Posts Tagged With: Guides and Outfitters

Lists

So back in December, I was doing some thinking. I wanted to slightly change the direction of where and what I wanted this blog to be. No huge changes, just some tweaking. My Handy Man will tell you that this girl is not a fan of change. Whenever anything around our home is going to change, at first I am pretty (okay VERY) resistant to any alteration to what I perceive to be the norm in our lives. Thank God that He gave me a man that embraces change and is more than happy to drag me along until I get used to said change!

The kicker is that I am an ICU nurse and things are always changing at work. At the hospital, I can and will take any change that is thrown my way in stride. Funny, one would think that tendency would bleed over into my home life. Not so. As a matter of fact, the ability to handle the unexpected does not last as far as the nurse’s station. When I come back to whatever computer I have decided was mine, which is the same one I use any time I am working, all of my duties are there lined out in a list.

 

Yes, I make a list of all the things that I need to accomplish for my patients in the current shift. If, and that is a monumentally giant IF, I have time for anything else during my shift, I also have another running list of things I need to accomplish at work, such as continuing education or whatever else needs to be done. I cannot tell you the satisfaction that I feel every time I get to cross something off my lists. And trust me, I have one for anything that I have to do. I keep a standard running list of groceries needed, bills to be paid, and cleaning chores. Every fall, I have a renewable list of things that I will pack for deer camp.

My Handy Man does not do lists. He thinks I am completely crazy to write and rewrite the same things that I do all the time. I try to describe to him the feeling of peace that lists bring me. However, he does not get it and I cannot….. Or will not??….. No definitely CANNOT change it. I think I was making lists way back in kindergarten and maybe sooner than that. I do not exactly recall when I became a list maker extraordinaire. I will have to check with my mom on that.

 

But anyway, back to the point of My Handy Man’s contention with my incessant need for a list. I assert that everyone has the need to make lists. My Handy Man makes lists and keeps them inside his very nice looking head, along with a compass that I apparently do not posses. I know that I am not the only one with this obsession. However, My Handy Man says that I make lists to make a list. Which is totally blown out of proportion. I only put the phrase “make a list” on one or maybe two lists, max!

 

Lists are my security blanket. They are for the most part the only way I get things done. Once the final task is crossed off, I can go home from work and sleep in peace or know that the revolving list of bills have been paid or that I brought everything that I meant to take to deer camp or on vacation or that I have bought everything I needed to when I went to the store. If everything is on the list, then I have assurance that everything is under control. Maybe it is a false assurance or maybe it makes me a bit of a control freak. Hey, it is what it is.

Our Soldier sleeping in peace.

Over the last couple of years, My Handy Man and I have not had too many constants in our lives. Our world has been rocked to and fro. Nevertheless, we maintain and will continue to hold onto the ability to find silver-linings and can count many blessings that have come about, too. The past nine months have been particularly painful, but I think we may have reached some sort of a turning point. For the first time in a while, we finally have some bright spots to look forward to. However, I cannot go into that tonight. I will write about it tomorrow. It is on the list!

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Categories: Hunting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Changes

Life gets in the way sometimes. Or rather, we let life get in the way. It seems as if one second we were in the week before Easter. Now I find myself in the midst of rifle season, the weekend after Thanksgiving!

What happened? Where did the time go? How has so much time passed?

I know, but then I do not know. It feels as if I have lost time, but then I know that I have not. For I can remember every excruciating, happy, sad, painful, joyous, sorrow-filled moment in the half year that has gone by. Times of deep anguish, times of pleasure, times of bitter disappointment, and times of wondrous pride have swept us to and fro this last six months. Neither My Handy Man nor myself has quite grasped everything we have been through. All we know is we went through it together and came out on the other side still holding onto one another. That is saying something. One day I will talk about all that has gone on, every single thing, but that day is not today. For now, all I will say is this, as with everything in life, expect some changes for Lone Star Harvester. The basic principles that I envisioned for this blog will remain, but we will be shaking things up. As we have been shaken up, so shall this blog, and hopefully it will come out stronger for it. Just like My Handy Man and I have.  Until next time……

Categories: Hunting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Preparations

My Handy Man and I were discussing the upcoming deer season. Neither one of us can contain our excitement over the prospect of what may happen next Fall. We are basically two grown children waiting with unabashed glee at the coming of Christmas day. Only, our Christmas starts the last weekend of September which ushers in Fall bow season in Texas. We cannot wait and I can tell you that there are exactly 176 days until bow season is upon us!

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With all the dreams of the upcoming season, there comes the practicality of good planning.  What would we like to accomplish before opening day? How do we plan to accomplish these goals? Where would we like our Deer Management Program to take us? Yes, I capitalized it. It needed an “official name”. It is imperative that it is capitalized.

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The hallmark of any good management program has to be adequate food and water sources. We have 2300 acres of hunting land in South Texas. On that land, we have 9 ponds and multiple stock tanks. The tanks are filled with well water. So drought withstanding, we tend to be able to keep up with the hydration demands of our wildlife.100_5308

We have decided that in addition to the normal spring browse, we will fill our protein feeders a total of five times this year. We have four 1000 pound feeders. That will equate to about 20,000 pounds of protein. Last year, I believe we filled them four times for a total of 16,000 pounds and it really affected the look of our deer. They just seemed to exude health. Their coats were shiny and full, the antler growth was great, and the healthy look was straight across the board from does to fawns to bucks.

