Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wile E.-Coyote

This is a picture of me and my friend Megan from our coyote hunt on Saturday afternoon.  You might be thinking, "Where is your coyote?"  Well, we decided to sit in front of the coyote so that the feint of heart would not be bothered...

Yeah right!  Ok, so we didn't get a coyote -- again -- and if we did, you can bet we would NOT sit in front of it for the picture (after all, the feint of heart need not read this blog)!!  But we had a great time NOT getting one!  In fact, I would be up for it again...but maybe give me a few days.  We are persistent if nothing else -- and that should count for something, right?!?!  Our only consolation is that the guys went out hunting all morning and didn't get a coyote either, WOO HOO!! sorry guys.  But if hunting and NOT getting your prey is always this much fun -- I am IN!!  We even got to see a friendly face in the timbers, a squirrel from days past...Thanks Megan for more great hunting memories!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Gabbie, our beautiful niece, had her 6th birthday party Saturday night.  It was fun to get together with my side of the family for a while -- Happy Birthday Gabbie!!

It is really awesome when you think about it -- how God made the timber a place of new excitements and constantly providing for our family all year long.  Right now we have been taking almost daily butt-busting hikes in the timbers with our reward being the finding of antlers that have recently be shed.  Soon it will be turkey season, mushroom season, and during mushroom season is when we usually happen upon new fawns at which time new birth is all around us with young creatures and new plant sprouts taking hold that will feed those new young creatures.  Then, when the ground dries out enough it is time for food plots, deer stand area manicuring and tree trimming as well as cutting, splitting and hauling firewood for our use in heating our home next winter.  In summer, berries begin to ripen for the picking and soon thereafter squirrel season opens once again.  In our house we go immediately from shooting squirrels one afternoon to the opening of bow season for white-tailed deer the next morning.  Then we fall into the height of deer, coon, pheasant, rabbit and coyote hunting, and through it all squirrel season continues -- you name it -- there is always something to do or look forward to -- a pretty amazing thing.

Because antler sheds are on the ground now, after about seven hours of hiking this weekend, I was able to find my shed numbers 2, 3 and 4 for the year.  Two of those are a very nice set from a deer that unfortunately didn’t make it through the long winter for one reason or another -- as his carcass was laying within feet of both antlers.  Although I love to find antlers, to find the deer dead beside them is a very sad find.  We always say that antler hunting is so much fun because you get a trophy without the need to take a life; it is a pleasure to know that such a great deer continues to thrive for another year -- so to happen upon such a fine animal in such a way is saddening and sometimes disconcerting, but life and death happens daily out in the wild, without rhyme or reason to us -- but I know there is always a plan.

Paul found another small dead buck and one other shed.  Skyler was right there with us this weekend hiking part of the time, but she still just doesn’t quite have the stamina or leg length to keep up with us (we take no leisurely walk -- this might even be considered "hell hiking" by the faint of heard) so, unfortunately, she wasn’t there to help us find the antlers we found this weekend -- otherwise they most likely would have been hers.  While antler hunting I saw a nice buck with antlers still fully attached so there are still at least a few more to be dropped -- guess we will have to re-walk all the timbers we have already covered -- that is a good thing cuz it seems there is never enough timber to walk.

Paul set up for me to get 3 more chickens Saturday morning -- a great surprise!  We now have 6 hens and may just be in the market to get a rooster.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Antler Hunting? It is ON!

Have you ever tried your hand at antler hunting?  For us it goes hand-in-hand with the enjoyment we attain from bow or rifle hunting.  Paul has been antler hunting forever and got me hooked MANY moons ago.  It used to be that pretty much no one else searched for antlers so it was another time we had the timbers to ourselves...but like everything else, times have changed.  It has now become a very popular past-time so we are encouraged to hit the timbers as early as possible to try and find antlers on properties we have permission to walk before trespassers get 'em first.

Last night after work was our first day of the year that we went hiking in the timber mainly with the purpose of antler hunting.  The snow is melted in many areas (other than timbered and north facing hillsides) and it was BEAUTIFUL outside (60 degrees).  It felt so good to walk with grass (and mud) under our feet rather than the crunchy snow we have become so accustomed to.

Skyler didn't find any antlers, but she did find an arrow which had apparently been shot by a poacher/trespasser on a property we have sole rights to hunt.  Luckily this arrow appears to have missed its target -- a deer no doubt.  An incredibly frustrating find, but it will just make us ever more vigilant in our stance against trespassers.

Antler #1 for the year!!
 On to better things...I was lucky enough to find the family's first antler this year!!  It is a pretty fresh antler, however, the tips had already been somewhat chewed by squirrels, darn it.  This kind of thing never gets old for me...I LOVE hunting for shed antlers and still run like a madwoman each and every time I spy one.

