Thursday, December 17, 2009


Well, Pat and I went out to get a Christmas tree on December 2, 2009.  We went to Whispering Pines to the NE of here.  I've ALWAYS wanted to go there, but for whatever reason, we always just stuck to the Christmas tree farms around home....but this year I finally talked Pat into making the big trip!  We had pretty good luck.  I found this "OOMPAH-LOOMPAH" tree first...

After this, we headed for our intended target, the Balsam Fir lots.  The trees were not as deep and dark green as I wanted.  So I scampered over to the next lot which held the Frasier Firs.  The Frasiers had MUCH better color, but the branches were shorter and weaker as a whole...but then...just as I was about to give up, I saw THIS:

Yes, I'm pretty sure I heard a choir of angels singing when I found this tree.  It was a great color, had a great shape and we wouldn't have to cut half of it off for it to fit in the house.  So we definitely had a winner!

As you can see I take my Christmas tree hunting very seriously!  My darling hubby cut that monster down for me, while I was supposed to be holding it and pushing it away from him so it wouldn't fall on him.  So you can see my "please don't fall on Pat!" face above, as well as my final hug to our tree for fulfilling it's Christmas destiny and letting me cut it down to bring it home.  LOL  Not to worry...I have beautified it very much.  I have a pic from when I put the lights on....

Love this tree with all my heart! It's now decorated with ornaments from many years and a grapevine/berry star and a bright red bow!  There was a tree I got a couple years ago, that actually tipped over a couple times before Christmas...I wanted to throw that tree out and get a new one, but no one would let me!
December 9, our first snow storm.  "Allison".  She left 17" of snow in her wake.  We went from having no snow at all, to a complete white out!
Here's the view from my bedroom window during the storm...

December 11, MN Amy came out to visit me for the day!  We had shopping and a trip to the Botanical Gardens light display on our minds, as well as meeting up with Ali at Olive Garden for dinner later on.  So we headed out into the cold with her mighty Sport Track, and braved the below zero wind chills.  Here are some pics from the Botanical Gardens...

These are the awesome purple daisies and sunflowers you see when you first walk in the gardens...

This was the Caterpillar vortex you walk through...SO COOL! All LED lights!

One of the many butterflies...

This is my favorite place in the garden.  A gazebo with stars cut out of the copper dome on the top!  It doesn't show up well in the picture, but it's there, believe me!

This is Amy and I in front of the gazebo!

Back into the heart of the caterpillar!

One last pic of Amy and I before leaving the gardens! 
Now my days are filled with Christmas tree set up, deocorating, and bow making.  Christms card writing and Christmas shopping.  Thank God for online shopping (and BING!)!  Can't wait til all the gifts are in the house and I can begin wrapping them!  Woot!  I hope everyone has a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


So Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Another successful holiday where I stuff myself until I'm insanely full and pledge to "never eat again"....but then I get a craving and that all goes out the window! My deep dish pies were awesome!  Which was a relief since I really thought my pumpkin pies were not "up to snuff".  I don't know what happened to them...the crust turned dark and the filling just wasn't "right".  But no one died after eating them, so I guess all was good!
Sad part is, no one went to see Gram that Sunday, dad brought Gram home and Scott made a beef roast and a ham with all the was like Thanksgiving again without the turkey.  But everything was soooo good!  I helped Gram write out almost all of her Christmas cards and it seemed to brighten her spirits a little.  Which is good, because she was feeling really sad.  I'm sure just "knowing" she had to "GO BACK THERE" was enough to make the experience bittersweet.  But once she started talking and telling stories she was in a good mood.  She even sat and watched the Viking game with us for awhile! Dad finally took her back around 6. 
I'm hoping we will bring her home Christmas Day as well.  She belongs at home for those days.  This past Saturday, was her Christmas party at SC, but I had a seizure (broke my 7 week, 2 day streak) so I couldn't go. Mom, Tina and Alice went.  The meal was to be served at 11:30am.  But mom and the gang got there at 11:15 and Gram was in her room and was already finished eating...WTF? Ok.... She was all dressed up in her Christmas sweater and she was saying..."I thought there was a party? Where's the party?"  So after a few hours mom and the gang left and all they saw was a long line to the dining room.  The next day I talked to a friend who also went to the party and apparently there was more stuff going on later in the afternoon.  There was musical entertainment so I really hope Gram got out to see that!  I also wish I would have gone....even if I was tired...I could have laid on her bed, pretty much the same way I did here at home...the only difference would have to have been that Pat would have had to wake me up sooner...he woke me up after 11 and asked if I was hungry...hell, I was barely COHERENT, let alone HUNGRY...but I did get up and he carried my pillows and blanket to the couch while I stumbled behind him...and he made a pizza and served it to me couch-side with a glass of soda...he even got me a refill :0) 
So today, mom and I put the Christmas decorations up outside.  It's been so hard for me to find my Christmas spirit this year...I haven't bought ONE Christmas gift yet, I have to wait until I get my check which isn't until December 23.  Nothing like waiting til the last minute, but really, I have no choice at this point.  But I made an executive decision that this week, every day, I will do something Christmas-themed.  Much like putting up the outside decor today (which was a bummer to find out all my trees were broken, so we are down to the lighted juniper bush, a lighted snowman, and 6 lighted candy canes...clearance sales in January, here I come!), each day will involve something to do with Christmas.  Tomorrow I plan to put the tree up in the house...the fine specimen of a Balsam/Frasier Fir that Pat and I hunted down last Monday at Whispering Pines.  VERY nice place! Will definitely go there again!  But, Pat had to give the tree stand to Kyle tonight to fix, as the stud in the bottom broke off, so Kyle is going to weld on a new one...crap...I should have had him weld the legs on's a pain that they fall out every time you pull the tree out of the corner to water it...*sigh*...maybe I can still get that done.  MENTAL NOTE: LEGS FOR XMAS TREE.
The only other "set:" event for the week so far is Friday, when MN Amy comes to visit!  I cannot wait!  She was messaging me pictures from the Holidazzle Parade in MN tonight! I LOVE TECHNOLOGY!  Although I most likely will have to wait until next year to witness that for myself, we have plans to shop, walk through the GB Botanical Gardens light display (this will be my first time!) and finally meeting up with Tina and Ali at night for dinner at the Olive Garden....a spectacular day we have planned and I cannot wait for it to get here!
I still have to get going on my Weetabix Christmas Card exchange...All I can really do is get the "get to know you" forms printed for inside the cards, as the ones I have ordered haven't come yet...but I called and checked and they will be on their way shortly! I got my Lang Christmas Cards which are gorgeous, no doubt!  I can't wait to start sending!  But first I have to track down a few more addresses before I can make that happen.  That sounds like a good Monday night/Tuesday event. 
Tuesday night will be excellent...A Charlie Brown Christmas will be on, only after being pre-empted by the Pres and his speech last week.  After ACBC comes the new holiday series, Disney's Prep & looks REALLY GOOD! I can't wait to see it! I'm a huge fan of holiday cartoons and I think this will be going onto my favorite list as well.
Well, It's 11:56pm and my laptop battery is dead...I must go for added later.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

