Tuesday, December 20, 2011


   Reflections 2011
As I sit here in front of the computer, I am not sure where to start. So, I suppose I will begin at the beginning.
2011, has been an eventful year. There has been many first some great, some not so much. I suppose everyone has there ups and downs through out the year. The year started out with me killing my first deer in 10 years. My middle child, Owen and I killing a buck on the same day, the same evening in two different patches. That is definitely own of the best memories of 2011. 
Owen and I with our deer

Also, 2011, was the year of my duck-a-holic obsession. Although I don't get to indulge near enough.  I had always been afraid of duck hunting, because when I was in about the 9th grade a boy that I went school with had gone duck hunting with his family and it had a tragic outcome. I don't know the details specifically, but he accidentally shot his cousin in the back of the head. The boy was never the same again, and I have carried that with me forever. With great reservation I decided to buy a duck hunt at the local Athletic Club auction that they hold every year for the high school. I bought the duck hunt from a fella that we have know it seems since he was knee high to a grasshopper, Blane Dolbare. The day of the duck hunt came and we drove WWWAAAYYYY back in the woods(like a scene from a horror flick), to camp that is own by Blane's family on the Tombigbee River. Let's just say it was extremely cold and dark, and those that know me know I freeze when the mercury dips below 70 and it was about in the low twentys.
We put the boat in at dark30 and made I way through sunken logs, cypress tress, and knees to one of Blane's spots. As the sun began to peak its head the ducks were already flying. We could hear them, but we could not see them. Soon enough though the shots began to ring out.  I wasn't exactly sure how this was going to work out for me though. Before long I had my first duck. I even shot the back of head off of one poor duck. I think even Blane commented that he didn't think I would shoot as well as I did.(It was something to that effect anyway, right, Blane?)

We ended the morning with our limit and headed back to camp. His mom, Mrs. Gloria, had breakfast cooked and the camp warm.  It really was a fantastic time for me.
Did I mention that Blane graduated this year from The University of Alabama Law School and PASSED the BAR Exam? So if you are in Alabama and are in need of a lawyer he is your man. He comes highly recommend. Thanks Blane for the great hunt and for helping people out in need of a lawyer, not that I would know anyone or anything.
After that duck hunt I can officially say I am a duck-a-holic! "Hello my name is Erica and I am a duck-a-holic." Is there a 12 step program for this? My husband was even able to talk me into buying a duck boat after this hunt. Was this a conspiracy between these two men? I don't know, but the jury is still out on that question... I think I was bamboozeled...

 My oldest killed his biggest deer ever hunting with me the same day his dad killed a deer in Illinois. We also took Owen and Gage on their first duck hunting trip.

Gage's biggest deer that he shot with me

My biggest deer

The boys after their first duck trip

New Additions
We also saw the addition of 4 new members to our family, 3 of them together. Both my sister-n-laws became new and first time moms this year.

First Stanton and Kellie had Kallie

Then Shanna and Andy had not 1, not 2, but 3 new babies and they are first time parents too to Joseph, Emma, and Alex...

This year has also been a year for reconnection with a person who has meant alot to me and has probably shaped my life more than I realized. My step Dad, Nick. We have not  really spoken in about 10 years or so due to many reasons. But he raised me since I was about 3.  He and my mom divorced a while back, and now he is remarried and is living the cowboy life in Wyoming(BRRRRR!!). He seems to be thoroughly enjoying his retirement and living there. We have many things in common. We share the same birthday, views on many things from politics to....., we also share the uncanny ability to be a real smart ass all the time without trying and many times unintentionally(ok maybe not). The latter seems to be an advantage or disadvantage depending on which end you seem to be on, the receiving or the giving, and depending on how you view things, people, and their subsequent stupidity. So one of these days I plan on making a trek to Wyoming for a visit...you never know what the cat (or wolf in this case) may drag up. This is a great thing as well for this year!

