The winner has contacted me and has asked me to donate the money for her training to the Wounded Warrior Project.

I am a very big fan of training and hoped to contribute towards that, but this person insisted I give the money to the project, so I will. She feels that there is a great need there and I will honor and respect her for that.

That brings our total to $705.00! I think that is very cool!

I asked our winner if I could share with all of you that her donation was $5. I wanted to mention it because often times I think people do not give unless they can give big, but anyone who depends on the kindness of strangers and their donations will tell you, that every single dollar counts.

If you do not have a dollar or five to give then you shouldn’t and one should only give out of a genuine desire to do so, but if one thinks a $1 or $5 doesn’t count, you could not be more wrong.

Thank you again for giving to this fundraiser or someone else’s fundraiser or for supporting the service members in whatever way you do!!

Have a most fabulous weekend!!

Next week I have a new surprise feature that I am excited to share with you all!

And The Winner Is…

Together we raised $405.00 for the Wounded Warriors.  Thank you so much for joining with me to do what we can to help someone else.  It doesn’t really matter if you give $5 or a million, that you gave at all is what matters.

Congratulations Mrs. Adams.  Contact me so I can get you details on the holster and other prizes!!

Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue

I always struggle a bit when I am trying to speak about those in the military. I never want to sound trite or cliche, but I think it is worth my effort to try to say something that honors them.

When my husband first joined the Marines, The Gulf War had just ended. He was in boot camp when it started and it was over by the time he graduated.

Naively, we thought that would be it.

I was all of 22 and lived a fairly sheltered life in small town Iowa. I valued what those in the military did, but most of the folks I knew in the military were older men who had long since retired and I didn’t think anyone in the current Armed Forces saw much danger.

Of course, now, I realize that much was being done, but truth be told, most of those in the service for a long time, didn’t see much action.

I used to take my kids up to Walter Reed for appointments and it was mostly filled with other moms and their kids.

Now when we I go, it’s hard to look in any directon without seeing a service member on crutches, missing his leg or in a wheelchair, or missing an arm.

Often times my kids sit and wait for hours for an appointment we made months earlier with their ENT because he got called off to surgery for a wounded soldier or Marine.

Our ENT, who is like family to us, once told us, he rarely sleeps any more because of the images that run through his mind. He hasn’t seen combat, per se. He hasnt been to Iraq or Afghanastan, but he has seen plenty of the results of war.

His most vivid image is of the time, a neuro surgeon held up a young man’s brain with his hands, so, our ENT, could get in there to do whatever he needed to do.

The Marine was missing the entire left side of his head.

Whatever luxury I once had to pretend the military was not all that dangerous a job, is no more and it hasn’t been for a while now.

It is patently clear the sacrifices that are made, daily, on my behalf and on yours.

Some sacrifices are easily seen like the scars on their bodies or the missing limbs, or the empty chair at the dinner table, but many of the lasting impressions of combat are not so easiy seen.

The ones that keep them up at night. Those are harder to spot, but leave their mark equally as deep.

I would venture to say, the worst memories of my husband’s life are from his time in combat.

Ironically, I would say that some of my husband’s fondest memories are of his time in combat.

There is a bonding that occurs in that kind of environment that fosters a love and a courage and yes, even fun, that can not be understood by those who haven’t been there.

It’s a kind of sacrifice and commitment that inspires me to live a fuller life. One of humility and gratitude.

It often leaves me speechless, but today I want to say…


THANK you to all who have served and who are serving.

I wish you a wonderful Veteran’s Day!! I pray that you feel appreciated and valued!

God Bless.

This And That

Not too much to report today, but there a few things I wanted to share.

I signed up for my second gun training class.  I will be attending a 2 days course in Tennessee at The Range Master facility.  The course is taught by Kathy Jackson aka The Cornered Cat.  I am very excited about this for a variety of reasons, one being that all of my firearm training has come from men.  I like men and I have had the best most supportive group to teach me, but I am looking forward to a woman’s perspective. The class isn’t until February, so I will talk more about that as it gets closer.  However, if anyone knows the area and can give me any suggestions on hotels I would be most grateful.

