Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween 2010

This year Mark decided that he was going to be the "Old Spice Guy".  His representation of that was to paint himself head to toe (literally he even painted his toes since he was wearing flip flops).  We covered his hair with a bald cap and painted on hair.  I think he looks more like a Columbian Drug Lord (picture Brandon Fraser in "Bedazzled") than the "Old Spice Guy" but it works with him carrying around some Old Spice Body Wash.

I decide to also go with someone famous and am Lady Gaga a la "Poker Face".  I spent an entire weekend making that mirror mask.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Duck Weekend

Our friends all headed up north for Duck Weekend.  Usually this is just the guys, but since I have actually shot and killed before and have shown that I am a "real" hunter, the guys made a special exception to let me come along.  The other wives came also but stayed out of the duck blind.  We had a lot of fun - especially Friday night.  Which made getting up at 4:30 on Saturday really suck.  But...such is hunting.  Unfortunately we saw no ducks, despite the duck calls the guys were making (aka farts - lots of farts from all of the beer the night before).  I had to borrow a coat and waders - they were Men's waders and I have pretty small feet - I think my foot only took up about 1/2 of the boot.  At one point I managed to tip over on my back and couldn't get up - like a turtle.  I didn't get wet so in the end it was pretty funny.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Scuba Certification: Part 3 - "And Then There Were Two"

This is not an actual picture of me, but I think that this was the expression that I had going into our first open water dive.  The certification process consists of prework, a written test, a few hours of classroom instruction, 1 1/2 days of training in a pool, and then a series of 4 "open water" dives which are usually done over two days.

In Minnesota that means that you get to head over to your nearest lake for you open water dives.  Keep in mind that our lakes are not very clear or very warm - especially in October.  Unfortunately we waited until the very end of the diving season to get our training done.  This meant having the pleasure of squeezing into 7mm wetsuits (you normally wear 3mm), and wearing gloves, socks and a hood to try and keep warm.

Gloves can suck as you are a bit clumsy in them and it is harder to manipulate things with your hands- especially under water.

Hoods can suck as it feels like your head is being squeezed and most importantly, you often get your mask stuck on them so they make water continuously leak into your mask.

The socks I am totally fine with because my feet are always cold.

I was feeling pretty apprehensive about the whole thing and we had a 45 minute drive to the lake - plenty of time to fully psych myself out.  Because it was chilly the instructor was in a hurry to get this whole thing over with.  Unfortunately a good way to make someone who is already anxious feel even more anxious is to rush them.  I panicked before we even went under the water.  I started to swim to shore.  I was done with SCUBA.

Mark was pretty good about the whole thing.  He was hoping that I just needed a little pep talk like the last dive and that I would go back.  I told him I was done.  I said that I barely felt comfortable in the pool and absolutely don't feel comfortable in the open water.  Luckily the instructors stayed back and let him make up what he missed so that he was able to finish his certification.

At least I tried.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My First Grouse

I am sure that this will come as a surprise to many people, but I am a hunter.  I have both deer hunted and grouse hunted before.  I will not say that I am a very successful hunter as today was the first time that I actually shot something.

I didn't grow up hunting despite my upbringing in Iowa.  My Dad was not a hunter.  Instead I picked it up as an adult.  Our first November together, my ex-husband announced that he was going deer hunting.  Me being interested in trying new things and new experiences announced that I was interested in knowing more about this deer hunting.  I borrowed some gear and gun and froze my butt off in my stand and even helped clean a deer.  Unfortunately I was never lucky enough to shoot a deer on my own.

After my divorce I dated someone who grouse hunts.  I decided that I may like this more than deer hunting in that you get to move around a lot more.  Also it is earlier in the year so the weather is nicer.  I am not the quickest on the draw and my ex wasn't essentially patient enough to wait and let my try to take a shot, so our hunting trips never ended up in me shooting any birds.

Mark's family has some land up north - way up north.  No, not a cabin, and no there is no lake.  Just land.  They have a large outbuilding with a bunk room and they park their RVs up there but no real running water and limited facilities.

Their land isn't that great for deer hunting but has a lot of grouse.  He and his family have shot quite a number of them over the years on their own property.  Luckily Mark is patient, and grouse aren't very smart.  He helped get me lined up so that I could shoot my own grouse finally.  I even got a second one later that day :)