Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

As I begin a New Year, I'd like to reflect on the year we that has just flown by!

Biggest and Best Event:
Marrying my best friend- the only person who truly gets me and supports me in everything!!! May 2 was the best day of my life!

Travels & Wineries:
Charlotte a half-dozen times for various reasons. Always a fun time! We also got to visit Rocky River Vineyard and Old State Winery.
Southern Pines another half-dozen times, again for various reasons. And again, a fun time!
Mexico- for an awesome honeymoon in the Mayan Riviera. I highly recommend Xcaret!
Hampstead- to our friend's parent's beach house for a cold weather excursion at the beach!
Carolina Beach- a short camping excursion at the beach!
Shallotte Beach- another short beach excursion where we got into wineries- Silver Coast was the start of it all!
Morehead City- the 2009 Seafood Festival was awesome, and we got to visit Hinnant Vineyard!
Boone- a fun excursion with good friends! We got to visit the not-so-liked Buck Shoals Vineyard.
Hurdle Mills- we took a short day-trip from the house to visit Rock of Ages Vineyard.

We got 6 chickens that I love dearly.
I finally got my biggest wish of all- Drake the Labrador!!!

Other Highlights:
RNH and I finished our second year in our dream home. Yes it may be a tad small, but perfect for just us two and we love our 5 acres. We never thought we'd be able to find a home that really lets us enjoy all of our hobbies and more! God has truly blessed us in this perfect find!
My sister moved from 3 hours away, to only 20 minutes away and I love seeing her every bit that I can!
Work has been awesome this past year, despite the bad things and politics, I have a BFF to share the craziness and excitement with! She doesn't know how much I appreciate her friendship and her willingness to always help me out of a pickle! Haha! Your awesome Skinny!!!
I gained another family- RNH's family! We don't get to see them often because of our job, and they seem to have a lot going on, but they're still a loving family that I'm happy to be a part of!

Thankfully there aren't many.
I lost my grandfather on my dad's side to old-age. He was a hard person to get to know these past 25 years. I saw him once a year when I was younger. The older I got, the less I saw him. I loved him, the little that I knew of him.
eerT, my beloved White's tree frog that I was given in high school also passed away of old age. He was an easy pet!

At this point I think I've hit on most of the major things. I'm drawing a blank for the moment, so I guess I better stop. RNH and I have to go to bed at 9pm tonight, so I won't be seeing the LED ball drop on TV this year. Oh darn. RNH is making it a celebration anyways- we're having tilapia and snow crab legs for dinner, YES! I can only hope and pray that 2010 is just as awesome as this year was. God has truly blessed me beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I feel much closer to him this year and only hope that in 2010 he will draw me in even more! Bring it on 2010!!! Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Vaccination Mishap

Drake is coming up on his need for another shot, they are due at 3 to 4 week intervals. This being said, I realized that I forgot to tell everyone how my first shot experience went! It didn't go exactly as planned...

I used to give my mom intramuscular shots for Multiple Sclerosis. It was a very easy thing to do, so I thought that giving a pup one would be no biggie. Well, I was wrong.

The last shot I gave was probably 8 years ago, and I won't beat around the bush- I forgot how to do them. For some reason I thought I'd have a prepared syringe. When we first started my mom's shots, we had to mix the syringe. Eventually there was some sort of breakthrough and her shots came prepared in the syringe.

To my surprise, I opened the bag and found two vials, one with cake and one with liquid. I read the directions to mix the vials, okay- no biggie. I had some difficulty in getting all of the liquid out of the syringe since the tip of the needle doesn't reach to the bottom of the vial. Mixing was no big deal, and again, a little difficulty getting all of the mixture into the syringe. Then, I skip a step.

I knew something was wrong, something was different. But I just couldn't put my finger on it.
Then, mid-shot, I realized... I forgot to get the air out of the syringe.

Shoot. People that have never given shots watch movies and know that you need to do that! Flick the syringe and shoot a little liquid out of the top! DUH! Not me, I forget.

I get RNH to help me hold Drake down. Of course Drake freaks out and is scared silly. He is jumping around, meanwhile I'm trying to hold his scruff and get the needle into his neck and not into my own hands. I ended up jabbing him a total of 5 times. Each time he'd "yelp" and it would break my heart. I was surprised at how tough dog skin is compared to human skin!

The aspirating, where the needle is in his neck, and you have to pull out a bit on the plunger-syringe part to make sure you're not in his veins... was the most difficult. You have to be fast! While I was aspirating, I realized the big mistake I had made about not getting the air out of the syringe. I noticed that most of the air was behind the liquid, so I decided to push the plunger only after all of the liquid was gone. That way the air would stay in the syringe.

