Thursday, July 10, 2014

Like Butta

So, this whole renting thing - it has its perks. I'm sure I'll get to those one of these days. Not having air conditioning though... well, that is not one of them. We did buy a window cooler and installed that in the bedroom so we can keep our sleeping area cool and comfortable, but the rest of the house is hot.

Like... melt a whole cube of butter on the counter during the day because you forgot to put it back in the refrigerator... hot.

McKenzie tells me this will be funny to look back on in a couple years.

Seriously though, what did people do before air conditioning?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

April Rewind

Architect Meeting
Chad and I met with our architect - Wayne from LKV Architects up at the property. He seems very knowledgeable, talented, and interested in our home building project - which I like! Wayne was very involved in checking out the property, taking pictures, envisioning layouts, and discussing what we wanted in addition to trying to take best advantage of the incredible views of the property. We are excited to see what he comes up with!

Young Couples Get-Together: Final Four
Don't you remember in the good ol days when our parents would get together with friends for pinochle? Your parents didn't do that? Mine did! Anyway, it seems like Chad and I don't make it out often enough to see our friends so we are now a part of a "Young Couples Club". Our first event was at Big Al's in Meridian where we watched the March Madness Final Four games. During the first couple hours, it was just the Cruickshank/Holthus crew, but by the end of the night - we had twelve or so people and it was a lot of fun! We hope to have great monthly turnouts in our future get-togethers :)

FFA Banquet
Annually, Chad and I make a trek to Costco and stock up on things like tri-tip and butter. We are given strange looks and are often asked, "where's the party?" from curious onlookers as we traipse through the store with two giant carts filled with romaine lettuce, dinner rolls, croutons, and cheese. We continually explain that we are shopping for the Nyssa FFA Banquet, which is a fundraiser, awards ceremony, and community event all rolled into one!

This year, I got to the kitchen at my normal time - assuming everything would  be running smoothly because this would be the first banquet we put on where Chad was not sidetracked by baseball practice. I was mistaken. The cafeteria looked wonderful with decorations galore, but the food was still in the ag-shop refrigerators! People gotta eat! I whipped those kids and that advisor into shape and we got everything moved to the kitchen where we rushed to get everything prepped and ready to go. The banquet started one hour earlier than normal and I would say we needed every minute to get ready!

For the first time, we charged for admission and we still had a huge turnout - so that was awesome! The auction went well and the chapter and alumni earned several thousand dollars to put toward FFA scholarships. I must say, I'm always happy when the FFA Banquet is completed - it is a lot of work!

During an especially emotionally taxing week in April, I saw this on my Instagram feed and it resonated with me and what I was/am dealing with. Life is not fair. I shouldn't expect it to be fair. I think I want it to be fair, but then again - what would my life look like if everything was fair? We are extremely fortunate in many ways and I might not like what I see if life was actually, fair. Regardless, I'm glad April was busy, because it was a little rough.

McBrides had a few brandings in April that I was able to attend - all of these pictures were taken at the steel corrals at Alkali, at two brandings about a week apart. The first was windy and very dusty and the second was just about perfect with regard to weather! There is not much I enjoy more than a nice branding in the spring!
Matthew catching two feet - with Tom on the head.
Peter helping recover a wind-blown hat.
Willy & Tiff hanging out after a long day at work!
Tiffany on Lightning with Jody coming in for the heels.

We celebrated Easter with Mom & Dan and the McBride clan this year by attending the Elk's Lodge breakfast. Chad's grandpa, Papa Cruickshank joined us for breakfast as well. More details and cute pictures from the Easter Egg hunt here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Free Diamonds!

This spring, Simmons Fine Jewelry celebrated their 25th Anniversary and in honor, they had a 25th Anniversary Diamond Stud Giveaway. Chad entered me to win the diamonds and he actually WON THEM!

