Tuesday

brrr....


brrr...
It's cold out.

Reminds me of a saying my Dad would use on days like this ~  "it's cold as a witches tit in the middle of January".

... oh flashbacks to the looks Mom would give him. LOL

I suppose this would be a good day to wear a padded bra.  Keep the girls warm and happy.

Until next time....
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Sunday

anti-ants~


image from the internet

Cookies anyone? Sure... if you scrape the thousands of ants off of them first!  Oh my... 


Every year I make a lot of cookies and bars for the holidays.  Well... this year I made a bunch up and didn't put them out right away.  Instead, I decorated up a box that was about 6 inches high and 2 feet long by 1 foot wide.  I filled it with the cookies and wrapped it up and set it under the tree.  I figured this would be a good way to keep the goodies hidden and from getting eaten up before Christmas.  I did keep out a plate full of sugar cookies and some fudge.



Yesterday, we finally celebrated our Christmas; because it was the day we could all be together.  Dear Hubby had asked, "where are all the cookies?", my children had asked, "where are all the cookies Mom?", my Grandloves had asked, "Grandma, didn't you make cookies?"   To all they got the same reply, "sorry, not this year, I didn't think we needed them."   Poor babies... they all replied with a sigh, saying how much they loved all the cookies I baked and that they really wished I would have done it this year too.  They all look forward to the big cookie collection at G'ma's house on Christmas.



Also, the other question going around was "Who's present is that under the tree in that big gold box?  There's no tags on it."


Happy happy Joy joy when they all found out the big gold box was full of cookies!! 


Then the reality ...
ANTS!!! 


Now, I'm not talking a few little ants that you could snap off and say, 'ah.. it's just an ant and still feel good about eating that cookie ... the box was INFESTED with thousands of ants!!!   Where the heck did they show up from!!!    The whole colony was there having a very merry time at my expense!!



Well the box of cookies spent the night out on the deck in the snow; and this morning it got the heave ho to the dumpster.


The only good thing about that was I was able to kill the whole bunch off at once ... freezing their little butts off in the snow.  

I'm just in such a funk as to where these ants came from.  We haven't been seeing ants in the house anywhere.  We've never seen this kind of ant anywhere around here.  This is Wisconsin and we're in the middle of winter ... there are no ants in the snow and cold. 



I'm just taking it as a sign ... we don't need all those sweets.  I'm trying to cut back on that kind of stuff anyways; and I guess this was the year.


Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Wednesday

we wish you a m*rry Christmas~

 

 

We Wish You a Merry♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Christmas♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪We Wish You a Merry ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Christmas ♥ ♥ ♥We Wish You A Merry ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Christmas ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪...And A Happy New Year!♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪...

Tuesday

sam & g'ma~


the fudge~

image from the internet

It's been a busy week... with holiday baking and decorating.  Doing all the things in preparation for the biggest and best birthday party of the year ~ Christmas!!  

I got the 2 turkeys cooked off for the community Christmas dinner.  Wow... imagine my surprise when I saw the size of them ~ they were 22 pounds each.  Last year the turkeys only weighed around 10-12 lbs. a piece... so I figured I could easily cook two of them off at the same time in my oven this year ~ side by side.  Well... with two 22 pound birds to cook off... they each got their own oven time.   Personally, I thought it was a little on the early side to be cooking them off; but I guess they wanted them back to the church on the 22nd or 23rd this year so as not to interrupt Christmas too much for the volunteers who do the cooking.  The church has big coolers; so they'll be put in those until reheated through on the 25th.  So actually this did work out a lot better.  Less rushing around for everyone involved.

I also made up some more cookies... why.... I don't know. We sure don't need to be eating them!  Although, my skinny son Sam could use to put on some pounds; and so do my grandloves ~ so I guess I'll keep on baking.  Yesterday morning I found a tell tale sign of some snooping going on around here.  There was an empty container sitting on the counter that I had put some homemade fudge in.  hmmm....   It had Slim, Sam and Ashley written all over it.  The empty container wasn't there the night before when I went to bed and the three of them were still up watching a movie.  When I confronted Slim in the morning he denied it... Sam denied it... and Ashley denied it...  I think I'm living in a house full of liars.... but then Sam said that was the best fudge he's every had... and so did Slim... and so did Ash.  hmmm....  they didn't eat the fudge; but it was the best they ever had??  

Seriously, I am picky when it comes to fudge.  I don't like a fudge that is over cooked or grainy in texture.  I've been researching and trying out fudge recipes and I think I have finally come up with "THE FUDGE" recipe that I've been hoping for.

In researching I read an article about fudge and why it can be grainy in texture.  One being overcooked and the other; which really makes sense, is the use of small miniature marshmallows versus using large marshmallows that are quartered or the marshmallow creme.  Miniature marshmallows  have a coating of cornstarch on them so they don't stick together.  Well all that extra cornstarch can be just enough to ruin a batch of fudge.

