Monday, April 6, 2015

Tea Shopping - and a Surprise!

As many of you know, I am a serial romantic.  I love beauty and see it everywhere.  And if I can't find beauty, I make my own.  As a romantic, one of my favorite creative outlets is hosting tea parties.  For years I have invited ladies into my home and we have shared our hearts over simple cups of tea.  But then I started thinking....

The guys miss out on the good stuff - tea with the ladies! We needed to remedy this travesty immediately of course.  And so, an idea was born - Tea and a Skeet Shoot!  After talking with Sir Knight, I set a date, made a guest list and began compiling ideas for the perfect event.  A cross between "Out of Africa" (you know, the quail hunting scene) and a Scottish Highland Hunt is what I have in mind - I can't wait!!!

First things first,  we had to go shopping for tea accoutrements - clay pigeons and shotgun shells.  Miss Serenity and I headed to a local sporting good store and bought a few cases of clay pigeons and a case of "target load" shotgun shells.  These aren't for the actual tea - these are for practice!  The few times I have shot skeet have been, well, consistent.  I consistently miss.  Every.  Single.  Shot.

Cases of clay pigeons and shot

Pink shells!  They must have known they were for a tea party!
We don't own an appropriate shotgun, but that didn't stop us.  As soon as we got home, Sir Knight, all of the children and I took to the range and commenced a practice session.  Oh, how humble our children keep us!  In my customary manner, I didn't hit one clay pigeon.  Not one!  Master Hand Grenade, however, hit every one he shot at, even when the thrower was loaded with two clays at a time.  Miss Serenity didn't miss one - not one!  And Maid Elizabeth was the surprise shot of the evening.  She had never had an opportunity to shoot clay pigeons, but in true Maid Elizabeth fashion, she shouldered a shotgun and let the bird shot fly.  She hit her first pigeon.  And her second.  And her third.  She hit EVEY clay she had in her sights!  Every one!  Sir Knight, of course, hit his targets, leaving me alone to wallow in my skeet shooting failure. 

In spite of my inability to hit a flying target, we had the time of our lives!  The littles were in charge of pushing the foot peddle on the skeet thrower (they even had an opportunity to shoot a few rounds) and collecting clay pigeons that had not been shot (mostly mine).  The older kids, Sir Knight and I quickly shot over 100 rounds, laughing and clapping and having fun, until it was too dark to shoot.

Miss Serenity running the skeet thrower with her foot
Determined to master the craft, I spent time looking at various sites trying to find some helpful hints.  Within days, Sir Knight and I again set up the skeet thrower and I was able to hit at least a few clay pigeons.  Success!

Last Friday Sir Knight had the day off work and we were supposed to head out in the morning to drive to my parents where we were spending Easter weekend.  After tea, however, instead of getting into the truck and heading out, Sir Knight and Maid Elizabeth left saying they would be back later!  What?  Oh, well.  I waited patiently and we left for my folks at about noon, rather than in the morning.  I was more than a little curious about their sudden side trip, but I figured they had a good reason to take their excursion, so I didn't ask too many questions. 

Later that evening, after Maid Elizabeth and Miss Serenity had arrived at my parents home, Sir Knight and Maid Elizabeth quickly ducked out to her car and came back carrying a box.  Sir Knight called me to the table and said "Enola - for you and your  tea party".  The box had me confused.  It said "Winchester" across the bottom, however, it was too small to hold a rifle.  Questioningly I opened the latches and lifted the lid.  There, nestled in the box was the most beautiful shotgun I had ever seen.  It was an over/under (something I had coveted since seeing "Out of Africa" for the first time) with a ported barrel and a highly polished stock.  It was gorgeous!  I couldn't believe that my wonderful family had bought such a gift just for me!

The Winchester 101

Look at that engraving!

Chokes and choke key


Ported barrels

Maid Elizabeth quickly showed me how to assemble the shotgun and within minutes I was holding a Winchester 101 - my very first "hunting" shotgun!  They had acquired the shotgun from a fellow Redoubter and an avid Radio Free Redoubt listener!  And to top it off - the previous owner was a blog reader as well! 

We spent a wonderful weekend with my parents and had more than one skeet shooting excursion.  We all shot, including my parents and their pastor and his wife!  My shooting is improving and the shotgun worked flawlessly.

Now, I am working on the menu for the shoot (I'm thinking of something rather British) and we are all putting together shooting outfits.  I favor a long, linen skirt with a shooting vest while Sir Knight will be wearing a tartan kilt.  Hopefully, the weather at the end of April will provide the perfect backdrop for our Tea and Skeet Shoot!

Sometimes we have to take time out of the upside world in which we live to enjoy the beauty of the moment.  And we will enjoy this moment - with Tea and a Skeet Shoot!


  1. It sounds wonderful!! I also miss every single time when I shoot skeet. Enjoy your tea party.

  2. Enola,

    What a fabulous idea to include the guys in your tea party, and call it "The Tea and a Skeet Shoot".
    Have fun with your new Winchester 101 :-)

  3. What a fun idea and what a beautiful shotgun! Looking forward to hearing how it goes and then shamelessly stealing your ideas!!

  4. Enola, what an exciting gift! I'm just thinking how fortunate your friends are. You not only are a romantic -- you also have a wonderful gift of imagination. I hope you'll post lots of photos for us. Happy shooting!

  5. How sweet! Reminds me of the time my twin sons surprised me with my first semi-auto handgun.

  6. Way cool! We used to have a hand thrower, back in the day, and we used to fight over not who got to shoot but who got to throw.

  7. Your new shotgun is beautiful and this story made me cry, lol. One of my best family memories was just last spring, shooting trap for the first time with my teenaged son and my husband. I managed 15/25 and was hooked. The kind gentleman running the range let me use his wife's gun, and it was an over/under also. Been looking for one ever since, but used "lefties" are not often found.
    I live very near the range outside of the town we moved to last year and they shoot on Wednesdays and Sundays. Makes me nostalgic...

  8. What a wonderful event this is going to be! I may have to borrow your idea and see how we could plan one!


    blog visitor from Julianne's blog Life at Providence Lodge!

    1. Deanna;

      I'll post lots of pictures! And, Julianne of Providence Lodge (and Brian, of course), will be in attendance. In fact, we have been talking over outfits and other arrangements! Borrow away.


  9. I always loved target shooting though never tried skeet shooting. Alas the advent of bifocals pretty much ended my accuracy!

  10. Tea AND firearms?!!?? (Guys, trust me on the tea thing!!)
    It doesn't get much better than that!!
    Road Trip!

  11. You may have already done this but -- find out if you are left or right eye dominant, as it will affect your accuracy by several feet. Stay ahead of the target and fire just before it leaves the flight path...beautiful gift btw...

  12. Looking forward to the report on this event and the pictures of you ladies in your outfits!!

  13. What a great idea and what a wonderful family you have.

  14. What a lovely surprise! Sooo beautiful!

  15. Enola, that is a beautiful shotgun! Sometimes having the right gun makes all the difference. Good luck and great idea!

  16. lucky you..shadowfaxhound