Aren’t You The Mother Who Didn’t Protect Her Own Child?

Over the past few days I have received a major increase in the hate filled email, endless diatribes left on my FB wall and pithy insults on my twitter feed from the newly bolstered anti gun crowd. I have for the most part ignored and deleted them.

One guy all but threatened me. He posted on my time line that “You better hope we never meet”. Yeah, I am terrified. Anyway, I didn’t respond. I just deleted and blocked him. Most of the comments left on the blog that follow the same kind of insanity I have not approved. Emails same. DELETE!

This morning I received this email…

“With all due respect aren’t you the mother who didn’t protect her own child? Just because you are a bad mother and are feeling guilty doesn’t mean the rest of us should have to live in fear of being shot by some reckless gun owner. You made a mistake and now you want the laws to be changed so you can shoot people.”

It goes on, but you get the gist.

While this email was clearly not meant to be respectful in the least. Quite the opposite actually. It was mean spirited, but regardless some points should be addressed.

One is these anti gun people are not all that concerned with mental health or the stability of people. If I were on the edge then an email such as this might cause me to react in some crazed violent way. If I was terrified a person might snap I don’t think I would give them any extra motivation. Also, they are liars. I can’t imagine that if this person were so terrified of me and my gun toting ways he would send an email provoking me. The truth is this person knows no matter how mean and awful he is to me he is perfectly safe. He knows there is nothing he or anyone could say that would make me react in a violent way. Even my husband who I assure you was none to pleased isn’t a violent threat to this person or any person who isn’t directly causing us grave or mortal injury.

The biggest thing I wanted to address is changing laws. No, no I don’t think any laws should be changed or enacted based on my opinion or experience. Had this person bothered to read my blog they would know that. I have probably stated it in half a dozen blog posts dating back to June 2011. In addition I do not need to try to change the laws. I already am allowed to carry a gun and I have never ever claimed I wanted to shoot someone. I have said repeatedly I have no desire to shoot anyone even a bad guy. If I did I wouldn’t spend twice as much time on learning awareness techniques as I do to actual trigger time. I wouldn’t lock my doors or avoid sketchy places. There are no laws, anywhere in this country that say “Go forth and kill. It’s cool.”

As I said in those previous posts, in the post yesterday, in a comment made also yesterday and a remark on my FB, emotion has no place in law.

Some find my story emotional and inspiring, but it’s not a manipulation tool. It should not be used to justify infringing on the rights of others. There is a woman who was using a twitter conversation with me to attack some other gunnies. Her response to everything was , “how dare they attack a domestic abuse survivor.” First off, no one was attacking her and second that is not a default argument. She is not more right because she was attacked and now has a clearing understanding of gun laws. Anymore than I do because I was.

I have a clearer idea of what I want to do to keep myself and my family safe, but really there needs to be no discussion on gun laws. We have a fine document in place that tells us ALL exactly what our INDIVIDUAL rights are. We have it so that no matter what is going on one person can not infringe on the rights of anyone else. No matter what you think or say its protected. No matter what you or I believe about guns the right to bear arms is protected. No matter if planes fly into buildings the right to not be subjected to unlawful search and seizure is protected. Now, those rights are getting trampled on, of course, but that is because people are breaking the law. These people have decided they don’t like the law, so they are ignoring it and taking away other’s rights. Something I have never done nor advocated.

Now, I am exhausted. I need a break from the mean, hateful, vile filth that passes for human beings.

M Wants A Gun

So, Saturday TSM and I were gone from 830am-til 830am on Sunday. My older son and DIL came over to watch the kids for us. When I got home Sunday morning I made a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and crispy potatoes. As I cooked my son was telling me all the haps of the previous day. The Boy was pretty good, but kept getting out of bed, the dog didn’t had any accidents, but ate someone’s shoe, E was perfect as per the usual…

Then there was M. She told him all about her trip to the range and how much she enjoyed it. She asked him to get our friend’s gun from the safe, so she could show him she knew how to loaded/unload it. There were absolutely no bullets around and all this was done in our safe area. Anyway, she mentioned to him that a blogger friend of mine offered to let her shoot his gun and someday maybe she would have her own. When I heard that I about ran out the door and purchased her a .22 that second.

