Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday: Culture Shock...

November 22, 2010

We started our morning around 6:00 (or.. 7:00 our time). Woke up, got dressed, and went upstairs. We grabbed a cinnamon roll and some orange juice as Toby and the kids scurried around upstairs getting ready for school. They go to school until Wednesday at lunch. Macy came in from outside hoping that it was light out, but daybreak hadn't quite hit yet. So, he fed some cows & we went back downstairs to relax for about 20 more minutes. Soon, Toby was at the top of the stairs,
"Macy's ready if you guys are!" she said. 
I was ready, and I was excited.

I made my way to the garage to put on my (not-so-warm-after-all) boots and was greeted by their 3 cow dogs and their basset hound. After placing my boots on my chilled toes, I walked out the door. -3 degrees in Glasgow, Montana today, folks! The air is crisp and dry here, not wet & humid, but either way you look at it - it's COLD.

I found Macy standing beside the truck looking out of his binoculars (or vinyls, as he calls them) towards all of the deer in his harvested corn field. They marked it like little Hershey Kisses on top of whipped cream as they stood dispersed out over the snow. I counted 32, but there could've been more than that. 

We ended up seeing around 150 deer this morning, but he most memorable one was probably midway through the morning. We made the same "loops" (as we call them) or "routes" (pronounced "roots", as they call them) as we did yesterday, but the scenery was different this morning. 

There is lots of sage grass here, and barbed wire fences too, so we are at home in that area. We stopped in the middle of the road to check out the deer in the field to our left, and Daddy noticed one behind the sage on the other side of the barbed wire fence. When he finally raised his head, Macy caught a glimpse of his movement, and he claimed him as a 5 by 5 (I called him a good ole' 10 point)! Either way you decide to look at it, he was a nice deer. He gave me an easy 67 yard shot, but I turned it down. It wasn't necessarily due to the fact that I didn't WANT to shoot him, but I didn't want to shoot one that Macy didn't make a big deal about. After all, he is around these beautiful creatures everyday.

He [Macy] thought he was smaller, but once the ole boy came out into the open, Macy quickly changed his mind to something greater than "small."

I may regret not shooting that deer...

This afternoon we went back out around 1:30 and scanned some of Macy's friends land. We didn't see many deer there aside from a few does. 

We made a few more loops (or a "root") around, and we saw the buck he's been telling us about since we met him at the airport. His G2's were longer than any deer i've ever laid eyes on, but most of the deer's size here ARE larger than i've ever seen. I could shoot them all, really! I have to stop myself from drooling while trying to fumble around with either the camera or the binoculars.

He had hardly no mass at all, but he made up for that in length, I guess. 

He was an awesome deer, and that's really all I can say.

We saw a few more small bucks, but the snow caused such a fog that it was hard to decipher through what was what. 

The people here are just like ones at home, in a sense. 
Everyone waves at everyone.
Everyone knows everyone.
& everyone helps one another out in times of need.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday: Testing Montana Grounds...

November 21, 2010

It's so weird thinking I'm IN Montana right now. We woke up around 7:00, and Macy (our outfitter) was back with our hunting stuff. It was freezing because it had been kept in an outside storage facility. So, after putting my hunting clothes on, and thawing out (sort of) we were off to see what we could see.
I thought the snow was pretty yesterday.
Walking outside was like walking into a pool of diamonds and crystals. Everything, even the cows, were laden with snow.

As I walked to the truck, I made a mental note of the sound of snow crunching underneath my boots like I do whenever I'm at home, so that I won't forget the sound, the feeling. Although, I remind myself that I have plenty of time to let this sound sink in, after all, we'll be here all week.

We hopped in the truck and headed towards town. The town of Glasgow is a lot like Macon. They have no wal-mart (the nearest one is 50 miles away), and no where (other than Dairy Queen and McDonald's) to eat. There are lots of old businesses, and their houses are in the mix of town as well. 

