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Catherine's Blog

Machine Gun Shoot 2017

Every year, Knob Creek Gun Range hosts a bi-annual event called the Machine Gun Shoot during the second weekend of April and October. The participants are machine gun dealers, collectors and enthusiasts from all over the country. The Machine Gun Shoot itself consists of three days of machine gun shooting, dealer displays, shooting competitions and a spectacular Saturday Night Shoot.  The machine gunners are shooting at a wide variety of used appliances, abandoned vehicles, and barrels of fuel with pyrotechnic charges attached.

 

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Saturday was date night, so that’s where my boyfriend and I ended up and it was a blast (no pun intended). I’ve heard about the event for years and have always wanted to go and since he’s stationed at Fort Knox, we were already right down the road from it.

 

Before the shooting started, we walked through and looked at all of the vendors. They were selling everything from tiny gun parts to full size weapons, including a booth that was selling RPG’s and another that was selling fully operational cannons. It was fascinating. Just the people watching was enough to keep me entertained.

 

For anyone planning on ever attending, get there early and snag a good seat because it gets crowded fast when the show is about to start. I had to get up on his shoulders just to be able to see, luckily he’s 6’5″ and could see above the crowd.

 

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The picture above doesn’t even do the event any justice, it was so much better to actually watch the show. 50+ shooters lined up to fire downrange at all kinds of random junk, some rigged to explode. We could feel the heat from the blast and they weren’t wimpy, they were big mushroom clouds of fire and smoke.

 

Overall it was an incredible experience and is very family friendly. They have some old WWI & WWII tanks on display that the kids and climb on and get inside. The next Machine Gun Shoot will be October 13, 14, & 15th.

 

Beauty and the Beast

If you haven’t already gone to see the new live action version of Beauty and the Beast, you are truly missing out. I finally had some free time to go see it this weekend and incredible isn’t even a good enough word to describe it. It was better than I could’ve even imagined it being.

 

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I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical going into it for a couple of reason. I’m already a huge Emma Watson fan but it’s always difficult to see her as anyone else besides Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. I was also afraid, with it being live action, that I wouldn’t like all of the special effects. Within the first few minutes, those worries were gone because everything was amazing.

 

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Emma Watson did a spectacular job and she also had a beautiful voice, I’m not usually one for musicals, but this is a new favorite of mine. Not only that, but the special effects all throughout the movie were so good, that it was hard to even tell they were special effects. The singing, the effects, and how closely it resembled the original, animated version were spot on and pretty much perfect. The beast even sings and it still sounds amazing!

 

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The interactions between special effects and real actors was seamless and I didn’t really want the movie to end. A word of warning though, if you plan on taking really young family members or friends, with it being live action, some of the scenes can get pretty scary. While my mom and I were in the theater, some of the little girls (all dressed up as Belle) started to cry because it was too much. But there are only 1 or 2 scenes that may scare them.

 

This is definitely a must see for the whole family and I know I’ll be seeing it again as well as buying it when it comes out on DVD. Also, some of the actors and actresses that play animated roles such as Lumiere, the candelabra, may surprise you. There are quite a few “big name” celebrities in the movie and they all do an incredible job.

 

 

Louisville City FC

I’ve been a fan of Louisville City FC since they came to Louisville back in 2015. Not only are they known for winning, they’ve also racked up a huge amount of support with thousands of loyal fans. This past Saturday marked the beginning of the new season with a home game against Saint Louis FC, one of their biggest rivals.

 

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Luckily, I got hooked up with a last minute ticket from a friend who ended up having an extra. The seats were great, the weather on Saturday was beautiful, and the beer was expensive but it was still a great game. The final score however ended in a 0-0 tie but both teams played well and kept the fans going.

 

LCFC is a member of the United Soccer League, now sanctioned Division 2 by U.S. Soccer, only one level below Major League Soccer. The USL includes 32 teams across the country, some of them independent and others acting as close affiliates with MLS clubs.

 

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All of the home games are played at Louisville Slugger Field which most people know is where the Louisville River Bats baseball team plays. Once soccer season starts, before the games, sod is laid over the dirt portions of the baseball field and lines are painted in the grass to turn it into a soccer field. If you ever stay for a few minutes after the game is over, you’ll even see the grounds keepers come out and start rolling up the sod so that it’s turned back into a baseball field for the Bats. A lot of work goes into having a professional soccer team in your city.

 

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Depending on where you want to sit, with there being very few “bad stops” in the stadium, tickets are anywhere from $12-$30. No matter how much you pay, the games are definitely worth checking out and are fun for the whole family.

 

This season, LCFC has a total of 16 home games, with the first one being this past Saturday. The games go until October, so there are tons of opportunities to watch them play. The next home game is on April 15th against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 7:30pm. Get the family or some friends together and check them out!

 

 

 

 

 

Uneventful Spring Break 2017

I’ve never been one to go on a real vacation during spring break because I’d much rather stay at home, work extra hours, and save up extra money. Not only that but the thought of being on a beach surrounded by idiot drunk people is just not appealing to me. In fact, it never has been. Even in high school, I never even asked my parents if I could go places like Panama City Beach because it’s just not my scene and I’m not a spoiled brat that uses mommy and daddy’s money.

