Other than shooting, what do you like to do with your time?

I am a very complex girl.  I like spending my time doing lots of different things.  Things that seem contradictory to others, but are perfectly normal to me. 
I love life. 
I love everything.

I love to travel.  Pretty much anywhere.  My family and I get all kinds of excited for a road trip.  As long as I am not on a time line I love to pile my family in the car and head out and they love it too.  Our children are excellent travelers. I hate to fly, but if it gets me to some fun destination then I am gonna get on the big ol’ jet airliner. as I am not on a time line I love to pile my family in the car and nhead out and they love it too.
I like to cook.  Food used to be my passion before guns.  I still enjoy cooking but my food usually takes time.  I do enjoy a box of Beef Stroganoff Hamburger Helper from time to time, but usually I like to make things from scratch and take my time.  Cooking for me is relaxing.  It is good for my spirit, but my time is limited, so if I have a choice between heading to the range or making homemade pasta, I am strapping on my gun and heading out.

 When I have time to cook

(chicken breast stuffed with basil, onion, jack and feta cheeses. Crab cakes, homemade cheddar biscuits, and braised baby bok choy.)

 (Caramelized nectarines with a homemade honey yogurt sauce)

When I don’t have time to cook
I am crazy for football.  There is nothing I like more than a Sunday afternoon with lots of yummy treats, my hubby, and a game or two on the flat screen.
When my husband and I first got married we had what we called “Football Sundays”.  
Original, I know.  

We were busy folks being pulled in a million directions, so on Sundays we took the phone off the hook(pre-cell phone days), closed the blinds, got Chinese food, and watched endless hours of football,  in the buff(no pics).  We were newlyweds after all.

Over the years our rituals have changed a bit.  The food is more traditional football fare, we are both texting friends about the scores, we have at least one kid hanging on us, we are lucky to sit down and see 15 consecutive minutes of any game, we are fully clothed, but the games are always on and we love it!!
I adore reading.  I am really a home body.  I go out and about meeting friends and being social, but being home is my all time favorite and if there is some peace and quiet where I can grab a glass of unsweet tea and a book in my comfy chair…HEAVEN!
I like putting shingles on roofs. Being up on a roof, is therapeutic for me.  I love the heat and the sound of the hammer on the nail head.  I have not roofed many roofs in my day, but when I get a chance to do it, I do.
(I like it so much, I have a framed shingle hanging over my couch)
I like welding. Again, not something I do often and not something I am particularly good at, but I would do it a lot more if I could.
I like to run.  I get giddy running.  My workout partner can tell you how goofy excited I get after a good long run.
I like spending time with my friends.  Meeting them for a girl’s weekend or a movie, or just having them over to my house or an afternoon at theirs is a treat for me.  I don’t have to be doing anything special, I just like being with them. 
I like to text.  The first time I ever sent a text was about 2 years ago.  I was very slow on the uptake, but now I am borderline obsessed.  I can put my phone down and I do, but I like having the option of sending off a quick thought to friends.  When I see something funny or am annoyed, it is nice to have an outlet, but not have to stop what I am doing for a long email or time consuming phone call.
I like camping, in a tent, and eating food directly out of a box or a can.
( Ok, we are just camping under our table, but still we are in a tent, of sorts)
I like getting dressed up all fancy and eating insanely expensive food at a posh restaurant.
I like any of the above activities with my kids and/or husband the most. If I can do any of those things with them, then I am unbearably happy.

