Shotgun Showdown

Months ago I decided to pick up a LivingSocial Deal for a clay pigeon shooting session. Lois was in town over the weekend and so we decided it would be a perfect time to use it too.

The Richmond Hunting Club offered the deal and I wasn’t too sure what to expect before arriving. The Club is located about 80 minutes outside of Chicago (traffic free), close to the border of Wisconsin and Illinois. The thing about guns and shooting, in my opinion is that sometimes people are very protective and not very warm about teaching/fostering a sense of empowerment and safety. I wasn’t sure if we would stumble upon friendly gun-enthusiasts, or a grumpy city-hating gun club. (It turns out they were a GREAT group of gun enthusiasts in a very welcoming club.) Personally, I’m lucky enough to have grown up around firearms as well as been taught as an adult by my favorite ex-military Führer how to shoot, clean, and maintain firearms safely. I could imagine for some their first experiences with firearms could be not so safe/fun/interesting/proper though, leaving the door open for poor gun handling practices and unsafe conditions. Here in Illinois, there is a huge split about guns in our culture/society. Considering much of the state is rural – it’s no surprise firearms are welcome in farming/rural communities and so lamented within the city of Chicago. I have researched and also become informed about the huge illegal gun market/social problems in Chicago – but – for me, my experience with firearms and shooting has no correlation to this epidemic. I will never purchase a gun illegally, or at all in Illinois, nor will I ever engage in unsafe gun handling scenarios. I understand that guns are guns, but my experience with guns, in no way shape or form resembles the tragic gun violence that sadly plagues Chicago. I have no idea how to begin to remedy this issue, but I know that making guns illegal for all is not the solution. I do know that proper safety and engaging in a culture that passes down the respect and importance of guns is something I do identify with. That is my opinion from my experience – you are entitled to yours.

That being said. We arrived. The people were very welcoming and were incredibly excited that we were early! I have heard this complaint about Chicagoans quite often when traveling outside the city for appointments – apparently everyone forgets that 90/94 is a MESS most of the time and you always have to add 30 minutes on to a commute outside the city proper. We bought our additional 75 rounds at $1 a piece (!!!! this is when you can tell you are not at the gun show !!!!), grabbed some attractive safety vests, our 20G Shotguns, and headed to the clay pigeon course.

First, our ‘puller’ and firearm companion for the morning was awesome. He really made our trip and time SO MUCH FUN. We were able to quickly master the mechanics of the shotgun so that our marksmanship skills became the focus early on versus struggling with loading/processes. Lois did so so well at this. I was super impressed with her sighting skills and gained some great pointers from her gun/body movement. I’m much more a ‘wait till the target passes my line of sight’ versus ‘follow the target’ shooter. We both did so great. I was really proud of our skills and our aptitude at firing effectively. On the ‘bunny simulator’ I hit 8/10 clays and was really proud – but again I just set up my sight and waited for that ‘wabbit’ to breeze by and then BAM.

We shot 100 rounds each at 10 different blinds/scenarios and I would highly recommend the Richmond Hunting Club for any sport/recreational/hunting practice shooting. The ammo buy-in was really expensive, but the blinds and the shooting scenarios were worth it (seriously best course ever) – not to mention our ‘puller’ was just great. We had a blast. I will def try to get back as often as I can because it was just a really great time. Thanks Richmond Hunting Club! 🙂

xxx
GFK

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Blog Break

Well, I sure did not mean to take a week long break from GFK. However, I was incredibly busy and distracted. First, my mom came into town over the weekend and we had a blast! Walking, hanging, watching Roku, crafting, shopping, and of course eating. Second, work has been kicking my butt. I start a new assignment and to say that I’m taking to it like a fish to water would be a lie. I’m struggling. I know things get better with practice and time, but it’s difficult at the moment. I’m mentally really tired. I haven’t been able to craft as much lately simply because my brain is overloaded. Third, GMAT prep is just crap. Wow the positive vibes are radiating out of me here – but – spending 15+ hours a week on something and seeing no improvement is just shitty. There I said it. I stand by my claim that I’ll pray to God I’ll pull a great score out of my ass on test day, but realistically it looks like I’ll need a formal ($$$$) class this fall. Le sigh.

Things getting me through the weather, life, work, and stress of May 2014: Long walks during lunch, epic BBQ sessions at my house at night, Yoga – handstands, Runs/Gym time, Candy/Sweets/Chocolate, T-we Tea, Roku 3, and the ugly tribe.

me and katy puggy

5-2013 vs 5-2014

Onward. zzzzz.
GFK

Lois Came for a Visit

Lois – my mom (and my nickname for her) came to visit over the weekend. I was so glad to just hang out, run errands, and eat super tasty food with her. Honestly, I forget that I’m here alone, because of social media and phones. But, I LOVED having her here even if it was for a few short days.

We both started watching Chicago P.D. and got addicted.

Don’t worry I don’t have my mom come all this way just to watch TV! We were working on our Heliopath KALs!

1/2 way done with the cable pattern!

