Monday, April 22, 2013

Anniversary Trivia Contest!

     I still have a bunch of stickers left and a few paper bead necklaces left! Since tomorrow is our official one year anniversary (the paper anniversary), I want to give a bunch of paper away tomorrow! We're having a trivia contest to give away some paper bead necklaces. Email your address and your entry to Answer as many questions as you can because every entry will receive some stickers. I'll be giving away necklaces to those who can answer the most questions correctly.
Here are the trivia questions:
1. What is the slang term for a large bass, usually 4 pounds or bigger?
2. What is a female Antelope called?
3. What species of fish am I holding in this picture?
4. What does MOA stand for in shooting?
5. What is the name of the fishing hook company with a bird in it's name?
6. What is the name of the Dam that is behind us? (There is a few posts on this blog that mention that dam.)

7. In offroading, what does OHV stand for?
8. Whose bolt action design are most modern bolt action rifles patterned after?
9. What does PFD stand for?
10. What small breed of digging dog was originally bred for hunting rabbits and other burrowing animals? (But mine prefers ATV rides!)
11. What species of fish am I holding in this picture?
12. What are the grooves cut into a rifle or pistol barrel which cause the bullet to spin called?
13. What is a female duck called?
14. What is the process of weighing fish and releasing the lighter weight fish and keeping the heaviest fish for tournaments called?
15. What were motor homes originally called?
16. Deer antlers grow an average of 1 to 2 inches per______________.
17. What is the back of the boat called?
18. What are the ingredients for the most popular camping dessert?
19. When two OHVs meet on a hill, on a trail, who has the right-of-way?
20. If you saw this on a fly line box, what would it mean?
                                WF - 6 - F
EXTRA CREDIT: What town is this restaurant located in?


Sunday, April 21, 2013

First Time Fly Casting

     I decided to try fly casting today. First thing I noticed right away was stringing the line through the eyes of the rod. It took me several tries to get the line through they eyes because I wasn't used to the slick weighted line falling back down the eyes. I only had to restring the line 3 times before I caught on to what was going on.
     The reel was the next big difference, mostly the placement. I kept trying to put my hand behind the reel. I also had to get used to guiding the line onto the reel instead of letting the spinning action guide it on for me.

      I caught on pretty quick and as you can see "Coach Kaos" was there to help me.  It was a little weird at first getting used to all of the line being out and using my left hand for more than rod balance.

      You can kind of see in this picture that the line memory was messing with me quit a bit. My husband helped me stretch out the line to help get rid of the memory which helped a lot.

     I watched my loops and only cracked the whip a couple times. Practice went really well and I learned a lot about how fly line works and how to control it. I don't think I ever hit the target I was aiming for, but I got pretty close.

     I can't wait to go to the pond soon to see how well I do on the water. First, I have to tie a few flies so watch for that post coming soon.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tuesday Is Our Anniversary!

Our 1 year anniversary is Tuesday! I want to give a way a LARGE amount of stickers!


Email ( your address and I will send you a sticker......or 2!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My New Adventure

     I have decided to start a new project. I am going to learn how to fly fish. I am both excited and a little nervous. A few weeks ago I asked our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ followers for some advice on getting started. Most of you said not to learn on my own, to hire a guide. I want to do this on my own for several reasons. I get very frustrated when someone is teaching me how to do something and starts pointing out what I'm doing wrong and not explaining in a way I understand. My husband is going to be able to help me a little bit and my boss is a fly fishermen, so I do have some people to go to when I need some help. I also like figuring things out on my own and that feeling I have when I "get it". I taught myself how to sew a couple years ago after many failed attempts of my mom trying to teach me. The feeling I got when my tote bag looked like a tote bag and my curtains did their job, was AWESOME! I have a little more practicing to do and I will never be a professional seamstress, but I feel good about learning it on my own, and successfully doing it.
   Other people suggested YouTube videos and this book:
      I love this book. It is so easy to understand and to follow. Thank you to everybody that suggested this book!! I've also spent a lot of time on YouTube. I think I'm going to be able to do this and will enjoy it. I decided to include my adventure in learning to fly fish on the blog.
      I love watching fly fishermen. I am amazed at how graceful they are while they are casting and how they don't get tangled up in every tree along the river. When we went to the International Sportsmen Expo in Denver, I seem to end up standing and watching the fly fishing demos for a long time, just watching the casting. I've always been too nervous to try fly fishing though. With the help of YouTube, Mr. Dave Whitlock from L.L. Bean and some of our supporters, I think I can do it now.
     I get really frustrated fishing the river. I live along a very popular section of the Arkansas River for trout fishing and dread going to the river. When you drive up the canyon along the river, you see lots of great areas to pull off the highway and start fishing. I hate it! I always get tangled up in trees & rocks, I lose lures and I never catch a fish.....ever. I usually end up putting a fly on my line with a bobber, casting it up river and watching it float down river, reeling it in and repeating the process and watching my husband catching beautiful trout on the exact same setup. I decided this year, I'm going to give the river another try and try fly fishing for the first time. Before I head out to the river, I will be practicing my casting a lot to so I won't get frustrated and hate the river again.
    Here we go! Before I purchased any fly fishing equipment I read through the first 2 chapters of the book so I knew what I was looking for and what I needed. Chapter 1 is "Understanding Fly Tackle." I learned about fly line, leaders, tippets, backing, rods, reels and some flies. I was feeling very confident and decided I wanted to get a 6 or 7 weight, 8 1/2 foot two-piece rod with 6 or 7 weight floating weight-forward fly line with a knotless tapered leader. I was confident and ready to go shopping but decided I needed to read one more chapter to make sure I was ready in case a salesman started asking me questions about what I was looking for. I didn't want to sound stupid when I was talking about what gear I wanted.
     Chapter 2 is "Assembling Fly Tackle"........ummmm......WOW!
       So, Chapter 2 was a little overwhelming. I'm glad I read it first before heading out to buy a rod, reel and all the lines. I went to the sporting goods stores with my original specifications and came home with this instead, a 9 foot 5/6 weight four piece rod. The reason I went with this rod is because.....

