Sunday, December 26, 2010

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS 2010

What a great week with family! Christmas Eve service at St. Philips followed by dinner and presents with The Blackfords and Aidai/ Yousef at our house. Presents everywhere.......

Up early for Santa followed by more presents (Stacey scored a MacBook Pro) and the kids have enuf toys to open a FAO Schwartz.

We are blessed.

And for your entertainment pleasure, here is a surprise from our good friends Jim and Louise Malone. A true surprise-----Kate's first deer. A deer skin rug!!!!
video

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Good Luck Charm


Deer Season opens Saturday! Last year Kate was my good luck charm. This year we have 2 tags to fill and she's locked and loaded and will be looking for Bambi.....hopefully we both have good luck!

Friday, November 5, 2010

19 years and counting.......



For 19 years now, I've looked forward to early November. It's true, Fall is without a doubt my favorite season for many many reasons. Football, hunting, holidays, cool weather, family time and more recently baseball. It's a busy time for us Balckfords but ultimately it all culminates with the evening before duck seasons opens.....which is TODAY.

Duck hunters are, essentially, all creatures of habit. We spend 9 months preparing, scheming, cleaning, building, buying and otherwise pining away for opening day. So when it's 104 outside in July and I'm standing in the garage tying decoy lines, cleaning shotguns, checking waders for leaks, and monitoring weather patterns on the Canadian praries.....yes, my family and friends think I'm more than a bit odd.

So here's to 19 opening day sunrises, a heavy game strap of birds, the smell of burned powder and hopefully many many many more opening days.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer 2010......going, going, gone!

Haven't posted in forever so I thought I'd give a quick rundown of our summer that blew by so quick.

June

Captiva Trip

Had a great trip to Captiva FL with our friends the Cummings and Daniels. 6 kids under age 10-----gee, that was fun. Had a great trip and perfect weather.




July

Colorado & Lonoke for Kate

Kate was thoroughly spoiled by both grandparents in Estes Park Colorado and Lonoke AR. See http://thomasblackford.blogspot.com/2010/07/back-from-colorado-and-back-to-work.html
for Estes photos.

I spent most of July playing with my new toy.


August

More Fishing----90 miles out in the Gulf from Freeport TX, the water is cobalt blue and the rigs are sadly idle or leaving to go to other parts of the world while rig workers families hemorhage. But the fish are biting and there's not a drop of oil. 450 lbs of amberjack, mahi mahi, kingfish and cobia were stuffed in the fishbox of the 42' Yellowfin Center Console "Cool Sea". Capt. Casey Cundieff always puts us onthe fish. We also traded a shrimp boat a case of Bud Light for 40 lbs (yes----40 lbs) of gulf shrimp.


Monday, June 7, 2010

MUDBUGS



Some people say "it's great to have friends!"
Well.....I say, "it's even better to have friends that raise crawfish!"

Once again, thru the miracle of my Arkansas network, a client offered to bring along 50 lbs of fresh crawfish as he was flying to Dallas Friday morning.

Sooooooooo, Friday night we hosted roughly 20 hungry people and drank coolers of cold Shiner and cajun boiled crawfish, corn, potatoes and peel-n-eat shrimp until we almost popped!!!!

For one night we listened to Zydeco and were temporary cajuns!!




THE BEAST!!!

I have a great wife. As we prepare to celebrate 15 yrs together on June 10th, I have to admit, I married way out of my league.





Evidence below:



(Hopefully my new toy in 3 weeks---2008 24' Champion Bay Boat----A BEAST!!!)

The evidence is clear: Stacey is so easy-going that when I wanted to sell my boat and get this beast, she was more than cool.

This boat is intimidating:

24' long center console Champion Bay Champ
250 hp 4 stroke Yamaha Outboard
29' 9" on trailer
Gross weight 7500 lbs
61 mph top speed
90 gal gas
2 Lowrance GPS/ Sonar combos
VHF Radio
Satellite weather
AM/FM , iPod stereo
3 livewells
Crazy amounts of storage

I hope to use it on Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Texoma, and on the TX coast.

Let's go fishing......but most of all.

I love you Stacey! Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

MY IDOL



(L to R: Jason "Jase" Robertson, The Duck Commander himself---Phil Robertson & Willie Robertson, The Blackfords)


For Catholics, it's the Pope. Soccer fans, it's Ronaldo. And NASCAR, probably Richard Petty.

These are all modern day idols for their respective followers or fan base.

Well, for duck hunter (true duck hunters---not panty waisted "only hunt once or twice a year" knuckleheads) the modern day IDOL is none other than the Louisiana Duckmen lead by famous Phil Robertson. Phil and his sons Willie and Jase have evolved from the backwaters of West Monroe LA marsh to become a marketing force in the hunting world. Their no-nonsense TV show, hunting products & videos (in my opinion) depict the average trials, tribulations & successes of sleep deprivation, cold, water & mud throughout duck season........with a healthy dose of humor mixed in too. Check them out: http://www.duckcommander.com/


Saturday, Preston, Kate and I loaded up to attend the National Ducks Unlimited Convention and Outdoor Expo in Grapevine, TX. Every manufacturer of hunting products attended the show and at 3pm the line started to meet the Robertson Family. The kids eerily looked at the long bearded brethren of what looks like a shiftier version of ZZ Top until it was our turn. Snap! Photo with the Duckmen if Louisiana.

As Phil would say (as a group of mallards settle into the decoys), "cut 'em all Jack!"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Here Fishy Fishy!!!!

