Monday, September 27, 2010

DivaWow Clinic - Sat Sept 25 2010 - Elm Fork Shooting Range

I knew this was a female organization for women and outdoor sports such as bow & arrow, shotguns, rifles, handguns and fishing.  Their web sites show girly females, makeup, jewelry and all.  And boy was it ever a great day.  It rained like crazy until some time after lunch but what a lot of fun, support, and instruction!

Two of my sessions, fly casting and fly spinning ended up under the pavilion with the instructions demonstrating what they were talking about - the rods act as lightning rods and it was lightning outside pretty good.  In fact, they were watching the river levels and at a certain point, we would have to evacuate in 1 hour.  The shooting range flooded last weekend and apparently does so often during heavy rains - but that's good because otherwise the land would be too valuable to keep as a range.  I loved the fact that the older ladies (and I wasn't expecting it at all) were very feminine - nail polish, jewelry and makeup.  Their hands were so delicate - you could tell they wore hats or had used sun screen on their faces but some hands had plenty of sun exposure.  They were all great.

The bow and arrow session was conducted in the pouring down rain.  They had 2 shooting ranges, one with regular targets and the other had some 'animals' for target practice and some shooting  thing - I think they may be called blinds.  I did pretty darn good and hit the target every time.  It was fun.  My concern at not being able to move my elbow to prevent bruising was unfounded - my elbow won't turn the way that would cause bruising!

The shotgun session was in the downpour as well.  I was shotting a Beretta 20 and I did manage to hit one of the orange things!  There wasn't as much kick as I expected but it was hard to do soaking wet and my fingers and cheek were just downright slippery.

Lunch was extremely good.  Fried chicken, potato salad, green beans and a big cookie.  I'm not sure how they kept the chicken from being soggy with all the humidity but it was really good.  And about the only time the pavilion was really quiet.

The semi-automatic session was a blast!  All but 1 shot was in the circle and 1 hit the top of the  target - but as the instructor said, if that had been someone in the house, they'd be dead - which is what I would want anyway - assuming they got in the house anyway.  This requires ear protection (and much more than what I had) as well as eye protection.  But I think this is what I'm going to try next.  It was more fun than I expected.

I missed the rifle session.  oops

The next day my arms were soooo sore.   I didn't have a bruise from the shotgun either.  So I need to work on a different part of my arms now.   Gotta go find a class to take!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Leftovers from Hurrican Hermine on 9/8/2010

The only time I saw the sun or some simblance of daylight was in the evening when the clouds parted enough to let the sun through for a few minutes.  The rest of the day was varying degrees of dark.  The rain was gentle, then would disappear then come pounding down with a fury!  I got up a few times to check the the roof over the hot water heater but it didn't leak at all - very glad I got that fixed earlier in the year.

When the rain let up for a bit around 11am yesterday, I went out and turned the rain barrel stand upside down to let it catch water along with the garden  barrow.  LOL when I went out again at noon, they were full.  I wasn't expecting that.  I had to go empty the rain gauge as it was full at 5".  I had an umbrella but had to wade through several inches of water and got soaked anyway.

The plan is to put the water in the rain barrel that isn't hooked up to the gutters.  LOL.  After cleaning out the patio gutters, I am not sure I want it hooked up to the roof gutters.

I also made sure some of the french drains were uncovered - they are more mosquito breeding farms unless it rains very hard. It wasn't until around noon that I could see where the french drain comes out in the front yard - I was getting worried that they were all clogged up.  But around noon, the fountain spray appeared and there's some mulch in the middle of the grass - guess there was more mulch in the drains than I thought.

There was a river in the alley.  Going pretty fast.  Fun to watch.

It stopped long enough for me to go out and get the mail.  But when I got back to the front porch I saw ants all over the brick.  I sprayed and then went to Lowe's for more ant spray.  Used 3 cans.  I hate ants in the house... or on the house.  There were even little ant eggs!  gross.  They need to stay in the ground away from the house.  Then they can do what they want.  I still remember the fire ant horror show.  yuck.

There was an additional 1.25" of rain in the rain gauge by the time the sun set.  That's a total of 6.25"  for the day.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

East Texas Roam - The Shed / Blue Moon Gardens

We took off this morning for Blue Moon Gardens and were going to meet friends for lunch at The Shed.  We were on some of the coolest roads (1 was even a 1 lane road as in 2 cars shared the same little road - well, 2 SUVs tried to share but 1 was nice and stayed still partially on the side of the road to let the qawking city kid slowly go by).  Gentle turns & hills, no passing lanes (wow - haven't seen those in a long time), a long horn steer, a road runner, lots of trees and small ponds. Google map took us on a leisurely route which was fine with me.

