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Feathers and Bones - Orannhawk's Journal

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  • Awesome time at the gym this morning .... and to make it even better, it was raining when I left the house ! WOOHOOOO ! Wasn't much, but around here, more than a few drops is cause for celebration right now !

    Started out with calf raises on the hack, alternating my stance to work all the muscles in the calf. Went on to the leg press, did a few sets of calf raises there and then hit the legs ... and I surpassed my previous goal !!! Finished out my sets with 21 reps at 450 lbs. OMG, what a fracking rush !
    Went on to close grip lat pulls, alternating with seated press downs. Finished the workout on the ropes, two sets on a single rope, then two sets on both, all in a deep squat position. I dreaded the ropes for a while and now I am really getting into it. Amazing how that changes !

    Meals today ...
    egg white shake w egg white protein powder added, coconut oil, coconut flakes, water, ice, smidgeon of stevia
    chicken pieces, onions and arugula rolled into romaine leaves
    leftover roast beast, thrown into a stir fry of dino kale, okra, onions, shrooms, zucchini
    egg whites, coconut, water, ice
    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


    • Strange dreams last night and even stranger day today. Sort of a day to say frack all this shit, stay in a baggy t-shirt and do nothing all day. So, that's what I did. Well, that and watch football.

      Meals were on track ....
      scrambled eggs with buffalo, onions, shrooms
      egg white shake, coconut and a nice yummy organic apple on the side
      ground buffalo with onions, cauliflower, okra, shrooms, more dino kale, radishes, celery
      egg white shake
      Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


      • Another day of strange dreams ....

        Meals today:
        egg white shake w coconut oil
        2 fried eggs w/leftover buffalo/veggies
        egg white shake w coconut
        baked chicken, asparagus
        Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


        • Having multiple conversations today with my dentists office ... and the pretty much non-stop discomfort that keeps slipping over into the oh shit,pain pain pain ... so far the consensus is the permanent bridge may not be seated exactly where it should be. Needless to say my stress levels today are not good.

          Meals so far ...
          egg white shake w coconut and coconut oil
          Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


          • Not feeling so great today, meals are on track .... well if you consider that it's been more of an IF option day.
            Completing yesterday's meals : 3 bites of chicken breast, chopped super fine with avocado, and another egg shake

            Today's meals:
            Had the rest of the chicken for breakfast, skipped the hot tea or coffee, since that is what really set me into the throes of
            dental hell yesterday.
            Have some squash in the frig to smush up later if my stomach decides to play nice.

            Started the new thyroid meds today too. Still waiting to hear back from my dentist, obviously now it will be tomorrow before I find out the next appointment date. So anxious to get all of this completed. My initial surgery was in the first week of December and originally everything was supposed to be complete by early spring and here I am mid-October.
            Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


            • Feeling a lot better this morning and had a nice, sweaty workout as well. Zercher squats, wide grip pulls, press downs, incline bench press, ropes ... had a good visit with the coach as well. Discussed some variations to work on with the kettlebells, increasing the weights on deadlifts, and eating primal. He's in total support of lifestyle as primal/paleo.
              Really love that my trainer, my Chiro doc, my regular doc are all in agreement with Primal !

              Started the meals with three scrambled eggs, shrooms, onions, ground buffalo, and arugula
              egg white shake with coconut oil, coconut coming up in a while and plans for dinner are some lean pork chops cooked in coconut oil,
              zucchini and yellow squash, maybe a salad on the side, and then another egg shake

              I've cut back drastically on the caffeine (tea) trying to adjust to more herbal and I am still dragging from that. I have to admit I am not liking this part at all, but hopefully I will get more in sync with it soon.
              Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


              • I just finished catching up on your journal- and need to put it on my regular-read list . . .

                You really had to coolest dad! And I'm sure he would be proud of the changes you're making in yourself. (as to hunting- I don't yet, but I will . . .)