DADDY HAMMERED A SPORK! opening day of rifle season has come and gone.....
In the last 5 days, I have seen one "body" in the brush and POSSIBLY a tail in the brush...I've not seen a WHOLE DEER yet....WTF!??!  And the Wisconny DNR wants a 16 day season next year?? WTF!??!?! (again, yes.)  So I'm left very disgruntled about the season so far.  I DO realize there is a standing corn field just to the north of my stand...and I DO realize it has been unseasonably warm.  All of which could be halting the movement.  Tomorrow morning we have a chance of could be THE DAY!   However, it's also Thanksgiving tomorrow and I will have to see if I have the ambition to get out of bed at 3:30 again...that is ONE EARLY DAY!
In other news, The Uncle and Cousin from MS are home for the holiday.  They've not seen much either...a couple of does and fawns.  Neither of which we shoot.  That's OUR definition of "herd management!"  I DID have my eye on a nice 8 pointer which I got some great video footage of...but rumor has it, that opening morning, when Marky and I were waiting anxiously in my stand for the "SHH-SHH-SHH" of little deer hoofies in the leaves....instead we heard the unmistakeable sound of a rifle...followed by "commotion" and a "crash" in the brush....apparently that was the neighbor...shooting MY BUCK!  And to add insult to injury I actually HEARD IT GO DOWN.....augh.
Dad was so funny, Marky and I came out of the woods one night, I THINK Monday, and there dad stood, with Scott nearby and Uncle D in the middle of the field...Daddy had hammered a buck! So me and Marky took the quad to pull it in.  Somehow Dad talked Marky into doing the dirty work and gutting it for him...he played the "I'm an old man" card...touche...
So he got himself a 3 pointer...funny cuz Ry got a spike.  So that night at dinner, Marky, mom, dad and I were talking about the deer and Mom said, "Ry got a spike" and dad said, "Ha I got one more point than Ry!" and I laughed and said, "Ya, dad got a spike AND a fork!" and Dad said, "I GOT A SPORK!" OMG! SOOOO FUNNY!  So the joke of the season is definitely how "daddy hammered a spork!"
On a MUCH lighter note, Friday night (November 20) was stellar! I spent the afternoon with Marky, Felicia, Keith and Mike at the opening day of NEW MOON! OH. MY. GOD!!!! LOVE IT!! Can't wait to see it again!! Any takers???? :o)
That night, I also made the hike to see Gram, as I knew I wouldn't see her much once season opened.  And then made the trip even farther north to meet up with an old classmate and to "trade meat".  YES. I SAID TRADE MEAT!  Excellent! Can't wait to try it...I'm waiting for Pat to get home tonight for that!
Other extra curriculars for the week were, hitting Chili's for lunch, scoring my copy of Twilight back from Marky, a hysterical day in the stand with Marky doing impressions from "Escanaba in Da Moonlight" and the "BOMB" yesterday.  Craziness...thought someone blew the farm up!  Thankfully, that was NOT the case!
Today was filled with pie baking and a trip to see Gram soon.  Sad we cannot spend the holiday together but I guess I have to understand it anyway.
HAHA Deer Camp episode on That 70's Show.  FUNNNNNNNNNY SHIT! :o)
Well I must go now and maybe put together another pie before I leave...perhaps blueberry now and I'm hoping for a blackberry pie to appear tonight as well!
Happy Thanksgiving! GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


So this Saturday, just two short days from now, is the rifle season opener for 2009.  For the first time in nearly a decade, things look a little promising for me!  I don't even like to talk about it, for fear I will jinx it.  But really....the woods is ripped to shit right now!
About a week ago, Pat took me for a ride to see a buck bedded down near the road on the property I will be hunting on.  Here's a pic...

