Saturday, January 10, 2015

Things change with time, but it has been for the better!

Well, it's been 5 freaking years since I have blogged anything.  Guess I became a little busy with school, children, work etc.  However, things have finally settled down, and I have found where I belong in this world.

I have a beautiful little family, well not so little as there are 6 (yes six) of us.  You could say we bring the party where ever we go.  But, hey we are happy and that's what counts!!

I have finally found peace of mind and heart.  I am content with my place in this world, now that I have finally found it.  My boyfriend Nick is an amazing  man, but I'll write a separate blog about him later.  :)  

I've decided to start blogging again.  I've been motivated to do so for several reasons.  The biggest reason at present is to keep my goals in sight.  I have a beautiful family and so much to live for.  I've been working hard the last year to get healthy (I've lost 100lbs in the last year), and I need to keep working towards losing about 40lbs more and to TONE this body of mine.  No, I'm not doing this for my boyfriend, as he loves me for the body I have already, I'm not doing it to fit into a certain size jeans, I'm not doing it  for any other reason other than for ME!  Yes dammit, I'm taking the selfish road on this one.  I want to be healthy, I want to feel good, look good, be active, live life to the fullest.  For me, that means being healthy and fit!

I hope I can impart some sort of motivation to some of you, if not, then perhaps some humor for you.  Life is a journey, my journey is an amazing one!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dreaming of the open water

As I was sitting at my desk typing away doing homework I looked over at my furry companion and noticed her all snuggled up to her teddy bear. Our beloved dog Scout acts much like 'one of the kids' on so many levels, this time off in dream land curled up to her teddy. Was she dreaming and if so what of? Well if her mind was wandering like mine has been the past couple of weeks she is dreaming of the open water, warm summer days, camp fires, fishing and hiking...with no black flies or mosquitoes of course!

Today is apparently going to be a record high in the mid to high 50's. Not too shabby for mid March! I'm looking forward to reading everyone's soon to come posts of their first fishing, camping and/or canoe/kayaking trips of the season! Tight lines to everyone!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Getting fishy!

As the winter trudges along we continue our day to day activities of working for a living, taking care of our families and getting out in the great outdoors every chance we get.

Many people that do not have a true appreciation for Maine's winter and the sports that accompany it simply cannot comprehend ice fishing, snowmobiling and other like activities. I spoke at great length today with a friend of mine and she absolutely cannot grasp how anyone could enjoy getting up at 5am to go outside when it's about 20 degrees Fahrenheit plus a windchill and stand there for about eight hours or so to fish. I have to say it was actually a difficult stand to defend. In the end we concluded that it's simply something you love to do or love to hate.

This weekend's ice fishing activities were yet again successful. Although the flags were slow in coming we were smiling ear to ear when we rode off the lake. A rather large pickerel (we didn't bother to measure as it got tossed back down the hole) and three salmon. 14, 16 and 17.5" salmon! I thought for sure I was going to get skunked this weekend. Had several flags over the course of the day but nothing to pull up onto the dry side of the ice. As we were starting to pick up our gear I got two more flags. One turned out a dud, nothing was happening when I got to my tip up. However, when I got to the second flag the spool was whirling out fast. Finally brought up the largest catch of the day. Honestly, at that point I would have settled for a tiny pickerel or something just to say I didn't get skunked but I was pleasantly surprised.

It was exceptionaly cold on Saturday. Although the sun was shining and the skies were a beautiful blue and not a cloud in the sky, the temperatures were frigged and the wind howled on the open lake. Appropriate attire was a must in order to maintain the enjoyment throughout the day. Sonny, my fire starting, hole drilling, sled starting, wood collecting, guardian ensured my warmth by keeping the fire raging and for that I am very grateful!
We cooked hot dogs and spicy sausage on the open fire. There's something to be said about that smoked taste on a fire like that. The taste certainly cannot be replicated in any other fashion. We also enjoyed our sandwiches and hot cocoa. The hot chocolate is a bit of a tradition for me. Not that there wasn't plenty of other beverages to partake of but the feeling of the warm liquid going down the hatch on such a cold day always warms in insides for just a little bit longer. Seems to make the cold that much more tolerable. It's just a mental thing I know but it helps.
So all and all we enjoyed another great weekend of sledding and ice fishing and I'm looking forward to being able to hit East/West Grand in February. Make the most of the season and enjoy the winter sports while you can!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking forward to looking back on 2009

Yet another year comes to a close. Where does the time go? The first time I realized that time did actually speed by quickly was my last day of 5th grade in Mr. Ellis' class. As we awaited our report cards and the ring of the final bell of the school year to embark on a long awaited summer vacation, I stood in complete amazement for a moment in time and actually realized that the school year had sped by. I'm not sure what brought that realization on at what to me seems to be an early age to actually recognize that but just the same it happened. Now the months go by like weeks and weeks like days and before we know it Christmas is behind us, some of us are still cleaning up debris from the occasion, we are complaining about the cold and realizing that yet another year has come and gone.

