27 December 2005

All done for now

Christmas has come and gone, and let me just say I already miss it! I love being able to go out and get gifts for my loved ones and watch them open the gift up... It's really cool... But, alas, it is over for a year... My kids had a blast... My daughter informed me though, that she got too many clothes this year and not enough toys... So next year will be a little bit less for the older kids... My youngest son, however, had a great time opening gifts! He received one of those popper toys that pops as you pull it along... He's tried to take that thing everywhere!! It is really too cute!

I didn't get any stash for Christmas, but I'm not complaining... As you can see from the previous posts, I've been getting my fair share of it, and I'm not done receiving yet... :) I've been stalking my mailbox waiting for my order from Stitching Bits and Bobs... I know it will come soon... That's what I keep repeating at least! LOL!! I'm trying to get my WIP's done before the New Year, but I don't think that I will be successful on all of them... But that gives me a goal to complete next year! Always look to the bright side!

22 December 2005

Just about finished...

I'm so excited, I've just about got my brother's new babys gift done. I chose to do Lynne Nicoletti's Design "Baby." It is such a cute envelope when it is stitched up. I just have to add all of the addresses, but I want to confirm what the baby's name is, so that I can address it properly! I'm just hoping that they use it for keepsakes, but I have this deep down gut feeling that it won't be good enough and it will be thrown away... I know, that's being pessimistic, but they are the type who expects expensive presents... And well, I have 3 kids and my husband is the only one that pulls down a decent paycheck, so... Maybe I'll tell them that the fabric is expensive, so that will make it count... :) I stitched this cute design on Dyeing4U 28ct linen in Blue Slate, as he and his wife are expecting a boy...

Other than that, not much is going on around here. Today is the kid's last day of school until the 3rd of the new year. They are having parties and going to see the Chronicles of Narnia! I'm very jealous. We don't have hockey practice for the next 10 day either, so that will be a nice reprieve!

I received a beautifully written Christmas card from a friend also :) Ever since I've had my last kid, I've had a fit of the girlies and been prone to emotions alot more... And this card set them off... :) LOL... A great card for a friend is an alright reason to make the eyes well up, but geez, I'm starting to get all mushy watching CSI nowadays... It needs to stop!!!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!

20 December 2005

Gifts for me...

Here it is the week before Christmas... It is so wonderful, I love the anticipation! My kids are doing really well, not peeking at the presents already under the tree, but me, heck I can't wait! LOL... This is also the time when I am getting all of my after Thanksgiving sale items in the mail. It was a wonderful day! I placed an order from Stitches, Bits and Bobs that arrived, carrying some of the necessary floss and charms to complete two of Jeanette Douglas's samplers, A cabin the woods and Northern lights. I'm very excited to do either chart, now if I can only finish my current WIP's...

But, the weather is not cooperating and bringing that Christmas feeling yet. We have had the very cold temperatures, right now it's 19 degrees F, and that's the warmest it has been since Friday last. But, there is no sign of snow in sight... We need snow!! Maybe if I start chanting that, it will happen... We are having the family over for Christmas day, so it will be very busy around here, with lots of food... This is probably the worst time of the year to worry about weight issues... But what can you do?

15 December 2005

Is it the weekend, yet?

This week has been terribly busy! At least all three of the kids are doing better. Everyone has pretty much got over what they were sick with, thank goodness... And now that hockey practice is done for the week, I'll be happy to get on the internet a bit more, as well as get some stitching done!! Right now I'm taking a break from my Angel of the Morning, because my newest nephew is due in a month and I sort of forgot... :( I know, I know... But I am fast at work on his gift!!! I am making Lynne Nicoletti's Baby Envelope for the little guy, I'm using the DMC it calls for, but changed the fabric to Blue Slate linen from Dyeing 4 U. It's a lot darker in the picture... But, it is coming along nicely!! I am really, really hoping that Dyeing 4 U comes back after they work through their troubles, because they dye the most absolutely beautiful fabric!

Here's a picture of my oldest... He's a big 9 year old and loving hockey alot! I just hope that we can afford to do it again next year, it is a way expensive sport... He is doing so well for his first year also, as is my daughter! She is the most girly girl I have ever seen, liking to be in fancy dresses and shoes to go to school, but she loves to play hockey, also! Way too funny, it goes to show that she does take after me just a bit!

12 December 2005

Wonderful mail day!!!