Yes, that big boy right there is the target of my affections.  We'll see how season pans out.  Pat is still going up to BJ with his family.  He'll return in time for Thanksgiving.  And this year, I have a new co-hunter.  Marky is coming with me.  Tina froze last year and doesn't have the proper clothing to wear.  Marky isn't going up north and wasn't even going to hunt at all, so this actually works out well.  Maybe he will bring me some good luck.  I'll have to have him "rub my horns" hanging in my stand.  LOL
But before all that happens, tomorrow, Friday, NOVEMBER 20, 2009, is one of the GREATEST DAYS EVER!!!  Myself, Mark, Felicia, Mike M. and Keith are going to the 12:45 PMS showing of NEW MOON!!! OMG I CANNOT WAIT!!!  It should be a blast! So today is a day of relaxing and "prepping" for all the excitement I will be filled with!
Also, Mark and I might go to eat somewhere since Pat has abandoned me for a week....I wish he'd change his tradition to include hunting here at home with me.....*sigh*
Last week Friday, Gram was placed in Sharpe Care. It's only temporary (we hope).  She couldn't get out of bed due to extreme pain in her hip, but they say they can rehabilitate her to be able to come back home.  She's very sad (obviously) but I think she appreciates all the help she gets there.  She is disturbed by some of the other people there and understandably so.  Her roommate seems to buzz all night long just to be a pest and it wakes Gram up.  I guess there is also one man across the hall who will just yell the same thing over and over until someone come to sedate him.  There are alarms going off every time I am there, I don't know how she stays sane.  I wish she could go to a nicer place with private rooms and such.  I see commercials for a place in DePere but Gram can't afford that.  So it's probably not an option.  I wish I had money...I'd bring all the physical therapists to HER and she would never have to leave home.  She'd have round the clock care....*sigh*
Well, that's enough for now.  Time to hit the showers.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Yes, Christmas is still very much on my mind.  And since I'm laying in bed both writing this blog and thumbing through my new December issue of Martha Stewart's REALLY on my mind.  I started working on a couple of the things I said I needed to do in the previous post.  I DID send out the order for my Christmas cards (LOVE the "bill me later" option!) and I did start making a gift list for everyone I WANT to buy for and I did start making my own "wish list"...which consists mostly of clothes (Fox), DVD's and books.  There's not much else I can have someone else buy for me...I'm pretty fussy all around.  I told my mom today I was going to write a letter to "Santa" and hope and pray he really DID exist.  She says "he does"'t have burst my bubble about that when I was 8 years old then, mom. 
I'm very NOT excited about my trip to my new Neurologist tomorrow morning.  I've got to leave the house by 8:30, which isn't early for most, but when you consider the fact that only thing I've HAD to get up for recently was goose hunting....ya, it's a little stressful.  Plus, it's YET ANOTHER new I sit here and ponder what he will be like...will he be young or old? Will he have a warm smile or a terse look plastered on his face? Will he be funny and witty, or dry and dull?  Will he listen to me and my concerns or be a pompus jerk and think he has the answer without even getting to know me or my life for the past 2 1/2 years?  99% of the doctors I have met, fall into the second category.  I've only had one doctor that I truly liked and well....he's not practicing anymore.  (For reasons I DEFINITELY cannot discuss here). 
I've had this horrible stomach pain all day long...well, for the last couple days actually.  The pain that comes from a surgery I had a couple years ago and I was pretty much promised I'd have to have it again.  There's a duct near the pancreas called the "Sphinctor of Oddi".  I don't even know if I spelled it right...but ya know what? I don't even feel bad about it, because, NONE of the medical professionals I've had to explain it to even know what it is!!!  Nice right?  The only one who knows what it is, is the guy who does the surgery.  And with the level of pain I've been having recently, and the frequency of it....I'm thinking another surgery is right around the corner.  NOT COOL.
So....what else?  Well, I'm thinking about my Christmas card list.  I have the list I saved from last year, but I know there are several people I want to add to it this year...for one reason or another.  So I have to get going on that.  I try to start writing my cards out during the "rifle season/Thanksgiving" holiday be sure that I get them all out by December 1.  Last year I was way behind and I didn't even get to send them out to all the people I wanted to.  This year I might be participating in a "Christmas card exchange" program through a local blogger girl.  It sounds exciting! Getting Christmas cards from people you don't even know, from all over the country!  Sounds like maybe it could help infuse me with some of that holiday cheer that is missing this year....
I would really like to go out "shopping" (or in my case, LOOKING) on Black Friday.  No one in my family dares to go out on that day but I get a rush from it!  Great deals, and sometimes alot of great items are gone after that day!  But the only Black Friday shopping I will be doing is from my laptop I think.
I also hope we get some snow soon.  Right now everything is just brown and dead and....depressing.  At least with a new fallen snow, everything looks and smells so fresh and clean!  Like a new start! The white snow being an empty canvas for endless possibilities!  Plus, it really helps with the deer hunting....
I've been thinking about doing a lot of "homemade" gifts this year...but the problem is that I don't do anything "half-ass" and therefore, would still end up paying through the bum for embellishments, and containers and such.  Can't a girl catch a break here?? I've been trying to win the hasn't been working out.  I pick all these really great numbers, but the lottery people don't seem to like them as much as I do. Go figure.
I think maybe the Tamiflu has helped with my overall recovery from whatever it is that I have...but I definitely am still feeling it's wrath.  How many more days must I suffer??  By the time the 20th (New Moon release day) I will be walking on sunshine one way or another! So far, Felicia, myself, Mike and The Godfather plan to go.  If everything works out and The Godfather can get off of work for it, he can easily swing by and pick me up and bring me home!  SCORE! Then no one would have to go REALLY far out of their way to pick me up...otherwise Felicia might hafta swing out and get me.  She said she would...but she lives a long way away and I would feel bad then.  It really sucks not being able to drive! GRRR!
Ya know, Martha Stewart is a freaking genius...she makes billions of dollars off not only her own ideas, but the 100's of people that work for her as well....she had the original thought to make something of a normal "daytime diva" first, but really....when I sit and think that she's making all this money off "sock monkeys" and "cookies"....crap!  It makes me wonder why I couldn't think of something so genius and yet so simple.  Oh well....maybe "next time".
Oh, one other major item before I go...I finally got the coordinates to place the team's first Geocache the other day.  Mark and I went and using both our GPS's, agreed to the coordinates.  I submitted them and it said right on the site it could take 3 days to get the coordinates reviewed/approved and then submitted on the site.  Well, 3 hours later, I got an email saying the site was approved and on the website....CRAP!  That means people could be looking for this thing and it won't even be there!  So I dragged my butt out of bed the next day (NOT pleasant) and had the hubby take me to Fleet Farm and Gander Mountain to get the container and contents for the cache.  I spent the rest of the afternoon online, feverishly printing out all the necessary documents to go along with the cache, and activating the Geocoin I was going to put inside.  It was down right around 6:00 pm, and I conned Marky and the hubby into placing the cache in its new home! I was soooo excited! In the meantime, I logged on and someone had logged a visit to the cache already, and swore up and down they couldn't find it.  I logged a note apologizing and saying I was new to the "game" and didn't know how quickly things would move along....but that the cache would be placed in the next couple days.  After that I was content...until Marky and the hubby came back...they said the entire cache site area was "demolished".  I couldn't believe what I was hearing...the original location, inside a clump of 4 birch trees, no longer existed.  Someone had actually knocked down 3 of the 4 trees! I was heart broken!  And SO ANGRY!  So I sat silently eating dinner with everyone with this just boiling beneath my skin.  As soon as I was finished I asked Marky to "saddle up" cause we were going to get the cache back.  I disabled it online, with a message stating "why" and we went to retrieve the cache.  It was in its place for a mere half hour.  I felt like a complete failure and worst of all, I felt like because of ME, a piece of really gorgeous land had been destroyed.  When I actually go there, I didn't even recognize the area...whoever was there had knocked down more than the "3" trees and the entire area was trampled.  I was furious.  I wrote a note to the one user who logged a visit, not thinking, it really didn't mean it was "THEM" who did the damage....they were simply the only ones to log a visit.  So after a "heart to heart" with a complete stranger, I have decided that the cache will not go back there....I need to find a whole new spot.  One that will be winter/kid/weather friendly.  And  a place that no one can destroy.  It will be difficult, but perhaps it will come to me soon.
I've most definitely babbled here long enough.
I need to take a hot shower and get ready to watch Dancing With The's the FINAL 5 and only 3 weeks left!!  I have no clue who will win it, but I DO have my favorites picked out.  :o)  I want either Derek and Joanna to win or Mya and Demitry.  Who will it be??? No one really knows...anything could happen yet!
PS If anyone reading this could PLEASE tell me where to find the "spellcheck" would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you! :o)

Friday, November 6, 2009


My mind is reeling...
I have the flu. I'm laying in bed. All I can do is lay here and think about all the things I need and/or want to do and how either I cannot do them, or how I cannot do them now...

