There is NO Giggling in the Tree Stand

img_5117It was a normal Saturday at the farm. Superman got up early, early with Adam to go deer hunting. Without even a glimpse of the famed 10 pointer, he was seeing on his motion camera set up in the woods, Superman got busy cutting stuff down around the farm. As is usual, he about killed himself on that tractor. He thinks he’s invincible. He tells me later how he almost bit the dust as he was trying to move some huge log out of the way and cutting branches at the same time. A branch hits the mechanism that lifts and lowers the bucket, which this great big log is resting. The bucket starts rising up, up and up, the log rolls down onto the tractor toward him! He yells “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!!!” Dang.img_4608Meanwhile, I’m at home, happily in my craft room, totally oblivious of the potential widow maker happening at the farm…thank goodness. Anyway, later that afternoon, I planned on going down there to visit my girls when the temperatures warmed up. Bees like you checking on them when the weather is pleasant, not chilly and rainy. I showed up, did my inspection of the hives and planned on going back home.IMG_5122.jpgBut Mr. Mr. suggested something different. Why don’t I sit in the deer stand with him? Well, I really wasn’t dressed properly. I had on a bright blue t-shirt and purple shoes.IMG_5125.jpgHe handed me a camouflaged jacket and hat. I worried “What about my shoes? I don’t think deer like purple.” He said “Here, carry this camo fabric. I need to make a skirt for the stand. It will cover your shoes.” Make a skirt?!? That sounds we’re going to be crafting! I’m in!IMG_5127.jpgFYI…you have to get into the stand waayyy before the deer start their carousing around. OK. So we are at the barn, the tractor just minutes ago was roaring, lawn mowers at the neighbors are going, dogs are barking, roosters are crowing but Superman turns to me and whispers “Stick close to me and be very very quiet.” Seriously? We have to be quiet?IMG_5128.jpgWe quietly walk through the pasture. Well sorta. It was like walking through a room with the floor covered in bubble wrap. The grass had been cut in the past week, so the ground was dry and crackly. Every step was crunch, crunch, crunch. It reminded me of coming home late as a teenager and trying so hard not to wake the parents, but hitting that squeaky step. ugh.

So we got to the tree stand that Adam’s friend had reportedly seen some deer from that morning. Superman gave me the hand up signal to stop. Then the two fingers to his eyes to tell me to watch him. (I am trying so hard not to laugh.) When the coast is clear, he signals for me to come.IMG_5129Yeah, it’s pretty high up there.IMG_5132But the view is worth it. It is hard to tell by looking at this picture, but we are high up.IMG_5142Much to my disappointment, there wasn’t much crafting going on up here. We zip tied the skirt to the stand. Of course, when it was my turn to zippity do dah, although I was pulling slowly, I got the look  from Superman for zipping too loudly. (Puhleez)IMG_5138The skirt is up and Yup my shoes are hidden, because these purple shoes would definitely keep a deer from showing up.IMG_5139Ok. So we are all ready to go, right? Nope. Now we gotta spray doe estrous all over the place. I guess its like Magic Potion #9 for bucks. I hear they go crazy when they smell the stuff. (hee hee) Forget that we are suppose to be very very quiet, this guy beside me is rummaging through his backpack, zipping and unzipping, pulling out noisy water bottles hats on, hats off, gloves on, gloves off. Then I get a wad of mucus lodged in my throat and I ever so quietly try to cough it up and I get the look.IMG_5145OOPS! Someone dropped his hat.IMG_5140This is really serious business. I’m given the “two fingers to the eyes” signal with a thumb pointing behind us, meaning I’m in charge of keeping my eyes sharp to any movement in the rear. ( I really want to throw a salute, but I don’t. I just turn in my padded seat and check things out out back.) I hear leaves crunching, I look closer and see it is only a squirrel. I got kinda excited there.IMG_5210I know, I know, I’m suppose to be quiet. As I try to settle in to enjoy this moment in nature, the lawn mowers are still going, dogs are barking, roosters are crowing, mommas are fussing at their kids, the Harley roars by on the road, and someone on the neighboring farm shoots off his gun. But I am suppose to be very very quiet. I think this is kinda funny. I whisper to Superman my silly thought, but he doesn’t think I’m very funny. Which in turn makes me giggle. But there is NO GIGGLING in the tree stand.IMG_5135I think we’re all settled in, each with our appointed duties, now it is time to wait.IMG_5132And wait.IMG_5215and wait. It’s getting dark now, surely the big guy is going to come out of his hidey hole. The sun has gone down. “Um, so how much longer do we wait?”IMG_5219Superman shows me five fingers. He pulls out his green light, which is kinda cool. We can see the wildlife, but they can’t see us. He tells me later that after the sun goes down his binoculars give him about 15 minutes of light. Then the green light helps light up the area unseen to the critters.

