Friday, September 28, 2012

How To Make Homemade Ice Packs

      Recently we work looking for some of the medical gel ice packs that your can form to your ankle when you trip over a railroad tie in the campground. They work great for a small cooler to pack on an ATV, to take fishing, to take on the boat, to take on a road trip and to have handy in the motor home freezer in case one of those pesky railroad ties tries to attack you again. The only ice packs we could find were around $30 per icepack! We didn't want to pay that much for an icepack that was going to get abused and possibly lost. Then, my husband said we needed to buy a big bottle of rubbing alcohol because he wanted to experiment with making our own ice packs. At first I didn't understand what he was going to do and I quickly remembered alcohol doesn't freeze!
     We did a test icepack and it worked really well so we just finished a large batch last night. Here is what we did:
Step 1: Gather your "ingredients." The ratio we used was 3 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol. We also used blue food coloring just like the ones you buy in the store. You also need your Food Saver and a large mixing bowl (not pictured).
 Step 2: Mix the water and the alcohol together in your large mixing bowl.

 Step 3: Add some blue food coloring. Don't be afraid to add a lot. The test batch was a REALLY blue which is what we wanted, but the large batch lost some of it's blueness because we left it n the freezer too long and the food coloring started evaporating.

Step 4: Stir everything together.

 Step 5: Place the mixture in the freezer.

Step 6: It might take a few days for a large batch to freeze so you will need to stir the mixture at least once a day to make sure the alcohol stays mixed with the water.

Step 7: Stir up the mix again before packaging. When I talk about scoops in the next step, this is the size I'm talking about. You also need to work kind of fast in the next few steps because once the mixture starts melting, the Food Saver doesn't seal very well.

Step 8: Fill your bags one at a time. We did a couple big ones and the rest small. The big packs were 1.5 labels big and took 8 scoops. The small packs 1 label big and took 4 scoops.

Step 9: Use your Food Saver to  suck out the air and seal the pack. If you don't work fast enough some of the water will start to suck out of the pack and then it won't seal. If this starts to happen, put the bowl back in the freezer for awhile.

 Step 10: Double Seal!! We double sealed both ends of the packs. The smell of rubbing alcohol in our kitchen made us decide to double seal. If 1 seal fails, we didn't want our lunch or drinks smelling like rubbing alcohol.

Step 11: Flatten the ice to fill the pack. This is how the shape you want them anyway for your coolers (or injured body parts) and it also tests your inside seals.

Step 12: Admire your work so far. Wish they were a little bluer but very proud of our work.

Step 13: Trim the longer edges so they look nice.

Step 14: Use them! The dark blue pack is the test pack. We'll know for next time to not leave them in the freezer for so long so the color doesn't evaporate. They work just like the $30 gel packs and we don't have to worry about damaging them or losing them.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fly Paper & A Cool Range

     One of the ways my husband got me interested in target shooting (besides giving me red guns) was to make the targets fun. If the target is fun, I'll have more fun shooting and will keep shooting until I'm out of ammo! For Christmas last year, he gave me Fly Paper. When we went to check out a new shooting range this summer, I tried out my fly paper. The fly paper has a point system printed on the top right: Head=50, Wing=30 and Body =20. I was having a blast. When my husband said it was time to go shoot shotguns, I was going to argue with him until I realized we had been shooting pistols for an hour and a half! We were planning 45 minutes each so we would have time for lunch and some sightseeing before we had to head home.
      Of course I had more points on my target than my husband did. He said it was because I used more ammo than he did. That is true, but it is also because I'm better at shooting flies than he is.......right?

      There were a couple guys that were sharing our pistol range with us and I know they were jealous of my fly paper. When we would stop to go look at targets, I caught them catching a look at my targets, too.
     We enjoyed some mountain views while we were shooting. I love Colorado!

      One thing I learned during this trip is, you should have someone take pictures of you while you are shooting. I am embarrassed at how far I lean back!! I learned a lot about my stance and what I need to do to fix it. It was really bad (which is why I'm not sharing those pictures)! Here is a picture of me reloading my pistol.

     My husband insisted we go try out the shotgun range even though I really didn't want to. There were a lot of people at the range that day and even though there was nobody at the shotgun range at first, I knew everybody in the entire place would be watching how horrible I am at shooting the shotgun. It was a great shotgun range and it was fun, but I did horrible again and got frustrated. One of the pigeon throwers was messed up and it attacked me which made me even more frustrated. A little later a man and his girlfriend joined us. This was the first time the girl had been shooting and her boyfriend's shotgun was a little big for her. I let her shoot a little with my shotgun (it gave me a good excuse to "rest") and she did pretty good, then she picked up her boyfriend's gun again and shot 2 clay pigeons with 1 shot. It was an awesome shot and I was mad at her for a few secongs.I had a Girls In The Outdoors sticker for her. The views from the shotgun range were even better than the views from the pistol range which helped with my frustration level.

