Friday? Already?

October 3, 2014

Where did the week go?

It seems like I’ve barely unpacked from Colorado, and the week has already flown by.  So here it is, Friday, and I haven’t put up a single post all week.

Bad Phillip!  No biscuit.

It has been an eventful week, although not on a level that really suits the Hog Blog.  I got out for a few evenings (and one morning) hunting my local whitetails, but aside from bouncing an arrow off of a branch on the opener, I haven’t even drawn on a deer.  That’s not what was eventful… and the rest of this post isn’t about hunting.  In fact, I doubt the rest of this post will hold much interest for most of you.  But it’s my blog, and I’ll write what I want.

In addition to spending the last four days getting back into the swing of work, I’ve been gearing up for another road trip.  Kat has decided, in the interest of her career advancement, to take up house in Raleigh, NC.  This will allow her to be in the office regularly, working closely with the people she needs to deal with on a face-to-face basis.  Ideally, this will provide some opportunity for advancement that she won’t get working from the remoteness that is Camp Wood, TX.  And ideally, that advancement will enable her to create some security for the future… as neither of us is a spring chicken, and we really need to be casting an eye in that direction.

So she’s gone back there and found herself a townhouse.  It’ll be a place to live while she’s working out this career thing, and will provide an investment for when she comes back here (which is an eventuality that I hope is sooner than later… but we don’t know).  She packed up her Grand Cherokee with the cats and some basics, and went ahead last weekend to get the house opened up, set up DSL, buy some basic furniture, and that sort of thing.  I’m following this weekend with a U-Haul full of her other stuff.

That U-Haul holds a lot of things.  Packing it yesterday, it didn’t feel like packing for a temporary trip.  It felt like she was moving out.

I've come a long ways from this.

I’ve come a long ways from this.

The Manor is pretty empty right now, and I have a feeling that when I get back from Raleigh next weekend, it’s going to seem really empty.

Sure, there’s a lot more in here now than there was when I first started working on this place.  I’ve come a long ways from the days of setting up my office on a folding TV table, and watching DVDs on the laptop.  There’s a real bed where the inflatable used to be, and I’ve even got a real, dining room table.  There’s an oversized TV in an oversized (Texas-sized) entertainment center, and I watch that TV from the comfort of my leather recliner.  There’s patio furniture on the patio, and porch chairs on the front porch.  Hell, I’ve even got some pictures hanging on the walls.

But it’s still pretty empty.  There’s a vacancy here that has nothing to do with Stuff.  The echo that I hear isn’t the sound of my voice, bouncing off of bare walls.  It’s a little more subtle than that.

Pardon the maudlin.  It’ll probably pass.


Who knows what the future holds?  There’s no expiration date on this experiment.  There’s no defined target or criteria for “success”.  I have no idea how long it will go, or what the catalyst will be that changes things again… or, for that matter, what the next change will entail.

What I do know, though, is that things always work out… one way or another.



6 Responses to “Friday? Already?”

  1. Friday? Already? | on October 3rd, 2014 09:20

    […] Friday? Already? […]

  2. Jean on October 5th, 2014 22:22

    Maudlin sucks but it will pass. You two will make this work.

    If you think it will help I’ll post up my A zone deer story.

  3. Phillip on October 6th, 2014 05:34

    Thanks, Jean.

    And I’m always open for new stories… especially from the A zone! Please share.

  4. Jean on October 6th, 2014 14:36

    Okay, here goes nutin’

    We took the F150 & the trailer down to Willow Creek early Thursday
    morning for 3 days of trying to invite a deer to dinner.

    The end of the ranch we had talked about hunting was occupied by another
    hunter. So we started working some of other spurs out from the main
    ridge. Down from one of the saddles I noticed a loaf shaped object on a
    small hill, maybe 400 yards away.
    It was a bedded doe. She was looking at me. I called Todd on the radio.
    He came over and watched her with me. We looked away to talk for a few
    seconds. When we looked back, 3 does were standing. The middle one runs
    over, kicks the deer on the left and they all trot off down the hill
    together. It was as if to say “They’re watching too long. Get going,
    This was exciting to me because it is so hard to see bedded animals.
    99.99999% of the time, they do a much better job of hiding than I do of

    We then set up camp and rested from the early morning start.

    The evening hunt was uneventful, other than the usual bird pissing
    matches with one another at one of the water tanks.

    The next morning hunt I got busted by what was probably another doe. At
    least I’m seeing deer, even if it is just a glimpse at deer butt.
    As we’re driving the ridge road, another deer we can’t identify runs
    away from us. We didn’t find that deer, but we did see one bedded in the
    same spot as yesterday.

