Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hunter's Hunter Safety Education Course.

Hunter attended classes today and got his Hunter Safety Certification that is required of all new hunters before getting a license. It is a three day course that takes about 10 hours of class time to complete. Hunter took the class in Siler City, which is a good distance away, but if we had waited on the class to be in Moore County, it would have probably been in the summer or fall. Hunter was excited, and I wanted to strike while the iron was hot!

Hunter, at ten, was the youngest participant in the class. His classes went from 5:30 pm through 9 pm. He attended all three days by himself while Joy, Brittney, Walker and myself went to Pittsboro or Asheboro or stayed around Siler City and burned up time shopping or just kicking around. Tonight was the last night, and Hunter was excited as he would get to take the test tonight. He was confident that he would do well, as he listened intently during the class periods. When the test was over, he had made 100! According to his instructer, he was the only one. Woo Hoo Hunter.

It has been good to see Hunter excited about taking this class. I think we are seeing something of his future today. He excels when something grabs his attention. He also doesn't seem to mind putting himself in groups with more experience and age. I hope that Hunter can take what he has learned here and have a lifetime of safe hunting experiences!

The above is a picture of Hunter at the classroom in Siler City. Congratulations Hunter!

Posted via email from MartinFarm

Monday, December 29, 2008

Brothers Love

Hunter and Walker Love each other. 

I know, because I see it every day.  I know that this is what brother's are supposed to do, but not all do it.  You can see that Hunter is protective and kind to Walker and in Walker, it is admiration for Hunter that shows.  They just love doing things together.

They both like gadgets!

Outside thrills them

Throwing rocks together can be a team sport

Having a big brother on "the team" can be pretty cool

Playing together at the MartinFarm water park can be fun

Just being brothers is cool enough

But trying to blog about all the fun they have had before going to bed...

Can just be too much!

Posted via email from MartinFarm

Christmas was Groovy

Had a great Christmas this year on the MartinFarm.  The only thing wrong with it was that a bunch of the family got sick.  A nasty respiratory bug going around that seemed to be particularly nasty.  Brittney had it first, but so far it has trickled its way all through the Martin household, striking everyone to some degree, save me (yes, that is the sound of knocking on wood). 

Everyone got a bunch of  Christmas presents that they seemed to like.  I got a 25-06 barrel for my Encore and a stand for my super baby Q grill.  Hunter got a Ruger 77 Rifle in .220 Swift.  He seems thrilled.    He also got a DS lite.  Joy got three (don't ask me why, Santa just couldn't make up his mind) cross necklaces.  She also got a super cool Garmin Nuvi.  Brittney got a bunch of stuff, including about 6 gift cards to everywhere, a new screen for her Macbook, clothes, and a bunch of other stuff. And Walker got tons of toys, including Thomas the train stuff, a remote controlled car and a battery powered ride on John Deere lawnmower with trailer. Danielle also got a lot of stuff sent to Sallie and Chubbys in Texas, including money and clothes, but I do not believe she has picked it up yet. 

All and all, a pretty groovy Christmas, wouldn't you say?


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Trip to Washington DC

We recently took a trip to Washington for two days. Joy had to go to
meetings during the days, but Hunter and I got to roam around the
downtown area, seeing the sights and eating the goodies. We walked a
long ways, but saw a lot. It was great fun and we would like to do it
again. Look out, Gloria! You may be getting house guests.

Hunter and I lost on the Metro. Trying to buy tickets while knowing nothing. Finally found a friendly face that helped us out.

Joy showing her stuff on the ice. She was looking pretty good if I do say so. A real snow bunny. MY snow bunny.

Here I am on the ice trying to show off for my wife. Is it working Joy? Boy that ice is harder than it looks!

Hunter on the mall at dusk. We had a great day, although Hunter said
that I stayed way too long in the history museum. I just had to see
those ruby red slippers.

Joy and Hunter in front of the White House and beside the national Christmas tree.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Few Christmas Pictures

Here are a few pictures we have taken recently!  We had a great trip to Washington and have been to a few Christmas parties. 


My Birthday Trip to Sparta

Joy and I went to Sparta, NC over my birthday and stayed at a rental called the "Mahogany Rock House". We stayed two nights and had a wonderful time. A surprise snow storm came early on our first morning and turned the world into a truly mystical place. We went for a short drive on the Blue Ridge parkway and had it all to ourselves. No other people, wind causing the snow to swirl and twist. There were no sounds except for the snow blowing and no sights except beauty.

Sparta was also fun. Just big enough to have some places to hang out and a few restaurants, but still "local". There are several gift/art shops in town and a coffee shop (with WIFI, woo hoo!). I am beginning to make it a favorite destination. Expect to see me back. Also, the drive approaches being perfect. It is only 2.5 hours and is very scenic, goes by Greensboro, has a stop off at Pilot Mountain State Park for Scenic views and a stop off at the town of Pilot Mountain for more diversions and an excellent restaurant.