 it came with all of this:

      The main part was the reel preloaded with 6 weight floating weight forward line, the backing and the leader. The flies (a few of those I bought separately), fly box and DVD were a few extra bonuses. I also bought some tippet that was on clearance to practice tying it on and to practice tying flies on.

     I'm ready to start practicing my casting! Problem is, my practicing area was covered in snow this morning and is now all mud this evening. Luckily I also bought some more fly tying material so I can work on fly tying some more until the snow melts and the mud dries up. There's more snow coming soon so I will probably be posting tippet tying practice and some fly tying next. Be sure to check back soon for the next step in my new adventure.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Girls In The Outdoors Day at John Martin Reservoir

     Last weekend was supposed to be our first camping trip of the year. Notice I said "supposed to be." My brother, sister-in-law and niece camped but our had a small issue so we were only able to make it a day trip. We started off the trip by handing out some Girls In The Outdoors stickers.
Ambrosia's hand, Cori, Kelly & Hilary
     My sister-in-law forgot her Girls In The Outdoors t-shirt so my niece decided Mommy needed to put the sticker on her forehead.

Cori & Kelly
     We loaded up in vehicles and headed to the south side of the lake to start fishing. The water level of John Martin Reservoir is really low right now. I'm not sure many people have ever seen it this low before.
John Martin Dam from the north side of the lake
     There aren't many dams you can drive across anymore so when we can drive across we take our time and take a lot of pictures as we cross.

The sign at the beginning of the dam

Birds enjoying the water
John Martin Dam

I have never been able to take a pictre of this dam without soncoming traffic in the picture

     here is a view of the dam from the south side. Pretty low, but still a cool picture.

View from south side of John Martin Reservoir
     Along with my brother and his family, my friend and her family joined us for the day. This day was a perfect Girls In The Outdoors day that showed the perfect reason why I started this blog. We had several people that fish all the time, a few that fish once-in-awhile and a couple that hadn't fished in many years.
Jordan, Randall, Kelly, Ambrosia & Amber
     One of my favorite parts of both our Girls In The Outdoors trips and our Papa's Fishing Club trups is all the learning that happens. In this photo my Godson is telling my niece about some of his lures in his tacklebox.

Jordan & Cori
     We posed in front of the dam to show off our t-shirts.

Amber, Hilary, Ambrosia & Cori (in the front)
     We decided to check out the river instead of driving back across the dam. This is one of our favorite spots to fish the river. We didn't go down there on that day because the river was so low and the water wasn't flowing. See that bar across the bottom of the bridge support. That is usually either touching the water or in the water.

Looking down river.
     It was a fun day for hanging out with friends and family and the weather was gorgeous. I wish we had been able to catch some fish and been able to go camping.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Some RV Orginazation Tips

     Since camping season has begun for most people, I thought I would share some of my RV organization tips I have learned over the 3 years we have owned our motor home. I am always looking for new ways to make things easier in an RV because I get frustrated when I can't find something that I know is in there somewhere.
     First, we'll start with some kitchen and pantry organization. Below is our kitchen in our motor home. One of the things I wish our motor home had was more storage space especially for cooking tools and food. I have found ways to help with the organization issues and also take care of some other annoying little things about an RV. Look at the stove top and you will notice there are no burners on it. It drove us crazy listening to those rattle while we were driving down the road. The people we bought the motor home from, told us they always put something heavy on the burners to keep them from rattling but we thought that was a really bad idea. We combined that problem with another small issue we had to take care of in the kitchen. See that curtained area above the stove hood?

