Preachin To The Choir

I am pretty sure everyone or most everyone who comes here has a deep appreciation for their freedom and an even deeper love for those who have defended it.  Many of the fine folks that are kind enough to visit are like my husband, Mr. Awesome(I don’t know him well), and Arete and have served, sacrificed, and paid a bit of a high price for what we enjoy.  I, like many of you, personally know wounded warriors and am patently aware of the cost for the life that I live in this country. What is interesting to me is that I hear a lot of complaining, but I have never heard a single Marine(my contact is pretty much with Marines, wounded or not) complain about their sacrifice or their injuries.  I am serious, never once.

My husband was not wounded, but the year after he returned from Iraq was a sleepless one for him and for me.  He never talked about being tired or angry about the dreams.  He just figured out how to deal.  Now, that is not to say that some servicemen have not felt a need to rage or vent and I am certainly not saying it is wrong for them to do so, just that personally, it is not a characteristic I have seen in the men I know(not to exclude the women who have served, I just do not know any, meaning talked with them about their service or spent time with them)

I have heard Marines(not necessarily from all of the ones mentioned previously) complain and get pretty pissed off about the laziness that has taken over our country. I have heard the F-word more than once when the topic of entitlement comes up.

Yesterday I posted this on my FaceBook

Last night at our kids swim meet we heard so much complaining about the heat I almost can’t remember anything else.  It was hot.  The weather makes for good chit chat and even I might say, “Boy, it sure is hot out here”, but it does not require 5 solid hours of bitching.  Today I saw this…

and thought, How quickly people forget.

After all the crap this administration has pulled and what appears to be complete apathy by the American people, I think it really is time to be a little more outraged and a little more “in-your-face”.  I am not good at this.  I am much better and being quiet and fighting by how I vote and by my actions.  I am not sure what “in-your-face” is gonna look like from me, but I know I have been too dependent on others to fight on my behalf and I know it’s time I learned to step up.

**The last 2 images are from a FaceBook page called One Boy USO.

Executive Privilege

To everyone that has emailed me that I am paranoid and crazy for thinking that our country is in real deep kimchi, you might want to wake up now and start paying attention. There have been signs for a long while.  Lots and lots of great big neon signs. Signs that are hard to miss unless you either have your head in the sand or are too busy reaping the government benefits that someone else worked or died for that you don’t really want to see what is happening, but now is the time. Things are getting very scary and if you don’t wake up soon, it’s gonna be too late.

 Jennifer really says it better.

Battle:Los Angeles

Last week I read a post over at Gun Nuts Media.  In case you didn’t click on the link the post is Caleb’s take on a few gun/action/military type movies.  It was actually a review of Act of Valor, but he includes his thoughts on a few others.  He liked Act Of Valor and Taking Chance, two movies I also enjoyed, so I decided to take his recommendation on Battle:Los Angeles.

I bought it as a present for my hubby for Father’s Day, but of course, it was really for me.  Ironically, it turned out to be more for him.

I enjoyed the movie. For me it was kind of a laid back easy to watch Sunday movie.  Loved the action and the story, but I thought the dialog was cheesy.  I never felt too involved in the character’s lives or on the edge of my seat from the action, but still I enjoyed the effects and the shooting. 

My husband on the other hand thought the movie was excellent.  He thought they did a great job of character development and portraying the relationship between officers and enlisted Marines.  My husband was on both sides of the coin.  He was enlisted and served in hostile situations under some fine officers and some not so fine.  He also was an officer and had the responsibility to lead Marines in and out of combat.  One of the things my husband always talks about is how loud and often chaotic war is.  The loudness of war has stuck with him.  He thought this movies portrayed that well. Having never served, I would go with him on this.  I am going to re-watch it taking his perspective into account, but even with what I considered to be weak areas of the movie, I would recommended it, so if you haven’t seen it, maybe you should. Don’t forget the popcorn. 

No Pep In My Step

I am not sick, but I just feel blah. My tummy is not in the mood for food or motion.

