Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Giblets ~ Damsel Style

Thanksgiving is a day when many Americans gather together with family for an afternoon of food and football, but just how far do people travel to spend turkey day at Grandma's house?  The AAA estimated that 42.2 million Americans traveled more than 50 miles over Thanksgiving weekend last year. 
Here are some fun factoids...errr...giblets for you.

1.  The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007—were eaten at Thanksgiving.

2.  Cranberry production in the U.S. is expected to reach 750 million pounds in 2011. Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are the top cranberry growing states.

3.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. It was baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust.

4.  The sweet potato is most plentifully produced in North Carolina, which grew 972 million pounds of the popular Thanksgiving side dish vegetable in 2010. Other sweet potato powerhouses included California and Mississippi, and the top producing states together generated over 2.4 billion pounds of the tubers.

5.  Though many competing claims exist, the most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621.  Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a harvest feast, acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations.  The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three daysMore than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

6.  The top five most popular ways to serve leftover Thanksgiving turkey are: sandwiches, soups or stews, salads, casseroles, and stir-fry.

7.  Only tom turkeys gobble. Hen turkeys make a clucking noise.  A large group of turkeys is called a flock.

8.  Several Thanksgiving day parades are broadcast on television. These parades are organized by big stores in several American cities. The parade organized by the Macy's store in New York is the biggest. Giant balloons 200 meters high float above the street. The balloons are in the shape of creatures from popular cartoons and television programs. People on the ground hold heavy ropes so the balloons do not fly away.  Hey...Look!  It's Mr. Potato Head!!

Stemming from traditions seen in Europe, the first parade was put on by Macy’s employees who were first-generation immigrants wanting to have festivals similar to the ones their families experienced growing up in Europe.

9.  Thanksgiving also is a time when Americans share what they have with those who do not have much. Churches and other groups provide free meals for old people, the homeless, and the poor. Many Americans give turkeys or other food to these groups. Some spend part of the day helping to prepare and serve the meals.  Several families in my neighborhood go downtown in the morning to the homeless shelter.  It is a great experience to volunteer and share time with those that are so truly appreciative.

10.  Did you know that the River Damsel started her blog on November 24, 2010?  Yes, my friends, the blog has done it's best to bring you some type of reading enjoyment this past year.  This will be the 156th post.  I know that it wouldn't have been as successful if it wasn't for my wonderful readers and commentors.  So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  And a special thanks goes out to two people that really got me started by linking my blog in their posts.  Owl Jones and Howard (Cofisher) ...THANK YOU!
I have thouroughly enjoyed my time with my fellow bloggers.  Your stories and postings are often inspirational to me.  The friendships made are definitely a bonus...I thank Owl Jones for carting me all over GA/NC to show me the GSMNP and it's many wonders.  I thank Dustin and Stephanie for showing me the RMNP in Colorado.  And last, but not least...I thank Rebecca (Outdooress/OBN Co-chief) for letting me join her on a few wonderful trips to River X and taking my first shot at steelheading in Idaho!   

It's been a great year.  A very memorable one.  At this time, I must announce that the River Damsel will be taking a temporary hiatus...hopefully, it will only be that.  It's time for a hibernation of sorts.  I will still try to stop by and read my favorite blogs every once in awhile.    Be good and enjoy your time with family and friends during these next couple of months.  And keep those tippets in the water!  RD out... 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How To Interview...And Add a Fishing Day!

This post is in reponse to a Tweet from Funcfish and Argosgirl the other day...(and check out their blogs by the way...a lot of great reading!)

About ten years ago, I decided to take up skiing after a very long break from it.  I found a great season pass that would allow me to ski every Tuesday at Solitude, Utah.  And it was about that same time, that I had enough of my commercial janitorial business and wanted to sell out the contracts to ten large buildings.  It just had gotten to be too much of a headache and the hours to supervise it were a killer.   So...halfway, into the ski season, I typed up a new resume and started the phone calls for interviews.  I decided that I would find a job that would allow me to keep my ski passion going on Tuesdays...well, you never know until you try, right?  After a few interviews, I found a small company that was willing to work with my hours and days.  I explained to them that I had a season pass and that I would like to work four ten's each week and I would give them 110%.  The deal was done.  I got the job and after a few years there, I got a little restless and bored and wanted to find something better.

