Friday, December 31, 2010

Carb Loading

Tony took the two big kids to a basketball game (our brother-in-law coaches for Louisiana Tech and they are playing in Moscow, Idaho tonight) so it is just me and the little man. I'm doing some serious carb loading and major hydrating for a big challenge tomorrow that I have been training for for the last 10 weeks. Excited and a little nervous. More to come with pictures tomorrow. All I can say is it will be an awesome way to start 2011!

My friend Jeni came up with her word that encapsulates what her goal is for the New Year. I'm still thinking of mine. It has caused some major reflection on the past year. Some parts were terrific and some parts sucked pretty bad. But both ends of the spectrum have really helped me to learn to take a step back. To breathe. To calm myself. So I'm trying to come up with a word that fits. Me. And my plan for 2011.

Be safe and have fun tonight!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mass Casualties

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Our Christmas day was awesome. AWESOME. The next few days?? Not so much. But we are about 98% moved over and I have a week to give our old house (across the street) a cursory cleaning and be done with it.

But back to the post. Tony talked me into getting the kids fish for Christmas. And as a Type A personality, I find every chance to worry about everything. For example, killing my kids' fish. Plus I get attached. Anyway, the fish were staying at our old house until it gets a little warmer and we can move them to our new house. So being the dutiful, careful (and already attached to the fishes) mommy that I am, I have been going over twice a day to feed the fish and to turn the light on and off in their tank. But, alas, this morning, we had mass casualties. ALL THREE fish died last night. What the...? I was totally traumatized. I call Tony and he tells me to flush them. What the...? I was already attached to the darn things! The kids will take it well. We warned them Christmas morning that fish don't live every long and we'll get new ones if the old ones die.

Too bad I didn't get that memo.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Celebrating Christmas + Moving = @#$%^&*

The privatized company that rents and maintains all the homes on our base has started renovations on certain neighborhoods all over the base. When we signed our lease, they let us know that they would be starting the renovations on our side of our street sometime in the Spring. Well, we knew that we would possibly be moving in early summer and they assured us that they would never make us move for just a few months...we'd work something out. If we didn't PCS, we would move into a brand spankin' new house on the other side of the base. As people started moving out on our side of the street last month, we started to get a little nervous. But TWICE the company assured us that they would work something out with us to avoid a move.

Until 3 weeks ago. They informed us they had changed their minds and we had to move. By January 5th. Into a house...I kid you not...across the street and down a house. This is our new house from our current front porch. It still has 4 bedrooms, but is a completely different floor plan. In order to avoid complete packing and unpacking by a moving company the week after Christmas (only to be completely repacked and moved by another moving company in about 4 months), we decided to move ourselves and make a little money. But in order for them to know how much to pay us, we have to weigh each truckload of belongings at a scale out by the airport. Only to come all the way back to base and move into a house I can spit and hit from here.

It has put a serious damper on my Christmas spirit. After we open presents, have ham dinner and play, Christmas goes back into it's bins tomorrow night once the kids are asleep. Add to that, it's the first Christmas without my dad and his 60th birthday would have been on the 28th. Uck.

I'm going to try and put on my happy Santa hat (and take off my grinch hat) find the joy and miracle of the Christmas season, soak up the good, and appreciate my wonderful family and friends. We do have such wonderful family and friends. And being around these three yahoos? It's pretty hard not to be merry and bright.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! May the blessings of the Season be showered on you and the ones you love.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Handbag ADD

I interrupt holiday posting with this important confession. I really do have handbag ADD. I am constantly rotating through about 3 or 4 favorites, but rarely use one for more than a month solid. Until I found my Betty Rose Harvey's Seatbelt bag at the Fireworks gallery in Seattle last year. I.Fell.In.Love. I get more compliments on this bag and I've used it pretty consistently since then. But 'ole Betty Rose might be in for a little competition starting today. Look what the FedEx guy brought...

A Steve Madden rose tote.

Merry Christmas to ME!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Teacher Christmas Gifts

While we were in Alaska this Fall, my sisters and I took my mom out shopping one afternoon and we went to this great fabric store...where I found the cutest apple print fabric that screamed teacher apron at me. So I bought enough for two aprons (Josh's teachers got something else that I'll blog about later) for the big kids' teachers. I had the pattern from our summer trip to Utah and a shopping trip with Lena and it just took a couple afternoons to make these cute things.