Here's the recipe that I came up with  ... and love!  This really is a good creamy fudge and it's super easy to make:
THE FUDGE
makes 36 pieces
Ingredients:
2 cups white sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla emulsion
1 cup butter 
25 large marshmallows, quartered
2 cups milk chocolate chips
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened bakers chocolate
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:
1.  Grease 1 - 9x13 cake pan.  Set aside.
2.  Combine sugar, milk, vanilla and butter in large, heavy saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Boil for 2 minutes.
3.  Remove from heat and add marshmallows, semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate.  Stir until all the chocolate and marshmallows are melted and smooth.    Mix well.  Add nuts if wanted.
4.  Pour into prepared pan.  Let fudge  sit at least 24 hours to set up ~ before cutting into squares.  Refrigerate for easier cutting.
 ~~~
Until next time....
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel 

   

Sunday

tug on the heart strings~




It happened again this morning...
just like yesterday...
and the day before...

someone stopped to buy bait.

Our bait shop has been out of business since September 1st.  The signs are all down ~ yet they come ... knocking on the door looking for some minnows or fishing tackle... and all of them say, "did you know your signs are down?"

It kinda tugs on the heart strings.

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Thursday

gumdrop bread~





 Yesterday.... Dear Hubby... bless his soul... wanted to help do some baking for Christmas for me; since I was busy patching up his work pants for him.  
So....
he decides to make some gumdrop bread. It was his Grandma's recipe that she always made for him at Christmas time when he was a little boy... and also a grown man.  I've been making it since Grandma died; but this year Slim said he wanted to make it.



When he first started; I turned the oven on for him to preheat it.  Well... gumdrop bread has to bake for an hour and a half.  Fifteen minutes before it's done.... I realize; the kitchen doesn't smell very 'spicy and gumdroppy', I better sneak a peak at the bread.  Come to find out when Slim put the bread in the oven and went to set the timer.... he hit Cancel before doing the timer and he unknowingly turned the oven off.  So there sat his four loaves of bread, having an hour and a half yet to bake.  Three hours later... we finally had the gumdrop bread done from start to finish. 
~~~
G'ma Inez Donner's Gumdrop Bread
 makes 4 loaves    300 degrees  1-1/2 hours. baking time


4 cups sugar
2 cups butter
1 cup shortening
4 eggs
3 cups applesauce
2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in the applesauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 lbs. of spicette gumdrops
raisins/ dates / walnuts


In a large bowl cream the sugar, eggs and shortening.  Add the applesauce with the baking soda dissolved in it.  Add the remaining dry ingredients, gumdrops, raisins, dates and nuts.


The dough will be very stiff like a cookie dough.


Divide into 4 well-greased and floured loaf pans.


Place in 300 degree preheated oven on the center rack.


On the lower rack of the oven place a cake pan filled half way with hot water.  This is a very important step to assure a moist gumdrop bread.  It also keeps the bread from browning too fast.


