Cleaned my first fish

Let me start off by saying that no I am not doing this just for ‘readers’ I fish (sometimes) and I figured that maybe I should know how to clean what I catch, it it is ever bigger than what my husband calls ‘bait fish’. I have caught the total of 20ish bait fish and no keepers.

First off, the smell. Oh wow! I can change diapers that let’s just say cheek to covered cheek, shovel after the dog does his thing and field dress a rooster. So those smells don’t both me at all, but fish that has been in fridge for a day or so…..WOW.

But once I got over the smell I had to do a couple rounds of jumping up and down and shaking out my limbs to pump myself up, then you have to grab the fish. EWWWWWW! But that was the smallest eww of the day. Did you know that you have to remove the head and insides? I didn’t quite know that, and I had to do it. Which I did, but the gross factor stayed around during the whole time during the first fish.

Did she just say first fish? Yes, yes I did. I not only did one first but I did four. I did three silvers and 1 king, by the third filet (side being removed) I was doing pretty good. I sort of started doing my own ways of it, granted the foundation was what my husband taught me. But I am told that there are many ways to clean a fish and they vary from person to person and fish to fish.

All I know is that now I want to get my own knife (pink of course), maybe those tables that are slightly curved so your not fighting gravity so much. And maybe next time I won’t clean them on top of the stove, there was major clean up afterwards and my kitchen smelt of bleach and soap.

But I am proud that I now can clean a fish, granted I seem to have some major skill for removing the ribs while taking the filets off the spine. Not sure that I will ever get use to the smell but all that matters is that now we have a way to stock up our freezer and I can help.

This all happened yesterday but I am still happy as a clam that I set out to learn something new and different (mostly dirty) and mastered it. Now if I could just get more free time to fish. But I love hanging out with my girls and they also like to fish, would you believe that they catch keepers and I don’t?!

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Shooting guns and field dressing

I am just going to start by saying that I have never actually shot an animal yet, I am still working on my horrible aim. (I am lucky if I even hit something besides dirt or air, I don’t care if I miss really.) I do enjoy the smell of a recently fired gun and the loud ear piercing bang of the bullet leaving the barrel, seeing the empty shell flying though the air after being ejected from the gun with such grace as a falling feather.

Now because I haven’t mastered how to aim with wind interference or how to calculate where to aim above the target so that my bullet hits where I want it. But there is something I have done that my husband (and the males that were also shooting) never have done. Field dress a bird. I did feel like yes I am a female and my aim is horrible and my gun is pink but, the fact alone that I did not flinch while field dressing an animal was a bigger rush than actually firing a gun. (I think it was because there was 6 men and I was the only person willing to and eager to take care of a kill.)

Let me explain how this field kill came to be, we shoot on a friends property and there is plenty of acreage that is fenced in so so one would wonder into the ‘shooting range’. So on this property there is also a pond with fish and some birds, small goats and chickens with a rooster. I guess the rooster was mean towards the children of our friends and they requested that we shoot it. I was intrigued, I have always wanted to hunt but unsure of how I would feel about seeing an animal being killed. This would be the perfect way to see if I do in fact want to hunt or if I just like to shoot a gun.

Well, turns out I don’t have feeling about an animal being killed. I do have a problem that our friends were just going to toss the carcass in the woods and leave it. So I asked if I could have it to take home for dinner, the answer back was a slow okay. (like this ooookay) Keep in mind I have never field dressed an animal but I have cut off the legs and feet of already dead whole chickens. Those chickens were empty and featherless and cold. This rooster was whole, feathered and still warm. (Gross now that I think about it, but I did it.)

I won’t go into complete detail about what I did, but here is a PG version. I removed all feathers but gave the tail feathers to the kids that lived on the property and kept some to make (weird statement->) Christmas ornaments for my husband. Cut off the feet and cleaned them close to the roosters ankle (yet another keepsake for my husband), but when it came to the head I could not get the right leverage to remove it but my husband helped. I then removed the insides and the skin. Removing the inside bits took some funny jumping in place to pump myself up, but I did it and it was so much different than removing the innards from chickens or turkeys you get from the store.

My husband said that he was so proud of me, the other men kept asking me if I do this often. I love my answer, “Nope, first one”, then they asked how I knew how to do it, “I guess I just know how”. I never read anything or watched videos but I did it. We baked it in the oven and shredded the meat for dinner. It was tough meat, and I think next time I will boil it in the base to make home made rooster noodle soup. But that wonderful day where I shot my own gun (38 special hammerless Pink Lady) and field dressed a rooster has sparked my love for shooting and hunting. Can’t wait until I can get my own hunting gun and take down some more dinner.

