Making Mornings Easy

A couple weeks ago I discovered something amazing.  Sadly, if you were hoping for a quick new breakfast recipe, this blog isn’t about that.  My intermittent fasting has really put a damper on good breakfasts around here.  If it isn’t coffee, it doesn’t much happen before noon around here.  It’s the worst part of fasting….I love a good breakfast.

What I discovered is how good my eyelashes could look, and how sad they have been looking despite my best efforts to perk them up with mascara.  I’ve always know my lashes were short.  If I wanted my lashes to look like anything, or if I was wearing a heavy makeup look and wanted to actually see lashes, I had to throw on a set of falsies. Despite their obvious length challenges, in my brain they had always seemed quite curled.  Sure, I applied multiple coats of multiple mascaras everyday, but that certainly got them looking on the up and up.  I was wrong….. Even at maximum level makeup my lashes still never looked like much.

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Obviously hunting after work means I had all the mascara on my short little baby lashes.  The Engineer totally out lashes me….boys are blessed with lashes they don’t deserve!

Enter Laura McElroy Beauty and the Elleebana Lash Lift….and of course an after lift tint job!  You might be thinking to yourself, I love waking up extra early so that I can curl my lashes and coat them with mascara, plus my lashes are dark so why bother tint them.  Well, wanting to wake up early when you could stay in bed makes you insane.  Let me tell you what, I would give almost anything to spend an extra 2 minutes in bed, and dark tint still makes dark lashes look.  I’ve seen Laura for a variety of waxing and beauty treatments over the years, but this was my first time getting a lash treatment.  She’s the best around and offers a wide variety of services.  She had been telling me for years that I would like a lash lift, I just thought I knew better……don’t be like me!

All the photos are curtesy of Laura, and I can attest that there was no photography trickery afoot.  I know we can all get skeptical of before and after photos, but the only difference in the after in my curled  lashes!  Also, please ignore the snaggle brow….they were desperately in need of a wax at the time of the photos. :/

 

Think of it in simple terms as a hair perm for your lashes.  A small rod is temporarily attached to your eyelid at the base of your lashes, and your lashes are then combed and curled up over the top of the rod.  It takes about an hour and a half for the whole treatment, and the results should last about 3 months.  It’s only been a few weeks like I said, but so far my lashes are still cute, curled, and needing very little upkeep.  I was also amped that my lashes were long enough to the medium sized rod.  I don’t have the smallest lashes!!

I do still swipe on mascara occasionally, but mostly just to plump the hairs up a bit.  Even putting on mascara on days I feel like I want more oomph has become easy.  Since my lashes are already curled and shaped a couple quick swipes is all it really takes.  Applying falsies is easier too since my lashes blend more seamlessly.  It really is an all around win in my book.  I wake up everyday with perfectly curled, flared, and dark lashes.  It’s so easy, especially for week days when I head off to work with minimal makeup effort.

 

I’ve you’d like some low maintenance lift and tint beauty in your life and you’re in the area you should definitely check out Laura at her salon.   I love her, I’ve gotten one of my coworkers hooked on her for a few different services, and you’ll love her too!  Plus, she is gracious enough to offer a referral discount of $10 if you see her for a service and mention this post!

 

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5 Years: Remembering and Moving Forward

Saturday, July 28th marked the 5 year anniversary of my Dad’s passing.

It seemed oddly fitting that I spent most of last week out in the Black Hills.  It happened to be that the interns my family sponsors in Dad’s memory were doing their final presentations on Thursday.  We made our annual family trip out West to honor Dad by attending the presentations.  I always feel a bit awkward about all the attention we receive when we go, but I suppose that’s just a bit of my Dad showing himself in me.  He wasn’t ever one for the spotlight really, and even after his diagnosis he just wanted our lives to continue on as normal as possible.

I was partially left to my own devices while I was there, which I secretly sort of love.  Anymore, feeling like you’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of everyday life seems to be a rarity for people, but I think it’s important to be okay being alone.  If you’re going to be stuck in a place without a car, I would strongly recommend Lead, SD.  I had what amounted to about 24 hours essentially on my own without a car.  I was staying with Lil B, but unfortunately she had to work both Thursday and Friday.  I spent the time reading, hiking with her Momma, and generally just enjoying the outdoors.  I  had a wedding and bridesmaid duties in Rapid City on Saturday, in case you were confused as to why my Momma and Sister left me in the Hills. 🙂

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Cute little twins and their momma just off the trail

Friday morning, while waiting for The Engineer to arrive in town and the start of the wedding activities, I went for a 6 mile jog/hike on a new trail that runs between Lead and Deadwood.  The trail is gorgeous and is perched high above both cities with stunning views of the mountains and hills surrounding the towns.  Out here on the prairie, we would say the towns are nestled in valleys.  Out in the West…they don’t have valleys…they have gulches.  They are sharper, more severe, and create a much more nerve racking albeit amazeballs view when you stand on the edge.  It really can’t even be described in a way that does it any manner of justice, and my photography skills will never capture the true feeling of standing on the rugged edge of nature.

