needed to get a load of laundry in, a load of dishes done, take care of the downstairs cats, change the cat litter and get some picking up done. When all was said and done, I turned our light off at 10:20 -- really pretty good for us. However, I realized this morning that after loading the dishwasher and putting in the soap, I walked away without pushing the button to run the dishes - duh. So now I can't unload the dishwasher like I usually do...so NOW I push the button.

5:45 - My alarm rings and it feels good to get up. To the shower.

6:10 - Jump out of the shower and run in to wake Paul. I think we all feel like we got to sleep in today cuz he wakes up after only 2 tries -- usually I spend at least 15 minutes trying to get that guy outta bed (allergies must suck). Skyler's alarm rings and then I hear a yucky barky cough coming from her room. I go to check on her but she says she feels fine - whew. I know she has been having troubles with allergies lately and maybe it is related to that (again, allergies must suck -- maybe that is why they are both like bears in the morning ;-).

We all get dressed for our day. Fridays are "Casual for a Cause" days at work so we get to wear jeans. I LOVE casual Fridays!

I make Skyler some toast as she requested and Paul is eating Sugar Puffs while checking out the sports pages on the internet. I let Shadow out for a potty break and then back in so I can give Shadow his breakfast.

Skyler and Shadow hangin' out this morning.

I gather Paul's lunch for today - leftovers of meatloaf and mashed potatoes (this is the last of that) and an orange today.

6:35 Hugs and kisses and Paul is out the door for work.

Now I get to eat my bowls of cereal and play on the computer while Skyler gets ready for school.

Skyler calls me into her room and asks me to bring my camera. Shadow has a habit of sneaking into an unoccupied bed and laying like a human - with his head on the pillow. Shadow had done that and Skyler covered him up and took this picture. (I know, it is gross to have a dog laying on your sheets...what can I do?)

Sky and I go round up the outdoor cats and get them fed in Bill's shed -- it is a bit chilly outside this am. Let the chickens out for their day (boy my rooster is a nerd) and check their food/water situation.

Skyler has me do a little somethin' to her hair this morning. I gave her 3 options, straighten it, curl it or put a barrette in it. She chose the barrette (I think maybe because she can take that out once she gets on the bus??) She is starting to grow up quickly though - definitely more worried about her appearance than before - she is turning into a beautiful girl--she's gotta stop that.

7:35 - Skyler's bus is here. Quick hugs and kisses and she is on her way.

I am trying to prepare for the Longview Garage Sale. My friend Kris and I are doing the sale together on Saturday in Rock Island -- if it doesn't rain...Sunday is the rain date, again -- if it doesn't rain. Since they have been calling for rain this weekend - I haven't gotten much done as far as pricing items - I really haven't had time. I am thinkin it will be called off so I don't wanna waste any time on anything right now.

I get some more laundry done - try some futile attempts to do something with my hair, put on some mascara, make my lunch and am out the door.

This time I only make it to the end of the driveway before my OCD kicks in -- back in to make sure all is unplugged...wow, I gotta get over that.

8:15 Arrive at work - cover the front desk again. Lots of clients in and out, telephones are crazy and I'm still trying to get some of my work done. I will be glad when the regular receptionist returns on Monday -- I really prefer what I usually do.

11:30 I get a call from Skyler at school that she has a really bad headache and asked if I can come and get her. She sounds pretty yucky so I make arrangements at work to leave and go pick her up.

12:15 Here is a pic of my little sweet pea on the way home. She really feels awful.

12:35. We make it home and I give Skyler some Jr. Tylenol. At least she doesn't have a fever. She goes straight to bed and watches a Little House on the Prairie DVD on her portable DVD player in her room. She said she didn't eat much lunch as she didn't have an appetite. I offer her a popsicle and she can't turn that down.

While Skyler rests I try to get some much needed house cleaning done - starting with dishes, laundry, clean out closets of what is left in there of winter clothes.

Skyler decides she is feeling well enough to sit up and is working on a fun workbook that I got her a while ago. We work on English and math pages in the workbook.

I decide to do some spring cleaning in the bathroom. I tear everything off the walls and wash the walls, dust everything - clean all glass (mirrors, pictures, windows). The bathroom looks so much better -- I hate spring cleaning, but I like the results. Now I just have every other room in the house to do - ugh.

