Yesterday was Thanksgiving–a day to reflect on all the things you are thankful for. I was fortunate enough to spend the day on stand in the woods reflecting on every thing imaginable. I came to the conclusion that life may not always be what you imagined, but it is always a grand journey.

The post I placed on Facebook on our drive to Kentucky in the wee-hours of the night on Wednesday pretty much sums up my Thanksgiving thoughts:

“Be thankful for ALL things in your life…the hardships, the trials, the joys–for it is the hardships that make us strong, the trials that we learn lessons from & the joys that make us humble. I bought a ticket to this world the day I was born & I will forever give faith a fighting chance. Always believe in yourself & when given the opportunity–NEVER sit it out; especially for fear of failure. Failure is the opportunity to do it bigger & better. Life is short, you have to live it long. HAPPY THANKSGIVING, my friends–may your day be blessed with happiness & the renewal of faith in all the things currently in your life. {Special prayers for our Military families that are unable to spend the day together.}”

The hunting was pretty slow Thursday, so I had a lot of time to ponder things while on stand. Checking my email on Crackie, I had a few emails in reference to the Prois Award. I cannot express or put into words how honored and humbled I am to be a finalist in this competition. There are some really great women in the running and I would have never dreamed my name would have been one of them. If you haven’t had the opportunity, go to the website and peruse the candidates and place your vote. The voting is open until December 15th. Each woman hunter brings their own story to the competition and are such a diversified group of women. If the others feel like I do, they already feel like a winner to have made it into the top 12 finalist of the 70 participants….what an honor. See http://www.proishunting.com/proisaward.

For Thanksgiving Richard and I had a feast of venison sloppy Joes, Lays Classic potato chips, Little Debbie Nutty Bars and cokes from the hotel vending machine…all served on Chinette paper plates. We enjoyed it all the same.

Our Thanksgiving Feast: Venison Sloppy Joes, Lays Classic Potato Chips, Little Debbie Nutty Bars and Coke from the hotel vending machine.

We started Friday off with a early rise so that we would have time to get into the stand with plenty of time to spare–that went off without a hitch. It is awesome to have a system where everything works like a fine Swiss watch…but that is easy to do when your hunting partner/cameraman is your spouse. We know each other all too well. We were on stand for 3.5 hours and had seen about 8 deer, of which were 4 bucks…all of those sightings were before 7:30 a.m. By 9:30 a.m. I was eager to get down because we had discussed moving the stand we were in to the area where we had seen the majority of the deer traveling too. The deer were coming across a pasture on the right side of us and even across a ridge in front of us and traveling through a bottom and up another hill which was out of sight. Both of us had the feeling that we were not seeing all of the deer funneling through that bottom and we needed to be closer to that area–or at least at a different advantage point.

As Murphy’s Law would have it….the minute my feet hit the ground with an unloaded gun, 4 does were coming out onto the pasture. They heard me and took off snorting, blowing and flagging their tails for the entire woods to see. I heard Richard mumble under his breath something just barely audible. All I said was, “Dag-nab-it!!” At this point, three hunting trips in this same stand, I was ready to see new scenery. We did get the stand moved during the middle of the day. We had not planned on hunting the stand that afternoon but at the last minute decided to go sit in the stand because of a nice tall 10-point sighting in the adjacent pasture on our hunting property. Besides getting in the stand this afternoon meant that the camera arm and other items would be in place for the morning hunt making it a lot quieter for us to get in the stand.

We didn’t get settled in the stand until late so we only had a 2-hour sit. My hopes were renewed when within the first hour a nice 8 point came within 80-90 yards of our stand. I watched him for about 15 minutes in front of the stand and then watched him as he walked to the edge of the creek and back the way he came in…staying on our property. He is going to make a heck of a deer next year or within the next few years, if he can dodge the broadhead and bullet. He doesn’t know how lucky he was that today was not his day.

A nice 8 point that came by our stand. He will make a great future harvest in a couple years. (Bad photo quality due to a still of video footage captured just prior to losing filming light.)

Some time today I did something to my ankle. It isn’t sprained, but I have a pain that comes and goes under the inside ankle bone. I can walk normal about 10-15 steps then have to hobble about 20 only to get another 10-15 steps before the pain comes back. Very strange, but I am sure it something temporary. Getting back to the hotel room tonight, I soaked my ankle, then I wanted to get some heat on it…usually having everything you can think of, a heating pad is something that I didn’t have. NO PROBLEM. I found a pack of Toastie Toes in my backpack. I peeled off the back and stuck both to the area that was giving me the problem….it is amazing how well these things are working. MacGyver (who was my hero for years) would be proud of me. So, I am headed off to bed, with heat on ankle, hoping tomorrow is as good or better than today was—but regardless, I will be happy spending time 20 feet closer to Heaven in my front row seat watching the show.

MacGyver would be proud of me...Toastie Toes in place on my ankle. All should be well when I wake up in the morning.

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