Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hello blogosphere, its been awhile.

Hey everyone, let me start out by apologizing since I havent blogged since October, when really, a million things that are worth blogging about have happened since then. I was hoping my lovely lady would blog, but she is too hummble to think that anyone is intrested in anything she has to say (which isnt true Amy)! Anyways, I have alot of things in my head that I want to blog about, so I am going to start this blog the same way I started the last, with an outline!

This Blog will include:

1.Updates on how P90x has been going

2. A final account of the 2010 garden

3. The Chattanooga vacation, including the aquarium!

4. The decision to add to our family, by buying a black lab.

5. The 2011 garden, including some dissapointing news about our garden space.

Ok, so P90x has been giving us some mixed results, mostly because we arent consistnetly doing it. Its just so hard to take an hour and half out of your day, every day. But on the weeks I do it I usuually lose a few pounds, so I just need to work on my consistency. And I also have a hard time eating healthy and being in a good work out routine, there is nothing like a good work out to make you crave a cheeseburger!

The garden will be much smaller this year, due to construction going on in last years garden space around June. So we are doing the garden in a small spot of grass outside our door and in alot of pots and containers! We are doing lettuce, broccoli, carrots, onions, strawberries, and peas for the early spring garden. Last October when our garden fizzeled out we ended up having about 85 cucumbers, 12 watermelons, 100 tomatoes, and 6 pumpkins. We also got to harvest some good walnuts out of the trees by the garden, yummy.

Earlier in January we went to Chattanooga, where we found a great hotel to stay in, the Hilton Garden Inn. We also did all the regular tourists things like eat at downtown restuarants and go to the aquarium. One great surprise that we came upon was an old bookstore downtown that smelled and looked like it was about 50 years past its prime. Inside was a little old lady with yarn pilled 10 feet high sewing sweaters. When I asked her where the nature books where, and if she had any good old field guides, she informed me that she got one in recently. She looked at Amy and told her to go behind the desk and look in the top drawer and bring me the yellow book. Amy and myself were both kind of taken aback by the odd request that an employee would ask a stranger to go behind the cash registar and fish somthing out of the desk. When Amy hesitated a bit, I reached for the desk drawer, the old lady quickly snapped at me, STOP!, I didnt ask you to get it, I asked her! Not sure whether to be offended, embarrased, or just laugh about it, I stood there stunned for a moment. Amy got the book and it was cool field guide to nature activities. Now, many of you may not know this, but I collect old field guides, the older the better. I have several that I inherited from grandparents and that is basically what got the ball rollling. I got one or two childrens bird books from my dad's dad Pap (the only person who would watch nature programs on discovery planet with me, which was one of the many influences that made me the nature lover I am today). I also got two field guides from mam'ah, my mothers mom, who apparently went through a bird watching phase. My favorite old bird guides are the ones that are old enough to still list the Ivory Billed Woodpecker as a rare species. That is only intresting because Ivory Billed Woodpeckers are now extinct. Anyways, I found several great old field guides, indcluding the original Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Trees and a great life list for birders book that has every bird in North America. Amy and I both walked out of that store with piles of books that we got for dirt cheap!

My favorite part of Chat town had to be the aquarium. The native fish exhibit, that is cool. I also really loved the jelley fish and the snakes. But, I am embarresed to say, that out of all the sharks, pirhanaas, sting rays, snapping turtles, and alligators; my favorite exhibit was the butterfly exhibit. It was litterally a room you walked into, and butterflies where just fluttering about everywhere. Very cool place, I think I would visit it on a weekly basis if I lived in the Chat area.

We also went to Crane day at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. First time I have ever seen a Sandhill Crane, and it was pretty cool. There were thousands of those things, they are going to have to open up a season eventually. Very beautiful birds.

Also, my friend Nick Luper has bred some beautiful lab puppies, and Amy and I have decided to buy one, a black female. We decided to name her Lucy, and she will be ready to pick up on the 4th of March!

Here are some aquarium pics, this blog wasnt as long as it was originally cause I accidentally deleted the entire thing and had to start over! That was frustrating.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Clay's first deer!, garden happenings, and P90X.