                I might have to steal the newest line in your signature- possibly to paste on my forhead as a reminder. Let me know if it becomes a bumpersticker, please
       My blog exploring the beginning stages of learning how to homestead. With the occasional rant.

                Originally Posted by TheFastCat: Less is more more or less

                And now I have an Etsy store: CattailsandCalendula


                • When I grow up, I want to be like Orannhawk...

                  No, but seriously, you are kind of my hero right now. Your meals and workouts are impressive!!

                  As for killing things, a halibut is about the biggest thing I've killed. I've gutted/cleaned land animals, but haven't killed one yet. Hopefully in November/December. That is the benefit of being an archer, we get a late season, too. The downside, obviously, is that I literally will need to be within about 30 yards of the animal. Although I might be able to ramp up my poundage in the next month which might give me a couple more yards, wishful thinking I know...
                  (field) journal
                  primal start-weight (3/11): 154
                  current weight (8/25/2012): 141


                  • Originally posted by drssgchic View Post
                    I just finished catching up on your journal- and need to put it on my regular-read list . . .

                    You really had to coolest dad! And I'm sure he would be proud of the changes you're making in yourself. (as to hunting- I don't yet, but I will . . .)

                    I might have to steal the newest line in your signature- possibly to paste on my forhead as a reminder. Let me know if it becomes a bumpersticker, please
                    Yeah, my Dad was pretty cool ... a hard ass at times too ! LOL
                    I'd love to add that one to my bumperstickers, but I copped it from FB .... heeheee
                    Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


                    • Originally posted by Flaura View Post
                      When I grow up, I want to be like Orannhawk...

                      No, but seriously, you are kind of my hero right now. Your meals and workouts are impressive!!

                      As for killing things, a halibut is about the biggest thing I've killed. I've gutted/cleaned land animals, but haven't killed one yet. Hopefully in November/December. That is the benefit of being an archer, we get a late season, too. The downside, obviously, is that I literally will need to be within about 30 yards of the animal. Although I might be able to ramp up my poundage in the next month which might give me a couple more yards, wishful thinking I know...
                      ROFLMAO .... Flaura, you're too much girl !
                      I told my trainer/gym owner this morning that I have sure been tempted to pick up some of his sledge hammers and other goodies to work out with (he has so many awesome things there )... he said he would show me a few things with them later as well as get some other cool things going with the kettlebells.

                      I have no doubt that sometime in November or December you're going to be posting pics of your kill !

                      I'm hoping to get a good bow by next season, but for now I've got guns ..... WOOOOHOOOO !
                      I love just standing in the brush (I have a place where I have good coverage from some scrubs and mesquites, but not so much that I don't have a clear shot from all directions) moving only with the movement of the brush, if at all ... for hours at a time. I've had whitetails walk up within 4' of me and not see me, had a huge armadillo that literally ran into my boot, then backed up, ran into me again and finally just stepped across the toes of my boots. I had to hold my breath to keep from laughing ... remembering my grandma yelling at me, screaming that I was such a little heathen .... Creator bless her, she was high pissed at me ... for taking her a bbq dinner, listening to her compliments on how tasty that "chicken" was ....well, at least until my sister told her that I had killed a big "dilla", skinned it and threw it on the pit. Grins ... I have the shell hanging up in the living room now too !

                      Thankfully the ferals aren't coming in until well after dark, I would be thinking twice about ground hunting otherwise.
                      Going to grab a blog that I wrote a few years back and post it on here .... think you'll enjoy it !