After realizing what I had done, I called RNH's mom because she is a nurse. She explained that I would have had to put a LOT of CC's of air into someone to kill them. She said the most damage I might have done would be a small cyst that would develop. She said as long as the cyst didn't become infected, it would be fine and eventually go away by itself.

Well, it has been 3 weeks later and there is no cyst, thank God! He never seemed to be affected by the entire experience, so hopefully next week's vaccination will go much smoother! I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!!
He also seems to be doing well with the de-wormer. He loves to lick it out of his bowl so it must taste good!
Now if I could only get him to stop eating the deer and chicken poop...!!!

On another note, I planted 2 rows of garlic today! We've had several frosts and even a rare snow, so I think I'm a bit late in the planting. We also had a torrential downpour a few days ago, so I'm worried that the garlic will get too wet and rot. Hopefully out of the two rows I'll have some good bulbs! We'll see!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Ok, let me preface this post by saying that I may be a weeeeee bit intoxicated. Oops! Anyways, here's the 4-1-1!

Today RNH and I spent our first married Christmas together! It was raining, so we pretty much opened presents, ate, watched TV, ate, watched movies, ate, watched DVDs, ate, and then started drinking! I got everything I asked for, including an iPod workout arm-holder thingy, an iPod FM tuner thingy to listen to the iPod in my car, and some negligee (sp???) to wear while I dance to music on my iPod. COMPLETELY joking, but seriously. What girl DOESN'T want a secret for Christmas???!?! I haven't tried it on yet, but don't worry... I'll wear it later! :) RNH and I set a $100 limit on each other, (which, what I've heard from co worker's stories... is a GREAT idea!), and I think he was pretty pleased with the stuff I got him!

Okay, now here's the real "meat" of my post-

I ordered a DVD RNH wanted (Spies Like Us, yes the Chevy Chase movie from the '80's, and The Office, Season Quatro), and it never came to my door step. I was upset, because this was part of my Christmas present to him. I woke up around 8am and checked the mail box (which I SELDOM do) and lo' and behold, the gift is in the dang mailbox!!!! So of course I had to do some explaining, and then ran into the guest room to wrap the present real quick. It all worked out- he was excited! Ok, NOW for the meat and potatoes.

Out of the mailbox, I also retrieve a Christmas card from RNH's grandparents that live in Florida. Keep in mind, I've never met these people. I open the card with care, and out falls a $50 check. That is really really nice, I think to myself. Then I read the card... on it is written "Hi RNH and Me, Hope the two of you are doing well. Here is your X-mas check, and you know checks will go to your children, whenever you bless us with great-grands. Have a happy, healthy, holy, & blessed Christmas, Love, Nanny or Grandma & Grandpa Little." Ummmmmmm WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT!??!?!?! Are you SERIOUS????? Okay, let me breathe for a second. I get it- they're good old Southern people, and it is UNHEARD OF, for a couple to go a year of marriage without having a kid on the way. Well... NEWS FLASH! RNH and I have a VERY, VERY demanding job, where we have to worry about life or death on a regular basis, and the hours are impossible, PLUS we just don't want to have a dang kid at the moment!!!! SHEESH... CAN'T I GO THROUGH A HOLIDAY WITHOUT BEING PRESSURED TO BEAR A CHILD???? Okay, sorry... I'm calm now. Its just that RNH and I KNOW we're too selfish to have bring a child into the world at this moment and we feel that we need to enjoy our lives as much as possible before that time comes. And I'll be blatantly honest here, I will not mind if God has not planned for us to ever have children. We basically have a zoo/farm here at the house, and I love taking care of my "babies" which is actually a LOT of work, and I LOVE being with RNH. I LOVE him. I LOVE to spend time with him and do the things we do. We LOVE to travel (mostly locally since its cheaper!) but we love to love each other. Kids would screw all of that up. I'm having fun, as is RNH. When we're ready, or when God decides to bless us, that will be it. But we really don't need any pressure from grandparents we hardly know, or haven't EVER met. Thank you! :)