* Make a Christmas Gift List
* Make a Christmas Card List
* Make a space for my Christmas tree in my room
* Order Christmas cards
* Fix/Winter-ize the kennel
* Dig out my Christmas tree
* Take Harm to vet
* Get new tires on the car
* Get heater fixed on the car
* Make a Scrapbook for various occasions
* Go to dr. Appt at Mercy in Oshkosh
* Go to psych appt.
* Go goose hunting
* do laundry
* Get shampoo/conditioner/soap/toothbrush/toothpaste
* Get new clothes
* Plant bulbs on Grampa's grave
* Relax...

These are just a few of the thoughts that have been churning through my head all day. Of course Christmas is at the forefront right now. The weather, the calendar, the tv, the all screams Christmas is's 48 days away. That's not a very long time for someone with literally NO MONEY to her name to prepare for such an event. It makes me want to climb into a hole from now until May, and "skip" it this year. It's always been my favorite time of year! Baking, visiting with friends, riding around looking at lights, playing in the new fallen snow, mistletoe, Christmas stockings, the tree, decorating the tree (s), buying the perfect gift that you KNOW will light up the recipients face and they say "oh my gosh! How did you know? This is something I've always wanted!!". I pay attention. I pay close attention. I wrap all my gifts with an amazing amount of care, so much so that everyone jokes and says I should be a pro gift wrapper...if only there was such a thing! Or that I should professionally decorate trees. Again, if only there was such a thing. But there's not, at least not in the small town in Wisconny that I live in. It's so hard to be 33 and married for over 5 years and not even to be able to live with your spouse. He lives with his parents and I live with mine. Separately. He "spends the night" here but nothing of his is here. No clothes, no personal effects, nothing. It kills me. I just don't know how we got so far off course. Without even a hint at a return of our dreams coming true. My dreams are not extravagant. All I want is a nice house (NOT a mansion) and to be on our land and to be able to watch the sun rise and set from the porch of our house! To be able to have breakfast, lunch and dinner together everyday, to be able to do "our laundry", to be able to mow "our lawn"...such stupid things that everyone takes for granted that I feel I'll never have. Must go. Still not feeling well at all.

Monday, November 2, 2009


And we're back...
So I last left you with Tina and I standing on the beaches of Lake Superior...and that is where I will begin again!

If you look closely, you can see the stones catching a ride on the waves.  They were definitely stirred up that day!

Ryan vs. the waves...

Yes, he's barefoot, and yes he's crazy.  And I warned him he would get sick.  And for the record, he got sick.  He's been complaining for 2 weeks he's had the Swine Flu.  Yuh.
After Lake Superior, we went to Superior Falls.  It's a quck walk through the woods, with some slightly challenging terrain (don't wear heels, ladies). 

Beautiful shot of the falls...

This is my "artsy" shot...
After the falls, it was a short walk across the street to a scenic overlook at the Montreal River.

One of the views from the lookout.  This picture doesn't do it justice though.

Me at the Montreal River face looks so chubby!  Pat said, "I KNOW! BUT YOU DON'T REALLY LOOK LIKE THAT!"   (Score: brownie points for the hubby.)

The leafy trail that led the way to to the overlook...