We were going into town to cross over & try out my gun at the rifle range to make sure it had made it through the traveling all right. 
It had.

So, onto scouting out some whitetails!
The first corner we rounded there were 3 does & a buck was bedded down among them. He was a nice 8 or 10 point, with a decent amount of mass. Across the field from him was the same scenario, except this deer didn't have nearly the mass as the one we had just seen. 

Does were everywhere. It was neat to see them react to the truck because they weren't reacting at all, really.

We are scouting/hunting out of the truck because Macy owns the land and he is a cattle farmer. So, we can either go anywhere on his land, or we can go places that he has been given permission to hunt. We saw some pretty mule deer, and I can't even count how many nice whitetails we saw.

The deer here have an entirely different look and attitude. They look nearly double in body weight due to their winter coats (which obviously are a tad thicker due to the harsher winters they have there), and they're right in the middle of rutting & the does makes them CRAZY.

Their attitudes are different just because they see a vehicle, and for the most part, go back to whatever they were doing before. They may trot a few steps away, but they don't totally freak out like our deer here.

We went down to the top of the Milk River Bank, and found a nice 10 point. He had a doe on his mind, but Macy tried rattling (yes, rattling, from the truck) him back towards us. 

No such luck; although, 4 NEW bucks made their way down the bank to see what the racket was all about.

The landscaping here is all very open with few trees. Deer often flee to the riverbank or ditches to escape the winds. The cows also flee to the ditches, but they have barns they can use as shelter from the winds. It's cold, ya'll. Us southern people only think we're cold when it's 25 degrees, but I learned a whole new meaning of cold today... I can't imagine what it will be like when the sun isn't shining.

Other things I saw today include: 
a bald eagle... 


Toby, Macy's wife, made sloppy joe's for lunch and 5 bean chili for supper. I haven't ever had chili like that, but I loved it! That's her normal way of cooking is, so when we told her that we only had one - she thought that was crazy.

A little about our outfitter & his family...

Macy & Toby live in a ranch house that was built before Toby was born. She's grown up on the house. 

Her parent's moved up the hill (not even a 1/2 mile away) into a home they built, while Macy & Toby started their family in the ranch house. He took over the ranch, and has around 500 head of cattle to tend to now. 

Toby is a kindergarten school teacher, and she is also a very generous and sweet woman! 
Their kids, Randi Jo & Trevor are also sweet. They are both in elementary school.

They're into rodeoing, and they love video games! 
They have a Wii in the living area, and earlier Randi, Trevor and their cousin, Flint, were playing.
It was fun to hear them talk amongst themselves about the game.

Cottonwood trees are in the majority here, if there can be a majority. 
Obviously the timber business isn't too prominent in this area. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday: Cleared for Takeoff...

this is for my own remembrance, so if i go into non-important details, please disregard.
If you make it through this entire week series, thank you for taking the time to enjoy my 
detailed experience. 

November 20, 2010

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Birmingham last night, and I got no, none, zip, zero amount of sleep. Was it due to the hibernating bear in the bed to my right? Or was it the anxiety of the trip I have been dreaming of?
Either way, no sleep was to be found for my body.

We woke up at 5am this morning, got dressed & ready, and (that was when I realized I did not have mascara. Of all things, MASCARA) headed out! We arrived at the airport around 6am, and made it through security with no problems (Sidenote: we mailed all of our hunting things -clothes, gun, ammo- ahead of time, so all we had to worry about was carry on bags. I carried my camera bag & purse, and dad carried his rolling carry-on bag with overnight back-up clothes), and all that was left to do was wait. So, we sat in our concourse and watched the arriving/departing airplanes. 
 Around 7:40, we began to line up to board our plane. I was not nervous at all. In fact, I was excited. I think Daddy thought I was a little nervous, so he carefully went over all that would be happening as we took off, and no fear was present. PTL. 

