Thursday, October 22, 2020

Candy Shop

Last year the wife (Candy) acquired an interested in crafting. I gave up the small attic in our tiny house to start her new adventure and within a couple of months she quickly outgrew the small, cramped space. With Candy showing a continued desire in "making things" we purchased a She Shed to give her more room and to expand her hobby now turning into a small business. 

She is filling orders every week and makes some of the neatest things from dog bowels to tumblers with any design imaginable.  







 If you might be interested in something just let me know by leaving a comment or sending me an email at moderndayredneck@gmail.com and I will get her in touch with you. 


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sunsets Over North Texas

Every time I open a social media platform I see sunsets. They are all beautiful, some more than others, but in the end they are sunsets. After a while they all look the same and most of the time I just keep scrolling. Then there are sometimes when I just have to stop what I am doing, pick up my phone and snap some for myself.

Scroll down through some of the sunsets I found amazing taken either at The 44 Ranch in West Texas or here at the Farm in Pilot Point. I will also explain why sunsets hold a special place in my heart.






I was headed to the Army years ago. I was married with three young daughters. There was nothing left for me in Texas and we needed a new start for my family. The only way I could think of, to get that fresh start, was the Army. 

Leaving my girls and getting on that plane to Georgia was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I told them all before I left, every evening go out and watch the sunset. I will be looking at the same one and it will be just like I am right there with you.  




 

Follow me_and_her_after_kids on Instagram for more frequent updates.

 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Opening Bow Weekend

Right around this time of year is what I like the best. Where the shifting northern winds gives the air it's first chill and the hint of fall fills your nose with a slight sting. The crisp morning feeling is a welcoming sensation from the long Texas summer we all suffered through these past few months. Feeling this tells me one thing, it's deer season.

Here we go!

Bow sighted in and operational.........Check.

Hunting bag equipped.........Packed and re-packed again.

Everything else...........Wing it.

 

For the next few weeks this is my life. 



I just love it out here.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Progression

 I need to work on the progression of my enthusiasm during hunting season.

I know in my last post I talked about how we look forward all year to the start of hunting season. Once it starts it's balls to the wall, that's all we do, all we think about, all we live for. But, there's always a but, after the initial rush it seems to start going down hill from there.

I thinks it's my OCD, or in my mind it's CDO because the letters need to be in order, and once the rush is over it's now time to start looking at the next season opener. In this case Archery Deer Season is just around the corner.

 

 So I made up some pictures showing the digression of my enthusiasm, if I like it or not, during dove season. It seems to be that way with everything. I guarantee even though I am excited about bow season starting in two weeks I will hit it hard, camo and all, for a week or two. Then is off to the next pretty butterfly.     

 

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Opening Weekend

 The one thing hunters look forward to during their down time is the beginning of the new hunting season, and September 1st is that for me down here in the South.

From the end of deer, dove, duck, turkey and quail seasons, even though I am glad they are over, I always look forward to the next year's opening day and the beginning of the new hunting season. From September 1st to mid February, May if you turkey hunt, I call this my busy time. Then I take a month or so off and start back all over again getting everything ready for the new season to come. But even during the time off, I have to squeeze in some hog hunting here and there. 

I thought buying my own piece of land instead of leasing would be easier. I don't know why I thought that, but I did. My own rules instead of someone else's, my own schedule and my own ideas is what lured me the most. I knew what I was getting myself into. I just didn't want to let the work load and the amount of time I would have to commit persuade me otherwise. It took the entire first year of working almost every weekend to just get the camp and riding trails trimmed up and situated the way we wanted them. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining one bit. I'm just saying it is an ongoing labor of love for sure.

We have so many more plans to keep us busy for years to come on the ranch.

 

Anyway, back to hunting. One of the best things I have going for me is to be able to hunt, fish and work right along side of my best friend, buddy and wife. I have been blessed with someone that shares all my interests no matter what I am doing. She will work and sweat beside me all day, hunt and fish with the best of em', relax on the porch with me in the evenings and looks pretty good while doing it all as well. Can't really complain about any of that.