3:25: Uh oh. I just found out that the garage sale is on...I still have to organize everything, price everything, get tables lined up, and try to get the back of the truck dried out for putting all my sale items in it. Paul is getting my garage sale change for me on his way home from work. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have put this off for so long.

Skyler is feeling a little better and decides to give her doll a haircut. Skyler says when she grows up she either wants to be a track star, hairdresser or a clothes designer. She really also wants to be a vet but said she decided that would take too much schooling :-)
We are frying up some Bluegill tonight which we caught this winter while ice fishing YUMMY! Paul is doing the frying tonight - Yeah! Bluegills are one of my favorites of all foods! We use some of my fresh chicken eggs for the egg wash before dipping the fish in the breading. I peel, slice and fry up some potatoes -- hey if we are eating fried, we might as well go all out!

Here is a picture of poor Shadow. Skyler was ready to go outside with him so decided he needed a raincoat (her jacket). He looked a little dejected as he walked around in purple and pink.Skyler organized all of my change for the garage sale. She is super excited about the sale. She loves helping handle the money and also has some items she decided to sell.

I clean up the kitchen after supper (cleaning up after frying fish in the kitchen is the worst!) - do hand dishes and run dishwasher. Scrub the kitchen floor. Do another load of laundry.

Go try to get truck dried out so that I can put my garage sale stuff in it. Go to my neighbors and borrow 2 tables.

Fill out my deer hunting application and finish filling out Skyler's app. Make out 3 checks and envelopes for all our apps. Run them to the mailbox for tomorrow's mail. I will have to mail 3 more in a couple of days. Yeah - only a little over 5 months till we can start hunting deer again!

Feed and water Shadow.

Price all my garage sale crap while Paul works on turkey plaques all evening. There is a lot of work that goes into the plaques. Skyler plays some Wii for a while and then takes a LONG soak in the tub. Every so often she asks for a bath and she sits in there and gets out some toys -- I don't mind letting her be a little girl for as long as she wants. I feel bad that we were both busy so didn't get to do much with her tonight -- but I guess those days happen with an only child...

9:15 - Get Skyler tucked into bed with our usual routine. She usually asks for Shadow when I walk out - but she was so tired she forgot tonight.

10:00 I am finally getting my stuff loaded in the truck and hopefully I am ready for tomorrow -- there are still things I haven't priced yet, but hopefully I will have a little extra time in the am to do this. Paul has to get up at 4:00 so I will just get up with him and price things then.

I hope to be in bed by 11:00...signing off until tomorrow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Week in Our Lives: Day 4 (Thursday)

4:10 - Alarm rings - UGH!! But alas, I realize -- WooHoo -- it isn’t ringing for me!! This is Paul’s alarm as he is going out turkey hunting! (Negative to this: I have to stay home).

4:11 - The alarm is still ringing!! Did I mention that the alarm clock I got us is called the SONIC BOMB?!?! We got it because regular alarm clocks don’t always do the job of waking us up. So a minute of the sonic bomb ringing is about like being in a four alarm fire drill -- WITH flashing lights to boot!

4:12 -- I finally start shaking Paul to remind him that he needs to get up - so he stumbles up and turns the alarm off - whew - peace and quiet!

I get up and reset the alarm for me and go back to bed.

I feel guilty for not having gotten out and said goodbye to Paul - so I make a quick trip to the kitchen - and return to bed.

4:35 - I am still awake and hear Paul leave the house.

4:40 - I am still awake and hear Paul’s truck drive away. I have GOT to get some sleep -- but that mind of mine (simple as it is) just keeps runnin’

4:55 - I finally get up -- I can’t sleep so I might as well get some things done.

To my guilty pleasure: A long, long hot shower!!

Get dressed for work and try to do something with this nest I call hair. Eat breakfast (yep, I’m still keeping Cheerios in business -- about 4 bowls worth) while I start typing up today’s activities as well as checking emails and blogs. Four bowls of Cheerios gives you a lot of time to do such things.

6:05 - Skyler’s alarm rings. She is getting older and has decided she usually prefers her alarm rather than us annoying her to get her up in the morning -- she does not own a sonic bomb so it is not quite as frightening when her alarm rings.