Today, started off so terribly, with 3 sick children... Oh, it was not a good time for any of us... But then the mail came... What a wonderful pick-me-up... Only one bill, and two parcels of cross stitch goodies. I received my Birthday Club gift, although my special day was last month, it kind of prolongs the fun. :) I received a lot of wonderful patterns, some very beautiful floss, waste canvas, a cool pansy kit from krienik, stitchband and some fabbie, with a cute card...

And then, I received my order from Stitches n' things, from their after Thanksgiving sale. I ordered a few patterns and some RG fuzzy floss, for an exchange that I am in. I really love the Britty Kitty pattern, I am making an afghan out of the Britty Kitties for her, and of course, This House Believes speaks for itself...

What a wonderful mail day it was! Now if I could only have a few more of these, with no bills! LOL!

And it started off so well...

It's been a long few days... My son came home sick a few days ago, and has managed to pass whatever it is along to my other two children... That is definitely not good. We ended up missing 3 hockey tournament games on Saturday because of it, and now my kids will be missing practice for the first part of this week, at least... We started off so well, avoiding all the flu's that are going around, but I guess luck will only hold out for so long... I'm hoping that it goes away pretty fast, since I have all of them home and in bed, but it is exhausting keeping up with them this way...

On a positive note, due to his illness, I got to go Christmas shopping! Billings is about 2 hours from where I live and is the closest major city that has big name stores in it. So I spent all day Saturday going from store to store trying to find the perfect gifts for each. I'm just about done getting everything, I just need to find something for my spouse, as he is the most difficult to find anything for... So, if you have any opinions I'd like to hear them! :) Anyways, now all I have to do is wrap everything and voila, we are ready!! Yeah!!

08 December 2005

It's getting better...

The weather is finally turning a bit warmer here. While the thoughts of a white Christmas run through my head, I would like it to be warmer than -9 degrees F. Yep, that's where the temperature sits right now. My loving husband fixed the frozen pipe fiasco, so now I am all but guarenteed to have running water!! Yeh!!

We also finally got our Christmas tree!! It is a cutey, and I've never seen a Alberta Spruce before, but it will look nice once it's decorated by the kids. We haven't had time to do that quite yet, with hockey and everything else going on... But I promise to post a picture of the little thing as soon as it's all spruced up! Yeah, I know, that was a realllllllly bad pun.. :)

Christmas shopping, however, has not happened yet... The kids just don't realize that you can't take them with you when it's done. They want it to be a surprise, but they don't see why they can't go along... Christmas shopping takes place in the big city, Billings, so it's always a treat to go there! All of the cool shops and restaurants are wonderful, just things that you don't have living in a population of 5000 people.

Sending you all warm thoughts, as I stock up on some more Hot Cocoa...

06 December 2005

Way too cold

You know that it is way too cold outside, when you wake up and your water pipes are frozen solid. And when I say this, I mean that there is no water coming out of your faucets. This is not a good way to start the day off. It is -2 degrees F outside right now, but with the wind chill it is -14 degree F outside. Wow, is that ever cold!!

This is our first winter in this house, as we just moved in this summer, and let me tell you I am not impressed at all! Someone put the outside vent right next to the main water pipe... Arghh!! But whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? At least the heat still works! That way we can have warmth and whatever doesn't require water... Oh, what a day...

Maybe I'll just read and stitch today, just to keep my mind off of the fact that I can't do much else until it warms up some. Oh, the frustration I am feeling...

On the positive note though, the wind isn't blowing as much and it is a new day, filled with new challenges... And it's one more day I get to enjoy with my family and friends.

Sending you all warm thoughts during these cold days... :)

UPDATED: WE HAVE WATER!!! My loving spouse climbed below the house and heated the pipes up!!! It felt good to be able to get a drink of water from the sink, as opposed to melting ice cubes... :)

04 December 2005

Becoming a Wyoming Wife - Step 4 Part 2

It has been exciting so far! This time of the year brings about all new changes from Mother Nature, from cooler weather to snow to hunting season! Yeah, the winter is great, except when it stays below 0 degree for too long. Then, well, it can be a bit too cold. Not the type of weather you want to be out in all day. But, this is also the time when I had my next lesson in becoming a Wyoming wife.

As you recall, I learned to shot a rifle last time. Sounded like a lot of fun right? Well it was, even though I bruised my shoulder... But it gets better. The next time I went out I learned another important lesson... Kick-back...