Bake 1-1/2 hours until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of a loaf.
Remove from pans to cool.
~~~
Dear Hubby left today for North Carolina for work.  I just got a phone call from him a little bit ago... seems he missed his flight to Detroit from Mosinee.  On his ticket it said his flight flew out at 6:00 and he gets to the airport at 5:15 .... plenty of time to check in.  Well... come to find out his ticket was wrong... his flight took off at 5:00... not 6:00.  So... he missed his flight by an hour.  Then to make matters worse, there are no other flights until tomorrow night that he could take... and he's suppose to be at a plant in North Carolina in the morning.  What a mess!

So now he's on his way back home; but decided to take a motel for the night because he has a bunch of stuff to pick up down by Athens before coming home; which he was originally going to pick up on Saturday.  
Who knows when he'll be rescheduled now to go to North Carolina.  He's so bummed.  I wish I was with him.



Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Monday

dwarf deer~

This is from a shared email from my brother-in-law.

He emailed me this picture of a dwarf deer that was caught on a neighbor to his son in law's camera. It's over in Winter, WI   A town about half an hour from my place.

Pretty awesome!!! It's not every day you get to see such a nice buck yet alone a dwarf deer.  How cool is that!!  It certainly looks like it could be a dwarf; because even a fawn that would have been born this year would be twice that size by now.  I hope they get more photos of it.


Thank's JD for sharing!!

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Friday

shout out~




I'm doing a shout out to all the co-workers of my lil sis ...

I talked with Colleen yesterday on the phone and she said when I come to visit her in February ~ she's bringing me to work with her for the day for show and tell ... LOL.... I can't wait!!!

Someone put the coffee on! and some doughnuts won't hurt either...
and as far as work goes... we'll see... I think it should be a paid holiday.

I promise I won't embarrass her as she embarrassed me when I took her to show and tell. (correction: I'll TRY not to embarrass her) Ask her about it.  Ask her if she learned how to pull up her tights yet.

I haven't met any of you personally, although I have spoken with a few of you on the phone.  You guys all sound alike... must be a southern thing.  I just want to say though, "I LOVE EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU!!"  If it weren't for you guys (is this where I'm suppose to say "y'all"? ... I have to start practicing my southern talk ... is that even spelled right??? ) being like family to Colleen... she'd probably want to move back home.  So keep up the great work!

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Wednesday

snow day~



It's a snow day!  No school for the grandloves; so they're spending the day at G'ma Mel's house!!

Our Bailey was so funny when she got here this morning.  Staci had gotten the car stuck in a snow drift in our driveway and Bailey (who's 4 yrs. old) said "Mom got stuck because her car has poor gas mileage."  lol  She got stuck because she didn't give it enough gas to get up the hill. 

Talk about a little pesky child though. Her sister Brooke is 10 years old and Bailey is being the typical 4 year old and pestering her poor sister non stop.  She keeps calling Brooke "Santa" and it's irritating the dickens out of her.  Of course, the more it irritates Brooke... the more Bailey does it.

I asked Bailey what she was up to and she said she was going to "air-o-tate Santa".  I told her she could airotate all she wanted; but she better quit irritating her. "ok" ~ but we all know it won't last. lol
~~
I have a doctors appointment later on today.  I'm actually looking forward to it.  I get my blood workup results today and I'm very curious to see how they are.  Since my last blood work up last June when my A1C dropped from 12.8 last December to 6.5 in June ... so I'm anxious to see where I'm sitting at today.  Could make all the difference on how I approach the Christmas season! haha
~~
The girls are at it again... I hear Brooke yelling, "no hitting" "oww oww oww... stop!"   and I hear Bailey saying, "I Paul-A-Joist, I Paul-A-Joist!" (I apologize I apologize) ... where does she come up with these words! It's just a hoot listening to her.

Then in the same breath she says, "I love you. Get away from me. Come here Brooke, come here, come here, come here, Brooke come here.  I won't be mean to you. Brooke I won't be mean to you. Brooke I won't be mean to you. Come here. I won't be mean to you. I won't be mad at you. Now come here I want to tell you something.  I want to tell you a thing.  You Paul-A-Joist to me and you can say I Paul-A-Joist to you."

LOL... it's so funny listening to them in the background.  I suppose a good G'ma would go and get this settled between them... but I think I'm going to just sit back and listen. 

Until next time....
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel
~~~~
~~~~
UPDATE:  I'm back from my doctors appointment.
My A1C is 6.1 Whoooohooo!!!  Normal range is 4.0-6.0 ... one year ago I was at 12.8!  I was so happy to see that number.

Now I have to just get my weight down to a happier healthier level.  NO MORE DESSERTS!!! at least not the kind I've been eating.  Oh... my doctor is such a health freak!

He too was very happy with my results ... especially since he found out now that I don't take any prescription meds except for my insulin.  AND... That too I have made major changes in.  I used to take 64 units every morning and I have that weaned down to 20 units and I used to take 36 units in the evening and I have that weaned down to 20 units.  I told him by my next big blood work up which is in May ... that too is going to change.  I swear... I am going to get off of my insulin too! 

I feel so much better than I did a year ago ... when I was popping 16 prescription meds a day ~~~ those days are gone!

I am going back on to one drug though for a few months and that is the Chantix.  When I was going through all this "coming down from the meds" withdrawal symptoms... I hate to admit... but I've been snitching the cigs again.  Nothing like I used too... but still...  I know... I know... please don't preach to me about it.  At least I AM TRYING.  So please... give me some support.  My doctor said he's surprised I actually did as well as I did coming off some of those potent meds I was on. :) I really do feel like this time ... FINALLY ... things are going in the right direction.

Like I told Slim ... walk a mile in my shoes one day ... and then tell me how I should and shouldn't feel.

It's not easy battling obesity, CHF, CAD, fibromyalgia and diabetes. 

The only other things now that I take is 2 aspirin a day to replace the Plavix... to keep those dang stents open.  Geeze... I wish I didn't have those; but I do ... so 2 aspirin a day it is.  I can live with that ~ and my doctor approves.  I also take an Aleve on occasion when the fibro acts up; but that I have to be careful with because it spikes my blood pressure... and I'm taking a regiment of 4,000 mg. a day of fish oil and flaxseed.    Oh the joy of it all!!

The road to health is a long one.

Once again...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Monday

hungarian raspberry pastry bars~

What's on the cooling rack?  Well today it's Hungarian Raspberry Pastry Bars. 

The original recipe is for Strawberry bars made with strawberry preserves.... but I did a little altering and used some raspberry pie filling instead.  The original recipe also called for a walnut layer; but I didn't have walnuts so I substituted with some granola.  The original recipe also called for a lattice top... which I hate making... so I used my good ol' doughnut cutter and cut out some rings and holes and tossed them on top. I know I could have been more creative on placing the rings; but ....  all in all ... after all my alterations... there's still only one word for it. YUM


Here's the original recipe from the Taste of Homes 2008 Annual Recipes cookbook:

Hungarian Strawberry Pastry Bars
Prep: 45 min + chilling   Bake: 25 min. + cooling
Golden pastry crisscrosses a fruity, nutty filling in this family favorite.  The recipe makes a big batch - ideal for a party or special occasion. -Ron Roth, Wyoming, Michigan

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups shortening
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups chopped walnuts, divided
1 jar (18 ounces) seedless strawberry jam

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sour cream, water and vanilla; gradually add to crumb mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.  Divide into thirds.  Chill for 30 minutes.
Between two large sheets of waxed paper, roll out one portion of dough into a 15-in.x10-in.x1-in. baking pan.  Sprinkle with 1-1/4 cups walnuts and 2 tablespoons sugar.  Roll out another portion of dough into a 15-in. x 10-in. rectangle; place over walnuts.  Spread with jam; sprinkle with remaining walnuts and sugar.
Roll out remaining pastry; cut into strips.  Arrange in a crisscross pattern over filling.  Trim and seal edges.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  Cut into bars.  Yield: 2 dozen.
~~~
~~~
When I made it I didn't bother with the step of chilling the dough either... and it worked up great without being chilled.  This is really a good pastry crust ~ with the baking powder, soda, sour cream and egg yolks... a keeper recipe for sure!  Even with all my alterations... I didn't botch it up... lol.

Happy baking!

Until next time....
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

deck the halls~

I finally got my Christmas tree up! I searched hi and low ... through a ton of snow... and finally opted for the artificial tree.  I know... I know... I'm already hearing the complaints from the kids about a fake tree.... but by golly... once it's decorated it's still a beautiful Christmas tree!  Spritz a little pine scented Glade in the air ... and all is forgiven.

Here it is in the daylight:


and at night with it's pretty blue lights:


I wish I could figure out how to take a good night time picture with Christmas lights shining.  These photos just don't do it justice.

day time: 

night time:


day time:


night time:


 
 
Ash, Brooke, Sam and Sara all helped yesterday with decorating inside the house and out.   Yes! Even Sam.  He did some high work for me....


All in all ... especially at night ... my house is aglow with the feeling of Christmas.  The kids strung lights on both decks, around the door, over the kitchen cabinets and around the windows.  It's so cozy feeling. Thanks kiddos!!!

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Saturday

it's snowing again~




It's snowing again...
and this time I know it's here to stay.
Time of the year to keep the bird feeders filled, and the fire stoked up. 



My flower garden ... in the snow... the only visible life is my little barberry bush with it's pretty red berries.


















The whiskey barrel planter with balsam boughs and pine boughs with a few barberry twigs.
Spring is coming ...
It's just a long way off.
Now I wait in anticipation of warmer days and the new life that will follow.
But in the mean time...


Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

Here's a link to My Flowers In The Summer Time

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Thursday

pc whoas~

Oh goodness, gracious, gravy nurse....  I just spent the better part of the day reformatting and partitioning my hard drive.  If it gives me another week of computer use... all is good.  Oh I hope Santa finds it in his heart to get me a new computer ~ but realistically speaking... that isn't going to happen.

Dear Hubby got the news that he has to go to South Carolina in the next two weeks... I think he leaves the day after his birthday.  He knew he was going to have to make the trip down there for work; but was hoping it would fall on his scheduled work days.  Now, come to find out it's going to fall on his days off.  He's not too happy about that.  I don't blame him. 

Wow... just look at the calendar... less than 3 weeks to Christmas.  I haven't even started yet to buy gifts or to decorate.  I'm in such a ho hum instead of ho ho ho mood. 

I did volunteer my time and dish pan hands for the community Christmas dinner again this year on Christmas Day.  So I'll be there on the 25th almost all day long.  It's alright though, because we do Christmas Eve over by my Mom's and we aren't celebrating our Christmas here at the house until the 26th ~ when my granddaughter Amanda can make it home with us. 

Last night we had a meeting for the Justin Donner Memorial Fisheree; which is held the last Saturday of January.  The JPD Warrior Project is growing into a pretty big and popular event in our area :).  I have to get on to the website tonight yet (while my computer is working) and make some updates to it. 

What else is new around here?  Not much.... Slim made supper tonight... that was a perk!  Although, if you ask him he'll tell you it was the worse meal he ever cooked.  He beer battered and deep fried some walleye fillets.  He kind of rushed them and crowded them in the fryer and most of the batter fell off.  They were a bit greasy; but still pretty tasty.  The whole platter got cleaned up, so they couldn't have been that bad.  I was just happy not having to cook. 

The guys also worked a good part of the day getting the runners on to the ice fishing shanty.  Hopefully, they'll be pulling it out on the ice in a few weeks.  If this cold weather keeps up we should have some pretty good ice on the lakes by then. 

well... I suppose I better get into gear and get over to the website and make those updates...
Have a great day my cyberspace friends!

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Monday

assumptions~

Something happened today that was rather upsetting to me.  I lost a facebook friend because I harvested a deer.
Here's the note that was left for me in my inbox: (name withheld)

Hi Melody, I hope you're well. Melody I'm sorry but I have to drop you as my facebook friend. You have been very nice to me and was always so kind. The reason is none of my friends or family kill animals. We love them and try to protect them. You killed a deer and he never did anything to you. I don't understand people who do this. It must be a cultural thing where you live. I see one of your friends even wrote "wasn't it a rush pulling the trigger on the big gun and just killing something for once? What's the thrill of killing a defenseless animal. To me that's the same as stomping a cat to death just to watch it die. Hunting is not a sport. It's killing another living animal just for the thrill of killing. No thank you. Take care.

This was my reply:

So sorry that you think of me like that; because that isn't me. I am not a sport, trophy or thrill killer!! To me... hunting is a means of putting meat on the table. No different than going to the grocery store and buying a chicken or beef roast... just the elimination of the middle man. We EAT what we harvest. I came from a very poor background and from a family of nine children. If my father didn't HARVEST what the Good Lord provided I don't know how he would of kept us fed. We HARVEST our deer just as we harvested our chickens, their eggs, beef cattle, hogs and even the Thanksgiving turkey. Do you eat turkey, chicken, beef, ham? Do you wear a leather belt or shoes or have a leather wallet? We even harvest our own vegetables. So please... please... don't put me in the same category as a person who would stomp a cat to death to watch it die. That's horrible ... and it hurts me to think that you would think of me like that. I am not a cruel person
 ~~~
I'm sorry... but that was the last thing I thought this person would write to me and it shocked me and it really hurt and was upsetting.  How can someone make that kind of assumption? or comparison about me? comparing me to someone who would stomp a cat to death to watch it die!!  