Also- I got a Facebook friend request. From a 10 year old boy I used to babysit. Okay- a little background. I used to babysit this kid during college. He was seriously the cutest kid you've ever seen. I had to pick him up from elementary school and take him home for the afternoon. Sometimes (especially on Mondays,) I would come home with him, to a townhome filled with empty beer bottles and liquor bottles. The entire home stunk of rancid alcohol. No environment for a young man. We'd go outside and play with the neighborhood kids (which were mostly foreign and we couldn't talk to), and I'd try to clean up the house a little bit so things wouldn't be so bad. I got paid $5 an hour, which is CHEAP for a babysitter, and I would transport him around town if his mother needed. Basically I felt bad for their entire situation. His dad was in prison (prison- like doing time) for some financial stuff. His mom and dad were divorced and he barely knew his dad at all. Anyways- things progress- I move on to working at shoe store that pays a bit more, and they move on as well. Years down the road, I get a FB friend request from his mom. I gladly accept, learning that the kid is now living with his dad that recently got out of prison... hmph. Then... I get a FB request (from his mom) to be his friend. A 10 year old's got a Facebook page. Ugh. I'm pretty much disgusted. But of course I accepted his request. I'm sure its actually his mother that is doing the page-managing.... Anyways. I just find the entire situation very disturbing.

On that note, I'm having increasingly difficulty typing and probably should quit drinking so RNH and I can go attempt for that "Christmas Goose" we want so bad.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Drake's First Snow

The weathermen were right for once! It snowed!

I was at work and was dreading being there because work is crazy when it snows. And its not the kind of job where I can just say- oh, its snowing, I need to leave early so I can make it home. In the big city, the snow was coming down in huge chunks, but nothing was sticking. I had a feeling that outside Raleigh, it would be a different story. I was released from work 30 minutes early so I could get home. Thank God. Once I got outside the city limits, things began to get treacherous.
RNH was ahead of me on the drive about 20 minutes. He kept calling me with updates. We were both sliding all over the roadway, along with the other people trying to get out of the city at the last minute. We finally decided that he would leave his truck at the local police department (he asked to make sure it wouldn't get towed!) and wait for me to pick him up. My truck has better tires! I barely made it into town. We were worried that the road we live on would be way-worse than the streets of our small town. They were. But we made it. Otherwise we were going to have to park it at the end of the road and walk 2 miles. I would have done it- I just wanted to be home!
Once we got home it was dark already, but that didn't stop me from taking Drake out in it! After all, it was his first time ever seeing snow! He LOVED it. He jumped around, ran through it, chased himself and circles and ate as much snow as he could. It was a pretty funny sight.

(The toy he is playing with is the Chuck-it brand's "Flying Squirrel." I highly recommend this toy for any dogs that like to play fetch or like to go after frisbees. This toy is tough and durable and FUN!)

The next morning, however, was a different story. We only got about 2 inches (which is a lot for central NC!) but the top layer had frozen. He took one step and heard the "crunch" under his paw and decided that he did not like snow anymore! He refused to go out and wanted to pee and poo in the house. There was no stopping him. (He is sneaky!) So we had a few messes to clean up that night and the next morning.

Fortunately he got the hang of the snow on the second day and began to go outside again. Whew! There was still snow on the ground 3 days later and he loved eating it! It was too much fun getting to see a puppy experience snow! I'm glad we got a rare sighting of it!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


A while ago Skinny and her daughter Popat (an Australian Cattledog- Skinny is that right?!?!) came up to play with me and my son (Drake). Basically, we had a puppy play date! We're hiking along in the woods and the dogs are content to eat deer poop and whatever else they can find. Well, Popat ends up finding something that shocked the mess outta me!
She found an orange crab claw!

Well it turned out not to be a crab claw, but the pinchers on that thing were a pretty decent size and it was orange! The dog has a good nose because she found these little pinchers alongside the swamp. We thought she was eating deer poop and we yelled at her. I think we were pretty shocked when we found the claw of a crustacean instead!

I brought it to RNH, and he explains that its probably that of a crawdad and it has turned bright orange because it is dead. Oh. Okay.

Well today RNH and I are hiking along and Drake finds a crayfish. We had seen them before in another part of the swamp and they seem to be WAY bigger than I remember as a kid.

I was used to seeing them in the creek at my mom's house, or on the dinner table when they're steamed and bright red (yummy!) But these things look like huge nasty scorpions in the water. Yuck!

The ones that Drake found today seemed to be dead. Along our hike he would stop every-so-often and find another crawfish. He must have a good nose! Each one he found though, was dead. RNH and I thought we saw one move and then RNH suggested that they might be hibernating? Who knows.
RNH then suggests we eat them. (Not those crawfish, but ya know- a live one if we find it!) I'm not too sure how I feel about that. The swamp stinks (yes, the whole swamp gas thing- is true!) So I just imagine the crawfish tasting like swamp. And if it looks anything like it does when Drake found it, no thanks!!!
*Disclaimer: I'm pretty sure every state in the US has its own way of saying "crayfish." The water-scorpion is also known as a crawdad, crawfish, mudbugs, yabbies and spiny lobsters. In the south, we call them crawfish!!!
(This is Drake checking out a baby turtle shell. I read that dogs can chew turtle shells because they don't splinter. I was excited to give Drake his first shell... until I realized there was a baby turtle decaying-away inside. YUCK!)