Learning and Teaching
"Judge not lest ye be judged."
"If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man's religion is worthless" James 1:26
I am not on overly religious person, but these two verses really seem to ring true for this year.
This has also been the year  for people to show who they really are when they think no one is looking. After all, isn't there always someone looking?
It's a funny thing ... people and life. Even people you seem to put on a pedestal, whether intentionally or not, don't deserve to be there. They will disappoint you every time. They were probably pretending to be the person you only thought they were, but in the end they always reveal the truth about themselves. ...Lesson taught and learned!
Things I know to be true about myself, which this year has just reaffirmed these things:
  • I am who I am no matter what or who is watching. -What you see is what you get. Like it or get in line behind all others.
  • I usually say what every one else is thinking...sometimes this isn't a good thing.
  • I AM a person of my word. - I f I say I am going to do something... you need to put your money where you mouth is if you don't believe it. After all a person is only as good as their word or so I have been told.
  • I don't, nor have I ever, like fake or pretend people.- So don't bother because I will not pretend for you so just keep it movin!. I don't put on dog and pony shows for people, however I do know people who have perfected this to a fine art.
  • I absolutely loooovvveee ( sarcasm here, if you didn't pick up on it) people who act a certain way Monday-Saturday, but come Sunday try to pretend to be Holy than Thou. Reminds me of the Pharisees, or hypocrites, well there are many names for  it. However, who am I to judge? I mean at least you're there, which I can't say the same for me, but that's probably why I am not there.
Above all else I taught myself a lesson....
 I am blessed beyond measure no matter what anyone says, does, or thinks because they are not the ones who matter.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Surroundings and Scenery

I decided I would share some of the scenery from my hunting surroundings with everyone.
Since we didn't kill any deer this week, I decided to slow down  while walking down the trail and enjoy  the scenery. We get so caught up in "LIFE," that sometimes we forget to stop and "smell the roses" ( or maybe the fungus in this case).
I took these with my droid phone, I mean I'm not Ansel Adams or anything, but ...you get the point!

Redneck Trail Marker

My children can fit into this hole.


The fungus among us!

Hope y'all enjoyed seeing a part of my neck of the woods.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


We were on our out the door headed to the first duck trip of the season for the boys and me.  The first ever for the boys. We were loaded up and truckin' and half way to the landing when Shane realized  he had forgotten his phone and wallet, which held his hunting license and duck stamp. Since that was kind of important and you can't hunt LEGALLY without it, we turned around and headed back. By the time Stanton and Gage had all of their things unloaded and ready we arrived .
Shane, Owen, and I hurried and put our boat in and got all of our junk hunting stuff and loaded up. We began to make our way out of the slough and into the open river. The Tombigbee was dark and quiet,and quite chilly. We made our way down the river to Okatuppa Creek  making our way back into a slough. We meandered through the slough winding our way around cypress trees, knees, hidden stumps, and downed trees. This is a public area so its on a first come basis. We arrived to find someone had gotten into the spot where Gage and Stanton were going to go so they had to find another spot, which ended being just up the creek from us. It must have been the morning to hunt with family because the person that had gotten there first was hunting with a boy about Gage's age.
We got everything settled and the waiting began. Just as the sun started to lighten the dark sky we could here the ducks flying, but not see them.
As the morning came alive so did we. Shane and I were trying to Owen a shot first and we passed on shooting several. Finally, Owen got one and we began to shoot too.We ended up with 7 ducks collected. I wounded one, when I went to retrieve him he literally disappeared, I think he swam up the little slough behind us.

Shane and Owen after the ducks had stopped flying.

We gathered all of our things and started to wander out of the slough when we saw a coot or poule d'eau as I call it. Gage hadn't killed anything so we stopped and let him shoot the coot.

I would like to thank the inventors of  HotHands Hand Warmers. This is by far the best invention for hunting purposes in my opinion. I am very cold natured and I can't stand for my hands and toes to get cold.

The Hungting Party and Their Ducks

Shane, Me, Owen, and Gage

Gage, and Uncle Stanton

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Glasses

So ole Holt had to get him some glasses. You may remember from a previous post about my birthday that we visited the eye dr.
Well he was a little farsighted and needed glasses.
Here he is trying his new glasses  on.
He said he wanted Harry Potter glasses.

Here he is with his new glasses. He kept saying that he could see fine without his glasses. He has successfully worn them one whole day.