Whatcha Wanna Know Wednesday

Other than shooting, what do you like to do with your time?
I am a very complex girl.  I like spending my time doing lots of different things.  Things that seem contradictory to others, but are perfectly normal to me. 
I love life. 
I love everything.
I love to travel.  Pretty much anywhere.  My family and I get all kinds of excited for a road trip.  As long as I am not on a time line I love to pile my family in the car and head out and they love it too.  Our children are excellent travelers. I hate to fly, but if it gets me to some fun destination then I am gonna get on the big ol’ jet airliner. as I am not on a time line I love to pile my family in the car and head out and they love it too. I like to cook.  Food used to be my passion before guns.  I still enjoy cooking but my food usually takes time.  I do enjoy a box of Beef Stroganoff Hamburger Helper from time to time, but usually I like to make things from scratch and take my time.  Cooking for me is relaxing.  It is good for my spirit, but my time is limited, so if I have a choice between heading to the range or making homemade pasta, I am strapping on my gun and heading out.
I am crazy for football.  There is nothing I like more than a Sunday afternoon with lots of yummy treats, my hubby, and a game or two on the flat screen.
When my husband and I first got married we had what we called “Football Sundays”.  
Original, I know.  
We were busy folks being pulled in a million directions, so on Sundays we took the phone off the hook(pre-cell phone days), closed the blinds, got Chinese food, and watched endless hours of football,  in the buff.  We were newlyweds after all.
Over the years our rituals have changed a bit.  The food is more traditional football fare, we are both texting friends about the scores, we have at least one kid hanging on us, we are lucky to sit down and see 15 consecutive minutes of any game, we are fully clothed, but the games are always on and we love it!!
I adore reading.  I am really a home body.  I go out and about meeting friends and being social, but being home is my all time favorite and if there is some peace and quiet where I can grab a glass of unsweet tea and a book in my comfy chair…HEAVEN!
I like putting shingles on roofs. Being up on a roof, is therapeutic for me.  I love the heat and the sound of the hammer on the nail head.  I have not roofed many roofs in my day, but when I get a chance to do it, I do.
(I like it so much, I have a framed shingle hanging over my couch)

I like welding. Again, not something I do often and not something I am particularly good at, but I would do it a lot more if I could.

I like to run.  I get giddy running.  My workout partner can tell you how goofy excited I get after a good long run.
I like spending time with my friends.  Meeting them for a girl’s weekend or a movie, or just having them over to my house or an afternoon at theirs is a treat for me.  I don’t have to be doing anything special, I just like being with them.
I like to text.  The first time I ever sent a text was about 2 years ago.  I was very slow on the uptake, but now I am borderline obsessed.  I can put my phone down and I do, but I like having the option of sending off a quick thought to friends.  When I see something funny or am annoyed, it is nice to have an outlet, but not have to stop what I am doing for a long email or time consuming phone call.
I like camping, in a tent, and eating food directly out of a box or a can.
I like getting dressed up all fancy and eating insanely expensive food at a posh restaurant.
I like any of the above activities with my kids and/or husband the most. If I can do any of those things with them, then I am unbearably happy.

It’s Not That Simple

The other day I was on FaceBook and I read an article on a gun site I follow.  The article was about how people should let there kids play with toy guns and not be afraid to let them around real guns.

I made a comment that because we have real guns and we let our children around them and because we care deeply about gun safety, we do not let our children have toy guns.  The rule in our house is, if you see a gun, don’t touch it and find an adult.  I mentioned that I did not want to leave the detriment of what is real and what is a toy up to our children.

In return a whole bunch of people basically said if my kids are so stupid that they can not tell the difference between real and fake, they are in fact stupid and that we as parents are stupid for raising such stupid children and because we are all so stupid, probably shouldn’t be allowed to have guns at all.

I would like to share with you a little bit about one of my children.  Our daughter was adopted from China when she was almost 4.  When we got there, she could not walk, too weak.  Could not hold a cup.  Did not know how to feed herself.  She is deaf and had zero language, nothing.  She had never heard a word and was never taught even the most rudimentary sign.  She did not even know to shake her head yes or no.  She was so traumatized by her life experiences in that place, that she had completely shut down and went inside herself.  Basically, all she did was rock, stack cups, and scream bloody murder.

We spent the first year she was home just trying to get her to not be afraid.  Trying to convince her she was safe and that here she not only wouldn’t be hit or abused, but that she would be loved and cared for.  It was a long, painful, and tiring process.

We had some progress that first year and by the time she was 5, we decided to get her the cochlear implant to help her hear.  This child had never heard one bit of sound ever.  My husband, myself, our audiologist, our ENT surgeon and the 2nd in charge of the entire Bethesda Navel Medical Center were all extremely concerned how hearing sound might effect this child.  We wondered if the shock of noise might traumatize her further, and while we all felt it was in her best long term interest to have the surgery, our immediate concern was her spirit.  We did not want to set her back in her emotional process.

I posted a video on my Face book page if your interested.  Video

This is a long video(I would love to have any skill whatsoever in terms of computers, but I don’t, so I could not edit it down), about 29 minutes, but I think it is worth the time to see just how amazing this child is.  Just how not stupid she is.  This video is of her activation of her cochlear implant.  It is the first time she ever heard any sound at all.  It is about 6 weeks after her surgery to have the implant put in her head.  At that surgery the doctors found hundreds of bone fragments embedded in her skull and tissue.  Those fragments were caused by repeated blunt force trauma.  She has had a bit to deal with.

