A Holster or Two

I am coming out of retirement briefly because I wanted to share with you two new holsters I just received.

Maybe a year or so ago I bought a TDI knife. I wanted a small fixed blade knife that I could carry on body and this knife seemed like it would fit the bill.

It did and I like the knife very much, however the sheath that comes with the knife just didn’t work for me. Not only did the handle stick out way to far for me, the knife constantly came out of the sheath. Several times I would find my knife was not all the way in the sheath and occasionally it would come all the way out. In addition the sheath itself didn’t always stay on my belt. My gun belts are a little thick, so the clip on the TDI knife would often not secure properly. This became such a problem I stopped carrying it all together.

Eventually, I contacted Michael Hast of Michael’s Custom Holsters. I told him exactly what I was looking for in a sheath and what I needed it to be able to do. As you know Michael made my AGirl holster which I wear most days, so I am a big, big fan of his work.

Yesterday the sheath arrived along with a present. He had included a matching holster for my Smith & Wesson Shield!!! The print is Ostrich to match a pair of Ostrich Ariat boots I own.

I have only worn the new holsters for a few hours, but so far they are perfect!!

The knife sheath is canted(is that a word??), so the handle is almost parallel with my belt allowing the handle to lay flat instead of looking like there is something protruding from my abdomen.

Here is my picture of them…

IMG_20130624_162737_264

 

And here is a link to several more on The Holster Site’s Facebook page

It’s Time

I have gone back and forth on this for a while, but it is time for AGirl to step to the back burner.

Nothing is wrong at all. My life is probably the happiest and most peaceful that it has ever been. I am truly bouncing off the walls most day because things are all kind of in place for us, but I have much run out of things to say. I know for someone who has shared so much over the past two years, who would believe that one day she would be quiet…

I intended to just go quietly into the sunset, but two things kept me from doing so.

One- I remember reading on Robb Allen’s page one time that he was annoyed when bloggers just faded away without any explanation or good-bye. Everyone has been so great, that I didn’t want to do that on the off chance someone might care.

The other is that I am not disappearing, but lately I just haven’t had time to read a lot of blogs and I am feeling guilty about that, so I wanted to say, I will for sure be popping in to keeps tab, but probably not as often, so if I miss a birthday, an illness, a death, or other major life event good or bad, please don’t  think it’s that I do not care, because I do. I just am at a point where I have to pay more attention to the 4 people I agreed to parent and try to turn into responsible human beings. They make it pretty easy, but still it’s a lot of work. I am no where near as talented as the rest of you and doing it all just isn’t in my ability.

I spoke with Barron and we are going to keep the blog up. Leaves it open for whatever.

These past 2 years have been a blast. I adore you all and can not thank you enough for all you have given me. I hope that I have been clear on that. I pray that I was able to give a little bit back.

With much love and gratitude, AGirl

 

Alright!!

People for the love of all that is good and holy if you are at a blogmeet with me and you recognize me, come tell me who you are.

I do not recognize everyone from their blogs, so if I see someone I do, I go up and introduce myself. Jay G is pretty unmistakable, so I walked up to him and introduced myself. Real name and blog name. Not that he wanted to meet me, but I wanted to meet him. I want to meet everyone!

I am just now realizing there were people at Nancy R’s that I spoke to, but didn’t realize who they were. I am both embarrassed and totally heartbroken.

A Raffle!

You know how much I love to help if I can, so today when I read Jennifer’s blog and saw a chance to do so, I got really excited.

Not excited that someone is struggling with health issues and the nasty bills that come with it, but excited that I can do my little part.

I am blessed to have very good health insurance thanks to the hard work of my husband. It is very comforting to have that safety net(even though that man in the White House is doing everything he can to screw it up, but lets not go there)

Health concern are so darn stressful, but not knowing if one can afford to get the care they need adds stress no one needs.

If you can and would like to help go here.

More Food and Friends

I meant to post this a while ago. Actually, I meant to post a lot of things a while ago, but my life has kept me from it.

Really, I have 3 product reviews to post and some other gun stuff, but other than a quick note of FB, I just really do not have time.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I received a text message from Bill of Eastern Iowa Firearms blog that he and his wife were in my area and did TSM and I want to meet them for dinner.