Skyler yells out from the bathroom - "It's freezing in here mom - what is it? 32?" This is coming from the girl who would (and has) wear shorts during the winter if we let her. The furnace is turned off - has been for weeks. I check the temperature and it is 64 degrees -- with my wet hair -- it does feel cold so I go ahead and turn on the furnace for 65 (I'm a big spender) which is way warmer than we used to keep our house "in the old days" before Skyler.

I toast Skyler's bagel for breakfast and sit with her while she eats breakfast. This is where I am so different from Paul and Skyler. As you can see, Skyler doesn't look very chipper this morning...

I LOVE mornings!! Mornings are my time to relax and get ready for the day. I don't like to be rushed in the morning and kinda like to do whatever I want.

I fill out Skyler's application for Vacation Bible School that will take place for a week this summer. We received the application in the mail yesterday. She had a blast last summer and I think she will be going again this year. She is gonna check with one of her friends at school today to see is she is going again this year before I send in the app.

While I am doing that, Skyler is reading a book.
I am so happy how much Skyler loves to read. She is in 4th grade but most of the books she reads for AR (the reading program through the school) are between 6th and 7th grade level books. She can read so quickly and retain it all so well. I am sure glad she does better in school than I ever did!! I would like to think that the fact that I have read books with her at night as a part of our bedtime routine since she was just a wee little squirt laid the groundwork for a love of reading. I know that reading is important and it was/is something that I love to do with her -- so it just worked for us. That is a part of our daily routine that when she is all grown up and moves away I will desparately miss.

7:35 - Skyler's bus comes and she is on her way to school. This is picture Skyler took of her bus driver.
I quickly fold some more laundry,
make the bed and try to tidy up a little (I need to do more than just a little tidying at this point -- but a little is better than nothing at all).

I take care of Shadow giving him his breakfast and letting him out for a morning jaunt. Here is a pic of him waiting to be let back inside - he's so cute!

I pack my lunch for today - pretty much my usual: an apple for my snack before lunch or I'll never make it that long, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a granola bar and today a pear as well.

8:10 - WALKING INTO WORK -- THIS IS A LONG WAY FROM THE TURKEY WOODS :-( This is a pic of the office building I work at in downtown Rock Island.

8:15 - I arrive at work.

This is a picture of my office space -- it is actually a little better today because my boss hasn't been adding to my piles. Maybe I will have some time to straighten up today -- after looking at this picture I am a little embarrassed at how unsightly it looks - - oh well. Notice the collage of pictures I have up on my board. I am definitely the only one here with pictures of family members holding their prized dead animals!

Busy all morning between trying to cover the receptionist desk and still try to get some of my work done. My boss checked in from Florida (lucky duck).

11:30 - Bonnie relieves me from my duties at the front desk so that I can have my 30 minute lunch break. I grab my lunch I packed and run to the car. I am a little embarrassed to admit, but I went to check out a dumpster that I have located that sometimes holds treasures (Nope, I am not revealing its location or else I'll be fighting people off of my free gift site). It is where I found a tripod a couple weeks ago and I sold it on Ebay for $76. Today I found a whole box of 12 brand new industrial air filters. I am not sure they will list very well on Ebay but I know they are worth something -- I just gotta figure out a way to get a buyer to find them. If it doesn't work out -- I'll just return them where I found them ;-)

On my way back to work Paul calls and tells me his turkey stories. No dead turkey and today was the last day on these tags we had. I guess we just have to be glad that Skyler was able to get a turkey on opening morning or our "Team Grissom" would be looking a little shoddy ;-) Paul still got to have a little action as far as hearing and seeing turkeys goes. He also did some more scouting so that when our next tags can be filled - we will be ready. Skyler is up next. She has a tag starting next week and then Paul and I both have tags for the week after that. I am not too worred -- I am sure we will all get something before it is all said and done and if not? Well, we lived and learned and next year's success will be that much sweeter.

Race back to work eat my last bites of lunch.

12:00 - Return to the front desk. Lots of phone answering, typing and running around. I am done at 3:15 and out the door.

3:45-I make it home and quickly change into running clothes - grab a quick bite to eat. Feed Shadow his supper and collect my chicken eggs.

