Sunday, October 30, 2011

Remembering Spyder

It was one year ago that I held my precious Spyder for the last time as he drew his final breaths, and today was filled with memories of his too-short life and how much he meant to me for those 11 years we shared. He was my best friend, my protector, my confidante and my sunshine. I remember how he would curl up on the bathrug like my little guardian angel while I showered, and the cute way he smiled when he was happy, which was all the time as he truly knew the meaning of stopping to smell the flowers.

His whole body wagged with joy when I got home from work, and he had an amazing talent for making me laugh no matter how rough my day had been by playing peek-a-boo with his front paws over his own eyes. I still smile when I think of him lounging on the bed with his hind legs stretched out behind him frog-style, back pawpads to the sky, and that silly mischievous sparkle in his eyes.

Every day I miss you, sweetheart. I will always love you dearly and your pawprints are forever etched upon my heart and soul.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

As The Arrow Flies

A couple of weeks ago, I decided on a whim to take an archery lesson. I have to admit I was surprised at how relaxing, almost meditative, this sport is. It's quiet and requires no hearing protection, allows me to set my own pace, and the only limit to how long I can shoot is my own fatigue since the arrows merely have to be retrieved and reused, thus there is no issue of running out of "ammunition". Steve and I searched a variety of archery shops online and had the great fortune to land upon Twig Archery's site where the owner, John, kindly offered his expertise to help me select an appropriate bow - a Samick Sage takedown recurve - and then also talked at length with me about arrows and what would work best for me, and made me a dozen absolutely beautiful Eastons. The bow and arrows each arrived merely a couple of days after the order went in, so I was set up and ready to shoot even more quickly than I could have hoped. So Steve and I headed up to Caswell Ranch today for what was scheduled to be an Archery Fun Tournament. However, as only four of us braved the cold windy day, it wound up being more of a practice match than anything, but that actually worked out great for me as I am a brand new shooter and this meant I didn't yet have to deal with the stress of a big competition right away. Plus, with the strong wind gusts we had this afternoon, it was nice to be able to work on figuring out windage at various distances without a lot of pressure. Overall, I am absolutely thrilled with my bow and arrows from Twig. The fit, weight and handling are perfect for me so that I can shoot quite a few arrows without fatiguing, and I find that my accuracy is improving each time.

While at Caswell, Dean was kind enough to also let us try out his longbows, a 50# Bear and a 35# English longbow, and I thoroughly enjoyed both of those even though the poundage was well over my range.

But my favorite bow by far is my Sage; it already is starting to feel like "home" to me and I don't think it's going to be long before we're working as a single unit. Right now I'm still working on locating my perfect anchor point, although by the end of today's practice, I was starting to feel like I might have found it or am at least getting very close, and now just need to focus on consistently drawing to that point. Thanks so much to Romeo and Dean for encouraging me to give archery a try, to Steve for being such a wonderful and supportive husband joining me in this new endeavor, and to Twig Archery for their expertise and unsurpassed customer service in helping me select the perfect bow and arrows to get me going comfortably and happily. :-)