There just happened to be a gun show that day and I planned on popping up there, but I had been gone a long time and I needed to spend time with the little kids. Plus later that day we were celebrating The Boy’s 7th birthday and I needed to prep. A friend emailed me and said she had a connection and I could get the same gun M shot for xxx amount of dollars. That sounded like a viable option.

TSM thought it better to get her a S&W M&P .22 and since he gets a discount that seemed like a financially smart way to go. A few days went by and I began to wonder if she really needed a gun. She can’t carry it, still not sure how excited she really is, we are not tight on money, but we are always budget conscience, already bought Christmas presents and all that. I told TSM it might be a better idea to wait until her birthday. He agreed.

Our 3 little kids have no idea at all about the school shootings. We saw zero benefit in telling them, but M is aware. I have tried to limit her exposure. I want her to know what is going on and understand, but not to be so immersed that she dwells on it. I hadn’t realized how much of the gun debate side of it she had been following.

On our way to E’s Christmas concert last night M, out of know where said, I would really like to get my gun before the president makes it impossible for me to do so and I really want a silver blackstrap from Gun Goddess.

A bit of a game changer. Clearly this is coming from her. So, even though I really want a new knife I am going to put that on the back burner and a few other items as well and get her a gun for Christmas.

John has offered to sell me one of his which is great because Smith & Wesson can’t get me one before the 25th. I am ordering the back strap today as well. It will be fun to get her a cool range bag someday and her own ears…

Wonder if the range is open Christmas Day;)

I know M thanked everyone personally for their kind words of encouragement, but let me also say how very wonderful it was. THANK YOU!

Feeling Good

This morning while paying bills I turned on Mike and Mike on ESPN. David Stern the NBA commissioner was on talking all things basketball. I do not care much for that sport, so I pretty much tuned out the interview until Mike Greenberg brought up the recent shootings in Connecticut. Mike had asked Mr. Stern why they did the tributes to the victims before each game. Apparently they held a moment of silence to honor the victims.

Mr. Stern said(paraphrasing here), really it was worthless. There is nothing to do. We do these things to make ourselves feel better. It makes us feel like we are doing something and that helps us to feel good, but what did it do to help? Nothing.

Very well said.

This is what we do and I am no exception. I want to help others and I want to feel good. Who wants to dredge through life miserable and afraid? Not me. But feeling good should not legislated and it shouldn’t be paid for with the rights of others.

When we pass new laws, cancel television shows, stop accepting coupons from gun companies, when we enact new laws, etc, etc, etc. We are doing things to make ourselves feel good. It doesn’t matter if any of these things had any barring on the events that unfolded in that school or if they have any hope at all of stopping the next one. All that matters is that for a second we can feel better and we can go then back to sleep having effected nothing.

We control the mind not the other way around. If we just stop thinking about it and convince ourselves a few more laws or a few more restrictions will be enough we go on. That way we have “done” something. We have “done” all we can and plus it means we don’t have to actually DO anything. We don’t have to take responsibility or make any changes. We get to tell ourselves we did something, we tried and then we can blame the cops, the politicians, the crazy gun owners… We get to call folks who stock up on food and supplies wacko preppers because then we don’t have to give up a trip to Disneyland when we should probably be taking a look at how we can better prepare ourselves to first avoid and then deal with a disaster.

The only problems is people are dying and in gruesome fashion. They are dying. Those children died. They were murdered. Violently and without mercy murdered. If you have shed a single tear. If you claim to have an ounce of compassion. If you really care at all you will stop trying to do things to feel good and you will do something good. You will do something that has at least a chance of working. Making more laws that criminals will not follow is about making you feel good. If that killer was willing to break 24 laws then I doubt the 25th would have made a flying flip of difference. This monster was not sitting around watching Top Shot and planning his rampage. People do not murder casually. Punishing law abiding citizens who have committed no crime is about making you feel good.