     The curtained area above the hood is the spot for the microwave. Most people worry about breaking the glass plate in a microwave while driving down the road, but we added that to the stove burner rattling plan.
      The inside of our motor home microwave looks like this. Each of those 4 pouches has a stove burner in it and the towel is wrapped around the microwave's glass plate. The pouches fill up the microwave so the plate doesn't move around and each burner is protected in a pouch so it won't hit anything and make a bunch of noise driving down the road.

     Each burner pouch is perfect size for 1 burner. There is a piece of padding on the bottom side that adds an extra little bit of protection and the Velcro closure makes it easy to get into the pouch and keeps it closed so the burner stays in the pouch. It is SO nice not listening to those burners rattleing while we're driving down the road.

     The next kitchen issue we fixed was the pots and pans storage area and the food storage area. Most RV cabinets are just one large open space with no shelves inside which means you just have to stack everything together. Of course when you stack everything and then drive down a bumpy road, turn a corner or look for something in the cabinet, everything moves and then it becomes a huge mess. To fix this issue, we added some closet and house kitchen cabinet shelving to our RV kitchen storage space. Here is what the pots and pans cabinet looks like. Now, to use that blue pot on the bottom left, I don't have to take both frying pans out to get to it!

      Here is the food pantry storage area empty. This is where I was the most excited about adding the shelving. To get a can of soup out was almost impossible if everything had fallen over.

      Here is what those cabinets look like full. Those 3 baskets are great for storing small items like spices, cans of Vienna Sausages, gravy mix and other small food items. One thing I decided to do for next year is to take a picture before we empty these cabinets for winter. I couldn't remember where everything went and kept having to move stuff around. After I took this picture I moved everything around 2 more times and then asked my husband to come in and fix it because I was too frustrated.

     Another nice kitchen organization item we added was this little wire basket. It was originally made for silverware drying. My husband cut off the little hooks on the back that were made to hang on a dish drying wrack and we used a few 3M Command hooks to hold it to the wall.

      The spices we use the most of while cooking are right by the stove and they can stay there for the ride. The salt and pepper containers are small spice containers with a piece of electrical tape holding them together. You screw off the pepper to get to the salt and they are both handy at all times.

      This next one I am very proud of. We needed an easy way to carry small amounts of flour, rice, sugar, hot cocoa mix, rock salt (for the ice cream ball), pancake mix and tea bags. I was making some lemonade for my niece one day and thought they would make perfect containers for the motor home. I found that the name brand (Country Time and Kool Aid) containers work the best. The container the tea bags are in (middle of the top row) a generic brand and they don't seal as good. You do have to clean them really well then put baking soda in it for a few days and wash it really good again. You don't want your flour and pancake mix absorbing the lemonade and Kool Aid taste from the previous contents. If you can't smell the lemonade aid or Kool Aid anymore, then you're safe.

      This next photo isn't really an organization tip, it's more of a safety when opening the fridge door tip. You can kind of see those spring loaded dowels across every shelf in the fridge and the top shelf of the freezer (there was also one across one of the pantry cabinets). Those dowels have saved my toes and the top of my head many times. When fridge and cabinet items get moved around during the ride to camp, sometimes they rest against the door so when you open the door they come flying out. Those dowels prevent a lot of items from flying out and landing on your head or foot.

      You have to have your hotdog and marshmellow forks handy at all times but storing them isn't always easy. My husband came up with this idea. He got some 2 sided Velcro strips and stabled them to the wall above the bathroom and closet doors and it is the perfect spot to store the forks. The bad part is, your niece might see them and expect a fire every night you are camping so she can cook her hotdog by herself.
      Now for the bathroom. We have one of those tiny RV bathrooms where the entire bathroom is the shower. At the time we bought the motor home I didn't think it would be a big deal. After a few uses I realized it was kind of a pain, mostly because it is hard to juggle your soaps, the shower and make sure water doesn't get behind the shower curtain where it can leak out of the bathroom door or into the medicine cabinet. I used to put the soaps in the sink but the curtain pulls across the sink so it protects the medicine cabinet. For this year we added the shower caddy basket that you usually hang on your shower head in your house. (Does anybody else have a Flammable Gas sign hanging on the inside of their RV bathroom door?)

      Here is a closeup look of the shower basket hanging on the bathroom wall. We used the 3M Command hooks again (Those are great for use in RVs).

      Here is everything loaded in the shower basket. There's enough room if we have any guest campers with us, they can put their shower items in the basket, too. I can't wait to try the basket out. Even when the day comes that we upgrade our motor home to something a little bigger with the "dry toilet" bathroom (meaning the toilet isn't in the shower), this basket will still come in handy because everything stays in it really nice while you are driving down the road.

     I am always looking for ideas on how to organize our RV so if you have any ideas (especially if it has anything to do with organizing that closet) please email them to