I hope they enjoy them!

And on a completely different note, tomorrow is the last day of school for my kids. Actually for all FOUR of my "kids" because Tony has next week off, too. We have a whole list of fun things to do and are hoping for a little snow for some sledding. But only if it melts after we're done...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nativity Winner!

The winner of the Nativity is:

KarenOjai said...

What a cute idea! For a light and silly mood I'm lik'en "Santa Baby". I'd LOVE to have one of these to add to my Nativity collection.

DECEMBER 9, 2010 9:58 AM

Congratulations, Karen!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Boal's Annual Christmas Party

**If you still want to get in on the Nativity Block giveaway, go here to enter before December 15th!**

Our friends Phil and Nicole Boal have an annual couples Christmas Party at their house. Last year, I couldn't go because my "couple" was still deployed. So we were both super excited to get to attend this year. And to spice things up a bit, they decided to make it an "ugly Christmas sweater" party. So Josh and I spend an afternoon scouring Goodwill and Value Village looking for ugly Christmas sweaters. Which were remarkably hard to find...I guess ugly sweater parties are more popular than I had imagined. Anyway, we showed up with our appetizer, ate, laughed and visited. Then we played The Newlywed Game which Tony and I co-won the booby prize for. After 15 years together, you'd think we'd have gotten more questions right. I was just a little disappointed when the booby prize didn't consist of actual "boobies". Sigh.

After the sad loss in The Newlywed Game, Tony did us proud by winning the ugly sweater contest. It was actually a woman's vest that I had maybe planned on wearing that Tony acquisitioned to wear instead. I'm not sure if it was just the ugly part or the skin-tight part, but we won a $1,000,000,000 candy bar prize. Hence the Austin Powers pose.
Thanks for the great time, Nicole and Phil!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Operation Cookie Drop" 2010

**If you still want to get in on the Nativity Block giveaway, go here to enter before December 15th!**

Each year, the Officer and Enlisted Spouses' Clubs join up to execute "Operation Cookie Drop". It is easy to forget that a lot of these airmen are very young, living in the dorms, and often spending lots of time at work during the Holiday season. Most won't be able to go home. So we gather dozens of cookies from the base community, meet early in the morning, put together bags and bags and bags of cookies and then deliver them to the dorms. This year was extremely successful...we put together enough for both the regular base dorms and the SERE (survival school) dorms, at least a dozen boxes of cookies to go over on deploying aircraft for our troops overseas, and still had enough cookies left over to deliver to troops in shops running 24 hours a day. Josh and I got tasked with delivering a box of cookies to the base fire station out by the flight-line and those guys were excited to see us! They even took Josh on a little up close and personal tour of a fire engine and gave him a fire hat! Then we met up with the ladies at the dorms and we delivered hundreds of cookie bags, one outside each door at the dorms. Even Josh got in on the action.

I love being a part of this group of ladies. In the olden days, the Officers' Spouses' Club was a little stuffy. Now it is just a group of ladies (and the occasional husband) who want to do good things for the base community. And to have a little fun while doing it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's A Wrap!

**If you still want to get in on the Nativity Block giveaway, go here to enter before December 15th!**

I LOVE to wrap presents the old fashioned way with paper and lots of curl ribbon or tulle or string. LOVE it. But sometimes, the thing you have to wrap doesn't particularly WANT to be wrapped in paper and ribbon. Like the ornaments I bought this year for all the ornament exchanges goin' on. So I came up with this idea instead of paying $4 each for some ugly little gift bags. I found these felt bags in the Target $1 bin and bought enough for all the ornaments. I wrapped each ornament in a sheet of tissue paper, put them in the felt bags, topped them with a little silver shred, and tied the handles together with some white ribbon. Cute. Easy. And it was a hit at the OSC ornament exchange last night!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


**If you still want to get in on the Nativity Block giveaway, go here to enter before December 15th!**

Tony has a really wonderful office. And because we live so close to where he works, I get to go visit every little bit to say hello and check up on things. And to fill Tony's candy dish. A few of the paralegals and attorneys also go to the same spin class that I go to in the mornings and let me tell you, you form a bond with people that have seen you with bed-head and sweating profusely. So this year, I made up some goodies for the legal office. I used these leftover 3" square acetate boxes and the the red and white baker's twine I used for s'more kits in September. I used a green stamp pad and stamped this cute vintage greeting on self-stick paper, cut them out and added them to the top of the boxes.