So... I know it has been awhile since I last blogged, about 2 months I guess. So let me catch you up on a few things; here is an outline of this blog:

1. I killed a huge doe deer
2.The garden is basically dead, with a few
3. We are doing P90x to try to get into shape.

First I will tell you about my glorious deer hunt I had earlier in October. It should be noted that I shot a doe because it was my first deer and I didnt want to be picky on my first one, also Im not huge on trophies and really just wanted meat in the freezer, it should also be noted that on the property I was hunting I also only had permission to shot a doe. I went out to the farm I was going to hunt the afternoon before to set up my tree stand, although it is a portable climbing stand that you can carry on your back, its not ideal to try to set up in the dark when you are trying to be quiet in the early morning. I found several red oaks that were dropping acorns and had piles of deer scat all around them. I had seen several deer feeding under these trees just a week earlier while scouting. To my surpirse, the white oaks werent dropping at all yet, and hince there was no scat under them, deer usually prefer white oaks to red. So I started looking for a straight tree trunk that was big enough to support the weight of the stand plus me, but at the same time wasnt to big to attach the climbing stand to (if to big around, the teeth on the stand dont dig into the tree while climbing, making it slightly more dangerous). I found another oak tree that was the perfect size just about 15 yards away from two of the large red oaks with plenty of deer sign, this tree happened to be near a clearing in the woods that lead to the field where the trees were dropping acorns, which was an added bonus. I set up my stand and began the walk back to the truck, spooking a few dear on the way out, another good sign. So I arrive around 5:45 the next morning, still dark and stary, one of the first cold mornings of the season, a chilly 50 degrees with a slight breeze. While making my way across the cow pasture with flashlight in hand I heard several deer make their alert "huff" and run away. That gave me mixed fealings because I was happy to know there were deer around, then again, I may have just spooked them off for the day. But anyways, I tied a rope to my stand with my crossbow on the other side and began the tiring climb up the tree, which took about 10 minutes. I sat and waited, and watied, until a small doe came walking out in front of me. She was looking around suspicously, like she knew somthing wasnt right. I think she must have been one of the ones I had spooked earlier. Then she looked right at me, we had a staring contest for about a solid mintute. Then I quickly reached for my crossbow and before I could even look through the scope she was 20 yards away, I didnt take the shot, those crossbow bolts are 15 bucks each, and expensive to lose or break! I cursed myself and tried to figure out what went wrong, I finally decided that the field in front of me was on to much of an incline, and that the doe was eye level with me and I needed to be higher in the tree. So I climbed another 10 yards or so to get out of the line of sight if another one walked out in front of me. I waited for about another hour and half with no deer in sight. It takes alot of dicipline and patience to sit still in an uncomfortable stand while your cold and starving. So I finally decided that I had probably spooked one to many deer that day, and I should probably just quit until that evening. So I reached into my backpack to see what I had to eat, and think over my strategy before I started the climb down. I lowered my crossbow down to the ground with my rope to get it out of the way so I could eat without having to try and balance a loaded weapon on my lap. So Im siting there munching away on some cold corn bread when I see some movement out of the corner of my right eye. I freeze solid, slowly turn my head as far as I can and look to the right, another small doe approaching the red oaks from my right. This time I was in a real conundrum. I had already lowered my crossbow down to the ground 50 feet below me! I did alot of thinking in those few mintues it took me to make a decision, and I finally decided that if the deer did get close enough to shot then it would without a doubt see me pulling up my bow, but if I pulled up the bow while she was still 75 yards away she might not notice. So I dropped the corn bread ( a sad waist, I know) and reached for the rope, I waited until she put her head down to forage on the acorns and slowly started pulling up the crossbow, when she looked up, I would pause, she looked back down and I lifted some more. This dance went on for a few minutes before I finally got my crossbow back up in the tree with me. The doe got about 30 yards away from me, but off to my right and behind one of the oak branches, not a shot I was comfortable taking. I watched her feed 30 yards off, just out of range for about 30 minutes, when she looked in my direction, CRAP! I thought for sure she had spotted me, then I realized she wasnt looking up, but at somthing on the ground. About that time I looked to my left and saw a large doe with a young of the year doe with her. I almost peed myself as she stepped right out in front of me and gave me a perfect broadside shot. "Well its now or never", I thought to myself. I lined her up in my sights and took the shot, she jumped about two feet into the air and took off like a bullet, leaving her young daughter just standing there confused for a few seconds. I look and looked, but couldnt see any blood from the stand, I thought it was a good shot, but the anticipation to know whether or not I had hit it was almost worse then waiting for the deer to show up! I finally climbed my stand back down to the ground, detached my saftey harness from the tree, and ran over to where the doe had been standing. There was a huge pile of blood! But wait, somthing very confusing, my arrow was in the middle of that pile of blood. Being new to bow hunting I had never heard of an arrow going clean through an animal, but it is apparently fairly common. I thought maybe I had just grazed it, but no, how could there be that much blood if I had just grazed it? I began tracking it, a drizzle of blood here, a drizzle of blood there at first, this was very discouraging. Then about 20 feet from where I shot it, I found what was an almost constant stream of blood, what looked like buckets of blood. I followed this trail for several minutes, winding throughout the forest until about 10 yards in front of me I saw a beautiful sight, a dead deer! She ran about 100 yards after I shot her, the arrow went through both lungs, so she took her last breath moments before I pulled the trigger. I was personally amazed at how long she ran when her lungs had huge holes in them. I dragged her out of the woods and into a small clearing where I field dressed her. Rock tunes like Journey's "Dont stop believing" were playing though my head and the adreniline was pumping full throttle! I cut her open and removed all the guts, which was harder then I though it would be. Then just out of curiousty I cut open her stomach to see what she had been eating. I saw a mix of corn, plant matter, and acorns. As I removed her still warm heart I had flash backs to one of my all time favorite movies, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I was particularly thinking about the priest chanting cali ma shock ti day! (or somthing like that) while reaching into the guys cheast and pulling out his hear! Anyways, Im easily distracted. I went back to the truck, drove it acorss the cow pasture, and loaded her up! I got her checked in and then took her to Pedders Processing and they only charged me 60 bucks to cut her up! Cant beat that! I got about 15 pounts of hamburger meat, roughly 50 steaks, 3 deer roast, and several roast that the butcher cut up into jerkey slices so that I could more easily make deer jerkey! So far Amy and I have eaten deer steaks, deer jerkey, deer meatloaf, deer chilli, and deer sloppy joes. You can use ground deer meat the same way you use beef, and it is alot less greasy! YUMMY!
Ok, so thanks for reading about my deer kill, I know it was long and probably boring, and I know I said I would talk about the garden and P90x, but it is late, and those will have to be other posts some other time! Thats all folks! -Clay