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I’m not much of a runner honestly, but while pounding my way down the pine lined trail, I think I finally began to understand why my Dad liked to run so much.  Normally, I consider the thin mountain air to be a major struggle factor when I try and exercise out in the Hills.  In fact, Thursday afternoon I tried to jog up a large hill and across Lead to the grocery store…..I didn’t even make it halfway up the hill before I was doubled over and trying to pull all of the oxygen out of air that seemed too thin for my lungs to even hold.

For probably the first time ever, I didn’t feel like I was struggling to get enough oxygen to fuel my legs down the trail.  It was cool, breezy, and clear….and I just ran.  The air out in the Hills has a specific smell about it.  It’s pine, but such a subtle, delicate pine that you’d have a hard time recreating it.  Take every Christmas Tree candle you’ve ever smelled and toss it out the window.  It isn’t like that at all….not that I don’t enjoy a good pine scented candle during the holidays!  There’s a slight sweetness to the air, but I find that I only notice it when I focus on it.  It’s something to be discovered and savored, and is probably lost on people who don’t take time to pause and enjoy the surroundings.

Before I’d even realized I had ran almost 2 miles straight…..with brief pauses to carefully traverse down a particularly steep or gravely section of trail.  I’m no running expert, and I’m certainly not well versed in trail running.  Better safe than sorry….sorry being hands and knees scraped up and full of dirt, gravel, and pine needles.

I RARELY…..EVER…..MOSTLY NEVER RUN MORE THAN A MILE AT A TIME.

It was glorious.  Honestly, for how ever brief a time I think I really understood what my Dad always saw in running.  It cleared my mind and was just such a nice time to reflect.  It was easy…I just ran.  I’ve only ever felt that way one other time running, that I can remember.  The first Father’s Day after Dad passed I headed to my townhome’s gym and ran a 5K….but it didn’t feel natural, I’m sure it was fueled purely on sadness, anger, and stress.  This run felt different, it felt natural….like I was put out there specifically to go on this run, and have this time, and feel a connection to my Dad that I haven’t felt in a while.  That’s the thing about being raised by parents who taught me to move forward, even in times of difficulty, and to never quit.  I sometimes  forget that moving forward doesn’t mean I can’t pause and take time to reflect.

I’m not sure when I’ll have another run that feels comfortable and easy.  I might not ever, and I came to terms with the fact that running just isn’t my jam a long time ago.  But, I might try again next time I’m out in the Hills on a high up mountain trail.  Worst thing that happens is it’s horrible and I end up walking….which out there isn’t all that bad either.

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I ended up doing more walking than jogging most of the way back to Lead once I got to the end of the trail in Deadwood.  Turns out that the whole trail, even the “flat” parts had an ever so slight downhill trajectory….which suddenly explained why going to Deadwood felt so glorious, and why going back to Lil B’s house felt less than stellar most of the time.  Also, about a mile from the end of my run/walk I got distracted and forgot to check where my feet were landing.  I took a rather large rock right to the side and/or arch of my left foot and ended up with a rather swollen and bruised foot.  Still not the worst thing….I ended up walking  back to Lil B’s house and came upon a cute little buck in velvet hanging out on the edge of town.

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So close I almost could have touched him!

 

Spring Things

It’s been a busy March around Casa Mishappenings.  I’m not much for basketball, but I feel like my March has given a whole new meaning to March Madness!

To start the month, The Engineer and I took our first real, adult vacation!!  We spent a few days in Orlando catching a couple spring training games.  We also did some regular tourist things…..beers at Coco Beach, the Kennedy Space Center, and of course….

……THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER!!!  We totally bought too many butter beers and I got an overpriced Ravenclaw sweatshirt, but I don’t even care!  Pro tip about Universal Studios….if you’re on a budget and don’t want to pay for express passes, I would seriously suggest going through the rides as single riders.  Basically you take an alternative track to the front of the lines and they use you as a space filler.  If you don’t go single rider, and don’t splurge for the express passes, you’ll spend a lot of time in lines.  We spent at least 90 minutes waiting in line at Gringott’s bank because we didn’t wait the extra 10 minutes for the single rider line to reopen….big mistake!  This won’t work out well if you’re a family with kids probably, but was fine for The Engineer and I.  We always ended up in the same car or group anyway….just maybe not sitting right next to each other.

