Friday, January 28, 2011

Budding News Persons

I would like to share some up and coming talent for presenting the local news.

Our Great-Nephew and Niece shared their expertise at the end of the 10:00 P.M. broadcast last night. 

Congratulations Addie and Silas!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Christmas Day in Reflection

Christmas Day in  reflection...A little over a month ago we were off spending time in the far north.

Time to get our goodies ready and get going to Justin's mother's house around 11ish for some gift opening.

We were joined by other friends of the family in enjoying holiday fare prepared by our hosts and sides we all chipped in for a very tasty meal. Ham, Turkey, Green Bean casserole and many more treats we find special this time of year...The men sat around snoozing after they got their fill and a tad bit more.

What's Christmas without our family pets?!? Great news! All four dogs from our direction were invited to join the two little lap dogs already in residence.

Sadie was the only one not having any fun...I tried something daring on one of our walks to relieve her anxiety and regretted the results. I thought that Sadie would stick close after pursuing Sprite in what we interpreted as play - chasing.  Only silly Sadie got her wild Timber look, when she wants to do her own thing, and ran out into the street, oblivious to what that big black oncoming  4X4 pickup truck could do to her. Thankfully the young man saw her impish self and she came back as far as the snowbank along the side of the street closest to me. The little country bumpkin was having a bad behavior sprint ...not wanting to get caught, couldn't resist the offer of a ride though. Control was mine again after Sadie followed me down the street to our little Chevy.She got mad and headed for her bed to pout after I led her into the house because the promise of a ride was not happening at that moment. I decided to leave that spoiled dog to stew in her own emotions for a little while.

Not wanting to be anti-social I headed back down the street to rejoin the others at Justin's mother's place...only to meet the parade headed back to Kyli and Justin's house. In the lead was little Sprite, then Champ , falling in after them was Kyli and her Dad, arms full of boxes filled with gifts. I took pictures as Sprite sped past and Champ was lumbering along in his yellow Lab gallop. Then I  turned around to head back to get out of the cold before the two legged family members reached my spot on the sidewalk.

  I decided to catch a marker for the end of another good day,Christmas Day 2010...


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Christmas Eve. Day in Jamestown,North Dakota

A very nice spot for an inside  winter stroll...

My daughter Kyli and I got out in the gray snowy weather a couple times on Christmas Eve Day to get ready for the festivities to come on the 25th. We passed the Mall several times on our visits to the south side of town.

One of the places I like to go to visit on almost every stop in Jamestown is the local tourist attraction overlooking the Interstate,Frontier Village. The Biggest Buffalo in the world doesn't change - remaining constantly ready to stroll the North Dakota prairie, nor do the buildings that once were parts of towns in the frontier west, but I still like checking them out...

Frontier Village attractions
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I think Iowa is cloudy and gloomy in the winter, but while we were in Jamestown you could almost reach out and cut the gloom.

On our picture taking trips we ran across a fender bender on one of the busier main streets.The driving surfaces were still snow/ice covered and slippery,  making cross traffic exchanges very exciting. So we traveled ever vigilant of the other person.

In the late afternoon of the 24th, We headed to the north side of town. We attended the Christmas Eve candlelight service with our daughter Kyli, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church. Hubby and I got to meet some friends of Kyli and our son-in-law Justin. Justin's mother also came to share the evening with all of us...

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I didn't have prior clearance to take pictures during the service, not knowing how people might perceive it, these pictures were taken as we gathered to celebrate the remembrance of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ...

After the service we headed back to Kyli's to unwind from the day and opened a couple of gifts to prime us for Christmas day...The end to a perfect day! ;)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Destination Jamestown,North Dakota

Daytime view of entrance ramp off I-94
Jamestown,North Dakota came rolling into view off Interstate 94, in the early morning hours of December 23rd.

It was a good thing since I was starting to take catnaps. Even though I  wasn't driving I wanted to keep alert. Lapses in awareness started after leaving Fargo. Catching myself nodding I would try to shake off the overwhelming slipping in to unconsciousness by deeper breathing and wiggling around . The effect was short lived. 