I was raised by very strong firm Christian values.  I am not an animal hater and I don't like being categorized as one.  Our families have been  members of the National Rifle Association since it's induction. We also were very active members with the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.  My husband has been a Wisconsin Trapper's Education instructor for the state of Wisconsin in conjunction  with the Department of Natural Resources for over 13 years. We are firm believers in the ethical treatment of animals.  When they are HARVESTED it is done in the quickest most humane possible way.

I can ... without a doubt ... say that any animal that is HARVESTED by us is done in a fashion that is more humane than that piece of chicken you might eat at KFC, or that burger from any franchise, or that beef roast or charlie chicken from the sea that you got from your grocery store.

If you want to be a full fledge vegetarian  ... that's your choice... I don't care.  But if you are... you better get rid of your pets too; because guess what their dog food or cat food is made out of? And take away the Elmer's from your kiddies school; because guess what that's made out of too? Quit wearing your leather belts and put away those  leather shoes and wallet. Quit fertilizing your roses and petunia's too while you're at it... and do you know where your vegetables came from? What did that cow eat before it made that glass of milk? and what about good ol' Jello???

Do you even know what would happen if there wasn't a HARVEST season on certain species of animals? Or if they weren't kept under control and allowed to just go out and breed and repopulate themselves?  Have you ever heard of  tularemia or deer fly fever or CWD - Cronic Wasting Disease.  Do a google search and look it up.... it's a problem that is spreading throughout the United States with deer herds.    Believe me ... harvesting them and utilizing them for consumption and manufacturing is FAR more humane... for whom? The top of the food chain.  Man.

Until next time,
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Sunday

hunting experience day 9

It's the final day of deer hunting.  I stuck it out 8 of the 9 days.  I even brought my camera along today ~ to show you where I've been this last week.  I took some pictures before I got settled in for the day ~ then the camera is getting shut off because it makes too much noise turning it on and off.

We got a nice dusting of snow last night ... maybe Big Bucky will show up today.

