A Fantasy

I am continually amazed at the on going struggle I have to keep moving forward. Even when I make great strides and am convinced I have conquered and overcome whatever obstacle that was in my way, I find myself dealing with it again and again.

I realized a while ago that the person I had been training with was not going to follow through. Even though I was pretty sure back in December it has taken 5 months for me to find another place to train. I made lots of excuses for him and me and deciding there was not another quality place in the area, but those really were nothing more than excuses.

When I finally accepted that there wasn’t a good reason for me to be doing nothing, I got busy and serious about finding a place to train. By the grace of god and the universe I found it. I called, I emailed, I showed up, I faced all my fears and again, luck was on my side as this place was everything I prayed it would.


Or not…

It has been eleven days since I had my first class at that gym. Eleven days and I have not been back.I have changed my eating to meet the more stringent training schedule, I have focused on stretching and getting better sleep. I have been dressed with tennis shoes on and bag packed ready to walk out the door only to find some reason not actually get in Jayne(my truck) and go.

I have found a million reasons why I can’t go…it is expensive, my kids need me, my yard needs work, I am probably not going to need those skills anyway and on and on.  Everyday I get ready to go and TSM(my man) says good for you and then I say, “but we really need to put the money towards ammo or the carpet.” and he says. “Bullshit.” So, I say, “We are so busy and two nights away from the kids is a lot at this age and he says. “Bullshit.” “Those are all excuses.” “Just go.”

But, I don’t.

One problem with excuses is often times they have a bit of validity. Unless you are independently wealthy most all of us tend to have more than one valid thing that we could be putting our time and money towards. One thing might not even be more valuable than the next, but simply a matter of priority. If I stopped doing this and buying that then I could have plenty of time and money to spend with my kids(which I already to a ton of) and buy what we need and still make it to this place for training. I have, of course, known that all along.

Still, I didn’t go.

The real issue was, has been and remains to be, fear. As I sat here day after day, night after night thinking about this drill and that one and improving and having to spare with strangers who are more skilled, tougher, and who do not give a flying flip about me just flat out scared me to no end.

I was, as many of you know, afraid to train with the guy before too, but it was one on one and I had made a commitment to show up. I was not going to back out on my word to one person. Plus, I had the illusion that someone cared. That it mattered if I showed up. It was as much a character issue for me as it was facing my fears and so character trumped fear. Terrified and nervous, I showed up every single time.

This place doesn’t need my money nor do they care if I in the class or not. Whatever fantasy I have about someone knocking on my door and dragging me to train is nothing more than that…a fantasy.

The real character issue isn’t about the commitment I made to someone else(while important), it really is about my commitment to myself. A commitment I mostly certainly have not honored.

If I want to get stronger, more fit both mentally and physically, if I am serious about doing everything in my power to make myself more prepared to defend my life then I am going to have to give up the fantasy and find the courage to walk out that door.

And I shall.

Today is that day. Today I will be driving my truck, by myself, to the gym. I am going to pay my money and once again stare down that old annoying friend of mine(aka fear) and do what I have set out to do.

Today, I Stand Master…

Don’t manage your fear. Lead your fear. Take charge. When fear climbs on your shoulder and starts nattering in your ear, here’s what you do: You Stand Master. -Danielle Laporte


A Book, A Book!!!

My new friend Peter from Bayou Renaissance Man has a new book.

Peter was nice enough to email me and then let me call him to discuss shotguns a while back. His advice was right on and even though I didn’t get to pick out my own gun(thanks for buying me one honey:), I still found it so helpful and kind.

Anyway, here is a link to his book.

I Smell Something Burning

Here is a video of my friend’s house that burned down. It is a very compelling video of the personal devastation of fire.


I want to thank all of you who donated. I was personally touched and I know Ce and her family were as well. See her note below…

“On behalf of the Adams family I want to say thanks! Thank you to everyone who offered a prayer, a good wish or sent a gift card.

The outpouring of support and live we have received from the gun community out weighs what even our own family has done. So as AGirl said in a previous post you are our family!

Special thanks to the Rudek Family, the Belcher Family, the Desert Rat Jak Family, the Spider Elliott Family, Cindy and those who sent anonymously.
If I missed someone I’m sorry – I’m not getting to the PO box daily right now.