Daytime view of the Christmas Trees
Heading into town on Highway 281 we were greeted by perennial evergreen trees lining the thoroughfare, decorated with red and green Christmas lights. The cheery nighttime ambiance is an annual event provided by a couple of the local merchants. A very welcoming sight with the snow laying along side ...

The traffic empty streets were full of snow and ice. So our arrival came at a time with no worries of slipping and sliding into anyone else.

Ah! There's the traffic lights for downtown,a bit further, then we can begin our recuperation from the miles traveled.

Sadie was ready for another exit from the backseat...she had been to Jamestown before,but not for a year and a half. Being an only dog and not a distance traveler on a regular basis she had quite a curve to get around. I grabbed her bed, heading for our daughter and son-in-law's house to let her see we would be finding a place to lay down again.

We were met at the door by the three family dogs;Peaches,Champ, and Sprite. Sadie and I eventually worked out a method for her to not be interrogated by them every time she walked in the door. Two of the three dogs I have known for a long time but the third,Sprite, was a new pack member. A bright little doggy who keeps everybody perked up.

After getting the car unloaded, we visited briefly before turning in for a couple hours.

Activity for the day started around 7:00 for a few of us. Especially with dogs who enjoy going outside in the colder temps to play. Short numerous trips proved to be par for the course.

The rest of the day was spent with family,catching up.

Next post for December 24th, our daughter Kyli, and I get out and around Jamestown. ;)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting Out of Iowa

It had been a year and a half since I got into the car to break beyond the Iowa state boundaries. Time to make a visit to Jamestown,ND  for the Christmas Holiday.

Hubby and I decided to take off after he got home from work on Wednesday, December 22nd. Being in between weather fronts and questionable travel conditions became our focus so we could make  a visit to our daughter and her husband.

I worked at getting the car loaded for our trip off and on through the day as I got things organized. Sadie, our wonder dog, was sure interested in all the activity because her bed had just taken up a spot on the backseat of our little Chevy. She loves a ride and decided that it was time to go,only it wasn't, so she sat, and sat, and sat some more...The only thing that made her leave the perch in the driver's seat after 45 minutes was the promise of a "chew". Our definition of one of the treats she gets to enjoy.

Hubby got home in the late afternoon, then we headed west on Highway 30 to make our northbound connection on Interstate 35 at Ames.

The day was cloudy,the season newly becoming winter, left the late afternoon gloomy and swiftly losing the light of day.
Barilla pasta factory at Ames.

My passion of late is to take pictures on the run - highway speed. Most of the pictures in the next couple posts will be taken from the little Chevy...

We made our way to Clear Lake for the first fuel stop.Then we were ready to continue on our way through to the Twin Cities where we caught Interstate 94.

Making one last stop at  Rogers,MN., we got the car fueled up before setting out on the last leg of the first part of our journey.

Jamestown,North Dakota  here we come! ;)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Iowa Deer Shotgun Season 2 2010

Iowa Shotgun Season 2,  December 11 - 19th, started off very breezy and by 9:00A.M. the blustery winds began to carry huge white flakes. Several inches of snow blanketed the ground in a couple of hours.

Another neighbor and a friend of his came to try their hand at taking a couple of deer here at Timber Life. They spent a couple hours in wait on the first day. As for myself I was busy rendering the buck given to me earlier in the week. While working away I heard a gun shot and soon a knock came at the door. They were looking for permission for the friend to bring his ATV to transport the young doe out of the timber back to his house. The weather was declining, no time to waste in retrieval..

I didn't try my hand seriously at hunting again until the last few days of the second season due to lack of storage. I got  this feeling that spurred me on ...What if I hadn't tried to fill those tags?

There were a few Spot & Stalks.On one of the mornings the deer came back and started to bed down within 400 yards of the house.The wind was favorable, but not all the deer were facing away from my direction of approach...

Saturday, December 18th, I bundled up and headed to stand in the vicinity where my Mentor had his two successes on the first two days of the first season. I stood for three hours in the silence of the waning light. The rays of sun playing in the snow crystals, twinkling and winking as I worked on my strategy for the morning of the last day.