Yeah, there I was, all excited... I found a herd of antelope about one mile from my house... So, I did what every other female would do... I drove home as fast as I could to get my husband! After all, I can't lift the thing once I do get it, that's man work!! So, we snuck up on them, diesel truck rumbling as quietly as possible... Yeah right!!! I got my orange on, grabbed a few extra cartridges and slung the t7mm magnum over my shoulder. My loving spouse was waiting by the truck for me, as our infant son was sleeping at the time! So I started walking towards them, then past them and then back towards them... Somewhere in my mind, I thought that they would think that I was lost and just ignore me. Yeah, like I would ignore someone in hunter orange with a rifle! So they spotted me... The jig is up, right? Now most of you know that an antelope can run about 50 miles an hour in about 3 seconds. And most of us, can't run that fast even if we wanted to... So, what's a girl to do?? Well, I did what any other hunter would do... I found a deep ditch and climbed in it... Yep, I was going to do a little surprise attack!! So, I stayed in this ditch until I found the perfect place! I found an old fence post that had a notch, perfect for a rifle barrel! So, I rested my gun in there and did a little pop up to check out the situation.. Turns out, the antelope were very curious, as I was there one moment and gone the next, so they started to check out the situation... Very lucky, or so it would seem. So there I was drawing the antelope to me! Perfect!! So, I like up my site on a beautiful doe that would help to feed the masses at home. I aimed right where my spouse said would be perfect, the neck. Well, I didn't know that that's the perfect spot, but not necessarily the spot to aim for... So I squeezed off a shot.... And there they went, fast as fast can be!!

Yep, they were gone! But I tried to sneek up on them again, this time though, there was no where for me to hide... So, I crouched behind a tiny hill. Lined one up again and fired. Well the kick-back on the gun landed me on my butt! Yep, and I didn't learn the first time, so I had to try again. Yep, it had the same effect!! So I get up and go after them again. I don't even get close enough to count them, never mind take a shot at them. So I head back to the truck... My two mile walk gave me time to rehash and think about what I did wrong...

My loving spouse welcomes me back with open arms! He is so proud of me! No, I didn't get my elusive oantelope... He told me what a wonderful sit-down shooting position I had! Well, I couldn't let him continue to believe that silly nonsense any longer! I told him the truth!! Turns out he didn't see the whole thing, just me on my butt! So my proud man does the unthinkable... He begins to scold me about the fact that I could have dropped his gun while trying the crouching position and possibly knocked the sit out of whack... Yeah, it's a good thing that I have an ego built in...

Anyways, we tried a few more times after that, but we couldn't get close enough to get one for the rest of the season... And yeah, this season came and went... I didn't put in for anything as my toddler isn't keen on sitting in a truck for hours on end looking for the elusive antelope... However, as soon as hunting season got over, I just about ran into a herd of them about 4 different times!!! Can you believe that??? Or how about during hunting season, I was actually chased by a herd of 5 buck antelope for about 3 miles... Yep, they were right beside me for the longest time... I couldn't even try to get one, because my tag was for a doe!! That is typically my luck! Oh well, maybe next year! Then I'll have another funny story to tell you!

02 December 2005

Becoming a Wyoming Wife - Step 4 Part 1

What an exciting journey this has been so far! I've learned a lot and had some experiences that, well, to be honest, were less than spectacular! But, like the saying goes, "Whatever doesn't kill you, will make you stronger!" I firmly believe in that phrase, it helped me make it through 7 years of my ex-husband's pancakes! Let me just tell you that definitely made me stronger! LOL! So, I bet you are wondering what could be next? We've already covered fishing, gutting a fish, and christmas tree hunting, what's left? Well, let me just tell you... There are two types of people that live in Wyoming, those that hunt and those that do not. Well, my loving spouse is part of the former group, as opposed to the later. So, therefore, I must continue my education and learn the intricacies of hunting. Now, I am a person that up until 3 years ago hadn't fished much and considered a cow, pig, or chicken, one of the major food groups, besides chocolate, of course! Then I married survival bear, as he loves to be called! LOL! Anyways, survival guy needs to have a wife that is willing to go along with pretty much whatever he comes up with for fun, right? So, I must learn to stalk and hunt the elusive wild game found in the flat lands and mountains of Big, Wonderful Wyoming!