Here's my hunting blind:

This is the front of it ...
notice the nice patch job on the door that the bear tore off:


Here's the stove ...
I told you I was practically sitting on top of it:

This is the my shooting lane:


Here's the other window that I can't use; because the bear broke it.  I pray nothing comes in that direction:


~~~
No cocoa w/Splenda in the thermos today - just straight up black coffee... keeps the gizzard warm and keeps me alert.  I'm wishing though it was Mt. Royal Lite and Diet Coke. lol  Maybe tonight I'll get to celebrate and have a cocktail.
~~~
Noon whistle just blew at the mill.
Lunch today is some homemade smoked turkey slices, a little bag of Frito's and coffee.  Dessert is a handful of gumdrops!  I did bake a chocolate cake w/pecan frosting early this morning for suppertime, before heading out to the woods today.  But what's for supper? I haven't figured that out yet.  Breakfast was left over homemade pizza from supper last night.  Boy, am I ever slipping off my diet!! Starting tomorrow Dear Hubby and I are starting to eat healthier!!  (after we clean up the cake - can't be wasteful) Now I know why I'm so WAIST FULL.
~~
OH MY GOSH!! An owl just flew in and LANDED on my opened window sill - 2 feet away from me.  I think I startled him as much as he startled me! Then he flew up into the tree - camera ... QUICK!!!

 

Even if I don't see any more wildlife today - including Big Bucky - this was sooooo worth it.  Now I just need my heart rate to slow down.  What a cool experience!!  I should have tried offering him some turkey and Fritos.
~~~
3:30
It's been pretty quiet this afternoon.  It's just me and my thoughts.
Dad has been on my mind - Big Time
He passed away two years ago and not a day goes by that I don't think of him and miss him.
You know how some people are just miserable human beings when they're alive; but when they die everybody talks about them like they were the sweetest, kindest person on this Earth:  Well ... that wasn't my Dad!!! He really was a kind, loving man.
He had such a love for life and the best sense of humor. Oh how he loved Mom and all his kids!  What he also loved was being in the woods.  He was an avid hunter right up until the end.
He loved hearing about everybody's hunting experiences and had some pretty good stories of his own to tell.  Even after becoming disabled, and had to walk with 2 canes, he still hunted.  He made it to Ontario for moose and Quebec for caribou and even Texas for wild pigs.
These woods that I'm sitting in today gave up many deer to feed his family of eleven.  I feel his spirit here today with me.

Daddy... if you have anything to do with this ~ fly on down with those angel wings and chase one out of the swamp for me.
~~~
hallelujah HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!
A doe came in and right on her heels was a buck!!!!
I got my deer ... the last 5 minutes of shooting time for the season.  I finally got my first deer ever!
It's an eight pointer!
Praise the Lord and Thank You Daddy!!

