Target shooting for fun!!

My son coaching me on shooting this 45 caliber hand gun. Target is ahead on a rise in front of us.......
My son coaching me on shooting this 45 caliber hand gun. Target is ahead on a rise in front of us…….








After all the xmas cheer, food, games, we all decided to catch alittle  shoot’n time out in the mountains of the Northwest…..We have only about 1/2 hour to some fantastic places that can be gotten to with just a little luck, that  being the gate open…….this gate is the same one that was closed when we wanted to go mushroom hunting the later part of Sept and Oct when it was still fire season…….No can do,……..luckily it was over a short time after we tried the first time and still open when we tried to get past on Friday…….there were 8 of us willing to get going by late in the morning and found some extra shells at the local gun store to take with us. We planned on us not having to hurry and taking our time shooting what we wanted but some of our group had other relatives that they were going to meet around 4pm so that gave us a little bit of a time frame to adhere to …..but we had plenty of time so that didn’t hinder us at all……..

We started out with some light fog in town and as we started up the mountain, it got thicker……a few miles up the road, all up hill, thicker yet but as we approached the summit, partly cloudy skies with blue parts showing through could be seen to the south……..we were looking for a quarry that would give us plenty of room and no chance of anyone else around……..but to our left, there was a clear cut with a small trail in and a turn around at the end of it …….perfect! Also north facing hills looking right at us, most of the trees had been cut some years ago and it hadn’t been replanted yet…….we could put targets up on the old stumps and shoot for a bunch of hours……… fog here and it was about noon…..Surely it would only get better!………….We had two teenagers that couldn’t wait to get their hands on these guns so they went first……

targets set up, ready to go.......
targets set up, ready to go…….







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Christmas 2014-target shooting-clear cut 061








But pretty soon, the fog started to set in, little by little……….

more targets.......
more targets…….







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shadows for trees
shadows for trees








some had gotten new guns for Christmas so a perfect time to try them out……..

I brought my 308 deer rifle for some practice…..

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Christmas 2014-target shooting-clear cut 065






fog was getting thicker now……..Christmas 2014-target shooting-clear cut 086







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BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM………………………………………….They are fun to shoot!!







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Target is on huge stump up ahead…………..







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our postage sized target just below this lonely leftbehind douglas fir, for our handgun fun..........
our postage stamp sized target just below this lonely leftbehind douglas fir, for our handgun fun……….











Now it was starting to mist heavily so we decided it was time to get going………we satisfied our need to shoot for awhile, so we picked up all our casings and blown up targets and paper and started our way back down the mountain……good times

empty casings and targets
empty casings and targets







Happy Trails!!  MJ




Christmas Eve- 2014


It’s still dark out and I was just thinking about what Christmas Eve  was like when I was a kid……I looked in all the catalogs for weeks to try and figure out what I wanted the most…….In the sixties we didn’t have big department stores around, at least not where I came from (a town of 500) and it was cold cold winter out (Midwest) sometimes below zero so the windows were usually frosted over thick with white frost (only single pane windows then). I would scratch through the frost and put my fingers on the glass so it would melt there to look through and check to see what was going on uptown (we only lived 1 block from Main St.). All white out from fresh snow and the big elm trees with no leaves and only the black bark showing, waving in the wind with drifted snow rising up in all around and blowing to the Southwest. Maybe a county snow plow making it’s way down Main St. and a few cars with white vapors coming out the tailpipe, trialing in the wind but that was all………our tree was up in the living room and under it was a bunch of presents……I had shaken any of them with my name on it a dozen times…….ummmmmm……….what the heck it that??? I would think. Then finally after sunset, maybe around 6:30pm or so , my dad would say “I think I heard something in the back bedroom” so I would go see and check out those frosted windows back there……In the meantime, of course , now I know that while I was in the bedroom , Santa had come from the front door, with a loud smack,  and brought presents, then gone in a flash……my parents asking me if I had seen him in the sleigh from the bedroom……”No, I missed him again!!!!” Dang!!….Now it didn’t matter… was time open those presents!! We tore off that paper and threw it aside as fast as we could to see all the new stuff that we could play with……..Finally it was Christmas Eve!!!!!

Everyone have a Merry Christmas and look back on all those wonderful times…..Love it!!!

Happy Trails!!  MJ

Colonial Williamsburg, Va. just before Christmas—-2014

During our last few days in the Williamsburg area staying with our daughter and family, we all decided to walk down this slightly paved and cobblestone uneven street called Duke of Gloucester St (main st.) . and look at all the beautiful old architecture along a 5-7 block area. This day had no rain like the day before so maybe there would be some sunshine somewhere along the way. It was getting late in the morning and we knew where to get a little lunch and a homemade beer from the local brewery (Alwerks) that has some of their brews (since I am a homebrewer myself, I am always interested in the styles and different tastes that other regions of the country serve) at the fine tavern on the corner call the The Dog Street Pub (Dog meaning =Duke of Gloucester) so we made our way in and filled up on expensive grub and ale, after all we were in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg and around that time, these taverns were where George Washington and the boys did business and played hard……

Store owners conjuring up sales downtown.....
Store owners conjuring up sales downtown…..







After that , a much needed walk was in order so off we went  to see more of the realistic  town and how it must have been in those times…….