The girls on the softball team are getting off the bus at their field rather than at home so we have to go meet her there. I asked Skyler about being there and if they were ever alone without any adults being around and she said "mom, we had bats". That is such a Ginger answer.

3:55-Skyler has softball practice again tonight so I get to run my 2.6 miles to Taylor Ridge School again to watch her practice. It is so hard to get good pictures of her on the field...I think I need a new camera...hmmm...isn't Mother's Day coming?

I love hangin out with the girls. Here is a pic of Jill, Me and Ali as well as Jill's little one, Ava.
6:00 - Return home. I make a salad for Paul and I (Sky said that she is sick of having so many salads so she chooses carrots and dip for her veggies tonight. We generally all like raw veggies but don't care much for cooked veggies. For my main course I have leftover spaghetti with deer meat sauce while Skyler and Paul eat some frozen pizza.

After eating we decide to run to Menards as Paul needs a new blade for his band saw as well as wanting to buy a jigsaw.

8:00 We're back home and Paul is finishing cutting out turkey plaques while I go shut up the chickens for the night and check on our gardens. I type up this stuff for the blog and upload pictures.

Here is a picture of Skyler helping dad stain the turkey plaque she picked out.

8:30-I asked Skyler earlier if she had homework and she thought she didn't. But now she realizes she does. So I am helping her with her spelling.
Get ready for bed early and try to hit the sack by about 9:30 tonight. Skyler said that instead of me putting her to bed tonight she is gonna put me to bed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Week in our Life: Day 3

Day 3: **I will add a few more pics later today.

3:45 a.m. Alarm rings - time to get up for turkey hunting - again (now the 7th day in a row that I have gotten up this early). I think maybe I’ll shoot a Jake today… ;-) Today I am on my own. Paul needs to get to work earlier for an appointment today so we decided he would get Sky on the bus and I could go try my hand at turkey calling.

4:38 a.m. I am on my way. I am going to a location that we haven’t harvested a turkey on yet this year. Paul had previously thoroughly scouted this property out and we have all gone and “put the turkeys to bed” on several occasions - so I know where to set up.

5:00 a.m. I reach the property and realize ANOTHER of the many reasons why I love to hunt with Paul -- I had to carry not only my gun and my bucket -- that’s no big deal -- but I had to carry the blind in too, which weighs 20 pounds, again, not really bad but altogether -- and for the hike I had to take -- let’s just say I REALLY appreciate when Paul carries in the blind. I was sweatin’ and suckin air by the time I got to where I need to set up - kinda embarrassing. Plus, once I got to my spot, I COULD NOT get the blind to expand. I finally had to throw it in the brush and just sit at the edge of the timber. This would be ok - except there was no real good place to sit. I got tucked in some brush and tried to be set up for a shot as you can’t move much once the turkeys are within sight.

So I wait and am excited to hear that there is one gobbler pretty close to me. Unfortunately he has a hen near him who is talkin some nice stuff to this Tom. So I do just a little chatter to let him know I am there and try to sit tight. His excited gobbles tell me he knows exactly where I am. The turkey doesn’t fly down where I would like him to but rather he flies down into the timber. However, I do a little more callin and he ends up coming out toward me in the field. He sees my decoy - however and just makes a big circle around where Lucy (my decoy) can see him and he gobbles for her to come along. Unfortunately his sweep didn’t bring him close enough for an ethical shot, but I got to watch him just out of range for quite a while. Every time I would call he would gobble like mad so I would get my gun up again in case he decided to come in -- which he never did. When he finally left he was still gobblin his head off trying to get me and my decoy to come along. I can’t be very late to work today so I didn’t have time to wait for his return. I gather my things and hike it back to the truck.

7:45 a.m. Return home - goodbye kisses to Paul and he is off to work. I take a quick shower, try to pick out some decent clothes for work, eat a couple bowls of cereal while I check out my emails and get ready for work.

I leave for work and get a couple of miles away before my OCD kicks in. I have to turn around and make sure that everything is unplugged -- a very annoying habit of mine. Of course, everything WAS unplugged -- but now I am set back by about 5-10 minutes all because of OCD!
9:00 Arrive at work. Today we are having a special luncheon at the Rock Island Arsenal in honor of Administrative Professional’s Week. Here is a pic of the group (4 people are missing from this photo):

I also got pink roses from two of the attorneys and won a Waterford crystal picture frame -- so woo hoo - it’s a fun day! My boss is still on vacation so I am trying to get caught up on all my items that I can never get to while he is here.

