Thursday, February 12, 2015

Catch-up #4 - Random photos

Here's a few neat pictures that I've snapped the last few months that haven't made it here yet...
This was from last fall... feelin' froggy with the chainsaw.

Also from last fall... a flock of turkeys near my house, which
isn't exactly a common sightin'.

No filters on this beauty... Sunrise over the Bradford County
hills en route to the woods in November.
Christmas mornin' in the milkin' parlor with my cousins
Davey and Adam.

The comin' of the new year means that our local Apple Valley
Creamery has their damn-near famous Orange Cream milk
back in production. I also picked up some leftover Egg Nog
for me and some Chocolate milk for my lovely lady.

Splittin' some wood out back.
Behind the ol' farmhouse at the farm after a recent snow.
A recently-acquired Charles Daly Auto Pointer, basically a
clone of the famous Browning A5. I will have Belgian-made
Browning A5 in a magnum 20 gauge one day, but this will
scratch the itch until I can afford one.

The best part of a successful harvest...

Mother Nature's take on some condensation on the office
at the farm.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Catch-up #3 - A gift for Dad

Dad's been threatenin' to haul his ashes out west and whack an elk for as many years as I can recall. Two years back, he finally got the process started by gettin' in touch with an outfitter and puttin' in for preference points. Basically, as soon as he draws, he's finally goin'.

He won an beautiful Remington 700 Mountain Rifle in .300RUM in a gun drawin' many years back, and it's just been sittin' in the safe, waitin' for the day to come when he draws. He never bothered to put a scope on it, so I got the brilliant idea to get Mom and the brothers together and take care of that for him.

I did some research, figgered how much money we could put together and we got it done. We topped it off with a Leupold VXII 4-12x40 in matchin' stainless finish, and mounted it with a good, strong DNZ Game Reaper in matchin' finish. I may be biased, but it looks damn good. The ol' man was purty tickled come Christmas mornin' when he unzipped that case.

Now, we just gotta convince him to put a muzzle brake on that cannon and actually practice with it before he goes out...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Rememberin' Renee

As mentioned, there's been one helluva show of support for our family after Renee's accident. It's really been a source of comfort for her parents, which, as a frequent guest at the breakfast table, I certainly appreciate as well.

There's been a slew of window stickers, shirts and other goods that have been sold by her friends to raise money. A friend of mine from the bar I work at is also a Zumba instructor, and she held a special Zumba session with all proceeds going to the family. Renee also worked at a local Kilwin's creamery, and her bosses and co-workers really stepped up to help as well.

Eisenhower Drive in nearby Hanover is locally famous for bein' a place to go cruise and hang out on a Friday night, yet another of Renee's favorite pastimes. Some friends of hers organized a memorial cruise, and asked for as many big trucks and rebel flags as possible. A memorial service was also held and donations were collected. I couldn't pull off the big truck part, but I did bring the ol' Battle Flag out of retirement for the occasion.

Renee loved all this new country music, and consequently spent a lot of time callin' the local country station, going to concerts and dancin' at the local line dance club, Tractor Twang, held by said country station. The DJs there also stepped up, and got in top-ten artist Chase Bryant to hold a benefit concert at a recent Twang. Video here. It was very neat when they announced that we'd set a new attendance record for Twang that evenin'. It should also be noted that Mr. Bryant offered to do this, at no charge, as soon as he heard the news about Renee. Definitely a class act.
The DJ even reached out to other country stars that Renee had met to put together a video for the family. Video here. I still can't stand most of this new country music, but after all this, I guess I have a little more respect for some of the folks that sing it.

The amount of donations has been so great that my aunt and uncle have started a memorial fund to put it in. Once established, they will use it as they see fit to benefit kids in agriculturally-related pursuits.

It's really been a blessin' how much good has been shown outta a tragedy. It really makes one start to have faith in humanity once again. It definitely makes one proud to live in a small town with good people and strong values.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Catch-up #2 - The Great Beer Exchange

Some people exchange cookies at work. Well, I must have some of the damned finest co-workers around, cuz we exchange beer instead.