Now, most of you are thinking that a little knowledge of firearms are a good thing, and I am inclined to agree. After all, guns don't kill people, people do! So, what do you think the right way to go about teaching someone about guns, rifles and such?? Okay, here goes... First, you show the person a variety of equipment used for shooting. You go over all of the basics, like handling, fire arm safety, the use of ear muffs, proper handling and such... Then, being a person over the age of 12, at least my driver's license says that I am ... Okay, being a person over the age of 12, you have to take a hunter safety class. It lasts like 4 days and is like 4-5 hours each day. You learn quite a bit of stuff, like all that was mentioned above and more... Like how to distinguish between different types of bears, don't drink the water unless it's boiled or purified, and be careful that you don't do your business on poison oak or ivy... Ehhh... And then the guy tells you that if he doesn't see you with proper hunter orange (yes, this IS a color here in Big, Wonderful!) on, he will call the game warden on you personally! That means no orange hat bands or single sleeves or such... After all this learning you take a test, if you pass you get this cool patch with an Antelope on it and a card to carry in your wallet, just in case your friendly warden wants to check you for proper documents... According to a friend of ours, it's just a bit less than a full body search... LOL! So now you are ready to go, right?

Well, almost... They teach you the book stuff, but someone has to teach you the field stuff! Enter dear loving spouse, who wants to see you succeed... So, when I first moved to Wyoming he took me out once to go learn to shoot his .22 rifle. Now, I know that most of you are thinking that isn't really big, and you're right! My son, who is a lot younger, than me can fire it! But that's not the point!!!! It gives you an idea of what to do without bruising your shoulder first off... Once again, enter dear, loving, survival skilled husband...

Okay, first thing you do is put in for tags. Now, you look to someone with experience to get you an area that isn't too big or too rough for your first time! And baby, I had it!! Right off the road I lived, north of town, in the county... I could put a glass on these little guys from the road, pull over and get into position... No two track roads to make you sick!! or get lost on!! Anyways, here is my experience the first time hunting... Tell me if this sounds normal to you....

I've got my tag for an Antelope, a doe, in fact. But I haven't had much luck finding one in BFE, so here I am antelopeless... But, always looking for an opportunity to give the little wifey some pointers, my loving spouse has me take a rifle when I have to go for alfalfa to feed the horses. Yeah, it's like a 40 mile drive from where I live to where I buy my hay, so lots of opportunity... So I have my truck, hooked up to a twenty foot car hauler, heading down the highway... All of a sudden, he shouts to pull into the next area I can turn into... Has to be an emergency right? Nope! He found a herd of doe antelopes about 200 yards off the highway... So I pull in and drive over some sage brush, and try to get a little closer... But there is NO WAY that you can sneek up on anything when you are driving a diesel truck!!! So now we have to hurry, they've spotted us... Big shocker, right?! So he yells to jump out of the truck, put my orange on, sling my rifle across the hood of my truck, take aim and fire... Easy enough... Yeah, well it would have been a little easier if I had actually tried to fire his Remington 7mm Magnum before, but hey, I should have already known how to do this, right? So, having never fired this rifle, or aimed at a moving target, I was getting nervous, as well as a sore arm... Hey that thing was heavy, I only way 125lbs and am 5'4", the hood of my truck is almost taller than I am... Anyways, I got off track... So with his ever so patient guidance, I squeeze off a shot... According to him, I shaved her chin... According to me, I couldn't feel my shoulder very well and couldn't hear a thing he was saying for a few seconds... Well, I guess what he was saying was to try again... Yup, aim the rifle right in front of her nose and follow her, then squeeze off another shot. Well, needless to say, we came home empty handed, except for the hay... And well, I wasn't much help loading it... Had a sore shoulder...

Guess, I need just a little bit more practice... Wait til part 2... You'll see...

29 November 2005


WOW! That's all I have to say. I've been busy getting my blog customized and it's been a ton of fun, but also a lot of work. I hope that you all enjoy it! I'll be updating pictures and such as needed... Hopefully, they'll make you want to see the beauty of Wyoming sometime. I've also been busy with the kids, at hockey practice. They are both doing really well, so far! I'm very proud of them and their dedication to learning and participating!

I've also been busy on my project, Angel of the Morning by Lavender & Lace. She is quite an undertaking, but I know she'll be beautiful when she's complete. Here's my progress so far. She won't be decorating my wall, though, she's a gift for someone. :) I know that they'll love her!

Other than that the weather has finally turned to winter, we have the wood stove going and are literally burning through firewood... Only 6 more months til its warm again...

