Hunting season eve

Well, it’s the evening before gun hunting here in Wisconsin.  Hunting is such an important part of my family’s life. The men in my immediate family prefer bow hunting over gun hunting by far, but there is something intriguing about this time of year.

Every year, religiously, I make “Papas chili”. Years ago when my husband was a child his dad made his special chili every hunting season and kept it in a huge metal pot warming on the space heater stove at the cabin. Some amazing memories were made there.

Once Mark and I started dating I got to partake in the tradition. To be totally honest I never cared for that chili. Mostly because they made it with venison😷. I didn’t grow up on venison so I didn’t care for it. Who knew I would soon grow to love it (made with beef of course) & actually crave it?!

Once we had kids we started bringing them to the cabin for lunch during hunting season. Papas chili was a hit. It was there that my son Austin would proudly wear his blaze orange that was adorned with his dad’s previous years back tags. He had quite a collection. He would stand next to the railing on the deck barely able to see over it resting his chin on his crossed arms just dreaming of the day he’d be big enough to go hunting himself.

My daughter Sam would also come to the cabin and sometimes bring her friends. They would sport the very fashionable plastic blaze orange vests and caps. I don’t think hunting was on her mind as much as just getting to the cabin to have fun.  Although she did prove to be quite the shooter once she decided she wanted to hunt. I say shooter, not hunter because she didn’t care to sit long and it rarely took more than an hour or so before her deer came in and she dropped it right in its tracks.

Opening day was and still is exciting to me. As soon as the guys would leave to go to the woods I would crack open the window a bit, no matter how cold-and sit with my coffee and just wait to hear the first gunshots. It was always very hard to tell which direction they came from. I’m directionally challenged the way it is and echoes didn’t help. But I always knew if it was coming from one of my family on our property. Then I would hear the four wheeler engine coming through the woods. I knew someone got one then!

To this day on opening day I still patiently wait and listen. It can be very bittersweet because now it is just myself and my husband . My kids are grown and on their own. They each go in their own direction and I still worry about them and their safety. Not everyone is careful out there. Not everyone was taught right from wrong. Not everyone was educated to do the right thing. Not everyone plays safe. But in the end I trust that all will be fine.

I await the day when our grandson Connor may be the little one excited to go hunting, or maybe he won’t want anything to do with it. He’s an animal lover for sure, but also a growing boy that could sure help provide for his family someday.

At any rate, I pray each hunter is safe and that there is a hedge of protection around each one.  Happy hunting!



2nd annual Papa’s chili & family photo day

Happy fall! 🍂🍁

This past weekend we had our second annual Papa’s chili and family photo day. Marks dad had his own chili recipe (which is very different than mine or any I’ve had). I always thought it was “ok”, they made theirs with venison and I’m sure my husband and son would for sure love it more if it were still made that way.  I prefer beef…always have-always will. Not that I won’t make it for them with venison because I totally will.

As I said before I always thought it was ok, until I went through one of my dental surgeries and I couldn’t eat a thing. We had just made this chili and I thought I’d give it a try. Oh…my….goodness did it taste good! I’m not sure if it was because it tasted soooo much better than applesauce and yogurt or what but since then I have CRAVED it!  

So we decided that this will be a yearly event-family photos and chili. It’s a perfect time of year for both.

The morning of photos was so relaxing- my hubby, our son and his fiancé spent time on the porch talking trucks and drinking hot chocolate while covered in a cozy blanket. Our daughter, her hubby and our grandson spent the morning catching up on some much needed sleep. We had scrambled eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast and then we were off.  

It’s such a beautiful time of year where we live. The weekend could not have been chosen any better as far as fall colors. I’m so thankful we did them when we did!

Our family photos are not edited yet so all I have are some candids-

Our beautiful daughter & her baby boy😍

Connor & his Daddy!😀  
A first selfie with our grandson! 

My snuggle bug!
My loves! “Papa let me tell you a story”

Two of the handsome men in my life!😘

Matching outfits😊

  Connor driving the ranger-can never start too early 😉
I can’t get enough of his little face!😘

The photo bomber 😂 

Beautiful fall colors!

I am blessed with an amazing family! Through all the ups and downs we still manage to come together! I recently read a neat quote …”Life takes you to unexpected places~Love brings you home.” Isn’t that the truth?