The Cure For What Ails You(or at least me)

I rarely get sick, but when I do, I do it right. I get the kind of sickness that makes you want to lie down and die, but I am a mom and lying down period is usually not in the cards.

Friday afternoon I started to feel a bit under the weather. Sore throat, headache, over all body not feeling well, but my kids had a snow day(did get more than 5 flakes), so that meant lots of book reading, playing of the Wii, cooking fun foods and lots of silliness. Then I ran duty with one of my instructors. It was mighty chilly with a nice wind, so the 3 car accident we were called to was not as much fun as you would think. Fortunately there were no major injuries. By midnight I was sitting in the back of the ambulance and going down hill fast.

Saturday I woke up with an unbelievably sore throat and glands swollen to the size of golf balls, but it was our last practical session and our instructor does not like people to miss class for any reason. As for the I should have stayed home and not infected anyone else theory…not a good reason. All of our instructors have come to class with illnesses. Coughing, fever, all kinds of gook and they pretty much ascribe to the theory  if I can make it here feeling like this, so can you; therefore, I did. I was drugged up pretty well with Alka Seltzer(which for me is a miracle drug) and did OK most of the day. The biggest issues was doing 8 hours of non-stop talking with basically no voice.

After class I came home, hung-out with the kids for about an hour then crawled into bed. I messed around on the computer for about an hour with plans to watch a movie but I didn’t make. I was out by about 15 minutes into the program. Tossed and turned until about 4am or so.

My kids, who love me and get very excited about taking care of me, came in my room, woke me up to ask if they could get me a hot water bottle, juice, medicine, make me breakfast…

I am not as excited about being woke up or their enthusiasm for care taking. I can’t really process any thoughts, my head hurts and I am not the least bit hungry, but I say sure, that would be great.

TSM gets me some meds and coffee and the kids bring me this…

2013-01-27_08-29-03_487Cheesy eggs, ham, fried Chinese ribs, and lots of love.

I am feeling better already…


Social Norms

Kathy Jackson writes a piece that I think is one of the most overlooked(and very important)aspects of self defense.

It is crucially important that each of us think about “The Rules” of society and actively think about breaking them. I don’t mean in an act of rebellion,(although that might be OK too) but a part of our mental training to deal with potential and or imminent. danger..

I am positive most people think that they will become the mama bear or the great protector and will do whatever it takes when the wolf comes knocking and surly no social norm will stop them, but the evidence does not bare that out.

Usually, in high stress situations we revert back to what we know. Often not being able to think at all. We have to actually think about and do(either by the act or visualizing) that which we hope to do in an emergency.

One day while walking in the mall with my 14 year old, one of the guys at a kiosk asked me if I would like a sample of something. I looked him in the eyes, smiled sightly, said no thank you and kept walking. I never paused or stopped for one second. My daughter thought I was being rude. When I questioned her about what exactly did I do that was rude, her answer was, “Well, it wasn’t that you did anything rude, but you probably hurt his feeling.”

Now, he was not a bad guy and had I chose to stop and chat no one was in danger, but the point is my daughter was so concerned and embarrassed that I didn’t stop. Not because I was actually rude, but because the perception she had in her head(likely one I put in there years ago) about not stopping and talking to someone, even someone you don’t want to talk to.

That is the exact behavior that could get you in trouble if you are, say in a parking lot and someone you don’t want to talk to approaches you and you stay at talk.

Please take the time to read her entire article and take the time to see where your own adherence to social rules might need to be evaluated and possibly reprogrammed.

As a side note, Kathy brings up Caleb Giddings who has an article up on his site about the colors of awareness or alertness. I have spoke to Kathy about this many times. I have not only stated that I do not live in yellow all the time, but that it isn’t even a goal of mine. Caleb brings up some good points that I think tie in well with Kathy’s article.

One Of These Days…

Ever notice that I am a conversation starter?  Well, I am . I get re-posted, quoted, tweeted all the time. Of course it is always after I do something or experience something less than desirable.

We have the whole reason this blog was started(pesky little mugging), then the broken ribs thing(if you don’t know, don’t ask) and now my blood donation(fine, but not ideal).

Brigid, Jennifer and now Old NFO shared their points of view on the subject. Really good view points too. Right after I posted about my trip, my friend Barron texted me and shared with me the very important reasons why we should all be giving. Many members of his immediate family have benefited from such gifts. So, if you can give a pint or two. It really does matter.

As I told Say Uncle once, I am just glad that something I did/do gets people thinking and talking, but I am looking forward to the day that, that something starts with a good thing:)

That Was Fun

A few months ago some folks came to class, well not folks, EMT’s and asked the students to sign up for their blood drive. TSM can’t because of some funky stuff he contracted in Somali, but I signed up.