28 November 2005

Becoming a Wyoming Wife - Part 3

So far I have told you about my first experiences living in Big, Wonderful. You have seen me begin my successful career as a Wyoming Wife. It doesn't seem so bad does it? I mean, this is stuff that can save you if you get stranded out in the wilderness, right? So, you have to be asking, how does Christmas tree hunting figure into all of this? Well, let me just tell you, it was definitely an experience! An experience that leads to an $817.50 christmas tree. An no, this isn't for a gigantic one, either.

I know, I know, most people don't hunt for a christmas tree, in fact there isn't one state out there that will tell you that hunting is involved. I mean, how hard is it to find a tree out in the forest, right? Well, there is more to it than that, so prepare yourself, you're about to be shocked!!

Christmas tree hunting is actually a sport here in Wyoming. You go down to the Forest Service, pay some where around $10.00 and get a map and a permit to cut down a tree. How adventurous! Anyways, we have our permit, our map, our kids, an axe and some warm clothing. We also have some sleds to haul this thing back with, just in case we find this monster tree that is unable to be carried! Next we head out of town, having got a good idea where to go by talking with other people. Head south on Hwy 191 and take a right about 15 miles from civilization. Go another 6 miles, hang a left at the entrance to Little Mountain (so known by the BLM sign stating it is so) and then just go up this two track road until you come to the unsuspecting forest! From there take out your equipment and end the life of something that is cleaning up our air... Sounds easy enough, right! Well, here is how it actually happened:

We headed down Hwy 191, turned at all the right roads and made our way up towards Little Mountain. It was about the first good weekend in December. We started up on that two track road and found a little part that was snowed in, so what do you think we did? Yeah, you're right, we locked in the four wheel drive and went around it. Now my loving husband was at the wheel right now, as I had been sicker than a dog the day before (three months pregnant and feeling it!) So he proceeds on down this road. It actually clears up for a little bit, no snow or nothing. But then, out of nowhere, we are driving on this road, turn a corner and drive right in to 12 inches of slush and powder. Not anything where you can get some traction at all. So my survival skilled spouse, hops out of the drivers seat and begins to put chains on, as we can't back down to the dry part of the road. Needless to say, it isn't as fun as it sounds. Rocking back and for and moving farther on up the road, is not my idea of getting a dang tree. But, he's pretty sure it can be done. So he's out there putting chains on while I'm driving, or at least attempting to. :) And it's cold out, really cold out. He's got his warmest stuff on, but the jeans are absorbing that snow quickly. My loving husband begins to guide me up this road that only one car at a time can drive on and make a three point turn to trek back down the road. There will be no tree for us today! Now making a three point turn on a two track road is not all that fun or exciting, in fact it's dang scary. Especially since this is really the first time I've done it... So I'm white knuckling the steering wheel, moving slower than cold molasses, my loving husband is freezing his hair off... It was not a good combination.

So I finally get turned around and he is freezing. So he let's me drive, is this a good idea? My first experience driving on deep snow is on the side of a mountain, I really can't think of a worse place, can you? So I just follow the ruts he made going up. It's like being on an amuzement park ride, until... Yeah, you guessed it, it didn't work out the way it was supposed to. I got caught in a drift coming back down and had a choice. Accelerate and hopefully get out of the drift and not go off the side of the road, down into the ravine or gracefully lay my big ol' truck up on its side in the little ditch on the other side of the road. So, I made the right decision, at least in my mind, I layed my truck up. Now this is not an easy task. Imagine a Dodge 2500 long bed truck with its driver back tire up off the ground about 3 feet. Not anything a person truly wants to experience! Well, we tried to get it out, but it wasn't having any of it. My side of the truck was up in the air, my spouses side was pressed up against the mountain. Now mind you through all of this, I have two kids in the back seat, elementary school aged. My daughter behind my husband and my son behind me. So I start to try and sooth the kids, talking about going tree hunting again, after we free ourselves from the hold of Little Mountain. She looks at me and says "Next time you have to roll on your side of the truck, I don't want to be squished into the door again." Yeah, like I planned this or something!! So then the two kids start arguing on whose side of the truck I'm going to roll next time... Quite comical considering! Luckily, we had cell service, so we called some friends to get us off the mountain. While we were waiting, my kids decided that they had had enough of being in the truck, so they start sledding down the road I just slipped off of. I found the tinsiet bit of humor in that. But at least someone was having a good time...

