I’ve got plenty of things to be scared of this week, and we’re not even close to Halloween yet.

I’ve got another birthday coming up, and while I’m sure the new fishing rod my husband picked out for me will put a big grin on my face, adding another year to your age is not so exciting once you get over a certain number.

“Always better than the alternative,” my father used to say. True, but it’s still not as fun as it used to be.

Adding insult to injury, my second-youngest daughter began preschool on Monday. Where does the time go?

There’s Friday the 13th to look forward to. I don’t put much stock in horoscopes or doomsday prophecies, but no matter how you look at it, Friday the 13th just sounds ominous.

And we narrowly escaped having a full moon on Friday this year — the full moon takes place exactly three minutes after the clock strikes midnight on Saturday in places in the Eastern Time Zone. This September’s full moon is of course called the Harvest Moon, so if you’ve got some harvesting to do and not enough daylight to do it, you’ll have plenty of moonlight this weekend to get it done.

My car needs immediate repairs, I owe an installment payment to our orthodontist (three of my five kids are in braces), and did I mention we have a new washer and dryer being delivered to our house but an enormous hole in front of the entrance where concrete still needs to be poured for a landing?

My best guess is that the delivery folks aren’t going to want to hoist a new washer across a 3 1/2 deep trench on a two-by-eight piece of lumber positioned as a gangplank to the front door. Fingers crossed a new delivery date is possible (as I write this, I’m still waiting to hear back from the store).

But all those things pale in comparison to what the weekend is bringing my way.

I’m not the only one in the family with a September birthday. My daughter turns 11 on Saturday and has invited five of her friends for a sleepover to celebrate. That’ll be 10 girls all under one roof. Lunacy, some might say.

Perhaps I am a little superstitious after all. That’s why, after careful consideration, I rescheduled the sleepover from Friday to Saturday. There’s no sense pushing my luck this week.

DNR reminds hunters about tree stand safety

I’ve got a sister who has called the great (and cold) state of Maine home since she moved there in 2007. She often sends me emails with the latest fishing and hunting news out of her home state.

This past week, a hunter named Robert Trundy was sentenced for his actions in October 2017, when he fatally shot a woman who was hunting for gemstones on her property in Hebron. According to Trundy, he thought he saw the back end of a deer so he took a shot with his rifle. When he heard a scream, he realized he had been mistaken.

Trundy was charged with manslaughter, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. He took a plea deal and was sentenced to seven years of prison, with most of the time suspended. He’ll serve only nine months of jail time.

Not only was the hunter too cowardly to check on the person he’d shot (he called his father and 911 to render assistance, but never worked up the nerve to approach the person), he also didn’t follow the most basic tenet of safe hunting. Before pulling the trigger, a hunter has got to be absolutely sure of his target.

Maryland hasn’t released its 2018-2019 Hunting Accident Report yet, but the most recent statistics from the year before show that the number one cause of hunting injuries is falls from tree stands. And nearly every victim was not wearing a safety harness.

That’s why every year the Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters to wear full body safety harnesses while climbing to, climbing out of, and sitting in tree stands.

DNR strongly recommends using a sliding knot, also known as a Prusik knot, attached to line that is secured above the stand that allows the hunter to be safely tethered to the tree as soon as they leave the ground.

Fractured legs, spinal injuries, and severed fingers are just some of the injuries hunters in Maryland have sustained when falling 12, 15, even 18 feet out of a tree stand.

Deer hunting season just started back up last Friday. I’m going to add in a few of my own reminders for tree stand safety.

Never climb into a tree stand while carrying a weapon in your hand or on your back. Use a haul line or pull-up rope to raise or lower your unloaded weapon.

Never use a tree stand under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including over-the-counter or prescription medications that could make you drowsy or impair your judgment. Don’t fall asleep in the tree stand either.

And here’s one you might not have heard before. Don’t wear rings when climbing. They can catch on tree limbs or get snagged in equipment.

Think that’s a little overzealous? Ask my friend Jen about her right hand. She’s only got 4 fingers thanks to a ring that got caught on a dumpster when she was jumping up to throw garbage bags in.

The weight of a person’s body can take a finger off lickety-split.

For all you nature lovers who will be spending some time outdoors this fall, get yourself a blaze orange vest or hat, or better yet both, and wear them when you’re outside.