Tina.  Work'n the fence.
And so ended our day in the U.P.  But not before stopping in Mercer at a unique little gift shop called "Whimsies" and eating at the "Around the Corner Pub" with Ryan's fam.  His Aunt happened to find my engagement ring in her bathroom, and thankfully returned it to me at the bar.  Thank goodness she found it!! Otherwise I'd still be sitting here without it!
So then it was back to the lodge.  We decided to go out looking for the "spirit deer" again and this time we got some satisfaction.  We caught one as it raced across the road in front of us. 
The next day we woke and went to breakfast at the Outdoorsman again.  This time I had a kick-ass omelette and once again, the greatest Cherry Coke ever! After breakfast we went to look for the spirit deer yet again.  This time we saw a couple of them.  So it made me happier just knowing I saw these elusive creatures.
Then it was time to depart for home.   Once again, Clifford's heated leather seats kept me warm and cozy all the way home.  I snoozed off and on for the 3 hour drive home and was sad to be leaving but knew that my very own marshmallow bed would feel great when I got home!
Once home, I unpacked and spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning my room.  It's a bigger challenge than it sounds.  Being married and trying to "live" out of a 10x10 bedroom is very difficult.  Pat and I have stuff scattered between several different places. But I digress.
The following week was spent hunting for the "100 goose".  We got up to 98 during the week.  Friday night was spent with one of my "besties" Jeanne and we watched "The Proposal", ate ice cream and pizza and had a blast.  Cute flick.  We also watched "Ghost Adventures" which I am now addicted to! I want season 1 on dvd for Christmas!! :) I'm gonna try to work it and get it a little sooner though. LOL
Saturday morning.  Halloween. My 33rd birthday.  Awake at 5 a.m.  Goose Mafia rides again.  We were in the "Puddle Set" and Pat, Keith and I were on a mission.  We had to only get 2 geese to hit our goal and there were a TON of geese in there in days prior.  Pat put me on the best of all the "puddles" and set me up for the 100 goose to be my birthday present.  Alas, daylight and the unmistakeable "HONK" breaks the wind and rain and snow, and the flock was up, off the pond and they were heading straight for our set.  I took a deep breath, waited til they were right on me, and burst out of my blind and raised my gun and squeezed the trigger and "CLICK"...the gun didn't fire...I checked the safety, it was on "fire", I looked at the was stuck backwards...panic insued...the geese flared away and I cursed and yelled and noticed the geese banking back toward us.  I had time to reload and get back down in my blind just in time for the geese to return.  This time they were lower yet and right on top of me again...I burst out of my blind, raised my gun, fired and "CLICK"...WTF!?!?  I checked the safety AGAIN, it's on "fire", I checked the trigger and it was stuck backwards.  Thankfully this time Pat and Keith fired and Pat got our 99th and Keith knocked our 100th out of the air but could not retrieve it.  He and Chance found the place of impact, feathers and all, and then Chanced sniffed his way to the pond where the trail went cold.  Either the goose paddled VERY quickly across the pond, or he did what they call a "death dive".  Keith said they will dive down, clamp on to a weed and their jaw locks and they drown themselves.  Which I find very sad, and I never knew ducks and geese did this.  But in any case, we rejoiced we now only have ONE LEFT TIL THE 100TH GOOSE!!!!
So after we came home from the hunt, it was time for my birthday "lunch."  At noon Tina and Ryan and Alice and Clarence came over to help me celebrate.  I received money, and flowers, and a marshmallow roaster rotisserie and a Chili's gift card (YUM) and a necklace.  My sister made my cake, in the shape of a cat.  Very cute.  Then Mom, Alice, Clarence and I got emersed in two games of Scrabble.  First time we broke out the board since last winter!  I'm so anal I've kept all the score cards since I got that board for Christmas in 2006.  That way there will never be a discrepancy about mom and my "win/lose ratio".  HAHA. I'm an EVIL GENIUS!
Let's see, then later Pat and I went to visit Gram.  She gave me an old "bean crock" that I once said I liked.  It looks like a mini cookie jar.  Right now it's housing all my Halloween candy I robbed from people's trick-or-treat bowls.  LOL
After Gram's, we picked up Tina and Ryan and Mark and went to Green Bay to check out a friend's Halloween display. He's got some of the most wicked cool things...(and I'm not just saying that because I know that at some point he will read this...) Among my fave's are the remote control witch with the crystal ball, the "black-lit" ghost in the garage, and the most awesome-est werewolf birthday cupcake he and his family gave to me, complete with candle.  Looking back, I wish I would have gotten pics of me and that ghost in the garage. It RAWKED!!  There's always next year!
On our way home from Green Bay, Mark, Pat and I were weaving through the outskirts of Howard when, the biggest buck we have seen in a looooooooong time, trotted casually across the road...I was in hysterics, even having the presence of mind to open my window and beg him to "coooome baaaack!"  Funny.
Then finally it was home again to my marshmallow bed which felt really good after such a long day!  I really have to give a shout out to all my friends for making my 33rd birthday so great.  Especially all the wishes sent via Facebook! AMAZING! :)  Definitely a high point of the day!
And the next day was Marky's birthday so I gave him his present on Halloween...since he had to work on his actual birthday.  I gave him a ton of Powerball tickets. I also bought some hoping that it being my birthday would bring me luck...but it didn't happen.  Even though I got 31 as the Powerball and I felt it was a "sign".  Marky ended up winning 8 dollars which was better than nothing I guess.  I am going to have to haul all these guys down to "The Miracle Mile" soon to buy another ticket.  That's where the winning happens. :)
November 1....ahhh...daylight savings begins.  We all "fell back" in our sleep and woke up to shorter days.  I hate that.  I don't like the darkness.  But besides that, it was the NFL game of the year, Packers vs. Vikings at Lambeau.  The first half was a pitiful display by the Packers.  The 2nd half, specifically the 3rd quarter held hope and some of the best ball the Packers have played all season.  But alas, it was not meant to be, and despite the crowd boo'ing Favre  upon every snap he took, he still prevailed.  The better team DID win.
And now here I am, on November 2, chillaxin for the entire day and watching the first of what will be a very long streak of holiday movies I own on DVD and finally can feel I am officially caught up on my blog!!!


It's been quite some time since I've posted a blog here...I've been busy. Between goose hunting, birthdays, weddings and trips to the north woods, October has been nothing more than a blur...thank goodness I at least have my "tweets" and Facebook statuses to refer to....I'll try my best to catch everyone up.
The last post was from October 17 and  Kraig and Kendall's wedding.  Since then, The Goose Mafia has continued to struggle for the elusive "100 goose".  And we are STILL after him!  We've made it to's right around the corner!!
October 23-25 was spent in the glorious north woods of Boulder Junction.  Small town, big surprises.  Pat and I drove up in Clifford in the pouring rain.  The heated leather seat was uuber comfy all the way there!  We made it all the way to our lodge without the snow falling.  But it wasn't far behind!  I think we were at the lodge for about 2 hours when it started to snow! Good thing I scored the jacuzzi suite when we arrived! We went to eat at Headwaters, where I had a good steak.  It warmed me and filled my belly. :)  After that we went to look for the "spirit deer" without any luck.  Disappointing to say the least.  Then we came back to the lodge to relax and watch the snow fall.

This is the little spike-horn buck that was bedded down outside the back of the lodge.  They are almost like pets, as they stay in town and are safe there. At first we thought this and a doe that was bedded down as well, were going to be the only deer we were going to see on the trip at all.

That is the scene as it was when we woke up on Saturday the 24th.  We planned to take a drive to Pine Lake, where my brother-in-law's relation lives, and then to Little Girl's Point on Lake Superior.  Nice drive and the beach at Lake Superior is great. First we went to breakfast and The Outdoorsman, which is in downtown Boulder Junction.  A rustic place with antiques scattered thoughout, and the absolute GREATEST Stuffed French Toast ever!!!  Layers of cinnamon toast and bananas and strawberries, with bacon on the side, extra crispy and the best cherry coke (secret ingredient is Grenadine) in the Midwest!  After we were all stuffed we headed out on the exact road shown above!  We first hit Pine Lake.

This is a gorgeous lake.  I love when I get the opportunity to visit...which isn't very often.  Here are a couple more pics of the Pine Lake area...

This is a shot of the ATV trail....

A view through Ryan's Aunt's arbor...

Not something we see here in NE Wisconny too often...Halloween lawn decor buried in snow! LOL

Poor Tina...a catastrophe in the making....

One last view of Pine lake through the treetops...
Then it was off to Spirit Lake.  It's a small lake but offers a small park and pavilion.  Perfect during the picnic season.