I did want to tell you that I made my first bloggy phone call last night. I won’t say to who in case he/she doesn’t want the world to know he/she is my friend, but it was a nice, fairly long, comfortable chit chat. We laughed and shared just like we do via the Internet, but the phone was even better!  As I have with every single thing I have conquered big and small, when it was over I wondered what the fuss was all about.

I had planned to make call number 2 today, but I can’t muster any energy. I don’t think anyone wants to talk to me in my ho-hum state anyway.

The Minuteman has some extremely good posts up. I always enjoy his perspective, but he really has been hitting things out of the park lately.

Father’s Day

We had a super fun and super busy weekend.  We grilled steaks on Friday(just following the recommendations of Beth Of Red Barn Farm), went to our kids mock swim meet Saturday morning(I stayed home with the boy), then boating with friends.  I have great pictures of the kids, but I need to check with our friends to see if it is OK that I post them. 

Sunday was, of course, the day we celebrated the man in our lives. Great day!!!  We mostly ate and ate and ate.  I created an appetizer that was killer.  Now, I know there are no original ideas and someone somewhere has probably made this, but it was original to me, so I am claiming it as mine!!

I started out by roasting chicken thighs covered in olive oil and rosemary slowly in a low oven.

I let them cool slightly and shredded the thighs.  I then made a wild mushroom kind of paste.  Sauteed a mixture of various mushrooms in butter and olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, right at the end I added a splash or whiskey.  I normally would have added a good Spanish sherry, but I was out.  I let the alcohol burn off then pureed the mix, returned it to the pan and added a splash of cream.  Let cool.  Boil lasagna noodles and let slightly cool. The noodles are kind of important.  You want them on the al dente side, so that they are not mushy and fall apart.  Do not rinse because the gluten helps keep them together(my hubby can’t eat gluten, so I also made a batch with gluten free noodles).  Lay out the noodles, spread a thin layer of the mushroom mix, put a few pieces of chicken at one end and roll up.  Put them on a baking sheet seem side up, sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, put under broiler until browned.  I know lasagne roll ups are not original, but I created the filling.  I am now obsessed with all of the different things I can use as a filling.  I am thinking my next flavor combo will be pulled pork topped with shredded smoked Gouda and a thick smokey BBQ kind of dip.

Anyway, the part that I think is original is the “dip” I made for the roll ups..

I used fresh local whole milk ricotta, drained it over night, put it on a plate, drizzled with a good fruity olive oil, salt, pepper and dried oregano then topped it with Parmesan crisps.  We dipped the rolls into the ricotta mixture…to die for!  I named my creation “556 Roll-Ups” because there are 5(noodles, mushrooms, chicken, 2 kinds of cheese) main ingredients, I made them twice(gluten and non gluten 5-5) there are 6 of us in the family and the rolls look like rifling(to me, anyway:).

We also had a pork roast that I cooked, again, slowly in a low oven.  I braised it in a mixture of pureed onions, roasted pepita seeds, cumin, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste that I had caramelized. Lemon rosemary shrimp and my world famous crestless tomato pie.

The key to the pie is fresh ripe tomatoes and fresh basil.

Seeded and laid out to dry.

Finished product.  If you are Brigid or Jennifer, you might want to add bacon.  If your Maura you probably will want to skip the topping.

The hubby’s plate.  We also enjoyed a glass of Fess Parker Pinot Noir.  Our personal fav.

 We finished the day with strawberry shortcake. Yes, I made the biscuits.

I did not include full recipes because it would have made this post waaaaay too long, but if anyone is interested just email me.

Growing A Set Of, Umm…

I subscribe to a blog called Active Response Training.  I have posted about Greg Ellifrizt before, most recently in regard to my kids and school safety. I started goggling him and following him after reading several article that JD from Guns, Guns, and More Gosh Darn Guns  had posted.  I find him to be a no non-sense valuable resource on a variety of topics concerning self defense and firearms.  You might want to check him out. 

This morning he posted an article called The Simple Guide To Growing Some @#$%ing Balls  He actually posted several links to several really good articles.  This was the top story. but I skipped it.  I read every other one first and then went back and thought what the heck.