So, the search was on again and I interviewed on my lunch hour each day.  I could see that this time around would be a little bit harder to convince potential employers of my proposal.  You see, the economy was getting tougher and jobs were slim pickin's.  But, I went out with a positive attitude that I would find the right situation and employer to work with me.  I went through a couple of employment agencies that sent me out on interviews.  My resume was polished up.  I was looking for an accountant position with a reputable company.  I figured with my college degree and my work wouldn't take too long.  Well, after a couple of weeks, the day came.  And my world just got better than I had ever imagined.

As I walked into the office of the CEO...I handed her my resume.  I liked her, right off the bat.  She was smart and had a keen mind for business.  She needed a right hand person who would take some of the load off of her.  It really seemed like the right situation as we talked further.  She liked me.  I could feel that positive force going my way.  Then, the "Golden Question"... "Is there anything specifically that you need to work here or you require to have?", she asked.  I replied, "Well, yes.  As a matter of fact, my previous employer let me take off Tuesday's so I could keep my Tuesday ski pass during the winter."  I continued, "If you would let me work four 10 hr. days, I would give you 110% and you would have a very faithful, loyal and hard working employee."  I offered her references from previous employers that could attest to that fact.  She looked over my resume one more time.  As she lifted her head up from the paper, she looked me in the eye and said..."What is your email address, so that I can send you an offer letter?"  BINGO!!!    One thing that I have learned through interviews, is to always tell the truth.  Be honest and forthright and you will be seen as a future loyal employee that they are looking for!

So, in conclusion...I have now been working at my current company for three years and love it!  I work hard for them and they are good to me.  It's a win-win situation.  Oh, by the way...something funny happened the first year that I got there...I picked up a new favorite pastime...Fly Fishing!  And know what happened next, right?  Yep.  I figured that all they could say is "No".  I asked the boss if I could continue my "Ski Tuesday" into a year round day off...for the many family doctor appts. and I just happened to have a fishing license that needed to be used. Huh?  Did I really say that?  No...I just can't remember the exact wording...but, worked.  And now, I have my "All Year" Tuesday off to relax, unwind, and get those things done that are most important!  Whatever that is. <"(((((><<


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sleeping...Do Not Disturb!! Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

So, if you have ever been in a hospital, you know that an uninterrupted night's sleep doesn't happen very often!  Nurses need to wake up patients to check vital signs and give medications so that the doctor can have the latest lab results when they visit you in the morning.  Well...that's what they tell me anyway!  It is irritating to say the least.  I'm sure most patients would rather sleep all the way through the night.  Well...plan on that later when you get home from the hospital!

I recently brought my husband home from open heart surgery.  Between work, driving to and from the hospital and actually being over there...well, not much sleep came my way either.   When I tried to take a nap in the waiting room during the surgery...well, it was interrupted by a baby crying.  So, I said, forget it!  It was time to get out the magazines and read while I waited during the 7 hour surgery...  But, at least I had something to read!  My great neighbors brought me a care package with reading material... : )

After any surgery or serious illness, I believe a good night's rest is crucial in helping the patient recover from whatever landed them in the hospital in the first place!  Finally, he is getting the rest that he needs to make it through six week recovery period!  He is like the "Energizer Bunny"'s hard to get him to rest.  In fact, almost impossible.  It's like the "man thing" to do...proving that you don't need help and you can do it on your own.  "Oh, I am fine!"  Well...after the first two days home...a little relapse has taken, someone is finally sleeping and letting those around him take care of things.  (Why don't they listen???) Ahhhh....

So, this brings me to my topic of getting a good night sleep ANYTIME!!!  Whether you are sick or healthy...There are many advantages of sleep.  And a good quanity and quality of sleep can improve our health overall.  Now that it is getting colder and heading into winter, those office colds are going to be passed around.  You know it!  A 2009 study in the journal of Archives of Internal Medicine showed that sleeping more than seven hours a night can reduce the risk of catching the common cold.  Now, I know your mother told you that, didn't she???  We've all heard it.  And my thought is, that it's quite true.  Getting that extra hour or two probably is more important than staying up late at night and finishing that blog post!!! (GUILTY!!)  Time management can sometimes cure that evil.  Haha. If it takes another night to finish that post...just do it! 

So, let your system reboot!  Get a good night's sleep...more often!  Get some
power naps in, if you can.  They can also help.  15-20 extra minutes during the lunch hour. (not on the time clock!)  You might be extending your life.  Plain and simple.  Now, excuse me...while I go take a nap.