The submission by Chad via Facebook:
We all know Tiffany puts up with a lot when it comes to my hunting and outdoor pursuits. Most recently, I put a turkey fan in our refrigerator – which she was not impressed with, but she didn’t take it out either. She even returned home one day to find I had hung a turkey fan in our bedroom – romantic, right? Since we don’t currently have room in our house for all our mounted animals, she has the rest of them hanging in her office at work. How many wives would go for that?
In the spring, I am in the mountains hiking and searching for shed horns – or chasing turkeys and bear. During the summer months, I’m fishing and refining my stalking skills on mule deer. Once fall hits, Tiff is lucky to catch a glimpse of me as I hunt deer, elk, and the occasional antelope in multiple states. If I am home during the fall, I usually try to take off to the river or find a pheasant or two. In the winter months, I can be found snowmobiling or decoying geese.
I also work full-time as a schoolteacher and we have a farm – which Tiff keeps an eye on when I am out hunting. Tiffany will go hunting with me when the circumstances are right for her, and those are always great memories. I definitely push the envelope, but she loves me anyway – and when I buy her hiking boots or a new bow or rifle for birthday/Christmas/anniversary (even though I know she’d probably rather have something from Simmons), she is always appreciative. She’s the best and even when I call late at night to ask her to grab her camera and the packs because I’ve got an animal down, she’s supportive – even when it means we are packing out in a snowstorm.
She even includes some of my hunting pictures on our Christmas card each year. Enough about me, Tiffany is the most generous, organized, determined person I know and she doesn’t really know the word, “no”. She gives of her time and talents when others are in need and can often be found working on various projects for other people with a pile of her own projects on the backburner. I know she would love some extra bling – and who knows, it might be just the ticket to get me through another hunting season!
Back in 2007-2008, we purchased our engagement and wedding bands from Simmons Fine Jewelry, and we have bought additional jewelry since then from Jay, Blake, and the amazing staff at Simmons. No matter when we come in - which is not very often, the staff always recognizes us, is very helpful, and they have a beautiful layout and very sparkly gems! If you are ever in the market for jewelry of any kind, I would wholeheartedly recommend Simmons! (And I would have said that before we won the free earrings)! :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Turkey Adventures

I'm beginning to think they have this whole turkey hunting thing figured out, what do you think Courtney? When Chad and Justin get together, there is a pretty good chance something is going to die. That kind of sounds wrong, but I'll go with it. This year, they each had multiple tags and made the most of it! A few weekend outings and they had four turkeys on the ground.
Like our neighbor says to Chad when he watches him practice shooting his bow, "I wouldn't want you hunting me!"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spring Archery

This spring was very busy for Chad on the archery front. He worked several events over in the Boise area for BowTech Archery and Dead-On Archery including the Boise Sportsman Show and the Grand Opening of the Dead-On Archery Eagle Location.
He also participated in a few archery shoots and I tagged along for one in the Vale area to snap some photos. We met up with a few friends - John and his daughter Whitney, and Tyler and made our way through the 3D shoot put on by a high school senior for his senior project.


John decided to shoot the target that was "not a target". He ended up with a broken arrow!
Tyler, Chad, & John
Dad brought over Matthew & Peter to shoot the course and we worked through the 2D section with them. The weather was nice, the company was great - and Chad even ended up winning second place in the Adult Shoot! Happy Spring!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Easter 2014

For many years, Easter Egg Dyeing has happened at Mom's house with some combination of the nephews. This year, Willy & Joe took center stage and Willy was an old pro while Joe tried a few new tactics which may have stained his hands! It was not the cleanest egg dyeing adventure I've ever witnessed, but these two little boys sure did have a lot of fun!

Of course, we got together at Mom & Dan's house for an Easter Egg Hunt to find all those awesomely dyed eggs after having brunch at the Elk's Lodge.
Joe has an egg in his sights!

And apparently, we had Joe in our lenses!
I love this series of pictures with the bubbles! Who knew bubbles could be so much fun!?

We also tried to snap a few McBride family photos, I think they turned out fantastic! You're always going to get a little extra character when you are trying to get six people to cooperate!