This is me on the dock at Spirit Lake.
It was a short stay.  But was great to take in the scenery.
Then finally we went to Little Girl's Point, Lake Superior.  I love this beach! It's all stones, and if you're lucky, you can find a semi-precious stone called "Agate".  I was the only one to find an agate that day! WOOT!  It was FREEZING cold, the wind was INSANE!  But we got some good pics!

This is Pat and I on the beach.  The waves were so huge and the winds so strong that all the stones were piled up along the shore.  Right behind where we are standing, is actually like a "cliff". But it stirred up the stones so we had a good chance of finding our little "gems".

And that is my sister, Tina, and I.  We stayed about 30 minutes here, but the wind was fierce and cold and I couldn't feel my fingers or toes by the time we left! Well I think I'm going to have a Part II to this picture uploads keep failing...maybe I've used up too much space?  To be continued....

Monday, October 19, 2009


And so, the wedding weekend is over now.  I'm sort of sad...I miss wearing the "princess dress" and the "Cinderella shoes" that everyone went ga-ga over.  They hurt like hell...but I would've worn them for hours longer just because they made me feel a little more important...beautiful...  I should have taken a pic of the shoes, because seriously, they deserved a round of applause all on their own.  Who knew, right?  So let me start from the beginning...Friday, October 16, 2009: Rehearsal  5:30 pm.  We arrive at BVM and much to my surprise their was only a couple other people there before us.  We got into the church which was FREEZING COLD!!!  First, Father sat us all down for his customary speech about the couple to be betrothed, and for us to pray and send good wishes to them.  Then it was on with the actual rehearsal. It went pretty smoothly.  Pat and I are the first to walk through the door, which is a little nerve racking, but at the same time exhilierating.  We ran through everything just once, so you had better been paying attention.  Rehearsal dinner was at the groom's parent's house.  Pat and Mark asked "if" I wanted to go...well OF COURSE I DO!!  But they were concerned because it was being held outside and they thought I would get cold.  As soon as we got there, I had no worries of becoming cold!  First of all, I got a really comfy chair in front of the fire...

I apologize for the "small pics"...they are from my BlackBerry.  This wasn't the hugest fire I've ever seen, but it may have very well been the HOTTEST!  I literally had to keep turning from side to side, like I was toasting myself like a marshmallow! And! When I first got there, Kraig's brother had his golden retriever puppy "Kalli" there and so of course, Mark went and got her for me! I held her as long as I could...cradled her like a baby and let her smoosh her nose into mine! She still had the "Cheerios" baby puppy smell...oh how I miss that smell!!  She was sooo soft and so cuddly....good thing Pat forwarned me that he had better not find her in the backseat of the car when we left!  We didn't stay long, I needed to get home and get my rest for the big day!
Saturday, October 17, 2009.  6:30 am.  I'm up.  Jumping in the shower and getting ready to take off for the day.  First stop, Elements. And for Brenda to work her "wizardree" on my hair!  This woman is a saint.  Really.  Here are the resuts:

Pretty hot right?  I knew Pat was a fan right away.  He likes it when I have the headband on.  I did it for his sister's wedding that way and he raved about it.  Today was no different.  Let's see: Hair: Check  Make up: kind of Check.  I wasn't crazy about how the chick did my make up, so I knew I'd be touching it up when I got to Pat's.
Back at the Ignarski ranch, I gathered up everything I needed to take to the church with me, my make up arsenal, glitter for hair and body, jewelry and the Cinderella shoes among the most important things.  My dress was already there, so I didn't have to worry about that.

Mary Jo agreed to come to the church with me and help me get ready.  Thank goodness she did.  We were the first 2 there, and the others didn't stroll in until I was fully dressed and ready to rumble!  Marky showed up and asked if I would do his hair. LOL  Which I did.  It was nothing more than smearing a bunch of "waxy" pomade into his hair and giving him a bit of the "bed head" look.  It turned out good.
So now everyone's here, it's getting chaotic, me and 2 other maids, Laura and Nikki, went up into the church to decorate the pews, and amazingly enough, I didn't fall down the stairs in church!  They are uuber steep and scary and even a little twisty and given that I wear heels an average of once every 3 years, my 4" heels scared the crap out of me.  But I did it! WOOT! 
Before we knew it, it was 1:00 and "go time".  We all met upstairs outside the church doors and lined up for the processional.  Father Pat told us the night before to look straight ahead, smile, and not to walk too quickly.
 Ya...have you ever walked next to Pat when he's nervous because there are flash bulbs going off every second??? Yuh...let's just say I'm lucky I was able to keep up.  Whew, the longest walk: conquered.  The rest of the ceremony went well...and much to my surprise, QUICKLY.  The worst part was the temperature of the place! SO COLD!  My hands were like ice, I was covered in goose bumps.  Which I don't think is very attractive when one is wearing a strapless dress!
The walk out is one of sheer relief.  The hard part is over and now it's time to start having fun!  Kraig and Kendall did a dove release right after the ceremony which was really cool.  Funny because the doves didn't want to come out...Kendall had to reach in and grab each one.  She handed one to Kraig, and one to the man who brought them and she held one herself, and then they released them into the sunny blue sky and they made a wide loop and were out of sight.  Very cool.
Tina was able to get a couple pics of Pat and I before we left the church as well:

I think we look pretty HAWT!
After the rest of the pics were taken at the church, we headed out to bar hop.  Pat and I had my car, because, we didn't want to be "trapped" with the wedding party in the limo in the event that something might happen with me.  But Mark offered Clifford as our alternate ride and I was soooo happy because Clifford has heated leather seats and dual climate control and's just a SWEET ASS RIDE!
Here's a pic of me enjoying myself in my personal limo for the day!