 the buck stops here

mom and i
 



Saturday

hunting experience day 8


It's Saturday morning and I'm not giving up.  Today is a fresh new day.  I felt a bit quilty not sitting yesterday; but my body was demanding a day off.  Today I'm feeling much better, physically and emotionally.  My phone call of encouragement from Colleen and Mike cheering me on helped.  Thanks You Guys... which is the equivalence to the southern y'all. lol
Today, while sitting here waiting for a deer I'm reading "All Quiet On The Western Front".  It's an old book that I found in our attic of the old house.  The original copyright to it is from 1928 by Ullstein A.G. "Im Westen Nichts Neues".  I'm reading the translated from German to English version by A.W. Wheen.  It's the 13th printing from 1956.
I remember this book as a required reading in my high school literature class back in the '70's.  Now... 30+ years later it means something and I'm grasping it's full impact.  War - It was horrible then as it is now.
~~~
12:00 The noon whistle just blew.
Eating a turkey sandwich for lunch.  I had a piece of pie for breakfast ... eat dessert first.
~~~
I just read a paragraph in my book that reads:
   " He proposes that a declaration of war should be a kind of festival with entrance tickets and bands, like a bull fight.  Then in the arena the ministers and generals of the two countries, dressed in bathing-drawers and armed with clubs, can have it out among themselves.  Whoever survives, his country wins.  That would be much simpler and more just than this arrangement, where the wrong people do the fighting."
~~~
2:15 - Just heard a plane fly over.
The little red squirrel is chattering.
Heard a shot way off in the distance. 
Two more hours to go - where are the deer??
Some kind of bird just flew overhead.  I don't know what it was; but it was pretty good sized.  It sounded like it was saying, "Que que que."  Possibly, a pileated woodpecker???
~~~
2:20 - Just heard six more shots one after another far off.
I have Dear Hubby's rifle again today.  A Browning Bar II 30-06 w/ 9x40 Tasco scope - certainly capable of taking down the big buck of my dreams - if he'd only show himself.  I want some meat for the table.  I only have 1 quart of canned moose left on the pantry shelf and some canned venison sure would be nice.
~~~
2:30 - Another way off shot.
I heard our neighbor Bill W. got a nice 12 point buck 2 days ago.  Why couldn't it have been me??
3:45 - Just heard six more shots - way off.  Someone must be near a field or open hardwoods to take that many shots.  I'm in such heavy brush I'll be lucky to get off one - of course that's if the opportunity presents itself.  My aim has to be a good one.
~~~
~~~
Once again... in for the night.  Another unsuccessful hunt.  Tomorrow is the last day of deer hunting season in Wisconsin with the rifles. 
They had the big prize give away tonight on the Deer Hunters Round Up radio program; which I had an entry in ... no luck there either.

Oh well...
Until next time....
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel 

Friday

hunting experience day 7





I'm taking a break today from hunting.  I don't want to have anything to do with Wisconsin weather. I don't even want to look out my window at it.  Instead I'm sitting here at my computer... in my nice warm house... day dreaming about a beautiful tropical beach.  Oh how I would love to be walking in the sand and dipping my toes into some nice sun warmed waters.

hunting experience day 6

Over the next few days I'm hunting and taking a notebook along.  In the evenings I'll post how my day went.
~~~~~
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
It's Thursday morning - and I'm out in the deer blind - praying this will be my lucky day.  I was up early today at 5:00 a.m. seeing Dear Hubby off to work.   I made another dessert for tonight's big meal - grasshopper pie.  I turned the kitchen over to the kids and here I am.  Waiting.  I'm staying out here all day until it's too dark to shoot unless the Big Boy Mr. Bucky comes in and changes my plans.
~~~
I'm reading the Wisconsin Outdoor News.  It's a monthly publication where hunters can brag and boast on the picture board; but more importantly it's about all the hunting news going on in the state.  It always has feature articles on the pro & cons of issues.  It's by no means one-sided.  If there's an issue to be debated everyone gets a fair voice.  It also keeps everyone  abreast of hunting and gun regulations and it always has great articles on what our government is up to in regards to the sportsman.

My favorite part of the newspaper though would always have to be the "On The Trail" report given by Dean Bortz - the editor - who is also my cousin!  He always manages to give a more personal story of things that are going on.  When my Dad passed away 2 years ago in October he did the best story ever of him and his dream of building a boat.  Then when my Mom shot her 8 point buck the following month he did an exclusive on her.  Dean ~ you're the best!
~~~
11:00 a.m. Still no action - still waiting on Mr. Big.  It sure does feel strange being all donned out in blaze orange hunting clothes instead of being in the kitchen on Thanksgiving .  This is tough - cooking has been a part of me my whole life.
Ever since my first job as a kitchen assistant at Boyd's Mason Lake Resort when I was 15 and excluding my secretarial stints with North End Machinery and Dr. Enzinger - and being a bartender at Dixies, JR's & MP, all my other jobs were in the kitchen.  I cooked at Just Drift Inn, Lake Bastine Resort, Fort Flambeau, and a 15 year run at the Northwoods Supper Club.
After all those cooking jobs in 2003 was when we opened the bait shop and I finally stayed home to work.  Then this last September we closed shop ~ so I'm really starting a new chapter in my life.
Now I'm a couch potato.
~~~
12:00 I just heard the noon whistle blow at the paper mill in town - 7 miles away.  I was happy when the mill started up after it's shut down between buyers that the new owner had it restored.  I think a lot of other people were happy about it too.  It's a part of the town; just like it's people and it was good to have it back.
~~~
RE: Dar-- on your comment about my post about my memory and remembering the names of the indian tribes in the state? You went to the same school I did - weren't you paying attention in history class?  Don't you remember Mr. Warshall saying, "Pay attention, you might need to know this some day." LOL  He used that line a LOT... I guess I must have paid attention.
~~~
A flock of sandhill cranes just flew over - heading south for the winter - are they ever getting a late start - and are they ever vocal.
~~~
2:30 - Just heard my first gun shot of the day.  It sounded more east of me than south - where Mom is sitting.  Then again - its really hard to tell when you're sitting in the middle of the woods surrounded by balsam trees, maples and tag alders.  Plus there's a lot of downed trees and brush by me, from a tornado that touched down in the woods here about 4 or 5 years ago.  I wish Dad was around.  He had a really good memory when it came to stuff like that.  He could probably give the exact year, day and hour when that happened.
~~~
You all heard of DeJa Vue?  What about  DeJa Moo?  You probably all heard this line of bull s#*t before.
~~~
3:30 - Heard a shot to the south west
--- I'm so ready for a long hot shower and a good evening with my family.  I called Staci this morning to remind her to turn on the TV so the kids could watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I always liked watching that while cooking.  Next year - if I hunt - I think I'm going to stay in on Thanksgiving Day.  It's kind of depressing for me today being out here all alone in the woods.  Just me, myself and I and a little red squirrel who's even lost interest in me.
~~~
4:10 - The two does are here again.
4:30 - It's getting dark - quitting time.
I'm going home to my family and a nice meal.
Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving~


Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday

hunting experience day 5

Over the next few days I'm hunting and taking a notebook along.  In the evenings I'll post how my day went.
~~~~ 
What did I see today, beside the one red squirrel that the bobcat hasn't gotten yet?  Two girl deer or does as they are called.  
There wasn't much action ~ it was a pretty boring day.  It is amazing though how quiet a deer can be and also how loud some of them are. 

Today when the first doe; which was also the biggest and undoubtedly the oldest, came sneaking in by the bait she was hardly audible.  There was one very small twig crack and there she was.  When the younger doe came in about 10 minutes behind her ... I could here her coming about 50 yards out before she even got there.  I suppose she already knew it was safe enough to come in ... seeing as how the other doe had already been there eating and nothing happened to her. 


I don't have a tag to harvest a doe; but I do have a buck tag. 


I like having the does come in by my stand even though I can't take one.  It gives me something to watch to pass the time.  It helps me keep calm and alert at the same time in anticipation for a buck.  The biggest plus though about having the does there is that it increases my chances of seeing a buck ~ looking for a mate.  But today it didn't play out that way.  No boyfriend in the vicinity. 


It was a late start again today for me to get out hunting; although I haven't been seeing anything early on in the day so I don't think I missed out on anything.  Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be able to get into the woods a little earlier. 


In anticipation for Thanksgiving I made up a pie today, and another dessert and some homemade dinner rolls.  I was told that I don't have to worry about cooking anything else tomorrow.  Staci, Sara, Sam and the granddaughters are taking over the kitchen.  This is great news! I can't wait to have Thanksgiving dinner all ready when I come in from hunting.  This is going to be a real treat! 


This could be the start of another family tradition being passed on down through the generations.  My mother hardly ever made the Thanksgiving dinner.  It was usually up to us girls when we were living at home to cook the meal.  Mom was out hunting; as she does to this day at 80 years young.  Oh ... she'd do a lot of the prep work, and bake pies, etc... but getting it cooked up and on the table usually fell on to us. 


I just got off the phone with her a bit ago and she said she already had her Thanksgiving dinner last night over at my nephew Mark's place with my oldest sister Linda and her family; but she'd be more than happy to come and eat again tomorrow.  She said she'd be sure to save more room this time around for the dessert.  She's so funny.


