Sunday, January 29, 2012


Tea party shoes!
Don't mess with my rituals.

We all have them, from the order of how we get up and ready in the morning (I am coffee, shower, dress, brush teeth), to just preparing that perfect cup of coffee in the first place. It allows you to savor the moment, something we don't do enough of on a daily basis while we are busy trying to cram two hours into one. If you are female, we love the ritual of getting dressed up to go out. Hair, makeup, shoes, the whole package. Cooking on the weekends, same deal. Chopping, wine, stirring, tasting, more wine... One of my friends enjoys getting new ink on a regular basis, a very involved ritual with lasting results.

Archery really can be seen as a mini-ritual for each arrow. Same plan, thoughtfully executed over and over.  Ideally, there is just you, the bow and your arrow. The Japanese have this down to a beautiful science.

I don't mind getting interrupted mid-ritual during practice. Your friends stealing your arrows, the puppy gettin' into the squeaky bone in the next room, or someone having a giggle fit (Oh wait, that was me). It's good practice for the idiot that I encountered today (who I hope is reading this). If I am shooting for a score, it's wise to NOT talk to me while I am at full draw. Please, do not under any circumstance tell me to let down unless you are my coach. If you can't keep your arrows and/or stabilizer in your own personal space without banging into someone else, it might be time to take up bowling instead. He wasn't trying to mess with me, just unbelievably clueless. Those who know me well would be shocked to hear that no heads (his) were taken off. I breathed in. Breathed out. Told my inner bitch to sit this one out. Continued my ritual of visualizing my shot sequence. Nice end with a decent group. Sucks to be you buddy.

How do you recapture your mojo after your ritual has been interrupted?  Do you have your own ritual before you shoot to get in the right mindset?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

All About Attitude

Y'all get a two-fer this Thursday.
This needs to be my mindset in two weeks...

 Am I there yet... not quite. Suggestions welcome.

Words to Live By

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thundersnow and Flying Monkeys

So this is what 70 mph wind does to a target when you leave it outside in January.


Traveling this week. Had a good practice today, so was a good place to leave things for a few days. See ya when I get back.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Making the World Smaller, One Blog at a Time

Hola! Everyone seems to be heading inside now that winter has actually woken up here in NYS. It was a balmy 11 degrees this morning while writing this. More cooking, indoor practice for me and blogging.  I've just sent in my second article on cold weather practice tips (see poll on left, tick tock) for BowAmerica, so look for the new issue in your inbox, February 5th. The first issue was really, really well received by everyone, so don't miss out! The next issue will be even bigger and better!

In order to stave off cabin fever, I have connected with more bloggers with similar interests in the past few weeks, including Stephanie at ::StephChows:: (food and crafty-ness) and Annie at At Home and at Sea (Sailing and organic cooking) and Grant from Grant Taylor Images (fly fishing and photography).

Matt and I live in the sticks, so planning to shoot our winter league is important when the roads are crappy and icy and we need to get the heck out of the house. Grant joins us sometimes when he has new shiny equipment to sight in. Stephanie and I met up last weekend for some archery practice, Korean food and a crash course in crocheting. Hilarious! I don't crochet, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. Thanks, Steph!

Annie is the co-captain and chef of the J&E Riggin in Maine and somehow finds the time to come up with new and delicious organic recipes. It's looking like a very fun vacation! I can't wait to meet her!

One of my all-time favorite blogs to read, and the blogger I'd most like to meet when I hit Denver, is Erika from Red Head Writing, a business strategist that pulls no punches. If you can't handle the f-bomb, avoid. She gets the big picture of business and life in general. From her current blog page this week, "Remember. Apply love liberally, in all that you do. We only have one chance to own this motherfucker of a ride called life, and well, yeah. Own it." I am impatiently waiting for her new book to come out. Hello, Amazon - this one for Kindle, please!

I'm off to San Francisco for work this weekend, so may not post for a bit. In the meantime, check out the above bloggies. :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Beef Barley Soup

Happy Friday the 13th! We are finally getting some winter here in upstate NY, which means I'm making more soup. I have warm fuzzy memories of soup as a kid, and we ate a lot of it since my grandma didn't waste anything (including chicken feet from when we butchered the hens. Ok, not so warm memories there).  There was always a pot of what she called "Garbage Soup" going with whatever was leftover or handy and it was never the same twice.

Doesn't that look good!
I have a longer commute and when the roads are bad, getting home late happens pretty often. A crock pot is a must when you are starving and need something tasty asap. I normally don't post recipes, but this one is worth sharing and it's really easy to put together. This is my friend Cortney's Dad's Beef Barley soup. I've left out the milk and flour because it doesn't need it and it's really great with a fresh out of the oven loaf of bread. A chicken and rice variation is super easy too. If you do a venison version, let me know how it comes out.

Brown the meat and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil, everything else gets chopped and goes into the crockpot at once.