                      I did do some window-shopping at "Bellas" for a bow this summer, holy crap, they are pricey !
                      Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


                      • Cherokee Reflections on Hunting, Life Lessons & Got a Gun, Got a Date !
                        Part One

                        As a child I spent most of my time at my grandfather's side, watching, listening and learning. He taught in the ways of a true Elder, showing by example, weaving lessons into my daily life in a natural flow. My days were filled with these lessons, each one specific in his mind to the proper way to guide me. I learned to recognize the sound of the rain crow, the different bugs and how they reacted as a storm approached; the appearance of the fragrant purple blooms on the sage growing in heavy abundance around his home, the quiet indicators of the rain to come.
                        I was raised to hunt and fish and carried a rifle from the time I was six years old. This was a commonality in my family, with the women hunting as expertly as the men. I followed the footsteps of my grandfather and father most often, learning the signs, studying tracks and rubs, watching for the subtle indicators of movement.

                        Did you know that the pungent odor of a rattlesnake never truly leaves one's olfactory memory ? Once you have recognized this scent, you won't forget it the next time you are in the wilderness.
                        As a small child I sat and watched venom drip from a big rattler as my father tapped on the fang with a stick, listening to my parents explain that the muscle movement of the viper even shortly after death is strong enough to strike and inflict the poison into anything within range.

                        I was taught from that same early age how to field dress a deer; on numerous occasions crawling up into the cavity to help with my own little knife, severing the tissue and pulling the entrails out as I pushed my way from the emptiness of the buck. My parents and grandparents instilled in my sister and me the sacredness of hunting in the proper way.

                        I remember so many mornings waking to hear my Dad talking of 'dreaming the deer', giving us vivid descriptions of the location, the approximate weight of the buck, the time of day, all of the detailed information as if he had already been out, made the kill and returned back to the camp with fresh meat. Throughout the many years that we were all hunting at the same place, there was never a time when he 'dreamed the deer' that he did not go to the exact place of the dream and come in later with the animal that he had described to us that morning.
                        I never gave it a lot of thought, that's just how he was.

                        There were differences in how I was taught in regards to Papaw and my Dad. My Dad was more matter of fact, and never gave mention to my memory of our past, of the ancestors as Papaw did …but looking back now it was there regardless, just fashioned with other threads.
                        His 'dreaming the deer' was his way of connecting to the spirit of the animal and finding agreement so we had food. His way of teaching me was direct, showing me sign, training my eyes to see the near invisible movement in the brush, guiding my knife to skin with minimal hair loss onto the fresh meat, learning to cut cleanly, removing the backstrap in a continuous strip, to slip the blade of my knife between the bone to cut and quickly remove the forelegs without a hatchet.

                        My Mom taught us her skillful way of dressing the meat as her Dad had taught her, using touch to find the subtle sections of the muscle to separate and cut the choice ham and steaks, sorting out other pieces to be set aside to grind into burger or sausage.
                        It was commonplace to sit for dinner during the winter months and eat with the big wooden cutting boards covered with fresh bloody meat at my elbow. Rings of smoked sausage hung from small nails above the huge bar that separated the kitchen and the den and I would often sit mesmerized by the unique colorations of the bits of venison and fat beneath the gut. I saw the beauty in the colors, the texture and the shape; this was one of the quiet ways that my family taught me to "see".

                        In elementary school my classmates would open up their sandwich bags with giant cookies from home for their snack, while I gave away my milk to anyone who was willing to drink it and pulled out my snacks. Dried venison sausage or jerky and occasionally a homemade dill pickle or pickled okra, both seasoned liberally with jalapeno and garlic.

                        I carried rocks in my pockets, collected dirt everywhere that I went, and my Mom complained when she would open my closet and find herself covered with the feathers that would lift and float over my clothes and into the room.
                        In high school it was apparent to me that I was more popular during the winter months; in the words of one classmate "she's good with a knife" which translated to she can gut, skin and process your kill, if you can catch her at home and not hunting and if you don't mind losing a backstrap or inside tender when she leaves. Yeah, I found it strange that so many of the guys that I knew from school had no clue what to do with the deer that they shot. It became clear to me later on that I wasn't raised like the vast majority of my classmates.
                        It never occurred to me at that time that I was so different from any of the girls that I went to school with; other than the fact that a great many of my dates involved guns and knives as opposed to makeup and movies.