I also took the suggestion of someone who left a comment on the blog, Secret Squirrel, and I looked into joining a volunteer rescue group.  The one that is closest to me is the Shenandoah Mountain Rescue Team.  I been have emailing with one of the guys from there and I will attending the new member meeting and the business meeting at the end of the month.  We shall see what comes of that.

Lastly, if you are a woman interested in conceal carry, Lima posted a new video on You Tube, you might be want to take a look at.

I am now off to vote and celebrate my freedoms by taking my daughter to the range. 

Another Update

I became a gun person out of a need, but became a gun nut because, well, guns rock and shooting them is just crazy fun, but fun is not the only thing to come out of my experience.

I have learned that the gun community is a passionate, supportive, giving community. Not only has almost everyone I have reached out to been more than helpful, I have had people’s reach out to me to offer me help, advice, support. It has been amazing!

I have also learned that this community is staunch in it’s support of freedom and those who protect it.

When I started this fundraiser, my goal was a modest one of simply matching the prize I was giving away. At that time the only prize was the $300 I was giving toward a gun training class, so that meant I was hoping to raise $300 for the Wounded Warriors Project.

I want to say a big THANK YOU to all that have already given and let you all know that together we have surpassed that $300 goal. I am very greatfulafro that, but I sure would love to give them more, so if you are feeling generous today, please click on the button to the right and donate for your chance to win 2 gun training courses and a gorgeous holster.

Conceal Carry

Thanks to this man giving me a shout out to his friends, I have had a crazy amount of people visit my blog over the past few days.

Both Say Uncle and Gun Nuts linked to my 7 Days Of Conceal Carry post.  Due to the enormous amount of people that have clicked over to ready those post, I thought I should explain what happened to day 6 & 7.

If you are one of the people who came to see the 7 days of conceal carry then you realize there isn’t a day 6 or 7 and that is because I realized my wardrobe doesn’t change all that much.  In the summer I wear shorts, a light t-shirt, the occasional skirt and in the fall/winter, I wear jeans a t-shirt and usually a jacket of some kind.

Days 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 pretty much covered that, but in the past 8 months I have learned a few things about carrying concealed, so in lieu of me showing you yet another outfit with me hiding a gun, I thought I would share a little of what I have learned.

First, contrary to all the heck I went through trying to find clothes that would cover my gun, in the end, I wear the same exact clothes I wore before I ever bought a gun.  The same shirts, the same pants and rarely do I wear a cover garment, unless I am wearing a skin tight spaghetti strap shirt, my regular t-shirt or dress shirt covers fine, even my Glock 27.

The disclaimer to that is, my Glock is not a full size handgun.  It is a subcompact, but on my small frame it is still a big piece to conceal.

What I did learn was that my holster was crucial to concealment.  I know obvious, but it wasn’t to me.  I have a drawer full of holsters that are worthless.  They may be great holsters, but for me they just didn’t work, at all.

I wear a Crossbreed holster everyday.  Regardless of the gun I am wearing, I have a Crossbreed holster for it, unless I am wearing a dress or skirt, then I am wearing my holster from Chick Holsters.

The Crossbreed holster I bought, I bought because some guy at Dick’s Sporting Goods told me too.

There is a long wait period between order and delivery, so in the meantime I bought pretty much ever other kind of holster within a 60 mile radius of me.

When I was ordering my Crossbreed, I went to the web site not understanding a single thing of what I was doing.  I read all the options and had no clue what any of it meant, so I bought the basic model, as is.  If you have one or go to their site you will there are a variety of options to chose from.  This was lost on me.

When my holster finally arrived, I did nothing to it.  I put it on and tried to work around whatever issues it presented me, like riding up to high.  I did not understand cant and I didn’t understand how to adjust the holster to meet my needs.