In the end, we saw n.o.t.h.i.n.g. I know from watching my guys all these years, there is a science to all this hunting. The camouflage clothes must be washed in no-scent detergent and stored in containers with earth wafers. (These are little discs that smell like dirt.) It is a definite test in endurance and patience. There is importance in which gun you use and which stand you sit in.IMG_5223Ok I admit, I’m not a hunter, but I did enjoy being out there just listening to the sounds of crickets, birds and leaves falling. The warm air turned cool as the sun set, bringing fresh air to my lungs. I appreciated the opportunity to just sit, watch and listen. On one hand I’m glad the big guy didn’t show up, but on the other, I am a little disappointed to not see a doe. (Superman will only shoot an 8 point or above.) I’m not sure, but my purple shoes, small hacks dislodging phlegm, little fits of giggling, and 219 flashes off my camera MAY have scared off the deer. Maybe. I don’t really care. IMG_5224Because most importantly, I appreciate the fact that my guy wanted me to sit in the stand with him.

ANNNND…he took me to the Lighthouse Fish Camp in Pacolet, SC! Fish camps will have to be another day. Let’s just say they are a historical fact here in the Upstate.

Thank you so much for dropping by!


Goin’ A Hawg Huntin’

Back in January I told y’all about Superman’s 50th Birthday.

20140310-144507.jpgI gave my dear husband a hog hunt at Deerfield Plantation in St. George, SC.

20140310-144725.jpgI was a little nervous before we got there, because I wasn’t quite sure about all the details…food, accommodations, guides, scenery, etc.

20140310-145005.jpgThe website did not do the place justice. We arrived at Deerfield late Thursday night in the cold, pouring rain feeling hungry and tired. We were warmly greeted by Hugh, (the owner), into his beautifully restored plantation lodge. After a delicious meal, we all fell into bed, so the guys could be ready to go hunting at 4:30 am. Yup! 4:30 AM! Thank goodness, us girls could just roll over and pull the covers over our heads!

20140310-145716.jpgThe big question on everyone’s mind was “What are the girls going to do without the men?” Puh! Are you kidding me?!? Friday turned out to be a another cold rainy day, so with our yoga pants and fuzzy slippers on, sitting in front of a fire, we read and talked. Hugh made sure our fire was going strong all day long. I think I love Hugh!

This weekend had a long list of characters that made it so fun and forever memorable. Let me introduce you to them…

20140310-152825.jpgOf course, my fam, Superman and the kids, along with friends Amanda and Matt. This was Mary Claire’s college spring break and Adam had earned a weekend pass from the Citadel.

There was Hugh and his lovely wife, Donna. And their 8 year old grandson, Colson, who entertained us with his own hunting exploits.

20140310-153741.jpgYou got Whup and Kevin, the two guides for this weekend. (Yes, Whup is his name.) Kevin tried to come off as a dumb country boy, but he actually had a full academic scholarship to college! Ol Kev patiently answered all 983,712,045 questions that Amanda and I had to know the answers to. Like…”What’s that building over there for?” “When do you feed the cows?” “How long does it take to dress a pig?” “Do you have any pets?” And the guys’ favorite…”Can we come along?”

20140310-153932.jpgNow Whup is what we call a character! Whup tells us he’s going back to school. For what, you may ask? To become a full fledged Santa Claus, of course!

20140310-154519.jpgWhup is engaged to be married for the sixth time to his fourth wife, Cathy.

20140310-154610.jpgThere’s Ms Julia May, the talented cook with a tongue as sharp as the knife she used to cut the onions. This gal makes the best fried chicken! Amanda and I mosied on over to her kitchen to watch her cook and hopefully get a few tips. Want to know what the secret ingredient is for field peas, mashed potatoes, green beans, casseroles, stews, and basically anything else that comes from her kitchen? Bacon! Yummy, yummy, yummy! I love bacon! Now, Ms. Julia-May comes off all mean and aloof, but she loves these guys like family.

20140310-160136.jpgAnother big character in this story is Tyler, MC’s boyfriend. This is actually the first time we’ve met him! (We briefly got introduced before their first date.) How brave it was for him come and hang out with us. I can honestly say, that of all the characteristics I’ve prayed for in MC’s future husband for the past 21 years, this guy has them all. He’s smart, funny, athletic, engaging, responsible and most of all, a Godly man. We don’t know how their story will end, but I know that he’s a keeper. In fact, Hugh, Whup and Kevin said Tyler was a goodin. Can’t get any better than that!