The only major buzzkills of the trip were our flights, the hotel, and the total lack of anything not touristy to do in Orlando.  It felt like we couldn’t even find a nice place to go to dinner that wasn’t just a chain restaurant.  All I really wanted was some good fish, or even an amazeballs plate of fish tacos, and we couldn’t even find that between the Red Lobsters and the Joe’s Crab Shacks…..  I did however get a Mickey Mouse ice cream head like we got as kids when we went to Disney as a family….so all hope wasn’t lost!

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Tastes like childhood!

Our hotel, the Days Inn Kissimmee formerly known as the Copacobana Motor Inn, was less than stellar.  It was a hot deal off Hotwire.com so we didn’t know the name prior to booking.  I will say, it was clean and you could tell they are slowly trying to make improvements……but doors that close and don’t seem like a strong breeze might rip it outta the door frame would have maybe been my remold starting point.  It was about as good as you’d picture a $35 a night hotel being.  The desk had two different chairs, there were patched holes in the walls, and overall it just wasn’t great.  We debated leaving for a different hotel, but we spent such little time there it seemed like more work to try and get our money back and move.  We did however pack everything up and put it in the rental car everyday because you could never really tell if the door was going to stay locked from the outside…..it “locked” from the inside, but again lock is relative.  If someone really wanted in our room….they would have gotten in.

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Hers and His….and some surfers!

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Beach hair don’t care!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We flew Allegiant because it leaves from home and offers a direct flight to Orlando.  I’m not sure I would ever fly them again.  We paid for and booked everything up front, but with Allegiant you have to pay for specific seats.  So I paid for two seats together for both flights.  We didn’t get the seats we paid for on the way to Florida, and I had to pay extra on the way home to move The Engineer and I back into two seats together.  They also overbooked the flight down to Orlando and were trying to convince people to drive to Omaha and take a different flight…..again…..we’ve all paid for specific seats on the plane….so why is this even happening?!  We didn’t take the offer as it would have essentially burned a whole day of our vacation being at home and driving to Omaha….plus the issue of getting our car back from the Omaha airport.

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How flying makes me feel….least favorite activity!

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People watching at baggage claim….the best!

All in all I’m making the trip sound horrible, but it was actually a really good time!  It would have only been better if it had been a wee bit warmer, but then we would have come home as cripsy fried bacon probably….so it’s just as well.  It was warm enough if you were in the sun and out of the wind to feel hot.  In the shade or out in the wind on the coast it was chilly enough that we wanted long sleeves, but I refused to wear anything other than shorts!  It wasn’t too cold to drink beer outside so I’ll take that as a win.  Speaking of wins, there was no relationship feuding over the results of the baseball games.  The Phillies and Braves each won a game, so all was fair in love and baseball!

 

Another big March event was that The Engineer has now officially moved it!  As part of our new “double income household” life, The Engineer declared that next vacation we aren’t getting the cheapest hotel and skipping the express passes…..”We need those passes!”  You don’t need the passes…..just follow the pro tip it took us all day to learn and go single rider all the way….the hotel however…..will be upgraded on our next vacation!  Although, if we can survive the horrible hotel and his somewhat whiplash-y driving in the very zippy rental car for a week….we can probably survive just about anything together!

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Something New and Different

It has been awhile since I posted anything beauty related.  Mostly, I just use the same things over and over again so I rarely have anything fun and new to write about.  Well today we are going to change all that!  I’ve discovered a few new things that I feel like spreading the word about!!

Sunless tanners…..we’ve all tried them, we all know they stink, and mostly they tend to turn us orange.  It always seems like a good idea until you have to stand in your bathroom, mostly naked, for what seems like 4 hours waiting to dry.  Your clothes and sheets still turn brown, and you wake up looking like a zebra striped Willy Wonka extra!  And…..not to get political up in here, but I think there is probably plenty of bipartisan support for adjusting the tanning blend of our Commander in Chief.

Cheeto dust….while delicious….just isn’t a good look for anyone!

The Eternal Fake Tanning Goal

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The Perpetual Fake Tanning Results

 

What if I told you I’ve found a couple mild sunless tanners that don’t smell, don’t turn you orange, and are almost impossible to streak and mess up?!?!  You probably think I’m telling you a bold faced lie, but trust me…..I’ve got you covered!!  I have two recommendations, both easy, and both quite subtle.  I have fair skin that tans easily in the sun, however I’m pretty prone to turning orange from sunless tanners.  Over the years I’ve had plenty of samples and trial sizes of tanners, some very high end, and most have turned me a bit Cheeto.  A good test is usually wearing them around Momma MisHappenings…..she never lets a Cheeto moment go unacknowledged.  Both these recommendations have passed the Momma test…..so prepare to look sun kissed and gorgeous!!  I’ll post the links to the products down below so they are easy for you to find if you decide you’d like to try them out!