I have often talked about the act of doing.  That writing as been cathartic and the support of others has been invaluable, but what has helped me heal, helped me grow, has been the doing. 

For example after the March ordeal I was afraid.  I mean rocked to my core afraid(this is old news to most of you, but recently several new folks have joined us, so for their benefit I say it again).  Doesn’t matter if that fear was overblown or justified or not(I don’t think it was, just saying).  Many people have never had one bad or scary thing happen to them, but just the thought of the ugliness they see on the news and the possibility of it happening to them is enough to paralyze them.  That fear is very real.  They live in fear for years, maybe always.  They get security systems and some may even get a gun, but they are still afraid.  I have seen it here on this blog and in the emails I get.  As an aside this is not a judgement.  I know what it is like to be afraid. It isn’t fun. Everyone’s time table is different. I am fortunate that no one ever said to me, it’s been long enough get over it, but the truth is eventually it is long enough and eventually it is time to get over it.  Not because someone else says so, but because living in that state of fear or depression or whatever it is that keeps someone in a place of misery, just isn’t worth it anymore.

I say again: Doing, that is what heals.  I didn’t feel ready to take my first gun training class.  I was a mess, but the millisecond after the mugging was over, I made a choice to learn how to protect myself and my family, so I showed up to that class and I stayed the whole scary time. About 3 months after that I decided I was no longer going to live in fear. I started making conscious choices to face those fears while still being afraid.  Strangely, you can’t wait to get over the fear to do the thing that scares you.  You have to do the thing you are afraid of and then the fear eventually goes away.  It’s masochistic, but true.  The funny thing is, for me, it didn’t really matter if it was a positive event or a negative one.  The simple act of facing the fear and living through it gave me courage and confidence even if I failed. I didn’t think I was ready to take the NRA Instructor Course and even though I passed, to be honest it wasn’t all that pretty of an experience(I was a nervous wreck and it showed), but I still gained a ton of positive thing from that course.  Things that have stayed with me. Things that I have used in other situations where had I not faced a challenge, faltered and grown, might have caused me to fall apart.

Even with all the craziness of my childhood and the mugging, I have had a good life.  I have enjoyed it, but I haven’t necessarily lived it. I will continue to fight to stay alive, but there are more important things than being safe, than simply being alive.

Like living.

Not a big revelation.  Every self help book says it, every talk show host says says it, every motivational speaker will tell you it’s true, but once a person grows a set of @#$%ing balls for themselves all of a sudden it is like a GIGANTIC revelation sent from heaven and you(by you, I mean me) think, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this before?” 

I have faced a lot over the past 14 months, but there are still more mountains to climb. Some I am sure I am not even aware of yet, but I am finally ready to face another fear and it’s a biggie(ok, maybe not a biggie) 

I have an irrational fear of talking on the telephone.  I don’t know why, but I hate it.  I can email, text, chit chat in person, I can write letters, blog, FB, even use a CB, but the phone intimidates me.  It will take me a week to get up the gumption to call the doctor to make an appointment for my kids.  I do it, of course, but I put it off until the last possible moment.  Several of you wonderful folks have given me your number, but I have never called any of you(except Dann in Ohio. I owed him an apology and I may be a chicken, but I am no coward.) because I have been too nervous. No more!  I am grabbing my balls and making some phone calls.  So, be forewarned, if you have giving my your phone number in the past, next week, I will be calling.  If you have since decided you no longer wish to receive calls from me then you better change your number, cuz I am going to keep calling and calling until I talk to you, all of you. 

**I know you all are quite accustom to my many typos and lack of editing, but I am in a real hurry here, so if this one is extraordinarily bad, I do apologize.


This time of year is an even busier time for me than usual.  3 of my 4 kiddos have swim team practice first thing in the morning and then the rest of the day involves arduous tasks like picnics, running kids to friends house, entertaining their friends here, trips to buy fresh fruit and veggies for the grill, etc, etc, etc.  Doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging.  Plus with the ‘ol rib injury I am not shooting, sparring or any other gun bloggin kind of thing.

