Monday, September 20, 2010

Against All Odds

Readers Beware:  If you are against hunting and/or prefer not to see dead animals, please do not read/look  any further.  I will be describing an  elk hunt in more detail than I'm sure any of you want to hear!!  I will not be offended if you walk away.  In fact, I'd rather have you do that than vomit on your computer keyboard. 
Thank you much.

Against all odds, with one hunting "point" I happened to be one of the 25 hunters in the State of Utah this year who drew out for the "limited entry, once-in-a-lifetime, bull elk hunt" on the Panguitch Lake Unit.  This was all thanks to my ever sensitive and thoughtful husband "placing my name in the hat" so to speak.

Friday night, September 17, 2010, the night before the hunt opened...Grandpa always-to-the-rescue Henrie showed up to take care of the kids so I could go to Panguitch to "scout" for elk with Ryan.  I have to say, it all started out a bit like Halloween....I put on my costume.....
And then crept around behind Ryan like Rambo...with my supersonic eyes (I am a fan of binoculars now.  Who doesn't want supersonic eyes??)

Good thing I read so many Louis L'Amour books as a kid:  Avoid broken branches, step on rocks with your moccasins (ok, forget those), and make no noise....This is the part I don't like.  I LOVE to chat and visit with whoever I am with.  Keeping my mouth shut is one part of hunting I'll never get used to...Ok, on with the story....I followed Ryan Rambo style to a lookout point where he could "glass" (look through his scope at) the meadows in the surrounding areas.  I was wishing I had a good book, but the scenery was quite eye pleasing.

It was just then that I thought, "Why not get a little snuggly with my husband?  I can do that quietly!"  As I leaned over for a hug, my nostrils were filled with the scent from the bottle Ryan had been holding and spraying around of (believe it or not) "cow elk urine containing her in-heat hormone."  That's when it smelled like a Halloween horror movie.  NASTY!!  Seriously, some of the things hunters think of are just downright disgusting.  Well, let's just say that that romantic moment lasted less than 10 seconds; in fact I don't think we ever reached the "romantic"stage....

We left there and did sneak up on a doe and a little buck on our way back, but no elk were seen.  In fact, Ryan had been out all day looking (actually all month if we want to get technical), and finding anything to shoot the next morning seemed to be next to impossible. 

As you all know, I had been praying rather fervently you might say that I could get an elk opening morning.  I felt overwhelmed with everything else I needed to be doing.  I knew I was being unrealistic, a little bit of a hunting party pooper, you name it, but I wanted to get the meat and get on with life :).  My maternal instincts were far outweighing any hunting instincts that may have existed in my bones. 

Some great hunting friends of Ryan's, Bro. Chris Nelson, Bro. Brad Larsen , and Bro. Kevin Cox, very kindly volunteered to come help us try and find an elk.  Bro. Brad had seen some elk Thursday evening and felt like he could get us into some.  We decided to go where he suggested opening morning.  We all stayed at the Henrie Family Ranch house that night.  Saturday morning, when the sky was still awfully dark, Bro. Chris knocked on our bedroom door and said that it was already 5:30 and time to get up.  We looked at our alarm clock that said "2:14" and wondered what in the world was malfunctioning.  After Chris had everyone up, and everyone else's clocks said 2:14, he realized that he had started and stopped the stopwatch function on his new watch in the dark.  He had been trying to find the light and somehow accidentally stopped his stopwatch at 5 minutes 25 seconds.  After hearing much laughter in the next room, Ryan came back in ours and asked me if I wanted a sip of water.  I told him all I wanted to do was to shoot Chris :). 

We did all eventually get a little more sleep before 5:30 rolled around.  We left the ranch house at around 6:10 a.m. and drove to a spot where Bro. Larson had said he saw some elk a couple of nights previous.  We got out of the truck at approximately 6:50.  We hiked in a ways to two different little knolls; Chris and Ryan were with me.  As soon as we sat down, we heard a bull elk bugle and a cow "chirp."  Ryan grabbed his scope and looked through it and saw an elk.  He said, "I'd let you shoot that one!"  I thought he was kidding.  Ry and Chris decided we needed to get closer, so we hurried our hinies down the hill to the next knoll.  No sooner had I sat down, Ryan handed me the gun, told Chris to give me the shooting sticks, and told me to find the elk in the scope and pull the trigger.  I said, "Are you sure???"  He nodded yes, I aimed, pulled the trigger, and the rest is pretty much history.  I shot the darn thing at 7:12 a.m. opening morning.  Ryan did remind me to reload and I fired two more bullets.  The second one missed and the third one hit him again.  A couple of tears of gratitude and relief snuck out that I quickly wiped away in the presence of so much testosterone.  My hands were a little shaky when I put the gun down, but I just can't tell you how THRILLED I was that the hunt was successful and over.

His arms were folded on entrance to the pearly gates.