I also wanted to post a picture of this cool birdhouse Paul made when the weather was nasty and we were stuck inside.  I wish I was handy and could make whatever I set my mind to like Paul can!!  This house will hopefully hold the nest of either a Chickadee (Paul's favorite bird) or Tufted Tit-Mouse (one of my favorite birds) this spring.  Paul is so great at taking care of his songbirds all year.  We all enjoy watching the huge assortment of birds that frequent our bird feeding station and we each have our favorites.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Closing Down Squirrel Season for the Year

Last night after work and school we all went out into the timber as a family for the final day of squirrel season.  We had a great time exploring and hiking.  Skyler was able to make a great shot on both of these little guys pictured above.  We are so proud of her!  I read an article the other day in a major hunting magazine which talked about how hunting of small game like squirrels and rabbits used to be the right of passage for new hunters.  It went on to say that "in the day" you had to show your hunting abilities and respect through the ethical harvesting of many small game for years before "earning" the right to hunting the likes of a white-tailed deer.  The article summed up by saying that unfortunately, in today's society, most people don't want to take the time or make the efforts to hunt rabbits and squirrels to earn their way in, but jump right to the prize of larger game where accolades are many...

The choice is obviously the hunter's alone, but we are glad that Skyler began hunting just as Paul and I both did.  Skyler has a desire to hunt game of any kind and to enjoy it fully -- whether the world pats her on the back or not.  In that learning Skyler is respectful of each creature no matter how small or large they might be.  Congrats on a great season Skyler!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Great Party Game Idea

First off, let me just say that I am surprised that I can even physically type this post because I am so sore from all of our family snowball fights this weekend.  I would feel like a wimp, but Paul admitted his whole body hurts too.  After the snowball fighting Skyler and I did Saturday I thought we were done with that for the weekend, but we weren't.  I don't know exactly how long Sunday's snowball fight lasted, but suffice it to say that there were several times I went Awol and tried to run to the house but was tackled to the ground by one of the troops to stop me.  Skyler went in and got safety goggles to protect her eyes and we all needed to wear body armor, but don't own any.  So bear with me if there are typos, etc...I can hardly reach the delete key from being so stiff!!

I got to attend Skyler's Valentine's Day party at school yesterday morning.  I took a few quick pictures.  In case you are in search of a fun game for kids in 5th grade or close to it, then listen up.  In this top picture they all had to tie a balloon to their ankle with enough slack that the balloon could could potentially be stomped and popped by a fellow classmate.  Everyone had to try to stomp on everyone else's balloon while trying to keep their own balloon from being popped.  The last kid standing with an unpopped balloon would be declared the winner.  Now I don't know if you have ever been in an enclosed area with 23 5th graders all intent on stomping on a classmate's balloon, but let me tell ya....all hell broke loose...and I am not exaggerating.  Finally with only four kids left the game was stopped and all four were declared winners.  Skyler was one of the lucky 4.  A proud day, I gotta say...not  :)
I thought this was a cool action shot that just happened with the delayed response of my sucky camera
Skyler's class dismissed at 11:15 so she had to go to work with me for the afternoon -- what a bummer.  But she was excellent!  Then we had 2 4-H classes last night -- so while Skyler was in her classes, I got to run for an hour with my friend Renee and got to play fun card games like Crazy 8's and Old Maid with my friend Ali and her little 4-year-old daughter for another hour.  Got home in time for Skyler to do her homework and me to get some daily chores done and finally got to spend a little time with Paul at about 10 o'clock last night.  So it was another fun and full day for us.  I am hoping Skyler's tongue goes back to its normal color...
A picture of Skyler with her friend Jenna showing off their green tongues from the Fun Dip they're eating

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Coyotes and Snowballs on a Saturday and an early Valentine's Day

Paul and his friend Aaron went coyote hunting today after meeting up with another buddy down in Mercer County.  They were able to get two coyotes right off the bat (1 for Paul and 1 for Aaron) lucky bums and then hunted a good portion of the rest of the day without even seeing one more coyote.  Unfortunately I have definitely found that is the way coyote hunting goes -- except for me I skip the whole getting one to begin the day. Congrats guys!

While Paul was gone Skyler and I got to spend the day together.  We got a bunch done that we had been putting off (got the chicken coop cleaned out for one and completely rearranged my bedroom as well), but we also got to have a vicious snowball fight -- I think I might have lost.  Skyler was holed up in her snowball fort and I was running out in the open...not a good place to be when you are up against a girl with an arm and an aim like Skyler has.  I hadn't put in my contacts yet and one snowball hit me and lodged behind my glasses -- so I only had one visible eye -- Skyler thought this was hilariously funny...I actually would have liked to see it happen in slow motion...  Skyler also got another snowman made in the front yard -- but his head already fell off...a sign the snow was melting quickly today.