Quickly I will say that my ribs hurt.  Not whining just saying.  After the first day I decided not to take the Vicodin because I have to drive and the whole carrying a gun thing, so I was just taking Motrin.  That took enough of the edge off for me to function as long as I didn’t move too fast, cough or sneeze.  Sneezing has become my biggest fear.  Anyway, the other day my daughter E had a friend over, her mother is a nurse.  She saw the bruise on my arm, asked about it, I told her what happened and what I was taking for the pain.  She suggested I also take Tylenol along with the Motrin.  That was brilliant.  That really has helped tremendously.  What is strange to me is that the 7th rib is lower(I think) on my body than where I feel the most pain.  I feel it high up into the rib cage and even when I am not “in pain” there is a kind of an annoying dull ache that radiates around my chest.  Again, I am not complaining, I am fine, just explaining for the folks that have asked.  I go to see my regular doctor next week for new x-rays or a CT or both not sure, but I am going to ask to see the film(do they still call it film) to get a better idea of exactly what I did to my body.  As an aside, I have been a very good girl.  Lynne can tell you I behaved myself at the NTYDTTRD.  I took it easy and didn’t lift a thing all while still performing my assigned duties.  I have not shot a single round or ran a single step.

Since I am short on time I am going to send you around the blogosphere…

Yesterday Eric left a comment on the blog with a link to a story of a woman who handled a situation that could have gotten dicey, but her wit and preparedness made sure it didn’t.

Old NFO posted a list of places that donate a good deal of their money to either Democrats or Republicans.  While that might not be the only piece of information you use to decide whether or not to spend your money at a certain place, I think it is nice to know.

Brigid has a great post(always does) that is really worth the read. 

**EDIT**And that will teach me to write a post before I do my daily check of MSgt B’s blog.  

Cornered Cat Training-Another Update

If you have been visiting here awhile then you already are aware that I am a big fan of Kathy Jackson’s.  She was the first site I found when I goggled “guns for women” 14 months ago. I remember reading her section on kids and guns and feeling a huge sense of relief about the fact that I had just brought a gun into my home. I sent her an email right away telling her what a great resource of information and comfort she been through her site. I am sure she doesn’t recall, but I will never forget the peace I felt. She is smart and knowledgeable.  She can shoot and she is funny.  She is no non-sense, but compassionate and real.  I had no idea back then that my blog would develop into a place where people would come to share their lives with guns and I had no idea that someday I would be hosting THE Cornered Cat at a range here in Virginia.

When Kathy started her FaceBook page, I was one of the first people to like it and to my surprise she liked my page back and even more she comments and occasionally links to my blog. I am not friends with Kathy, I do not want to over sell my relationship with her, but we are friendly and she has become a more personal person of support and encouragement to me, but I see that kind of support from her to many, many, many men and women.  

She doesn’t have an ounce of arrogance or pretension about her.  There are a few people I follow and learn from and enjoy, but I never see them comment on anyone’s site or FB or YouTube page.  They don’t offer any kind of support or encouragement and that is fine.  They do not owe any one a thing, but I think it says so much about a person when they do take the time to share not only  their knowledge, but also their support, Kathy is that person.

I had the pleasure of being able to take her course in Tennessee(an early birthday gift from my husband) and if you read the post you will see that the experience was one of great value to me. 

I can’t promise you that Kathy will be anything more than an fabulous instructor to you if you come join us in Culpeper, but I can promise you a class where you will have fun and learn a great deal of knowledge and add to your gun totin’ skills.  Having said all that, we only have one spot open, but I would love to fill it.  If you are interested send me an email or click this link for more info or just use the Paypal button on the right side bar. to pay.

For those of you that have already signed up, I am really looking forward to meeting you!!