                                                              No...this is more like it!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

10 Things You Didn't Want To Know...Friday's "Grab Bag"!

10 Things...huh.  You REALLY do want to know, don't you??

Ok...So evidently, I didn't fulfill my part of being a recipient of the "Versatile Blogger Award"....Yes, I kind of skipped over a requirement, which was to list a few things that you might not know about me and/or my blog.  Like anyone cares!  Well...I have had a few, I guess they do!  And I definitely don't want to go to "Blog Court"!!!  So, here you I reach into the Friday Night Grab Bag...let's see what we come up with!  Things that you didn't want to know, but you asked...

1.  At 12 years old, I performed the Haydn Concerto in D Major (for memory) with my mother on the other piano...(we had two grand pianos in our living room as I was growing up.)  No, I was not a child prodigy...Hey, that is actually the about that??? 

2.  I had Mononucleosis when I was 13 yrs old.  As I remember, this old, frumpy teacher with a tweed coat (aka: Susan Boyle)...came to my house every other day with more and more assignments, so I wouldn't get behind in my schoolwork.  It went on for 3 months...ugh.  Boy, was I glad to get back to school!!  

3.  At 14 years old, I dislocated my pinky finger playing volleyball.  Oh darn!  Piano lessons discontinued!  I didn't like to sit at the piano bench for an hour and a half each day.  It was much more fun to ride into Los Angeles every few weeks and visit the L.A. Dodgers team orthopedic specialist, Frank Jobe.  : )  I loved baseball and he had player pics on his office walls... He was the doctor that performed the famous "Tommy John" surgery. 

4.  In high school, I was on the Field Hockey team...I know what you are thinking...No, I wasn't a tough kid...really the opposite.  Maybe I thought that waving around a stick (or others waving them at me) would make me more outgoing!!  Ha.  Actually, the real reason was because I liked the cool letter jackets that we got.  : )

4.   Believe it or not, I actually had a hole in one at the Newport Beach (CA.)Golf the tee...down a hill...into the cup!  When my dad and I walked down there, we searched for the ball.  As we walked closer to the cup...there it was.  It became my lucky orange golf ball.  Until I left it in my Camaro one summer day and it exploded in the middle compartment!  Have you ever seen string rubber sprung out?  What a mess!

5.  I had a sewing business with a friend where I sewed in the middle of the night and sold sweatshirts in malls and fairgrounds.  It worked out ok, as I could enjoy my afternoons around the pool in the backyard and be a lounge lizard!!  It was a great job for spending more time with my kids during the day too.  This brings me to fly tying...hmmm...I guess that all of my experience with arts and crafts would probably help me be a pretty good tier...C'mon!  Someone convince me!    

6.  One of the most difficult times in my life was when I owned and managed a commercial janitorial business for 5 years.  My family sure came to bat for me!  Did I ever go to sleep???  Well, when someone wouldn't call in sick!  Employees.  Hmmm... Enough of that memory!!  On the bright side, I was able to use my Bus. Mgmt. education from college.  And my teenagers learned a job skill which they were able to use as a part time job during their school years!  There you go... : ) 

7.   Languages that I have studied:  Spanish and Italian

8.   Favorite Foods:  Mexican food...anyday, anytime!

9.  Why do I really Fly Fish?  Because I have this type of personality that if I can't do something...I keep on trying!  I love a challenge.  Plain and simple.  And I found one that will probably take the rest of my life to conquer!  Or at least have a good time trying... : )

10.  Regarding my blog...This month will be the one year mark...Wow!  Time flies when you are having fun!  Because of this special event, there will be a  1st Year Anniversary, stay tuned!  November 24, 2010 was the first post.  And because it falls on Thanksgiving this year...we will break out the party favors when you all get back the following Monday!!  Sound like a plan???  Thanks, my friends.  It's because of my loyal readers that makes this blogging so much fun.  And why I have become a more "Versatile Blogger" than I ever imagined possible...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Of Mice And "Me"

A strange occurence happened today...As I was getting ready to re-post one of my favorite posts from the beginning of my writings in celebration of my first blog anniversary...The Outdoor Blogger Network posted a similar subject for bloggers to respond to.  Go over and add your comments to the question...Since I have a lot of newbie readers that might not have read this post the first time re-post is about one of my favorite excursions with some friends journeying up to River X with the Outdooress.  The result of this trip made me go to the OBN Forum and post the following topic:  How do you keep mice out?  Check that out for some great answers.  My favorite response was from Jay at The Naturalist's Angle, who wrote,  "You could always keep a snake that likes to eat mice in the tent. I've got a few you can borrow."  Thanks, Jay...