This year has been one of significant changes for me. A roller coaster of a ride for sure. There have been high points, low points, challenges, memorable moments and certainly moments I never want to remember. What I have learned first hand is that what doesn't kill you truly makes you stronger!

Now on the brink of 2010 I look ahead with great excitement. Going back to college as a single mother of two will present challenges of it's own, but I'm confident that with good planning and maybe a little bit of luck this will be one of the most successful years ever. However busy I get I will still be making plenty of time to get outdoors both on my own and with my two children. It has been my experience that Mother Nature is both healing and nurturing, two things everyone of all ages can use at any point in their life. So as I look forward to looking back on 2009 I am also welcoming 2010 with great anticipation and eagerness.

Classes start January 11th so I'll certainly be sneaking in some ice fishing time in the next two weeks. So long as the cold snap continues there will be lots of ice building on the lakes and it will be at a thickness desirable for safe ice fishing.

Happy New Year to all! May the new year bring big fish, a sizable buck, maybe even a moose and the pictures to prove your fishing/hunting tales.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Wonderland

It's that time of year again. The first snow storm of the season. I was dressed down in my official George Costanza get up, complete with jogging pants, cotton shirt (that had a bleach stain on it) my Bean boots only partially laced up, pom pom hat and my daughters pink mittens. What a scene! I didn't realize how ill prepared I was for this storm. Food and water wise we were golden, however when I went to search for mittens...oopsie. None! Thankfully the girls have several pairs and this one particular pair were a tad bit too big for Haley so sure enough, they did the trick for me.

Mind you I actually enjoy shoveling snow. However, we were starting to get 'wet' snow which means it was getting heavy and the forecast was predicting it to turn to freezing rain. So, I thought I had best get my booty out there before it got too difficult to shovel. My obliques certainly felt the burn. Shoveling snow is always a satisfying work out for me. One because it does get your heart going and two you can see what you have accomplished when you are done!

As you can see from the picture, I certainly did have my work cut out for me. Between playing with the dog, running in and checking on the kids and actually shoveling it only took me about an hour total. Nothing to write home about really but like I said, it was the first storm of the year so I have a while to build up to record timing.

A few things to keep in mind when shoveling:
1. Bend your legs, not at your waist. This puts less pressure on your back so as to avoid back injuries.
2. Dress warm, wear cottons so that the materials draw the moisture away from your body.
3. Hydrate frequently.

Happy digging out!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Skunked...and it really does stink!

Another year of 'Deer' season has come and gone and other than a pile of hunting clothes needing to be laundered and a gun cabinet full of rifles, shot guns and hand guns needing to be cleaned I have nothing to show for my efforts. I will say despite ending the season empty handed I do enjoy just being out doors. Heading to the woods or Deer Camp with friends and family is certainly a highlight in the year for me.

My southern Maine excursion last weekend was great! Over slept, locked ourselves out of camp and even had to haul a guys truck out of a slippery predicament. Sounds bad but I actually had a blast! Alarm was set for 4:30 a.m. last day of hunting season..woke up and it was pouring out. General consensus of course (after having a mere two hours of sleep and seeing the down pour) was to go back to bed for a while! After sleeping several more hours we got up around 8:30am and although still drizzling we decided to grab our gear and head out to Josh's Deer Camp and hunt out behind there for the remainder of the day. Made sense considering we were going to stay the night out there anyways. As we were leaving I decided to grab my sunglasses on a whim hoping I might get to use them at some point (even though the sun was behind clouds at the time). After about half an hour it stopped raining and the sun came out. Wish I could say it was an educated guess that I would need them or even a chance that the weather forecast had predicted sun. However, it was mere dumb luck. Just the same it definitely lifted our spirits to see the sun come out and know we weren't going to get completely drenched for the afternoon hunt.