 Happy Easter! 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

March Rewind

Karen's Baby Shower
Mom, Alisha, and I attended a baby shower in honor of Karen and baby Jackson. Karen's friends and sisters-in-law did a wonderful job hosting, the shower was beautiful and Karen was certainly blessed with many gifts to help her and Jordan with their new addition! While I'm thinking about it - I'd love the recipe for that red velvet cake!

Owyhee Water Meeting
Adding "farmer" to my resume was something I never really thought I would do - but when Chad and I purchased farm ground these past couple years, it has happened. Mostly, the farming responsibilities fall on the shoulders of the very capable Chad. Occasionally, he's out of town and I end up trapping gophers, moving big guns, and just checking on things. Even when he is in town, I am often tasked with assisting with projects - such as filling pivot tracks and even helping clear bales off the field. It's always an adventure.

Anyway, one of the main concerns that comes along with farming is WATER. No water, equals no crops! Our Adrian property is irrigated out of the Owyhee Project, which is comprised of three main ditches: the Old Owyhee, the Shoestring, and the Upper Owyhee. When full, the Owyhee Reservoir can hold up to two years' water for the entire Owyhee Project - which would allocate four acre-feet each year per acre of water right for the entire project. The main way in which the Owyhee Reservoir is filled is through snowpack and runoff. Since the past couple years have not been very snow-filled, the reservoir hasn't been very water-filled. You can check out the Owyhee Teacup to get a better idea of where the reservoir levels stand at any given point.

Where am I going with all this? Last year (2013-2014 irrigation season), we were concerned about the water level, but it wasn't a huge deal. This year, it is a huge deal. We attended a water meeting put on by the Owyhee Irrigation District to learn more about the situation. It was pretty dire. At the time of the meeting, the Owyhee Project was hoping to allocate 1.5 to possibly and optimistically two acre-foot per acre of water right. That is half (or less than) the full water right. Our property is on the Upper Owyhee, which is kind of "low man on the totem pole" when it comes to water rights because we cannot pump out of the Snake River like some of the other ditches - and - the Old Owyhee has first dibs on the water. It's complicated, especially if you aren't familiar with water rights. Low water years can bring out the best - and the worst in people. We are just grateful we have our property planted with alfalfa and we'll get what we get and go from there. Pray for rain (and possibly an April snowstorm)! I'm a little more concerned for my onion growers out there than I am for my hayfield!

BowTech Activities
This spring has been very archery-filled, which is not the norm for us. I thought we were going to have all this free time since Chad is not coaching baseball. I was wrong! Between archery shoots, hunting shows, archery shops, and just practicing shooting his bow - it seems as though Chad found a way to fill most (if not all) of those old baseball hours. He's much happier these days without the baseball responsibility though!

Elk's Crab Feed
We were lucky enough to be joined by members of both our families for the Annual Elk's Crab Feed in Ontario. This is by far my favorite crab feed, because all the crab is already shelled, or shucked, or whatever the correct term is. No messy cracking, just delicious eating! Mark your calendars folks, this one is worth it!

Get to hang out in the sunshine with these cute kids on horseback? Why wouldn't you want to attend a branding with the McBride family?!  
Joe & Willy waving to the crowd.

Matthew on Amigo

Peter on Friendly - telling a tall tale for sure!

Smiles all around!
Willy showing his skills on Amigo!

Horn Hunting
Chad picked up a new obsession this spring - horn hunting. With all his new-found free time, he was able to scour the hillsides, valleys, and mountains for shed antlers. I estimate he found over 150 deer and elk antlers throughout the spring before the weeds got too tall. This year, it seemed like horn hunters were out in full force in the Owyhees because of the big burn we had last summer - which left quite a bit of ground bare. Though many of the shed antlers he found were old and white, he made some pretty awesome finds! I'd like to see some of these deer on the hoof! I'm sure this will be an activity he engages in each spring as he is able to cover new country, stay in great shape by hiking everywhere, and most of the time - come home with a few new antlers. Now... what are we going to do with all these horns??!
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