December 15, 2010  "Nothing Artificial Added..."  Anniversary Edition

On a recent fly fishing trip, I had the privilege of fishing with Rebecca Garlock aka: "The Outdooress".    I will tell you one thing...what you see, is what you get, with Rebecca!   No artificial anything added with this outdoor enthusiast.  And those are the type of people I like to hang out with!   She will be the first to tell you that she doesn't have a special technique or go by a set of rules when she is on the water.  She has her own style and grace that is unique. (We will forgive the one moment above that wasn't all that graceful!!)  I will admit one thing now...I am a better photographer than a  fly fisher...Everything seems very “natural” for Rebecca when it comes to fly fishing.  From the gearing up for the journey to choosing the right fly to use.  Then, as she makes her way towards the middle of the river (where I like to hang out too)…her graceful casts are simply amazing.  I have had to work very hard on my casting, so this was fun watching someone that could do it so effortlessly!  She just kind of takes it all in stride, very relaxed.  And that, my friends, is what makes a great fly fisher…getting to the point of it being second nature to you.

Rebecca and I had a few things in common, which made the trip even more fun.  We are both die-hards.  If there is an obstruction of some type to get us off course...we find a way to work with it.  Example...The famous leaky waders!  Yes, they were leaking...but, like a true camper that she is, she just went ahead and fished while her foot inside the wader felt like it was stuck in a fishbowl of water!  It was all good.  We had a few laughs about that.  Comfort isn't always an option.


We were fortunate to find a perfect campsite alongside the river bank.  As we set up camp, we met some visitors from out of state who were discouraged about their day thus far.  Rebecca quickly opened up the back of her truck, got out her fly boxes and gave them some helpful advice.  They were a little surprised that she would take the time to help...but that is who she is.   Rebecca loves sharing her knowledge and excitement for fly fishing with others so that they too will have a journey to remember.  These two guys left with smiles and hopes of having better luck after chatting with her.  And it always gives karma to the giver, you know!  It's all good.  

One of my friends was an experienced cook.  After hearing that Rebecca can live off of Snicker bars and Diet Coke, I figured that a little extra nourishment wouldn't hurt. : )  I think that she was a little surprised with the menu each day.  Breakfast was my favorite...banana pancakes, sausage, eggs, and juice.   Then, we brought on the three layer pastrami and swiss sandwiches for lunch.  And to cap off a perfect day of extreme fishing, we all gathered around the campfire and had a dutch oven casserole and pineapple upside down cake.....yummy!  

A perfect ending to an awesome day on the river...oh wait!  It wasn't quite over yet!  Did I say that this was my first real camping experience?  And yes, I got an initiation...After I snuggled into my sleeping bag; there was this constant rustling in the brush outside of my tent.  Everyone was sleeping in their vehicles, except for me....and I was starting to think that they had the right idea.  After awhile, I just couldn't sleep until I found out what was making this scratchy noise!  Was it a raccoon, opossum, or a rabbit?  I decided to move my bedding to the middle of the tent.  I laid back down and looked at the amazing view of the stars through the netting of the tent.  But, that could not calm me.  Ok...that was it.  Whatever was making this irritating noise with its feet was going to be found out!  I turned on the flashlight and moved the light around the bottom of the tent to make sure there wasn't something inside with me.  There was a large rock in each corner of the tent.  As I flashed the light on the corner where my head used to be...up sprang this little head with big dark eyes looking at me!  Yes, out came the scream! It didn't scare the mouse though...he proceeded to jump up on the top of the rock and do this little jig of a dance...I'm not kidding!  I couldn't believe it...he then stood up on two legs and posed like he wanted me to take a picture! A real character.  Help came quickly and we returned him to his home in the fields away from my tent.  I can't wait to go camping again!!  (Honestly, I am going to get a pop-up trailer!)   

                        Take a look at my favorite fish on the trip.  This is why I will be back! 