It took me all of 2 seconds to text back…yes, yes, yes!

I have been a big fan of Bill’s blog and his series “Just The Basic” for a long time now. I truly think he has a way of presenting solid info in a way that both the novice and experienced gunnie can understand. Plus, he has just been so darn nice to me, so I was thrilled to get to met him in person.

I am amazed at how comfortable it always is for me to hook up(I was informed not to use that term as it means something else to people, but I am old and have used all my life, so…lol) with gunnies in person. Who they are online is who they are, so when we meet it is truly like we know each other.

Bill and his wife are awesome. TSM and I had one of the most enjoyable nights! Bill selected the restaurant and he did a top notch job. The place was quaint, the food extraordinaire, the wine to die for and the company priceless!!

I am typically not a desert person, but when the waitress described the ice cream, banana brulee thing, I decided I must have it. So, glad I did…yuuuummmmmm!!

I was a very bad blogger and forgot to take pictures:(

Thank you Bill and Susie for a lovely evening. Click here to read Bill’s take on the evening.

A Blog Meet

Nancy R has an annual event called Kid Shoot. She started it last year as a way to introduce kids to shooting. My kids have been shooting quite a bit, but they always love it and I love taking them.

For last year’s event I was working at the range, so I missed it, but TSM took the kids. Of course everyone enjoyed themselves and really wanted to go again this year. My schedule is packed. I am(like most folks) busy, busy, busy. I wasn’t sure we would make it this year, but I did everything I could to make it happen.

I am so glad I did. The kids had a blast shooting and I enjoyed hanging with the cool kids.

I met several folks in person like Jay, Mike W, Alan and his lovely wife from Appleseed, Bubblehead Les, New Jovian Thunderbolt and others.

I am always tickled to get to see Nancy, Old NFO, and Andy(even though that was only about 2 seconds).

The food is never my main focus, but I must say Nancy’s pumpkin dessert is addictive and I do not like sweets or desserts.

My children beamed as they always do when they get trigger time, but I also loved watching all the grown people be giddy. With all the experience that was there, still each person was thrilled and giggly shooting whatever they could get their hands on. Yes, grown men were in fact giggling.

Here are a few pics from the day…(as a side note, we let our kids shoot in a relaxed way. Safety is our main focus and not stressing them out with grip, stance etc, so no need to tell me their form is bad or elbow is up:)

DSC00088 (2) DSC00088

IMG_20130601_160953_204 IMG_20130601_163127_532

 

Lessons Learned

 My friend, Chris, who recently lost her home to a fire wrote a “Lessons Learned” post for all of us. See her words below.
There are a lot of lessons that can be learned from our recent experience.
There are the standards like “don’t take anything for granted”, or “live every day to the fullest”.
Those are certainly true!
But I think for the gun/prepper communities (and yes we were both gunnies and preppers) there are deeper lessons to learn.

We are not wealthy people. In fact at this moment we have no source of income! I say that not so anyone will take pity on us or feel sorry for us, but so that those reading this can fully understand (maybe lol) or thoughts or decisions.
Last October I was unexpectedly laid off from a position as a manager at a Dallas, TX based pharmaceutical company. It was a good paycheck and I had been there 7 years. I had not been truly happy there however for about the last 4 years. I felt I was called to do more than sit at a desk and read reports. So, in October my husband and I prayed and felt that I was being called into midwifery. To become a midwife I was going to be required to be in a apprenticeship, unpaid, for 2 years. My husband had been staying at home with the boys and managing our small farm as we worked toward self reliance. He also on the side built custom knives.
With the layoff came a severance package. We sat down, figured our bills and expenses and said ok we can do this. We also about that time received a dividend from some stocks we owned.

Around the about Dec/Jan time frame we determined that we should finish purchasing the firearms we had been looking at. We purchased most things in 3’s as we have three sons we hoped to pass things down to.

Jump forward to May 2nd. We had a house stocked with at least 12 months of non-perishable foods. We had clothes that had been collected for some while for the boys up to the age of about 12 years (the oldest is 4). We also had guns. Lots of guns ;-). The total was probably close to 35 in the house. Some rifles, some shotguns and some pistols. Of which we got out 2 shotguns (survived the fire) and 7 pistols which were either on our persons or grabbed on the way out. Then of course there was the ammo, magazines, holsters and all the reloading supplies. There was also some cash and a few precious metals.
All these things were to be there for the long term. Either to get us through for a year of my schooling or as a heritage to our sons.
That of course doesn’t include the irreplaceable things like the door post the kids height was measured on, the family cookbook, the baby books and other family items.