This child, this precious amazing child, is now 7 and has completely caught up to her peers in language, and in academics.  In 3 years she fought back from a very tragic life to not only overcome emotional sadness, but has excelled and blossomed into a full fledged carefree, loving, kind, funny, right on target miracle.

Guns are important.  They are fundamental to keeping our safety and our freedoms.  It is paramount that those that understand this fight for it and protect it and pass it on to the next generation, but it is not the only thing that matters.

I was not a gun owner when she came home, but I can tell you even if I was, teaching gun safety would not have mattered to me one flying flippin’ bit.  She wouldn’t have got it anyway.  My daily goal was figuring out how to keep her from having a breakdown.  It was not showering or eating or sleeping and certainly wasn’t guns.

She has come a long way and now she knows about guns and how to shoot and all about safety and she mostly certainly can tell the difference between a real gun and toy one.  She in fact is not stupid.

After she came home we brought home another child, a son, and while he is not emotionally traumatized, he is behind in language and like her, has other things more pressing to worry about than whether or not a gun is real or fake.

We do now have guns in our house and because we do, we feel it is important to teach gun safety.  Regardless of what other issues these kids have going on, they need to be safe and aware, so we are giving him what he can handle until he is ready to handle more.  Safety is our paramount concern.

Unfortunately for my children, they have had to make up for the lack of care they should have received by the people who should have been responsible enough to care for them.  His lack of understanding about real guns verses fake guns is not an intelligence issue, it is a lack of responsibility issue.  People failed him and it’s gonna take him some time to catch up, but he will. 

Many adults lack responsibility and I feel it is very irresponsible to call a child you know nothing about stupid.

Life is not black and white.  It is not absolute.  For me the entire 2nd Amendment fight is about much more than just guns and the right to bear them.  It is about personal freedom.  The freedom to make choices that are right for you and your family and for your choices not to infringe on mine.  It is about respecting the choices of others and understand that what you do may not be right for someone who is very different from you.

I will end with the statement I left to these rather rude and inconsiderate folks…

Blanket statements about children and/or their parents, or well anything, are like gun laws…ridiculous.

A Fun Night Out

Last night I went to a meeting held by an organization that is very active in preserving and fighting for the rights of gun owners in my state.

I loved it.

I loved every minute of it.

I may be in some kind of honeymoon state, that might wear off soon, but I sure hope not because I am having way too much fun.

The meeting was pretty basic, the president called it to order, gave a brief overview of the evening, then turned it over to someone else.

Elections are coming up, so a few candidates spoke.  None from my district, but I was still encouraged by the things they said they stood for.  All of them spoke about fighting actively for the Castle Doctrine and that made me very happy.

I would say there is no real way to know if they mean what they say, but I think this group is pretty thorough in vetting those they stand behind. 

Then a gentleman spoke about his youth rifle shooting team.

LOVED THIS!!

I absolutely loved seeing these kids!!  They were being taught about so much more than guns, but let’s face it, the gun part was way cool.  Not a cheap sport to get into though.

Money aside, I think my 8 year old would love to get involved in something like this someday.

Unfortunately, being the mother of 5, I had kid drama mid-evening.  Phone calls to my husband and text messages to me and well, we left the meeting earlier than we had hoped to head back to Shangri-La where I dawned my referee suit and settle a whole host of issues.

We drove a little over an hour to the meeting and one of the guys joked, “That is a long drive.  These meetings are not that exciting.”

I said, “yeah I might not ever go to another one, but I am coming to this one.”  And, I don’t know if I will go to another one, but I am glad I went to that one.  It was fun and very informative.

Generally people meet at Starbucks before the meeting, then attend the meeting and then go to a restaurant after.  Since we had to leave early we did not make it to the restaurant, but we did make it to Starbucks before hand.

Let me take you back to the beginning.  Pre-teenage drama.

As luck would have it, there was zero traffic and we arrived in a timely manner, so we beat the people we were suppose to meet.

We went into the coffee shop, ordered our iced soy lattes(no judging) and waited.  Ok, I waited and my man went to the little boys room.  But if he asks, it was the big boys room.