Other than a minor direction error (iPhones didn't get a signal in several areas), it was a nice ride.  Not too hot, not wet and not hot & sticky.

We met up with some friends in Edom at The Shed.  They've made a few changes since I was here a while back.  There's a new front door (I like the double screen doors better) and it looks like they've added on a room.  We sat under a vent and it felt like they thought we were still having 100+ degree days. brrrr

Service was slow especially considering we got there before the line started.  I thought I was going to get up and go by some candy at the front of the store (yes, much like some other country stores, the front door takes you through the gift area).  In hindsight, I'm glad we didn't get the yeast rolls before our meal.  I never would have made it out the door!
But the food more than made up for it.  I had chicken fried steak that could be cut with a fork.  There was 1 brisket special (smelled really good and disappeared too), and 2 chicken tenders orders  - several ordered tater tots but I had mashed potatoes and a salad
There was quite a conversation when ordered about gravy.  At least 1 of the yankees likes milk/cream gravy but the other 2 (including the brisket order) wanted brown gravy.  Can you imagine?  I can't.   Brown gravy goes with roast and turkey.  Cream gravy with biscuits, chicken and everything else.   I will never forget the time she told me she'd never had cream gravy until long after she arrived in Texas.  It was probably a good thing I wasn't driving at the time.

You can tell the food is good when it gets very quiet after all the oohs and ahhhs.

There was another discussion over tater tots.  I love good tater tots.  We were split on Sonic's tater tots but I have to say that I've never made it home from Sonic (even with a to-go order) with any tater tots.  They just disappear.  When my brother and SIL brought some home one time when I was recovering from yet another scooter accident, Sam (the male cat) quickly stuck his head in the sack and ran off with one!  The tater tots here must have been good too.

The desserts were very good and gobbled up quickly.  I had buttermilk, there was 1 lemon box pie, another buttermilk and I'm not sure what the other dessert was.  I didn't get a picture of the buttermilk pie because I wasn't thinking clearly enough - it was just so good and not sickly sweet.  One of the friends we met up with ordered 4 pies to take home (the whole pie not just a slice - and to be fair - one was for the other person that rode with him).  He drove down from Little Elm one time in December in the snow to get pies from The Shed so you know the pies are excellent.

Instead of leaving Edom, we wandered through 2 of the small shops next to The Shed.  My friend (she's a yankee from the city) asked about the sounds outside.  It was crickets.  I couldn't help but laugh, I expect that sound when I'm out of the city.  Yes, I usually consider myself a city kid......  but she'd never heard them so close to the highway.  Well, main street is more like it.    Anyway, the first store had great stuff outside but the interior was claustrophobic.  They had birdhouses, metail furniture and some other cool stuff - like bottle trees.

The 2nd shop had some wonderful handcarved fantasy type birdhouses.  Quite expensive but the craftmanship was wonderful.

We took off for Blue Moon Gardens which was just a few miles away.   I love this place.  They had butterflies (well at least I didn't have to explain butterflies but I'm not sure she saw them wither).  The butterfly is orange and it's hard to find but it is there.  It was roaming around the orange flowers in front.

And then there was the gazing ball - she'd never seen a gazing ball either.  I have a small one but I usually forget to put it outside during the warm months - I store it in the garage during hail season and the winter.  Blue Moon Gardens has several unusual ones. 

They also have fairy gardens.  I was disappointed that they don't have any fairy garden classes this year.  They do have a lot of fixtures and other things to create fairy gardens.  There are several very large ones here and there were a few small ones.   Next to one of the buildings, they have a fairy garden in the garden bed instead of a pot.  

I bought a Texas Bird of Paradise tree.  The lady I spoke with has hers in the part of the yard that doesn't get much water.  I know they are drought tolerant but I've had other people tell me they need lots of water.  Mine was about 9' tall and made it through the winter but it up and died a few weeks ago.  There are a few shoots coming from the base of the tree but those may die when I cut the trunk.  I noticed there were some awful white things on the trunk that weren't there a few weeks ago.  I'm not sure that the back yard was getting enough water even though when I water, I water deep as opposed to often.  Oh well, I'll try again.
The trip home was nice and lazy.  The entire trip was good, I enjoyed the food, the company and the scenery outside the big city.   Already planning the next foodie trip.