I got up on Sunday morning , the last day of the season, filled with expectation and hope. Getting all my winter weather tolerating layers applied and topping it off with my hunter's orange I was out the backdoor. My focus was on the same general area bordering a fence line.

Standing the day before I envisioned taking my position inside a fallen tree to try a shot as the deer were coming back close by.

Maybe you can guess what happened?!?

Heading over to take my place, the deer went running out of the very place I had wanted to hide. They headed back north and then east over to my Mentor's property. I went to a spot that would allow a great shot if they came back over the fence. They tarried for quite some time before going on east inside my Mentor's timber. No more opportunities presented themselves to get back out.

So ended my experiences for Iowa Shotgun Seasons 1 & 2  2010. Time to start thinking about what will happen for preparation in 2011. .. ;)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Iowa Deer Shotgun Season 1 Days 3 - 5 in Reflection

I would  like to share my slant on Days 3-5 of  Iowa Deer Shotgun Season # 1, which were spent around the homestead.

The "Group Hunters" of which I had spoken previously, had gotten two extra bucks during the second flushing of our timber. The 14-point taken by my 16 year old neighbor and an 8-point. As good fortune would have it they offered Hubby and me a choice between the two to put in our freezer. Taking into consideration the storage space we had available I took the smaller 8-point which arrived after dark on day 3.

This happened to be the first opportunity for me to skin and butcher a deer on my own. Assisting my Mentor on one occasion several years back to render a doe he had shot provided me with some idea of what I should be doing. Oh and yes I utilized some tutorials on You Tube by Wilderness Outfitters...

The weather,although not snowy was hanging in the 20's for highs. My task began in the great outdoors on day 4 after attempting another spot and stalk. I was enticed to try once more by the swift exodus of deer bedding near my food plots. They happened to linger for a time on the north side of the fence. I headed out to the west to circle around...I should have continued with the first plan, but changed my mind mid-way heading through a gate, not knowing for sure whether there were still deer to my right as I entered the pasture. It soon became evident by the noise of trampling hooves and blowing I wasn't a welcomed guest.

Ahhh, another precocious buck! Maybe it was the same one as the other day?!? He got to a certain distance in front,turned sideways, looked back and then took off as I continued to move forward. I wasn't immediately deterred from trying to get another deer;heading for a thicket of trees in a fence corner often used for deer cover I concealed myself. A short-time passed and I watched a buck return to move back through the timber. The shot distance totally out of range.

After an hour I left the thicket to get started on my new experience. The air was still extremely nippy. However, I am starting to use some fleece clothing to layer under my coveralls since Hubby had some in the closet. I had picked up a thermal top lined with fleece to get the core layer started, when I stopped to visit our local farm store before the season got going.

Did all my layers help? They seemed to do quite nicely when I was in the windless sunshine of the afternoon.

Time to get back to rendering my buck. After being subjected to outside temps for at least 36 hours the animal had become an ice block. Skinning was most definitely a challenge since I didn't want to chop anything off that could go into freezer packaging instead.

It took me until late afternoon to get the hide off.The sun's rays were starting to get long, and I needed to get a move on so I could go see two of my grandchildren sing at their Winter Program.

Wrapping the deer in plastic I proceeded to pull it for a distance, got some plywood to make a smooth surface over the deck steps and inched it up. Making a turn at the top through the front door I pulled it, plastic and all into the extra bathroom - boosting it into the tub to defrost. I had to make concessions if I wanted to keep the deer and not take it to a professional locker.

I made it to the Program but could feel my physical labor that kept me hopping that day.

The next day, day 5, I started washing and putting the parts in the refrigerator to age before finally getting the venison back in the freezer to be enjoyed during the cold days of winter.

So went the days three - five of Shotgun season #1. ;)

That brings to a conclusion my reflections on season #1. I will have a few thoughts to share on season #2 soon. Over all I will tell you they were good seasons, even if I ended it still holding my two tags  still in hand.