I hate to break it to you, but when people are murdered it really isn’t about you or how you feel. I really have no desire to put my life at risk or my children’s and walk around defenseless, so you can feel better.

My mugging should have zero barring on the laws of this land. I am emotional about it, so right or wrong, I can offer nothing more than an understanding of what it is like to be mugged. Emotion does not have a place in law making. Laws are there to protect us from the power hungry, the corrupt and the emotional. For every victim who is for more gun laws there is an equal number against them. Laws should be made for the good of the entire people and should be put in place to guide us in times of emotion, not be developed out of them.

When I was mugged I blamed only 2 people. My attacker and myself. I can’t control him, so I looked at myself to figure out what I could do to put myself in a better position for survival should the element I couldn’t control decided to come after me again. I took responsibility. I didn’t blame the cops or the grocery store parking lot or even my parents. They had some influence as did society, but it was me who stood there and did nothing. It was me. I did not come after you or anyone else. I didn’t go to congress and ask for new laws to protect my lack of action. I took action. Law abiding, legal action and I took responsibility for my part in that day. I can tell you none of it felt good. I didn’t feel good after I picked myself up off the ground, I didn’t feel good as I hid in the bathroom and took care of my scraped up arms and back. I didn’t feel good when my so called friends turned their backs on me. I didn’t feel good when my daughter looked me in the eye and told me she didn’t feel safe because I didn’t stop the and guy. It didn’t feel good when I showed up in the park to learn how to defend myself. I felt anything but good. I felt sad and lonely. I felt lost and broken. I felt ashamed and confused. I felt scared and and hopeless. And I fought all of that everyday for over a year in order to take responsibility. In order to feel good again.

Not a single law has changed in my town since the day I was attacked, but I am safer. My children are safer. My community is safer. Granted I feel better, but I feel better because I know if my life is in danger again, I have viable solutions to up my odds of stopping the threat.

My extra bag of rice, my gun, my ammo, my kerosene heater are of real value to my survival. I used no government funds to purchase those items. In fact the purchase of those items only helped contribute positively to a failing economy. I have never harmed a single person. I am of no threat to you. Your desire to label me crazy and limit my rights will only serve to put me at more risk and it has ZERO chance of doing anything for you other than to make you feel good.

Please forgive me, but your facade of happiness just isn’t worth my life. I won’t hand it over without a fight.

A Parents Guide To School Shootings

My husband and I are no different than any of you. We were and are heartbroken over yesterday’s events.

I have posted this article before, but for those of you who have kids in school I think it is one of the best resources to help equip children to deal with the very real possibility that something could happen at their school. I do not believe doing so will frightening them if it is approached in the right way.

Our oldest daughter had to read the article for herself and then we discussed it several times. I would give her possible scenarios and she would then tell me what she would do. For the younger ones we role played and made a game of it. Several friends of our read this blog and they can tell you my kids are calm, relaxed and very kid like. They never talk about guns or bad guys. They do not live in Code Yellow. It is just another way we teach them to be safer like wearing a seatbelt, looking both ways before they cross the street, not touching a hot flame, etc.

My husband and I met with our school superintendent and several other folks responsible for the safety of the children while at school. We presented them a packet full of resources and this article was in it and we discussed it at length. I am not confident they read it, but we at least made the effort. We also gave it to our children’s teachers.

In addition to this article, I have read several of the books on Greg’s recommended list. I read them before I knew he had suggested them, but I agree they are very valuable. The more we know the more we can do.

Please don’t be fooled if your child is in a small school or a private one or in an affluent area. Crazy and evil reside everywhere and sometimes it travels. Take the time now to do a little preparing.