Now for a update on the situation – we are back on on property in a travel trailer. Living in a trailer with three boys under 5 is quite an adventure but we are all happy to be back out here.
We have started the clean up process and will be at that as well as the inventory list for the insurance company for a while.
The county fire marshal and the independent investigation hired by State Farm both agreed that it was a “attic fire of unknown origin”. They have provided our insured amount for the structure to us and now we have to give them a inventory list. They can then say we’ll reimburse after you purchase new or decide to cut a check for “inventory” (that seems like such a cold word). Either way neither the structure or inventory amount is going to cover rebuilding to the size of house we had with today’s prices. So, we are going to move forward with the clearing of the site and see what happens from there. The Lord has a plan and we are praying that it will be shown to us!

Thank you again for all your support!”


May is Celiac Awareness Month. I had no idea until this morning when I was reading my Wegman’s Newsletter. Wegman’s for those that do not know is a grocery store chain. They carry a lot of unique, high end, gourmet items and also a ton of gluten free items that are not only very tasty, but very affordable.

Anyway, since it is awareness month, I thought I would spread a little awareness. The link about is a pretty good, simple explanation of exactly what Celiac is and how it differs from an allergy or sensitivity.

As many of you know both my husband and 15 year old daughter have Celiac and we have had to make major adjustments to our diet to accommodate their needs. We are in full swing now and it is hardly even an issue anymore for us, but there is still a lot of misunderstands and misconceptions about gluten and the disease itself. Good news for our family is that we have seen huge improvements in both my husband and our daughter’s health.

Interesting thing though, my husband is still not feeling as optimal as he should be for a man his age and size. He is fit, not overweight, don’t smoke, doesn’t drink soda except for the occasional can of root beer and even more rarely alcohol.

He still gets some headaches and even though sleeps several hours is not happy to get up in the mornings, so we have been adjusting our diet even more. I have always been a firm believer in what you put in your body determines how you look at feel, but have never really gone overboard on diet. I have been fortunate that a balanced diet of everything in moderation has worked well for me, but I have to admit as I hit 40 staying toned has become much harder for me and of course the tiny “cancer” thing has gotten me thinking more about healthy and living and wanting to do both for a very long time.

I am not a fan of diets or fads or exclusion unless allergy dictates, so low fat, low carb, no carb, no sugar, all vegetarian just isn’t going to do it, but we are trying to eat less processed foods and more “whole” foods. I have added a ton more water to every ones diet and at least one 16 ounce of juice from our juicer and a lot less breads(even gluten free) and empty foods that do not offer any actual health benefit. Taste and pure enjoyment is not an empty calorie to me. That food offered something and joy is very beneficial, but if I can combine pure unadulterated joy with something that also added something to our overall well being while not taking anything from it(like energy or needed vitamins) then that is what I want to do.

In the short time we have been doing this everyone has seen improvements in skin, hair(those only took about 3 days) energy, sleep and less logy-ness and headachy.

We love food and we love different things. We have diverse palates and truly look forward to meal time That is a family thing I do not want to get away from. I do not want eating to be a mindless thing that we do for the sole purpose of nourishment  Brown rice, chicken breast and alfalfa sprouts(although we love all 3) isn’t gonna do it.

I am fortunate that I love to cook and love to experiment. I have the time and support and even screw ups are fun. Last night I tried to juice frozen blueberries. I defrosted them slightly, but not enough. Not only did my kitchen look like a crime scene because the blueberries were jumping out of the machine, I almost blew up my juicer…no biggy. TSM and I just laughed and spent 30 minutes cleaning up the mess while enjoying our hard earned juice which was devine!! Not everyone had the time or desire, but I do, so I am!

All of these new adventures(along with ammo shortage and economy worries) have left little time for guns stuff and since I am no longer wack-a-doodle(or at least a little less) there doesn’t seem much to write on the blog that goes with A Girl and Her Gun(I do have some product reviews and a gun course coming though). I thought about stopping the blog, but I would miss you all to much. I thought about changing the name to include all the new things, but A Girl and Her Gun and Family, and EMT and Self Defense and Healthy Eating and the Search for a Tighter Ass seemed a bit much, so instead I will keep the name (because really I just adore my identity as AGirl so much), but add more of my other goings on.

This blog really has always been about my life and my journey. Guns, supporting and encouraging women(and men), & the 2nd Amendment will always be a part of my life and this blog, but healing and how guns have played a role are not so central anymore. I can now expand beyond that. Not sure how it will look or take shape, but just wanted to give you a heads up.