I made the truffles in batches because they freeze so well. I used a basic truffle recipe for rolled in chopped pecans and one rolled in coconut. I also used a mint truffle recipe for one and my sister Megan's recipe here for Cookie Dough Truffles. Have mercy.

Easy Chocolate Truffles

18 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chips with milk. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Chill for two hours. Shape into 1" balls (I used my smallest Pampered Chef scoop) and roll into desired coating. Chill for at least one hour or freeze.

Mint Truffles

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped Andes mint pieces
powdered sugar

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chips with milk. Add mint pieces as you remove from heat and stir until melted. Chill for two hours. Form into 1" balls and roll in powdered sugar. Chill or freeze.

I'll let you know how they go over at the office.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Nativity Visiting Teaching Gift

Back in July before my dad got too sick to travel, my parents came to our house for a visit. My mom and I went to Michaels to look for some paper for our family's Christmas cards and we came across a scrapbook paper with the most darling Nativity scene across the bottom. I know y'alls must think I'm nuts, but I bought a bunch then and squirreled it away to do something with for Christmas gifts for our visiting teaching sisters. This past week, I bought a board at the wood shop here on base that was about 6 inches wide and an inch thick. The nicest man in our ward manages the wood shop and he cut the board down to 12 1/2" pieces and then routed the edges for me. I painted, sanded and stained each board and then cut down the scrapbook paper to size. A little Mod Podge and a little patience and this is how they turned out.

I was just at Michaels last night and they still had this paper available in the store. I also found it online here. If this is something you'd like to do (and you don't have access to a fabulous wood shop manager like I do) Home Depot and Lowe's will often cut wood for you for $1 a cut as long as it is over 12 inches long. So you still have time to whip a few of these together for your sisters.

But because I've gotten such wonderful support for my visiting teaching ideas on my silly little blog this year, I am going to do a little giveaway to say thank you. Leave a comment between now and December 15th telling me what your favorite Christmas song is and you can win one of these nativities for your Christmas decoration collection. You probably won't get it until after Christmas, but it will be all ready for next year. If you don't have a blog or your blog is private, please include an email address.

Have a wonderful December!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Okay, so this might look like a rather spartan and typical hotel room. Not so.

Because when your husband comes home with a couple days off and with keys to a room at the base inn and you get to go, by yourself, and read, stitch, take a bath, sleep in, and (because we're a one TV family) actually WATCH TV IN BED, well. That, my friends, is heaven.

Heaven, I tell you.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Pretty Dang Good Day

After so many meh days, today has been awesome. The great tide of good karma has finally shifted my way! All three kids woke up happy and were good about getting ready for the bus. Josh was super excited to wear his new snow boots. After the kids left, I ran to the Commissary and BX to pick up some essentials because it is snowing AGAIN and it sounds like we'll be buried in the morning. Then off to the school to volunteer in Anna's classroom. Got the first two Christmas cards of the season in the mail.

Then to the base library where I found THREE newish books that are on my GoodReads list that I couldn't bring myself to buy in hardcover. Seriously? Good karma.

Then home to put the finishing touches on our 72 hour kit. Maybe it is all the snow, but we decided to rotate through our family's 72 hour kit for FHE last week and have it all ready in the garage in case we have to grab and run. A couple of years ago, I bought a bunch of backpacks at Target on clearance for about $3 each and made them into personal kits for each member of our family with a change of clothes, rain poncho, and a washcloth and towel in them. But I also wanted to include a 72 hour individual food kit in each backpack. We did something like this when Liz and I were doing enrichment in Nebraska and it was a huge hit. So I got my resources out and ordered some plastic containers (which are about a quart in size, so perfect for mixing drink packets in) and set to work. We created a food list based on this list of suggestions.