3:45 I arrive home just about the time that Skyler gets home on her bus.

Go get my chickens back in their coop and collect the day’s eggs.

I feel I am movin’ a little slower today -- it is all starting to catch up with me. I decide we will settle for leftovers for supper and I get supper warmed up.

4:00 Paul is home and while they eat leftovers I get 2 loads of laundry folded and try to do some general clean-up.

Paul wants to hang out with us in the garage before Lance comes over so we all just relay about our day, etc. for a while and pick up in the garage - kinda nice to relax.

Skyler and I play some football in the yard.

I get some flowers planted in one of my pots for the front yard.

Lance comes over with his turkey fan for Paul to do his taxidermy magic on. We all hang out and get some good laughs for a while.

Have Skyler finish her homework.

I finally eat my supper while checking Skyler’s homework to make sure everything is correct.

Write a check for hot lunches and sign her planner.

Balance my checkbook.

Skyler and I go for a short bikeride. It is a short one because Skyler's cut on her knee keeps ripping open when she tries to peddle.

I begin runnin the trimmer/weed wacker on the yard and my neighbor from way down the road, Ashley, stops over with her son, Dakota, to see our chickens and introduce themselves. Sky and I end up going to their house and checking out their new baby chicks. We finally make it back home at dark.

I get Skyler put to bed at about 9:00 as she is very tired - we go through our usual bedtime routine.

I go back out to visit with Lance and Paul in the garage and my brother Dasan comes over too. It is always a good time when these guys get together. After a while, Lance leaves and Paul goes in to bed at about 10:30. I stay out with Dasan until about 11:30.

I cannot be late to work tomorrow so I will have to miss 1 day of my 6-day turkey season -- the fortunate thing is this means I get to sleep until about 5:30 tomorrow!! Paul is going to give one last shot at turkey hunting tomorrow morning -- hope he gets one -- we have never had this much trouble getting a bird down!

Time to get ready for bed -- in bed by 12:15 -- now if only my mind will slow down so I can sleep.

I am tired right now...that's it for today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Day In Our Life - Day 2

DAY 2:

3:45 a.m. Alarm rings - time to get up for turkey hunting (this is now the 6th day in a row that we have gotten up this early, yep - we are a little crazy when it comes to hunting)

4:30 a.m. Out the door we go. Our neighbor Bill was kind enough to help us with Skyler this morning so she could get a little extra sleep and catch the bus rather than trying to make it through another day of school after such little sleep. We are forever in Bill’s debt -- he is the best!!

4:55 a.m. We reach our turkey hunting destination and now we get to walk to our turkey blind. It isn’t often enough that Paul and I get to hunt together -- so we cherish every moment.

5:15 a.m. We are settled in the blind and waiting for the turkey gobblin’ to begin. It doesn’t take quite as long to make it to the blind when we don’t have “little legs” along. I started calling Skyler that a long time ago so we would remember not to get frustrated when she lags behind.

5:40 a.m. First turkey begins to gobble. This morning the gobblers are more split up, but we still have at least 2 within a very close range of our blind.

5:55 Turkeys are leaving their roosts. Right off the bat we have 5 Jakes within about 5 yards of our blind. They would have been an easy kill, but neither Paul nor I were willing to take a shot today. Another day might be different -- but we were waiting on a Tom. Unfortunately - he never showed his red head.

6:15 - I call Skyler to make sure she is up and moving for school. She is chipper and excited to be trusted as the big girl she is. We are so glad to have such a wonderful daughter. I had written her a note last night so she wouldn’t forget anything she needed to do and at the end I signed “I love you, Mom or Mommy” as I know she hates it when I say Mommy anymore. So she had circled the word “Mom” and written “I love you more” below it. She is such a stinker.

Paul and I spent a lot of time in the blind chatting -- it is amazing what you can get away with when you are sitting in a “box.” I think we could have a party in there and it wouldn’t affect the turkeys. It’s not our favorite way to hunt -- but we have changed some of our ways to accommodate Skyler and I guess today we just cheated and stuck with it. However, by about 7:00 we decided it was time to hunt like we are used to -- sittin’ by a tree and waiting. We did some “running and gunning” as well as some “sitting and waiting” but all to no avail. If we hadn’t had such a great time being together it might be disappointing -- but a day hunting with Paul is always a good day!