All in all, it was an awesome couple of days.  Plenty of fish, good eats, some awesome scenery, mice dancing on rocks, and a midge hook caught in the cook's lip (did I say that Rebecca is also an excellent emergency surgeon?  She will deny that acclaim... :0  But, she is!)   Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing your time and talents with us...we couldn't have asked for a better guide and compadre!                           

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Versatile Blogger Awards ~ Sunday Tippets, Damsel Style

And so it has begun...a passing of the torch, so to speak.  Howard, "Cofisher", author of Windknots and Tangled Lines, has passed on the "Versatile Blogger Award" to seven different bloggers.  I was surprised  delighted to have been nominated for this prestigious award.  Thank you, Howard.  It is always an honor to be named in a circle of those blogging friends that you admire.  According to my friends and family though...I'm not really as much "versatile" as I am "all over the map!"  Haha... It would be very tough for me to talk about the same thing day in, day out.  I can only have so much of  "Brown Trout"!  (Well, maybe not.)  

It is highly encouraged that recipients of blogger awards follow the spirit of sharing with other bloggers. The Versatile Blogger Award requests the following:

  1. Post your acceptance\acknowledgement of the reward on your blog. Adding the image to you overall layout is a nice touch as well.
  2. Tell 10 things about yourself that your readers may not know about you and your blog.
  3. Nominate 7 other blogs for this Versatile Blogger Award. This can be far more of a challenge than one might suspect. Hopefully no one is upset by my selections or non-selections as it were. I follow some awesome blogs and when I think of "Versatile" ...I think of what the word really means... "Capable of doing many things competently"...  As awkward as this is to pick out a few, here we go...

 My "Versatile Blogger Nominations" go to the following and in no specific order:

1.  Owl Jones  This guy talks about everything under the sun...including his GSMNP travels.  And if I didn't know him as well as I do, I would have thought that he would have started a write-in campaign for President by now! J/K... This brook trout lover has funny videos like no other!!! (I especially like the Cardboard Howard and Rebecca slam down)

2.  Troutrageous  Besides the fact that he graces his blog with bikini clad women (which I ignore), I can usually find something to make me laugh at the beginning of my long work day.  And Lilly is just something that no one else has on their blogs...right?  Too cute! 

3.  Fontinalis Rising  If I was to give you one word to describe FR's blog, it would be this... Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!  His writings stir the soul. The photography is amazing.  And I now have a larger vocabulary after looking up a few new words!

4.  Funcfish  This is the one blog that got me wondering if I might like to catch a bass someday... : )

5.  Bigerrfish  I believe Josh can outfish most anyone, anytime, anywhere.  I look forward to the day that I can prove that...and watch in awe. 

6.  Up The Poudre  When I first read Sander's writings, I well...fell in love with those darn bulldogs!  This guy has a remarable way of writing and keeping you enthralled with every word.  But, don't ask him where his favorite spot on the Poudre is...haha.  You could be fishing until dusk.

7.  Mysteries Internal  Oh, that Erin girl...she is so versatile in her posts!  I believe that she could write about most anything!  Wait!  You want a story about a turtle?  Leave it to Erin to bring her adventures to "life" for all of us to enjoy.  It's truly a literary experience.

Ok, I just have to do it...Most Honorable Mention:

8.  One Bug Is Fake   What can you say about a blogger that doesn't want to have a blog...ok...forget that part of it.  Brandon is the freelance blogger!  So, I would have to say that he is the "Most Versatile Blogger" there is!  Hey, he even wrote about how to not catch trout...hmmm.  And what more can be said for someone that is trying the feat of 30 straight days of fishing???  (I'm personally jealous)

There you have it, as close as I can come to naming a few of those "Versatile" bloggers out there.  Now, for the "Top Ten" things that you don't know about me???  Hahahahaha.  Like I am going to open up that can of worms... Today's Tippet:  Never devulge highly classified information.  Some "Mysteries" remain... Internal.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Night "Grab Bag"!

Well, here is a little bit of fly fishing at it's best...something to stir the soul.  Just in case you have wonderful snow like I have coming here this weekend!  Enjoy this awesome vid by CP Flyfishing.  Pull up a chair, put your feet up and sip a cup of hot cocoa.  As of right now, I am still planning on getting in a few hours with my line in the water tomorrow.  Icy guides or not.  I'm afraid Fall is quickly leaving us...