1# stew beef, browned
1/2 lb of sliced mushrooms, browned
3 scallions washed and chopped
2T chicken boullion
2T beef boullion
1 medium onion, chopped
2/3 C dry barley
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf
2T parsley, or baby spinach in a pinch
3 peeled and sliced carrots
2 sliced celery stalks
5 dashes of worcestershire

Crockpot gets set on low and cooks for 10 hours or until you can't stand it anymore. Takes about 3 hours of simmering if you can mind the stove.

What's your favorite go-to soup?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Feel Lucky

"I Feel Lucky"- Mary Chapin Carpenter

I don't know how much magical goodness you are allowed in a single day. Most of those days are reserved for things like new babies and weddings and the like.  Thursday got pretty close, but without adding a new person to the world. Starting with the anticipation and leading up to the very well received BowAmerica (Blatant plug!) issue and ending with shooting a whopping new personal best at the end of the day.

Someone asked me what was the difference in how I was shooting that day. I am sure that the excitement of earlier translated into extra confidence and relaxation on the line. Even though physically I was pretty tired it didn't seem to have an effect on where the arrows were heading. Once in a while you see how your attitude makes all the difference.

How do you recreate this on a regular basis? If you've had a seriously above average day at the range, what was it that made the difference for you?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bow Meets Girl Meets BowAmerica

Yes, that's snow and yes, I was freezing
Much thanks to BowAmerica for selecting this article to print in this brand new magazine! Whee! I am officially published! 

I am a target huntress. Not to be confused with those awesome women that are compelled to sit chilly in a tree or hike deep into the backcountry for their elk or deer.  I hunt paper x’s year round, usually 4-5 days a week in the summer with a recurve and occasionally I break out my compound just for fun. I also have been known to enjoy shooting in the pouring rain in our backyard in upstate NY.

Growing up in rural central Michigan as a kid in the camo culture, I fooled around with my Bear bow, but set it down to obsessively ride horses until I went off to college. The bug didn’t bite until I was in my thirties. Then it bit. Hard. My dad and I made the trek up to Jay’s in Clare on Christmas Eve to select my starter bow and a good sized compound target.  Somehow after the first season, I just never stopped. Would go out after work in the backyard and shoot arrows until it got too dark to see where they went. It takes your total concentration, lets you relax and when you are in the zone, you aren't really thinking about anything but aiming. 

Lots of girls get into this with a boyfriend who 3-Ds on the weekends and end up giving their SO a run for their money. Loving that archery companies are beginning to realize that the ladies are just as serious about this sport and making daintier, though no less rugged, bows for us girls with girly names like the Stiletto.  Just a few years ago, there was not so much to choose from. You either got a youth bow or a hand me down that didn’t fit so well. My release had to be cut way down, my pocket quiver made for me for smaller girl pockets. My sister has recently been converted into the archery clan and is the proud owner of her very own hunting set up. Plus, she looks great in head-to-toe camo and war paint.

The Lil' Ball o' Sass
Switching from compound where I was comfortable as a consistent 295+ shooter, to the recurve system developed by the current USA Archery Head Coach was, and continues to be, a huge challenge. Using a finger tab for the very first time, I couldn’t get my fingers to let go. Unlearning muscle memory that has served you well and replacing it with something that is not necessarily immediately as successful can be like banging your head against the wall. And getting lower scores sucks when you are used to hitting 9 out of 10 X’s.  I have been really fortunate to find super patient people to work with that put up with my occasional sassypants.  When I get really frustrated, the compound comes out of retirement and reminds me why I started down this road.  This is also a much more physical version of archery. In the summer I was shooting well over 100 arrows a session, 4-5 days week. You sweat and you get muscle sore and you get sick of the songs on your iPod.  Check out YouTube for World Archery, there is a reason the recurve people look fitter. It’s ‘cause they have to be.

One of the great things about archery is the people that we have meet along the way.  Both my husband and I have received an amazing amount of help, information and support from a quite a few folks since we started doing this. Need to borrow a set of arrows, a clicker, try a new quiver?  Someone has one in their case that’s not being used.  Here, just use it for a while.  I swapped my Hoyt Pro-Elite, code name Cricket, for an Olympic recurve system a little over a year ago and have met even more cool and interesting people. This sport seems to recruit similar-minded people. Lots of engineer-types, creatives, and control freaks determined to perfect their aim.  As a whole we are highly competitive, but surprisingly supportive of each other.  A lot of other sports can’t say that. Another thing most sports can’t say, you can spend a day on the same bale with an elite archer, chatting and watching up close what they do. When is the last time you spent an hour in the batting cage with Derek Jeter? Yeah, I thought so.

And now a quick word about hunting. I am not opposed to the responsible hunting of anything you plan on putting in the freezer. I’ve dabbled a bit with hunting wiley Michigan turkeys but am not a hard-core hunter. You can read about it in a back post of Bow Meets Girl, my online rambling of my relearning to shoot. 

“In life, you only hit what you aim at,” Ralph Waldo Emerson
So put ‘em in the middle.