Team 7:12 

I honestly can't thank these guys enough.  Truly, they did all the work.  It is not an easy task to help a woman in advance with her target practice, obtain and pack all of the necessary equipment, and then pick the right location.  They worked as a team like a well-oiled machine to skin and carve up that elk and haul it off the mountain.  I gained a tremendous appreciation for their skills.  I never could have done anything like this without them.  They really are extremely talented at what they do.  They had me laughing all morning. In essence, it kind of felt like I had gained some brothers.  As we laughed and joked around, it really reminded me of my teenage years when I was surrounded by my seven bros.

In memory of my previous post where I told my readers, "couldn't you imagine me walking off the mountain with an elk head draped across my shoulders," the guys decided I should try it.  That stinking thing is heavy (and when I say stinking, I mean it literally!!)

Guys:  "Do you got it?"

Me:  "I won't know until you let go!"

Oh yah, baby

And as my neck was about to snap, Bro. Chris came to the rescue!

Just as they lifted it off of me is when Ryan noticed and started plucking ticks off the elk's face.  Are you kidding me??  Ew, Ew, Ew, Ew!!  That's when I was totally done with the elk.  My skin was crawling!!

Well, I did have to get one more picture.

Grandpa brought the kids over, and it was so good to see them.  My son, Dev, was bummed he missed out on the actual hunt, but we enjoyed some fun on the four-wheeler later that hopefully made up for some of it.
I love this crazy family of ours.  I am the craziest of them all.  It was an adventure I will always remember.  I was bound and determined to tell Ryan after this hunt that I would NEVER hunt again, but it was such a hilarious morning,
that I changed my mind,
believe it or not,
Against All Odds.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Whitney's Wedding

Hi All, My brother mailed me my camera, so I finally have the pictures of my adorable little sis Whitney's wedding (August 27) to post (Thanks Mel!!).....

I met my Mom and Dad and bro. Mel at the Great Falls, MT airport and headed up to Taber.  It was my Mom's birthday, so we had a little surprise party for her at Ryan and Tonya's.  It was SOOOO good to see everyone.

It took a lot of convincing from Whit to get Ryan to try out the pink tie for the big day, but once he was converted, we couldn't even keep the pink girls' headbands off him!

The next morning, Mom and I and Whit enjoyed a little bonding time and then headed off to the temple.

Whitney, me, Kylie, Brynn, and Kali
They let me go in the bridal room with Mom and Whit to help her get ready.  It was so fun, and I ended up crying just a tad.  It was bittersweet but so exciting to see my little sis. headed to the altar!

Ry and I with sweet little niece, Macy

Whitney and Blake with all of the Torrie grandkids except ours - darn, they had to stay in Cedar City.

Whit with all our brothers except Luke - he is in China!!

I love this picture of my niece, Brooklyn.  What a doll

My Grandma Torrie, cousin Liz, and her son Tyler came to the temple as well.  I just have to say that I love Liz!!  We are two weeks apart in age and have always been so close.  We were roommates all through college, and nothing would have been the same without her.  I owe her so much.  We had a RIOT together!  Good times :)

At the reception....
The decorations and flowers were gorgeous.

My Grandpa Torrie was a ventriloquist and used to always perform with his "dummies" at our wedding receptions.  He did for Ry and I's reception.  In his honor, six of my brothers decided to do the "Three Fat Guys and their dummies.  They told all of the same marriage jokes my Grandpa used to tell and used each other as dummies.  I'm not explaining this very well, but just trust me that it was absolutely hilarious.  No one knew they were going to do it.  It really was the hit of the evening!

My Dad and Uncle Gene had their carriage and belgiums out front to give rides to whoever wanted them.  It was awesome.  Ry and I took a scenic tour of Barnwell...the weather was gorgeous, and everything really turned out perfectly for Whitney & Blake.  We're so happy for the two cuties~

I'm so grateful that I was lucky enough to get married to this man of mine. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bloody Elk

Well, it's 12:24 a.m. and my elk hunt is officially a day away.  It's still a thing that makes me go Hmmm :).  Ryan should have arrived at the ranch in Panguitch about 20 minutes ago.  He and His Dad are going to find an elk for me tomorrow, tell it I'm sorry I have to kill it for our winter food storage, tranquilize it, tie it to a tree, and tell it to wait patiently until Saturday morning.....okay, maybe not really, but I really am hope hope hoping that if I must kill one that they find one for me to annihilate on Saturday!  I am looking forward to hiking and enjoying the outdoors and time with some of the finest hunting fellers around these parts though.  Ryan has several friends coming to help out, and Dad Henrie is coming over to tend the kids, bless his ever thoughtful and generous heart.  That handsome husband and I have some pretty lofty and significant wagers going on with each other for this hunt, so it's enough to motivate me to pull the trigger.  I think.   I'll keep you posted and let you know if we come back with a bloody elk or a bloody migraine.  Love you much*

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


First of all, THANKS so much Alleen, Mari, Holly, and Aunt Susan for taking the time to lift me yesterday when everything felt so heavy!  I would have gladly cried on any of your shoulders.  I know you each have your own individual burdens and struggles, so thanks with my whole heart for taking the time to share mine yesterday.  Your kind words were so very greatly appreciated!   Thank goodness the sun came up and things didn't seem as dark and overwhelming as they did in the middle of the night when I posted that.  I usually keep my feelings like that stuffed inside, but since this is my journal and I will print it out later, my hope is that maybe one day my honesty will benefit my children with their own struggles...I pray they will turn to the Lord and to wonderful friends and family even when their faith is weak and life seems so hard.  Truly you darling gals, THANKS with big hugs and love!!