So thank you Joy for a wonderful birthday and excellent companionship!

The Mahogany Rock House

Parkway Magic

The View from our house

Joy on Pilot Mountain



This is a picture of the Amberjack that I caugt in '07 off Ocracoke, NC.  Kind of looks like a large sardine!  Can you imagine how I smelt later that day?


A few nice pictures from our recent trip to Sparta.




Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ocracoke Bounty

As usual, the family took a little trip to Ocracoke Island this fall.  The weather was great, the company was excellent and the fishing was fair.  All in all, very good!  We always enjoy the time with our family, but also sharing it with the Greens.  Ray stayed with us and Steven, Jerry, Katherine, Ruth and Trevor were on the next street.

I am including a little gaggle of photos for review.  These are some highlights.  Enjoy them!  Next year, maybe you will want to go?



Saturday, July 5, 2008

Enjoying the rain shower!

Today, we received a nice shower - just enough to dampen the grass. A nice tease for what we thought could have been much needed inch of rain! We enjoyed sitting on the front porch listening to the rolling thunder and seeing the occassional lightening streak! We tried to convince Walker that it was fireworks all over again, but he wasn't convinced. 
   The simple things can really make a parent smile - Walker playing  and finding so much excitement with catching and kicking the ball, running out into the rain, seeing a puddle and stopping for only half a second before jumping to see the splash! And did I mention he enjoys being in a little clothing as possible lately!
Hunter was not to be excluded in the enjoyment of the evening. The last year or so he has began to share his dad's interest in different types of things that go boom! So, the BBGun, the Pellet gun, the pistol (mom finally learned how to use that thing she pulls out some nights when Tim is not there) and then there was Hunter's Christmas present - that we all shot - mom hitting the target twice out of five :) Anyway, we enjoyed the simplicity of the rain, the evening and just being together. Danielle's presence is missed. I am completely surrounded by males - three boys and a dog!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hoola-Hooping with Wii!

We purchased the new, get off the couch TV game - Wii Fit!
It really is very active and fun. We have spent just as more time laughing and 
competing with all the fun things it has to offer as we have burning calories.
The pictures are of my mom hoola-hooping and then running in the park.
Its a great family excercise experience!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Danielle's High School Graduation

Well, the day has come for us to celebrate---
it is Danielle's High School Graduation!
She has really worked hard and made it to this special day. 
She shares this accomplishment with her cousin - Kevin.  They both wore their Christmas green cap and gown, sweated in the morning heat, yawned through the 400+ names called across the stage and then, the tossing of the tassle! Yee ha!
That evening, the whole family celebrated with a Fiesta party.
Nancy did a super job with all the decorations and the food - which we had enough to feed a small army! The Pinatas were a hit!  (He!He!)
What a wonderful day! What a wonderful achievement! Congratulations!
We are all proud of you and love you very much!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The New Addition

All parents share the bittersweet thoughts of when their own children have that "little one" responsibility. Well, we have had our first preview of the "grand" thing. Yes, Brittney has made us proud and his name is Deacon. I can't really tell you the story about how he got his name, but it seems to fit. He's cute! We find her cleaning up his messes - yes, all types of "messes" and we have to proudly smile. Welcome to the family!!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Every spring, I get a chance to try and right the balance of nature in one small way. Brown Headed cowbirds seem to flock to my feeders just as all of the leaves are exploding onto the trees and the myriad small birds in the neighborhood are building nests and starting families.

Brown Headed Cowbird Male

Cowbirds which are native to the American Great Plains, are birds which lay their eggs in a host bird's nest and allow the host to raise their young. Often, the cowbird chick is larger and more aggressive than the host and either out competes the host chick or simply pushes them out of the nest. Their favorite target is the various migratory tropical species that love to nest around my house, species that are already under real pressure due to habitat destruction, etc.

Cowbird egg in host nest

Cowbirds are not native to this part of North Carolina. They have moved in as deforestation has occurred and we resemble their native prairie. As they have moved in, their ways have decimated many of the afore mentioned species. I try to help them by shooting the female birds around my feeders. The females are easily recognizable by their gray color.

Female Cowbird

I use a pellet gun and am able to get them about half the time without disturbing the other birds too much. By this time of the year, there is a decided shift to more males than females around my feeders. Cowbirds are not particularly cautious! Hopefully I can save a few of our rare birds from this interloper.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Deer in the Yard

I haven't made a post in forever, but there was just an update of my blogging tool, Scribefire. I just wanted to give it a spin, especially to see if the picture posting function would work. It sure seems to work well and is slick.

Anyhow, this is a picture from a month or so ago of a deer (there were many of them) in our yard. They have no fear! It looks as if none were shot this year, but I know that that is not so. They come out at least twice a day to eat at the corn feeder. Maybe we will get a few next year. No chance that I will be able to have a garden this year!