Monday, December 21, 2009


A couple that hunts together....
....stays together! :)
Seriously though... as we're walking out into the swamp this morning, the sun is breaking through the trees and water, and its so cold we can see our breath and the air almost hurts to breathe. RNH is trudging along behind me and all of a sudden grabs me. He pulls me in and kisses me, giving me a sunrise kiss. Yes, this is very mushy, but its doing these activities that we both enjoy, that really draws us closer!
(Skinny- I know you're totally making gag noises right now! :) )
Annnd, these are our new Redhead waders that we bought ourselves at the Charlotte Bass Pro Shop- they were on sale for $74 from $119! They're perfect for our type of hunting and I was very warm this morning!

This Is It!

THIS is the longer, colder duck season. It opened on Saturday. RNH and I were working so we couldn't get out. Sundays = no hunting, so we finally made it out on Monday (today!) We're on day shift for a while so it is perfect timing!!! We woke up at 6am and got out there at 6:30, ready to go, waiting in the dark for the ducks.

We set up in the Fatal Funnel, that I had mentioned before. I am on one side, RNH is on the other. I literally see about sixty ducks, which is a ton for us. RNH can't see them because they're behind him and over his head. We have to be quiet, but I constantly want to yell out a squeal when I see a flock flying over. After about an hour and a half, we realize that this Fatal Funnel is just not a good spot. The ducks come off the pond to the south of us, and fly north (shouldn't they be flying the other way!??!). When they're flying- they're GOING. They're not looking for a place to land, so they're clipping along at a good speed. This just isn't going to work. We have no way to line the bead up on the duck and get a shot off. We've got to come up with something else.

Tomorrow we're going to go out and try to set up north of the Fatal Funnel, in a spot where the river meets the pond. It is adjacent to an old tobacco field. We know the ducks fly over this as they're leaving the Fatal Funnel. We're thinking that we might try to set up the decoys and call them in as they're leaving the Secret Pond. We'll see. I'm dying to get a bird. This is it, this is the season I'm going to get a duck!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Colors- WR

This one was an easy one for me. My entire life my three favorite colors have always been blue, green and yellow. When I was in middle school/ high school, I was a big fan of the darker shades and even decorated my bedroom in these colors. When I moved away to college, I kept the same three colors, but used a lighter version of them to decorate my room. I'm still not tired of these colors!

Teal is my all time favorite color. It reminds me of the Caribbean Ocean. Thus the reason it was the main color of the wedding. I also wanted to do something that isn't a typical wedding color. Girls always choose pink and green, black and pink, or brown and baby blue. I wanted something that would stand out and be different. Teal was it!
Lime green is my second favorite, and I love the way the two colors look together.

Yellow is just an accent color to my two favorite colors. As the wedding planning progressed, I decided I'd nix the yellow. Here are a few pictures of how it all turned out, as well as an explanation of some of the "extras" I did for the wedding. Enjoy!

The wedding party!
Coloring books for the kids!
Flip Flops for your dancing feet! They were a hit!
The favors, Jelly Bellies- the groom's favorite candy! These were also a hit. I'm still getting compliments on them from our wedding back in May! They were supposed to be tucked neatly into every one's place setting (which was just fancy-folded napkin since we were having a casual buffet-style dinner. But instead they were placed in front of the napkins, which looked like huge mini-tee pee's in front of every one's place at the table. Weird. Oh well!)
Even the punch at the cocktail hour was color-themed!
As I post more pictures, you'll be able to see the colors! It was pretty vibrant. I knew I had to be very careful to not over-do the color. As someone kindly put it- my wedding colors look like a little kid's birthday party. Thanks, that's NOT the look I was going for....
Despite what some people may think- I loved it and think everything turned out perfectly and different from any other wedding!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Obsessions

