A Very Ithaca Birthday

15 03 2012

March of 2012 may seem like any other month to you, but to our family it is a very special time.  Our daughter Shannon turns 30 on the 9th, our son-in-law Jeremy turns 30 on the 10th and our nephew -in-law Bryan turns 30 on the 24th.  It is not to often that 3 members of your family turn 30 during the same month.  Yeah, I know in 10 years we will have 3 turning 40 together, maybe I will write another post about that then.

Well we wanted to make this year’s birthday really special.  We ordered Ithaca model 1911 pistols for Shannon and Jeremy, with their serial numbers being the dates of their births ( 309 and 310).  Bryan’s wife Mary also ordered him a pistol from Ithaca.  We arranged a tour of the Ithaca Plant in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, which is owned by our good friend David Dlubak.  David personally conducted the tour.  With all 3 of them getting their pistols at the end of the tour.  Bryan Stoops even gave them a lesson in tearing the guns apart and cleaning them properly.  We followed that up with shooting the pistols out at the quarry.  It is amazing how accurate these guns are right out of the box.  Later that evening we had dinner for 25 at Shotzy’s restaurant.  Jeremy’s parents and his brother’s family joined our family and the Dlubak family.

We now have other members of our family counting down the years till they turn 30 and hopefully follow in their older relatives shoes.

Shannon with her 1911

Ithaca Gun Company    http://www.ithacagun.com/index.html





Hunter Safety Course 1972

15 03 2012

Life is not fair!  Or at least that is how it seems to a twelve year old.  Add to that wanting to hunt and fish when neither of your parents enjoy either.  Add to that being a girl in 1972.

I wanted to hunt so badly, I would check out every magazine and book on hunting I could find at our local library.  Outdoor Life and Field and Stream became my educators.  I asked so many dumb questions of anyone who even vaguely knew anything about hunting.  I spent hours weekly riding the deer trails on our horses, observing the patterns of the deer.  I could ride right into a group of deer without them taking to much notice.

It seemed like divine intervention when my friend Cheryl talked her father into taking us for our Hunter Safety Certification.  We had about 30 participants in the course; 28 boys, myself and Cheryl.  We took a lot of ribbing from the boys, and even a few of the fathers.  They felt we had no place in a “boys” class.  We didn’t mind, or at least didn’t let on to anyone that it bothered us.  Cheryl’s dad, having 6 daughters, was very supportive of girls being able to hunt.  His support made a huge difference in the tender sensibilities of a teenage girl.  By the end of the course, only 2 students rated a 100% on the test; myself and Cheryl.  Instead of the boys being happy for us, they made sure we knew that hunting was a male sport.

To this day I feel the pressure to prove  myself capable, to prove my abilities, to compete with ghosts of my past.  I know I am up to the challenge!





Coping

6 03 2012

Sometimes the pot of gold is right beneath your nose, right at home.

As you may know, my father died 2 weeks ago, followed by the death 1 week ago by the father of my good friend. Life at times is hard, but always worth the effort.

How do people cope with illness and death?  That has been asked of me numerous times in the past few weeks.  You have no choice!  The fact that these people are looking for a way to cope, shows that they will find the way.  I always tell everyone to talk, remember, laugh, cry and most importantly-love.  I am the sort to tackle life head one.  Realize your options and set a course to succeed.  Cope with death as you would cope with life.  The pain you feel now with pass, and with that comes an ability to move on.

Now is a good time to start a project, join a club or a gym, take up a hobby or volunteer, anything that keeps your time and mind busy.  While you are improving your life with these activities, you are also strengthening your ability to deal with crisis’s in your life, you are building personal connections that will help when you need a shoulder to lean on.  Don’t be afraid to lean on someone, your friends will be honored you came to them, and sometimes a stranger will become a valued friend.

Don’t give into the negative, look for wonders and blessings in your life.  Celebrate the life, embrace the future. As always Live the life you love, love the life you live!





Snow

16 02 2012

It has been a rough week here, it seems cancer and other life disrupting diseases are ravaging people I love. I am feeling philosophical, “life is like a box of chocolates”. No, No, No, I mean life is like snow.

As I sit here watching the snow fall, I am at first mesmerized by its beauty, then the dangerous nature of snow and ice creep into my thoughts. Snow like life can be beautiful to watch from the outside. Many lives are being touched, and some destroyed. The beauty at times covers the true challenges that everyone faces. You can present a façade that people cannot see behind, project a picture that distracts from the pitfalls.