One of the downfalls of the hunting seasons is that me and her are all-in leaving the daughters and grand babies to do their own things without us. It does make my girls mad sometimes when we can't make a birthday party, soccer game or dance recital. I always make the smartelic comment "You should have planned your birthing around hunting season." That never goes over too well to say the least. Or I will say, "I have been to hundreds of soccer games, now it's your turn." In the end, we love to do those things with our daughters and their children. I do feel it is part of our job not only as parents, but also grand parents. When the G babies start getting old enough, they will be sitting in the fields or stands with me, but until then I will try and make as many events as I can.

We all have now started sharing a calendar app on the phones where they can see our schedule, what dates we are free and when to schedule their parties or events. I know that may sound bad to some, but lets look at this glass half full for a second. I lived for my wife from the beginning and my children their whole lives. Everything I did was for them sacrificing whatever it was so they could have. Our time as providers and parents are over. We are advisors and mentors now. I do not want to treat them as they are still twelve years old without any knowledge, and may get hurt doing this or that. I give my advise when asked, and if they take it or not is up to them. We did a good job with our girls, and it shows in each one of them as well as in the way they are raising theirs. So I could sit on the porch and waste the rest of my life away wishing I did this or that and waiting for someone to need me, or I can do what I am doing now, going as hard and fast as we can go looking back telling everyone else to hurry and catch up if they want to go with us.   


We're wasting daylight......... Y'all come on if your going......... Get in the truck........

             


See ya next time.

Jerry

Monday, August 31, 2020

Almost 2 Years

 Just shy of two years ago was my last post. I think that is the longest I have neglected putting down my life on paper, computer screen in this case. 


Instead of writing a mile long post getting everyone caught up on what all has happen these last two years, let me just summarize a few highlights and start over from scratch with new posts and adventures.


We have four grand daughters now, one more girl and one boy on the way and due January and February making a total of six. My oldest and youngest daughters are moving back close to home where we can all be together again. It will be great! I will have loads of pictures of the babies and how much they have grown.

We bought a little ranch out in West Texas a little over a year ago. We use it primary for family recreation hunting and selling day hunts here and there. It took us a lot of work to get it the way we want and even after a year of blood, sweat and tears it will continue to take up much of our time for years to come. 

 

 

 Knocking on the door of fifty years old now we had to slow down a little on the chili cooking and focus on us, our health and our ability to live a little longer so we took up the hobby of hiking and backpacking. This is not only a great way to get and stay in shape, it also gets us away from everyone and everything. I guess I like the commitment the most, let me explain. If I am hiking, lets say a ten mile loop and at mile five I am tired and would really prefer a couch and a cold drink there is no choice but to continue, finish and get back to the truck. On an out and back hike every step you take you have to take one back so at anytime you can turn around and call it good, that's why I like the loops better. 

 

We just celebrated our 30th anniversary last week. It's hard to think we have been doing this that long. We started young, struggled though and now live for each other. When I am asked from younger married folks what the secret is I always say, "Change it up." I believe being we are never sedentary, always trying new things, adventures and hobbies we stay entertained and our focus is always on ourselves and the next task. I am probably wrong, but who cares if it works for us right?  

  There is so much more, but time is short and work calls. 
 

 

For more in depth day to day adventures" In the moment" you can follow us on Instagram at #me_and_her_after_kids 

Hope to see ya there.

Until then,

Jerry

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Holiday Post

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We spent ours at the deer lease, well at least most of it.

We ate at my brothers house and as soon as my folk hit the empty plate, we were gone. Rude, maybe but I gave plenty of notice to our plan and we left enough kids there to clean up.
It wasn't long before some of the family came out to the lease and joined us for a great weekend and a second Thanksgiving dinner.