In addition to protein, we plan to fill our corn feeders starting in August and ending in February. We have a total of 10 corn feeders on our property. And we generally have to fill them about 4 times each year. Last year, we converted the last 7 of 10 corn feeders to a solar panel so we no longer have to worry about dead batteries. Also at all the corn feeders, we plan to put out mineral/salt licks to ensure that the deer get a good amount of minerals as well. 100_5595

Last year, we built two permanent bow blinds. Well, one of them was a kid’s fort turned into a gun stand turned into a bow blind. There was this tornado. Long story. Anyway, we recycle. More on that in a later post.

They are double bow box blinds because My Handy Man and I like to hunt together and film each other’s hunts. And let me just say that I have mad filming skills. Just kidding, I do not. I am terrible. I am inept when it comes to electronics and I will say that gracefulness is not my strong suit either. It amazes me that My Handy Man lets me near him with weapons. One of my goals this year, besides not falling and breaking anything, is to become more proficient with the camera and to do a good job filming his hunts. He does a wonderful job filming mine, it is only right to return the favor!photo

Back to the blinds and the ones we built last year, one of them is for a north wind and one is for a south wind. We did not put metal roofs on them and we have decided that this is a must for where we hunt, so we will be doing that to both old blinds and new alike. This year our plan is to build two more permanent bow blinds. We will probably build them one north and one south again and cozy enough for two bow hunters. That is how we like it. 20140926_135948

We have been talking about picking up two pop-up blinds and setting them off the beaten path. We would like to get a couple more game cameras and set them off in the woods somewhere. The idea of getting the cameras that send pictures directly to your phone really appeals to us. And the wallet keeps getting skinnier. We will see.

Last year, we also built a two person rifle stand. We built it ten feet off the ground and it is very nice as well. I do not think we will be building any rifle stands this year. Neither of us really likes to rifle hunt. Our son does like hunting hogs that way though. So we may build more yet. Plus there are a couple of guys on our property that like to hunt the rifle stands.IMG_0394

I will say that I do like the comfort of rifle stands especially when it is cold outside. The problem is that I fall asleep in a rifle stand when I am all warm and snuggled up to My Handy Man. I cannot help it and I cannot change it. Plus, I don’t really want to. It is how God made me. So I better stick to the cold bow blinds. I have talked to a lot of female hunters and it seems that being cold is a common problem. I am always looking for ways to get warmer. Maybe I can get a Heater Body Suit. Yes I think that is what I will do. Alas, the wallet gets lighter.

I would be interested in hearing about other’s plans for the upcoming hunting season.

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Starting Over

Elliot Birthday


There is a saying that goes something like this…. “We plan and God laughs.” Well, I do not know who said it or if that is exactly what was said, but that is the gist. And, that is about as true a statement as any I have ever heard. Today is my birthday and just like any other birthday, I am looking back and considering my life. Where did I go wrong? What did I do right? How do I want to see my life next year? In five years? In ten years?

This is a hard post to write. However, it has been a long time coming. I have been in a funk, so to speak, for the last year. Almost in mourning, but not quite. You see, I have too many blessings in my life to allow myself to fall into full-fledged outright depression-filled mourning. I am too much of a look-on-the-bright-side-every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining sort of girl.

Have I lost anyone special to me? No. How is the job situation? Still have one. Where is my life headed? Ah, there it is….. I just don’t know.

In January 2014, My Handy Man had back surgery and by June we knew it had failed. January 2015, he had shoulder surgery to fix a torn rotator cuff. As I am typing this, he is asleep on the couch and recovering from knee reconstruction surgery. No, he was not in some major car accident nor does he have some tragic disease that is affecting his joints. He was hurt in the military, then hurt some more when the military doctors did his first surgery, and is now having to be rebuilt. He has at least two more surgeries to look forward to, one on his ankle and another on his back. He hates it, I hate it for him, however that is the situation that we find ourselves in. On a bright side kind of note, he will be the bionic man once he is finished.

He is the sort of man who takes the good with the bad, does not complain too much, and in everything he does his very best. He will survive this and prosper, because that is who he is. And, failure is not an option for him. He was, is, and always will be my hero.

I have spent this year kind of lost and trying to survive as well. I detest seeing him in pain. I am a planner and I hate when plans do not come together like I had envisioned. I took a job that I thought was a dream job, one that would help us through this rough patch, and be good for us. I was wrong. Not on everything…. it does pay the bills and has helped us get by. However, that is about it. I am more stressed than I have ever been, I do not enjoy it at all, and I need to find another place for me. I will continue to be thankful for having the work though.

The funk or the mourning that I find myself in, is one of my own making. Well mostly, since neither one of us could have predicted that My Handy Man would have to have five surgeries over two and a half years. But I digress, the mourning comes as a result of plans or dreams not being fulfilled. By having an idea of where our life was headed and the reality of being on the cusp of seeing our dreams come true, and then having the rug pulled out from under us.

