I’m A Hunter!

At least in my heart I am. I have never actually been hunting, but I have wanted to for a year, longer really.

I have always known where my food came from and I have never had a problem with it. Well, once when I was about 11. I decided to become a vegetarian because I saw something on TV about the killing of animals and it made me sad. I was not very committed though because on the third night of my conversion my mom made tacos and the smell of the hamburger was too much for me to handle. I am not a big portion eater, but I think I ate 4 tacos that night and have been a carnivore ever since.

When I was younger I did a lot of camping and fishing with my dad. My dad would catch a fish, gut it, clean it, and then cook it.  That never was a problem for me. I wasn’t grossed out. We ate a lot of trout from the Truckee River

On my journey this year I have tried to pin point my thoughts and how I came to be who I was.  I also wondered why I so quickly fell in love with shooting and the life style that surrounds it.  The bad guy thing aside, I am a full fledged gun enthusiast.  A few people have said to me that they are waiting for this gun phase to pass.  They have been thinking once I got over the ordeal of the parking lot, I would slide back into the routine of my life and guns would not be such a central focus. I have bad news for them…Not. Gonna. Happen. 

There is a sense of calm and peace about me now that is separate from feeling like I can defend myself.  It is more like I found a part of me I lost. As a kid, I loved to hike and be outside. I don’t remember being afraid of guns.  I don’t remember it becoming an issue in our home until I was a little older. I think that I allowed myself to become something I really wasn’t. 

I loved my life.  I was happy and confident and didn’t feel I was missing anything.  I had no longing to find a missing part of myself.  I thought I knew who I was and I liked it.  I liked being delicate and soft.  I liked being taken care of.  I identified with that person and I liked her.  I liked her so much it took me sometime to let her go, but I think I have always been more.  I think over time between my violent childhood and the brainwashing of my family, I buried a part of me. I think I am fighter.  I think I am a survivor. I think I am hunter.  I think I always have been.

Once I got over my aversion to guns and all things associated with them, I immediately  said, “I want to go hunting.”

Problem was I didn’t know anyone who hunted. But, now, I do.

The other day I was reading a post by Weer’d and read a comment left by Zercool. He was talking to Weer’d, “Come hunting with me this fall” or something close to that. I then left a comment saying I wanted to tag along. To my surprise and delight, Zerccol said, come! I sent him an email saying I was serious and he said great and sent me a link to his blog where he talks about preparing for a hunt and all that goes into the actual day and what happens afterwards. Very interesting! Beyond excited.

The next day I get a call from my husband telling me his has good news for me. He was talking with a friend who asked about me? How is the wife kind of thing. My husband tells him I very well and that I am a now a gunnie. He tells him I am all pumped up to go hunting later this year with new friends. My husband’s friend is completely blown away because we haven’t seen each other in years and he remembers me fondly, but he also remembers me as a “delicate” prim and proper, not a violent bone in her body kind of gal.  Anyway, he tells my husband, “I will take her hunting.”

He has some books on hunting he wants me to read and then his plan is to take me along with him on his hunts.  I think my husband is going to come too.  He says we can hunt for turkey and deer, which apparently are much smaller than the deer where I will, hopefully, be hunting with Zercool. He says a person has to shoot 6 Virginia deer just to make a sandwich. He also hunts dove and black bear. Don’t know that he has ever shot a black bear, but they do have bear on Quantico and it is legal to hunt to them.  I think it would be hysterical if the first year I went hunting I saw and shot a black bear. Don’t laugh…I dream BIG people.

Now, I need to sign up for a Hunter’s Safety Course, get my licenses, get a gun or two and do lots and lots of reading.  I am living the life!!

Backpack, Backpack

I have little kids, so if someone says backpack, my mind automatically goes to the song from the cartoon, Dora. 

Anyway, as I mentioned before I was contacted a few weeks ago by a gentleman who asked me if I would be willing to review a shoulder holster.  I said sure.  That never arrived, but he also asked me to review a product of my choice under $25 from PXSupply.com.  They are an Army/Navy supply store. Finding something I wanted to review was a feat because they offer so many items and I had no idea what to choose. 

Since I have been shooting, I have had an issue with my purse.  Mostly, I just don’t like carrying it anymore.  I have always carried it on my left side, but my gun is there and it’s just a pain.  I tried moving it to my right side, but for the life of my I can’t get used to it and it is so uncomfortable.  Before it would be no big deal because I would just have to carry it into the store and then toss it in the cart, but I no longer to that.  It stays on my body the whole time.  Hate it. In addition I don’t want to carry my lovely Coach purse into the range when I go shooting, which is a lot.  Just feels wrong, but there are things I need in my purse, so I usually end up taking my CCP, DL, money, ect from my purse and tossing it into my range bag, but I sometimes forget to put it back and I have, more than once, been walking around town carrying concealed with my permit back at home.  I thought about a backpack, but they are either too big or too small or too girly.  I like girly.  I like feminine, but I have never liked to draw attention to myself and nothing says, I want attention like a bright pink backpack bedazzled in crystals.