My oldest daughter drove up to sit in the stand with me and we just talked. We didn't see anything that night, but we did make memories. She is pregnant with her first child and the baby is due around May. This will make four. I just wished she didn't live four hours away. I won't be able to be a part of this baby's life as much as I am with the others and that hurts my heart.

My youngest nephew shot his first deer Friday night and first pig Saturday night. We were all so happy for him. Now then, this is what its all about. Making future hunters. Showing the youth of today that they can get out and experience something more than video games and cell phones. To teach them the value of life and the value of the lives we take for our food.

On Sunday morning my Christmas present arrived. My middle daughter had her third baby girl. I was just getting down from the stand walking back to my ride when I got the call. It was quick, so quick she almost had her in the car. I packed up camp and went straight home. I didn't even change clothes and met my new grand baby in camo. I really don't have the words to describe the feeling of watching my family grow like it is. I guess if I had to give it one, it would be heartfelt or something like that.            

We are headed back out to the lease this weekend to get me some deer meat. We have been eating on that elk I got in Utah and made room in the freezer for a deer.

So if I don't talk you y'all before the new year, from our stand to yours, have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.




Friday, October 19, 2018

Amazing

I often talk about my bucket list. At 46 most people say I am too young to have one, but I do. I guess the main reason is because I can pick and choose what I want to do while I am still able to to it. I don't want to be at an age where I say, "I would love to, but I am too old to".
Saying all that I was blessed with an amazing opportunity to mark another one off the old list.

Utah Elk Hunt
Even though it was on the bucket list, I never thought in a million years I would ever be able to afford or get the opportunity to experience the trip. Over the years I have had friends and co-workers go on an elk hunt and I sat in complete envy while they told the stories and showed off the pictures. I have shook my head at the expenses they told me about and the ease of a High Fenced, canned hunt that I personally do not believe in. I have also been told stories of the real deal where they go out and stalk, hunt and harvest the big game either on horse back, walking or canoe. Some of which is scary and way more work than I really wanted to take on.
A few months ago a buddy at work came to me and asked if I wanted to go on a hunt in Utah. Of course I said yes, but was filled with a thousand questions.

As the days clicked by and with much anticipation and prepping, last week finally came. I have never been in that part of the world and did not know really what to expect. I can post all kinds of pictures and try to describe the scenery, but I nor the pictures could not do it justice. I will sum it up with just one word, amazing.
The biggest butt kicking was the altitude at 8000 feet. The end result was a 2 year old 3x4 and about 200 pounds of meat in the freezer.          


I have never been a head hunter. I have always only killed what I can eat. I do not believe in killing for sport and I always thank the animal for it's life and the provisions it will give me and my family.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a bleeding heart tree huger, but I do respect life no matter what it is, except snakes.  













Until next time,
Jerry

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Long Time Coming

It's been months since I posted anything and I feel bad about it. It seems like every time I think about the blog something comes up, then the thought is gone.

I have some free time for just a moment and writing a blog post came to mind. I tried reflecting back on the last few months to come up with something to write about that may be of interest. So here it goes.

There has been a couple of out of town fishing trips, a couple of just quick getaways and a daughters weeding.

A four day trip to San Fransisco for business showed me a whole new culture. We saw several new and different things. We even went to Napa Valley for a wine tasting tour. My conclusion was, San Fran is not for me. Way too many people and too much trash.
I did get to check off three things from the bucket list. Ride a trolley, wine taste in Napa Valley and see the sun set off the West coast.   

Candy stayed gone for 12 weeks in New York for her work. She would come home late Friday night then back again early Sunday morning. It was kinda nice in the beginning because I reorganized the house to my liking, kept everything cleaned and only cooked when necessary. But like all things it got old. She is now back in Texas and the house is disorganized once again.      
  
There has been a few chili cook offs here and there where Candy won Louisianian State and I, some where, placed high enough in a few cook offs to get qualified for the world championship in Terlingua again this year the fist week in November. All and all chili has taken a back seat right now and I think there is only two cook offs on the books for the rest of the year.