I have succumbed... internet shopping! Omg- it is the easiest thing EVER!!! Especially when you live in the boondocks and the closest thing to you is a Dollar Store. I bought the majority of RNH's Christmas from Bass Pro Shop online. Even though we were at the store, in person this past weekend and spent $400, plus our entire Christmas came from the store. Maybe we should buy stock in that place... Today was the last day I could get the presents shipped before Christmas. I can't believe I've been so slack this year with him. I've taken care of everyone else, but him! That is terrible! And to top it all off- I think this will be our first Christmas together, not to mention as a married couple! (Since we usually have to work Christmas day.) Man I'm bad! Anyways- I was also told that has free shipping. Sweet! I've never used Amazon, but RNH wanted The Office Season 4, and it was on sale for $22! He also mentioned Spies Like Us (yes, the 1989 movie with Chevy Chase in it!) I did a quick search and found it for $8! And THEN I had free shipping! I don't think it could have been easier! Especially if you figure, a 30 minute drive to the nearest Best Buy, an estimated 25 minutes to get some do-do bird to help me, another estimated 10 minutes to find the dang movie, only to find that it is either out of stock, or way too much money for a 1980's movie with Chevy Chase in it, and then another 30 minute drive back. Yeah, internet shopping is AWESOME!

I have found what all of the hype is for with iPods. I love mine! I just got the Nano, but it is seriously the coolest thing ever. I'm newly obsessed with iTunes and LOVE being able to download a song I've had stuck in my head for days within seconds. It seriously is the coolest thing out there.

My dog. Yes, I'm sure you knew that. He is my best friend and I love him.

Tights. Yes, I said it- tights. They are the new best thing! No, I'm not wearing them like Miley Cyrus. I'm not that fashionable! But I'm wearing them a lot more because its cold outside. I wear them at 4:30am when I take Drake on his regular work-morning walk. And I'm also wearing them to the gym. I get a little more sweaty than usual, but I feel good in them. Not only can I see my fat rolls shrinking (I know- gross!) but I also don't have to hide the fact that I HATE (probably because I'm too lazy!) to shave my legs on a regular basis in the winter, and I also just feel more "secure" in them. When I stretch, or when I'm on my back doing a bench press, I don't feel like my cooch is out there for everyone to see. I hope I'm not grossing anyone out here. I've been buying the Danskin brand from Walmart because the tights are only $7. Not bad.

The Road to Fitness. Seriously- its like having our own private gym. When RNH and I go, it seems to be the perfect time. No one is there. Ever. I talked to the owner and he says their slam-packed from about 3pm and on. Good thing for us we knock it out anywhere from 10am to noon. We're good. We have every piece of equipment to our disposal, and the best thing is that we don't have to worry about stinky people, people answering their cell phones, or just any other weirdos that the gym attracts. (This one time I was at a Planet Fitness and I walked into the ladies locker room. I used to be a gym rat and knew exactly where the ladies locker room was. But when I walked in this time, I saw a man. I didn't even think, Oh! Maybe I'm in the wrong locker room!!! Because I knew I was in the right place. And this man was sitting on the locker room bench, watching the television. But he also had red lipstick on and was wearing two hoop earrings. Yup. A transy. I don't think he was really a transvestite, I think he was a creep-o that just wanted to try and spy on women changing. I promptly left. And quit going there!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Refurbished iPod

I've wanted an iPod for quite a while. I finally decided I would get one for myself as a Christmas present (yes, that is terrible, but I need to treat myself sometimes!!! Oh- and it helped when telling people what to get me for Christmas- an iTunes gift card!) So anyways, I was going to take my holiday money and buy the iTouch iPod, or whatever its called. Then I looked at the specs on it. I don't know if I've ever heard songs a million-bagillion songs or want to play video games, so why would I need that much memory space? I also have no desire to sit around and watch music videos on a small screen. And I don't have wi-fi and don't feel necessary to access the internet on a small gadget, when I've got the internet at my disposal, whether I'm at home or at work. (Although I must say- when my phone contract is up, and I'm due for a new phone next year, I think I'm going to get a big upgrade and get internet access on my phone. There have been quite a few times when I've been lost, and google maps would have been much appreciated.) Ok, sorry about all of that!

So after checking everything out, I decided that all I really need is the iPod Nano. It will be plenty for me! Then I get to work and my boss tells me about Refurbished iPods. He bought his daughter one to try it out, and now the entire family has a refurbished one. His daughter has had her's for quite a while. He also explained that it comes with a new outer shell and a new battery. I checked everything out and found that an 8G iPod Nano, holds 2,000 songs, plus video and pictures- $100 with free shipping!!!
So I'm currently downloading some of RNH's CDs, starting with George Strait. I asked for a car adapter thing, so hopefully we'll have tons of songs to listen to for our travels the next few months.

I'm pretty excited to finally have an iPod, and excited about the whole refurbishing thing. I'll be sure to let you know if I end up hating it!
*If you're considering a refurbished iPod, I'd be careful purchasing one from Amazon, or any other company besides Apple. You're not always guaranteed a new battery and outer shell with those stores. Plus Apple gives you a year warranty, just in case you have problems!