11:45 We are back home and I make us both some quick lunch so that Paul can get to work. Sit and eat quickly together and send Paul out the door. I take some time to write down notes of this morning’s activities and take a nice hot shower. Check the weather for this weekend since I am doing the Longview Garage Sale -- but it looks like it will be raining on Saturday - in which case it will be held on Sunday.

After taking care of my chickens and letting them free-range, I collect their eggs (2 eggs from 2 hens -- doesn’t get any better than that).

Yeah - the seeds I had ordered from Gurney's came today!!

I spent the rest of the afternoon out in my vegetable garden. I had to hoe up the portion of the garden that I had previously hoed, but it needed it again (nope, we don’t own a tiller -- the most high-tech piece of equipment we own are a gas mower) I planted green pepper plants, asparagus, dill seed, pole beans and corn. I already had planted onions, radishes, lettuce, spinach, carrots, pumpkins and tomatoes so I am starting to get a full garden. Add to all that my large patch of rhubarb and strawberries (strawberries remind me of my grandma on my dad’s side) and I am set. In other places on our property we have raspberries coming on well (raspberries remind me of my grandma on my mom‘s side), our grape vines are great, and our apple trees are growing. I love all this country living!

Skyler gets off the bus at 3:45 and she is limping. She starts to cry only after I meet her in the driveway, give her a hug and ask her what happened. Then she shows me her knee. She fell in the gravel while transferring busses but didn’t want to cry on the bus. It is a nasty deep gash with rocks/gravel inside the cut. We go inside and doctor her knee before softball practice. Poor girl.

Paul gets home from work at 4:00.

I make us quick sandwiches for supper as we have to leave in about 15 minutes for softball practice.

I run 2.6 miles to Taylor Ridge School and meet Paul and Skyler at her softball practice. She has practice every Tuesday and Thursday and I have been running there as a way to get more running time in. I plan on running the Bix this year and have never run more than 5 miles -- so I gotta get it in gear,

Get to watch Skyler’s practice -- Paul is helping coach again this year! Skyler is awesome at softball!! She is super quick and strong. She is generally one of the top hitters and is always fastest -- gotta brag on my little girl who isn‘t so little any more!

Here is a picture of Skyler eating a homemade popsicle.

We get home at around 6:00. Skyler and I shoot our bows in the backyard. Skyler and I water some of our plants. I dig up a new area in our grasses and haul some sand to mix in with my soil. Then I get some pumpkin seeds planted.

We play soccer for a while in the yard -- whenever a ball is involved and Shadow is around it suddenly turns into a game of keep away from Shadow.

We all get in the house and decide to take a load off and watch some of The Biggest Loser -- Yep, I cried when the guy's brother died...

9:00 - it is time for showers and getting ready for bed.

9:30 - I do my typical nighttime routine with Skyler -- I read with her for a while and then we each say a prayer. This is my special time with Skyler that I wouldn't trade for the world!!

I quickly unload and load the dishwasher. Throw another load of laundry in the washing machine and it is time to hit the sheets!!

Get to bed at a little after 10:00 -- I’m getting up alone tomorrow for a very quick turkey hunt before I go to work in the morning. Paul and Skyler will get each other off for work and school. ;-) Skyler is actually in charge of waking Paul up on time -- maybe she will try to get him back for all the antics he pulls when he wakes her up (singing, talking A LOT, pulling covers off, etc.)

All in all - - I had a great day. I got to spend most of my day outside as I hate to be cooped up. Signing off until tomorrow when I will try to report on Day 3.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A week in our life: Day 1

AS LISTED OVER AT THE Ali Edwards Blog . I DID THIS ONCE SEVERAL YEARS AGO -- AND ALTHOUGH MOST THINGS ARE MUNDANE -- IT IS FUNNY TO LOOK BACK ON THESE THINGS. I THINK SKYLER WILL APPRECIATE LOOKING THOUGH OUR DAILY GRIND WHEN SHE IS OLDER TOO. I have always intended on keeping a diary, but never seem to sit down and do it. However, tracking only one week -- now I can do that.
I do not have many photos from today because our camera was left in Paul's truck after turkey hunting this morning. So -- here we go:
DAY 1:

3:45 a.m. Alarm rings - time to get up for turkey hunting (this is the 5th day in a row that we have gotten up this early -- startin to catch up with us.) I actually couldn’t figure out what was going on this morning when it rang …why it was ringing…WHAT was ringing!! Then I got my wits about me and we got to movin.