I spent from October to February hunting in Arkansas almost every weekend. No cell service and no distractions. I bought a little 5th wheel to leave out there and it was home away from home.
I passed on several smaller deer waiting for that monster that I ended up missing due to buck fever, but in the end I was still able to put deer meat in the freezer.
Things did not work out on that lease because of one reason or another and all that work was for nothing. Last month I moved camp from Arkansas to West Texas where I have been spending most of my free weekends setting up for this years hunting seasons. It's a little closer with bigger deer. They have fishing and dove where the lease in Arkansas did not.         

Preparations are being made for an October Elk hunt up in Utah. This is the real deal, not like my boss where he spent a small fortune on a high fenced canned hunt, and not like the way I deer hunt with stands and feeders. This is walking and stalking.

 One major highlight of this year was my oldest daughters weeding all the way down in Austin. It took some doing to get most of the North Texas family and friends five hours away from home, but she did it.
I really don't have an words I can say to describe this experience. My middle girl was the fist to get married and that was tough in it's own way. Loosing the first one always is.
The youngest girl will be the last to wed and that in it's self will be tough in it's own way, there will be no more after that. 
But without playing favorites, my oldest girl, my fist born getting married, was really, really tough. It took everything I had to keep it together.   

The good thing is, she married a good guy. They are deeply in love and he treats her like he suppose to.  I guess I can't ask for anything better than that.
He also loves bow ties. I bought him a hand tied pink flamingo feathered bow tie from Europe, plucked straight from the birds butt, with a hand made roll top box etched with a special note from me and Candy. It was pricey, but he deserves it for putting up with all her madness.

I have one more girl to wed off and she has her eyes set on one. Poor bastard.    


With my family growing larger every year I decided I needed to do something for the guys. I came up with a "Son/Son-In-Law Fishing Trip" The one stipulation is you cannot have a pregnant wife when you go. This is mainly because I do not want to have to come back early if there is a problem. If I am buying everything then I want to stay.
I don't have any boys of my own so to speak. My wife did not throw me any male offspring, but I have been blessed with a couple of good guys I am proud to call my boys. I have taught them everything they know. I almost forgot about the son-in-laws, yup I have a couple of those too.
So what better way to bond than to have a guys weekend trout fishing in the streams of Oklahoma?          

I just updated my schedule up till March of next year. Take out the weekends of Hunting, Fishing and Camping, I have two free weekends, but I am sure I can find something to fill the gaps. Maybe a chili cook off or something.   

It was fun writing this and getting yall up to date with my life's happenings. I hope time and experience will let me do this more often.

Until then,
See ya
Jerry

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Anniversary Weekend

This coming weekend the wife and I will be celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary. We will be taking off work Friday and Monday to make it a four day event.
I gave her a choice of several different locations we have not seen. For instance, A boat trip to see Niagara Falls, Wine tasting in Napa Valley, Eat lobster tails in Main, A spa weekend in South Carolina and so on. I know those are a little on the extravagant side, but for the past few years we have not done really anything to celebrate putting up with each other.

The deal is, about three months ago I traded in our bumper pull camper and bought her a new 5th wheel.

We have only used it twice and she was really wanting to do something that included us and the camper.
Being we are not the sitting around and do nothing types, we plan to relax on the rivers in Beavers Bend Oklahoma doing some fly fishing. We try to go there once a year anyway and have not been this year so this makes a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. This will be good and way cheaper than the options I gave her.

Other updates,
This past weekend we looked at a hunting lease twenty minutes South of Hope Arkansas. I went ahead and bought in and now trying to gather all the supplies. It has been a few years since I have been a part of a lease and did not have the equipment needed to effectively hunt out of town. I plan on keeping the nearby areas hunted last year here at the house ready to hunt whenever I am not out of town. This lease will be good for deer and turkey.