On a brighter note, for the past four days we had our friends, Trent and Sharon Rogers stay with us while they attended a canyoneering class here in Cedar City.  Trent has been Ryan's friend since they were about 14 years old, and interestingly Trent's sisters were my family home evening sisters at Ricks College long before I knew Ryan existed.  They come from an amazing family!  Trent is a sweetheart and has been such a loyal friend to Ryan, and Sharon is so good to me and was such a big help with the kids while she was here.  We attended an SUU football game together, enjoyed some rousing games of Rook together Sunday night, and really just had a blast getting caught up on each others' lives.  I went into some archive photos to get these ones of Ryan hiking and rapelling with the Rogers a couple of years back (still don't have a camera :) ).


Holly, Trent and Sharon said they had SO much fun with you and Garrett hiking last weekend.  I'm so proud of you for getting out and slapping lupus in the face :).  Love you!!

My Montage 9/14/10 at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How do you manage?

How do you manage the ache in your heart when your 3-year-old regresses to wetting his pants at school, at church, and at home and you blame yourself?  How do you manage the ache in your heart when your 3-year-old has a meltdown at preschool and cries for his Mommy for 20 minutes and you're not there?  How do you manage a child's slipping grades when you know you haven't sat down and spent time working on homework together and asking the teacher how you can do more to help? 

I make a potty sticker chart and get treats for my darling little sweetheart.  I work on homework tonight with my larger sweethearts.  Then, in the middle of the night, when it's quiet, I wet my pillow with my tears, I beg  God to make up the difference, to do those million things that I just can't do.  I pray my Mom doesn't read this post, because I know my pain is her pain plus more.  I understand that, because Derek's 20 minutes of hurt will hurt me for days or years.  I thank God for the warm arms of my sleeping husband around me to protect me and support me.  I thank God for my husband's offer to take Derek with him to St. George to work with him tomorrow so he can spoil him by buying him a "Bug Juice" and give him all his attention.  I start to feel  the rest of my Savior and pray that I can continue to let this burden go to His shoulders and am grateful again for His life, His love, His death, His understanding~

Thursday, September 9, 2010

a few thoughts

Hi All of you Cute People,

*I left my camera up in Canada when we went up for my sister, Whitney's wedding.  DANG!!  Therefore, blogging has taken a hit!  Oh well, life happens.  It was SO fun to see her and Blake get married in the Cardston Temple and to see so many family members I haven't seen for years.  I am so happy for both of them!!  I will post pictures as soon as I can get my camera back.  Ryan and I also enjoyed a peaceful ride home and a night's stay in a hotel in Butte, Montana without kids, so that was a refreshing break with my sweetheart - I sure love that man~

*This past week I have watched little chunks of "Emma Smith:  My Story" each morning.  I finished it today, and it was so heartwrenching and inspiring at the same time.  I am so glad I watched it.  I believe she suffered every nightmare a wife/mother/woman could go through.  Just like when I read the book, The Hiding Place, this movie reminded me that any time I dare think about complaining, I need to REMEMBER the hardships that so many beautiful woman before me have suffered through without complaining! 

*Today I was speaking with one of the ladies I work with, and she shared with me that her first husband died in a car accident when she had four children under the age of 8.  She didn't complain either and voiced how grateful she was that she had her little kiddos to love and attend to so she didn't go crazy....Just another reminder for me to be grateful for the wonderful and sweet and kind husband that I have to enjoy every day.

*Last night I read on my friend, Candi Houston's, blog that she is pregnant!!  Yay Candi!!!  She is an incredibly brave lady that a friend of mine, Mari Burgess, and I wrote a song for called "Letter From Avery" after she lost her first baby at birth due to skeletal dysplasia.  She has been trying for I believe 3-4 years since then to conceive.  She knows it is really early in her pregnancy, but she is asking for any prayers to be sent her way.  I am SOOO excited for her and am crossing my fingers, toes, and whatever else I can think of.  I think a million more people are praying for her and willing and hoping for her to have a healthy baby.  Any prayers would be much appreciated for her!!

*Tonight as I was sitting at the football game, Dallin leaned his head on my shoulder and said, "Mom, if both of my legs got cut off and you were hurt, I'd crawl around the world if I had to to come help take care of you."  What a sweet moment with my little Dallin.  He has always been my protector.  He melted my heart and helped to take the stress out of my shoulders tonight.  I have about six hours of transcription to get done and not enough hours in the day to accomplish it.  I love you Dallin.  I know some day you'll understand how much you have meant to me in this life.  You do everything you humanly can to cheer me up, keep me laughing, and encourage me when I get down.  May the Lord bless you always little man.

Love and Hugs, Me