If you like your tanner with a side of moisturizer, I would recommend the St. Tropez’s In Shower Gradual Tanner.  It applies and lathers just like body wash onto your wet skin, so it’s very easy to get it all rubbed in and even.  It has a touch of moisturizer that seems to last quite long on my skin, smells delicate and fresh, and only takes 3-5 mins of time!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!  I bought mine in the Medium strength and have used it off and on since the early fall.  It doesn’t develop into a very strong color, so if you’re looking for something very subtle this would be a good choice.  It provides just enough color to keep the ultra white wintertime skin at bay.  It looks very natural on me, and I’m not sure anyone would guess that I’ve been applying it.  It definitely will not give you tropical beach vacation skin, but it’s easy streak free color that only takes a couple minutes.  It also seemed to really extend the life of my summer tan into the fall, but I do find it to be quite moisturizing so that’s probably why.

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If you like your sunless tanner with a bit more color oomph, and even less smell…..may I present Tarte Cosmetic’s Little Mist Sunshine.  I purchased this little beauty a couple weeks ago for vacation prep, and I can easily say it’s maybe my favorite tanning product of all time!  The Engineer and I are going to Florida in a couple weeks to watch some spring training games, and I wanted to look less like I’m coming off the frozen tundra.  This little misting bottle has really done the trick!  It’s so easy….just spray and buff.  On my skin tone, I find that application 2 days in a row provides just the right amount of bronze color.  Then I just sorta ride that color out….usually it seems to last about a week before I feel the need to reapply.  It doesn’t come of patchy or chunky, so you can use it as frequently or seldomly as you’d like.  The tanner itself is clear and sprays on just like water.  The best part is there is absolutely no smell, so you can apply it anytime you want.  I’ve worn it to work and no one even knew!  Its mild enough that even though it’s clear you don’t have to worry about missing spots or getting streaky.  The bottle comes with a nice plushy mitt, so its easy to just buff and go.  There’s no need to avoid your elbows and knees like some tanners.  As far as the hands and feet go, I just buff over them with whatever product is left on the mitt after I do each leg and arm.  It’s enough to add some color to the areas, but not enough to give you the extra orangeiness that can sometimes happen with other tanners.  Also, the formula dries very quickly once it’s buffed in, so once you’re done applying you can get dressed right away.  Goodbye awkward bathroom drying time dance!

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If you want to get a discount on either of these sunless tanners, or anything else your inner online shopping glamazon requires….you should defiantly check out Ebates!  I’m probably late to the Ebates game, but it’s really changed the way I online shop.  My Office Manager brought it to my attention before Christmas and I’ve already received checks worth about $50 just from shopping online like I normally would.

All you need is to set up an account and then you just shop like normal!  If you install the Ebates Shopping Assistant in your web browser, it will alert you every time you’re on a site that has an Ebates reward.  Otherwise, just access your website of choice through the Ebates website directly.  You’d be surprised how many online merchants you frequently shop use Ebates, and the offer percentages change all the time.  I’ll post a sign up link at the end of the blog.  It will give both you and me a little extra cash Ebates cash bump, but honestly even if you don’t want to use my link you should all go and sign up!

 

One of the better things to come into The Engineer’s life is my discovery of nail polish removing clips!  Again, I’m probably super late to the party, but better late than never I suppose!  No longer does he have to help me wrap my fingers in cotton balls and tin foil……I can do it all by myself now!

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I bought a set for my fingers and my toes, and I love both.  Plus it’s nice that they are reusable.  Wrapping your own fingers requires a bit more tin foil than when you have a helper, and it’s just nice to not produce any extra garbage if you don’t have to.  I ordered mine for super cheap off a weird…..probably foreign…..website, and they took about a month to arrive.  I can’t really recommend the website as it was weird and sketchy, but I’ll find a comparable product link and post that below too……so you too can soak off your manis and pedis with the little baby squid looking clips!

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Soaking toes are happy toes…polish change coming right up!

My final fun and new product is a double pack of sports bras from Costco.  They are the Puma Seamless Strappy Back Bras, and I’m maybe a little obsessed.  So obsessed in fact that I bought 2 packs….yes 4 bras total!  You simply can’t beat a 2 pack of bras for $15!  Plus, for the price they are pretty decent and supportive.  I’ve paid more for bras that had a whole lot less to offer in the support department.  I bought mine in a large and they fit well.  Granted, I wouldn’t go out and run a marathon in one of these, but they do get me and my girls through “light cardio” days at the gym…..aka mostly just lifting but if I have to do some intervals of mountain climbers, jumping jacks, or squat jumps I’ll probably survive.  Plus, they are just comfy for lounging around the house in.  I couldn’t find a link for anything similar on the Puma website.  They have some bras that look similar but nothing at the $7.50 price point.  I’ll toss the Costco link below, but you need to be a member….or know a member…..to order online I believe.

