Posts Tagged With: target

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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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……

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Hunting For Health

Today is my first day back at work since My Handy Man’s latest surgery. I was exhausted this morning. We both are. He hurts and neither one of us has been sleeping well.  We are both just out of sorts and our schedule is messed up. I should be very ready for bed when I get home tonight!

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I imagine I will look something like this, but less angelic and with more drooling!

Right off the bat, and of course after I had already left the house, I realized that I didn’t bring anything to have for lunch or breakfast. Not a good thing when one is trying to eat healthy and get in shape for the next hunting season. Time is running out. Spring Turkey Season is right around the corner, but I am pretty sure we will have to sit that one out, since it will be hard for My Handy Man to go hunting on crutches. Spring Turkey Season aside, there is exactly 194 days until Fall Bow Season! (Yes, I realize I capitalized that like it is  a proper holiday, but it is just that important! Deal with it!)

Anyway back to this morning’s tragedy, no breakfast and no lunch! Nothing healthy to eat. My lovely coworkers hung Happy Birthday signs up on every door because they were not able to be with me yesterday.

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And then I walk into the break room to find this…..

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Temptation right off the bat! Not even clocked in and already there are scrumptious donuts mocking me! And not the regular kind, these suckers  came from Krispy Kreme! The real deal chock-full of yummy goodness! The ladies that I work with have a notorious sweet tooth.

Well, I clocked in as fast as possible and booked it for my office! I tapped out a hasty email thanking them for remembering my special day and then scrambled through my desk and cabinet searching for anything even remotely healthy!

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These are all I could find! There were exactly two Meal Replacement bars. They are okay in a low-calorie sort of way. However, as far as healthy goes… it is iffy because they are too high in sugar and things that I cannot pronounce to be really considered healthy. Regardless, I am stuck with them because I want to meet the goals that I have set for my self.

One of those goals is to eat food that is equal parts real and healthy for my body. The other goal is to be in great shape for Fall hunting because I really want to stalk and shoot something. I already bow hunt, and besides spearing something, stalking seems like the ultimate challenge in harvesting meat. That is just my thinking on the matter, but there it is anyway. So for the love of hunting, I am now sitting in my office, alone, munching on a protein meal replacement bar….. Note to self: I really need to come up with some recipes for convenience whole or whole-ish foods to keep in the freezer at work!

What are some of the ways you get ready for 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……

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Finding That Girl

“Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…. The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness.”- M. Scott Peck

 

 

new mexicoEver since I was around eleven or twelve, I have had this aspiration of living in the boondocks. I remember clearly exactly when that dream sparked to life. I grew up in the Four Corners of New Mexico. My childhood was filled with wide open spaces, big blue skies, and fresh clean air. I could go just about anywhere and do just about anything I wanted. There was always the threat of snakes, mountain lions, and other wild things, but that never held me back. I was essentially unafraid and completely able to spread my wings.

Anyway back to the dream, my grandparents had purchased quite a bit of land in Colorado. We used to go there to get firewood and while the adults were cutting logs, the children were free to play and explore as long as we did not wander off too far and we paid attention to our surroundings. Of course, we would go farther than we were supposed to and we did not pay any attention to the thought of said snakes, mountain lions, elk, or even bears. Even though we had seen firsthand when they happened to wander into town. Fear never crossed my mind, oh but freedom did! I did not recognize as a child that what I was feeling was freedom in its purest state, however that is exactly what it was.

pathOn the Colorado property, we found this old mill and it had been abandoned for a very long time. It was dilapidated and falling completely apart. From the sagging roof of the millhouse to the wheel so tilted that it looked as if it could topple from the slightest breeze, I thought it was beautiful! Of course, I HAD to go inside and explore it. My mother would have killed me if she only knew, but I absolutely could not stop myself. The floors were rotted through in places, so I picked my steps carefully. Dirt and leaves were everywhere, along with probably all manner of slithering, slinking things. I had no idea what it was once used to mill. All I knew was that this place was special as it had the power to fill me with wonder and make me hauntingly sad at the same time. To this day, whenever I pass an abandoned house or a falling down barn, I am instantly filled with the same sense of wonder and sadness. And, I always have to fight the urge to go inside and explore it!

At one point around about when I was eleven or twelve years old, my parents entertained the notion of moving up to the Colorado property. They even went so far as to ask us children what we thought about it. We would be living quite an isolated life and may even be unable to reach town once the roads become impassable in winter. We would have to become more self-sufficient. We would have to work. Hard. We would have to make sure we had enough food, firewood, and supplies necessary to survive a snowed in winter. To me, it sounded like the closest thing to Heaven on Earth!

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For some reason or another, we did not get to move to the Colorado property. We moved to Texas instead just a few years later. And while we live in the “country”, we are still pretty close to town. No room for exploring or spreading my wings here, we are very conveniently located close to anything and everything. Moving to the Colorado property just never happened, but that burning desire of living a self-sustainable life never left me.

I wonder if that is the reason why now the only time I ever feel truly at peace is when we are hunting in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Just My Handy Man, the kid, and me. When we are so far away from civilization that I can go for miles just seeing God’s creation and His creatures, I can breathe and relax. I can explore and be content again. I do not have to wear any makeup or spend time fixing my hair. I do not have to sit in endless, boring meetings or feel all closed up in a small office with one tiny little window. Nowhere, Texas is the only place that I can truly be myself. I can be me again!! I can be that girl who is unafraid to spread her wings and soar. That girl who feels freedom at its best. That girl who is completely at ease in her surroundings. freedom

I am really writing this because I need to remind myself. I need to remember who I am inside. I am not this corporate world version of myself. I am the other girl. The no makeup, no hairspray, outside-loving girl who once lived inside of me. The girl who only makes an appearance during hunting season.