When I was perusing the website I saw a smallish backpack that had a retro look. It caught my eye and I thought it looked like something I could carry to the range and also something I would feel comfortable carrying around town, so that is what I picked.

The black bag on the left is my husband’s and the nice brown one with the red star is mine.  As you can see it is quiet a bit smaller, but still a good size. 

It is extremely well made.  The stitching is solid and I have purposely been rough with it to see how it would hold up.  I took it to the range the weekend I worked and it got tossed all around between my car and John’s truck.  I was in and out of it all day in the rain and mud and not a fray to be found.

The backpack has a lot of pockets which I like.  I can carry all the things I would normally carrying in it plus a bigger first aid kit.  For me my normal daily carry would be chap stick, gum, 2 pens,  my wallet, checkbook, small first aid kid(I have always carried one by the way), a small knife(it sucks), some kind of healthy cereal bar, mace, paper, small cosmetic bag that has needle/thread, kleenex, other girly essentials and sunscreen. I do also carry a flashlight, but that is on my body along with my gun.

Everything fits nicely in all the different compartments and I still have room to toss in a bottle of water if I want. My only tiny annoyance is that it does not have a specific place to put a pen or pencil.  I am always taking notes and writing my my name for someone, so it’s nice to have quick access to a pen.  There isn’t a place for one in this back pack, so even if I put it in the small pocket up front I am forever digging around to find it.

That aside, I have carried this backpack every single day for 2 weeks and I love it!! 

The Universe Has A Plan

Last week the Deaf Education instructor at my children’s school emailed me and asked if I would be willing to contact and then meet with some friends of hers.  Her friends are a Deaf couple couple in the process of adopting a little girl from China and since I have been there, done that, she thought I might be a good resource and provide support for them.

Yesterday after my morning at the range, I rushed home to spend a few hours with the kids and then I met up with the couple at Starbucks.

First, I have to say these two are some of the neatest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  Had a fabulous time talking with them.

Talking with them in a public place was a new challenge for my situational awareness because since they are deaf we were signing.  Eye contact is incredibly important for the politeness, but also if I looked away to check the doors, I would miss what one of them was saying.  They had arrived before me and found seats, so the only seat available left my back to the only incoming door as well as everything happening at the counter.  Fortunately, the chair was not bolted down and I could move it a little to give me a better view of things and still be able to see them.  I was amazed at how much I have actually learned and processed.  I was able to scan the room, count how many people were there, converse with my new friends, and be aware enough to find times that I could take a quick scan of things.  It was pretty natural. Eventually they asked to see pictures of my kids and I moved to sit on the loveseat next to the wife.  That was a much better place to see the haps inside the coffee place.

We had been talking for about an hour when the wife asked me if I worked and if so where.  I told her that I work for a firearms instructor. The husband immediately lit up and says “I want to take your course”  I explain that I am the gopher girl, but that if he took the course from John, I would make sure to be there. He told me there was no way his wife would go for it.  She does not like guns.

I have mentioned before that every time I go somewhere I have no intention of talking guns or about being mugged.  It never crossed my mind in a million years that I would spend an hour discussing shooting and my attack, but I am starting to think the universe is determined to squeeze every ounce of good it can from my misfortune. Even with gun people I try not to bring it up, but generally when I meet new gun people they are curious and often ask me how I got into shooting.  I say a bad guy encounter and try to leave it at that. Men don’t tend to ask me for details.  Women always do.

After the husband tells me his wife will not go for it, I look at her and she smiles.  ”Guns scare me.”  I smile back and say “I get that”.  ”Guns used to scare me too.”  I tell her the traditional once I realized the gun is just a thing and I control it, I was better able to open my mind.  I tell her that my kitchen knives tend to be more dangerous because I am not as careful with them.  I am so comfortable I will pick one up and start chopping food while chit chatting and signing and oops, I just took a slice out of my finger.  I tell her I am always aware and careful with my guns, so my confidence in dealing with them is high.

We get back to talking about adoption for the next 30 minutes or so, and she says “I want to meet your kids”  I said sure, lets set up dinner.  She looks to her husband who says “Yeah, great, I want to take her shooting course.”  Again, she smiles.

