Thank You

I wanted my last post to be one of appreciation and gratitude to all of you for the love, kindness, education, and caring you have shown me over the past 2 years.

It is not an overstatement to say I do not think I could have healed without all of you and I know it would not have been as fun.

I am writing this with tears streaming down my cheeks. I will miss this.

I have received an enormous amount of nudging to leave the blog up and so I will. I am overwhelmed at the emails I have been getting telling me how much my words have meant to so many. Thank you for making me feel special and valued.

I will also leave the AGirl email active, so please feel free to drop me a note anytime.

Again, with all sincerity…THANK YOU!

Final Update

I have received several requests to update my status, so here it goes.

My hubby and I finished EMT class and passed our state and national exams first time out. We precepted for 3 months. I am a released EMT and he is a released drier. We have been running as a team for the past month or so for our local rescue squad. We are learning a on and enjoying our time serving our community.

I went to the dermatologist yesterday and got the all clear on the skin cancer!!

Things are going unbelievably well here for everyone in the family. We have some very big plans for our future to which are coming along so well.

That’s about it. Except in 2 days I will closing down the blog and the FB. I have enjoyed it tremendously, but the time really is now. Many people have encouraged me to keep it up and I get emails daily asking me to come back. I have given it time, but honestly I do not enjoy it any more. I really don’t have anything of worth left to say, so this really is good bye(well in 7 days).

I hope things are going as well for all of you!!!

P.S. I reserve the right to come back if I ever find something to write about though.

Kilted To Kick Cancer

Ok, I realize that I have been on the very down-low for a while, so it is a bit tacky to pop on here to ask for help, but by now you know if there is a good cause out there, I am gonna support it.

My friend Micheal and his friends(some of which have become my fiends!) have been doing this extremely cool Kilted to Kick Cancer thing for a few years. Last year you all helped Micheal compete with the big boys last year in fundraising which was a hoot. Not to mention helped raise a deal of money to fight a disease we all despise.

It is that time again…

We have 5 kids, a grandbaby, a 15 year old who is mighty motivated and hardworking, so while going to high school we are also paying for her to attend college, we are saving for a new house, my firearms training, self defense training, paramedic school, and I think my husband might want new socks someday, so I get money is tight in an economy that is none to friendly to the working folks(kind of friendly to those that sit on their backside which isn’t any of you)but still I will give up a martini(ouch) or two to toss a few buck towards the good fight.

Never any pressure because I do not think giving what one does not want to give is good for anyone, but if you have the heart and a few extra bucks head on over and give to one of the boys(Men).

“Fight Like A Girl And Other Lessons From A Stabbing”

I sat down to share my thoughts on this article and to restate what I have said many times on this blog, but then my daughter came in and asked me if we could cook dinner together and then my son wanted to read a book and then I wanted to sit with my husband and then my teenager needed to be picked up from work and then I thought, what more needs to be added…nothing really.

I urge you to read this post by Lima called Fight Like A Girl And Other Lessons From A stabbing.

I will add one thing. When I began carrying a gun and taking my safety seriously I felt such guilt and shame that I internalized every cliché from every gun blog out there. I changed my shoes, jewelry, clothes, make up, and Code Yellow became my only mission. Much of it was good advice and solid, but not all of it was and not all of it needed to be applied to my life. I felt overwhelmed much of the time and in the process lost much of who I was. That was my issue. I was on a journey (still am) and during that time many of my emotions and choices were made out of fear or not wanting to be afraid or guilt or many things that were not necessarily good decision making tools.

Eventually, I figured out what I could live with and what risks were reasonable for me to take. While I agree with every single word Lima wrote in her post and while some would say I take things to extreme because I do focus seriously on all aspects of defense (hand-to-hand, knife, gun, mindset, medical, fitness) and while I absolutely love my friendly bruise comparing contests with Lima, I also believe this journey is a process and if one is just starting out, I want to say it is OK to take steps. It is OK to say I don’t want to do this or that. It is YOUR defense. The first step is to think. Honestly make conscious choices. You may say I am not going to do such and such and I understand the possible consequences to that, but I am willing to accept those in order to live the quality of life I want to live. Fine, but make the choice, do not stick your head in the sand and hope it all works out for the best.

