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Mmmmmm Venison!!
2007-11-19, 4:49 p.m.

Day 1184

Just for the record, cuz I donít want to come across as too much of a redneck, I do live in the burbs. To keep the peace around here, we hang our deer in the garage. Iím sure my neighbors would just love it if I hung Bambi from one of the maple trees out back for a few days.

Because it can also cost upwards of $60 - $80 to get your deer ďprocessedĒ, we do that ourselves. For the most part, we cut small steaks out of the back straps (loins), use the hind quarters for a roast or two and stew meat and use the front quarters and flanks for grind mix to make sausage (Italian, breakfast & brats). Weíll be adding copious amounts of pork to the sausage mix.

Some folks like to hang their deer for days, letting it Ďtenderizeí before they take it to a butcher, or do it themselves. For me? Temperature & time rule. Right now daytime highs are in the 30ís, which is fine for hanging & aging. Later this week itís supposed to get up into the 50ís. Thatís not fine. Not wanting to ruin good meat, Zach and I got most of his deer taken care of yesterday. In the garage. We set up a make shift table, got all our knives & gear out there and watched football while we skinned & carved all afternoon.

After he helped me rake the lawn. Suburbs, you know. Must keep up appearances and keep the damn leaves picked up. Unfortunately, the 3 big maples in the back yard have only dropped about 1/3 of their leaves so far. I hope we get some decently breezy weather the next few days so those leaves come down. I still have my own deer to get, and I donít need to be raking the lawn into December. That just ainít right.

Word of warning. If you drink maybe a glass of water first thing in the morning, then down another quart and a half while in spin class, then follow that up with 3 cups of coffee, all before 9am? Youíre going to pee A LOT the rest of the morning. This probably isnít news to most of you. Iím not used to making so many trips to the bathroom in one morning. I swear Iíve peeíd more than Iíve taken in this morning. I took in a bit, but holy cow!! Besides which my lips are starting to chap and my sinuses are dry Ė thought maybe Iíd retain a little water to correct those deficits. Guess not.

Another problem with this time of year Ė furnaces are running, the air is much cooler and holds less moisture, it all leads to dry skin. Backs of my hands are pretty bad. Some of the calloused areas on my fingers are starting to crack, and the skin around the graft on my right shin constantly itches. I may break down and keep a jug of shea butter cream here in my office. Beats the hell out of scratching myself raw. (but it feels sooooo good!!)

So spin class this morning. I was a little worried about it. See, last night my left hamstring cramped up at precisely the wrong time and really ruined a magic moment. In a cruelly ironic way, itís payback to Cindy for having the same thing happen to her last week. Still, why then? An hour sooner, 15 minutes later, is that too much to ask? Apparently. So the cramp from hell. Lasted several minutes. It was one of those that, every time you thought it was over and started to relax, it would spasm again. At least the breaks were long enough that I could finally manage to stand and start to walk around a bit. That helped immensely.

This morning, even after 7 solid hours of sleep, I could still feel the after effects of the cramp. Thought it might put a damper on spinning this morning. But, as luck would have it, the old hammy hung in there just fine. Bills workouts arenít overly sadistic Ė I donít even start to drip sweat till 15 Ė 20 minutes in, so maybe thatís just what I needed Ė a nice light workout to get things moving again. The stretching we do afterwards felt REALLY good this morning too. The hamstring and calf stretches were really working out some kinks. Iím blaming it all on helping Zach drag his deer out of the woods Saturday and dragging around a 12x18 tarp full of leaves Sunday. For the record, each of those 5 tarp loads we hauled around outweighed that deer by 2 to 1. So yeah, my legs are kind of woozy today. To make them feel better, I think I might just go for a run tomorrow morning too.

Gotta get back into the more regular, more intense workouts anyhow. I can feel myself starting to slip a bit. With the holidays coming (or here already, sheesh!) I gotta buckle down.

Gonna keep this one short. Got plenty of jobs to do on my plate, better get to them.


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