A lot of good things have happened to us over the past year and also a lot of not so good things. I know that if there was a room full of people and we all threw our problems into a pile in the center of the room, then I would more than likely reach back in to take my own problems out, rather than trade with anyone else for theirs. We have been to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And right now, we are tired.

l403ab444-m0mBy this time, I thought we would have a growing homestead. Instead, we have a house in a subdivision. I am not complaining, because it is a beautiful house that keeps the rain off our heads. Still, it is not the dream place we had envisioned. I also thought our life would be simpler with less stress and less bills. Alternatively, we have more stress and bigger bills. Even so, we have managed to pay some nonsense debt off. My Handy Man was supposed to have a great job in the hospital where he makes good money and both of us would have plenty of free time to share with the other and build our homestead. According to his surgeon, he will not be released to go to work in the hospital ever. And still, awesome man that he is, My Handy Man started up his own business that he can do as he is able and he makes great money when he is able to work. And I know that the situation that we find ourselves in is not a permanent one, those dreams still may come true in time, but I also need to make peace with the fact that they may not. We may never be able to be full-time homesteaders, and I need to accept that and be okay with it. That does not mean that I will give up on that dream, I will just continue to live my life and putting one step in front of the other toward that goal. In the meantime though, I need to find myself moving toward other things that I long for and can achieve right now.

I have struggled where to go with this blog. In the beginning, I had envisioned a blog that would chronicle the passage from corporate world to homestead. And maybe it can still be that, in a big picture sort of way. I do not have to have the answer right away, I will figure out where I want to go with this thing. We still have many simple things that we love to do, besides the owning of an actual homestead, that I can blog about.

20141028_165737We are hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. We enjoy fishing, camping, hiking, and exploring. The thought of and the actual act of providing meat for our table stokes us.  And, then there is the preparing of said meat. We can also support our local farmers through farmers markets and such. And too, we can document the movement from convenience foods to homemade whole foods.  And as always, there is a lot to discuss about the preparation for another exciting hunting season. There are many aspects to being self-sufficient and the excursion toward a simpler existence that need to be documented. One day we may find ourselves on that homestead, but for right now it is the journey that counts for us. So I am changing the point of my blog because I cannot continue to mourn for what we have not yet achieved. Instead, I choose to focus on what is happening at this moment in time. I still have plenty of worthwhile things to say……

Categories: Simple Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Countdown

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The countdown has begun……. Well it actually began on January 1st, as soon as one whitetail season ends the countdown to the next begins. At least, that is the way things work at my house. We have spent the spring and summer doing bits of this and that, building some blinds, clearing roads and shooting lanes, and pretty much anything else we could think of to get ready for the start of bow season. And, it’s almost here!

I cannot properly express how happy I am about this! It appeared like the months following January dragged on, but at the moment it seems like the time has flown by now that we are so close. I’m going to post a few pictures of the work we have been doing around the lease. Well, mostly the work My Handy Man (AKA my hubby) has done. I’m just a lowly “Gofer” after all. I am the person holding boards, nails, running into town for forgotten items, or handing him whatever tool he wants. Also, I make a mean sandwich and an awesome glass of iced tea!

This very day, we are heading to The Ranch for eleven, yes that is right, ELEVEN days of bow hunting madness! Did I say I was excited? Because I am, in case you did not pick up on that! My Handy Man is at Bass Pro right now picking up some extra items that we “need”, stuff like more arrows, broad heads, and another ground blind. Apparently, we need a portable one along with the twelve other permanent ones. Who knew? Just kidding, these are all planned expenses. I am just poking fun because I know that My Handy Man reads my blog. Love you, Baby!!

Anyway, I just thought I’d post some pictures of the work we have done throughout the year around our lease, or The Ranch as it is called. We are very proud of our hunting grounds, the hard work we have put into taking care of the place, and keeping the wildlife population healthy. Most people do not realize the work that actually goes into developing a strong, productive hunting lease. So here are the promised pictures. Hope you enjoy them…..

Road Clearing

Lane Clearing

 

Men in their natural habitat!

Men in their natural habitat!

It's always good to see nice big buck tracks on the property!

It’s always good to see nice big buck tracks on the property!

 

 

Beautiful, is it not? We cleared about a quarter mile of this just so we could reach the bow stand called The Outback!

Beautiful, is it not? We cleared about a quarter mile of this just so we could reach the bow stand called The Outback!

 

We built this beautiful bow blind in August/September.

We built this beautiful bow blind in August/September.

 

My Handy Man's buck from December 2012.

My Handy Man’s buck from December 2012.

 

One of my does from Thanksgiving 2012.

One of my does from Thanksgiving 2012.

 

My Handy Man and one of does in 2012.

My Handy Man and one of his does in 2012.

 

And last, but not least, my son and his hog from 2012.

And last, but not least, my son and his hog from 2012.

 

For any of the hunters out there, I wish you a safe, happy, and productive hunting season. As for me, I will be sitting next to My Handy Man in our new bow blind in exactly 33 hours. But, who’s counting?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Simple Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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