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Friday, October 28, 2011

We All Fall Down

7:28 AM 3 Comments
We all fall time sometime, and this years fall deer, turkey,  and duck and seasons seem to be leaving a path of bodies in their wake before they even really get fully underway.

There's me and this whole factory remanufacturing of my chest nest week.

There's my friend Sonny - who will be spending hunting season on his porch because he suffered an untimely fall from a ladder and landed on his feet. His ankles did not thank him.

Now my friend, mentor, and dog lady friend Deb has taken a tumble and will be spending her duck season casted and using a walker.

I think we should found the  "There goes my hunting season! " club. But rather than sit around and whine about it- we are looking for ways to get back out there as fast as possible. Sonny has already determined that he can indeed shoot a squirrel from his wheelchair on  the porch.

So here Deb and I sit - salivating as we wait for opening day of duck season. Sit being the operative word. What rotten timing for us both.  Waterfowl Season opens on November 12th! Did anyone put in for the handicapped duck blind draw? Oh heck no- no one knew before the onslaught of injuries we were going to need them. 

I made a few quick phone calls and learned that we were lucky and there were still some open dates for the handicapped blinds. What date did we think we wanted?

Can I call you back after everyone is done with surgery next week?

The silence on the other end was deafening. I'm sure those site directors thought to themselves. The whole hunting party will be disabled? The whole hunting party is going to have surgery? Are these people nuts?

But being the good outdoor sistahs that Deb and I are, we have a plan. It's only her legs.. she can still swing that shotgun like a pro when the birds come falling in, and it's only my arms and chest...I can still trundle the decoys out. Between the two of us we make one duck hunter. It's simple teamwork! It's what outdoor sisters do!

So when the surgeries are all done, and the doctors have spoken, Deb and I will be making our reservations for those handicapped blinds, and between the two of us we'll slay ducks. And we'll hug wet dogs. And eat goose smokies and fried egg sandwiches in the blind while we giggle like school girls every time we see a batch of birds winging it our way. We'll not be surprised that together we pull it off after all.

Because as one of our  most famous outdoor sisters, Annie Oakley, stated ~ “Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping across the country on a clear, frosty morning with a good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to enjoy life.”

And believe me - Deb and I know how to enjoy life! 

My Friend Deb during a late winter upland hunt test last year

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stockpiling Time and Treats

9:08 AM 0 Comments
I have indeed been suspiciously MIA from the blogosphere, the social media sites, and in general off the grid a bit the last week or so.

All is well - (well after a fashion - there was that whole stick in the eye incident last week)  I've just been stockpiling as much outdoor time and as many fall foraging treats as I possibly can.

The great filleting like a catfish day is now a mere  7 days away and counting down. I know that I will be ordered to the house the first couple weeks after. Never a good idea to be plundering around the forest with drains hanging out of your chest. With my klutzy, fall here, fall there, personality, I'd end up getting into a real fix. Probably wind up hanging from a tree limb by a drain line or IV tubing.

So, I've been stockpiling as much time and as many pohotos as I can from out there of late.

It will give me something to do, blog entries to write while I'm lazing around on the couch growling at Willie that the drain tubes are not chew toys.

It's been peak foraging season, fall trout season, deer season, retriever hunt test season,  and my beloved waterfowl are lurking right around the corner. I cannot lie - I cannot stay inside. I have this goofy idea that if I just stockpile all this glorious autumn outdoorness, I will survive the few weeks of being on house arrest.

We'll see.

Here's a look at some of my walking around lately.. there's good medicine out there right now, and I'm stockpiling it too.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Owls, Orchids, and the Outdoor Sisterhood

12:07 PM 7 Comments

what a joyous sculpture to find hidden in the little pond
It's been a wild few days since my last post, and time to start getting caught up from all that outdoor time and start sharing. In my last post I shared that I was vacillating back and forth - trying to make some hard decisions.I am more than pleased to say that those decisions have been made, I'm happy with them, and exponentially less stressed and anxious since that  whole decision making process is behind me.

I arrived at my surgeons after the one and one half hour drive, literally still with no firm decision in place. I had driven my dear husband absolutely batty with it during the drive. I'm sure he was ready to tell me to just shut up and make a decision, but wise man that he is he just  told me to do what my gut said was best.
I was still in a twist when I walked in the door of the doctors office only to be told that after the long drive, the doctor had been held up in surgery and couldn't see me until much later in the day. Perhaps I'd like  to come back the next day.

Ummm - NO. It's a heck of a drive, it's harvest time here in Southern Illinois and I was already feeling guilty that my husband was wasting a day with me rather than being in the field cutting beans and sowing winter wheat. Nope not coming back. I'll see the good doctor later today.

Maybe it was fate, maybe it was all that positive energy and thoughts that I'd received in the previous days from outdoor sisters, but that delay was just what I needed.

The receptionist explained that a squirrel had managed to get in a transformer and  cause a power outage at the hospital next door where the doctor was performing surgery. I'm quite sure she thought I was crazy when that story made me laugh out loud.

You see, just the night before my dear friend and Outdoor Sister Tammy Ballew AKA Camo Mom and I had a good laugh about TeamWON being with me in spirit. I thought it would be good if the WON Guns were there in person, as I recalled my doctors oft heard complaints about the Canada Geese that had taken up residence in the office park lake and had become quite the nuisance. Tammy and I laughed that the WON Guns and our dogs could clean that problem up pretty easily.