A Bad Solution Is Better Than No Solution

When M and I arrived home from the range we were met with the sad news that a young man from her high school had committed suicide. He was a senior, 17. M did not know him well, but they were friendly to each other. They casually chatted in the hallways and laughed at silliness they saw. One of M’s dearest friends was his neighbor and they were very close. Apparently yesterday at school was a somber and quiet one. They had grief counselors and everyone was distraught.

His death is a bit of a mystery at this point. He was liked by teachers and students. He was smart and funny and was not bullied. Who knows what really happens behind closed doors, but his family appeared to be solid. M’s friends were all very upset and shocked. None of them saw it coming. One boy said he was playing XBox with the young man the night before. They were laughing and having a good time. I suspect in the days that follow we will find out there were signs.

A ran into a casual friend while out and about and she asked me if I felt bad for carrying a gun.

Me- Why, would I feel bad?

This young man jumped from a bridge into freeway traffic and was struck by a vehicle.

Her- You are contributing to violence.

Me- How?

Her- It’s an attitude that perpetuates the idea that violence is ok.

Me- Lisa(not her name) have you ever seen me be violent to anyone or anything? Have you heard me say a cross word to someone or even behind their back?

Her- No, of course not. You’re very kind.

Me- Then how am Icontributing?

Her- You carry a gun for no reason. It’s like you are advertising violence is the answer.

Me- How did you find out I carried?

Her- I came to your house and you answered the door with it on.

Me- Right, you came to my house, unannounced and when I opened the door you saw My gun. Did you ever see it before that time?

Her- No.

Suicide is very sad and very complicated. There are no easy answers. She was/is looking for a quick fix to a problem that doesn’t have one and that’s fine and natural, but useless. It makes sense to try to find a way to deal with something so tragic. Often doing something, anything gives us comfort and a sense of purpose, but in situations where people are dying those things we do can’t be casual or knee jerk. A bad solution is NOT better than no solution. We can, by our actions, make things worse. Getting rid of guns will do nothing to prevent suicide. It will only serve to cause more death and violence to innocent people who will be at the mercy of a bad guy or maybe two.

I can go on and on about all the reasons, but most of you already know. What I think is worth looking at is that outside of the crazy Joans of the world many anti gun people are simply misinformed. There are a lot of people who are not crazy anti gunners or who are simply looking for people to take care of them. They don’t know what they don’t know. We need them on our side. We need them to understand that the bull they have been told is just that, bull. It’s doable. Barron and Robb have some good ideas on how gunnies can handle themselves is a positive manner.

I had a long chat with her about suicide and guns. She did not know my brother had killed himself or that I was mugged. Outside of this blog I rarely talk about either. She was reacting out of grief and shock, but after we talked she was willing to concede that perhaps her solution was not the answer and she apologized for lashing out at me.

I am glad my daughter was not at school yesterday. I am glad she was home with me. I am glad that while she mourned this young man’s passing she was in a place where she knew she was loved and cared for. I am glad that she is secure in herself and that while many of her friends were falling apart she was a calm easy voice of comfort and support.

I remember those days and weeks and months after my brother died. I remember how it destroyed my parents. It destroyed them in ways that 10 years later neither has recovered. There is something very unique about the death of someone you love dying by their own hands. My heart goes out to this young man’s family. I pray they find comfort and positive ways to heal.

Homeschooling Update(and there are guns)

Originally we had planned to keep M in school until the Christmas break. Seemed like a nice time to transition, but she really didn’t want to continue any longer, so we decided no time like the present. It took me a few days to type up the paperwork and get her curriculum in order, but on Monday of this week I dis-enrolled her from public school.

We are still waiting on most of her books to arrive, so in the mean time we have been reading George Mason Forgotten Father, doing some algebra online, and working on geography. We also went to a local museum. I have to say when you have one student who is 14, above grade level and highly motivated homeschooling is mighty easy. Plus it’s fun. Every afternoon we curl up with blankets, sip hot tea and read. It’s pretty cush.

Today we took a field trip to the local shooting rage. Most of you probably know that M does not like guns and she isn’t fond of shooting, especially my 9mm and she won’t go near the rifles. Fortunately I have very generous friends. Country Tea & Mr. Tea let me borrow their Ruger .22 MK III. A gun M was at least willing to try without much tude.