Lessons Learned?
1) Listen to your gut in any situation! If your instinct says something is wrong, listen! If I hadn’t been persistent when I smelled smoke things may have had a different ending.
2) Keep a well stocked get home bag in your vehicle(s). The bags we had in the house were lost. The bags in the car were and continue to be lifesavers. The temperature dropped 30 degrees the day of the fire. My husband was able to get a wool blanket from one of the cars and keep warm that day. This applies to kids too. I had a stocked diaper bag for the boys with extra clothes. Also- if you have pets it might not be a bad idea to keep a few emergency supplies in your bags for them.
3) Keep the cars as full of fuel as possible. We were able to pull to a neighbors property, but if this had been a wild fire we would have had to evacuate the area.
4) Get a fireproof safe for your legal documents and cash/precious metals. We did not have one. It was something we always said yeah we should get but never did. We lost a fair amount of cash  but our metals were spared.
5) Consider having some firearms/ammo/mags stored outside your house underground. Again something we talked a lot about but just never got around to.
6) Same as # 5 for food.

We have grown closer as a family unit because of this. We are more in touch with what is truly important. We are and will continue to rebuild and establish a new normal for ourselves. I will be returning to my midwifery studies. And we will continue to work on the farm and garden. We will eventually rebuild on this property. Maybe not in the same spot on this land.

Fearless

A few months back or maybe it’s been a year now I read a book called Fearless. It’s the story of Adam Brown, A Navy Seal who died in combat.

I wrote a post about it at the time I think. One of the things I admired about his family was their courage and kindness to share his story. It is not a picture perfect one. Adam was flawed. I know we all are, but many of us do not like to let other people know that and neither do our families. Especially, after we have perished.

One more story of a perfect hero might be a great read, but for me(a flawed kind of gal), his story did more than touch me and reinforce my gratefulness to those who serve our country. It inspired me.

I hope that as you read this you understand I am not comparing my struggles to his or my minor accomplishment to his remarkable ones, what I am saying is that in his story I found things that tangibly helped me.

Apparently, he was fearless. As a child he jumped out windows and stood up to bullies and lived life with abandonment. Clearly, that is not me, but there are parts of his story were he was afraid. Where he faced things that terrified him and he struggled.

As I have said before when one is surrounded by very strong women like Tam, Brigid, Erin, Roberta, Kathy Jackson, it is easy to feel weak and whining  Again, that is not against them…good, good, good. I am doing everything in my power to raise my girl’s to be those women. To be strong and fearless, but as I struggled and struggled and struggled, often with the same damn thing(like showing up at MMA class) it is easy to believe that you(I) are the weakest person around and then make judgments based on them. Often very helpful self judgement that do not lead to anything positive.

When I see people who clearly are strong and brave, but who have struggled more than once, it gives me hope and it inspires me. I have never used others as a way defend my own issues, but instead as hope.

I also have never been one for mantras or what I call false senses of hope. I sometimes think people get so caught up in the ritual of praying, reading  or listening to inspirational things that they forget to actually find some use I them. As a result I have in the past shun any semblance of those things in my own life.

However, when something isn’t working…

We think our minds tell us what to do, but actually we tell our mind and then it reacts from there. If we or our parents or society keep telling the brain something long enough it believes it and then we think, “Oh crap if my mind thinks it or believes it it must be true. I can’t change how I think and feel…BOLOGNA!

Tell it something different.

Try it.

You will see.

A friend of mine, you might know him as Cam(that is how he comments on this blog) told me a year or so ago to find a mantra or inspirational saying. I already had, but I didn’t really use it. After he made the suggestion I decided to try something different. I began actually putting the saying I found into action in my life.

When I got(get) scared, I would(do) say it over and over…

“You Stand Master” It is what reminds me that I am in control(not in terms of the universe. I decided and I can do or not do whatever I want. There is absolutely zero reason for me to pursue training. None. No one cares and many people think I am nuts.

