About Todd

I'm a software engineer and I've been doing software development for a long time, over 19 years professionally for various companies and many more in my youth just for fun. I've had a long professional career. I'm always looking for other activities where i can learn new skills and discover the true meaning of life. I live for adventure, crafted whiskey, good cigars and remote places.

Getting Ready to Hunt!

It’s been a whirlwind since the beginning of the year. Selling a house, buying a house, moving, finding some work, building a wood shed, installing a wood stove, buying a tractor, getting some chickens, getting some cats, homeschooling our boys, processing 50 pounds of apples, making more soap…sheesh!

And now we’re getting ready to hunt. The first one for my oldest son Grant.

Just got to teach him how to sight in his newly acquired rifle from his great Grand Dad. Grant and I took turns shooting a .270 caliber rifle my Grand Father made for him and presented it to him on his birthday. He didn’t think it was for him at first, but was smiling ear to ear. The rifle is a special left handed variant (Grant’s a lefty) with a shorter barrel and less weight designed for youth shooters. We also have a nice area to shoot from our property with a tall backstop, lots of deer droppings all around the field too. The target we were shooting at was set out to about 100 yards and we where shooting 150 grain soft points. After some refinement, we got the rifle dialed in pretty well; at least 1 inch from the point of aim at 100 yards. The last shots were near the bulls-eye in the center and bottom left. Shoots pretty good, but recoils pretty hard. I thought poor Grant was going to get scoped, but he did great and kept his composure and his balance.

There are a lot of deer up here in the Palouse range and we see them out and about almost daily. They love the garbanzo bean fields. Hunting is more of a challenge up here, because of privately owned land in Potlatch. You can get a permit, but it’s not cheap. A two hour drive to White Bird is possible, but i would rather find a spot to scout near our home. There’s also the St. Joe National forest which is about an hour away, my only fear is it will be over crowded with hunters. We’ll see what happens and we’ll certainly have a grand old adventure where ever we end up going.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Walmart is a Holy Land

Wow, a truly inspiring story of giving this time of year. I was emotionally touched by it. I hope more people can have the opportunity to read it.

BossCook

“May I buy your groceries?”

Rather than buy ourselves and our young adult children gifts this Christmas, we decided to walk the walk.  You know.  That walk where you stop indulging yourself with increasingly frivolous items and actually reach out to help others not as fortunate.

We bought several Walmart gift cards with funds we would have used to buy our gifts for one another and our kids.   Then our daughter and daughter-in-law (who is pregnant with twins, our 10th and 11th grandchildren, so yes, we have more than enough blessings in our life), Mr. Wilkinson  and I went to our local Walmart yesterday, a beautiful Sunday morning.  Not quite knowing how to do what we wanted to do, just praying we’d get it right and not embarrass anyone or get arrested.  Our girls decided on an approach, took the gift cards, and my husband and I stood at a distance…

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Its gonna be a White Christmas

Over night we got a lot of snow (8 inches). Today the snow god is
delivering more as I type this and we’re expecting to get even more during the week. We’re located up on a ridge 4k snowmeasurefeet in elevation so we’re getting more than most people near town.

We are quite prepared for this though if we get snowed in.
We have about 5 cords of seasoned wood cut from last year that was left by the previous owner which should last us well into next year. Pantry is stocked up. Plenty of gas for the ATV which is now configured for plow duty. So long as the power stays on I’d say were going to be just fine. If the power does go off for a period of time we would obviously have to adapt a little bit. That means getting off the computer and going outside to do some more work and maybe have some fun after.

snowplow

I actually had fun snow plowing today. We have about 200 feet of driveway until the main road which needed plowed along with the garage entrance. I need to keep it clear for the UPS man who delivers all the way up here surprisingly. Don’t want to miss out on any Xmas gifts. I also had the idea of clearing the roof of snow, but initial footing tests indicated that I would fall on my ass and slide off the roof in glorious fashion and probably break my neck. So no, I’m just going to have to trust in the roof’s snow bearing load capacity for now.

After I was done plowing I saw that the kiddo’s discovered a new sledding hill near the house. It looked like they were having too much fun. So I had to test their sledding device to make sure it was safe.