Then the unthinkable happened... Yup, the kids had to use the bathroom... I instruct my daughter in the ways of the wild and tell her to find a bush and do her thing. My son, however, being the adventurous outdoorsman he is, at 8, just does his thing in the middle of the road... Thank goodness for snowpant!! And the fact he turned away from us!!! I had to explain to him that he also has to find a bush to do his business... He didn't understand why... LOL!

Finally, my husband's boss arrives, with reinforcements, to remove us from our hunting experience. He is absolutely shocked at the condition of the road, since he was just up here the weekend before. We end of leaving my truck there, as it cannot be freed, and head back to town. We live about 40 miles away. Now this is where it gets worse.

By the time we get back to town, it has started to snow. I call the tow company to go and rescue my truck and wait. After an hour, I get a call back that there will be no sight of my truck tonight, as a white out has occured and all tow companies are on call for traffic accidents... Oh could the day get any worse?? No that day couldn't, but the following day could...

I called the tow company again. They are sending in the big guns to get my truck off the mountain. Directions include turning on this county road and then turning again where you see this sign, although there is actually no road name... I confused the guy so bad, he let's me talk to the driver directly and give him directions... Lucky for me this guy knows exactly where he is going!! So I tell him to drop it at my husbands job site so he can look it over for engine damage and such.. It takes the guy 2 1/2 hours to find it and bring it back, no remember we were only 40 miles from it. The snow dropped a load on to it and they had to break some snow drifts just to get to the poor truck! They bring it back and give me a bill for $300! (Ouch!!) Thank goodness there was no engine damage. Just bent the passenger side in a few places and tweeked my running boards... Once again Thank goodness!!! So off to the body shop... $500 deductible... Then off to Wallyworld for my $7.50 christmas tree that was 1 foot tall and living....

Christmas tree hunting permit - $10
Tow off the mountain - $300
Damage deductible - $500
Actually buying a tree - $7.50
Time spent with family alone in the wilderness - Priceless, there are just somethings you can't buy!! And then there are some things you just don't want to!!

We all made it out good, the truck looks great, but that was the first and last time we hunted for the elusive Christmas tree in the land of Wyoming!!

Hope you enjoyed it! Stay tuned for more Wyoming Wife training...

27 November 2005

Becoming a Wyoming Wife - Part 2

Okay, you've read the first step in this whole process. But in order to get to the point where you can definitely say that you've accomplished all of the steps to becoming a Wyoming Wife, you have to go slow... Sometimes, it just seems to slow... And what's the point really? Once you make it through, what do you do? Well, enough of the questions, let's move on to step 2 - Cleaning a fish.

Okay, this has nothing to do with giving the slippery, little guy a shampoo and rinse. It is actually the way that he goes from free fish to dinner on the table.

My loving husband was gone, to California nonetheless, and I had two weeks of the bed to myself and children wanting attention all the time... So what's a girl to do? Most would probably call up Grandma and go to the mall, out to eat and possibly get a massage at a day spa. Me, oh no, I was on the slow track to completing the training set forth by my survival skilled husband. So, me, I take all three of them to the lake, so I can go fishing. Nothing quite says family time like bug spray, sunscreen and cold water, all before the sun rises. I got to the lake about 5:45am, no that's not a typo! Had to be good and ready for some fish! Anyway, I got the kids suited up, put on the goop, and then waded out, tennis shoes on, of course, about 15 feet from shore. Now, I'm not a tall person, so you would just have to know that the pond was not as full as it should be. I actually parked by truck, yup its got four-wheel drive, right on the shore. Anyways, I got side tracked... Sorry!

Okay, so I waded out from shore and began catching my fish! No, I'm not be facetious, I actually began catching fish right away. Used a pretty $0.98 lure I got at Wal-Mart, the small mouth bass couldn't leave the poor thing alone. So, remembering lessons from previous times, I unhooked my fish and put him on the stringer. I pulled out 5 fish in about 3 hours. One being the almost record fish from my last entry. You can actually see what I caught in that last photo. Anyways, there I go again... Okay, so I caught my five fish, 3 small mouth bass and 2 splake, which is a hybrid cross trout fish. So now what do I do? If my loving husband were here, he would probably have done the dirty work for me, but with him working 1100 miles away, I was on my own. My only other choice would be to take them home alive and turn them loose in my stock tanks, but I wasn't too sure how my horses would respond to the torment those fish would exact upon them. So, I bucked up and did what any self-respecting fisherperson would do, I asked for help...