I continue to face my fear of going to the next level because I have deep, deep desire to not allow fear to stop me from anything and I have a deep, deep desire to learn more. I can not explain that fully, but I do not have to. The point is when I am afraid I ask myself…”Why are doing this thing?” The answer is almost always because I want to(if it isn’t I do not do it). Why on earth would I let anything stop me from doing what I want??

Now, my list of wants is really small and really simple. I want to have peace inside my own skin. I do not want to be afraid. I have been afraid and it is paralyzing. I hate it.

I want to be strong mentally for myself and my kids. I do not want to be moody or haunted by the past(abuses against me or my own mistakes and guilt). I think they deserve a mommy who is strong enough to put that stuff behind her and move on.

I want to know without a doubt that I can and will defend my life should I ever be put in that position.

And I want to be smokin’ hot for my man.

From that list I think I can be a happy, kind, giving person. A good friend, a great mommy and not a bad wife. Plus, hopefully, a valuable contributor to society.

I have goals and I have ways to achieve those goals, so when fear natters in my ear, I say over and over again…this is what YOU want. You stand master.

That’s my thing. Doesn’t matter what my thing is. What matters is that if you are struggling(and my email box says many, many people are) that you define what you want your life to be, you find healthy ways to get there, and perhaps you find a saying or someone/something that inspires you to move forward in positive ways.

When the song Fearless first came out, I bought it because it was my little, itty, bitty, tiny way of contributing to Adam’s memory and a way of honoring him, but I only listened to it once. I thought it was kind of cheesy. The other day while I was running the song popped up on my itunes since I was running I didn’t bother to change it. I must have listened to it 100 times since then. For whatever reason, now it has meaning to me.

I love the line…”Believe you’ll get stronger every time you fall…”

Now, of course believing isn’t enough, but that is a good step. Believing that I can get stronger and then acting as though I actually believe it has had led to tremendously positive changes in my life.

Do I continue to struggle…YES. Does it matter…NO. The time between “Crap there is that fear again” and “Oh shut up stupid fear. I am doing this” is decreasing every time I face it.

Honestly, I was annoyed last night as I went to the gym to do my self defense class. I got there I was butterfly-y and fidgeting until the class started and once again, I was fine. Perfectly fine. Didn’t hesitate or back down or cry. I loved every second and for a beginner I think I am doing fine. I am still scared because I know it will get tougher and I am not a fan of this choking-out thing that these people think is so darn nifty, but in just one class I know I am ready to go back every week and instead of having to talk myself into it, I am truly looking forward to it. I was annoyed because I thought how any times has this end exactly the same way and you still put it off???

I came home pumped up and excited and showed TSM every move I learned  Although I was nice. Since we do not have mats, I did not do the take down move where one lands on their back.

Let me be clear about this too, this is not about self defense  I don’t care if anyone else takes self defense classes but you probably should). Just like I do not care if anyone else carries a gun(but, seriously, you probably should). This is not about becoming me or doing what I do. We are all different, but again as emails pour in, I realize many folks(men and women) are struggling with fear of some kind. This just me telling a part of my journey again and sharing what has helped me. Maybe it will help someone, maybe not, but the point is if something is holding you back, stressing you out, scaring you or causing some kind of grief and you’re sick of it…then you might want to find some positive  healthy ways to make changes.

Now, you are gonna have to excuse me because last night did this to my body and if I sit for too long my legs do not want to let me walk down the stairs.

IMG_20130521_203127_600 IMG_20130521_203324_731

 

I will leave you with this…

http://youtu.be/QgGtKWCVy0M

I Went, I Conquered, I Kicked-Butt

Well, I went, I paid, I got my gear(my class is tomorrow), but I signed a year contract and the only thing stronger than my character is my cheapness, so I will be back tomorrow night for the actual class.

When I arrived no one else was there except C(the owner) and Mike(the finance guy). They said “We never thought we would see you again.”

I said, “Ye of little faith.” I did leave out the whole I was scared out of my mind and it took me 11 days to get my act together part.

Chad said 90% of the people who come in and take a trail class never do not come back. 90%…That seemed like such a high number.

While going over the contract with Mike, C popped in to tell me about the new gun he bought. That I can talk about all day long. Felt much more relaxed after that.

I will keep you updated.

motto1*Saw this here.