Being in the clouds is like running (FAST) through a white smoke. I've always had a visual of what it would be life, but it was nothing like this. I thought the wings of the aircraft would peel apart the clouds, but instead they drifted through them at a calm pace. Being above the clouds was like scanning (closely) over the top of a bowl of marshmellows: except, when you come back to reality and realize that you are, in fact, above the clouds - it is nothing short of a breathtaking experience.
I don't understand how anyone who's ever been in an airplane could choose to believe there is no God.

We landed in Minneapolis around 11:20, and our next flight was at 12. On our way to our concourse, I promise I saw the Eli Young Band. Now, i'll never know for sure, but I will say I did =) Anyway, snow was on the ground, and I was going through somewhat of a culture shock. I was overwhelmed, but what Mississippian wouldn't be overwhelmed by snow STICKING on the ground?

We landed in Billings a little after 2, and our next flight was scheduled at 3:55, but we had to get our boarding passes here because we were switching airlines to a smaller one that would take us straight into Glasgow (the destination, home to the Milk River). It was snowing fairly hard once we got there, and we had time to go through security check again (which wasn't as smooth as the first time because they ran my purse through 4 times, my camera bag 2 times, daddy's carry-on 3 times, and then swabbed his boots). After that, we strolled through the gift shop. After settling down, having lunch (a pretzel), and watching the end of the LSU vs. OM game, they closed the airport. It was nearly minutes before we boarded our plane. 

So, we waited.
and waited.
and waited.
and I made friends with a nice old Northern man.
and then we waited.

We had a false alarm, causing us to walk down the terminal thinking we were fixing to board, only to be called back to wait some more until we actually did board.

Once we got our things together, we headed outside, but there was no real terminal. We had to walk out (in the snow, in my moccasins, in the freezing cold) to the plane. When we got on, there was no change in temperature, and aiport employee's were working to de-ice the plane. 

Nervous? Yes. 
The pilots were literally trying to scrape off ice from the INside of the plane's windshield.
My fists clenched, and I chewed my gum in a fierce manner the whole time. Although it was only about a 45 minute flight, it felt like two hours of nose-diving and U-turns.

If that had been my first flying experience, I would have [gladly] walked the rest of the way. 
I just wanted to be on the ground, safe again.

In the midst of our entire day, Daddy had been calling the outfitters with no answers on their phones, so he would leave updates on their voice mails. Once we reached Glasgow, we walked inside & no one was there to retrieve us. 
So, we waited again.

Soon, there was a tall, nearly bald man standing inside the door brushing off the snow, 
"Are you Julianna?" he said with a thick Northern voice. 
"Yes'r, I am." I replied with all my Southern brawl.
And so it began, the trip back to their home (which would become our home for the week), into their garage, inside their home, down their stairs to their other "living area" (which also serves as living quarters for hunters). Our clothes, as I mentioned earlier, were shipped to a different location and were to be picked up in the morning. 
Sleep came easy, Daddy was in a different room.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guest Blogger: BEWARE

I’m Hollie, and I’m so excited that Julianna asked me to guest blog for her while she is hunting the Milk River. I’m a blogger, but I read them religiously! I’ll never be good with words the way she is either, but I will try! I just wanted to give ya’ll an update on she and her Daddy. They had a pretty easy trip on Saturday. They had only one delay in Billings, MT because of snow. From what I hear, she LOVED flying. This was an answer to our prayers. We all know how nervous she was.  I have talked to her every day since she has been gone. They had a great day yesterday (Sunday). It is extremely cold like when I say cold, I mean 3 degrees kind of cold and LOTS of snow! I won’t say anymore about her trip. I will let her be the one to tell all of the stories and fun adventures that they are experiencing.  And we all know she’ll have LOTS of pictures to show when she returns!
Megan and I have been doing nothing. Town is boring without our best friend!  It’s definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas though, and I absolutely love it! We can’t wait for Julianna and Mr. Bobby to be home!!  Julianna, I know you are reading this, so have a GREAT senior trip! We love you bunches! Come home soon, and don’t forget the big kill when you come! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Our Last "Hoop-la!"