    In the early afternoon, we drove the back part of the ranch. Not many
    tracks and fewer new ones.

    I got to my spot for the evening hunt about 6pm. I had little hope of
    seeing anything other than does but still glad of seeing all of the deer
    we had been able to see.
    A little before 7:00pm I see one, then another critter about 500-600
    yards distant. They look like dogs. No wait, THEY LOOK LIKE DEER. NO,
    Is one legal to shoot? YES, at least one is.
    They disappear behind a little hill for what seemed like an hour but was
    probably about 3 minutes. They crest the hill and come down the trail.
    They stop.
    I can’t get that thing that’s slamming around in my chest to settle down
    as much as I would like. I take my best shot at 215 yards. Buck # 1
    jumps and runs down the hill. I shoot again because he’s moving and I
    don’t want him running down into the canyon. He does not come out the
    other side of the brush pile.
    I can now see that Buck # 2 is legal as well. For a moment there is a
    flash of doubt about “Did I hit the right buck?”. I review my actions
    and decide my course of action was correct. Buck # 2 did not respond to
    the sound of the shots at Buck # 1. He looks around for his buddy (in
    doing so, he presents a perfect broadside shot opportunity), prances
    around, jumps the fence, and trots away.

    I babble something at Todd on the radio. Having heard the shots, he was
    already on his way. I am cold from the adrenalin in my system. He gets
    me to tell him the area where I shot and where I last saw the deer. I go
    down the hill so I can shoot if the deer comes out of the brush.
    Todd goes in to check for tracks, blood and deer. There is no blood to
    see, but he finds some tracks that look like deer in a big damn hurry.
    Then he finds the deer. At first he thought it was a log. He calls me
    over. I ask him if I need my rifle. He says “No, he’s dead.”
    The hill is steep. The reason the buck did not roll down the hill
    further is that his antlers became entangled in some chamise branches. I
    said my private thank you to both the buck and the bush that held him.
    Even though he is only a forkie, he is a pretty big buck. The light
    color of his face tells me he is an old one. I say thank you again and
    again to nothing and everything.

    He is too heavy for us to drag up the steep hill, even with some mechanical

    When I opened him up, seemingly massive amounts of stomach ick and blood
    come pouring out. One lung is all but gone. My first shot was further
    aft than I had thought it would be and the buck was at more of an angle
    to me. There was no diaphram to cut through, it was just gone.
    My second shot was almost total crap. My bullet tore some tendons on his
    upper right front leg. Maybe it helped stop him, I don’t know. It was
    nowhere near the front of the chest like I had intended.

    We pulled him about 100 feet up the hill with a block and tackle to the
    truck. Lifting him into the back of the truck was a challenge. Todd
    figured out how to get it done. It is now 9pm and very dark.

    Back at camp, the skinning and initial clean up finished up about 2am.

    When we came home the next morning, a friend stopped by to help move the
    cooler, and inspect the head. He looked at the teeth . They were worn
    even with the roof of the mouth. This deer was definitely an old one.

    I look forward now to summer sausage, steaks, jerky, roasts, and
    burgers. I am grateful to the deer and to my husband, Todd for all his
    amazing help and hard work.

    The deer has indeed become all of those things, including roasting the bones and trimmings in the BBQ and making soup stock.

  5. Dan on October 7th, 2014 05:41

    The whole thing is a bit of an experiment isn’t it? We put a lot of effort into planning and scheduling and looking forward to tomorrow, and the trip to tomorrow is actually the event as tomorrow is always another day away!

    My girls are both in school from January and the missus is looking to going back to work full time which is going to make this habit I formed sometime in 2008 completely different.

    The new house will be “finished” – at least will stop spending money building it cause there’s none left! There’s a whole lot of DIY coming my way, lots of picking up and dropping off kids and not a lot of time with the wife! Note that the guns and hunting don’t even get a mention in their and it tears me up to think it’s not just on the back burner, it’s like looking back at someone else’s life!

    So I’ll keep building and making sure that the family is okay. Hopefully there are some new adventures along the way and maybe there’ll be the odd opportunity to take a popper out for a walk, maybe bag a bunny or even roll a hog. Dunno’. At this point I’ve no idea where this experiment will take me.

    Hope yours is okay Phill. No defined target… no criteria for success… I think that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. We just need to make a bit of time to have some fun and help a few people along the way. Great to see you’re still making time to tap out a few thoughts 🙂

  6. Phillip on October 13th, 2014 13:39

    Dan, you’re dead right. If you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans.

    Things will work out, though. They always do.