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Well, we’ve come to the end of any new and exciting information I have to offer you.  Honestly, don’t feel pressured to sign up, try out, or buy anything I shared today.  That isn’t the point.  These are all just new things I’ve bought in the last few weeks and months that have really impressed me and I wanted to pass some of that along.  When you find a good bra or something that makes you life easier, sometimes you just want to spread the love around!

I Didn’t Forget About You, I’m Just Boring

I know I didn’t get a blog posted last weekend.  It’s not that I forgot, I just haven’t been up to anything very exciting so I honestly didn’t know what to write about!  We spent the last weekend of January being lazy at home.  I think every weekend of February has something going on for us, so The Engineer and I just vegged out and bummed around.  I did give the house a good scrubbing, and worked on a couple little projects, but by and large I didn’t do much.  See….I told you….not very exciting

I have a couple little craft and house projects that I’m working on, but I though that instead of giving you little mini blogs about a dozen things I would just wait and do one larger post.  Much like what my Grandma used to say about hair when my sister and I were babies…..”Ya gotta wait for the good stuff!”  Likewise, I have a couple new recipes I busted out this week, but wanted to try them out before I shared them.  More waiting for you I guess! 😛

 

We did have a doggy related incident last week, I guess I could tell you about that.  My poor puppachino sliced her paw open!  Turns out that the metal frame of my couch is broken, and my little’s paw found the hole and the nasty metal.  She ended up with a pretty deep slice between her large foot pad and her ankle.  Think like right where our wrist crease is on your hand….owwies!  We spent most of Tuesday night trying to get the bleeding to stop, but she was such a brave girl about it.  It’s just in a not great spot.  We’d get the bleeding to stop and she’d get up and take a step and poof….more blood.  Pro tip…if you need to get blood out of something you can’t wash…aka my area rug…..warm salt water will do the trick every time!  It’s super science-y, but the salt basically explodes the blood cells and therefore the stain comes right out!

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The pink “Stocking of Doom”…..she wasn’t at all a fan.

She spent most of Wednesday with a sock on just to keep her from licking at it all day long.  She’s been good about leaving it alone mostly, but it isn’t healing up very nicely.  It’s right where her foot bends and moves when she walks, so it’s broken open a couple times.  She doesn’t seem very bothered by it, and runs and bounces around like nothing is wrong.  She’s pretty hesitant to let us look at it, it’s hard to get a view at and we usually have to move some fur and sorta really get in there……but we’ve been checking it every night.  I’ve made the executive decision that if it doesn’t seem like it’s healing up by next week I’m going to take her into the vet.  I’m not sure there’s a ton that can be done, based on it’s placement, but for me it’s worth taking her in and just making sure that things will be alright with it.  I’ll keep you updated on that, but hopefully it just heals up on its own.

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Reward for leaving the Stocking of Doom alone all day….cuddles and a couple pieces of Boom Chicka Pop!!

#OperationThunderChicken — Part 1

I survived my first hunting trip!

Trip seems a little over adventurous of a term.  This wasn’t a big epic back packing trip into the mystical, mountain backcountry.  I spent a couple days hanging out in a field about 45 minutes from the house I grew up in.  I maybe was harboring delusions of grandeur about what my first hunt about be like.  It wasn’t nearly as glamorous as I had imagined, nor was it the smashing success that I had hoped for.

The Engineer used some connections and lined up permission to hunt some private farm land.  We arrived out at the farm around noon on Saturday and initially set up on the North edge of his hay field next to several fallen turkey feathers…..everything was seeming very promising.  After receiving a real time location tip off on the turkeys from the farmer, The Engineer and I decided to pack up and move to the southeast corner of the farm’s property.  We were using a small blind we borrowed from The Engineer’s Dad, and we had a couple turkey decoys from one of his hunting friends, so moving camp was a little bit of work, but overall not that bad.

It’s maybe about 1:30, perfectly nice, slightly warm fall day…..and disaster struck.  The Engineer wanted me to practice drawing my bow in the blind so I could make sure I had enough room to move without bumping the blind.  Everything was fine until I tried to release my bow.  Before you jump to conclusions….I didn’t dry fire my bow.  I didn’t have an arrow nocked, but it is possible to just slowing release a draw back.  That’s the effect I was striving to have.  What ended up happening was that my string popped off the bottom cam of my bow.  So now……we are sitting in a field, calling for turkeys, and I don’t have a bow that would be good for anything except maybe throwing at a turkey in the hopes of knocking one unconscious.

So for the second time in maybe….an hour…..The Engineer and I were forced to pack everything back up and schlep it back up out of the pasture to the truck.  Bows can’t be restrung without a press to release the tension, so we had to drive into town and head to the sporting goods store.  I haven’t always had the best experiences at the shop in town, mostly because I think they thought I was just a stupid girl buying a bow she wasn’t going to use.  I was surprised at their willingness to get my bow back in shape and help me get back out into the field.  They didn’t even charge me, and in the time it took me to walk back out to the truck to get my wallet they had it all put back together!  After a couple practice shots at the range to make sure everything was still tuned in the way it was supposed to be, The Engineer and I headed back out to the farm.