For example, I rarely carry an extra magazine. I fully understand the risk of that and I believe it is a risk. Guns jam, magazines fail, on and on, but for me and my life, I have, at this point, accepted that. However, I did the research, I tried it, I thought about it, I read, I made a conscious choice, so at the end of the day it was a choice and one I will hopefully be able to live with.

If you do nothing else, read the article and take time to think about the different aspects discussed and then continue to think, read, research, and consider adding a little something more to your plan in at least one area.

PTSD- A Marine’s Story

I think for a lot of people it is hard to explain war and even more so perhaps what it is like to come home from it. Neither Phil or I have spoke much about the year that followed his return from Iraq, but I think it surprised us both how challenging it was.

He was certainly a different person and while he healed fairly quickly he never did return to the same carefree, light-hearted boy he was before.

My husband did not suffer this kind of distress and for us, the major issues were dealt with pretty much in a year or two, but this Marine’s story is powerful.

Extremely well written. I honestly believe it is worth your time to read.

He has a blog.

A New Shooter Update

Our latest Giveaway recipient wrote an update to share with all of you. As I read her post, I realized two things.

1. We picked the right gal!!

2. I need new clothes. I think this is the 3rd picture of me in the last few months in this same outfit.

P.S. I have always known this, but it is much better to give than receive.

I thought it was time for a update from me on how my new found love for guns is going. After winning  this contest I realized I needed to be a worthy winner and do my part to make the most of these wonderful prizes I was given. Each donor gave because they cared about giving forward in something that they feel passionately about. So my personal conviction was to make sure I used each prize to the fullest.I am now a month out since I got to take the two day defensive handgun class donated by Kathy Jackson. The class was invaluable. Over the two days I kept thinking of all the people that I know that have guns and I thought everyone should take this class. I walked away from it feeling more informed and more confident about this new life that I have chosen to embrace.

I was able to meet “A Girl” in person. She came and brought me the prizes I had won. My husband did laugh at me later on when I was so excited to have gotten an extra prize from Old NFO, an ammo box.

I was able to email with one donor who had given a money gram for ammo and a holster belt. The kindness and willingness to help me to learn things that have been so foreign to me is just amazing.

Yesterday I got to meet up with George Lyons at the NRA range in Fairfax, Va. It is an amazing range. George was very patient with me and helped me learn some new things and also jogged my memory on some of the things I had forgotten I learned in Kathy’s class. One thing I realized after working with George is that when I go to the range I NEED to not only work on my shooting skills but practice all the things I have been taught, like drawing my gun, dropping my magazine and reloading. Those skills need to be so natural that I can do them in seconds when seconds count. THANK YOU George!

Six months ago I would’ve never even dreamed that I would be a lady joining a shooting league, “A Girl & A Gun,” going to the range at least twice a month, traveling to take classes, and stopping at every gun shop I see. My life has changed a lot but I know for the better.  I know that my life and my family’s lives are worth protecting. All the fears I personally had about guns have disappeared thanks to “AGirl” and the others who have been so kind to help me learn. Knowledge is power.

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A Holster or Two

I am coming out of retirement briefly because I wanted to share with you two new holsters I just received.

Maybe a year or so ago I bought a TDI knife. I wanted a small fixed blade knife that I could carry on body and this knife seemed like it would fit the bill.

It did and I like the knife very much, however the sheath that comes with the knife just didn’t work for me. Not only did the handle stick out way to far for me, the knife constantly came out of the sheath. Several times I would find my knife was not all the way in the sheath and occasionally it would come all the way out. In addition the sheath itself didn’t always stay on my belt. My gun belts are a little thick, so the clip on the TDI knife would often not secure properly. This became such a problem I stopped carrying it all together.

Eventually, I contacted Michael Hast of Michael’s Custom Holsters. I told him exactly what I was looking for in a sheath and what I needed it to be able to do. As you know Michael made my AGirl holster which I wear most days, so I am a big, big fan of his work.

Yesterday the sheath arrived along with a present. He had included a matching holster for my Smith & Wesson Shield!!! The print is Ostrich to match a pair of Ostrich Ariat boots I own.

I have only worn the new holsters for a few hours, but so far they are perfect!!

The knife sheath is canted(is that a word??), so the handle is almost parallel with my belt allowing the handle to lay flat instead of looking like there is something protruding from my abdomen.

Here is my picture of them…

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And here is a link to several more on The Holster Site’s Facebook page