Long Weekends

Long weekends are a time to relax and a time to reflect. This memorial day weekend take time out to reflect back on those who have served our country and paid the ultimate price. It’s their sacrifice that allows us to be able to enjoy peaceful weekends in the woods.

Long weekend camping at Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson park in Wetumpka Alabama.

It’s “Becoming an Outdoors-Woman” Time of Year

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**UPDATE** THE NEXT BOW WORKSHOP IS SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 3-5, 2017

Registration is scheduled to open January 4, 2017 @ 6PM.
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It’s that time of year again.  Just 3 weeks away from the Alabama – Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekend event.  Twice a year the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) sponsored event takes place at the 4-H Center near Columbiana, Ala.  This year I get to go free, on a scholarship that I won at the event in March.  This will be my 4th trip and each time I love it!  If you want to know more please visit this LINK and start planning for March 2017.  Each event is limited to about 125 like minded women who enjoy the outdoors.
Archery I Class

Archery

Archery I Class
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Weekly Photo Challenge: From Every Angle

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Alabama Confederate Monument - carved in 1898 by Alexander Doyle out of Russellville limestone, granite, and with bronze sculptures sitting on a Russellville limestone base.

Alabama Confederate Monument – carved in 1898 by Alexander Doyle out of Russellville limestone, granite, and with bronze sculptures on Russellville limestone base.


From Every Angle
This weeks photo challenge is “from every angle”. In photography, literature, news and all types of media there is always another “angle”. Some stories or photos may provide a single meaning to one person and a totally different meaning to another. Some photos or images may stir up perceived feelings of conflict and others may see history and heritage in the same image. Those of us here today can not fathom what our ancestors were thinking or doing some 150+ years ago. We can do research and try to piece together a broad idea of what our great grand parents may have been doing during this time. If you were asked to protect your family and your way of life, would you hide in the shadows? My great grandfather did join the cause and fight for the confederacy. I do not know what his reasons were for joining. Census shows that he was only 19, single and a farmer. Maybe he wanted to protect his family, way of life and livelihood or maybe he didn’t have a choice…

In 2015 the Governor of Alabama made a choice to remove the Confederate state flags from around this monument. History is history and we should remember what has happened in the past…those who choose to ignore the past tend to repeat past mistakes.

Garden Magic – Cilantro to Coriander!

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Dried Cilantro

Each spring the cilantro seeds that dropped from the year before sprout around my patio.  It’s been about 10 years since I actually bought and planted the original cilantro, however each year I get another crop from the seeds that dropped the previous year.  This year I decided to gather the cilantro seeds and use them in the kitchen.  Here’s how to save the magic and at the end you’ll have your own homegrown and harvested coriander herb!

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Coriander Seed

Let the cilantro go to seed.  After the plants have dried, collect the stems by cutting them right above the ground.  Place the stems carefully into a paper bag so that you can shake off all the seeds (coriander).  If some of the seeds seem to still be a little green they can be dried.  Place the coriander on a shallow baking sheet, preheat the oven to it’s lowest temperature, place the baking sheet into the oven and cut off the oven.

Once completely dry after a few hours place the coriander into an air tight jar and enjoy!  They can also be vacuum sealed in bags if you plan to save them for a later date.  Enjoy!20150731_070645_zpslxpwgwoo

Cold Weather Camping and SEC Football

A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving the weather was so nice we planned a long weekend camping trip.  How bad could it be?  The daytime temps were in the upper 60s to mid 70s and the nights weren’t too cold either.  So I logged onto Reserve America and searched for camp grounds that still had vacancies for Thanksgiving.  Gunter Hill came up in the search and it was one of the few that had a site open.  Plus it’s close enough to home we can head to the house if the weather gets too rough.  Also, who knew that camping on holidays was so popular!  I booked us a site for the day before Thanksgiving and all the way through Sunday.

Gunter Hill Campground – Montgomery, Alabama

We’re going to make this camping trip count even if I have to figure out the best way to cook a turkey on a campfire!  Each day forward I watched the weather and realized we may have to do a little adjusting…our sunny warm weather was slowly turning into rain, freezing rain and coldest temps of the year.  Due to the heavy rain we delayed going camping but did show up on a sunny Thanksgiving morning to set up camp.  Yes, we were the only people at the campground in a tent!  This was also Ironbowl weekend and all the campsites were decorated up as either Auburn or Alabama.

Most nights were a little cool (ok FREEZING) and in the 20s to 30s for most nights.  Saturday night was much warmer in the low 40s.   We prepared well and took a lot of clothing layers.  Our old Coleman sleeping bags were left at home and we used our Mountainsmith sleeping bags which were rated down to 20 degrees.  We stayed snug and toasty and the bags lived up to their reputation.

A little secret…our tent had a television.  Yes, I had to bring my little 13″  television, but with a digital converter and antennal we  were able to pick up about 20 channels.  Most importantly we could watch the Ironbowl for the comfort of our tent.  Needless to say if the television didn’t work out there were enough big screen tv’s in the campground to make Best Buy jealous.  Side note… satellite broadcasts vs over the air broadcasts = a 15 second delay for the folks watching via satellite.  It was like yelling out spoilers once the game started since we could ‘see the future’!  🙂

Overall the trip was great and it was good to get away for awhile.  It was just the two of us since the kids have their own things to do for the holidays.  Click here to see more of my Gunter Hill Campground photos.

Here are a few observations for Gunter Hill Campground:

  • Showers were heated and there was plenty of hot water.  Note: Use the old shower house since the new shower house shower’s on a push button system.  Also the new shower house has automatic fans that come on when you enter and within a few seconds all the warm air is sucked out of the room and cold air is pulled in.  Great for summer, but not for winter.
  • Catoma Loop reopened this year and has been fully refurbished
  • Sites are cleaned after each camper leaves.  Leaves are blown from the site and ash from the fire pits are removed.
  • Sites have concrete parking pads and a gravel area large enough for even our tent
  • Sites have picnic tables, lamp hanging post with small table and a grill
  • Road through the park is newly paved
  • Sites have electric, water and sewer
  • Plenty of room to ride bikes and playgrounds for the kids
  • Pet Friendly
  • Did I mention clean?  Very clean campground.

Libby loved camping!

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