There isn’t another place that I would rather be than right here in the mountains during this time of year. Spending it with my family in the snow brings me happiness and joy. We must cherish the time that we have on this earth and spend it wisely with those that we love. I only wish, that our extended family were also here to partake in the holiday festivities and of course the sledding fun.

I hope everyone reading this blog has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Snowy Fun Day

We spent the last 20 or so years in Texas which really doesn’t get much snow, just ice on occasion. A few mornings back we got enough snow (about 6 inches) to have fun with. At first I had the idea to blow up the inner tube so the boys could go sledding. Then another idea popped into my head:
dad

snowyBeastYep, sometimes the crazy ideas in my head lead to some good fun, albeit more risk for injury and other things that a dad doesn’t think about when concocting brainy ideas for my kids to partake in. In this particular case, the only thing that was hazardous was the horse turds buried under the snow. My youngest son declared that he is a “Snowy Beast” after I drug him through the snow a few times. Of course my other son saw what we were doing through the house window and promptly got his snow gear on and went outside for his turn. I bet if we had neighbors I could probably charge $$$ for all of their kids to ride the “Cherry Express”. Good thing we don’t, I’d probably get sued sometime later. Anyway, we had fun for a few hours. Next month, I’ll get their courage up for some other dumb but fun activity to do in the snow. I know, I’ll have to get them some skis! Here is a small video…

 

 

 

 

 

A Sad Day

Tuesday, November 10th 5:30 am ( a very brutal day )…

The fresh new snow over Monday night bent over the electric fence that had been keeping the four horses contained in the pasture. That morning I discovered that there were three of them just outside the house and not in their pasture. How odd I thought. Now keep in mind these aren’t our horses, they are our neighbors; they’re just here for the hay. The sun had not fully come up over the horizon yet, so it was still very dark (around 5:15 am).

Then I remembered that the main gate was left wide open.

I thought, “Oh crap!…one of them escaped and is wandering around on the road some where”. Dread started to weigh on me.

I Immediately threw on a light jacket, a beanie hat, and boots. Then went outside to look for the missing horse. By this time, Kelly was waking up and I asked her if she could help me look for the missing horse on my way out the door.

The light outside was still very dim and I jumped on the 4-wheeler and zoomed out of the garage into the brisk 30 degree morning air.The missing horse was nowhere to be found…initially. Then I noticed a large dark shape near our property’s border.

What was racing through my mind was, “That can’t be the horse, maybe its just one of the bushes or something”.  I went to investigate and throttled the ATV more…as I got closer the dark shape grew closer and transformed into a horse laying down on his right side. Another thought raced through my mind, “He’s just laying down, trying to keep warm”. Hoping, that was the case.

What I discovered was not the case at all. It was one of the most gruesome things I had ever seen in my life…

Somehow, someway, the horse managed to get tangled up in the barb wire fence. The snow revealed the struggle. Then I saw the metal T-post sticking out about 4 inches through his back. My mouth was agape. Now, I’m not going to describe the gory details, gentle readers. But rest assured one does not prepare enough for that kind of gory sight, especially in the wee hours of the morning.

He had been dead for at least a couple hours. I took pictures, not because I wanted to show the world, but because for some reason I thought they might be useful to show the owners before any animals came to feast.

I drove up back to the house and I told tell Kelly who just got outside. This was her favorite horse, sadly. She didn’t take it well. I told her to call the owners. She also called our nearest neighbors who came at once to help us clean up the mess.

By this time, there were more people on the scene, including the owners. We managed to get the carcass off the fence post with my ATV’s winch and drug the poor thing about 1000 feet to the next gate leaving a huge blood trail in the fresh snow. The carcass didn’t stay long. Another neighbor wanted it for wolf bait and loaded it up on his flat bed truck and hauled it away about an hour later.

Everyone helped us repair the fence. The owners took it better than we did, and seemed to be used to this sort of thing. Our close neighbor and a long time horse owner said that she had seen lots of horse deaths in fences over the years, but this was the most gruesome one she had ever seen. This was my first one and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

Luckily, I made sure Kelly never saw it because I didn’t want her to remember the horse in that way, but in the playful and gentle way that he once lived. I hope she can cope with other deaths that will happen on a farm from time to time because we are planning to get animals in the near future. Its just hard to see one die in that kind of way because you get attached to them over time even if they aren’t yours. Time will tell.