She explains to me that her husband grew up hunting and likes rifles, but has never shot a pistol and she does not understand the need.  He chimes in with “What about to protect our home?”

I want to say this was a very friendly light-hearted conversation.  There was no tension at all and I did not feel like I was put in the middle between these two people.  He genuinely cared about her feelings and she about his.  Honestly, it was sweet and tender to be a part of their conversation.  I loved to watch them loving each other.

Anyway, I do decide that I will share that I was mugged.  No details, no tears, no drama, just me saying, your husband has a point.  Self protection is a concern and I know of what I speak.  She is shocked that something like that happened right in our town, to me, in the day time, not too far from where we were having coffee.

She listens and then starts to asks a lot of questions.  Lots.  She would make a good detective.  I do end up going into the full account, in more verbal detail then I ever have before.  I am fine.  Not traumatized at all.  She gets teary eyed once, but I do not.  At one point I am talking to her and I come to the part where I put E in the car and she looks me in the eyes and says, “Why didn’t you get in the car?”  I am taken a back for a minute because I thought, What? Wait?  Why didn’t I get in the car????

In all the times I have recounted this story I have said I should have ran into the store, I should have yelled, I should have done this or that, but I have never said I should have got into the car.  Why didn’t I just get into the car?

I look at her for a few seconds and I very softly say, “Why didn’t I.”  ”Good question.”  ”I did a lot wrong that day.”  Then I told her that at the start of every self defense class the question is asked what does a criminal need?  He needs a victim and then I tell her a good deal of the class is spent discussing how not to be chosen.  She asks me why I think the bad guy chose me and I tell her, “Because I was the perfect choice.”  ”I made it easy.”  She said “How?”  We talk about what bad guys look for and how I fit each of them.

I loved this conversation because she was honestly wanting to know.  She was not being judgmental or harsh or accusative.  We were discussing things she had never thought of and if I did nothing else yesterday, I got her thinking.

Somehow we get back to adoption and we talk for another 40 minutes.  At the end the wife says, I can’t wait to come to your house for dinner.  Her husband says, I can’t wait to take her shooting course.

I laughed and said, “Yep, I am a full service friend”.  ”I am here for all your adoption and shooting needs.”

The Drought Is Over

This morning  MSgt B, CTone, Nancy R, David, and Angry Andy , who is aparently actually Broken Andy, were getting together at the range and I was able to join them!!!  I took a picture, but it is all kinds of blurry.

We met at the range an hour before it opened and just did the chit chat thing.  I was going to make a joke about how they were all jerks and I didn’t like them at all. Every time you read about one of these bloggy get togethers it is just one big lovefest, so I thought I would shake things up a bit, but I couldn’t do it.  I just love them too much. 

They are all great and let me tell you about Nancy R’s sweet daughter…precious!! Smart as a whip that one.  Unfortunately this range does not allow children under the age of 7, so she was not able to shoot.  Big time bummer!!

We got 3 lanes and, of course, the generosity was in abundance…aka they let me shoot everything! 

I shot MSgt B’s Sig Pro and his Ruger SP 101 with .357 Magnum bullets.

 With his Sig

The lower shot on the left is where I was aiming his Ruger.  I shot 4 shots and got 2 on the white and 2 a little to the right in the black.  I am not entirely sure how far out this was, maybe 7 yards.

I also shot an HK P30 which I loved. A Kahr 9mm which I didn’t.  I shot a Walther of some sort. I shot a .22 with red dot something.  That was pretty cool!! I typed the names, calibers and who they belonged to in my phone, but between my hurrying and the iphone’s devilish spell check I can’t tell what I meant, so if I got something wrong, I apologize.

A couple of people shot my M&P and then we headed to a local coffee place where MSgt B treated us to a cup of coffee.  I really enjoy getting to know these people as much as I love to shoot and you all know how very much I love to shoot.

Had a blast.  Thanks so much for inviting me!!

I Am Asking For Your Help

It has come to my attention that I am in no way a perv. I have lived under the false assumption for years now that I was. It has been a somewhat painful and totally embarrassing, public realization, but after hanging with you all, it is obvious I can no longer continue in my delusional state.

My earlier post was meant to showcase my stellar fighting skills and was not my attempt to share with the world foreplay with my husband. The first version on the post included a statement about how, had Arete been present, he would have been proud of me. Sure, take a moment to visualize that threesome. Apparently, God had mercy on me and must have quietly nudged me to remove it.

I read that post so many times and I got nothing risque from it. My only attempt at any sexual innuendo was the “I am extremely fond of his groin area”. I was so blind to the nature of my writing I let me 13 year old read it and thankfully, public school has not corrupted her mind completely because all I got was “Eww, gross.” “Who says groin?”