As I waited, 2 gentlemen came in, open carrying, and walked up to the counter to order.

The young kid making my coffee, looked at me and said “oh boy, here we go, guns.”

I said, “Don’t worry, we won’t shoot you.”

He looked me up and down and was completely perplexed.

I was also open carrying and can only assume that I looked so not like a gun person he did not notice the Glock 27 on my hip.

I turned so he could see my gun and he just shook his head and said “Oh, no.”

I said, “Your fine, I swear, we will not shoot.”

He said, “Promise?”

Me, “Yes, I promise.”

He said, “If a bad guy comes in, will you still protect me?”

I said, “Of course, yes, absolutely.”

A few minutes goes by, he looks at me, laughs and says, “What are the odds?”

I giggled, smiled, grabbed my coffee and went to find a seat.

I love this because even though I did nothing, I think I might have, inadvertently, helped this kid see that people with guns are not so scary.

If you have read this blog very long then you know I am a big fan of conceal carry, but I am starting to see the positive side to, every once in a while, leaving my Glock out for all the world to see.

I met some very nice people, learned some interesting things about people who hope to be involved in running my state, drank some killer coffee, possibly helped break a stereotype, and all this before 10pm and in 100 degree heat.

All in all, a fine way to spend a few hours.

This and That

First, let me apologize for the comment sent by me under a different blog.  Someone else used my computer, so when I went to reply to the comment, it put it under their blog name.

Second, I am very excited to be going to my first “gun” meeting tonight.  I belong to a group that works at the state level for the rights of gun owners.  They have done quite a lot to promote and defend the rights of folks in my state who have and carry guns.  I volunteered at their table at the last gun show in my town, but this is an actual meeting where they have a speaker and discuss gun related issues.

I hope to meet some more gun friendly people as most of my friends, who I love, are not gun folks.  In fact, I do not have a single local friend who has a gun, shoots a gun, or has ever touched a gun.  Although, I have convinced my workout partner to accompany me to the range a week from tomorrow!

She is coming to my house a few times before for some safety sessions and then we are going shootin’

I am working on something that I think will be very exciting for you all and I am praying you will all  want to get involved, but the details are still be ironed out.  Hopefully, in the next few weeks I will be announcing it.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who has left a comment and/or sent me encouraging and thoughtful emails.  I am overwhelmed at the number of incredibly nice people who have reached out me.  I am having a blast doing this blog and conversing with all of you.  I am learning so much and feel very fortunate to have “met” each of you. 

You are most appreciated!!

Help

I went to carry my Ruger the other day, but when I got it out of the safe, I noticed that the magazine had rust on it.  Then I took a look at my gun and there was rust all over the barrel and inside.

It was stored in a safe with a felt cloth.  It was not wet when I stored.  I had carried it a couple days before, so it was not stored for very long.

Does anyone know what I did wrong?

My son cleaned it last night and the rust appears to mostly be gone, but I am concerned about shooting it.

Thoughts, ideas, help, suggestions???

Whatcha Wanna Know Wednesday

What is the most valuable thing you have learned since you got your gun?

This is such a vast question and there are so many ways I could go with trying to answer it.  I have learned so much about guns and laws and holsters and the undead, but the most valuable, what is the most valuable thing I have learned?

I guess the most valuable thing I have learned is a deeper understand of me.

I have learned so much about myself.  Not only about who I want to be, but who I already am.

I have learned that I have an aggressive side and I like it.

I have learned to stand up for myself and not just when my life is in danger. I am not super good at this, but I am on my way.

I have learned I can be feminine and carry a big gun.

I have learned that I love to learn about guns.  I seriously can not get enough.  I thought it was all driven by fear, but it isn’t.  It is a passion. a passion I never ever knew I had.  It is not a passing fancy or a fad, it is me.

I have learned not to be afraid and when I am, to face it.

I have learned  that asking for help can be the most empowering, freeing, beneficial, gift one can give themselves.

I have learned to take risk and do to thing just for the sake of doing them.

I have learned that I am worth the fight.  I always believed I was valuable and never thought I deserved any harm to come my way, but I never actively fought for it.

Now, I do.

Everyday, in all kinds of ways, I fight for my life.  For it’s safety, but also for it’s joy.

That fight in me, for me, is the absolute most valuable thing I have learned.