Monday, March 10, 2008

This Weekend at Camp...

"If you have no regrets, then you haven't lived." I now have fewer regrets. I have shot rifles, thrown weapons and eaten like I didn't care. And I can't blame any of it on hormones.

BOW is (sigh) over. And I am very sad. It was camp-meets-retreat-meets-outdoors education-meets-recreation-meets-"stretch yourself, why don't you?" And just for kicks, God threw in a little SNOW in ALABAMA Saturday morning.

Some women have been attending this event for YEARS and have their own guns, knives, bows and arrows and more. I want to be one of them. And maybe in a couple of years, I will be. For now, all I know is this: Hang with about 200 women for a weekend, and you learn that we all bring a little something to the table. While sitting on the banks of the pond Sunday morning, a fellow angler explained to me what it means to "haul pulp" and how they make toilet paper and napkins at the paper mill. I helped define "garden home." We all learned something. A win/win.

A Fish Tale

This is not the bait. This is the first catch of the day and would have been enough to feed a family of ... one. Of one 5-year-old who doesn't like fish and who is told, "Eat two bites, or you can't have dessert. It's BRAIN food." Still, a catch is a catch. I didn't want to go to the trouble of finding a taxidermist and a space on my office wall, so I threw him back to swim with his family.

For you fellow anglers who might be curious as to how I caught this award-winning bass, I'll tell you that I used a standard rod and reel and a real live worm. Worked like a charm. I hope it works for you, too.

Let's Shoot a Gun!
What I couldn't master with knives and tomahawks (they went above, around and
even under the target), I more than made up for with rifles -- semiautomatics, muzzleloaders, flint and bolt-action. Look just between my hands in the picture, and you'll see smoke. Too cool. No animals were mistreated or killed in the making of this picture. Just shot a hole in a piece of paper, that's all. You might be interested to know that I also had gun powder on my hands (before and after the gloves). I washed before lunch so that I wouldn't suffer lead poisoning and be rendered illiterate.

Hey, What's Shakin' at the Craft Hut?
OK, there was no craft hut. But there was a room where you could try your hand at fashioning your own fishing lures before heading out for a morning of fishing. And just an arm's length away was a bucket of beads and doo-dads! I made this necklace. And my jealous friend, Kellie, walked by while on her way to Backyard Wildlife and ordered one for herself. I attached a metal clasp to her necklace so that she can hang a pair of nail clippers, a name badge at the hospital, or perhaps her keys. Whatever suits her fancy.

A little how-to: The cord is made of hemp (not that kind of hemp), and I cut a length of about 28 inches. Then I strung the selected beads, careful to make the design symmetrical, so as not to upset the OCD balance. After I finished stringing the beads and metal doo-dads, I tied the ends into a simple double-knot. And then I put it around my neck. Voila! An addition to my jewelry collection! (Mine also has the metal hook action in the middle so that I, too, can fasten anything that I need to keep up with. I don't generally wear a name badge, but I could add a library card or perhaps a grocery store discount card.) Estimated time of completion: Less than five minutes.

And a footnote ...
This blog is now the big 4-0! I may have signed up with Blogger back in August '06, but I didn't start posting until late '07. And in that short time, I've cranked out 40 posts. In fact, you are reading No. 40. Throughout its short lifetime, it has had a facelift, a few mid-life crises and more than its share of mighty bouts with self-esteem issues. But 40 is the new 30, as they say. Whatever that means. And because blogging is, for most of us, a NON-PAYING GIG, this is a volunteer position-- a volunteer position that often takes time away from the PAYING GIGS and the looming deadlines that ensure a paycheck. So, if you're reading this, thank you.

In related news, if you found this blog at, a hearty thank you! It doesn't increase my pay, my book deals or anything else except my ranking and maybe my self-esteem. And if you're a chick, you know that's pretty cool.

Have an awesome Monday....