Duck hunters can’t beat the view

It begins before dawn. They make their way to the lake which is about an hour away. They put the decoys out on the water and settle in where they can’t be seen.

My oldest digs a hole with a large rock and makes himself a table for his coffee before he settles into the blind. His coffee is in Papa’s thermos. They share.


Make no mistake, hunting is about the game, but it’s also about bonding and memories. He snaps this with his cellphone.  A silhouette of my dad that tells the story of before dawn with decoys out on the water and ready for sunrise.


Which is always a spectacular show, especially out on the lake.



The makings of a FANtastic weekend

To say I had a FANtastic weekend doesn’t hardly sum it up, but here’s how it went.

It started with this at 4am Saturday morning.

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My punks went duck hunting with my dad.  They said they got three ducks, but that a hawk came down and stole two of them, so they only came home with one duck.  Hmmmm.

Then we headed to the WTAMU President’s home for a pre-game reception, but this time we got to take the biggest WTAMU Buff Fans in the panhandle of Texas… my neighbors, Vernon and Beverly Zearley.  They were pleased as punch to finally get to meet Coach Carthel

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and WTAMU President Dr. Patrick O’Brien and his wife Karen.


Right after the reception, we headed to Hastings where The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, was having a book signing.  My books were ready.


We picked up my punks and headed to the book signing.  They had not showered.  They had not brushed their teeth.  One had fallen in the lake and was very smelly, but onward we went because I figured since the Drummond Dudes smelled cattle, mud and manure everyday, my smelly child would not phase them… and he didn’t.  We got to Hastings and waited,


and got to know the people in front of and behind us very well.  This man was particularly entertaining.  He said he was going to try on every hat along our winding path throughout the bookstore.  After about ten minutes, he gave up and headed to the coffee shop to watch football with the rest of the chivalrous husbands who had come to accompany their wives.


My oldest played on his iphone.


My youngest thought Pioneer Woman was fine and all, but this would have all been better if Charlie had come.


We waited some more.  It was getting painful, literally, my dogs were barking, but wait!  Do my eyes deceive me?  Is that a cowboy hat peeking  out from the side of the bookshelf under the clearance sign?  Could it be??


I cannot completely confirm that Marlboro Man was at the bookstore as he was not wearing chaps.


However, these two precious pumpkins came along and acted like they knew him, in fact, that precious little one was pleading his case to Marlboro Man for something, but I cannot even recall because once I saw his eyelashes, I was done for.


We finally rounded the corner, my dogs barking and all, and there was Ree.


I think she went through 472 Sharpee markers.  She was there almost six hours!  I don’t  know how she did it, but she did and here I was toward the end of the line and she’s still smiling, still visiting, still taking pictures like we were the first ones in line.


There are moments in your life when you come across people who are just good people.  Ree and the Drummond Dudes and friends are all good people, plain and simple.


Marlboro Man signed my books too… if that was really Marlboro Man.


As if this weren’t enough, my day was only getting better, because sitting beside Ree was a friend of mine (and Ree’s) that I’ve kept up with through the internets, but hadn’t met in person until now.  You’ll have to come back tomorrow to hear all about her and the rest of my FANtastic weekend!

Happy Birds


On the first day of pheasant hunting, Ol’ Blue Eyes and my dad were invited out for a classy hunt at the Patching Ranch hosted by my dad’s friend Sam. (The pink hat is mine.  It’s my photographer hat.  Ol’ Blue Eyes hat is bright orange camo.)


Sam is a one of a kind man and a perfect host.


My punks and I showed up about 11:30 am.  Sam had told my dad there would be a campfire cooked chicken fried steak lunch with all the fixings.  We thought we’d help him eat all that food.  We’re nice like that.


Sam is on the right.


The men still had a bit of hunting to do, and that gave me the opportunity to take some pictures.  My first pit stop was the most important building on the ranch.  Very important.


Here’s a few shots from around the ranch.







The men finished up hunting the section of land they were on, and it was time to eat.  I’ll give you one guess as to who was the first in line…..


That would be my youngest punk.  The food was so good and we made some new friends.  Everyone had great time.


(Random fact)  My punks decided to name this bull Ferdinand…


and play on the rope swing…


and get wet (even though I told them not to).


There was plenty of room to run…


great conversations to be had…


and plenty of birds caught.


We had a wonderful time all because of a wonderful man who we think a whole lot of.

Thanks Mr. Sam!


Pheasant Hunt

pheasant hunt 2010

My dad just returned from a pheasant hunt in South Dakota.  He is in the middle of this picture, and my brother is to the left (my dad’s right) and my dad’s younger brother next to him (my brother).  I am related all (but I think 2) of these handsome men.  They came from Ohio, my brother from North Carolina, and my dad from Texas for this family hunt.

I think that’s about the coolest thing, ever.

Dad brought home a lot of pheasant, and for Thanksgiving day, he fried some up after he fried our turkey.

It.  Was.  Delicious.

In a few weeks, Ol’ Blue Eyes and my dad are headed back to the Patching Ranch in Happy, Texas for a pheasant hunt.

Here’s to hoping Ol’ Blue Eyes comes home with his limit (crossing fingers).

Just three ducks


If you read my post the other day, Punk time with Papa, then you know my oldest punk got to go hunting with Papa while my youngest punk had to go to school.

Well, Papa and his young buck (that’s what my dad calls both my punks) only got three ducks that day; however, that is much better than coming home empty handed (and getting skunked).

As a side note, you should know I love hunting pictures and will post them often.  I love seeing all generations enjoying this sport TOGETHER.  It warms my heart.


Mom of a young buck who got two ducks

No ducks

Ol’ Blue Eyes and our punks arose at 4 am and left by 4:30 to head to Lake Meredith to go duck hunting this morning.


Ol’ Blue Eyes knows that there are certain things that make me very happy…


and taking pictures for me is one of them.

The guys couldn’t believe how low the lake has gotten.  It is really sad.


My punks found 3 anchors, empty bottles and even a pair of dentures.


My oldest punk helps his Papa (my dad) put out the decoys.


Right as they put the decoys out, these come in and land.  There was not enough time for them to get into the blind they made out of tumble weeds (darn it).

These were the only ducks they saw all morning.  They came home empty handed (darn it again).

Luckily for them, I had a great dinner bubbling in the crockpot.  Food always makes defeat better.  It just does.


Don’t worry, I’ll be nice and share the recipe (that is oh, so easy) with you.  It’s called Busy Day Beef (coming soon).

Now my punks are killing carving their pumpkins.


The mess.  Ugh.  The mess.  I’m thinking I’m needing a pumpkin spice latte now.

Hunting for Dove

I love this picture of my punks and Ol’ Blue Eyes. 
I love seeing their silhouettes across the big Texas sky and the setting sun.
I love that my dad took this while they were on the Memorial Hunt. 
I love that right after this picture was taken, they enjoyed a campfire, and (for the first time) my punks could hear coyotes circling the campfire as they howled and got closer.
I love that they got to all share a story of their friend and have a time of remembering.
I love knowing that there are still people who will stop and remember old friends and host a day of hunting at their ranch,
and I love this picture of my punks and Ol’ Blue Eyes.