We once again hauled everything out, for the third time that day, and set up underneath the same tree.  We could hear turkeys, they would answer back almost every time we would call, however we never saw any.  So, there we sat.  The Engineer scrolled through his phone while I fidgeted around like a small child, until almost dark.  At this point I was a bit cold and wanted to actually do some moving around.  I convinced The Engineer that maybe we had missed the turkeys crossing back over in the North tree line……so we went on a bit of a hike back towards our initial set-up location.  Still no sign of the elusive flock we were told resided on the property, but it was nice to move around a little bit and warm up.  The 30 minute shooting window after sundown closed, and we packed up and headed back to Momma Jules house.

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That’s a direct quote from The Engineer about what’s standard practice while hunting!  He’s super serious in a blind….but at least he shared the snacks!

 

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If by share you of course mean giving me the tough pieces.  Couple of glamorous jerky models we are though!

The part of hunting I have always dreaded and used as a perpetual reason to not participate in hunting adventures….is that premium hunting always seems to occur at the absolute earliest possible butt crack of dawn.  I am really not at all a morning bunny, but apparently the prospect of shooting my first turkey is all it takes to get me out of bed and dressed at 5:30 in the morning when it’s 23 degrees outside!  On the dark drive back to the farm we decided that we would try the North tree line we had originally set up on the day before.  Of course you have to get there early, so there we sat, mostly frozen, almost half an hour before shooting time…..which is already half an hour before sunrise!

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Couples who freeze together stay together!

We sat in the blind and called turkeys and watched the cows and calves meander around the pasture till about 10 with still no sign of a turkey in sight.  Even though I didn’t end up with a turkey, I will say that listening to them all do their morning round up calls shortly after the sun came up was the high point of the weekend.  To hear the change from silence to everything around you getting up and start moving around is something you just don’t really get to hear and appreciate when you live in town.  From a purely hunting perspective, it was proof that the flock was indeed close, and hopefully they were hopping down out of roosting trees near us!

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I almost actually kinda look like I know what I’m doing……

I had already stolen a pack of hot hands from The Engineer’s hunting bag, and we were both getting hungrier than peanut butter crackers and jerky was going to fix.  Before we headed back to town for lunch and a thawing, we thought maybe we would walk the tree line and see if we could find out exactly where the turkeys were hanging out.  This was our last day to hunt, and a day only lasts so long after all…..crunch time was looming!!

We did eventually find the turkeys……across the county road from the field we had permission to hunt.  We found them because we……probably mostly me…..were making too much noise as we neared where the tree line we were walking met the road.  The line of trees extended across the road to a cut corn field.  I’m sure the flock was hanging out over there because the eating prospects were easier.  No need to contend with the cattle herd, and cut field means corn on the ground for easy snacking.  Not that this does me any good, I needed them to move North across the road onto the land we had permission to hunt.  We were operating under the assumption that if our farmer knew the owner of the field South of him and if it would have been okay for us to follow the flock over there……he would have told us the first day when he said he saw the flock.  Since he didn’t, we were forced to assume that was a no-go zone.  We packed up and headed back to town for some food and heat, and hoped that something would happen to drive the flock back north across the road.

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Headed back out to the farm for one last shot at a Thanksgiving turkey!

We set up for a final time on the edge of the tree line, as close to the road as you’d probably want to be.  To get to this spot, we parked the truck on a little access path between the farmer’s pasture land and the neighboring corn field.  We then hiked in, past were we had set up the night before and climbed up out of the creek bed and crossed into the farmer’s cut hay field.  It’s important to note that the path we took was clear….on the way in.

The decoys were set up in full view of the flock…..who still hadn’t motivated to cross the road.  We hoped that calling and being able to see the decoys would be enough to pull them across.  We had been researching and googling all weekend that fall turkeys are notoriously hard to move because they are set up in family flocks and not breeding, but all we could do was try.  It was about 2pm when we got back out, so we had about 3.5 hours to try and persuade them across…..even if we just got one stupid one…..that would have been enough!

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You can’t see them in the picture, but there’s the road….and the flock is just around the curve of the tree line on the left side of the picture!

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Our excellent bait turkeys…..or so we thought!  For reference the road is just skimming the left side of the picture.  They didn’t even have to motivate that far!

It became apparent around 4:45 or 5 that we were not going to get a turkey.  Especially if they were roosting in the trees on the South side of the road.  By this time they would slowly be waddling back towards the safety of their roosts before night fall.  Around this time we started to hear some crunching from the pasture behind us, but we obviously knew there were cows wandering around so we didn’t think too terribly much of it.