Today wrapped up classes for a week. 

I am so glad to be done for a little while.

Tonight we (Megan, Hollie, and I) decided to go out before we (or I) were apart from each other for a week. I can't tell you when the last time I hadn't seen them in a WEEK would've been. It shall be sad!

We went to our "local" (but not really) Hibachi grill, and it was wonderful. 
I'm not a steak eater, big shocker, I know, but I ordered it tonight, and I was pleased! I think my problem with steak is the texture, and most of the store bought ones are too thick and ..ugh.. for me. The Hibachi one was thin. I don't know, maybe i'm growing into more beef? I'm not sure, but I still can't stand hamburgers (for the most part, sometimes on rare occasions I'll eat one). Eh, take it back, I don't think my feelings for beef are growing. 

I'm a picky eater, and I get reminded quite often. 

We also ordered some "sushi". I put " " because technically it isn't sushi. It's cooked, and then it's put into a sushi roll. It still has the seaweed and rice outer layer, but the meat is "crunchy" (or fried as we Southerner's say).

It looks SORT of like this:


Crunchy Shrimp Roll. The white meat inside is crab meat. 
(and i'm afraid of the whole "raw meat" thing too, so all of you who have stereotyped sushi -- disregard.)


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge: Conclusion

Thank you ALL for being so faithful to my blog throughout this challenge! It has been tons of fun for me!
Doesn't it take 21 days to make a habit? Eh, I don't know, but I do feel like blogging will be something I try to make more time for. It has been neat to see the responses I've gotten and checking the tracking bar to see who all has visited! 

I cannot wait to share with you about the trip to Montana! I am overwhelmed by excitement, and I am looking forward to the quality time spent with my Daddy. That is the treasure that will  never be taken away from me. Although Mom won't be coming along, I know she will enjoy the time spent with HER mom. 
I will definitely miss my family and my friends during this time. Hopefully I won't be too far out of the way & I'll be able to send them a text or call them at night. It will be so strange being away from them for an entire week! We are going to eat Hibachi tomorrow night and Thanksgiving at the school Friday (we aren't leaving until later that afternoon). So, we will be spending as much time together as possible prior to leaving, but they WILL be missed. 

Not being here for Thanksgiving will definitely be odd, but this is "a hunt of a lifetime" opportunity, and I am so thankful for the chance to go! 

As far as pre-nervousness, I have none! I thank all of you who have been praying for our travels because up until around two weeks ago I was VERY nervous about flying, but since then I have had a peace about it. If anything, I've become excited about being up there! 

I won't be taking my computer, but I have mailed a notebook to journal while i'm gone, and when I get back I will blog daily about the events! 

Thanks again for taking time out of your day to read my rambling on! I've enjoyed this series, and now I'll be back to scraping the jar on what to blog about! Ha! I hope to get in on more weekly challenges going on with the bloggers I follow. 

I make no promises about this.

ONE LAST THING: Be sure to scroll down & read my last (double) entry on the challenge!!

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day Twenty Six/Seven!

Ok! I am doing two in one today for a few reasons...

1.) I am rushing the blog challenge to finish by.. well, tonight really.

2.) I have all ready alternated Day 29 (it was supposed to be "Bucket List"), so I wouldn't have a topic for day 29 anyway.

3.) I want to be done by noon Friday so that I can blog about the trip!


Day Twenty Six: A photo of your family...

(excuse the fact that the majority of these are graduation photos. They're the most recent.)

immediate family.

"extended family" on mom's side, minus her brother & his wife and son.

(hey, they may as well be family!)

Day Twenty Seven: Pets

the day they brought her home for me =) 

this was taken the night before she got sick with parvo. We left her at the vet for 2 days, bless her heart. So thankful she was okay!

(excuse the red eye)

Christmas day with our "beanies" on, and Marlee looking SO interested.

These next few are outtings to the farm!

and most recently! She's smilin' =)

sweet, sweet 
Mallard Marlee Made.