I am writing this because My Handy Man and I have faced many obstacles over the past few months. We are facing these problems now, head on, and this too shall pass. It is like Murphy’s Law has taken up residence in our front yard right now. However, it has not been completely horrible as we had an outstanding hunting season and our life is full of many blessings! My Handy Man will be having surgery in a couple of weeks and we will press on. I have had many negative comments lately on my dream of living a different life. Things like “Raising chickens is too hard”, “Planting a garden is a waste of time”, or my favorite so far “Trying to move out of a corporate world into a self-reliant life is almost impossible and for people who want to move backward in life instead of forward.”

I just need to remind myself of that girl who is still alive somewhere inside of me. The one who dreams of wide open spaces, of having unclipped wings, and a life of true freedom with My Handy Man next to me. I needed to remember the girl who believes in herself, even when others do not.

Thanks for listening!

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Weathering The Storm

“Obstacles are put in our way to see if we really want something, or just thought we did.” -Author Unknown.

lightening

It has been almost six weeks since I have posted anything. Our life in the past six weeks has been anything but simple. It is a strange thing, but it seems that once one sets their mind to do something, that is when all these things begin popping up to try and throw one off course. Well, we have held steady and kept our eyes on the goal toward a simpler path, but the blogging had to take a back burner for a bit so we could set our feet on some solid ground. storm

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster of emotion for My Handy Man and myself. We have had to deal with a funeral, a wedding, some extended family who seem to want to have a Hatfield/McCoy feud over some stupid matter that should have been resolved with a quick “I’m sorry….Please forgive me…. I was wrong.” A hug and a kiss, and can’t we all just be friends. And as much as My Handy Man and I are bound and determined to stay out of it, it seems as if they are trying their hardest to get us to pick a side. We refuse, we are not becoming part of the problem, but a solution is definitely not clear to us at this point any way. We will just keep praying and hopefully they will listen to a Higher Power than us.

We have had another family member who tried to commit suicide and was placed in a mental hospital for a while. Thankfully, this family member was not successful in taking their life and is out now. I cannot imagine feeling that hopeless about a situation and I cannot say what this person was feeling or thinking at that time. I hope that this person realizes that suicide is not an option and if they reach out, they will always find my hand reaching back out to them. My prayer for this particular person is that they learn to face their problems head on. Life is not easy for anyone and it has not been so ever since the beginning of time.

My Handy Man has found out that he has gone from having a bulging disc to a ruptured disc in his back. He also has a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. He will definitely be requiring surgery and we are currently awaiting a call for a consult with a surgeon. My Handy Man, in all his stubbornness, says that he refuses to have surgery until after hunting season ends! I love that obstinate man, but my prayer for him is that he makes wise choices and that he makes it through whatever medical procedure is deemed necessary with as quick a recovery as possible.

100_5346On a good note, we have snuck in a few hunting trips and have had a pretty successful season thus far. I will write about those in some future posts. We have a much needed hunting trip planned for this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We need to get back out to the middle of nowhere and decompress. We need to be reminded of what we are struggling for and that it is really that important to us.

Better than that though, I have landed a job running my department at work. I have to say that God knows exactly what we need and His timing is impeccable. Just when things are looking impossible, He always provides a way. My prayer for this is that I can learn what I need to know quickly and do a good job for the people that have believed in me enough to give me this opportunity.

We may come in a little behind in our endeavors to live a self-sustained existence than what we first hoped for, but together we will keep on keeping on. Tractor

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The View

The view outside my window this morning. If I were home, I’d be looking at a million things that needed to be done. I could be doing laundry, or yard work, or just watching some brain-numbing television. I could have slept in, would definitely have already eaten breakfast, and been sitting around bored.

Instead I woke at 5:45, donned some camouflage garb, and sucked down a quick cup of coffee. I painted my face, checked to make sure I had all the necessities, and then climbed into the cab of My Handy Man’s truck. We set off for the Clay Hill bow stand long before the sun peeked over the horizon.

After hiking a half mile in, we quickly set up our gear and sat down. We enjoyed watching a little rabbit scurry about as he tried to find his breakfast. We could see birds flitting from one tree to the next. From somewhere I could not see, a turkey was raising quite a ruckus. We watched the sun rise one breathtaking moment at a time.

Before we knew what hit us, we were covered in whitetail. They seemed to come from all directions at once. A doe and a yearling came one way, a couple of spikes came from somewhere else, and from seemingly out of nowhere a nice sized 6 point. That one was a cull buck as he had no brow tines. And, he was mine if only he would step out and into range.

My heart was pounding and it was difficult to control my breathing. Silently, I willed him to take a few steps in my direction. He did not listen to my unspoken plea, just continued to happily munch on the breakfast he had come for. And, then he turned and walked away.

My morning was not filled with to-do lists, Saturday morning relaxation, or even puttering around in the yard. My view could never have been made with human hands. My eyes were filled with the wonder and beauty of God’s creation. And, I cannot wait to go out and see it again.

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