I took this brand new holster to my 2 day Conceal Carry class and quickly learned tht I should have taken the time to figure out more about my holster and I should have ordered the combat cut.

This is my husband’s holster.  The top part of the hostler was a nightmare for me because as I practiced drawing the gun from the holster, my thumb rubbed against it and after 2 days, I had no skin left on it.  A little blood is fine, but it was annoying.

The good news is that after a while your skin toughens up and the pain really isn’t an issue, but time is.

No matter how much I practiced drawing from my holster, I felt like I was losing time and was just not as efficient as I could be, so eventually, I did this…

I cut the top portion off with an exact-o knife.  This was a huge improvement for me if for no other reason than I felt like I was more effective in my draw and as we all know, the mind is the first thing that must work.

The next thing I did was play around with the ride of the holster.  I moved the clips in every possible place, tried it on and kept doing that until I felt a good fit.

Again, this may seem obvious to most people who have been around guns for a while, but for me everything was so foreign and I was afraid to do anything, even move the bolts on my holster. 

As is a constant theme of my blog, fear is the enemy.  Caution and preperation are very wise, but fear simple holds you back.

With something as simple and harmless as a holster, my fear cost me a lot of time, stress, energy and money.

The other thing I learned was that the more comfortable I became with carrying a gun and the less conscious I was, the less I felt a need to cover it up.

Of course, with conceal carry the entire point is to cover it up, but when I first started carrying, I didn’t want any print at all.  Even if it just showed a bump and one could not tell it was a gun, I knew, everyone knew it was a gun.  They didn’t.

As I became more comfortable, the less I needed to do.  It just became a part of me and my everyday outfits.

Now when people ask me about conceal carry, my advice to them is do not worry so much about the right clothes, but the right gun

The focus should be on a gun. Finding one that you will carry and shoot.

Some great advice on that can be found here.

Of course, part of buying a gun is going to take inconsideration your lifestyle, body type etc, but I think that  one can work around most of those issues with relatively minor adjustments to their wardrobe.

Now, if you are 5 feet, 98 lbs and you want to carry a full size 1911, you may have more of a challenge then simply finding a good holster.

For me the gun is first and foremost, then I would spend time really investigating and investing in a good quality holster and then play(with the holster not the gun).

Grab an outfit that represents your style, empty you gun, clear it, check it and recheck it to be sure it is empty, remove all ammo from the room(advice I got from a newsletter by The Cornered Cat  )  and then try your holster on in every single way it will allow you.

Adjust all the position in every combination and try it on with your clothes in your closet. See how it works with the wardrobe you currently have.

You may find like me, that what you have will already works perfect and you just might save yourself hundreds of dollars in useless cover garments that only serve to make you look like you are constantly heading out on a Safari.


Even though, I have only take one formal gun training course(it was a good one though, 2 days, 600 rounds!), I am a nuts about learning and practice. 

I would take every single class offered, pretty much anywhere, if time and money allowed.

However, since both, time and money, are precious resources, I supplement with reading, time at the range, drying firing, etc. 

But, I am getting antsy and it really is time for me to take another course.  I want to take the advanced course that is here locally, but the timing hasn’t worked out, so I thought about taking another basic class.

I was having this discussion with my daughter and one of her friends and my daughter said, “Another basic class, “Aren’t you passed that?”  and her friend was on my computer reading the description for the advanced class and she said, “Don’t you think that is to advanced for you?”

Ironically, the answer to both of those questions is no.

I suppose there might be a time when a basic class is no longer useful, but I am not sure that will ever apply to me.

I taught college for many years out in California and you would be surprised at the number of times I learned things from my students in the basic class.  Every once in a while a student would ask a question I hadn’t thought of before or just didn’t seem to get a concept I thought was basic.  That would challenge me to come up with a new way to explain it or a new technique to help it process in their mind.  In their learning, I benefited, I grew, I became a better teacher.

