A very merry unbirthday to you! TO YOU!

“Babe..?”

“Yes?”

“I’m 25…right?”

“Are you actually asking me this?”

“Yes – how old am I?”

“You are 26!”

“I lost a whole year…..?”

This is an actual conversation Cody and I had about three weeks ago.

It seems that as you get older for women, you start going backwards in age, but for men you just lose years. You stop counting all together.

Today Cody turns 27! I am marrying this handsome devil.

And although he is not a big fan of birthdays,(tonight’s festivities include Chinese food and a Sons Of Anarchy marathon), I am a huge fan of him!

Love you Cody! Happy birthday! I have a feeling this is going to be a great year!

~ Jacqui

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WVS Gift Guide for the Hunter in your life

As you all know, the love of my life Cody is a outdoors-man/hunter…although, put a spider in front of him and he will prove that label wrong.  For this gift guide, I am going to let you in on a little secret…Cody tells me ALL YEAR ROUND what to buy him and all I have to do is listen in on his conversations with his hunting group, the conversations with his friends, and with his uncle Pierre – it’s his only pastime (other than me). I am not eavesdropping…Well, I am, but only to find out how I can spoil him, because that is one of my favourite pastimes!

See? favourite pastime!

First, I will address fashion. In every hunter’s wardrobe, camo is a staple: real tree camo that is! Everything and anything: t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, under armour, socks, boots, jackets, EVERYTHING!! This year, my eyes are on reversible camos, which go from winter to fall hunting. They are essential and very practical to closet space, when you think about it. Instead of having two sets of bibs* taking up all the room in the closet that should be for everyone’s coats, there will be plenty of room with these oh-so-fancy pants!

Those hunters are fashion forward! Such thinkers!

If you are budget savvy, then this next option is not for you! Two years ago I bought Cody a new excalibur bow, with the help of our friend Jeff, because, let’s be honest, I would go for the prettiest ones, which may work like crap. Cody had been handed down a bow from his uncle, which had seen better days. He had been talking about upgrading it and adding on a new scope to help him see better, and tweaking it to get a better shot out of it. I thought with all the upgrading he would be putting into it, why not just get a new bow? I asked Jeff if he could help out with finding one on sale, that is still a great bow, which he did. I got a picture about a week later, telling me to BUY IT – so I did! If you are to take anything away from this post, it should be do research! My form of research is the many men in my life who LOVE hunting and love Cody. All of Cody’s friends who he grew up with are thankfully interested in the same hobby, so having them as my experts is where I start. Not only will they help me find what I am looking for, but they also help me with the lingo, so when it does come time for me to purchase any one of these items, I sound like I know what  I am talking about!  The look on Cody’s face when he opened this gift was PRICELESS! This year he has been dropping hints for a new gun, but I didn’t give in this year, even though this would be right up my alley for spoiling. There is always his birthday, then the wedding.

I don’t think this is the exact model, but I can’t tell the difference. That’s where you get your researchers to help!!!!

If you have not noticed a trend, everything is real tree camo. In our area, Sail, which is an outdoor store, just opened up. At this point, Cody has not made me go into the store, so I am not sure if this is going to be the greatest thing ever because I will no longer have to travel far to get his gifts, or the bane of my existence because Cody will have a better chance of getting more “just because” presents.

Hunters require tags for every season in order for the ministry to hunt legally (this excludes waterfowl, which have other ministry limits) and they can be purchased at Canadian Tire. A great gift idea would be a gift card for their tags for the season. These requirements are Ontario-based, but I am assuming that the same concept would be across Canada and the US; however, they may have other requirements. Most people may think that gift cards are impersonal, but to me giving Cody a gift card for any one of his favourite stores to get himself all set up for the season is one of the best gifts you can give a hunter. In Southern Ontario, that includes TSC, Canadian Tire, Sail, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, which are all larger box stores that a gift card would be great for. Cody has some local favourite outdoor stores, little mom and pop shops that he visits frequently, but again do research so that you can give a gift and give back to your local small shops!

Enjoy the shopping season, and try to spread the holiday cheer!

~ Jacqui

*Bibs are the the pant sets of camos, which are worn over the shoulders. They pretty much look like snow pants for hunters…Okay, they are snow pants for hunters.

What no one told me about living with a boy

I have always wanted a brother – I liked the idea of a protector. I thought “If only one of my sisters was a brother, man what a life that would be!” – until I moved in with Cody and I had to start worrying about things I NEVER had to worry about because I grew up with all ladies females.

Suddenly my world changed…no one prepared me, no one sat me down and told me that things would change.

The Toilet Seat 

Gone are the days of carefree midnight bathroom trips. Now when I wake in the middle of the night due to nature calling, I have to somewhat wake up to make sure that I don’t fall in BECAUSE IT HAS HAPPENED. I have cursed Cody’s name in the wee morning hours as I submerge my bottom half in freezing cold toilet water, and try to roll myself out of the toilet still half asleep. Then to stumble back up to bed, with a half drenched t-shirt which I will have to replace. I have now started to hide an extra T-shirt in our linen closet in the bathroom. But, you know what would be better? If I could remember that the toilet seat might be up, or better yet…if the toilet seat were put back down.

Football…Hockey…Football…Hockey… 

I didn’t grow up watching sports. I didn’t play any sports growing up.  The closest thing that was found on our television set was the Olympics when they were on, or figure skating on Sunday afternoons as my mom folded laundry. Now, I know that my life for 6 weeks will be football, which then overlaps into hockey and then there is short break until football starts back up again. It’s not that don’t enjoy them. Sometimes when the games are good, and it’s not a bunch of nonsense, I will watch and I might even get involved and throw around some terminology, all of which Cody lovingly puts up with, because I honestly know nothing and I am probably giving him more of a laugh than anything else.

Beer…in the shower? 

There are beer bottles on the counter, in the living room, and sometimes in the bedroom, but Cody introduced me to the shower beer. Now this practice I have tried with coffee – it doesn’t work. Wine? Forget it. However, a nice hot shower with a cold beer has helped with the worst of days. I am not a big drinker, however this is one way of ending a horrible day that I have not regretted as of yet. Try it…trust me!

Unexpected Visitors

Being from a small town, on the main road, we get a lot of visitors. Some of them announced…and others not so much. At any moment in time I may have to dart from one room to the next without being seen because I don’t like wearing pants in my own house. No pants are the best pants. With my family and friends, 95% of the time there is a warning!

“Hey, Toni and Julia are coming over at insane o’clock to go running tomorrow, heads up!”

Cody’s warnings are more than likely 2 seconds prior to someone coming into the house, as Bacon is barking and I am trying to find a blanket or towel to wrap around me in order go find suitable visitor bottoms.

Why are there feathers?

Cody, as I have mentioned before, is a hunter, which means that at any given time there is some kind of wild game that I do not recognize in our freezer and during the fowl season, I may stumble upon a bag of feathers. I have learned to not ask questions, but rather to take advantage of the fact that Cody is out of the house, and I can watch every rerun of Friends and Sex and the City I can find.

 

Growing up with all females may have been intense every 4 weeks…but it also was a blessing. I learned how to cook, bake, clean, when to stay away and when to show up. At the time I was going through it I couldn’t wait to get out… and now that I am out, I miss it more than I could imagine.

 

~ Jacqui