 So we stopped and picked up the big red truck and were off to the Rosie's for our first stop.  It was there that the real fun began.  I got Kendall to lay on the pool table for pics with Kraig and pics with the rest of the maids.  Then we were off again, this time to BB bridge where took alot of pics.  Kendall had asked me for ideas earlier and I told her what I had in mind.  All the maids did the "Charlie's Angels" pose which we RAWKED and then we did one right in front of the river, and one where we were all peeking out from behind a giant oak and one where the girls all held Teddy up and one where all the groomsmen held Kendall.  Good pics...then right before we left, I remembered one I saw a long time ago.  Kendall stood way off in the distance, while Teddy was close to the photographer, with hands cupped and held out in front of him...he looks at his hands and after the pic is taken, it looks as though he is holding Kendall lovingly in his hands.  One thing I FORGOT however, was to have kendall facing him, and looking up at him.  But it's still was very cute.  OK, with those pics in the books, we took off to the new Club 32.  The place looks stellar.  They rebuilt quickly after the fire, and it looks like a totally different place!  Everyone had a quick drink there and it was already time to head to Kelly Lake for the reception.
Once at Romy's we all hung back in the bar area and got ready for the Grand Entrance.  Matt did the intro's, and did a smashing job I must add!  He introduced Pat and I first, and of course, had to mention we are hardcore goose hunters.  Funny.  Dinner was awesome.  Katie's speech/toast was awesome, Matty kept me in great company at the end of the table and provided me with many laughs.  He's a funny guy.  I hope he and Katie stick together...they make a great couple!
There were many stories told at order to get Kraig and Kendall to kiss.  And they were not shy about it either.  Cute.
After dinner, I managed to steal Kendall for a quick pic:

It seemed to be a really emotional day for Kendall...she was so happy and yet I saw a lot of tears flow from her eyes during the course of the night.  Lots of  "extended hugs" with friends and family.  But she was stunning. 
The deejay started a little after 8:00 and after only a few songs, it was time for the Grand March.  The guys wore hard hats and the girls wore nail aprons (mine fully equipped with ammo), and carpenter's pencils behind our ears...only...none of the girls could keep them behind their little ears so I came up with the next best idea...we stuck them in the tops of our dresses, just off to one side and Teddy loved it! So much so, that after the Grand March, he told me to leave mine there...because it "looked yummy".  LOL  And who was "I" to go against the wishes of the groom??? So after all the Grand March-ee-ness and couples dances, which was pretty awesome I must say...we danced to Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing", which ironically, was the same exact Pat and I used at our wedding at exactly the same time.  Kraig's older brother was a really good dancer, much better than myself, prompting me to do the "dip-dee-dip" and spinning me around like a top.  Which was cool cause he could REALLY dance...not the jr. high "sway side to side" dance but REALLY dance.  I thought that was cool.  I danced with Kendall's little brother who was WELL on his way to drunkeness, and with Matty of course, and with Marky TWICE which was funny cause he is SO tall and at that point I was "shoeless" and he's more than a foot taller than me.  And he was drunk too, so with him bending over to accommodate for my height and with me trying to "hold him up" because he was loaded, it was sorta funny. When I finally got my turn to dance with the groom, history once again rewrote itself, just as it was for my wedding, I ran to him and he picked me up off the ground and spun me around and told me how glad he was that I was sweet.  He was all smiles all night and he was a really good sport during the garter toss...he had to dance his way down to Kendall who then had to approve or disapprove of his efforts before he was allowed to go in for the garter.  Matty tried giving him some "bootay shaking" lessons and all I can say is that there were "asses in the air" and it was awesome. 
After the Grand March, the deejay started cranking up the music.  This is the time I had been waiting for alllllllllll night!  We rawked to "She's Country" and then to "Ice Ice Baby".  It was then that my MOTHER decided to completely ruin my night.  She came out to the dance floor and proceeded to YELL AT ME and tell me I was "pushing my luck".  Which, I argued I "was not." But to no avail.  At that point my night was ruined and I found Pat and told him I wanted to leave. I said goodbye to Kendall and Kraig and we were off.  I posted on FB that "Cinderella got kicked out of the ball"....that prompted alot of questions, which, is what it is.  I WANTED to stay, but I know that if something had happened then, I would never hear the end of it and I just didn't feel it was worth it.  I regret it now.  I should have stayed.  For as long as I feel good, I should live my life the way I choose.  There are many days I can barely get out of bed, and a doctor once told me...if I feel good, do whatever it is that I want, WHILE I FEEL THAT WAY!  I mean, it's not like I'm jumping out of planes...I was DANCING...DANCING PEOPLE!!! GRRRRR!  In any case, I digress.
The ride home was quiet.  But once again, Clifford warmed me with the heated leather and for that much I was grateful. 
Once home, and in bed, I sat up until midnight...doing what you ask??? Ha.  Peeling off my fake nails! It hindered my abilities to text and post to FB all day and night and I couldn't bare to deal with them any longer.  LOL  I'm such a spaz. 
So I would say the weekend was a success.  A huge success.  Two people who are in love are now united as one, and it is our hope, that they, "LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER"...
PS, I hope to get more pics from Kendall and I will post them then. :o)

Friday, October 9, 2009


So the month of October is whizzing by...almost every day includes a goose hunt.  We've had A LOT of success this year, and much to my surprise, I've become completely addicted to the sport.

That's Brian, Keith and I out in the field (October 7, 2009).  It was a fantastic day.  We hammered the geese...Chance made an awesome retrieve on one that came back to life...the "Antichrist Goose II" .  He chased that thing FOREVER!  I did a "drive" on one in the hay field that went down, and with Chance's help, recovered that one too.  At the same time, Pat recovered one to the far south of our set as well.  Had a lot of laughs that day too.  Keith played "Love Game" by Lady Ga Ga on his goose call...and it actually sounded "good."

That's Chance pictured above.  This dog is amazing.  He lays in Keith's blind with him and if you look over at him  when the birds start to fly, you can see the blind shaking and hear Keith trying to settle him down.  He just "knows".  It's so funny.  And he doesn't hesitate on a retrieve.  Sometimes we'll all be talking and all of the sudden you'll see Chance staring off in the a flock of geese that would have otherwise gone missed.  There have been so many funny moments this season that I really regret not taking the time to at least make notes after each hunt.  Although my thoughts are scattered and random right now, I promise to keep better track from now on.  Our ultimate goal is to harvest 100 geese this year.  As of right now, we've got 63.  Pretty exciting.  I suppose I should probably take the time to talk about each of the members in our crew as well.
First there's Pat and I.  The masterminds behind this whole thing.  We've spent many hours discussing this club and it's potential over the past year.  I hope someday it becomes what we dream of. 
Keith: He's an awesome goose caller, brings us Chance--an awesome retriever, and he brings a lot of comedy to the group as well.  He's always up to something.  As you will find out as time goes on...because he's not afraid of the camera and therefore, I'll be posting a lot of his greater moments...
Mark:  He's our transportation specialist.  LOL  I say that because he owns "Clifford" and the trailer we haul our gear in.  He's put on a ton of miles for us this year.  And he got his first banded bird this year.  I will post pics of him with his leg band later.  It's part of a special hunt we did this year and it deserves its own entry. :o)

That's Mark, me and Pat.  Mark is very camera shy and so is Pat so since they were both in such a good mood on this particular morning, (October 8, 2009) I had to take full advantage.  Good pic too, I must say.