As I wait for the snowfall to cease, I am also waiting on the dreaded phone call that lives of people I love have also come to an end. Love your family while you can. Share your love with the people who matter to you. Do what you can to help ease burdens. Share the beauty and the pain. Know that Spring is ahead, and life will go on. Just look into the innocent face of a newborn and you will see our future. The never ending cycle of life.





Archery League

11 02 2012

Ryan and Sarah shoot too!

Last night I had the privilege to help with the Youth Archery League at our pro shop.  My grandchildren shoot in this league, but this was the first I had seen these kids in action.  I was impressed!  Even Sarah my 9 year old granddaughter had a perfect 5, 5, 5X round.  These kids can shoot!  I wish I had had this type of opportunity as a child, but since I didn’t, I will make sure my grandchildren do!

My happiness was tempered by a disturbing phone call I received while there.  My father had been rushed to the hospital with a suspected stroke.  He later was rushed to a second hospital for the possibility of doing surgery to relieve the blood on the brain.  I took my sister down to the hospital in time to meet with the Neurosurgeon with my mother.  He stated that Daddy is not a candidate for the surgery and he would recommend that we let nature take it’s course. No extraordinary means are to be implemented to keep my father alive, so it is just a matter of time.  He is being taken back to the nursing home where he has spent the last 2 years, where he has friends and the staff loves him.  I give the staff all the credit in the world, they have a thankless job and have to deal with everything that we are unable to.  I appreciate ALL they do to make life livable for the patients.  THANK YOU!

Today was my regular day to shoot in the Technohunt league.  I kept our time to shoot, simply because I needed to relieve stress and shooting my bow had always been an outlet for me.  Today, I was unable to focus, and coupled with technical difficulties, I did not shoot well at all.  I am not making excuses, it happens.  I am still thankful that I can shoot and can still enjoy life.  I am sure I am in for a rough couple of days/weeks.  I have had rough days and weeks before, it is all part of life.  It just drives home the point to LIVE the life you love.  You never know when that ability will be taken from you.

Love your family, spend time making good memories with them, live your life with no regrets.





Blessings

8 02 2012

As I was driving out to the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show today, I received a phone call from one of my best friends.  Her father is battling cancer and had to undergo emergency surgery twice.  I had been mentally thinking of all the cool new things I would find at the show, and now all I could think of was blessings.  I AM BLESSED!  Some may ask how can I think such a thing, I lost my son at age 16 and I have battled breast cancer.  Tragic as those things are, I am still blessed.  I have a wonderful family that supports every endeavor I embark on.  I have a wonderful job that allows me the flexibility to go where I want when I want.  I have good health (now).  I have 2 new grandchildren that are a blessing in themselves, plus 3 older ones that have blessed my life for years.  I had a wonderful hunting season and I have been recently recognized for my work with Genealogy.

My friend’s father was mumbling about killing pigs, which apparently made his nurses nervous.  But the truth of the matter is that we have vowed to make his dream of hunting hogs a reality.  The moment he is physically able we will be helping him fill a bucket list dream.  I am hopeful that the excitement of going hog hunting will help make his recovery seem much quicker and help him thru the rough patches.  I am blessed to be able to help him achieve this.

No matter how rough you have it, your life is full of blessings in many ways, if only you are open to see it.  Help people thru the rough patches they are going thru and they will be there for you when you need them.  Don’t give into the negative, look for wonders and BLESSINGS.  As always Live the life you love, love the life you live!





“Live the Life you Love, Love the Life you Live” (Bob Marley)

6 02 2012

I had stage 2 breast cancer 2 1/2 years ago, which resulted in me having a bilateral mastectomy.  Since that time I have been trying to rebuild my body and activities that were affected by the surgery.  Hunting and fishing have long been a passion of mine, and unfortunately these were affected the most.  I was able to go salmon fishing a mere 3 weeks following the surgery, while I could hook and land the fish, I could not lift them for pictures.  I found a way with help from my family to still be able to do what I love.  Family is a blessing, if you only allow them to be.  Bow Hunting has taken a longer recovery.  I am still not back to using my bow at a weight I would be comfortable hunting with, but I am shooting again!  While I rebuild muscle, I have turned to rifles, shotguns and crossbows to fill the void.  I am determined to regain what was lost, and this site will document my journey.  Let the ride begin!