30 November 2006


I hope everyone had a wonderful time this past holiday weekend. It sure was a busy weekend here at our house.

On Thursday we hosted Crystal's parents Chester and Nancy as well as her brother Jarrett and his girlfriend Tiffany. They were to arrive around 11:30 am to have have Thanksgiving lunch. At approximately 10:30 am Crystal's beeper went off (she was on call). So she had to leave to go to work! Her family and I had a very nice lunch while she was at work and she finally got home about 2:00 pm!

My folks, Gene and Sandy, as well as my sister Jessica and her husband Shannon along with our nephews R.B. (Bubba) and Benjamin arrived at about 4:30 pm for supper. We got all the food prepared and had another nice Thanksgiving feast. Talk about being sleepy from all that turkey!

Friday morning saw the arrival of our good friends Shawn and Shelly Blythe and their two kids Elizabeth and James. The kids had a ball playing with Sage and Maddie while the grown-ups got a little rest. That evening we all loaded up and went to "The Depot at Cody Creek" over in Dobson instead of having more turkey day stuff. And as usual, it was excellent. They have some of the best ribs I've ever had. After supper the girls and the kids headed back here to the house while Shawn and I traveled down to Elkin High School to catch the third round of the 1A state playoffs. The past few seasons have seen Elkin with a tremendous football team and this year is no exception (State 1A Football Champs '02, '03, and '05). It looks like they have a very good chance to bring it back to Elkin this year too!

We said goodbye to Shawn and Shelly on Saturday morning and tried to straighten the house up as best we could. Saturday evening ushered the arrival of David and Brandy Blythe (David and Shawn are brothers) and their two kids Cortlyn and Koda. Dave and I deep fried a turkey that evening, the first time I had ever had one, and boy was it delicious. We spent the night playing games (Taboo, etc.) and had a good time visiting. We all headed off to bed and low and behold at approximately 3:30am Crystal's wonderful beeper went off again! She had to drive to Winston, do a scan, and turn around and come back home only to get right back up again. We went to Cracker Barrel...mmmmmm....for breakfast to round out the Thanksgiving weekend for 2006.

So here's my thanks for a great family and great friends. To those that we didn't get to spend time with, we hope to see you soon.

20 November 2006


After going the two previous seasons without taking a deer, I have ended the drought.

I was able to take some time off work and hunt this past week. Dave came up on Wednesday to stay the night and hunt with me on Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, the weather forecast was not very favorable for the upcoming days. Rain and wind were supposed to be nailing us pretty hard.

I got up at 5 am on Thursday morning to check the weather and radar. It was pouring and the radar reflected what I could hear hitting the roof here at the house. I naturally went back to bed. At approximately 9 am I was awakened by Dave who had woken up and realized that the meteorologists had somewhat missed the forecast. The rain had subsided and the wind was nowhere to be found. We quickly got up and got things together to head to the hunting club.

At approximately 10:45 am we were in our stands. I realized that I had not called Crystal to let her know that we had gone hunting. About 30 minutes later, my phone started vibrating in my shirt. It was Crystal. As quietly as I could, I answered the phone to let her know that we were hunting. Just as I was telling her that, I caught movement. Low and behold a deer was walking down a 4wheeler trail getting close to me. I quickly let her know that a deer was approaching and quietly closed the phone. After closer examination I could see that though the deer had a decent body size (I was hoping it was a doe), I could make out some small spikes on his head. He walked to within about 50 yards of me and I decided to let him walk, wanting to wait on something bigger.

He proceeded on down the 4wheeler trail and out of my sight. After he left, I began to think about my past 2 deer seasons where I did things very similar and allowed deer to "go". I hadn't killed an animal since the '03 season (which was a 6 point with a bow). 30 minutes passed and I began to regret letting this guy go. Wanting to get some meat in the freezer, I decided that IF the deer did return and offer a good shot that I would take him.

I had no more than made that decision that I heard some noise ruffling the leaves coming down the hill in front of me. To my surprise, here he came again. This time, down the hill, across the 4wheeler trail, and down to the creek not 15 yards from my stand. He took a drink and then just stood there. After watching him basically right under me for at least 5 minutes, I finally decided it was time to take him. He turned and gave me a very good clean shot and I pulled the trigger.

Once the smoke from the muzzle loader cleared I could see him lying exactly where I had shot him. He didn't take the first step. A nice clean kill shot and it was all over inside of 30 seconds.

Now that the "drought" is over it's time to return to being picky and selective about what I take. Bring on the big boys!!! Please?! :-)

01 November 2006


Some of you may have seen the link that I have to the Geocaching website. Geocaching is an activity that Crystal and I enjoy doing together, well most of the time anyway. Right honey?

In a nutshell, using a GPS receiver, you input given coordinates into your GPS unit and then go find the "cache". A cache is usually a small box (tupperware, old ammo can, etc.) that has been placed by someone that has placed small toys, trinkets, etc. into the box to be traded. Mostly this is for the kids so it is mostly kid's type stuff. Think of it as a high-tech treasure hunt. The cache 'owner' then tries to hide the box in a secretive spot so as to make it difficult to find and also so it can't be found accidentally by "muggles" (Harry Potter fans will know what this means...and, yes, that is how the Geocaching community refers to the none cachers). After hiding it, the owner will take the coordinates with their unit and then enter the coordinates into the website and others can then go search for what they hid.

Now, I gave that very simplified explanation to relay this story.

Crystal and I placed a cache of our own in January of 2005. It is located up off the Parkway relatively close to where we live. Anytime another Geocacher finds a cache that you placed and logs their find into the website, an email notification is sent to you. This is suprisingly alot of fun in itself since you kinda get to hear what others think about the spot you chose, how much fun they had, etc.

Man I'm using etc. alot in this post! :p

Well, this is the last notification that I received:

"October 18 by Ted (354 found)
Nice hike in. The container has been broken into umpteen pieces and the contents scattered. The lid and one of the ziploc bags have bite marks. I did my best to gather the contents into the two good ziplocs and then placed them together at my best guess for the right location."

Of course, given the location of the cache and the description that 'Ted' gave, I automatically knew what had destroyed our container. I was able to find some time today and headed up to the cache site to replace the container. My assumption was correct.

Notice the 'bite marks' in the lid. That is most definately a bear!

So, now who wants to go find our cache? LOL

Seriously though, if any of you think you may want to try out some Geocaching, just let me know. We'd be happy to let ya borrow the GPS unit or maybe even go out caching with us sometime. It is alot of fun for the kids as well. Can you imagine if we coulda went out in the woods with a little handheld computer and found 'treasure' when we were kids? And not all the caches are in boxes in the woods. There are 'micros' which are usually sign only logs that are placed very strategically right in the middle of cities. You'd actually be suprised where some of these things are.