I will say that this gun journey with all of you has been such a healing, rejuvenating time for me. I can say that each month(with a few setbacks) I have become stronger, healthier, more peaceful than any other time in my life. The changes that have come about from the “simple” notion of taking more responsibility for my own safety is nothing short of remarkable. That idea and the support I have found have helped me take risks, accept my new self(which is really the old me only more so) and find a whole new freedom I honestly never knew existed and as I have said countless times, I was a happy, peaceful, joyful person before this road.

Even with all the uncertainty and craziness our country is dealing with, this really is the best time of my life. Thanks for letting me share with you.


Training MMA Style

Since my hand to hand training with my previous trainer ended, I have been looking for someone or somewhere to get the skills I need and want with not much luck.

I have felt very stale; not afraid, but vulnerable because I am not maintaining any skills nor I am developing any new ones. I have not been blogging much because this is mostly a blog about my personal journey and my journey has been stagnant  Very little shooting(other than dry fire) and zero hand to hand or knife training. I like blogging, but the worst part has been the lack of growth and feeling like I do not have enough tools to defend myself should I need to.

I do not believe I need to know every trick in the book or be a self defense guru, but I need more than hand grabs and more importantly my mind still needs work.

My town is not ta small one, but it doesn’t offer a lot and what it does offer is pretty much the same. Lots of “self-defense” that is really just fitness. I like fitness, but I have been looking for real world training and not the kind where I blow a whistle or learn to kick some guy in the groin(although perhaps a good idea).

After months and months of searching and months of frustration I happened upon a place that claimed to be a facility to learn to defend oneself and was serious about teaching the real world skills one would need. I was excited at the prospect but not over hopefully as up until that point, I had been disappointed.

TSM had to work, so I went it alone which in itself is a big thing. I was not nervous or concerned at all, but when I go into something new, I like to have back-up.

I walked in and was greeted right away by a man who was otherwise engaged in a conversation, but he saw me standing there, he stopped and very politely asked me what I needed. I told him I was there for a the 5:45 class. There isn’t a 5:45, but there was a 6:00 pm class. The schedules had recently changed, so there was a little mix up. No biggie. He said I could try the class at 6:00 and then stay for the 7:00 pm class to get a good idea of what they offered. The first class was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The next class was an MMA style curriculum

Great! The gentleman gave me a tour and took me to where the training takes place. He explained the difference between their fitness program and their self defense program. As he was explaining the self defense portion he asked if he could grab me. I said sure with a smile.

He took my shoulders and grabbed like he was going to take me to the ground and then said “if some big guy comes to attack or mug you and says….” for whatever reason my eyes welled up with tears and I felt like an idiot.  I didn’t freak out and tears didn’t even stream down my face, but those words, hit me. Totally unexpected.

He asked me if something had happened and I said yes. He was very nice and in about a millisecond I was fine. Went to the bathroom mostly out of embarrassment and collected myself. When I came out the owner of the gym was waiting to talk to me. He took me back to his office and we talked. In fact we talked so much about guns, self defense, knives, bad guys, etc that I missed the first class.

He is almost as passionate about this stuff as I am.

I do not know much, but I know enough to know what I am looking for and what I do not want to hear from a trainer.

He talked a lot about much of what is learned in whatever program is not always effective on the streets. That each system be it Krav Maga or boxing or traditional martial arts all have their strengths,  but even what he teaches is not the complete answer. He purposes filling in as many gaps as one can. He also is not a big fan of woman peeing on themselves to stop an attacker, so right off  bat I liked him.

He has a wife and a daughter(met his wife) and a very interesting life story. You know me, so since it isn’t my story to tell I won’t(I only know the basics as he briefly described), but I loved how even though he was so busy, he wanted to know my story, why I was there, what my goals were and he shared about his training and philosophies.

At some point he took me to the gym portion and introduced me to a trainer and a student and the two of them worked with me one on one for about 15-20 minutes.

We did grappling. It started out with me on the floor on my back trying to get this woman off of me. The trainer showed me a few moves to try to accomplish that. Very cool and they were both amazing.

Then I went to the MMA class. Last night was grappling  but next week it will be striking  Again, I was paired with 2 gals(looked like maybe in their 20’s). They have skill and technique  but I was able to keep up with them. I even was able to get one of them to tap out on an armbar and no she was not going easy on me just because I had no clue what an armbar was. The neat thing was after the live roll, she said, wow you are fast and high fived me. Seems to be a VERY competitive group, one that is serious, but incredibly supportive.I have long legs and long arms and I am stringy, which happens to be a disadvantage in these particular drills or at least for me since I am clueless at this point.