                        My Dad taught me techniques of walk hunting, stalking, and moving through the mesquites and blackbrush with little disturbance. I quickly learned to move at his pace to avoid the slap of a thorny mesquite branch across my face if I wasn't paying attention. I learned to watch his body language to know when he was going to stop before he actually did. As a small child I would sit with him to hunt and often felt the pop of his hand on my head if I was too restless, he was a lot less subtle than Papaw. Be still, be quiet, observe, and learn.

                        On numerous occasions when the deer were running, I would sit at his side or with Papaw and quietly watch one or the other use their rattling horns, working the horns together to lock and scrape, dragging them against the brush and onto the ground, timing the pauses to mimic with precision the natural act of two bucks locked in battle.
                        One afternoon my Mom left me near a ladder where I was going to hunt. I was 11 years old and carrying a new bolt action rifle my parents had bought for me.
                        I watched her walking off into the brush on her way to the location she had chosen to hunt. In the distance I could see our old Model-A truck in my scope, it was just off the road and obscured by mesquite trees.

                        The wind was high, the ladder taller than I preferred and I wasn't comfortable with the constant swaying, so I climbed down and slowly made my way down the road to the Model-A. The Model-A, or the "Hoopie" as we called it, was outfitted for hunting. Daddy cut out the rumble seat in the back and welded in a brace that held a 4.5 foot stand topped with a swivel seat, so the truck served double duty. Papaw's rattling horns were in the back and I picked them out and began the gentle tapping of the tines, increasing the strike as I had watched my Dad and Papaw do. I checked the wind and my location, keeping watch into the high wind and to the sides. I figured the high wind would carry my scent and likely nothing would slip up behind me …. Ah, there was one of Papaw's lessons staring me in the face; never assume.

                        I could feel something watching me and slowly turned to look across the low mesquite branches at a spectacular buck. The wide rack was glinting in the sunlight and sparkled like a chandelier.
                        I eased that new rifle up. My Dad had cut at least six inches of the stock off to accommodate my short arm length and I could smell the faint scent of the glue under the new recoil pad.
                        I had the crosshairs on him, the rattling horns draped over one arm, I was calm and certain. Damn, there's that assumption again …
                        Up to that time I had carried Papaw's old carbine and I was still getting accustomed to my new rifle. My fingers found the safety. Crisp and distinct it was, like the subtle sound of a firecracker in a sound proof room.
                        He was gone in an instant, no time to squeeze off a single shot. I sat there in a state of shock.

                        My Mom arrived later with a slight smile on her face. She had watched me through her scope as I crawled down from the swaying ladder and had heard the sounds of me rattling. I sat near the campfire that evening after unloading my gun and worked that safety, determined not to make the same mistake again.
                        I was sold on the rattling horns after that, sometimes so exuberantly that I would return to school the next week with bloodied and beat up knuckles. I overheard someone talking about me one Monday morning, convinced that I had been in one hellava fight over the weekend.
                        Last edited by Orannhawk; 10-12-2011, 06:05 PM.
                        Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


                        • Cherokee Reflections on Hunting, Life Lessons & Got a Gun, Got a Date !

                          Part Two

                          Years later I sat in a favorite location on another lease in deep South Texas, affectionately known as the 'rats-nest'. Every year my Dad would draw a poster of the lease with each road, ladder and tripod stand marked. As it was on past leases, we named roads, stands, areas and at night we would discuss where each of us would hunt the following day. The 'rats-nest' was as much a favorite as 'gut-alley' had been on prior lease. But for the most part, it was my territory.
                          The 'rats-nest' was a converted cardboard box that we found outside a local furniture store after new washing machines were unpacked. A few swipes of brown and green paint, a sheet of heavy plastic on the top and it was good to go. Basically it kept the rain and sleet off of me. We wedged it up against a few mesquites, cut out big 'windows' on the sides and a 'door' in the front and piled brush up around it for camouflage.