Last night was the night. I have never donated blood, but needles do not bother me nor does blood. I am healthy and so I went without much thought. When I got there several of my fellow EMT students were there and some were quite nervous(especially the boys), so I did my “You will be fine” “Don’t worry” “It’s not a big deal” pep talk thing I do and then went off to donate.

I sat in the chair and they plugged me in. No biggie. Everything was smooth sailing. I was chit chatting with friends and listening to music when all of a sudden things got fun.

And by fun, I mean not fun.

The man helping me was taking the very last vial of blood when I felt the tiniest bit of nausea.  I said in my head, “Wow, I fell, nau…” Before I could finish the thought I noticed the ladies in front of were not only blurry, but also I could not define there shape. I looked at the man and said, I think I might have a problem. By the time I got that out, I was extremely hot, sweating profusely and my hands and feet were tingling, but not like a normal tingle. It felt like I was holding a jackhammer. I am kind of out of it at this point, but I feel someone lean back my chair and another start to fan me. The other man is stopping the blood. Someone asks me if I am alright which I hear, but can’t answer. In my head I was thinking, I don’t know am I. He keeps keeps asking me to cough, hold my breath, the breath.

Eventually, maybe 20 minutes later, I start to come back around. I am still dizzy, but can see. My hands are still tingling, but no where near what they were. I am now freezing and wondering why my back was wet. Apparently at some point they put ice packs on me. I sit there for another 15 minutes are so and decide I was fine.

My plan was to drive home, but when I went to leave a paramedic who doesn’t me and didn’t know what happened said, where are you going? I said home and she said, “No, you are as white as a ghost.” “Did you give blood?”  I said yes and she said sit. I ate some pretzels,  a doughnut(yuck) and some 7-up. My hands remained cold and white for about another hour, but by about 8pm I felt pretty much fine except for being very tired. This morning I felt dandy!

I have no clue why on earth that happened. I ate a good breakfast and lunch plus I had lots of liquid. My blood pressure was 120/80(a little high for me), pulse was 68, temp was 97.something and my iron was 15.

I was very calm which again I am not sure is a good thing because in a crisis I tend to be very, very calm but I don’t do anything. Not that there was anything for me to do, but still.

I am not entirely sure I am up for something that sporty again and the Red Cross probably isn’t gonna ask AGirl to be there next spoke person.

FPF Training

I have had a surprising number of folks contact me and say “Ahh, you are no longer at FPF.” “I was going to take a class.”

I am assuming most of these are new shooters and might have been coming to FPF because they know me or of me and felt a certain amount of comfort knowing I would be at the course and I understand that. A few are referrals and wanted a female instructor and were unaware that coming to FPF was not going to get them one.

I was never the face of FPF Training and I never was the primary instructor. Regardless of when you took the course, John would have the instructor. My contribution was minimal.

If you are looking for a course to learn how to defend your life with a firearm against a mortal threat then you should take a look at FPF Training. Everything I have ever said about it is still a 100% true and I had no nothing do with it. Your life is worth defending and you deserve good solid training. Don’t let fear, or uncertainty, or pride, or excuses(not attending because I am no longer there is an excuse and not a valid one:) keep you from taking that step forward.

All the course are well worth your time and money, plus this year some very exciting guest instructors will be visiting.

Train often. Train Hard.

“There’s no point really in me right now being sad or wondering what if.”

There are so many things about this story that bother me. That disgust me. That make me sick. That make me angry.

The fact that a child was living in a very abusive home for years and no one bothered to notice or if they did, care. That her life was so horrific that she is actually thankful that she was kidnapped and tortured. Raped. Terrorized.

Stop and let that sink in for a bit.

What a horrific world we live in.

I am tempted to make this into an argument about the state of our country, but I will not.

I find her bravery inspiring. So much can be learned from her. From her courage. From her attitude. From her, well, from her.

I fear the tendency for people is to read a story like this and think, I have suffered, but not like this; therefore, I have no right to feel what I feel or to hurt the way I hurt.

I do think we can all look at those who have sacrificed or suffered in unimaginable ways and perhaps gain a bit of perspective, but pain is not so easily quantified. The lesson is not in the crime or in the amount of suffering, but in the healing.

“I want to be able to help people who might not know where to turn,” she explained. “To see that there is a road to recovery.”

There is, indeed, much to learn from her.


I have received a fair amount of inquiries about who is Arete and what kind of training do I do with him. As the amount of readers increase I guess I am going to have to do a better job of explaining things that the rest of you have known for a while. The family is growing, so as a very quick refresher here are some old posts to bring you up to speed.