     It was a really fun range to shoot at and it was a really fun day and I can't wait to go shooting again so I can shoot some more flies and so I can fix my shooting stance!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Meeting Of "Papa's Fishing Club"

   Yesterday the members of "Papa's Fishing Club" had a very important meeting. We had some serious issues to discuss so the 8 members loaded their "Papa's Fishing Club" hoodies, their fishing gear, their cameras and some snacks and drinks in 2 SUV's and headed to the mountains to thoroughly discuss every issue listed on the agenda.
     The first issue was how the colors were looking at Cottonwood Lake:
Cottonwood Lake With Some Fall Color
    The colors and views were awesome so that issue was taken care of.  The next issue was a big one and the most important. Our dad (aka: Papa) hasn't caught a fish this year because of some health issues from this year. That issue didn't take long to take care of which was great, especially since this was also his birthday "party."

My Dad and My Husband Bringing in Dad's Fish
      Dad's fish became the next issue and the only issue that wasn't on the agenda. Have you ever had a fish fart on you? Yes, I said fart! We used to joke about looking for bubbles in the lake water while we're on the boat because that was fish fart bubbles (If you've watched Deadliest Catch, we got that from Phil's crab fart advice). Now that we know that fish have that much gas, we are taking fish fart bubbles more serious!

The next issue up for discussion was if there was more color around the lake. We drove around the area a little and found there was a lot of colors. If I hadn't injured my ankle and had to sit in the back of the blazer with my ankle propped up, I would have gotten a picture of my sister-in-law hanging out the window of the second vehicle taking photos.

More Pretty Colors Around Cottonwood Lake
     The next issues we had to discuss was lunch and since there was a lot of barbecue sauce and grease involved, there were no pictures taken. So we move onto the issue of seeing if we could catch fish at another lake. My husband caught a fish at the next lake but didn't hold it up for a photo and my ankle was hurting really bad by now so I didn't walk over to get a better picture like I usually do.

My husband Kris on the bottom right releasing his fish, my niece Cori peaking through the railing on the far left with her mom Kelly looking down, my sister Gillian and her husband Justin in the background.
     The next issue up for discussion was the rest of the birthday celebration which was the birthday cake!! My sister made some Chocolate & Bass cupcakes for Dad's birthday cake. They were very cute and really yummy.

Chocolate and Bass Cupcakes
     My niece wanted to discuss the birthday cake issue a little longer but we decided we had discussed the cake issue long enough when we found chocolate frosting in her hair.

Cori and Her Chocolate Bass Cupcake
     A few months ago, I won some t-shirts from Piggy Back Rider so the next issue was for my brother Cole and my niece to model them.
Piggy Back Instruction T-Shirts
      The t-shirts worked well. My niece said the t-shirts were funny because "Aunt Hilary says they're funny."
      The last issue "Papa's Fishing Club" had to discuss was finding some more pretty views. We were able to take care of that last issue pretty quick.

     The meeting of "Papa's Fishing Club as adjourned and everybody went home exhausted.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

One More Time Before It Gets Too Cold

Last weekend we went to our new favorite camping spot one more time before it gets too cold to go up there. We took a couple new trails and stopped to fish the beaver ponds in the areas we had already been. It was another fun trip (until the drive home) and I can't wait for next summer so we can go up again.

I love taking pictures of Kaos playing catch! She gets some good air!

Did you think I'd forget to take a picture of camp? Of course I wouldn't!

Someone made a squirrel crossing sign.....or maybe it was a kangaroo crossing sign.

Apparently cattle guards work on Kaos dogs, too. She really wanted to cross but couldn't figure out how to balance her second step.

I wore my helmet on this trip so I wouldn't inhale so much dust again and so I could showoff my helmet ponytail.

My husband did some fishing in the beaver ponds and I hung out with the dogs because I remembered I have a low patience level fishing for trout in beaver ponds.

Here is the little trout my husband caught.

This picture was taken from camp. That little girl cracked me up. She would take corners really fast and when she let off her throttle, her little ATV backfired so loud it sounded like a gun. I wish I had the stickers made up so I could have given her one.


You look at this photo and see a cute little Sasha dog smiling, I look at this picture and know it's actually a picture of a cute little Sasha dog whining really loud because we stopped for a break. She whined every time the ATV wasn't moving.

My husband loves to play in the mud, my poor lab does not. Kris rode into this mud hole and found out it was way deeper than we thought it was. There was also a log in the bottom that he got hung up on and got stuck in the hole. Kaos had enough so she jumped out and found some shade to watch from.

I wish we had someone else with us on this trip to take pictures of when Little Red, Sasha and I pulled Kris and the Big Bad Wolf out of the nasty mud hole. That mud smelled horrible and is a pain to clean up. (See Kaos in her shade behind Kris? She wanted to get on my ATV when it was time to go again.)


This picture is funny because Sasha and I are both looking down in the same spot. That little dog loves to ride and helps me get through obstacles.

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Fall!

This past weekend, we went to our new favorite camping spot again. I'll share pictures of the trip in another post, this post I wanted to share some of my favorite fall themed pictures from the trip. Fall is my favorite time to take photos because there are so many colors! Hope you had a great weekend, too!

A little bit of color.

Some orange, yellow and green.

More orange yellow and green.

A path with some fall leaves sprinkled on it.

Lots of yellow.

Mountain view looking through some fall trees.

Some fall Aspens.

Some color on the side of a mountain.

Color on another mountain.

Fallen trees and fall trees over our trail.