Figured I'd better keep up with my little bro and sister and update the old blog.

I know you'll all be shocked.......but I went fishing again! (I know......I hope you were sitting down)
Saturday----my 3 buddies Ron, Matt, Scott and I headed out for channel catfish. We caught 39 and probably drank as many Shiners......per fisherman. For those of you that own a boat, you know B.O.A.T. is actually an acronym. B reak O ut A nother T housand. This time it's a 4" crack in the boat.......real nice.....oh, and go ahead and add an electrical trim switch fuse.

Broken boat right in the middle of fishing season!!! Ugh!!!

Sunday----Kate and I got up early (4:30am) and drove to lake Texoma where we met Eric and Avery Thomas and our striper guide Roger. By noon we fileted 31 nice striped bass and the girls had a great time reconnecting. We even donned wetsuits and jumed in Lake Texoma. Brrrrrr!

This weekend.......Scott Cummings and David Daniel will visit Scott's Dad at Houston County Lake near Houston. Scott's Dad has a lakeside house with some great fishing. Stacey is the best because I almost have "fished out" myself this spring.
SET THE HOOK!
(Heading out to go fishing)

(Kate and Avery with 2 of our catch)

Monday, April 26, 2010

I hate the weather man.....


So Preston and I embark on our first Dad-Son fishing trip Saturday......we were delayed. Delayed by the "thunderstorms will assuredly be east of I-35" bogus forecast from ALL weather sources! Needless to say it stormed Saturday morning. Instead of launching at 6:30am, we launched at almost 8am......not cool when you are on the clock with Mamma expecting you home early.


And we began to fish. In Texas we are blessed with an awesome fishery. Largemouth, white bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish can all be found within 30 min of the house. Saltwater: a 5 hr drive to the coast and you can load the boat with snapper, grouper, kingfish, wahoo, tuna and dolphin.


Saturday (with 4 yr old in tow)----we didn't care----we just wanted to 1) hold his attention, 2) keep him dry. The white bass cooperated. We caught 50, kept 31 and it was a blast. I'd hook one, Preston would reel it in.


Then the wind started.


Nice.......real nice Mr. Weatherman. Did you really even study meteorology or were you a criminal justice major with a minor in flipping burgers? GEEEEEEZ!


Forecast was for SW winds at 12. It blew 37. Not even close. We broke rivets, we broke the console, we hit stumps, we even took on a few waves. It took us an hour to get to the boat ramp 4 miles away a trip that usually takes less than 10 min. I listened carefully, and at one time thought I heard the Ballad of the Edmund Fitzgerald......but I can't be sure.


Anyway, Preston had a blast and that's all that counts.


Now it's time to catfish!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break 2010


Enjoying lunch at base of Peak 8

Well, we're back after a great spring break ski trip to Colorado. 4 days of sunshine and 2 days of fresh powder. Kate improved dramatically and Preston took leaps forward so all 4 Blackfords are bona fide skiers. We also enjoyed a day trip to Leadville and Vail on Wednesday to dogsled----very cool. I'm posting some pics and video below.


Kate B - the next winter Olympian

video

Kate zipping down Bonanza run (sorry for the camera angle!)

video

Preston learned to ski!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

COUNTDOWN TO REDEMPTION!

Dateline: Frisco, TX & Frisco-Breckenridge, CO-----Feb 12, 2010


After a 3am wakeup The Thomas Family and Stacey and I flew out of a very snowy DFW airport and arrived at Denver International. 45 min and a cheap Chevy Impala later, we were west bound on I-70 headed for the front range of the Rockies. I love Denver......I'd live in Denver if it were next door to Captiva, FL! We arrived in Breckenridge, CO, checked in and were skiing by 11:45am. Think about it......skiing 8 hrs after being in Dallas. Stacey and I donned our new skis and we were off. It DUMPED snow (or if you are Mary Prosser---it POURED THE SNOW)....10" in 72 hrs.

Fast forward to the EMERGENCY ROOM 4 HOURS LATER!!!!

Yes, I did it. I forgot that I am not 18 and rather 37. I also forgot my new new skis are faster than I am! And finally, I forgot that altitude, alcohol and skiing are not a good combo.

In short, I had a few bewskis, did a faceplant and bruised my ribs and eye socket, and split my upper and lower lip trying to hot dog on new skis. My pride was injured severly but thankfully my helmet prevented anything serious from happening. And thankfully thru the miracle of Celebrex (thank you RN Sue Thomas), I was able to ski Sat, Sun & Monday. I have a lovely $75 x-ray of my bruised ribs.



Only about a week ago did the bruised ribs quit aching every time I sat up, moved, coughed, sneezed, laughed, etc etc......Damn they hurt!

So Friday, March 12 we (entire family) are headed back to Colorado.....and for me it will be to seek redemption!!! Hopefully no bruised or broken limbs, split lips or injured ego!

I'm looking forward to skiing with Stacey, Kate and Preston and covering some ground on the slopes of Breckenridge. Wish us luck.....and no ER copays!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter Blues......

Sorry we haven't posted in a while (Christmas).....but those of you that know me, know I basically hate February and March each year. The holidays are over, the grass and trees are bleak and dormant, the weather is nasty and hunting season is over.



So the last several years we have adopted the Rocky Mountains as a coping mechanism......ie-skiing!



We leave Friday Feb 12 for Breckenridge & Keystone, CO.



The website below has become a permanent staple on my browser:


http://www.brecklivecam.com/