4:30 a.m. We are dressed in full camo, ready to hunt and are out the door.

4:55 a.m. We reach our turkey hunting destination and now we get to walk to our turkey blind. I am carrying a blanket for Skyler who has told us she is planning on sleeping on the ground until the turkey action starts up. The girl can sleep anywhere.

5:30 a.m. We are settled in the blind and waiting for the turkey gobblin’ to begin.

5:40 a.m. First turkey begins to gobble. We get to hear about 4 gobblers within a very close range of our blind. We will never get over the rush of those early morning sounds of turkey hunting.

5:55 Turkeys are leaving their roosts and if all goes right they should come our way.

6:15 3 big toms are about 50 yards out and 1 other tom comes in closer - but we are waiting for Paul to get a shot with his bow so we are not able to get the bird. Unfortunately - he ends up being the only one who came within shotgun range.

7:20 I make one more set-up while Paul and Skyler take a little hike.

7:30 I call Paul to remind them to look to the west as the space shuttle is supposed to be visible in the next few minutes and we might get to hear some sonic booms.

8:20 No turkeys so I decide it is time to get Skyler to school.

When I reach Paul and Skyler, Skyler informs me that “there was no space shuttle mom!” None of us got to see or hear anything. Oh well - we tried. I have since learned that the space shuttle didn't get to land today and will try again tomorrow.

8:50 We stop at Casey’s to get Skyler some breakfast pizza (her reward for being willing to get up at 3:45 in the morning to watch us try to fill our turkey tags.) Shortly thereafter we drop Skyler off at school - only a little late.

9:10 We are home - I make Paul his lunch while he loads the truck up with the mower and trimmer. He has to mow his office yard tonight after work.

9:20 Paul is off for work. (Unfortunately my camera is in his truck with our hunting stuff - so I don't get to take any pics today) I get to have today and tomorrow off because my boss is in Florida AND because I really, really wanted to turkey hunt as much as possible. Unfortunately I have to go to work on Wed through Fri -- they are very accommodating, but let’s not get ridiculous. Another girl is going on vacation and I have to cover for her -- with such a small office - not too many of us can leave at a time.

9:25-11:10 Wash 2 loads of laundry, hang 2 loads of laundry out on the line (I love when I don‘t have to run the dryer), fold 3-4 loads of laundry (yep, I had some from a previous day that I hadn’t gotten folded yet) Put all laundry away. Eat breakfast (several bowls of both Cheerios and Sugar Puffs -- I know I have GOT to cut down on my breakfast consumption) . Take care of chickens and let them out to run free range. Dust, scrub floors and wash walls in the laundry room.

11:10 Load recycling to take to recycling center (whole trunk and back seat of car are full -- I think we are doing our part to not leave such a huge “footprint” on the earth).

11:15 - 1:15 Put Paul’s registration sticker on his license plate. Now to town (Hy-Vee for groceries, flowers and a few more veggies to add to my garden, to Walgreens to pick up Skyler’s turkey pics to add to the garage “wall of fame” and a few supplies, and to the recycling center to drop off this load of crap.

1:15 I am back home and bringing groceries in the house to put away. I haul in Shadow’s food and fill the tub we keep it in (44.1 pounds of dogfood fits in our tub perfectly - in case anyone cares :-)

1:30 Take 2 loads of laundry off the line, fold and put away. Put another load of laundry out on the line to dry.

1:45 Feed some leftovers to the chickens.

1:50 Wash, hull and cut up 4 pounds of strawberries (they are on sale at HyVee)

2:00 Throw another load of laundry in the washing machine - I am officially caught up on laundry (until tomorrow)

2:05 Thaw out deer burger for meatloaf tonight.

2:10 Vacuum dining room, living room and hallways.

2:20 Pd bill via phone.

2:25 Pull more dry clothes off the line, fold and put away.