72 Hour Food Kit List

3 assorted granola bars
1 juice box
1 package crackers or cookies
1 pkg. fruit snacks
1 fruit leather
3 envelopes hot chocolate
2 envelopes instant oatmeal
1 envelope instant soup mix
1 individual sized drink mix
2 sm. packs of chewing gum
10 assorted hard candies
2 sticks beef jerky
1 bag of nuts

It a pretty tight squeeze, but if you like Tetris, this will be a cinch. I ordered a batch of 6 containers and made up an extra kit that Tony can carry in his backpack.

If you are interested in doing something similar for your family, here is the information on the containers I used.

Industrial Container

Container product # B092A
Lid number #L252

And it's only lunchtime. Gotta love karma.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I hope that everybody had a fabulous food and football-filled Thanksgiving! Ours started very snowy...we have already had more snow this year than all of last winter combined. Scary? Perhaps.

Tony's boss, Lt. Col. Goldman and his family invited our family (and another family they go to church with) over to their beautiful home on the hill in North Spokane for the afternoon. Between Maria, Allison and I, we had a wonderful feast for about 1/3 of the work. Nice. The Goldmans have two beautiful daughters and Anna just loves to go play with them...almost like having two really cool older sisters for the afternoon. They even offered to sit at the little people table to help watch our three kiddos and all we heard was giggles. They spent the rest of the afternoon watching How To Train your Dragon and playing hide and seek. Such a great family. Somehow, the ladies ended up in the family room watching football and chatting and the guys got stuck in the dining room, well, just chatting. Not sure how that happened, but it worked out well for us!

The very best part about this Thanksgiving was being together as a family. Last November, we were just beginning our 6-month deployment and it was so good to be together this year. I know this past couple of months have been a little "blog light" and "heart heavy", but this year, I continue to be thankful for this part of my life. The wonderful people I have met through our silly little blog and your kind words and support when I have needed it the most. Here's to a wonderful Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day

I got the automated call from the school district this morning saying that the few new inches of snow that fell last night and the near freezing temperatures was the perfect recipe for a stay-at-home snow day!

Despite the cold, it really looks beautiful outside. Anna especially loves the flag they attach to the fire hydrant at the end of our driveway...I can imagine why THAT would be necessary. Just ask my friend Jessica about how ill-placed that hydrant is...even when there isn't any snow on the ground. Anna tends to be a little more optimistic about it's use. As a measure. For more snow.

I'm just about done with Christmas cards and today I finished up the last step on all our Christmas thank you cards. The great Martha Stewart snowflake punch was a gift from my mom last year and I used it on our Christmas cards as well this year. She decided she needed one too this year and it was nearly impossible to find. But you can buy the elusive Himalayan snowflake punch here. Use it in good health.

Stay warm out there!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Weather Outside is Frightful!

It snowed last night and it is C.O.L.D. Cold. Like as in "winter storm warning" and "blizzard conditions" being thrown around by the weatherman. But I'm seeing something REALLY good about the weather being frightful. I stay home. Inside where it is cozy and has hot chocolate. And get lots of stuff done. My Christmas to-do list is dwindling quickly which makes me happy. And today, I used some of the last of my autumn apples and made a batch of apple butter for teacher Thanksgiving gifts. A little sticky label and some homespun and they are ready to go for tomorrow. Lets hope that the apple butter (and the little boy who has it in his backpack) don't freeze on the way to school tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Butternut Squash Bisque

I'm not too much of a soup person, but I LOVE butternut squash so when I found this recipe in my Better Homes & Gardens magazine, I had to give it a try. And it was delicious...the chipotle peppers add so much to this fall weather yumminess.

Butternut Squash Bisque

1 3-lb. butternut squash
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large Braeburn or Gala apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 48-oz. box reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
3 oz. smoked Gouda or smoked cheddar cheese, finely shredded
Crumbled cooked bacon, celery leaves, and/or shaved Gouda cheese (optional)

Peel, seed, and cube butternut squash. In large pot melt butter over medium-high heat. Add fresh squash, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add apples, broth, cider, and peppers. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover; simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables and apples are tender. Remove from heat; cool slightly. When slightly cooled, puree in pot using an immersion blender. (Or puree in batches in a blender; return soup to saucepan.) Blend in sour cream. Heat through. Remove from heat; stir in shredded Gouda until melted. Top with bacon, celery leaves, and/or Gouda cheese. Makes 8 servings.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gratitude Visiting Teaching Gift

Man, oh man, am I behind on this one! I had them done before I went to Alaska, but didn't post it until now. But I'm a little excited about the way they turned out. Remember this post?? I wanted to do something like it for visiting teaching gifts for November, but wanted to keep the cost down but still make them, well, cute. So I used my leftover pumpkins, trimmed a little of the bottom so they would lay flat, bought $1 unpainted wooden frames from Michaels, painted, sanded and antiqued them, added a square of patterned paper in fall colors and attached the pumpkin with hot glue. I thought they turned out pretty cute.