Deer camp was exactly as I had expected. A nice yet simple camp off a 4-wheeler trail surrounded by pines, maples and oaks. The smell of the wet leaves, damp pine needles and the smoke from a fire started in the wood stove has me settling in quite nicely. Truck is unloaded and we are dressed in our hunter orange, guns in hand and head out the door. After checking my compass we head off down the trail. Several logging roads on each side of the trail go off in many directions. The one I head down has a small tree rubbed to a toothpick so this is very promising! Josh tells me 'Just down this trail a little ways there is a little brook and just past that is a nice place to sit where you can see in either direction for quite a ways.' Sounds good to me! With the sun beating on my cheeks and the cool air swirling around me I'm off and plan to meet back up in an hour and a half or so. I take a quick glance at the sun because I don't have a watch with me. I know, I know...this sounds ridiculous but I'm actually a pretty good judge of telling approximately what time it is by the amount of daylight and the positioning of the sun. Now I come across this 'brook' which is more like a frickin' raging river. Seriously, I could have taken a bath or gone for a swim it was so deep and moving quickly. Opting not to risk dropping my gun (actually my dad's gun) in this 'brook' I walk down stream a little ways and find a few suitable stepping stones and make my way across. I took my time walking the trail. I'm not one who can sit for very long as I get too fidgety. However, not wanting to deviate too far from where my hunting partner was expecting me to be I decided to climb part of a steep hill to a ridge that ran along half way up. This way I could see if he was coming to look for me or not. I actually did manage to sit for about an hour. The wind was extremely strong and with branches falling and leaves swirling like mini tornadoes I figured it was about time to head back. About half way back I met up with Josh who had explained one of his buddies, Matt, had come down with his 2 wheel drive and will probably need help getting out later. No worries, still several hours of hunting first.

Matt found a great spot to camp out for the remainder of day light. Surrounded by rubs and scrapes not too far from the ridge where I was sitting Matt set up his blind and hunkered down for the rest of the afternoon. Again, taking direction from my hunting partner I start down yet another logging road. Taking my time and finding a nice pine tree to sit down and lean against I took in all the nature surrounding me. I watched a rabbit hop by (poor things stand out like sore thumbs right now), listened to the wood pecker a few trees over and watching the chipmunks gathering food combined with all the smells the forest has to offer I was very content. After about 40 minutes it was time to meet up with Josh again. Still quiet in the woods. No shots fired and there was only about an hour and a half left of day light. The probability of knocking down a deer during 'regular' hunting season was dwindling and fast. We made our way back to camp to stoke the stove and regroup. Starting back out we went in the opposite direction to find a good place to sit before the sun set. The wind seemed to have picked up even more and as the sun quickly faded so did this years hunting season for me.

Not all was lost. As I stated in the outset, just being in the woods enjoying nature is quite satisfying for me. Mind you, I was still somewhat disappointed but not nearly as disappointed as my hunting buddy. He had spent all week hunting (various locations) and came up empty handed. Of course this week is black powder and being the die hard hunter he is, he's out there
again this week with his muzzle loader. After talking with many of my friends and acquaintances we are part of a very large 'club' this year. Many hunters came up empty handed. Some are heading out with their muzzle loaders like Josh. I hope for his sanity (and maybe even a little bit of his pride) :) He is able to tag out this hunting season.

Next on my agenda is to do a little rabbit hunting. I want to take up duck hunting next year and want to warm my Labrador Retriever, Scout, up to the sound of the shot gun. While we are waiting for the lakes to freeze over for ice fishing, Scout and I will make our way though some woods to do a little dog training and snag a hare or two for my Grandma to make Wabbit-Stew.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Last chance this weekend

It is so hard to believe that it's nearly December 1st and I have been puttering around my house both inside and out and it's still warm enough to wear one layer of clothing and maintain warmth! I am one of those 'freaks' that actually enjoy the snow but I'm not rushing things...I know it will be here sooner or later. The white stuff after all WILL fly.

Actually, there is a chance it may fly this Saturday which brings me to my latest plans! Tomorrow after work I will launch my weekend excursion to southern Maine for my last hunt of the season. With my pack basket already stuffed to the top and my Browning .358 lever action rifle sited in, I will hit the highway at approximately 5:30pm tomorrow to meet up with a friend in Waterville. Discussions this week have of course surrounded our plans for Saturday as to where we will 'tag out' for the season. I won't reveal exact locations until after the hunt and hopefully will also be able to include a play by play action of how we dropped the four legged herbivore.

Above is a picture of the 10 point buck I got a few years back with a Browning .20 gauge pump shotgun. Below is a picture of
the .358 I will be using for this hunt. Wish us luck!

Grand Lake Stream

Grand Lake Stream
I love this place!