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Clay's version of the BP oil spill in the living room, new garden happenings, anniversary, and crazy people.

Right now I have no pictures to show you guys, that will have to wait. But... there is no lack of things to blog about, and I think this has potential to be a very entertaining blog!!! Last week while trying to figure out why my neon tetras were dying I accidentaly exploded a thing of fish medicine that is basically purple iodine all over the wall. We also havrvested about 6 cucumbers this past week and noticed 7 softball size watermelons growing that we previously had not noticed! Also it is the 1st anniversery of our wedding, which is awesome, and scary because this first year flew by. And the last subject I would like to blog about is the religous nuts with signs and straw hats shouting at us as we walked out of church today. So I here we go...

So Amy and I set up our aquarium a few weeks ago and bought several fish for it, well two out of the three original fish died, which sucks because this time we decided to get the fish that would live awhile and not easily die on us. After waiting a week, and making several water changes we bought some more fish to go with the one loner left, well he killed five out of the seven we bought. He is suppose to be a semi agressive fish, and we were told he could live with neon tetras, but he disagreed and one by one killed them all. Anyways, at first I didnt realize he was doing the killing, and so I assumed the fish had a disease. So I proceded to put some fish medicine in the aquarium, and it wouldnt come out. I squeezed harder, still nothing, harder and still nothing!!! So I got frustrated and squezzed real real hard, and not surprisingly it exploded. All over the aquarium, the wall, the leather recliner and even the door! The den looked like a Muslim suicide bomber octopus had targeted Amy and I. Not surprisingly the inky explosion stained everything, but we got some bathroom cleaner and it got most of it off. But just so you all know, windex will take the paint off of the wall. It also got in the aquarium, even though thats where it was suppose to go, I put in about 50 times the amount that is suppose to go in it, so I had to make a quick fish rescue, which wasnt easy since the water was dark purple. After that disaster all I had left were the two plecos, the blue ram (the bully), and one tetra. Later the blue ram killed the tetra, and then for unknown reasons the blue ram passed away last night, apparently unable to cope with being a mass murderer he killed himself. Thats what Im assuming anyways, because it couldnt be that I over fed him and mold from the left over food poisoned the water.