There were six of us in on it, so we all got four of each variety. There were no real rules put in place regardin' what to buy, although we encouraged everyone to go with somethin' seasonal, and also threatened a major ass-kickin' to whoever would be stupid enough to buy Keystone Light, or somethin' of that ilk.

All told, it turned out really well. The one lad also threw in a bonus sixer, so we all wound up with a single bonus brew. We would up with a very solid selection of seasonal brews, and I think everyone was purty happy.

From left to right:

Long Trail Limbo IPA
Long Trail Sick Day IPA
Shipyard GingerBreadHead
Magic Hat Snow Roller Hoppy Brown Ale
Lancaster Brewing Winter Warmer Ale
Atwater Brewery Vanilla Java Porter (That was my pick, and I done real good. Stuff's amazin'.)
DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter

I'm definitely a porter and stout kinda guy, with IPA's and brown ales comin' in a close third and fourth, so this case was definitely right up my alley. Sounds like everyone's in favor of doin' this again when the spring/summer seasonals come out, so hopefully I'll have another line-up for ya then.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Catch-up #1 - Deer season

We'd had some bad weather and bad luck on the first Saturday of the PA deer season. Only one tag got filled, and we all looked like a buncha drowned rats. The ol' Weaver scope on my Remington 760 was fogged up to beat the band, and I wasn't sure if I'd even be able to hunt with it the followin' Monday.

Rewind back a few years. A friend of ours from up around camp had a break-up, and mentioned on Facebook about sellin' some of his junk he'd left layin' around. Long story short, I would up a happy owner (briefly) of a gently used Tika T3 Light .30-06. Talk about a glass-smooth action and some damned good accuracy with factory loads.

Well, Matt was there when the transaction was made, and he was just beside himself with that gun. He was such a hot mess about it that I finally told him that if he wanted the damn thing that bad, he could just give me the money later and take it. I've regretted that decision ever since.

Several years later, with a scope on the fritz and no real chance of killin' a deer with it, I was fortunate enough to discover that Matt had left the Tika up at camp, and he was willin' to let me use it for Monday's hunt.

Monday dawned much purtier than Saturday had, and I found myself on a nearby field, keepin' an eye on an escape route that they reliably use when pressured.

Sure enough, an hour or so in, I saw a column of deer bust out of the creekbed on the low edge of the field and start out across the field about 200 yards away. That ol' Tika still shot like a dream, and I plugged a big ol' doe on a full-out run.

As I was field dressin' the deer, I looked across the valley to another field. It's a little hard to see, but there's four deer havin' a bite to eat, just a few scant yards in front on a ground blind. The ol' boys that hunt that property picked a bad day to stay home.

I put the ol' girl on the scale when I got back to camp, and was shocked to see that she dressed out at just under 160 pounds, which is just massive... likely heavier than any buck I've ever shot. Last year's muzzleloader doe was definitely bigger than this one, and now I'm kickin' myself for not buyin' a scale to see how big she really was.

That essentially ended my huntin' for the year, so I was damn glad to have her to fill the freezer with. Bein' able to take the first deer with that Tika kinda eased some of the pain of havin' sold it, so that was a good thing too.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Playin' Catch-up

After a rather hectic December and January, Monday marked my first day off in almost eight weeks. Aside from splittin' wood for an hour or so, I purty much did nothin', and it was glorious. After my cousin's accident, I pretty much vowed to help out however possible, which meant pickin' up as many of her and her mother's milkin' shifts as possible until we could get another milker trained. Needless to say, I've seen more than enough of those cows since then. Fit in my full time job and my bar shifts, and I've not spent much time at home as of late.

Thankfully, it looks like my schedule will be returnin' to what passes for normal, for the most part. That'll undoubtedly make the girl happy, as I can finally spend a little more time with her and start makin' a contribution to our home again. I've got a list ten miles long of shit that need done around here. Hopefully, that also means I'll be able to catch up on some postin' that I've been slackin' on the last few weeks.

I've got a lot to catch up on this here blog, startin' with the last week of deer season the week before my cousin's accident. Hopefully y'all don't mind some old news, cuz you're fixin' to get some.

Stay tuned, y'all.