 

This year however, I had plans to make a couple of short road trips to hit some new hiking trails. That’s my kind of scene. I requested off work probably a month ago and was able to get off for 6 whole days. I was so excited until the day before my 6 days started when I got sick. I ended up getting laryngitis and was sick all 6 days. My plans completely fell through and I wasn’t able to go anywhere.

 

I was severely bummed but also glad I got sick when I did so that I wasn’t missing any classes or work. I just laid in bed and watched a ton of weird documentaries on Netflix and I got through about 4 seasons of How I Met Your Mother. I haven’t been that much of a bum in a very long time and it honestly felt pretty good to have a staycation and relax. I’m definitely fully caught up on sleep.

 

Once my 6 days were up and my voice was slowly starting to come back, work started back up again and it was back to reality. I ended up working 40 hours in 3 days just so I could get caught back up on my work and I definitely made up for those days off.

 

Even though I didn’t get to go anywhere or really do anything, I still needed the break from school and work. I don’t regret not going to places like PCB or Fort Lauderdale like everyone else, where you need a penicillin shot after jumping in one of the pools. I’m glad I got a nice little staycation filled with minimal talking and tons of relaxation.

Split Review

This past weekend, I finally went and saw the movie Split and it’s safe to say it was worth the wait to plan a free day when I had time to go see it. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, this movie is a thriller that will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. The best part about it is that it’s not one of those thrillers that makes you jump because someone jumps out, but rather makes you think and adds suspense.

 

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The main character is named Kevin and is played by James McAvoy. Kevin suffers from what is known as dissociative identity  disorder and he has 23 distinct identities. While under the influence of one of the identities, Kevin kidnaps 3 teenage girls and locks them away in a room. While the girls are trapped, you will get glimpses of each of his identities and what they are capable of.

 

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James McAvoy does an incredible job in this movie and is able to take on many different rolls with the different identities. There are some identities that are considered good, happy, and functioning, while there are others that are considered bad and should be suppressed. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s fascinating to watch as his identity changes and how it’s a completely different person inside of the same man’s body.

 

This movie isn’t short of any action either, it’s full of twists and turns and the plot continues to thicken throughout the movie. I can tell you I was definitely hooked and on the edge of my seat within the first few minutes and I really don’t have the strongest attention span. Some scenes do get a bit gory and has some very mature content so this movie is not for the faint of heart.

 

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I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys suspenseful, slightly gory thrillers that are worthy of their R rating. The climax of the movie is pretty crazy and is of course followed by a happy ending but there’s an interesting cliffhanger at the very end. I’d say there is definitely going to be a sequel and I’ll be just as excited to check it out when it hits the theaters.

Charlestown State Park

Hiking is something that I’ve always loved to do and with the recent warm weather we’ve been having, I’ve had the chance to do quite a bit of it. My go to hiking spot is Berheim Arboretum and Research Forest because they have a lot of different trails of various distances and difficulty.

 

Although Berheim is my favorite, I recently decided to go somewhere new and went to Charlestown State Park in Indiana, only about 35 minutes away from downtown Louisville. I had come across an article on Facebook that listed some of the best hiking spots near Louisville and Charlestown had some great reviews.

 

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After reading the article on Facebook, there were 2 trails that I knew I needed to check out and they were trails #3 and #6. There are 6 trails total inside of the park and these 2 seemed to be the ones that everyone recommended. Both are just over 2 miles and are considered “Rugged” which is the highest difficulty at the park. You’ll be out of breath at some points, but both could be easily handled by just about anyone.

 

Trail #6 was recommended because it runs along the Ohio River with what people said were “stunning” views. I’d have to disagree. Yes, you can see the river but unless you walk off of the trail and into the trees, your view will be blocked by said trees. However, it was still a great hike with a couple of bridges that crossed over a thin creak and a small waterfall. I also think that just being within the woods and trees is a beautiful enough view for me.

 

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Trail #3 was the coolest trail that I’ve ever been on because it has a little secret gem. While on this trail, you’ll come across a large metal bridge. On the other side of that bridge is Rose Island where the remains of the Rose Island amusement park still lay abandoned.

 

Rose Island was built in the 1920’s but was destroyed and abandoned during the 1937 flood. There isn’t a whole lot left to look at but there are various signs and markers that depict where things were and how high the water got. You can stand directly where the Rose Island Hotel once stood and see bricks still scattered around. The most intact artifact was the pool. On the far right side of this photo, you can see the blue marker that shows how high the water was, the pool was at a higher elevation than anything else which is why it doesn’t seem as though it got that high. However, for example at the hotel, the water would have been several feet above your head.

 

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Charlestown State Park is definitely a destination I would recommend for anyone to check out, not just those that love to hike. There are playgrounds and camping grounds along with a boat ramp on the Ohio River. Hiking has become my new favorite hobby and I can’t wait to check out more trails.

 

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Always take the road less traveled.