                          Sitting in the 'rats-nest' one day, I heard a rustle in the brush and I watched as a javelina stepped out into the open. He was big and I could see the long tusks on each side of his mouth. I hadn't seen any deer so I decided to bring some pig to the table.
                          My first shot was clean and into the neck.
                          That just pissed him off and he turned and threw his head up, and I knew that he had smelled me. I was on the ground, granted in a cardboard box, but that's not a lot of protection from a wounded pig in a pissy mood. I threw the bolt and fired as he turned to charge, at the same time I got outta that damn box to head for a tree. It took another three shots to bring him down, each one hitting rock solid, the fifth shot again in the neck.

                          I had moved out at an angle from his intended run at me, and he died sliding to the ground within five feet of where I stood. I remember Papaw and my Dad watching me gut him, that pig was just rank. He was old and graying, with tusks close to five inches long. Papaw was visibly proud that I had brought down the boar, as well as the fact that I got him before he got me. And there was that subtle hint that a small, young pig would have been more tender and less musky. Lessons.

                          Later that week Papaw would mount the tusks on a plaque with a small metal plate he had engraved with the date; it would be his last gift to me. He would move on to the next world shortly after this hunt.

                          As a child I had taken friends into his house to share his small den with them. The corners of the room were stacked with rocks, small cairns. Deer horns and old bird nests hung on the walls, arrowheads on the table top and in cigar boxes, a carved bow cradled across the horns of a whitetail deer, leather and canvas bags filled with ammo, knives, bits and pieces of his life in a tapestry unlike any other and my friends would marvel at each fragment, each new discovery.
                          And as we turned to leave the room I would point over the door to the mounted javelina glaring down at them, the long teeth and tusks taunting them. My delighted laughter usually covered over their childhood terror and occasionally Papaw would see us leaving and shake his head at me. Not exactly appropriate behavior and I knew it, but I would see the laughter in his eyes and he knew that I would apologize for scaring them. Well, I did most of the time. My grandmother found me to be, in her words "too much of a little heathen", but with Papaw I was just as I was meant to be.

                          Sometime after his death I bought a small sterling silver pendant. A perfectly sculpted, detailed javelina. I wear it still to remind me of the lessons that he imparted and the bond that we had over the beast. I had no fear of the javelina, respect, yes; but no fear.

                          Subtle lessons in the wild transfer into the world. Be still, be quiet, observe, give thanks and respect. Know that rattlers can strike, venom can taint and poison, being upwind doesn't give you any guarantees of anything, always watch your back, staying calm can save you, being handy with a gun and a knife can get you dates as well as food on the table, and humor can keep you sane.

                          I have rocks stacked in the corners as Papaw did, feathers are still around me, albeit not in my closets, there's extra ammo around, my knives are sharp and Papaw's rattling horns hang on the wall ready for the next hunt; one of the last gifts from my Dad. Some of the same King Edward cigar boxes that sat in his room now sit in my studio and the faint smell of the cigars is always present. Perhaps the smell is only in my memory, but none the less it is there.

                          I was with Papaw on his last hunt in November of 1977, just days before he made his transition to the other world. My son took my Dad on his last hunt this past November, a mere week before my Dad went home to the Old Ones. To the end they hunted, to the end they taught. They were warriors of another time, on another journey, but warriors just the same.

                          May 13, 2007
                          Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


                          • Oh, I love the way you write!
                            Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.


                            • Originally posted by honeybuns View Post
                              Oh, I love the way you write!
                              Thank you !
                              Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.


                              • Quiet day today, meals went well ... with egg white shake w/coconut, lunch was a salad with chicken and half of an Fuji apple, fixed cauli-rice and chicken for dinner, egg whites afterwards.

                                Dentist called today and they are setting up what I HOPE will be the last oral surgery in two weeks. I will be so damn glad to have this completed !
                                Everything's shiny, Cap'n. Not to fret.