I know this is old news for a lot of you, but after I was mugged I became fairly aggressive in making her learn to shoot. She didn’t have to like it, but since there were guns in the home I wanted her to know how to safely handle them and also to be able to use one should she need to. Learn how to load, unload, hold, keep her finger off the trigger, keep it pointed in a safe direction etc was not a problem for her. Just the actually pulling of the trigger was an issue.

Most of you also know I was too forceful. I reacted out of both guilt and fear. I felt enormous shame and guilt for teaching her to be a victim. I had conditioned all the fight right out of her and I was concerned that my actions were putting her at risk.

As I began to settle down and realize that I was forcing her to go from zero to 1000 in .2 seconds I decided to back off guns and focus on the skills she would most likely need now and ones she seemed more willing to accept.

We talk a lot about situational awareness, things that are going on in the local news, ways she can fight back without a weapon, what actually can be used as a weapon, mindset, that kind of thing. She actually took to those quickly. She is extremely aware and she absolutely believes it’s ok to fight for her life and and use any means necessary to do so. She still struggles with the idea of doing it herself and she still isn’t all that happy about my training with Arete.

Me- Want to take some actually classes like Karate or Krav Maga?

M- I don’t know. That doesn’t sound fun.

Me- You get to hit people.

M- Umm, not fun.

Me- I think it’s fun.

M- Yeah, you hang out in the park with a known sniper.

Me- (Giggling) That’s fun.

M- That’s scary, but actually some classes could be good. I will be driving soon and even if I did like to shoot I can’t carry, so I do need to know some things.

Me- Smart girl

It’s on her mind. She clearly thinks about it and it’s almost like she knows someday she will need to make the switch, but something is holding her back.

It is very much a two steps forward one step back deal. Some of you may remember that she came to me and asked to go shoot at the range in Culpeper with John. I had high hoped of that working out, but it never materialized for one reason or another. I let it go and allowed her more time.

A few days ago I told her I planned to go to the range on Thursday and since would be home did she want to go.

2012-12-13_11-16-12_398Why yes she did!!!

2012-12-13_11-16-50_701Fuzzy, I know. This was her first magazine at about 3 yards. All in the red. I didn’t care if she shot every single round from 3, but she kept scooting the target out farther and farther. I asked her if she wanted to play a game. I shot somewhere on the target and then she tried to get her round through the same hole. We did this at about 10 yards.

2012-12-13_11-32-35_801Pretty good. I say lets do that some more!

2012-12-13_11-32-31_848She wanted to take turns, so I would shoot then she would try to match it and then I would shoot a different spot on the target and so on. I was using my Shield.

2012-12-13_11-42-58_587Her last target of the day. That bigger hole in the middle is not from my 9mm. It is from her hitting the same spot several times. This was maybe at 7 yards. She loaded all her own magazines, she loaded the gun, made ready and shot.

Still wasn’t jumping up and down like I do, but she had a great attitude, she really tried and she did smile several times. She especially liked the game.

I keep saying it has been and continues to be a long slow process. My husband keeps saying it has been and remains quite a quick and impressive transition. Not yet 2 years since the ordeal. Either way we both see positive progress and I today I shot with my daughter and she didn’t hate it, so that’s a WIN,

Linky Love

Brigid has her post up detailing her enchilada recipe. I am not kidding you really should try these.

Mom With a Gun has up a post on guns and special needs kids. We are very fortunate that our kiddos have taken to guns, safety and responsibility quickly, but even though we don’t have “special needs” children(in that sense) we still do not take chances with our firearms. Safety is the top priority. To me the safest place for my gun is under my control which generally means on my hip.

I think it is interesting how some people have tunnel vision when it comes to guns. Clearly, I am big, big proponent of carrying a gun. If the law allowed I would have my gun 24/7. It’s a very valuable tool and one I like to have at my disposal at all times, but bad guys in the ally are not the only danger or threat.