She didn't have any luck hunting today either.  Maybe tomorrow will be the day ... finger's crossed.


Dear Hubby and Sam's girlfriend, Ashley, ran over to Minocqua this afternoon and picked up the new television, sound system and TV stand.  Tonight, Sam and Ash are in the basement setting up the old TV and console that I had upstairs and Sara and Slim are having a bonding father and daughter moment putting together the console and TV upstairs.  I opted to stay out of everybody's way and came in the office to go on the computer.  By the sound of things in the basement and in the living room ... I know I made the right decision.  


Our HD receiver won't be here until next Wednesday though for the upstairs television thru Dish Network.  The technician that they are sending out will have to set that up and then set the one in the basement up at the same time.  So in the meantime we'll be using the old receiver upstairs.  The television quality won't be that great; but it'll be better than nothing.  I'll be so happy when all this gets figured out and done with.... and I can get the two rooms back in order.


Because of all the commotion of getting supper on the table, dishes washed, the television sets getting moved; I missed the Hunter's Round Up on the radio.  I guess that too will have to be put off until Friday.  They aren't broadcasting it on Thanksgiving eve.  Saturday will be the drawing for the bigger prizes... including the 42 inch plasma TV that I got put into the other night.   Wouldn't that be a hoot if I won that!  Then the guys would have to move the TV's around again! Let's keep our fingers crossed once more. 


Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Tuesday

hunting experience day 4

Over the next few days I'm hunting and taking a notebook along.  In the evenings I'll post how my day went.
~~~~~
~~~~~
Day 4 already and I'm still hanging in there.  This hunting takes it's toll on a person both physically and mentally.  It's doubly hard on me to be out here while battling this darn fibro.  I took an Aleve last night when I went to bed, than another this morning and two of them at 1:00 and I'm finally starting to feel a little better.
~~~
This is the first time since Dear Hubby became old enough to deer hunt that he hasn't purchased a hunting license.  He's leaving it up to Sam and I this year to put the venison on the table.  I'm starting to think we're going to be eating a lot of chicken this year.  Good thing he's working at the mill for some of his buddies so they can hunt ~ maybe he'll make enough money to buy the chicken.
~~~
It's an over cast day and quite damp out; but still not that bad of a day weather wise ~ it could be raining or snowing.  The sun just refuses to break through the overcast and shine ... I won't be able to use the excuse "the sun was in my eyes" if I do get to shoot ~ and God forbid ~ miss.

I'm using Sam's rifle today.  He missed a deer yesterday by the power line because it was such a long shot.  Mine is sighted in for a longer distance and has a better accuracy shooting 400 yards; so we swapped.  I wish him luck.  He's got a place over there - it's like a deep depression in the ground.  He literally lays right down in it alongside this well used runway.  Yesterday, 2 guys came walking by and they didn't spot him until they were right on top of him.  He can watch the power line both directions.  It's a good blind - for a young healthy kid.  It would kill me to have to hunt like that.  First - I'd freeze like a popsicle and secondly - I'd have to struggle like a wallowing pig to get up quick enough to shoot if I did see something.  I'll leave that kind of hunting up to my GI Joe Sambo Rama Lama.
~~~
It's really quiet in the woods today.
About an hour or so left of day light.  It's getting dark early being so over cast.
Come on bucky - let me be lucky.
~~~
3:45 Just heard my first shot of the day - someone got meat - hopefully.

I hear a plane flying over really low.  I'm guessing it's the DNR - checking out stands and how much bait is being used and on the ground.  With the leaves off the trees; a pile of corn sticks out like a sore thumb from the air.  Some guys bait with apples and even sunflower seeds; because of that reason alone.

I suppose they do flyovers too looking for someone who may be lost or in distress.  You hear about it every year of someone coming up to the North Woods and getting lost.  There is a lot of territory up here that is uninhabited and a person could walk a long ways if they didn't know where they were going.  Even locals on occasion have been known to get lost for a while.  You can walk for miles and miles up here if you're not careful about direction.

There's a LOT of national and federal forest land such as Chequamegon and Nicolet,  land owned by big corporations, state and county land and big sections owned by the private sector. Also, some pretty big tracts of land that are indian reservations.  We have a pretty big population of Indian in our state.  There are the Bad River Tribe of Lake Superior Chippewa, The Potowatomi Tribe, Ho-Chunk Nation, Lac Court Oreilles, Lac Du Flambeau, Menominee, Oneida, Red Cliff Tribe, St. Croix, Sakoagan Mole Lake and Stockbridge Munsee or Mohican and Ojibwa that I know of. There's also a lot of casinos in our state now too. Go figure.
~~~
Well it's dark out and quitting time.  A pretty boring day in the woods.  One red squirrel was chattering; probably looking for it's mate that the bobcat got the other day.  Other than that... nothing.
~~~
~~~
We were listening to the radio station tonight again for the Deer Hunter's Round Up to get the daily report.  Boy... it's a slow season for everyone today.  One guy down by Kennan reported getting an 11 pointer, and a few camps called in with a spike or doe. 
The one thing that is a common complaint from a lot of the camps though is the wolf population.  I hope the DNR is listening in and addresses the problem soon.  The deer herds of Wisconsin are being hurt bad by the wolves.  One guy had a good suggestion.  Doing a relocation of the wolves in northern Wisconsin and putting them in the southern part of the state where the CWD is such a problem.  Makes sense to me.

Here's some of the camp names that called in tonight.
Camp Goose Grease, Camp Pop A Top, Sagwine Lumberjack Camp, Holding Down The Fort, Camp Wart Hog, Roller Dam Shack, No Name from No Specific Camp, Woodshack Rack Camp, Camp Buck Nuts, Elmer Fudd from Clam Lake, Camp Longshot, Camp Lean To, Camp Kill 'Em Dead, Toothless Beaver, Polecat at Camp Stinkypoo, Green Acres from Peeksville, Deer Hunter's Round Up Camp, Sloppy Pig, Camp So This Is It, Camp I Don't Shoot 'Em, Camp Up Chuck, Toaster Struedel, Lard Lake Lodge, Camp Cut Throat, Camp Beechnut, Camp Nosralj, Apple Creek Deer Camp, Camp Ya Dah Heh Dere, KO Shack, Hodge Podge Lodge, Low Impact Gang, Camp Red Neck Winnebago, The Rocky Carey Crew, Camp MT, Camp What's That Smell, The Kozak Shack, Camp Tamp On and of course yours truly - Camp No Does.
~~~~
To my niece Hannah... I apologize for forgetting to mention your doe tonight on the radio.  You should call it in from your hunting crew... and get put into the drawings for the prizes.