Tiny House,
The kitchen is finally done. Cabinets and floors are painted and pantry installed. No more prepping off of plywood counter tops and and sweeping unfinished floors.
The plan was to build on the outdoor deck, kitchen and eating/sitting areas this fall and have more room, but now hunting took that money and time away from me. So maybe next year instead of an outdoor kitchen I may build on a man cave/adventure cave with a wine and cigar bar.
My wife is saying I am getting cityfied and "High Kept." Who wouldn't want a log cabin room, fake bear skin rug on the floor, watching the game on a flat screen, with a fat cigar and enjoying a class of chardonnay? LOL

I hope I will have some pictures from the all the fish we catch this weekend,
Later
Jerry  

Saturday, August 12, 2017

We Fish

The Temperatures in Canada were from 38 degrees in the mornings to 62 during the hot part of the afternoon. And they call this their summer.

I have been to a lot of places I did not want to return from. The Canada fishing trip ranks at the top of that list. A thousand different "only ifs" were running through my mind as I took in a trip of a lifetime.  The folks living there and the people who have been multiple times might not see the draw anymore, but this old Texas country boy, who has never seen anything like this, could never get tired of it.

I have been back for a couple of weeks now and have been trying to figure out how to describe my experience. I have shown my friends and family the pictures and told most of the stories about the adventure.  Even now I cannot come up with the words or show enough pictures to do it justice. The photos do not describe what I was seeing and the stories do not tell the details of what I experienced.

With my lack of professional story telling through words, I will try one instance and see how it turns out.
FIRST PIKE
White knuckled, holding on for dear life, it was my first time in a float plane. The wind was whipping at twenty miles per hour south to south west causing white caps to break over on the vast waters of Hatchet Lake. The 1957 model, single prop, flying tank was struggling to get off the water and gain
the altitude needed to clear the fast approaching tree line. Andy, the experienced bush pilot with a heavy Canadian accent was using all four of his limbs turning nobs, pulling levers and cursing the waves, wind and the old technology was earning his pay today. The roar of the plan was almost deafening and the vibrations were blurring my vision making my eyes rattle. A few more hard bounces off the water and we were off. "Are we going to clear the trees?" In a panic I almost shouted out loud to whoever would answer me. I turned to see the expressions of the other passengers. Two guides, a deck hand and three other fishermen who have done this many times before were seated calmly looking out the window or reading a book. With all of them not as worried as me, I simply braced myself, stared at the floor and hoped for the best.
At 1200 feet the winds were not near as bad as they were on the water. The flying hunk of iron dived, climbed and even kicked sideways a time or two, but she still plowed through the air like she was on a mission. The constant roar was hypnotizing in a calming type of way and for the next twenty minutes I tried to enjoy the ride.
The landing was a lot less eventful, but in my opinion Andy did bring it in a little too steep. Through the front windshield all I could see was the water fast approaching and with the same death grip I just realized I have been holding for almost thirty minutes now, I braced myself for impact. I will never forget the smoothness of my first water landing. 
By expecting and almost experiencing the worse I was surprised of the calm attitudes everyone was showing. Like they have done it many times before, the pilot, the deck hand, the guides and even the other fishermen all unloaded the flying death machine into two sixteen foot V-Bottom boats. You could say I was still in shock because it was not until Andy and the flying/floating terror of death had taken off before I realized it was all quiet and we were alone.                    
Alone, that was my first thought. I was practically stranded in the Canadian wilderness not knowing how or where to go to get back to civilization. What if the plane dose not make it back to pick us up? What if a huge storm blows in and Andy cannot come get us for days? What if the boat sinks, What if, what if, what if was all I could think about. Instead of enjoying my first time to do any of this, I was afraid of the what ifs. Looking around I was already seeing what I could utilize for shelter, fire and some way of surviving until help could find us. I was sure they knew where we were and could come get us, wouldn't they?
"Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" I snapped out of my trance like state on wondering who I was going to eat first in the extreme event I had nothing else to find my fishing partner PJ yelling and waving at me to get in the boat. "It's time to fish" he said. PJ is an avid fisherman/hunter who actually does more than I do. We compare stories and pictures during the work week on what we caught or killed the weekend before like it's some kind of competition. 
"Five dollars first fish?" he asked. "Sure, but it has to be a Canadian five and the looser has to sign it." I said back. He smiled and agreed.
Our guide, Billy, had the little boat wide open. We scooted across the choppy water as fast as the little 25HP Mercury would push us. I did not plan on loosing the bet and needed to be the first lure in the water to up my chances. In a fury I was trying to tie on a spoon to the end of my line. PJ saw what I was up to and he began to do the same. I am sure Billy got a good laugh at watching us trying to string our poles and attach the bait while being bounced around in the small confines of the little boat. I didn't even get the chance to admire my surroundings, I was too busy trying to catch that fist pike. I don't know if it was PJ's plan or not, but it worked. Being competitive and only thinking about winning the bet and having all the bragging rights took my mind off the rough water we should not have been boating in. Just like magic the two and half foot swells died down to a more manageable size as the boat came to sliding halt. It was like the lake knew it was time to fish.
"What are we doing Billy?" PJ asked.
"We fish." Billy said without any expression what so ever. 
Billy in an native Cree Indian who lives about four hours south of where we were fishing. Winter fur trapping and summer guide fishing is his only income. Having never visited a big city most of our stories we were telling him fell on deaf ears because had little understanding of life outside of his village.  Come to think of it, there would not have been any better person to be stranded in the Canadian wilderness with then a local native, dry since of humor and all.
 