This garden is one of the main reasons I started this blog, because I felt that if I lacked things to blog about, then at least I could always talk about it's progress. So while watering the garden I saw a cucumber. Then as I started to peal back leaves and look under all the crazy plant growth I noticed a ton of cucmbers and small watermelons, some cucs ready to pic, and others still tiny. I will put up some pictures later, but as of now we have harvested 7 cucumbers and have at least 5 more that will be ready to pic in the next week. We also have at least 7 watermelons the size of softballs or larger, and a ton that are just the size of my thumnail. We also have some kind of cucumber/watermelon/pumpkin hybrid that looks like a squash. And we harversted our first deformed green pepper and have about 20 green tomatoes that will hopefully be red soon!

So for my third topic in this blog I would like to mention the nut jobs that were shouting at us when we walked out of church this morning. There were three of them, a family, one old man, a woman with a vidoe camera, and sadly a little girl, who couldnt have been 10 years old. The little girl was holding a sign that said "GOD VOMITS OUT LUKE WARM CHRISTIANS!", the old man called us sodimites (news to me) and said it was our fault that there were gays in this country. He then shouted at us and told us we were sinners because of how we dressed. I must have missed the verse in Lamatations that talked about not wearing green pants and a button down collared shirt to church, maybe it was the fish on my shirt that offended him? I got a bunch of good pictures of these guys that I will post later.

And since I dont want to end on a sour note talking about people who apparently get thier revalations from God out of a moonshine steal, I will talk about somthing good. Today, August 8th 2010 is the anniversary of the day that Amy Wallace became Amy Larson! Thats right! the best day of my life! Thanks for putting up with me this year Amy! I know it has been fun, challenging, maddening, and frustrating putting up with me! I love you Amy Larson and this has been the best year of my life!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Home and Garden

This is our lovely house. Sitting right behind Nave Funeral Home in Erin TN. Its got two bed rooms, one bath, a nice blue kitchen, and an awesome den. I would also like to point out that I have an amazing leather reclining couch that I got for a very cheap price! We also have a garage underneath, that is full of bricks.

And this is our little green space! Our garden. Its about fifteen feet by ten feet wide. If it looks small for this time of year its because it is, we got a late start on it and didnt plant it until the first week of june, and a few things even later the that. Starting with whats closest to you in the picture we have; four tomato plants, one 'patio' tomato, that is the short stuby one in the bottom left hand corner, and three rutgers tomatoes (there were four, RIP 4th rutger's tomato plant). Then to the right of the tomato plants we planted some bell pepper seeds, but at first nothing came up so we cheated and bought the actual plants. Recently three of the Bell peppers planted actually sprouted up, so we have a grand total of 7 bell pepper plants! Then right in front of the Bell peppers we have two rows of watermelons, which is close to about 20 watermelon vines. Beside that is a row of cucumbers, and adjacent to that is a row of sweet corn. Next to the sweet corn, making the bottom left row of this picture are the 5 pumpkin vines we planted, and so far they are looking very promising with close to 20 flower buds and blooms. O yeah, I almost forgot about the one broccoli plant that actually came up from seed, and that plant is in front of the tomatoes, its the short leafy thing growing in between the bricks at the front of this picture. And last, but not least is the left over seed of corn, we kinda just tossed the left over corn seed into the back top right corner of the garden, but it is doing well so far. Here are some more random pictures Amy took of the garden...

Our first tomatoe! Some corn!

Ok so I know this first blog was a little bit less than amazing, but I still dont have internet and I am currentl siting in amy's car in the Erin library parking lot, with the windows rolled down swetting like Jabbada Hut getting a lap dance from Halle Berry in the Amazon rainforest, so the creative juices arent exactly rolling. Unless swett is a creative juice, in which case Im Ernest Hemingway. I know my grammer and spelling are that of a fith grader, wish I had a good excuse for that. In the future I might let Amy write a blog, since this blog is called Clamy. Stay cool bloggers. - Clay

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our new blog!

You can thank the slow death rate in the town of Erin for this new blog, as Clay is not busy and very bored. We are going to take pictures of our little house here in Erin and our new garden, those will come later. I guess this is for people who care enough about our life to read our blog, so yeah. Nothing much to write about now, but we will write some stuff later, stay classy. -Clay