Way to go Hannah!!! Hannah got a doe!!!!! Do the Happy Hannah Dance Hannah Got Her Doe!!!

I tried to post your picture up on my blog here and something is going on and I can't get anything to upload.  Maybe tomorrow I can get it on here.  sorry babe ... maybe your  G'ma Dar put it up on her blog???
~~~
Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel

Monday

hunting experience day 3

Over the next few days I'm hunting and taking a notebook along.  In the evenings I'll post how my day went.
~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~

It's day 3 ~ 1:00 and I'm FINALLY out in my deer blind.  Little did I know three months ago when I scheduled my mammogram it would be during deer rifle season.  Three months ago I don't think I planned on hunting.  So I went and got the boob squeezed - went to the drug store to get Dear Hubby's insulin - went grocery shopping - came home and ate a huge lunch ~ pork roast, potatoes and sauerkraut (that I put in the oven before leaving this morning)  - made a rhubarb custard pie for later on for Slim's lunch box dessert - walked my lunch off getting here to the blind and here I am.  Hopefully, prime time.
Sam came out this morning and sat in my blind and put some corn out for me.  It looks like it hasn't been touched yet.
~~~
It's nice out today.  A little overcast; but warm.  Almost 50 degrees! That's hot for this time of the year in Wisconsin.  No fire in the wood stove today ~ (claps hands silently in joy!)  No long johns either.
I was debating about bringing the camera today but decided against it.  I think it makes too much noise when you turn it on and off.  So photos will have to wait.
~~~
2:00 - Just heard a rifle crack in the distance.  I think it was beyond Mom.  Probably the Weik's boys.  They always seem to fill their tags with nice bucks.
~~~
It's 3:00 - I've been here 2 hours and I bet the temperature outside has dropped 20 degrees at least.  It's overcast and feels like it could snow any minute.  Now I wish I had long johns on.  I'm making a small fire.  I don't need to get myself chilled.  Yesterday, I felt like the flu was coming on; but today I know better.  It's my fibromyalgia acting up.  Typical Wisconsin weather ... wait 5 minutes ... it will change.  It's hard to believe just 2 hours ago it was such a nice day.
~~~
I did a little furniture rearranging.  I moved the coffee table (a little stump) over about two inches and put a board on it - balanced it against the wood pile and made the coffee table twice it's size.  Pretty ingenious of me if I say so myself.  Like Daddy always said, "I ain't raised no Idgits." An idgit is a dummy ~ in case you weren't smart enough to know that. lol
~~~
Come on deer ~ I have an itchy trigger finger ... and heart burn ... stupid sauerkraut.
~~~
Dang .. It's 3:25 and I'm thinking maybe Daddy did raise an Idgit.  My fire is way too big and hot.  If I was a man I would be sweating my balls off!  It doesn't take much to heat up a 4'x8' area; especially when you're practically sitting on top of the stove!  I smell rubber - I think my boots are melting - just kidding; but it sure did warm up in here fast.  My fire making skills have improved 100x's over in the last 2 days.
~~~
I have three of the four shack windows open so I can hear something coming in and to cool it down in here. I can't open the fourth window because the bear broke it this summer and now it's precariously sitting in it's frame.  My luck that's the direction the big buck will come in ~ if he ever decides to show his face.
~~~
4:10 Another shot ~ way off
I have to pee - but I'm not leaving this blind - I'll go into kidney failure before that happens.
~~~
I have about 20 more minutes to go until shooting hours are over.
More shooting ~ way off.  The deer must be moving or else someone is emptying their gun out of sheer frustration.  Probably the latter.
~~~
A doe came in; but I don't have a doe tag.  Now where is her boyfriend??? 
here is what I saw

 










images from the web
This is what I'm after...















~~~~~~
In for the night.
I called over to check on Mom.  She didn't see anything.
Dave filled his doe tag.
Mark saw a doe.
Randy saw a doe and a spike.
No report from Darla.
Sam missed an 8 pointer
No report from the my daughter Staci's bunch ~ the Beaver Lake crew
~~~
Our local radio station host a program during hunting season called the Deer Hunters Round Up.  People call in and give the daily report on how things went at their hunting camps.  I called in under the name Ex Baitlady from Camp No Does to give my report.  When I told them I passed up a fork horn opening morning they asked why?  I told them it was so little I swear I could see milk dripping from it's lip. They got a chuckle out of that.   I also told them about Sally missing his 8 pointer.  A few minutes later another hunter called in to thank Sam for missing ~ now he'll have a chance to shoot it.  I also gave a shout out to the KO Shack and was wondering if Dan changed his underwear yet?  Dan called in a few minutes later to let us know he got a doe and his underwear are changed.  Thank goodness for that!!  Also, when I called in I was the lucky caller number something... I didn't catch that... and won a new camo blaze orange hunting hat and for doing a shout out to another group I got put into a drawing for a 42" Plasma TV.  woohoo... wish me luck.... I sure would be happy with that!
~~~


So from camp No Does this is the Ex Baitlady signing off.


Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.
~mel