Skyler tucked down in her fort attacking me!
We were both soaked by the time we decided to go in and then we made some homemade hot cocoa.  I haven't made hot cocoa from scratch for a LONG time -- so it was fun to sip on together.

Skyler wanted to give me my Valentine's Day present early -- and since I love getting presents I quickly obliged.  Skyler came in with this beautiful pillow that she had made all by herself.  [The other night I had to go grocery shopping and she decided to stay home -- now I know why.]  She cut out the material, stuffed and sewed it on the sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch.  She also made me a sweet little card...a present I will always treasure -- one from the heart.  Thanks Sweet Pea!

Here's wishin' you all an early Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Skyler's Duct Tape Crafts

Skyler had her 4H Duct Tape class again last night -- so while I got to hang out with my friends while we waited for the class to finish -- she got to work on these:
Flower pens and a wallet.
Seriously - who would have thought, years ago, that kids would be using duct tape for fun crafts.  I am quite sure the manufacturers of this stuff are doin' a jig!

Although my picture-taking ability this morning is pretty rough -- I think she did a great job!  The wallet has compartments for money (of course) as well as slots for her 4H id card, library card, etc.  The front "SG" are of course her initials.  The flowers are pens -- she made the full tie-dye one for me to take to no one can steal my pen without me knowing it :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011


A picture after a night with less sleep than normal.
Skyler got to have a fun night last night -- first going to the movies with her friend Megan and then we had Megan spend the night at our house.  Two ten-year-old girls together means lots of giggles -- a good thing.  In the morning we had fun making and eating homemade doughnuts for breakfast!  We'll have to have Megan over again soon...she is such a great friend to Skyler.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day!

So we ended up with somewhere between 17 and 22 inches of snow (depending on who ya listen to)...It was hard to measure because of the intense winds which blew the snow into some 5 foot high snowdrifts -- most of which were in our driveway it would seem.

Skyler did not have school for the second day in a row (and school is cancelled for tomorrow, a bit of overkill at this point) but that meant that we got to spend almost the entire day out in the white stuff.  We started at about 7 this morning clearing our driveway, decks and paths and shoveling the chicken coop all of which took us about 3 hours armed with only our shovels and Paul's snowblower.  We then had some time to play with Skyler. we had intended on sledding, but SOMEONE forgot the sled out in the yard from our last sledding expedition and after Skyler and I trudged around for quite some time hoping to find it with our feet -- we gave up.  We worked a bit on a fort and Skyler made snow angels.

We just generally had fun playin' around.  After shoveling our driveway, we only had three other driveways to shovel for other people -- we were glad that the usual fourth was taken care of by someone else before we arrived.  All of the driveways we shoveled had snowdrifts just about as tall as me!!  So needless to say we spent more time than we would have liked clearing that out.  So now that the sun has set we are gonna hang out and relax!

Hope you all had fun during your snow day too!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Concert Wreckers!!

Sorry Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour and Hollywood Undead -- you all shoulda known that when Megan and I bought tickets to your concert -- SOMETHING WAS GONNA GO WRONG!!  Tonight it is snow -- LOTS of snow -- up to 22 inches they say!  This makes 3 out of 4 concerts that we have bought tickets to attend together that we couldn't go to for one reason or another.  I think we can be labeled CONCERT WRECKERS!!

The Klauers and Paul and I were supposed to attend this great concert...the only problem is, the concert was supposed to be TONIGHT!!  And, actually, it still is -- we just aren't there.  It all boiled down to our knowledge that by the time we left the concert, 14 inches of snow were expected to have piled up on the roads and the thought of having to possibly get stuck and sleep on the floor of the I Wireless Center tonight with a bunch of crazed lunatics (cuz let's face it -- most people who would attend this kind of concert aren't upstanding citizens like us -- just kidding to whoever might read this who went...) didn't appeal to any of us -- plus babysitters don't like to go out in this sort of weather either -- go figure.  So my night tonight will include listening to my CDs (great songs like: Hesitate, Welcome to the Family, Nightmare, Through Glass, Almost Easy, Scream, Hesitate, So Far Away, Critical Acclaim, etc.) and pounding out my frustrations on my elliptical machine to replicate the jumping Megan and I would have certainly done in the stands (it SO won't be as much fun!!) -- so Megan, we will have to try again!

As a bit of a side, but equally related as you will see at the end, I should mention, I think both Megan and I are approached a lot with questions like "You hunt? Really?"  "You go out into the timber, alone, a lot, in the dark so you can get to your stand before sunrise so you can hunt?" or "You love to shoot bows? Really? And you hunt with them?" "You climb into those little tree stands and sit patiently for hours with your bow waiting for a deer? Really?" and then there is the "You like this kind of music? Really?"  And when we answer "yes" to these questions we almost always hear:  "I would have never guessed."  We are both pretty unpredictable and I think we like to keep it that way...who knows what we might do next?!?!?  You'll have to stay tuned  :)