I even went all pyro and burned the bottom of the tags before I mounted them on the orange cardstock. Had a little too much fun, actually. My grandparents always used to tell my dad that if he played with the fire when they went camping that he would wet the bed, so I was a little worried. Turns out, it must just be an urban legend type thing...:-).

This is the quote I used:

"How can we cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude? President Joseph F. Smith, sixth President of the Church, provided an answer. Said he: “The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life."

--Quoted by President Monson, 2010 October Conference

This is how it looks on my Thanksgiving sideboard.

Here, here and here are a couple other things I have done for visiting teaching gifts for November.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beautiful In White

It snowed seven inches here yesterday and today, everything looks beautiful and white and clean. My dad's headstone was completed this past week and temporarily set into the ground until the ground thaws and they can permanently set it. My mom and I went out there late this afternoon to take some photos. The sun was just beginning to set, but everything was beautiful and peaceful.

Beautiful and peaceful.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

North... Alaska!

Of course, Alaska doesn't look like this right NOW, but it does in the summer. Man, is it beautiful in the summer. Only crazy people and people with shingles actually choose to go to Alaska in November. And sometimes people who are both crazy AND have shingles.

Oh yeah, and people who gets to spend a week with their mom, just the two of them

Be back soon!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What I Am Is...

I saw this on Ali Edward's blog today and I loved it. LOVED it. Those Sesame Street guys have got some serious MOVES. And this might just be the first song (heck any Black Eyed Pea song) that I don't have to creatively edit when my kids are in the room. Please check it's totally worth it. Mom, just click on the link...nothing will happen to your computer. I promise. on Sesame Street

Feeling stronger already.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WHAT the...

As if I needed any proof that the last couple of months have been, shall we say, stressful, I have SHINGLES. Yes, my friends, shingles. The last time I had them, I was pregnant and no I'm not pregnant. But I think it is a ugly, painful right-on-the-side-of-my-poor-face reminder that I need to slow down. Breathe. Even though staying so busy I can't think helps dealing with "it", having shingles sucks.

REALLY sucks.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween, The Final Chapter

It's the 31st and the Halloween season has finally drawn to a close. It's been a fun one, and here are the last bits of odds and ends from our adventures:
Here are the kids in all their cold weather candy-gathering Halloween glory. Sam was a knight, Anna was a beautiful (albeit toothless) princess and Josh was a dragon. Very cool. I just about had a meltdown sewing the older kids' costumes (Amber, when you're reading over this next year, save yourself some grief and just BUY THE DAMN COSTUMES), but the kids were happy and that makes me happy. We could barely keep Josh out of his "cosatoom" for the past week.

And don't ask me how I got wrangled into coordinating Sam's classroom party, but I did. It is such a sweet class and it turned out to be a lot of fun. I forgot my camera, but I did take some pictures of the final projects. First, we made skeleton sections out of dried pasta (a Martha Stewart Kids magazine idea from years ago that I had filed away).
And with the few minutes between the craft and going home, we played some Halloween "BOO"ngo with Bingo cards I made with this darling David Walker dingbat font.

And it's finally all over. Tonight, I'm gonna sleep like the dead. Seriously.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Anna's Cupcake Bash

Today was the big day! This was Anna's year to have a friend birthday party, and because her big day comes so close to Halloween, we try and make her parties as girly and frilly and fun as we can make them. After some major brainstorming, we decided that a cupcake birthday party would be just about perfect. First, I made her invitations using Martha Stewart's cupcake punch.

As each of the guests arrived at our home, they were given their very own apron which I purchased and then appliqued on pieced fabric cupcakes. I even finished the edges so they can be washed and washed and washed. They turned out so cute!