Yes, this is how The Mafia rolls...
Let's see...that brings us to Shawn.  This kid is the epitome of the word "hunter". He's only 13 but he lives to hunt...he'd do it 24-7 if you let him.  He's always upbeat and doing things to make us all laugh.  He never lets the guys get the best of him and he always has the last word.

I love this picture of him.
Kyle: he's the "butcher's kid'.  Need I say more? He's also a great caller as well. 
Gabe: He's the newest kid on the block.  Great guy.  Loves the sport and fits in with us perfectly.  We look forward to him becoming a bigger part of the club as time rolls on.  For now we are greatful to have him along on our hunts...he got his first banded bird this his back yard!?!  Talk about LUCK!  He's also gotten pretty good with the calling as well....
Paul: He's our cousin and he's currently serving our country overseas.  He got a couple weeks of leave this past September and we arranged for him to hunt with us.  It was a great day and there will be a special entry for that day.
Brian: Keith's brother.  He's only been on a couple hunts with us this year.  But they were by far the funniest of them all.  We might not have slayed the birds like we had hoped those days, but we laughed from beginning to end.
I have to take off for now...I'll come back and finish this post and insert more pics tonight...
October 19, 2009
So I guess I didn't get back at this post the night I had planned to, but I am here now, and I'm going to finish it!

This is the only "group" picture I have of most of us.  From left to right: Gabe, Mark, Shawn, Kyle, me, Pat, and Paul.  We got our limit that day...we had a sweet set up, sitting inside standing corn where the outside rows were taken off and there was a small cove where the geese had been landing.  After gaining permission from the landowner, we decided this was definitely the spot for this special hunt.  We set this hunt up because my cousin who is serving our country overseas had a few days leave, and he really wanted to come up and hunt with us.  So we worked hard to find the perfect place to make sure he had a good time and a successful hunt.  The morning came and we set up before first light.  Soon we were sitting about 3 rows in and nobody even heard the geese approach...we all fell silent at the unmistakeable sound of "Wooo-wooo-woo", the wings flapping as the birds were landing.  So there you had it, the PERFECT addition to our decoys...the REAL THING...LIVE decoys!  The group was small, so we let them stay and feed and help draw the other birds in.  Little did we know that this was the only the beginning of a really great hunt! Flock after flock approached and out of each one, we dropped at least one bird.  I remember having to "duck and run" because one of the birds shot would have taken my head off if I hadn't.  Funny thing: Paul was on the phone talking to his son when the flock came in, so he told him to "hang on", he set the phone down and then he shot a bird and then picked up the phone to hear his son rejoicing and telling his classmates how his dad had just shot a goose while he was on the phone with him.  So funny.  And it LANDED about 6" in front of Paul (basically right at his feet) and near Pat's head because he had bent over to pick something up and "THUD" there it was!  These birds are large and when they come down from the sky, you need to be aware of them or you could be seriously injured!  Anyway, the morning hunt was over, and we were happy.  We could only hope the night hunt would be as successful and that maybe, just maybe we could fill our limit for the day.  And the afternoon came and it was much like the morning hunt.  Paul had a great time, often giggling uncontrollably...his laugh is totally contagious!  So I'm happy it went well and that HE had a good time!  He deserved it and this day was based on him cutting loose and relaxing.  We've had several good hunts.  And when I say "good" I don't mean that everyone filled their tags...I just mean we had a good time!  One particular day was filled with Keith and Pat's crazy antics and we didn't even get a bird that day, but it didn't matter.  It was freezing cold, windy, rainy and the geese didn't cooperate and yet we laughed harder and walked away happier than any other time!  Those are the hunts that stick in my mind the most of all!  Again I can't mention enough how great of a group we've got this year...we all work together...almost like we each have our own "job" when it comes time to set up or take down the decoys and when someone has an issue with ammo, their gun or anything else, we all pull together to resolve it.  When the geese take off on us, which unfortunately, sometimes they DO, we all work as a group to get it back and secure the harvest.  After doing "goose drives" through hay fields, and watching Chance run across 40 acre plots of land without ever looking back, you can tell we are all there for a common goal.   And we won't go home until we achieve it.  This is the year of the "100 goose".  What's that mean? It means our group wants to harvest at least 100 geese this year.  We are very near that goal right now....91 1/2 (why the 1/2?--because Marky killed a different breed of goose that is the size of a mallard duck and so (as a joke) we are counting it as only a 1/2 goose--LOL).  This week, maybe even tonight...will be the fall of the 100 goose.  I'm excited for it.  Extremely excited for it! I can't wait til it actually happens and I'm not quite sure how we're going to react when it actually DOES occur!  We talked about mounting the bird and passing it from member to member in the group, and to make a plaque with the member names of the Mafia on it....but probably, he/she will be harvested just like the rest, and it will be made into the jerky we eat almost every time we are in the field.  LOL  One of these days I'm going to copy all the Facebook posts I did while we were in the field....because some of them are pretty funny.  Like I mentioned earlier this was a year of "learning" for all of us, on all different levels.  Some of us became better marksmen, some of us polished up our calling skills, some of us learned decoy patterning, some of us learned how moon phases and weather affected the birds flight, some of learned about management of the group (me) and how to keep everyone's interests at heart.  I also learned I need to keep a special journal with notes from every single hunt we do.  I just started doing that for the past 2 hunts...and I wish, I WISH, I would have thought of it much sooner!  I also learned how to capture alot of the great moments in photos...the best ones I have are candid ones...ones where the subject doesn't even know I was there.  I hope to put together an album for each year that we hunt.  That means a few of the guys are going to have to get over their camera shyness fairly quickly!  Well...I've rambled on much longer than I had planned...there's alot left to do before we head out tonight.  The hunt will be challenging...but that's just the way the Mafia likes it! :o)