I will always remember setting the hook on my first pike. That pull, the fight and the sure will of the fish to not be caught. I have landed bigger fish, but nothing that fought like the first pike. After that first catch all my fears vanished. I enjoyed the plane rides everyday, the rustic views at every turn and most of all, the quiet.  
Over all for the week I caught close to 200 fish. Pike, Walleye and Lake Trout.  I was also able to check off a few items off the old bucket list and had fun doing it.



Oh, as far as the bet, well here's the proof on who had to sign the five.








Here are some more pictures of the trip.













 Talk to ya next time,
Jerry

                   

Monday, July 10, 2017

Final Preps

This week is all about the final preparations before my Canada fishing trip.
 I will be heading off to Hatchet Lake in Saskatchewan Sunday spending a week with some guys from work.
My company sends a few guys every year to give them a much needed break from work and to show them their appreciation for what they do and I got picked to go this year.
This will be my first time to go and hopefully not the last.

The biggest problem I am facing is the "What If" factor. What if I get stranded out on one of the many lakes, in a storm, not able to fly back to the lodge and have to seek shelter for a couple of days. Do I bring all the stuff to survive?
There, of course, is a weight limit on the amount of luggage you can bring everyday on the puddle jumping little airplanes. I will already be bringing poles, tackle, rain gear and two changes of clothes so I wonder if there will be room for MREs, fire making equipment and everything else I will potentially need. (Hatchet, ropes, tarps, emergency blankets, ect....)   
Talking with some of the guys that have been before, they all say to not worry and to just go and enjoy, but having a prepper mentality, that is hard to do.  

The biggest issue I have faced is the completely different type of fishing from what I normally do. Different fish, different tackle and different set ups all together. I had to buy most all new lures, travel cases and regular gear I did not have like layered clothes and so on. So in all, this free trip has cost a small fortune.

With the wife being out of town this week on business this gives me the perfect opportunity to pack, unpack, pack again and then redo it all once or twice more without her complaining I am taking up the entire tiny house with all my stuff. 
She says with all my new stuff I am "High Kept." I have a little story about being "High Kept" I want to share with you that happen this weekend. I may post that tomorrow or later on this week.


See ya,
Jerry