If there is a child or any person in your house that is not able to, for whatever reason, handle firearms safely, that is your first threat and it should be dealt with. I think her suggestions are good ones.

The Cornered Cat has a post up on how to become a firearms instructor. I think it is a great, great, great post.

I had only been shooting a short time and wasn’t very skilled when people pushed and pushed me to become an instructor. “We need more women in the field”  they would say. These people were kind and sincere and being encouraging. Most saw something in me and thought I had the ability to do a good job and wanted me to get the certs and move in that direction. No one was being casual or flippant, but still, what we need is more skilled and qualified people in the field not just more people, male or female.

I think that most instructors out there can do a good job of teaching someone how to accurately shoot a decent sized group, but as I have said before if we are talking about defending your life, I would think you would want the best there is to offer and that usually means someone with years of experience.

Anyway, as I read her suggestions, I thought, actually these are great for anyone who would like to become proficient regardless of there career goals.

An interesting read on Knife Fighting over at No Nonsense Self-Defense. I don’t know anything about this guy, but the idea that fighting for your life being a down and dirty business is one that I believe. When I first started working with Arete, he would show me something and then when he would come at me and I would usually freeze. I would mess everything up because I was trying to remember the moves. I was trying to get it “right”. He goes this way, so I am suppose to do this. Oh, he grabbed my wrist like, I am am suppose to pull this way. Wait what are my feet suppose to be doing?? I was so focused on the technique that I completely missed the someone is trying to kill you and they don’t really care how skilled you are at getting out of a wrist grab. He would say don’t worry about doing it right, trust your instincts(which I was terrified to do) and do whatever you need to do to get out of this and do it as violently as possible. Once I stopped being afraid of getting it wrong and I started to think solely about survival my instincts did kick in and I could get out of most things. I realize he was not trying to kill me and getting out of those situations is not like being attacked for real. I do not have a false sense of my abilities, but I think mindset is huge in surviving a violent attack. Letting go of preconceived notions about “fighting” has helped me tremendously.

Do you Remember What My Favorite Thing Is…

Well do you? Can you guess what this post is about?

Why training of course. I am a big, big, big fan. Even though my son’s kindergarten teacher thinks I have gone over the edge and might be taking this self defense thing a tad bit too seriously(I adore her), I still like to train. More specifically, I like to train for the least likely scenario as much as the ones that are most probably.

I have trained for being attacked by one bad guy who is armed, unarmed, coming at me from behind, the side, or straight at me. I have trained for those long distance head shots(probably wouldn’t take one, not very good at those). I have trained with a knife, with just my fists. I have trained for multiple attackers, in the dark, in the rain, on a train, in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse…can you guess my favorite classic children’s story?

The point is I have thought about and tried to simulate a lot of different possibilities for being attacked, but one I have never  thought about was multiply weapons. That is until this morning when I received my Active Response Training email update.

A weapon in each hand…scary. Yesterday I posted a quote on my FB page…

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” -Jim Morrison

For me this idea has become my mantra for living a more peaceful life. Not to be reckless and careless, but to constantly face things, idea, challenges, or what have you that cause me to be afraid. I can tell you reading Greg’s post this morning scared me. I thought, “Holy cow, no way am I prepared to handle that.” “If I am faced with this bad day, I am in deep doodoo”So, I did what I often do. I ignored it. I stopped reading. I got up and tried not to think about it. A bit later I sat down and forced myself to click on the links and read those stories. Being afraid and not facing the possibility that bad things can and do happen does nothing to up ones odds for survival.

While these two situations are frightening, being too afraid too think about them or worse being too afraid to react if one finds themselves in the midst of one them, only makes matters worse.

You know I am a proponent of thinking things through. What would I do here or there and I honestly think that is a mighty good training exercise, but isn’t until I put it into practice that I find out if what is in my head is possible. Things move fast when your attacked. It’s important to get an idea of how fast. No way to prepare for every situation, but that isn’t an excuse not to train for as many as you can think of.