Oh and incase you are wondering when I was done with the rooster I used a whole travel sized hand sanitizer bottle on my hands and arms. When we went to pick up the girls from my parents I showed off my handy work to my parents and they were very proud of my too. I also washed my hands and arms again with so much soap and a scrub brush. When we got home I took a shower with so much soap I used the whole bar. I wasn’t disgusted by what I had done, I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t get blood on anyone or anything. Better safe than sorry.

This happened a while ago and fingers crossed that today my husband will teach me how to clean a fish. My first one, we are doing a King Salmon, I am so excited to learn. I would have never thought growing up that one day I would trade spa trips and pedi appointments for shooting guns and field dressing animals. My husband has brought out the best person in me and helped my discover who I really am. And, on the up side it is good to know that I if it happens and we need to survive off of animals and fish we get from nature, not only can I clean them I can cook them. Now just to master aiming my gun, but that will have to be later for now, I can hear the salmon calling my name to be cleaned.

Chores for kids, starting NOW

My whole life I was taught that making a mess was part of growing up. When I was little the messes I made were picked up by my mother, she was a homemaker also. When I got older I was allowed to help my mom with the dishes and dusting and what ever else she let me do. I thought I was merely her little helper, little did I know that this was what she did daily to keep a happy home. I remember getting older and not wanting to ‘help’ any more, but then I got paid to help. Awesome deal! Um, no what had happen was it became my job, only is it a chore when I didn’t want to do it.

Keep in mind I am not a tidy person, this I know and don’t mind. I have always been messy but I like to,think of it as disorganized creativity. Yeah, that theory worked from when I was a kid to mid twenties. I have kids now and messy is not really working much more. They are old enough to destroy a room mere seconds after I have sweated and sometimes bled to clean it up. This I what I called a cleaning stalemate. My children were younger and it was harder to make them help. But now, they are 2 and 3 and I do make them help, they find it fun and I let them keep all the shiny coins they find. Sort of like allowance, but never enough shiny coins to actually buy anything.

I don’t give them hard chores, mostly picking up toys and things off the floor and putting the, in the rooms where they belong. For some reason they feel in the doorway of a rooms counts, but that it pretty good for young kids. They help load and unload washing machine and dryer, they can only unload the dishwasher of the plastics and lids. But when they are very bad I have them wipe tables and floors, I have even done this in stores. It is quite amazing what kids retain, I can ask them anywhere if ‘they want to scrub floors’ and they promptly say ‘no mame’, this seems to be the best form of punishment I have come across so far. The down side is I am a ‘mean mommy’ but the up side is more cleaning gets done.

I do love dearly when they help me clean, granted sometimes they end up making a larger mess than actually helping but it is a new thing that I am doing. I never realized that something we all teach our kids is to try to be neat and tidy, granted many of us don’t want to be tidy and organized but we all have our breaking point where we buckle down and clean.

I really hope that my kids like to be have clean places just like my mom, because I don’t mind the dirt and mess as much. But for now I will take a page from my mothers book of life and clean, clean and clean some more. Who knows if I stick to it long enough I might even have the same standards of clean that my mother has. But for now my break is over and I must finish the family room, I just dislike our hardwood floors. They are such a pain to keep clean, large area rugs are defiantly in my future.

Happy Monday and happy reading.

Official Preschooler

Well I did it, more like we did it. It was Gabby’s official first day of school and it was the full day. We did the half day where I was with her and she got to try out preschool and she didn’t even notice that I was there. But today was the whole day, well she goes in the morning and she made it. No accidents or anything, I am so proud. Granted that I was positive she would want to go home early or need me to come and hover around. But she was a perfect student.

I guess I have to face the fact that my little girl is growing up and doesn’t need to hold my hand anymore. I know that at times she will need me and I will be there waiting, hoping it is sooner than later. People say to not count your chickens before they hatch, but I this case I think that it is okay. The only reason I know this is because SHE wanted to go to preschool, SHE was ready. I wish I was in the same boat but luckily her little sister can distract me.

Parts of me do look forward to when both my girls will be in preschool and I will have my own time. But then there is a little twinge inside of me that knows when that day happens I will have to figure out what to do with myself. I have already started to look into taking online classes to finish my degree, or maybe find a part time job, depending on what the girls schedule is like.

As my children grow parts of me feel lost and left behind, however, parts of me rejoice that they are coming into their own. Parenthood is a pull and push of many emotions and feelings that no one prepares you for. There is no book out there to help you deal with how you feel, you can ask your own parents and they smile, give you advice and think back to when you were a child. And that is what life is, experiencing things first hand and figuring out what path to take and hoping that you made the right choice.

I know now that my child will grow up and experience life and not want to hold my hand, or have me close by; but when they do, I will be there, with open arms and a heart full of love. Always and forever they will be my babies and I just want to love them and help them every day.