Yep, if my pal and crack shot Tammy had been along that squirrel that upset the everything wouldn't have stood a chance. He would have still been toast, but not from the transformer.

Luckily for me the  Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House and Faust Park were only minutes from the doctors office. So what he heck I thought to myself - I'll take the camera, go photograph some butterflies and kill a little time. Dear Husband can catch up on his sleeping with a nap in the shade while I snap away. Sounded like a good plan to him and off we went.
It was a good plan - once I got there and saw that the October event was billed as Owls and Orchids I was excited..not only is The Butterfly House a wonderful place to view butterflies and explore, all during October  it is  also featuring orchids, another of my most favorite things. The owls part of the event actually was referring to the owl butterfly, rather than owls in the bird family.

Once I was safely ensconced in the warm moist air of the conservatory - butterflies of all types, shapes, sizes and colors were flying all around me and agreeably posing. The orchids in the conservatory from the Missouri Botanical garden added another whole dimension to the scene.

As I wandered throughout the landscape of brilliantly colored flying and growing natural jewels I hit me how similar  this was to my group of supportive outdoor sisters. We come in all different sizes, shapes, colors. We come from all walks of life and geographic areas, but our love of the outdoors keeps us together and supportive of each other through good times and bad.

While we are all different shapes and sizes, just like butterflies and the orchids that were spread before me in a brilliantly colored feast for the senses, we are all beautiful in own special way.

I began to feel that that all the positive energy, support and love I 'd been receiving lately from that Outdoor Sisterhood had in some fashion directed me to the Butterfly House so that I could clearly see it is not one single  piece of our anatomy, make up, color, or outside  wrapping that makes us who we are. And like the butterflies and orchids, it is our uniqueness that makes us special.

When my cell phone chimed the reminder that it was time to head back to the physicians office my decision had been made.

NO IMPLANTS put back in. I didn't need them any more than the gorgeous butterflies lighting on my lenses and head did. Thanks to my outdoor sisters, the beautiful butterflies, the glowing and wild looking orchids I knew - I was enough, my uniqueness in the great circle of life was enough, I am not defined by my appearance alone.

When I woke my husband from his nap and happily told him time to get going, I could tell he was confused my apparently sudden shift in mood...

I just grinned at him and said, " There were owls - tons of them..and orchids..and the outdoor sisters spirits..and well it's done. I know what to do now. "

He just laughed and shook his head, in that yes I am married to crazy woman fashion and said, "Leave it you to take advice from a flower , a butterfly and spirits -  but hey if it works..who am I to say.."

~Special thanks for  all the great support from the Outdoor Sisterhood. Believe in yourselves and who you are, because you are all special, each and every one.~

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alive Is Enough

9:51 AM 15 Comments

I had plans to post about the great outdoors sisterhood - gals day in the woods that I enjoyed so much Sunday with a dear friend and her daughter - but then Monday sort of went up in flames and Tuesday slipped through my fingers and then I had a writing prompt fall in my lap that changed it all this morning.

The writing prompts are little helpers for us out here in the blogging world - often supplied by some great bloggers networks such as Outdoor Bloggers Network and BlogHer. Very helpful for wishy washy pea brains like me.  Very helpful when no matter what you just cannot think of one more crazy thing to tell the six or seven people who actually read your blog.

BlogHer introduced me to  Just. Be. Enough. - I've mentioned that before here.

Part of all this lack of posting the last week or so is because my brain has been all tied up knots trying to make some life altering decisions. It is October after all - and we're being bombarded with so much damn pink I want to puke. I get it ..I get it.. oh trust me I get it... Breast Cancer is BAD. I AM AWARE - I am so, so , aware right now.

As I explained in a my post Just in Time For October - my post mastectomies reconstruction  that was done 12 years ago needs revised. The implants have gone blooey and blown out like a bald tire on hot day. My chest aches, is misshapen, and my whole left arm feels like a lead weight. But - hey they were saline so it's not life threatening - it's just "a little uncomfortable" .  A little uncomfortable my ass. Typical medical - speak for hurts like hell.

Tomorrow is the big meet with the surgeon day, and by tomorrow I have to decide - put new ones in or no?

Do I want to have the perkiest 50 year old bust line in three counties or do I want to have a long healthy life?

What if the new  ones fail in ten years? Will I be healthy enough to withstand yet another surgery and filleting like a catfish? What if something new and foreign in my body triggers some huge immune system response that causes an MS relapse on top of everything else?

I'm thinking this is a perfect opportunity to "just say no" . My bust line does not define me. It is not who I am. It is not me.

I am enough. I can be enough with out silicone "gummy bears" (who calls an breast implant a gummy bear anyway?) sewn into my chest. Alive  and out running the forests and fields, the woods and water with my dogs is enough. 

Frankly - anyone who would judge me by my bust line or lack thereof  I really don't need in my life nor do I want them.

So at this moment in time - and it's certainly subject to change forty seven more time in the next 24 hours - I'm saying no to slapping gummy bears in my chest and parading around with an absurdly perky bust line for some one my age. 

Because without replacing the failed implants I will be healthy- I will be strong enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, and enjoying my outdoor pursuits  enough.

I will be enough!

~If this too much info, not outdoorsy enough, whatever objection you may have.. take it up with the pink bandits that are shoving breast cancer awareness down our throats at every turn. They've made it impossible for me to keep my mouth shut or forget about all of this.If I could use a shotgun right now I'd have blown my TV and all the damned pink crap to bits twenty minutes into the month of  October !~