2:30 Begin mixing meatloaf for supper.

3:00 3 meatloafs are put together and ready to throw in the oven. I made extras, like I usually do, to share with our elderly widowers who live nearby.

3:05 Take dishes out of dishwasher and put dirty ones in dishwasher.

3:10-3:15 General cleanup

3:15 I am a secret shopper at a local bank (shhhh) and just about every month I get an assignment to just do my regular banking and report back about the service I receive. For doing only that, I receive $15. Kind of a good gig. So I had to enter my info electronically now.

3:25 Wash hand dishes.

3:35 Peel potatoes for supper.

3:45 Skyler is home from school!! Her teacher wants a feather and to see a picture of the turkey she got this weekend.

Skyler is helping me finish up supper and set the table.

4:30 Paul is home from work! We all get to eat the yummy supper and chat about our days.

5:00 Clean up from supper

Spend time typing in all these mundane tasks I completed today on the computer.

Go out and help Paul in the garage with Skyler.
Skyler and Paul play some catch while I continue to clean up from supper and order more pics for the garage wall as I forgot to print somebody's animal from recently.

I quickly fold the rest of the laundry that is on the line and put it all away.

Help Skyler with her homework and discuss tomorrow's turkey hunt with Paul. Make a list of things Skyler needs to accomplish tomorrow morning.

Gather everything we need for hunting again in the morning.

We all watch a PBS special about frogs while I tag some of the items that will be on my garage sale on Saturday.

Showers and to bed by about 10:00 -- 3:45 will come quickly.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Turkey Hunting

Skyler got another turkey!! The girl loves to turkey hunt and has been very successful at it. Skyler got her first turkey last year and was "hooked." This morning was the first day that all of us had tags to fill so there wasn't anything that was going to keep us out of the woods. When there are tags to be filled -- you can pretty much find our family in the timber -- no matter what. Our main purpose for today was to make sure Skyler got a turkey and anything beyond that was just going to be icing on the cake. The longer story of the hunt is on Paul's blog - so I won't repeat it, but I am very proud of Skyler for taking her time and making a great shot on this bird. I am so glad that we all get to hunt together now. Paul loves to teach and he loves to call turkeys -- and he is great at both. Paul, great job on calling these birds that were IN LOVE with our decoy. They were a committed bunch -- so much so -- that most of the time after spotting them we spent waiting for them to separate far enough from each other that Skyler could make a shot on only ONE bird rather than the whole lot of them. Watching Skyler make her shots this morning with the 12 gauge brings back memories of me when I was approximately the same age -- cuz I don't think my dad had ever uttered the words "20 gauge" -- so I always shot with a 12 gauge -- it was all I knew. Seeing her little body getting thrown back just makes me laugh the way my dad laughed when my body did the same thing. What is that old saying?? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? ;-) I think its true. Skyler is turning out to be a pretty tough cookie - which makes her fit in our family that much better!!
I wanted to attempt shooting a bird with my bow this year - something I have never done. A shotgun seems to be the weapon of choice for most people, for obvious reasons (I say obvious because of the lesson I learned today). I brought my bow along and set it aside in case we had a situation where Skyler got her bird and there was still a bird hangin' around. Actually, it happened. Skyler shot her bird and after a short family celebration inside the blind, I saw one of the toms returning to see what had happened. I got my bow ready and waited for the most opportune shot. One thing I have learned about turkeys -- when they are fighting with another bird (which he was doing) they don't stand still. I like my targets to be standing still -- plus their vital area is actually quite small (yep, this is me making excuses). Well, needless to say, I did get a shot off (after holding at full draw for what seemed like several minutes -- but I know it wasn't that long) and between my shaking muscles and the incredible movement of the turkey - I shot through the feathers on his back and he stayed around a little longer just to show me that I hadn't hurt him a bit. The only thing hurt on that one was my pride, if only just a little. Well, back to the shooting range in our back yard and I might bring the bow along again tomorrow as Paul and I try to fill our tags.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Welcome to the World Baby Drew

Our nephew (Skyler's cousin) Drew Victor Hawk entered the world on Sunday night, April 4th. He weighed in at a great 7 lbs 6 oz and was 20.5 inches long. He is adorable! Congratulations Dasan, Jeri and big sister Molly!!