Many homes with large front yards and plenty of room for horses and carriages
Many homes with large front yards and plenty of room for horses and carriages











A couple tidying up their garden for the winter that would be coming along any day now, even a nice woodburning fireplace that needed some more wood felt good to standby for a few minutes…….

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fall in their garden patch
fall in their garden patch







A still warm fireplace to warn up by......
A still warm fireplace to warn up by……







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Much history was founded right here in Williamsburg and along the James River as the English settlers arrived in Jamestown, along the James River (the original capitol of Va.)  in 1607…..Colonial leaders petitioned for the capitol of Va. to be moved about 5-10 miles to higher ground at Middle Plantation which was then renamed Williamsburg , in 1699, in honor of Englands King William III who was reigning at the time…..

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Also as Williamsburg began to grow, The College of William and Mary (1693)  flourished educating some of our past Presidents, such as Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler…..The Continental Army was formed and assembled by George Washington in Williamsburg in 1781 as nearby Yorktown would be under siege soon and there they would win American Independence!!  Yae!!!  the capitol of Va. was there until 1780, when it was moved once more up the James River, to Richmond , where it is today……

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Now , Williamsburg is more of a quiet, sometimes sleepy town with many college students and gobs of tourists that come when there is a celebration, to ponder what it was really like, day to day in those times of early independence , to fight for the freedom that we all have today and win with thousands of lives lost and run a government that would eventually be the ultimate nation in the  world that gives every citizen their right to be exactly who they want to be, every day, every year………WHAT A COUNTRY!!

books to educate anyone that wants to learn about the  beginnings of the USA
books to educate anyone that wants to learn about the beginnings of the USA








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Colonial Williamsburg etc-12-14 054






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Our last Sunday there was a celebration in the evening called The Illumination…….It is a special night set aside to light up the Christmas Tree on main street (Duke of Gloucester St.) with a parade and of course, the Drum and Fife Corp. A little history about them is that while drilling,  they were trained to give preparatory signals  for precise movements while marching etc, also  hours and alarms. There were about 2 fifes and 2 drummers  assigned to about 100 men or so. They also had the job of signaling  when to get up, when to go to bed, when to eat etc. Most were between 10 to 18 years of age.

Fife and Drum Corp on stage at the Illumination...
Fife and Drum Corp on stage at the Illumination…








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Colonial Williamsburg etc-12-14 146






Lastly on this evening, grand fireworks in three places along the route of main st. You could turn around and see it over there or over there, awesome!

oooh! awwwww!
oooh! awwwww!








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Extra pics of some of the interesting  sites around this area

I think this was the governors mansion
I think this was the governors mansion







An intown pasture for some of the horses used to pull the carriges
An intown pasture for some of the horses used to pull the carriges








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a carriage delivering a patron
a carriage delivering a patron







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one of the taverns George and colleagues stopped at after
one of the taverns George and colleagues stopped at after work when they were in town……lol








working long hours every day
working long hours every day










Hello there!
Hello there!







Another hangout for Thomas Jefferson
Another hangout for Thomas Jefferson and other friends if important facts came to the forefront













Visitors to Colonial Wiliamsburg really like to take a quick ride in one of these stately carriages.....
Visitors to Colonial Williamsburg really like to take a quick ride in one of these stately carriages…..








We had a fantastic vacation and look forward to doing it again. Williamsburg was definitely a great place for history and  fun!

Happy Trails and Merry Christmas to all !!  MJ




Christmas at Busch Gardens with family

While on vacation to the East Coast, our daughter suggested that all of us go to Busch Gardens for all the beautiful Christmas lights and festive  atmosphere………about 12 of us quickly said yes! and while it took some time to get the tickets lined up, evening soon fell on the park and the lights shown from far away as we all parked and climbed out of our vehicles to start our way into the world of colored landscapes and Santa dancing all around in and out of the fast rides that were open, but not all,that we could get into and felt  like a kid once more


…….I said” I can’t go on anything that goes around fast” but when I got to them, I realized that the Tilt-A-Whirl ride I’d riden years ago was still  one of the funest rides I’d remembered and hopped on anyway! My two little grandkids were having the time of their lives and so was I …..I liked it still!!!!!! Next , we went on the Tea Cups and another ride that was like an

The Alps ride, very fun!
The Alps ride, very fun!

Alps ride going up and down and around, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! And the  best part, I didn’t get sick, haha……….




Some of us had split up as teenagers wanted to do” other ” things rather than what some of the little kids wanted so a little later we all met up inside the large Busch Gardens building for some food and drink……In this building , there were some production shows that lasted about 15 minutes each,  sharing Christmas themes with loud music that added to the Christmas theme around the park. Many wooden picnic tables and sliding benches, maybe a 100 were in this huge building  that was in out of the weather (chilly 40 degrees or so outside ) and people could walk up to the cubicle dinner areas and order food and beer, then sit back down and watch the entertainment for awhile and warm up……that was perfect with little ones and then we were ready for more lights and fun………



Of course, a beautiful reminder of why we celebrate this important Season in the first place………….



All in all , it was a perfect evening for all of us to get together and ride the rides, look at the lights , handle the beautiful wooden soldiers in the gift stores and  remember how fun this night was and being with the ones we love over this Christmas Season…………



Happy Trails!!  MJ