Then, I have been on the market for some vintage Pyrex – but I’m still too cheapskate to pay the retail prices for it now. I mean, all the sellers know it’s popular at the moment so for a set of 4 nesting bowls it’s common to see $100 price tag attached. I’m more into the designed square refrigerator ones so it’ll take time to ease in to that hobby. BUT. We went to this great Vintage/Retro Kitchen store in Chicago called Jazze Junque and it was way cool. She had loads of vintage Pyrex, $500 cookie jars, plates, mugs, kitchen sets, glasses – I was in heaven.

I got this Simpsons gem for $2! 🙂

We ate amazing Polish food at Staropolska in my neighborhood too. I tried to practice my Polish, but I’m too shy and got way too nervous. But the waitress was really nice, even after I made an ass out of myself trying.

placek z cukini z piersia z kury, papryka, cebula, cukinia, kozi ser (zucchini pancakes with chicken, peppers, goat cheese)
kiełbasa z kapusta (sausage and cabbage)

We also got tattoos. I got this ‘Dunwich Horror’ inspired monster man and done by Josh Howard at Pioneer Tattoo in Chicago.

Done by Mr. Josh Howard

I made this little tissue ‘coozie’ for Josh Howard also since he is an elderly_lady.

strawberry chocolate cake.

Overall great weekend. Back to reality.

XXX
GFK

A High School Memory

Share a high school memory that you will never forget.

It’s funny I’m not really someone who cared about high school. I got to school one minute before the bell rang and was outta there thirty seconds after class ended. I only liked a handful of people from high school and I still talk/catch up/know what those handful are up to via facebook/blogs/instagram/texting etc. Otherwise high school, for me, was a time when I got the opportunity to grow personally away from the stereotypical teenage norms.

I never drank, smoked, partied – the extent of my ‘rebellion’ was planning to see a movie and then seeing a late screening then going home afterwards. I didn’t see the need to rebel or anything because I loved my home life. I never had a teenage romance or love or boyfriend. I did however become obsessed with Heath Ledger (RIP) and Elivs (RIP). I worked hard in school and it paid off for me with my success in college.

I did however discover the gym and healthy eating. I would say the coolest thing I did was lose a bunch of weight – and healthfully. But that’s not really a memory as more a learned lifestyle I’m happy I was open to.

I guess what I would never forget is that I didn’t have the ‘typical’ high school experience. Instead, I came home for lunch everyday senior year to have it with my grandma and hold ribbons so she could tie them into bows, spent Saturday nights watching Lawrence Welk with Juanita and Lois, spent some Fridays having amazing dinner parties with Lois or Poppop & Cym, and overall had really enjoyable time with the people I loved.

It takes most young people well into their twenties to figure out their family is actually awesome. I’ve always known this and therefore I’m glad there’s not one stand out memory from ‘high school’ that doesn’t involve them some how.

It’s funny though, in hindsight I really loved who I was in high school especially the last year or so. Here I am almost a decade later and I’m getting back to the things my 17 year old self lived by and thought was important. Family, self-worth, healthy (i.e. sober) living, hard-work, and CRAFTS!

Oh and for good measure my favorite thing about high school was this band:


xxxx
GFK

ps. THE DARKNESS RULE.

Crafter-Blood

I am from a line of crafty and meticulous women.  My blood is made from a mix of glitter, thread clippings, and creativity.  I am of crafter-blood.

In all seriousness I am so lucky to have both my grandmothers as examples of how creative someone can be.  My mom is a talented seamstress and knitter herself, so growing up was filled with art, projects, crafts, and unique gifts.  I don’t know what I would do with myself if I wasn’t a crafter.  How do people live without a craft project?  What do they do?  Here are some photos of the few of uncounted crafts from those with crafter-blood that I am a descendant of.

Vladimir wrapped in an Afgan from prior to 1950!

Quilt my Grandmother Joyce Fern made for me in 1997.

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Quilt my Grandma Joyce Fern gave to me last summer. (My FAV)

Seed Stich on a cowl that then became a cat teepee.

Rasta Hat

Vladimir in the perfect sweater (adjustments made for his long body).

The first animal sweater I made. Love the yarn I used.

I generally have an animal trying to sit on my lap at all times.

An angel my Grandma Carolyn Mary made prior to 1950.

Cricut Paper Crafts I also do.

Harry Potter Onsies I made.

Sewing 101. Learning my new/old machine that belonged to Carolyn Mary.

Cat bed I made – They love it. Obviously.

A Tale of Two Brothers

In honor of our last few days as a family of four I thought I would tell the story of two brothers – Leopold & Vladimir.

First there was a little spoiled pug named Leopold William Edward VIII.

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He was the epitome of an only child – not having to share any toys or treats.

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He even had his very own life vest and personal pool wrangler in the summer. (So spoiled)

But one day – a new creature appeared that everyone kept saying was his brother, Vladimir.

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It was hard to understand how this thing was his brother since they didn’t look anything alike and he looked kind of scary.

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At first it was awkward and there was lots of staring and sniffing.

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But slowly they started not minding each other – especially if mom was around.

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And one time Vladimir hurt his foot, but Leopold took care of him and made sure he was going to be as good as new.

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After that, Vladimir knew that Leopold was his brother – and started treating him like one.

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They even had to wear matching outfits  – how embarrassing!

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But over the past 4 years Leopold and Vladimir have grown to love each other very much and they are really brothers.

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The End.

It will be so fun to have them meet their new ‘brother’ on Saturday – the story will only get better.