Feeling a bit sad and defeated, we packed up the gear for the last time.  Our inventory becomes important so I’ll give you a quick recap of what we are hauling back to the truck.

The Engineer-

  • The blind

Me-

  • My bow
  • Two camping chairs
  • Bag with the two decoys

Nothing that either of us was carrying was heavy……just a bit cumbersome and a tad hard to wrangle.  We both also had backpacks on, and I had the slight added struggle of trying to not bang my bow around too much on the various trees and brush we were trudging through.  We were slowly making our way back down to the creek bed when we ran into a sort of wall of evergreen trees.  They weren’t tall, but they were a bit dense and while we could have been pushed through, we decided to go around.  We headed left to skirt the heavier brush when we had to stop short because The Engineer saw cows.  I’m not sure if he saw exactly what they were, or if he just heard them….but in any case we turned around.  We headed back up the hill a bit and back South towards the road.  We weren’t on any beaten cattle trails, but I sorta just picked a path and went.  We ended up between two much taller evergreen trees that you could sorta duck underneath because the lowest branches were about shoulder height.

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Hindsight being 20/20…..we should have just skirted this tree line on the outside of the fence down to the road……..

This seemed like a good way down the hill, until I got the bottom near the creek, stood up and turned to come up almost face to face with a bull who was not at all happy to see me near his creek!!  Now I grew up with grandparents who raised cattle, so it’s not that I’m totally unfamiliar with their behavior, but we also weren’t allowed to be around and in the pastures and such when the bulls were out.  We turned south and sorta jogged off behind a fallen tree and looked back to see him loping and bucking in our direction.  He wasn’t really running…..he certainly would have been able to out run us, but he could have started at anytime.  I got a swift push to the shoulder and two words from The Engineer…..”Go, run!”  So we ran back up the hill….crashing through the thick trees and bushes…..hauling all our stuff!  We then had to jump back across the barbed wire fence which essentially put us 20 yards south of where we had been set up hunting!  It’s moments like that I’m glad I work out.  It’s nice to be able to count on your body when you need it, although again my hill sprints have nothing on charging bull pace had he actually been interested in following us.

So there we stand…….a bit out of breath…..basically on the highway.  I’m sure we were a sight trudging down the side of the road like hitchhikers.  The distance to the truck was probably shorter this way, and definitely easier to travel, but it’s probably not great form to be looking like total delinquents on the side of a country road as the sun is setting and it’s getting dark.  We had just sort of started to regroup and trudge when a badger comes scurrying across the road and stops at probably 15 yards from us and turns to face us.  Having not packed in his hand gun, our only “badger defense” was my bow, so The Engineer took the decoys from me and had me nock an arrow.  The badger didn’t end up causing us any trouble, but he would occasionally turn to look at us while we all walked in the same direction.  Trudging the country road with an arrow nocked on your bow probably doesn’t look great either, but ya know……..ya gotta do what you gotta do!

By the time we turned down the field access road and were headed back North to where we had left the truck, it was clear that we had ended up taking the only acceptable path out of the field.  I’m honestly not sure why we didn’t just walk the road back to begin with, but I’m sure The Engineer had his reasons…..I mostly just did what I was told.  The whole herd……mommas, calves, and a few more bulls…….had moved South into the corner of the field we had hunted the night before.  Even if we had managed to get across the creek without being chased out by the bull we would have climbed up out of the creek bed to face the whole herd.  Getting out of that situation would have been much harder, and it probably would have called for more evasive maneuvers than just running back up a hill.

So I guess all is well that ends well, and even though I didn’t get a turkey to cook for Thanksgiving next week, I’m glad we took the weekend and tried to fill the tag.  The Engineer was a bit sad I didn’t get to shoot any arrows all weekend except at the range and suggested I should have shot the badger.  Technically, they are nuisance animals and therefore can be shot on my license.  I don’t really have a use of a badger and would have only shot the animal if it had messed with us.  Badgers are known to be a bit feisty and are not afraid of taking on something much bigger than themselves.  The Engineer does have a coworker who really wants a taxidermy badger…..for whatever reason, but I’m fine having not shot anything.

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I think pretty much everything makes a badger angry…..beware the angry badger!

It’s called hunting not shooting after all, and to expect to go shooting your very first weekend out hunting is a stroke of luck that mother nature doesn’t allow everyone to have.  Probably, having my first hunting trip be an exercise in actually hunting and not shooting was helpful, after all…..if I wanted to just fling arrows all day I could have just headed to the archery range.