I Like Boys

Delusional Bravado

I Need’nt Have Worried

Training Video With Arete

Knife Training

Conversations With Arete


Old News

I have a few pics and stories I wanted to share, but time and all that kept me from doing so. Just a quick hodge podge post.

Our Christmas was one of the best ever. We usually spend Christmas at home and then on the 26th pack up the car and head out of town. This year was the first year in many we did not do that. While there were certainly things we missed about traveling, I forgot how relaxing not going anywhere can be.

My oldest son and his family came over Christmas Eve and spent the night. It was nice that we had the time to observe all of our traditions.

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Homemade pizza(gluten-free) on Christmas Eve and then watched a Christmas Story.

The Range 208

The Range 216

Cookies for Santa.

The Range 169


Christmas morning was, of course, present time!

The Range 343


Here is TSM putting together my Kerosene heater. Anyone who knows me knows I am freezing all the time. One of my biggest concerns in case of some kind of natural(or otherwise) disaster has been that we would all die from frost bite. Not any longer. Worked beautifully!

On Christmas day while I was cooking my son took the little kids into the backyard to shoot the airsoft pistol. I wasn’t really paying much attention to them because I had a lot to do, but the other day I had a chance to look at the pics and I was one proud mama.

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My daughter, A, listening to instruction with her finger off the trigger. Not sure if you remember, but just a few days prior to that on the range in Culpeper, she had a bit of issue remembering. Oh and E wearing my infamous white glasses. I think she can pull the look off.

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It is possible my son is taking airsoft a little to seriously:) At least he is a dapper dresser.

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Look at those girls turning over possession of the gun in a positive and safe manner!

Good times!

A few days later Old NFO sent me an email letting me know he would be passing through. Lucky me!!!  He agreed to stop by for dinner and we had a wonderful time. He got to meet the kids, see Jayne, eat yummy food and enjoy a cold beer in a frosty mug.



“A” helping me make the bacon wrapped shrimp that we dipped into a homemade spicy tomatillo salsa.



The meat browning for Braciole. Honestly that was one tender and flavor meal.

Loved having him over. Now, I have a witness that can attest that even though I have a lot of kids, my house really is calm and the kids are well behaved.

Lets see, what else…I have been doing some canning. So far just a few batches of chicken and several batches of beans with ham.



I bought a pressure cooker and just dove right in. Pretty easy. My only issue seems to be that I am not putting enough liquid in. I fill it to the appropriate level and then stick a skewer in the jar, move it and poke it around to remove any air bubbles and refill if needed, but still, not quite right. I am having fun learning though.

And last but not least, for those that do not follow my Facebook page, I got a new holster. A little bit ago Devin from White Dog Holsters surprised me with this beauty.2013-01-09_09-16-25_31

I had no idea that it was coming. He made it right handed for my Shield for those days I might want to carry a BUG. He also added the EMS symbol which was just so sweet. Of course, now I do feel a little extra pressure to pass the test, but you know easy peasy right:)

The holster is kydex and leather. The blue is absolutely stunning. Devin molds the leather so it fits perfectly around my hip bone. So very, very comfortable! I have been wearing it off and on for about a month. I have done a lot of fry fire practice drawing my gun from the holster. Flawless. It also passes the retention test. If I place my empty gun in the holster and hold it upside down, the gun stays put!.



This is me wearing it along with my brand spanking new ‘ol lady glasses. Love the holster…the glasses, not so much, but I can see things, so there’s that.

Ok, I think for the most part we are all caught up. I will be back next week with a training report. I have challenged Arete to a duel in the park.


Classes at capacity. Entire families signing up for courses. A news story where responsible gun owners are not portrayed as blood thirsty criminals. Yeah, that’s a win.

My friend Keads has hit the big time. Go check him out!!


You know what a fab life I have and how very much I love doing all that I do, but there is only one of me and my plate is waaaaaaaay full. I have been doing dandy balancing it all, but this passed weekend about killed me. I was absolutely exhausted, so some things had to give.

I stepped down from working at the range. I am very busy during the week doing EMT classes and studying and riding on the ambulance and while I do spend a lot of time with the kiddos doing homework and reading books at night, there isn’t a lot of time left for fun. My weekends need to be(and I want them to be) with my family.

M’s books are finally arriving this week, so we will be getting much more serious about school. She has read a lot(gives me tons of free time) and has written several papers, but soon I will have to really buckle down which will not leave me a whole lot of time for blogging.

I will most likely make my quick little posts on FaceBook and only blog when there is something really relevant to guns, knives, training, and/or the 2nd Amendment.

I have fallen way behind in reading other blogs, but I am hopefully that I will be able to get back to it on a more regular basis. I learn so much and I really enjoy staying in touch with everyone through their writing.

I am not going away, but you will see less of me.

Now, back to my very large laundry pile.