 

My Little Lylabug

When I’m writing my blog posts, I’m typically right in the middle of what I’m writing about. I was making that delicious chicken tortilla soup as I wrote about it, and I was babysitting for the last post I made about my “side job”. Well, I’m at it again but tonight I’m watching my older cousins daughter whom I refer to as my niece.

 

My cousin and I have been extremely close ever since I can remember. She’s 8 years older than me and we’ve always called each other “sis”. She’s like my cousin/best friend/older sister/closest confidant. On August 13th 2015, she and her husband welcomed the most beautiful baby girl into the world, Lylabug.

 

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Obviously her name isn’t really Lylabug, it’s Lyla, that’s just what I call her and no one else is allowed to. This baby, I swear, is the best baby in the world. I wish I could claim her as my own, but I’ll settle for being her favorite pseudo aunt/actual cousin.

 

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Not only is she clearly the most beautiful girl, she’s also so incredibly smart. She just turned 18 months last week and she also started school. She now goes to Kindercare during the day which is a daycare that also teaches the kids instead of just watching them. On her first day, the teachers and aids couldn’t get over how well she speaks, how brave and playful she was with the other kids, and how she just seemed to be immediately comfortable with everyone around her. She’s the type of baby that doesn’t know a stranger and is not shy at all.

 

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I get to see Lyla more than anyone besides her parents and she gets so excited to see me which gets me just as excited as her. I’ve also evolved from “Aunt Sass” which is what her mom taught her, to a full “Aunt Catherine”. I’m not even kidding, she very clearly says Catherine but now calls me Cat since she can differentiate between me and the actual animal.

 

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This crazy little girl is such a bright little light that can put a smile on anyone’s face, hence why I added so many images. She’s hilarious, smart, beautiful, and just an all around amazing little girl. I can’t wait to watch her grow up and be the aunt that teaches her all the things her mom doesn’t want her to know.

My side job

A little more about me… Aside from working full time in retail, I also happen to be a highly sought after babysitter. I’ve been babysitting for a couple of families for a few years now and I watch their kids as often as I can. Luckily, my full time job is flexible with my schedule, and the parents know to give me enough notice so that I can make sure I’m off the nights they need me.

 

Just like every other girl, babysitting was my first “job”. Over the years I’ve watched dozens of kids and seen it all. I have graphic horror stories you don’t want to hear. I feel like most people probably think babysitting is a job for young, teenage girls that just want to make some spending money. I even think that but, there are 5 kids that I still watch and have been babysitting since I was 17.

 

The 5 kids are separated into 2 different families and I met them in 2 different ways. I just adore their kids and I’ve watched them grow  so much in the past 5 years. I’ve also become really close to both families and the kids and parents love me, so they never ask anyone else to babysit.

 

The first family, I met through my dad. He works with the mother and she mentioned she needed a babysitter so he recommended me. And the second family I actually sort of got passed down to me. My cousin Krista was babysitting for them because the mother worked with her dad. When she enlisted in the Army and had to leave for basic training, she recommended me as a replacement and I’ve watched them ever since.

 

I really consider myself lucky to be able to still babysit these kids. I’ve had so much fun seeing them grow up and change, it’s like they’re my younger siblings. There’s a 10 year old, two 8 year olds, a 7 year old, and a 5 year old. They are all the most well behaved kids and getting a night off to hangout with them, while getting paid, is a pretty sweet deal.

 

I’ve experienced birthdays, boo-boos, first words, first days of school, sleepovers when mom and dad need a weekend away, everything. It’s the easiest and most fun job in the world and I’m lucky to work for some amazing people.

The best chicken tortilla soup you’ll ever eat

What I’m about to share with you is one of my best kept secrets. I found this recipe in the back of my grandmothers recipe folder about 4 years ago and I hijacked it because she doesn’t make it very often. I, however, make it regularly because it makes a big batch for leftovers and it’s incredibly delicious.

I make this soup in my crock pot at least once a month and I never get tired of it. It’s so easy to throw together and since it’s in the crock pot, you don’t even have to keep an eye on it. I’m always eager to have new people try it and love it but, until now, I’ve never shared the recipe with anyone. Consider yourself lucky.

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First of all, you’ll need a regular sized crock pot, not one of those small ones that’s made for dips and such. Then you’ll need to hit the grocery store and purchase these ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cans of low sodium chicken broth (4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 can of petite diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 1/4 cups of finely chopped yellow or white onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of black beans (14.5 oz)
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn (14.5 oz)

Now here’s how the deliciousness comes about:

  1. Pour the chicken broth and diced tomatoes into your crock pot and then add the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and salt and pepper.
  2. Then stir it all together and add the chicken breasts.
  3. My grandmothers recipe says to cook it on Low for 6 hours but I’m impatient so I cook it on High for 3 1/2 hours or longer depending on how thick the chicken breasts are. You want to make sure they are cooked all the way through.
  4. Once cooked through, take them out and shred them on a plate and return it to the crock pot. Also go ahead and add the black beans and corn
  5. Allow it to cook until heated through
  6. Serve

And there you have it, that’s how you make the best chicken tortilla soup you’ll ever eat. I like to top my bowl with avocado, shredded cheese, and sour cream and if you’re like me and live alone, you’ll have leftovers for days!

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