Help came in the form of my 6 year old daughter. Yeah, I know, not the person you thought, but hey, I'm supposed to going through some training here, so why would I ask a man for help??? LOL! Anyways, I get out all the tools, as I had seen loving husband do this before. So I get ready, and I ask my daughter what I'm supposed to do next. Sure enough, she guided me through the whole process lickety split. Had all five cleaned and packaged in about 20 minutes. That time included wrestling with the slippery little suckers!

We got home a little before 10am, as we still had chores to do, and well, I had a newborn and the other two were getting bored quickly. Since then I've gone off and on, and now I outfish my husband, I actually had to give him one of my lures, just so he had a fighting chance :) Since then, my daughter has not let me forget that she had to show me how to do this... All I have to say is I'm mighty proud of her! She'll grow up a lot better with this kind of stuff, than all that s*^t found in the big city!

Well, I've made it through step 2. It's mostly self taught, because according to my spouse, "this is stuff that I should know how to do!" Well, yeah, like that can be just learned, especially if you aren't ever exposed to it! Well, I'll be moving on to step 3 soon enough. Want a hint? It has to do with Christmas tree hunting!

See you soon!

Becoming a Wyoming Wife - Part 1

When I agreed to quit my great job, sell my house, marry my spouse and move to Wyoming, I had visions of cowboys, horses, deer and antelope roaming, and well, basically living a western lifestyle. Well, once I took off my rose colored glasses I realized that I moved to a declining population state, where "the Equality State" is anything but... But then my spouse told me of Wyoming Wife training. Now it's not an actual class, although there are groups and organizations that offer some help and hope to newly settled and learning the ropes woman. Wyoming wife training is actually alot like survivalist skills, only as a woman, your spouse typically tries to teach you what you should know, as opposed to a non-biased professional who has all the patients of a saint, because you pay him to teach you something. My first step in this process was getting a fishing license and learning to cast a line (or rod, as my husband did trying to show me the correct way!) Anyway, sounds easy enough right? Well sure, you go down to one of many stores, if not all the stores, in your town. Show them an ID, pay your fee, and you are good to go. Then what? Well, now your loving husband is going to show you how to cast and reel in dinner. Now pay close attention, because somewhere in the teachings you agreed to catch, clean, and cook his dinner. This sentiment isn't in an instruction manual, it's just slipped in somewhere between "you're doing great!" and "did you have fun?" Now for those who haven't fished before and are animal lovers, let me just tell you, you have to spear this poor worm onto your hook and, hopefully, catch a big fish on the same hook and then hope that it enjoyed it's last meal...

My first experience wasn't all that great... I refused to put the worm on my own hook! (Call me a whimp, I dare ya!!! ) So once the poor thing was on there I was given a few instructions on how to cast out. Well, needless to say, I caught the bush that was about 15 feet behind me. Not the most glorious moment of my life... Then after I got the line untangled, I tried again... I caught my leg that time! Thank goodness for thick Carhartt duck!! That hook never had a chance, and either did the poor worm... So, not one to give up so easily, I tried a third time... Three is a lucky number isn't it? Well, on my third time I cast out about 4 feet from shore and had about 20 feet of fishing line scattered from hell to breakfast... Was not a pretty sight. So then I began reeling in my line and trying not to make it any worse than what it already was. I gave up then. I could see the disappointment in my loving husbands eyes... Ah well, let him catch my dinner! This is the Equality State right???? Enough for one day, if you ask me... Oh did I mention that the wind was blowing something fierce during my first lesson and that my spouse thought it would help me... Now I ask you, who in their right mind learns something like this while the wind feels like it's going to lift me into the pond???

Oh, about the worm... After the second cast, the poor thing broke in half... The third cast was the mercy killing it deserved before I inflicted any more damage to it... Not that a fish would care what shape its dinner is in...

Ah, well, I've got better since that first fateful day. Now I routinely catch more fish than my husband... And I don't use a worm at all. The last time I went fishing, I caught a small mouth bass that just missed the state record... If I hadn't cleaned it and such, it might have made it. But alas, my spouse was not there to inform me of my mistake, he was working!!! And I didn't feel bad at all, after all you can't eat a state record, but you can have a mighty tasty meal from that fish! And I didn't feel bad about going without my spouse either, his job requires long hours, so I'm left to my own devices at times....

Stay tuned for Step 2 - How I learned to clean a fish... You'll love it!