I feel confident that I am in the right environment to cure my problem of clean thinking and I’m hopeful that my conversion will be a quick one because I am getting tired of accidentally sticking my clean thoughts into your filthy minds.

Feel free to email me “educational” material that you think might be helpful.  Pictures are appreciated.

**My husband’s says he would appreciate it more if no actual pictures were sent:)

Motivated

This morning my husband and I were laying in bed when our lovely daughter A, starts screaming for help. She is in the shower and needs more cream rinse. I get up and tend to her needs. When I get back to bed my husband starts whining in his best little A voice, “help me”. I said “You want help.” “Sure, I will help you.” “I will help you wake up”, and I start to kind of poke him and tickle him. I have a tactical advantage here because I am not the least bit ticklish anywhere.

This does wake him right up and he grabs my wrist and without thinking I remember exactly how to twist my wrist in and down and wouldn’t you know it, right out my hand comes. I am so excited I start doing the smack talk thing and I grab his wrist. He is a little more determined now and he grabs both my wrists and jumps on top of me, but I am able to free one hand and tickle him. Things kind of fall apart at this point because we are laughing so hard.

A few minutes later I see my pen sitting next to my bed and I decide to test his situational awareness and see if I can stab him in the neck. This is more me being the “bad” guy then a defensive strategy, but I am amped up from my earlier success and I have a desire to play some more.

We are casually chit chatting when I grab him and artfully jab him several times in the neck and try to sweep his legs out from under him, but he has good balance and he wrestles me to the bed. Giggling too much thwarts any further success by me.

The kids are all awake and we do the mommy and daddy thing. A few minutes later my husband reaches over, gentle grabs my wrist and pulls me into him and he hugs me. He is being sweet. I like being there. I will admit to a very brief urge to knee him in the groin, slam his head on my leg and toss him to the ground, but since I’m not really ready for the counter attack to that particular “drill” I decided to suppress that urge. Plus, I am extremely fond of his groin area.

My husband said this morning.s escapades are not exactly how June Cleaver sent Ward off to work. To which I responded, “I am not June Cleaver.”

I am so ready to move a little past the crawl phase.

It’s Worth It

About 2 years ago I ordered a book from Amazon.com using an echeck payment.  After a few days, I noticed that the money never came out of my account, so after about 2 hours of searching Amazon.com’s extremely un-user-friendly site, I sent them an email that said, “I received this book, but I do not believe it was paid for”.  The fine folks in the customer service department sent me an email telling me, the book had in fact been paid for.  Great!

A week later I get a call from a collection agency.  I get these calls all the time.  There is a man and a woman who have been giving out our phone number for about 7 years and as far as I can tell they have never paid a single bill in that time.  I am in the bath, my answering machine picks up and I hear the typical…”This is an attempt to collect a debt for..” Holy crap, WHAT???  It’s my name.  I jump up and try to answer, but they are already gone. I call the number back.

I know you will be stunned to find out the man on the other end was none to pleasant.  I tell him my name and the case number and he says, nope nothing.  I said, “But there has to be something because you called me at my number and used my name”.  He insist there is nothing.  Ok, fine.

A few days later I receive a letter in the mail from a guess who?? The collection agency.  I call the number again.  This time an equally unfriendly woman takes my call.  She can’t find anything either.  I said, Listen, clearly there is something to this claim and we are not hanging up until we figure it out.  I was probably more pathetic then forceful, but she did agree to look deeper.  To her amazement there was a default notice under my name from Amazon.com. They were looking for their $20 that I told them I owed them that they refused to believe.

I am super annoyed because I knew that and tried to solve the problem and now it’s at collections.   I explain everything to the woman, but she could give a flying flip. Eventually, I just say, “How do I rectify this?” She says, send us a money order for the amount, blah, blah, blah.  I do and I include a copy of all the emails and such.  I also recontact Amazon.com to explain the whole thing and I resend copies of everything.  I am worried about my credit. They kind of say, our bad, but not really.  The emailer tells me I don’t need to be upset because it is just their in-house collections, not one that reports to credit bureaus. He/she said it was because their bookkeeping, collections and customer service departments don’t talk to each other, so that was probably the issue.  Yeah, probably. You would think that would end the matter, but because God likes to keep me humble for the next 6 weeks I still got emails from Amazon.com claiming the book was not paid for.  I sent another email(up to about 30 by now) back with all the emails and the confirmation number from the collection agency, but this time I also included a threat to contact an attorney if they sent one more email.  They stopped. 

I swore I would never buy another thing from Amazon.com and I haven’t…until today. 

Today I bought An Ordinary American’s Book