After everyone was here, they each had a place set for them at the table with their first cupcake to decorate. We had every type of sprinkle, topping, mini chocolate chips and four different tipped icing bags to decorate their cupcakes with. As they finished with one, they got another...they each ended up with 4 cupcakes to take home.

After cupcakes, we opened presents. After presents, we had cupcakes (on my new cupcake stand), ice cream and LOTS of giggling. Kinda comes with the whole "girly birthday" thing. Anna decided to have white cake cupcakes with pink frosting. The pearls were my addition. With Mint chocolate chip ice cream. Which would NOT have been my choice. But if you've seen Wicked, pink DOES go good with green...

As each of the girls left, they got their cupcakes, apron and a Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes book and some glittery cupcake stickers. When Sam had his Davy Crockett birthday party, we gave books away as party favors with coonskin caps and I loved spending the same amount of money on a book as I would on birthday goodie bag junk. So we did it for Anna's party as well.

And another birthday bash bites the dust.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Goodies

Tomorrow is Anna's birthday so I am busy putting the last touches on things for her "cupcake" birthday party this weekend and the cake and dinner for tomorrow. But I did want to share a couple of fun things I finished up this past weekend for Halloween.

These are a little teacher gift that I put together for the kids' teachers. We lucked out this year again and all three are dynamite. I found these cute little side-handled black star buckets at Tai Pan this summer and I filled them with candy corn taffy. Yumm-o. A little cellophane and a tag with the teacher's name printed on it and then stamped over with a spooky spider web stamp and voila.

While we were in Utah this summer, I stopped into Pebbles to look for school-themed paper and came across some of the cutest Halloween die cuts. I fell madly in love with this goofy spider, so this past weekend, I painted a 12" by 12" board I had in my basement black, Mod Podged some cute Halloween paper on the top and then added the spider. LOVE it. The little framed "Eat, Drink and be Scary" is a downloadable found here. Her husband also came up with a version of his own which is just as cute found here.

Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sweet Home...Alabama?

That's right, folks. We're on the move. Again. We found out this week that Tony was selected to attend ACSC (Air Command and Staff College) in Montgomery, Alabama next summer. We're pretty proud of is a competitive selection process and we are excited for this opportunity for him and his career. It is a one year program and then we'll be moving again, hopefully finding a place to land for more than just one or two years. Yikes.

I must say, we've exhausted the entire northwestern quadrant of the country for places to live...I'm excited for a little change of scenery. And I'm ready for a little sunshine.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Today Sucked

Everything I did today hurt. Everything reminded me of the hollow place my dad used to fill. Hurt because my dad wasn't there to call on the phone. Hurt because I know I can't touch him or hear his voice again in this life. Hurt because I know in my heart of hearts, he doesn't want me to be sad.

But I am anyway.

And I'll start all over again tomorrow morning, trying to find my way in a world without my dad in it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

McIllece Boys

This weekend was monumental. On Thursday, Donny, Dave (two of Tony's brothers) and Z (Dave's son) arrived in Spokane to go on a deer hunt with Tony and Sam. It was so fun to have a house full of McIllece boys, but a little bittersweet because this is a hunt my dad was supposed to go on. Sigh. The best part about these guys?? They were a JOY to feed. They loved everything I cooked.

But on with the story of blood and butchery! On Friday morning, the boys woke up early and drove north of Spokane to Colville, Washington to a private ranch that offers fallow deer hunts. I chatted with Tony about 10:00 that morning and he already had shot his buck, but they were all having a blast and seeing all sorts of animals and even getting some good chances to shoot. They finally wandered into the house about 7:00 that night. And oh, the story they had to tell. Z was the only other hunter to actually shoot a deer, a really nice symmetrical buck. BUT he was such a great shot that he actually killed TWO deer with a single bullet. I kid you not. A doe was snuggled up to the buck that Z shot and so the bullet went through the buck's lungs and into the doe's lungs but didn't quite have the velocity to go all the way through. So Z was able to find and keep his mangled up bullet that took out two deer with a single shot. Nice. And welcome to Washington.

(This is a picture of all the guys and Z's two deer. Tony's was already being processed.)

This is the photo I took of all the McIllece boys that were at our house this weekend. What a handsome group they are!!

Thanks for the fun visit!