The Cake- WR

This post, you may find interesting. And your assumptions that I am a weirdo will be confirmed (if they haven't been already!)
I love cake. I love yummy, moist, melt-in-your-mouth cake with a nice sugary frosting. So when it came to my wedding cake, the last thing on earth I wanted, was fondant. Yes, I get why people use it. It makes your cake look awesome, nice clean -cut lines and shapes, it doesn't melt as easy, etc etc. But this is my problem- when I eat cake, the icing to me, really is the icing on the cake! Icing is what makes a cake, a cake. When I bite into a beautiful piece of wedding cake with fondant, I want to gag. I hate getting that chewy, plastic tasting nastiness. No offense if you used fondant on your wedding cake, I'm sure it turned out beautiful, and you didn't have the problems I did with mine!
RNH and I have a restaurant in our small town that we love to eat. Its actually where we had our Rehearsal dinner. A casual country bar that serves dessert from the bakery across the street. This is where we fell in love with the cake that eventually would become our wedding cake. The lady who owns the bakery uses her great-grandmother's recipe for icing and I absolutely love it. I love the taste of the cake and the icing. I think its almost perfect, so I didn't have to look far at all when it came to finding my cake.

I also knew the look that I wanted for the cake. I wanted it to be simple and clean cut. I even drew a sketch for the baker and chose the flavors. I wanted to have a plain white cake, with the ribbon that I was using on the invitations, favors, and other parts of the wedding, wrapped around each layer of cake. Four layers, with a simple initial cake topper. Simple= beautiful. Or not so much...

I arrived at the venue after getting my hair and make up done, only to find that the bakery had already delivered the cake. It was May and it was hot. I went to the outdoor tent to check it out. The cake wasn't as clean cut as I had hoped, but it was good enough. I mean, come on. People eat the dang thing. To me, it was not the "center piece" of the wedding. Many people want the cake situated in the middle of the Reception, or whatever so it is the focal point and everyone can admire it. I already knew that I could care less about if the cake was a master focal point. Eat it, like it, be done.

But when I got a phone call later on saying that the cake was "melting" and falling apart, and that they had to move it inside... I wasn't too happy. But, such is life. After getting dressed I went downstairs and saw exactly what had happened. The top two layers had slid off the cake, creating two cakes. It wasn't the prettiest thing I've ever seen.
What's done was done and I wasn't going to get upset over it. Like I said, people eat it. The florist actually came to the rescue. She usually brings extra flowers just in case she forgets something and she used the extra flowers to top both "pieces" of the cake. It ended up looking very pretty- if only it had been one big cake instead of two! The two cakes then messed up the "look" of the cake table that I was going for. Instead of having a clean cut cake table, it was a crowded cake table. No biggie though. I got a lot of compliments on how the cake tasted and I really didn't give it too much thought.

(The sparklers weren't on the table the whole night.)

Do I hate the cake baker? No. Am I terribly upset about the way it turned out? No.
I'm not really sure why the bakery brought a cake for a 4:30 wedding at 1pm. That made no sense to me. She knew what time the wedding was. I guess she just jumped the gun. Does she still get a good review from me? Sorta. Her cakes still taste great, she just might not have the best business practices.

Am I devastated over my wedding cake? Not in the slightest! Thankfully the cake, to me, doesn't make or break an event. Its something to serve afterwards that pleases the guests- and that's exactly what it did!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our Last Day of the Early Season

Duck season has come to a close. Thankfully this was only the early season and the longer season is coming up soon. This past short-season has been pretty difficult for us to get out and hunt. Right now our jobs are forcing us to work night-shifts, which are 12 hours long. It's very exhausting and there is no physical way for us to come home after work to get out in the swamp. Bummer. Next season however, we'll be working days. That means every day off we'll be up at the crack of dawn (actually before that!) to get out in the swamp!

Anyways- as I mentioned earlier, we had a lot of rain. Torrential downpour is more like it. RNH and I decide to forget about our much needed sleep, and wake up to get out there on our day off. It was the last chance before this early season ended. We're allowed to start shooting at 6:39am. We make it to the boat by 6:15. We'd be doing well time-wise if it was just a normal hunting day. But today when we got to the boat, we found that the boat was upside down in waste-deep water.