Well…..That Did Not Go As Planned

I’m on my own for the weekend.  The Engineer is off on his yearly West River mule deer hunt with a friend, so Scout-A-Roo and I are having a girl’s weekend.  Friday night started off strong with neither of us moving off the couch till bedtime.  Our Netflix and chill game was super strong last night.  Not that The Engineer and I ever fight over the remote, but he isn’t necessarily interested in the shows I find interesting.  Last night was a British Royal Family sort of night.  I don’t know why I’m so interested, but really any documentary about monarchies and history I’ve always found very interesting.  That’s maybe a bit un-American of me, but you can’t help your interests I suppose.

Any who……I was awakened by a text early this morning from The Engineer that they had arrived at the hunting field.  Since I was awake anyway I decided to hit up the gym.  Single girl life was coming right on back to me!  Good workout followed by lounging and a good breakfast and some coffee is the stuff my weekends used to be made for.  Nothing like a piece of avocado toast with two poached eggs to start off a Saturday!

I realistically should have just stayed on the couch and maybe done a couple loads of laundry today.  But did I do that……nope, cuz I had to be stupid and over achieve!

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When Momma, The Engineer, and I put up my crown molding the other weekend, we obviously created a lot of nail holes.  Since we own a nail gun and we basically had little to no idea where the studs were until the end…..more nails are always better.  You think that anyway, until you have to fill holes.  I figured I needed to do something with myself other than Netflix and chilling all weekend so I decided to tackle filling all the holes.

I have several thoughts on spackle.  You may or may not what to hear them…..but it’s my blog and I do what I wanna so here it goes!

  • Why does it have to be so smelly?!
  • Crumbles……as far as the eye can see!  This is the contributing factor to my failure later in the day.
  • I have no idea what the ideal texture of spackle is supposed to be, but I’m quite sure mine is never right!

To be fair, I’m pretty sure that my spackle was a bit dried out, which probably didn’t help the severe crumble issues, but who’s gonna buy a new container for nails holes?!  As it is I’ve used my container twice and it’s still basically full.  I did blend in a little water which made it a bit more workable, but that just made the smell come out.  It’s probably the worst stuff I’ve ever had to use inside the house.  I’ve used paints and stains that smell better than this crap.  Why has no one else ever complained about this and gotten it changed?!

So there I am…..red dirt country music playing in the background……filling the most difficult holes first.  The most difficult holes belong to some fancy oak trim we added to the door frames in the bathroom.  The trim and my nail gun didn’t at all get along, and this lead to some cracks and other less than desirable spots to fix.  I’m cruising along scooping out little BBs of spackle and working it into holes when all of the sudden….SLIVER!!  Thank you cracked up oak trim for impaling me right in the middle of my spackling finger!

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I was semi tempted to just give up at this point….but ya know I didn’t have anything else to be doing really.  Plus, it’s gotta get done sometime I guess.  I’m a bit convinced that the thing that stopped the bleeding was that the hole got speckled shut….but ya know….two birds one stone I guess.  I got all the holes filled and managed to smooth out a couple seams in the crown.  I was tempted to fill in a couple of the coped corners, but given the questionable state of my spackle I decided to pass on that for now.  The plus side was that right in the middle of my spackle session The Engineer got his deer!  Between his buck today and the rest of his elk meat, we should be set for red meat for quite some time!

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Just look at that rack!  Would ya just look at it?!

My intense spackle session produced plenty of crumbles that needed to be vacuumed.  Also, there may or may not have been some epic, epic fur bunnies squirreled in and around behind the toilet.  Whoops!  So, riding my wave of over achieving and generally superb adultiness….I of course decided to clean up the disaster area.  Here is where the real nightmare of the day started.  If I thought that semi dried out spackle was a disaster….this was upping the game.

So there I am…..just trying to be my best adulting self….and I sucked up a toilet bolt cap!  Seriously, this is what happens when you clean……things just go to crap.  But ya know those little white bubble things that cover up the bolts that hold your toilet down….yea mine aren’t attached anymore.  And ya know how sometimes ya forget…..well I forgot.  Ya know what vacuums and vacuum hoses really don’t like…..toilet bubble caps being sucked forcefully into them.  Getting a toilet cap outta my vacuum hose wasn’t really an activity I had planned on doing, nor had any idea how to do.  I basically ended up having to massage the cap all the way through the hose to the other end because the opening was larger.  I’m not sure if you’re aware how much random dust and crap are in your vacuum hose.  I wasn’t until I started working on my hose massage skills.  Ughs, so much crud……crud piles as far as the eye can see.  At one point I tried hooking the hose back up to the vacuum and using suction on the cap….it was futile.  I can’t at all recommend that technique.

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Accurate depiction of me working on my vacuum hose.

I decided to celebrate my day of accomplishments with candles and a bath bomb.  My candles didn’t want to stay lit, and the bomb turned my bath water into something that closely resembled glittery pond scum water.  However, it smelled good and was nice to chill a al my former single girl self.  It wasn’t the exact weekend I had in mind, and things didn’t go as smoothly as I would have hoped, but everything came together in the end!