20140310-160947.jpgThere was Amos. Oh my goodness! This is one sweet dog. On Friday, when it was so cold and rainy, Amanda and I were introduced to this shivering, skinny dog. We begged Hugh to let us bring him in by the fire so we could warm him up and rub his belly. (Amos really likes having his head rubbed too, just so you know.) Whup and Kevin busted out laughing! They said they would pay to see that happen. Needless to say, Hugh put the squash on that idea. Poor Amos. The next day when it warmed up so, we couldn’t find him. They said he was probably out hunting squirrels and seeing his girlfriend a couple of farms away.

20140310-161721.jpgWell, on Sunday I still didn’t see him, so I hollered out “AAAAAMUS!” Next thing you know, he comes out from behind the bushes, stretching out straight, howling and barking! Amos! It didn’t take long for him to be snuggling up to us girls.

20140310-162018.jpgHere he is getting some love from Thomas that afternoon. Kevin said he was going to have a car check to make sure Amos wasn’t being dognapped. Oh Kev….would we do such a thing? (Notice how Amos is laying his head on Amanda’s arm…don’t tell us he isn’t in love!)

20140312-090900.jpgDuring the morning hunt on Saturday and Sunday, when the weather turned beautiful, we went exploring.

20140312-091058.jpgThis is the guest house, which is a two bedroom, cozy cottage on the property.

20140312-091257.jpgWe all stayed in the main lodge. This way Whup, who lives there several months out of the year, could easily wake the guys up each morning. “Boys, time to get up!” Us girls could lazily walk into the kitchen for coffee and morning chatter with the guys.

20140312-091614.jpgWe walked around the property checking out the fishing pond and dog pens. (I wish I had taken pictures of the dogs.) Let’s just say that Hugh, Whup and Kevin were very thankful that we didn’t open all the cages to love on all the dogs. Amanda worked her magic on a few skittish dogs, having them go from scared to melting into her hand.

20140312-091947.jpgAhhhh…my dream life, a big old porch with rocking chairs and a good book.

20140312-092005.jpgThe scenery was bee-u-tiful!

20140312-092152.jpgWhen it was time to go pick up our boys from the stands for lunch, we would hop in the trucks to tag along. I think Whup and Kevin liked having us ride shotgun.

20140312-092406.jpgHere’s Adam in his stand. He was the only hunter to see a hog on the whole trip. He shot it, but because these animals have such tough skins, it got away.


20140312-092617.jpgTo attract the hogs, the guides put out sour corn, or stinky feed, or corn mash. Mary Claire wanted to see how smelly it really was. She confirmed it.

20140312-092754.jpgWhen we passed this old oak tree, I hollered out STOP! Good old Whup put the brakes on, so I could take a picture.

20140312-092926.jpgDuring one of the afternoon hunts, the girls and Tyler hung out at the lodge playing cards and talking to Hugh and Kevin. Hugh told us more history and stories about the plantation. Back in the day, sugar cane was grown on the farm and the extractor still rests out back. Amanda was very interested in buying one of the many “syrp pots” Hugh has collected. (Needless to say, an authentic syrp pot is out of her price range.)

20140312-093649.jpgHearing that we had never tasted sugar cane syrup, Hugh snuck into the kitchen to bake some biscuits. Mmmmm they were soooo good!

20140312-093858.jpgThis is the kitchen house where Ms. Julia-May worked her magic. When asked what her favorite dish to make was, she answered “pork pot”. Personally, I have never had such a dish, so I asked “Pray-tell, What the heck is such a thang?” Kevin answered “Everything from the rooter to the tooter except the squeal!” Okie dokie. There you go.

20140312-094432.jpgOne of my favorite things to do, was to sit on the back steps in the sun talking. Talking with the boys about their hunt, asking Hugh, Whup and Kevin questions about life in St. George and just plain enjoying this experience with some wonderful people.

20140312-094844.jpgWhen the sun went down, the guides and their female sidekicks would ride out to pick up the guys. We’d come back to a delicious home cooked meal. Miss Donna would join us for dinner and we’d talk, laugh and listen to story after story.

20140312-095245.jpgI don’t know for sure, we met only a few days ago, but we may be getting a wedding invitation to Whup and Cathy’s wedding any day now. Deerfield Plantation will always be close to my heart.

Thanks for dropping by!