The boat is usually propped up against a tree, on dry land with the paddles tucked up underneath it. Instead it was floating upside down in waste-deep water! It was a crazy sight if you ask me! RNH's waders have a hole in them past his knees, so I had to venture into the cold water and drag the boat to the embankment that I mentioned in the previous post. From there we up righted the boat, trying not to fill it with water and let it sink. Thankfully the paddles were still inside! Otherwise, we'd have to cancel the hunting trip that morning and buy new paddles!

We got into the boat from the embankment and paddled out. We paddled about a length of a football field in water that would normally be completely dry land, or not deep enough for the boat not to drag. And the even crazier thing was that we really didn't need to paddle. The current that was rushing through the swamp carried us (very quickly!) to our regular hunting spot. We usually have to navigate around several stumps, floating logs, and trees. Most of the stumps were covered in water so we didn't have to worry about them. The current was taking us pretty quickly, the only problem is that we weren't able to steer around trees as easily as usual. Instead the current would take the end of the boat and swing it around, slamming it into trees and other debris.

Once we finally made it to our normal hunting spot, I like to affectionately call the duck's "Fatal Funnel," we were amazed. The reeds that we sit in, with water ranging from up to our shins to our knees, was gone. No reeds, just water and a few trees. It was almost past 6:39am, and I began to hear the whistle of duck wings overhead. We watched as about 10 ducks flew overhead while we were trying to figure out what to do. Eventually we paddled the boat over to a clump of trees off to the side of the Fatal Funnel. The anchor in RNH's grandpa's 1970's boat mysteriously disappeared and I tried to tie the boat to the trees. I also put the boat against the trees so that the current was pushing the boat into the trees, securing the boat as best possible. RNH moved across the Fatal Funnel to the other side. I stayed near the boat just in case my anchoring job didn't hold up. If the boat got away- we'd be swimming!!! I had the best view of all the ducks flying overhead. This was the best duck hunting day EVER!!!

I have never seen as many ducks in the swamp as I did that day. They were flying and circling around. There were a few times that I think the ducks were circling and considering landing in the Fatal Funnel, which was now like a Fatal Pond. The problem was the boat. I consider my camouflage job pretty good, but then I've got this huge john boat that sticks out like a sore thumb. RNH thinks the boat was keeping the ducks from landing right on top of us. We both got several shots off and I was beyond excited. I felt that this was the day I was finally going to get a kill.

After an hour and several spent shell casings later, we decided to take the boat and float with the current towards the secret pond. I was a bit hesitant because of the power of the current flowing across the swamp, but I had seen about 15 ducks land in a spot that I was familiar with and wanted badly to see if we could jump them. RNH and I get drug across the swamp in the boat. That current kicked our butts, throwing us into beaver dams and plunging us into trees. Finally we make it to the river where the water opens up a bit and there are not as many obstacles. We still have to paddle some to keep ourselves on track. This means that we're not quite as ready to shoot as we'd like to be. RNH and I are both steering the boat when we near the spot where I had seen several ducks land. We're going very quietly when all of a sudden, WHOOSH! Those 15 ducks that I had seen, all come up off the water.

I have a sort-of freeze-frame in my mind of the ducks coming off the water. At one point, a beautiful Drake (not my dog!) comes up off the water, its wings completely spread, with its chest puffing out in our direction. If RNH hadn't been paddling, he would have had that duck for sure! It was a beautiful sight.

RNH and I both got a few shots off. I even hit a duck. It didn't go down, however, and I was crushed. After running out of luck, we decided to head back in. While going back through the same spot, three more ducks came off the water out of their hiding spots. RNH was able to get a shot off. I wasn't, I had a big human in my way! (Oh the complications of hunting from a boat!) RNH yelled out in excitement "I peppered his ass!" Haha! And again, the bird didn't go down. We were both really disappointed and exhausted at this point. Now time to paddle back in.

The current was so strong the boat was almost impossible to paddle. We couldn't take any breaks or we'd be swept down stream. The mixture of disappointment and exhaustion was not a good thing. I became a frustrated whiny baby and we still had a long way to go. Eventually the boat got turned around, we were going backwards and we pretty much crashed into some trees. The current was pushing the boat into the trees and the trees were keeping us stable. We decided to take a break there.

Needless to say we had a pretty good workout and I was happy to see dry land. I'm excited for the colder, longer duck season. With temperatures reaching 60 degrees on most days, we should have known that this short season would be difficult. I'm excited though, because I'm seeing improvement in both RNH and I every time we get out there. Hopefully during the break between season's we'll practice some skeet shooting. We'll see.

I can't wait for the end of December when the season starts again!!!

The Great Flood of 2009

This past Thursday we had a crazy amount of rain. The Internet rain gauge is only showing 2 inches of rain, but I swear it was more like 10 inches!!! The rain never stopped all day long and at some points it was pouring so hard that we had to turn up the volume on the television so we could hear our shows!