So as much as my brain say “This is not a good idea and perhaps the kindergarten teacher is right about you”, I am still going to ask that Marine dude if he will come at me with two weapons and see what fears I might put to rest. Or perhaps uncover some new ones, either way sounds fun doesn’t it?

Food, Food and More Foooooood

The other day I received an email from my friend Brigid

AGirl, I adapted one of my old favorites, making it gluten free, including the sauce (took a little experimenting with cornstarch instead of flour).
If you are looking for something for supper.  I think your family will love it, my friends did.
My friends didn’t even know it was gluten and dairy free!  If the link doesn’t work from this cut and paste, let me know and I’ll send you the recipe.
The Teese Cheese was awesome, it’s made in Chicago, and I think you can order it online through a couple of the vegan stores up there.
My daughter, M, was so touched that someone thought about her and was thrilled at the choice…Mexican! Having tasty treats that are out of the norm are fun, but as always the thing that made it was that someone thought of us and genuinely cared. I can not tell you how special it made M feel.
The next day my daughter and I ran out to a specialty to store to try to find the 2 items we didn’t have and last night we made B’s enchiladas.
The only changes I made to her recipe were that I used corn tortillas instead of the “flour” option. M was very disappointed that our store didn’t have them. She has missed her flour tortillas. I have ordered some and we will try the recipe again when they arrive. And also the brand of cheese was not available in our town. She suggests using chicken or turkey, but I didn’t have any leftovers of that, so I used shredded pork. Here is the deal, the kind of tortilla, cheese, or meat you use probably isn’t gonna matter much. It will be delic as long as you make the sauce…ohhhh that sauce!
It is the perfect balance of spices. It’s smokey and rick, but not at all over powering. Ours turned out silky smooth.
When cooking with a 14 year old the kitchen gets a little, well, messy.
And strange. M was playing around with the camera which is why in this next shot I am missing my head and it is in black and white. I don’t know if you have ever tried to cook while a teen is bee-boppin around you with a camera singing Justin Beiber, but you if you haven’t you should try it. It is as annoying and as fun as it sounds.
That is the other change. Brigid rolls her’s and that is a great plan with flour tortillas, but the corn ones were a little stiff. I have made corn enchiladas before where I either dip them quickly in pot of warmed oil(not healthy) or microwave them for a quick second, but since this was a weeknight meal I opted to layer the tortillas like a casserole. When the other ingredients arrive we will make them rolled. Probably wait for a Sunday though.
I am not going to give you the recipe because it isn’t mine to give, but if you are lucky she will post her post and let you in on the yummy secret.
The finished product!!!
I will give you my recipe for quick Cassoulet as request by an AGirl FB friend.
This cooks for a bit so start with a large heavy bottom pan. Put 3 or 4 T of olive oil in the pan and 3-4 garlic cloves, 4 sliced carrots, 2 sliced celery stalks. Saute for 5-10 minutes until soft. Now, I do not measure, so this is tricky, but here are the spices I used…dried basil, dried oregano, ground cloves, smokey paprika, salt & pepper and about 2 T sugar. This will not be sweet, but the sugar helps caramelize the spices as they cook in the oil. Add all those to the pan and cook another 5 minutes. Add 1/2 llb sliced bacon. Cook another 5-10 then add everything else. I used Chicken thighs & polska kiilbasa, but any meat would work…chicken breast, shrimp, whatever. Also add 2 large onions sliced in quarters(do not separate. This cooks a long time and the bigger piece will hold up better) 2 large cans(drained and rinsed) whole tomatoes, 3-4 cans cannellini beans(drained and rinsed) and enough chicken broth to come up about 1/4 way. You do not need a lot of liquid as all the vegggies and meat will give off their own juices. Traditionally this is a braised dish which would require a fuller immersion, but I like less liquid as it helps the bacon and other meats get caramelized as they sit on the bottom of the pan as well as the pieces poking out the top of the liquid. Place covered dish in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for however long you want. Mine cooked for a good 6 hours. The last 20 minutes or so remove the lid, top with bread crumbs and olive oil and cook until golden brown. We are gluten free here, so our bread crumbs were actually a mix of ground corn flakes and tortillas. Enjoy.

