I started cooking for Van Hale's Trophy Outfitters last September when they needed a fill in cook at the Josh Ranch for an Arizona Elk Hunt. Tad called and wanted to know if I would consider it. Being me, I couldn't say no, but you have to know I was as nervous as a cat. I can cook, but for total strangers? What do they eat? Marsha Ziegler who is the Head Cook told me to make up a menu for the week, go to the store and cook. Tad's hunters were a father and son from the Valley - Bruce and Rex Neely. Brad Hale's hunter was Ron Smith, a dr. from North Carolina and his wife, Jill who came along for the trip. It was quite enjoyable and they all complimented the food and when all was said and done, I got $600 in tips! Now that was a blessing in itself, bought my pellets for the winter. Fast forward to August 2013 - I get a call that they need a cook for Josh Ranch for two hunts, one in September and one in October - both small hunts...well again I can't say no. I had two hunts back to back in September and two hunts back to back in October. It was a lot of hard work but fun. I thought about my great grandmother, Nary, who was a lumber camp cook for many years. She fed lots of hungry men three meals a day without the luxuries I cook with. I had a nice new kitchen to cook in with a six burner gas cook top, double ovens, two refrigerators, a warming drawer, two dishwashers and a microwave; all things she never even dreamed of. There were times when I thought of her I felt her "Sister, you can do it." Nary always called me "sister" and I loved her so much and I KNEW she loved me. Well, Tad said that Van told him the hunters were very complimentary so that was good, huh? I got a call on the 10th of November...they needed me to cook in Datil. Datil? are you sure? Well on Thursday I came out and cooked for Shane Sass, Jeremy Walker and their hunters, Chris Curtain and his son, Grant. Jeremy and Chris are hunting on the AZ/NM border and staying here in Datil a 90 minute drive! Shane and Grant are basically hunting on the other side of Hwy 12 - a 5 minute drive. Day one, nothing. Day two, nothing. Day three - Grant has a kill! Yay! He's a nice 5 by 6 and Grant is very happy. I'm cooking chicken fried steak for his celebration dinner along with Tad's blueberry cobbler. Sounds like a winner. Shane has loved my cooking, don't know if that goes back to him being at my house 24/7 as a kid or if it's like Tad says.."you name the day and we can tell you what we're having to eat".
Tad says I might even cook in December - I don't mind AFTER after my Vegas trip. Gunnar has been invited back to Vegas for wrestling and I'm going. Last year was priceless. When he won his final match, his coaches, Jerry and Scott were jumping up and down and "high fiving" each other. That is a sight I will never forget. Last year I got to cook for Tad and his hunters at Josh Ranch - this year he's in Datil when I'm at Josh or home when I'm in Datil. He has Ryker today. I guess Ryker had a melt down when he thought he was going to my house and Tad went to Larry & Nola's instead. They had to call me so Ryker could talk to me. I love that little toot.
Jenna called and said she finally got her car back - I guess when Brinley saw it she said "Yes! Our black car! can we watch a movie?" Well the suburban is white and that is Brinley. I love her kooky personality. I love that she has to have her make up on before she leaves the house. I love that she is obsessed by mermaids - she is one, you know. I LOVE being MOMO SADIE to 9 of the cutest little people on the planet. Life is good and I am blessed.
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