It is obvious to anyone reading this I am sure, that me being around guns for a mere 8 months, I am someone who could absolutely benefit from another basic class, but I wanted to make the point that even if one is “passed” that beginner level, there is always something to learn, especially if it is from a new instructor or new way of teaching the same old stuff.

As to the second part, is the advanced class to advanced for me? 

Again, from my teaching experience, I have learned if you wait til you are ready, you never will be.

I taught American Sign Language and I would tell my students if they wanted to learn the language they would have to go out and use it with the folks that use it.

100% of the time they would say, “What?” “NO. way, I am not ready!” 

They were ready. 

Did they know the language?  Would they understand much of what was being said to them?

No, but they had enough of a foundation that they would grow from the experiecnce and little by little, they would gain the knowledge they needed to eventually master the language.

The brain is funny.  We remember what we experience.  If there is a significant event that happens to us, our brains are able to recall the event much more easily then if we simply are exposed to the information.  There is something about us going out and struggling that gets those neuro pathways all excited and that helps kind of cement things into our brains.

So, do I have the skill to master an advanced class?  Umm, no, not evern close.

Will I struggle and become frustrated?  Umm, yes.

Will, I come out of there knowing everything there is to know?  Umm, heck NO.

Will I come out of there knowing more than I knew when I went in?  Oh, YES!!

In short, I have so much room to grow and learn that a basic class is absolutely not a waste of my time, but I do believe I have enough of a foundation that I can put myself in an environment out of my reach, so that I can push myself and thus growth can occur.

Plus, seriously, who doesn’t think skulking around at night trying to kill the bad guy doesn’t sound like hum-dinging good time???

A New Prize

Every year the PTA board at my children’s school puts out a list of different activities that they will be sponsoring for the year.  The leadership is always looking for a chairman for the different events.  Every year I chair 2 events. Teacher Appreciation and  the Veteran’s Day Luncheon.

I cook my world famous(by world famous I mean the 150 or so folks at my kids school) pulled pork, with home made bbq sauce, corn casserole and coleslaw for around 130 people, although it grows every year and I am expecting closer to 150 this year.

Our local restaurants are more than willing to donate food for our events, but I like to cook for this event.  It is a lot of work, but it is one very small way that I can show my appreciation for what the men and women of our Armed Services do for me, for all of us.

My husband with our daughter at last year’s event.

I bought a banner to hang up in the gym that says “With Gratitude and Humility, THANK YOU!” 

That is what I am always striving for.  A way to show my gratitude and also how humbled I am by how I have been served by these fine men and women.

This year, I wanted to do more.  I wanted to find a way to give back on a grander scale and also to encourage folks to take a larger role in being more resposible with the life and freedoms they have.

Thus the Wounded Warrior Fundraiser.

My hope was to get  people to donate at least $5 to give back to the few that give so much and in gratitude I would offer a way to help him/her gain more training in defense of their selves.

I have been completely overwhelmed by the support of other and how they have reached out to me.

Talking about being filled with gratitude.

The gentelman over at Dragon Leatherworks, has offered one of his beautiful handmade leather holster  as part of the prize package.

 Gorgeous, right?!

So, for each $5 donation you make to the Wounded Warrior Project, you have a chance to win 2 gun training courses and a holster.

I will donate up to $300 towards a gun training class of your choice, plus,

John Murphy has donated one conceal carry training course, plus,

A gorgeous holster donated by Dragon Leatherworks.

I would be most grateful for any donations and for spreading the word about the fundraiser. It’s a great way to start of the holiday season of ding for others. Nothing feels better than to give and to do it together, is the best!!

*****A little disclaimer, John’s course is in Virginia, so to access that prize you would have to come to Virginia.  No cash equivalent will be given and no other course can be substituted.

The holster is handmade and takeS up to 8 weeks to be made.  If you win, you will work directly with them to get your prize.******