Playing Catch Up

Friday night my husband’s company had their annual Christmas party. I didn’t really want to go. My favorite people were not able to attend and even though I love date night with TSM with our schedules I enjoy spending my “free” nights at home with the kiddos.

Be that as it may, we were going so we got all dolled up.

Both of these pics are out takes.  I liked these better than the posed ones. After pics we headed out for the evening.

The gathering was small, but nice. For dinner we sat with a gentleman that works in my husband’s office. Very nice guy. He wasn’t much of a gun guy until he came to work in the office my husband opened. Now, he is quite a fan. He just started skeet shooting. I enjoyed listening to him tell of his new adventure. He was almost giddy. There was another man, his wife and their 14 year old daughter also at our table. The man of that group used to work with my husband when they were both Marines many moons ago on Camp Pendleton. We reminisced about life on the base and the good ol days. His wife is a sweet, sweet woman and quite patriotic. She wishes she could do life all over again and be in the military herself. She is new to shooting, but has the bug pretty bad. Their daughter doesn’t shoot yet, but her mindset is solid.  After chatting with her, I am confident she is not of the girls should be “nice” and “polite” crowd. She was very nice and polite at dinner however.

Had a very nice conversation with my husband’s boss. Not for the Internet, but a good “in person” story.

We talked politics, guns, movies…You know dinner conversation stuff. It was a nice evening.

Saturday I ran on the ambulance. TSM stayed with the kiddos. Nothing to exciting, but several patient contacts. I did have a run in with some firefighters.

The driver of the ambulance decided we needed to wash our rig. After he decided we all needed to wash our POV’s. He told me to pull my truck around and park it next to everyone else’s, so I did. About the time someone slathers soap all over Jayne, the fire truck pulls by, but I am blocking the bay and he has to go around and back in. He does, then jumps out and starts yelling. He isn’t yelling at me. He is yelling at the driver of the ambulance. They go back and forth and I try to apologize, but no one is listening. Someone tells me it’s no big deal they are fine. They settle and start chatting about this and that. I am off cleaning something else when I hear this guy say, who’s truck is that anyway. They point to me…hers.

Young kid, maybe late 20’s- Hey nice truck for a Ford.

Me- Yes, it is a nice truck.

YK- You done washing it?

Me- Yeah.

YK- You gonna wash my Chevy?

Me- Probably should since I blocked your bay.

YK- Hell no. Your not gonna wash my truck. You didn’t think I was really mad did you?

Me- Seemed like. (I did think he was mad, but I was not the least bit concerned or worried about it)

YK- Naw, that’s just how we talk around here.

Me- Gotcha

So, “Hey you stupid motherfucker what the hell blocking my bay.” While slamming the doors and throwing turn out gear is just another way to say “Good morning” at the firehouse.

Nice kid. Very nice tats. Crazy cute daughter.

Sunday was a pretty low key day. Tons of kiddo time. Went grocery shopping with M, played games with the younger ones, did laundry(TSM actually does all the laundry), cooked a killer dinner and even got to sit down for 30 minutes or so and catch the last half of the Redskins game.

Homemade cherry soda.

My version of a cassoulet. Chicken thighs, beans, smoked sausage, onions and bacon slowly braised for hours. The typical cassoulet is a 3 day process, but I do not have time, so I adopted a jambalaya recipe a friend sent me the other day and the results were spectacular.

I start back to work at the range in January. Some exciting things on the schedule. Once everything gets finalized I will let you all know. Not to jinx it, but also in January it looks like I will be able to start back training with Arete. Homeschooling is going well. Another post on that later. Tonight I am making a very special meal for M. That will be the subject of tomorrow’s ramblings. Other than that, not much going on.