The rain made for a pretty interesting adventure into the swamp the next day. Half of our land is on a hundred-year flood plain, which I guess means that every 100 years, the land floods. I guess 2009 was the year! Thankfully our house is pretty much on a hill and the swamp is quite a ways from the house, so we don't have to worry about the structural integrity of our home. The swamp however, is a different story. RNH and I have noticed an odd embankment that comes up from the water area of the swamp. It is several feet away from any water line we've seen in the 2 years we've lived in our home. We just assumed that the embankment was where the water level used to be a long time ago. After seeing the flood, we learned that the embankment is where the water should be. It was very impressive to finally see the swamp in all of its glory. It was flooded to a normal water level.
After checking out the swamp, we moved to the river. Again- impressive. The river had swelled to 3 times the normal width. Its current was strong and moving fast. We moved further up stream, away from the swamp. The river usually thins out in this area and you look across to a farm field and silo. Instead today, you saw a huge glistening body of water as the sun hit across the water. The thin part of the river was also at least 3 times the size of its usual width.

And despite the insane amount of water and strong currents, RNH and I decided to take the boat out and go hunting. That itself deserves its own post. More on that later.

After being in the swamp most of the day, I was exhausted and told myself that I would take Drake down to the swamp the next day and take a lot of pictures of the flooded swamp. So I go down there the next day, and it was almost like the water was gone. G-o-n-e. How could that much water just simply disappear? I know I saw a lot of water going down the spill way at our town's water reserve, but I had no clue that it would be gone so fast! Anyways- a bunch of words and no pictures. I took a few, but they just don't do it justice. Hopefully it will flood twice in this hundred years so I can take a few pictures next time!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Road to Fitness

Yup... we're on it! RNH and I were told about a gym in our small town and we finally decided to check it out. We got to work-out for free and loved it. It felt great to be in a gym again. I used to be a gym-rat in college and RNH played college football, so we both miss having a good exercise routine. The gym is a little bit on the expensive side for what it is, but you can't beat driving 2.8 miles to the gym, instead of the 30 that we'd have to drive to get to a popular gym in town. I just wouldn't go! The gym is actually in a strip mall, you know, one of the shopping centers that has the typical Food Lion, Dollar General, Subway, Nail Shop and Chinese take-out. Yup. They fit the gym into the size of a Subway.
It is actually pretty good. They've got the newer treadmills that don't tear your knees up, as well as the elliptical trainers that I'm partial to. The thing we were pretty excited about is their large amount of free weights and weight-lifting machines. The first day we were there for 2 hours, just excited to get back into a gym... and I was sore enough the next day to know that my body missed it too! They also offer a few classes, like Spinning, throughout the week that I might like to try!

RNH and I had been working out on a semi-regular basis here at the house. We live on a pretty busy road, so running on the street makes for a treacherous trip. You risk either being hit by a car, or bit by a crazed animal. Not fun. RNH began getting into a circuit-training regiment that would mix running about an eighth of a mile to the pond and back, with workouts in between running sets, like doing push ups, situps, or whatever else to get some strength-training in while keeping the heart-rate up. It was a very good workout, but I just didn't get excited about it.

I then tried the FitTV channel. Gilad kicked my butt but his tight spandex worried me. I was afraid something would pop out of there. Sharon Mann's craziness also scared me. "Shimmy" just isn't the workout for me, and neither is Yoga. I did become obsessed with Cathy Fredrich, but didn't have enough equipment to keep up with her.
I then asked RNH for th Firm's Wave. It seems pretty cool and legit. And you don't need a lot of space inside your home for the workout. Plus the people that came up with it are from South Carolina. If someone from SC can get skinny on this thing, I can too. SC is like the armpit of the United States. They don't do much working out in that state... JUST kidding to any South Carolinians that read this! I do most of my vacationing there- so no harm!!! Anyways- now that we joined the gym for a year, I asked for different things instead of the Wave. Like an armband for the iPod I've got coming to me in the mail! *If you're interested in an iPod but don't want to dish out big bucks- check out the refurbished iPods from Apple. I wouldn't get one off Amazon, or any other similar place because you're not guaranteed much, unlike getting one straight from the Apple store. Plus its free shipping!!!! I bought the smaller- iPod Nano. I mean, do I really want to store over 2,000 songs??? I don't think so!*

Anyways- just thought I'd share my excitement of getting back into a gym! Oh, and I guess I should have explained the title to my post- its the name of the gym!