Here is what one fellow blogger had to say about getting Kathy’s book…

“Ok when you said you were going to send me a book, I had not even thought this would be it. I am SOOO excited! We have been wanting to get this book. So I will be starting it promptly.- Jalissa of The Lowry Place

The Give-A-Way-Update With New Donations

A month ago I was contacted by woman from White Dog Holsters and she asked if she could donate a holster to me for a future Give-A-Way.  I had, of course, heard of her company and knew their reputation to be excellent, so I said, yes, yes, yes and thank you!!!  I have had the pleasure of getting to know her on a more personal level and I just love her.  She is an amazing lady.

About 2 days after I got the email from White Dog Holsters I received an email from a very nice man, Cambert Allan Carter,  asking if he could donate money to me that I would then use to help a woman or two get some training.  We have also chatted back and forth several times and to say I have a fondness for this man would be a HUGE understatement. 

He sent me xx amount of dollars and said that I could do whatever I wanted with it, but he hoped that I would use some of it for my own training.  My first inclination was to say no because I am not very gracious at receiving, but it is something that I am trying to get better at, so I told him I was honored and that I would accept his gift, but upon further reflection I have decided to use his full amount plus some of my own money towards helping other women get training and here is why.

I am extremely fortunate to have access to the kind of training I get.  I have attended more trainings in one year than some people attend in 5 years.  I have one on one training from 2 of the best trainers in the country.  I can ask questions of them anytime, I can get advice(sometimes even when I don’t like it or want it), I work with one or both of them on an almost weekly basis.  I have been to 5 training courses this year and I have only paid for 2. Daily, I get emails from people telling me how cost prohibitive training is for them.  How they wish they could afford the kind of training I do and how they wish they could find the quality of instruction I have. Training is expensive and while I believe it is worth every penny, I understand the realities of life and budgeting, heck, I can’t even afford the kind of training I get. Therefore, I can not in good conscience take money from someone who needs it and plus I really do think it’s better to give than receive.

Here it goes…

The Gift 

First Place-
-$200 toward defensive firearms training
-An OWB Holster from White Dog Holsters
-100 rounds of ammo in .380, 9mm, 40 cal or 45 ACP
-The Cornered Cat: A Woman’s Guide To Concealed Carry
-$25 Gift Certificate To MidwayUSA donated by Keads
-Glow Shot Reactive Target Multi-Color Targets donated by Mazie(Previous Give a Way Winner)
-Do-All “The Dancing Ball” Target donated by Mazie(Previous Give-A-Way Winner)
-For the beginner in shotgun or the more advanced shooter, we have the right challenge. I would give away a 4 hr. shotgun class, a $550.00 value. The ability and interest of the winner would determine what we cover. We then will set up a class for them, tailored to suit their specific needs. Donated by Sopris Shooters(this is a separate gift and NOT part of the $200 to be spent on a defensive shooting course)
-Signed(personally to the winner) and numbered copy of Above Reproach donated by J.D. Kinman

Second Place-
-$200 toward defensive firearms training
-100 rounds of ammo in .380, 9mm, 40 cal or 45 ACP
-The Cornered Cat: A Woman’s Guide To Concealed Carry
-$25 Gift Certificate To MidwayUSA donated by Keads
-Signed(personally to the winner) and numbered copy of Above Reproach donated by J.D. Kinman
-Glow Shot Reactive Target Multi-Color Targets donated by Maize(Previous Contest Winner)

*If one or both of the winners live in or near Virginia: A shopping trip(for expert advice on firearms or gear) to a local gun shop OR one hour of private instruction donated by Lynne.

-This is for women only, ages 21 or older
-Must be used for a defensive firearm training course to include some range time
-Course must be held in The United States of America by a reputable instructor/course(determined by me)
-Entries must be received by Tuesday July 3, 2012 (Drawing to held on Wednesday July 4rd, 2012)
-Must be signed up for an approved course by December 1st, 2012 or forfeit prize.

All entries must send an email to [email protected] You MUST include your full name and email address.  Entries missing information will not be entered. All personal information will be kept private and confidential.  Each entry will receive a number and that number is all that will appear on the blog when the winner is announced.

**If you have entered a previous Give-A-Way, you may enter again. If you have won one, you may not:)

**This Give-A-Way is open to all levels of training not just a basic course.