One drill we were suppose to have our legs wrapped around their neck(this training is very up close and personal. I am pretty sure I am going to have to give up Mexican food) and twist and well the point is at some point it is suppose to be uncomfortable and the other person taps out. So, there I am squeezing my legs and pulling and she is like, “Uh, nothing”.

The problem was that my legs are so long that when I flipped my thighs were not high enough on her neck to hit a pressure point. I had to adjust that a few times, but eventually I got the feel for placement. The young lady was very concerned about my feelings. She said she as sorry that she didn’t want to discourage me on the first night by saying she couldn’t feel it.  I assured her I DID NOT want her to spare my feeling. I did not want her or anyone else to pacify me. She smiled and was pretty much full on from that point forward.

Last night they paired with women because it was my first night, but typically the idea is to train with men as well. Me fighting a lady my same size is not much of a challenge(it was for me, but you get the idea). I liked that the trainer said that. I liked that he saw the value in that. I freeze and I am apprehensive and emotional, but I hate being handled with kit gloves and the point is I am training to move past all that.

I was sweaty and felt like I had learned some things.(even though the owner said in a real fight he doesn’t suggest armbarring someone). Mostly it was a confidence boost. I left there feeling like I was stronger than I thought. Stronger both physically and mentally.

I didn’t freeze at all. Here I am in a new place with people I have never met, doing things I have no clue about with people who have been doing this a while and I jumped in. When it was the live roll portion even if I didn’t “know” the right move I just did something, anything to avoid getting beat. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Having strangers watching you can be intimidating, but I didn’t care. I want to learn and overcome this emotional fear and the freezing that still lingers.

After the class the owner took me back to his office and again we spoke forever. I would still be there, but I think TSM was beginning to think I had skipped town. I was suppose to be there from 5:45-6:15. I got home at 9:30.

The classes are expensive, but I am committed to learning, so I am willing to make the adjustments in my life to make it happen. My biggest problem is that I have to wait until next week to go back and you all know how impatient I can be when it comes to training…

TSM’s biggest problem is that I am all amped up again and he is going to get to feel all the effects of my training. At 10:30 last night I had him down on the bedroom floor(he got excited for a minute:) to show him what I had learned.

All and all a very positive experience and one I am optimistic about. I met some nice people, learned some things and I came home with BRUISES!

So, it’s a start. Stay tuned…

May 8th

May 8 was for 32 years an ordinary day. It held zero meaning in my life. Absolutely nothing significant about it.

Eleven years ago that changed.

Back then I was living in California. I was teaching at a college and that particular May 8th,  was an absolutely gorgeous day. For some reason the electricity on the campus I was teaching at had gone out and with no resolution in the near future all afternoon classes had been cancelled.  I loved my job, but was excited to be getting off a few hours early. I also love my family and was eager to get spend extra time with them.

I remember how happy I was. How good it felt to be there that day. I was driving home planning the evenings events in my head which included grilling kabobs and making a batch of fresh margaritas.

Unfortunately, there was to be no dinner. In fact, I think it was about 3 days before I ate a single bit of food as that May 8th was also the day my brother killed himself.

He bought a shotgun, drove himself to a hotel and shot himself in the head.

From that day until this one, May 8th is a dreaded day in my home. It’s a very difficult one. It is a day full of anger and sadness. I always expect the next year to be easier, but it never is.

I always wanted to be like my brother. He was smart and funny. He was breathtakingly handsome and everyone liked him. He was a charmer. He was a Marine and I looked up to him for what I believed was his courage.

Our life was hard. We grew up in a Lifetime movie kind of hell and I always felt like I was weak and he was strong. We were close, but didn’t talk much about our childhood and I just assumed he handled it well.

Up until that May 8th, I always envied his choices.

On this May 8th, I sit and reflect on the choices he made. On the way he chose to handle life’s hardships. On the way he chose to not handle life. I don’t really envy those choices any longer. Suicide is a complicated issue full of pain and I do not claim to understand everything about it, but I do know I do not appreciate the way he chose to end his life.

This morning a person I knew a long time ago and have not spoken to in years wrote me to tell me she was thinking of me, but that was not really the point of her email. That was just the lie she used to make me think she was kind and sympathetic. The real point was to harass me about my pro gun stance. It went something like “since you know first hand the damage guns can do, how could you promote people having one.” I have to say that using the day my brother died as the one day out of 365 to bring this up does not seem all that caring.

My brother’s death causes me great pain. Me. Just me. His choice effects no one else. Not the president, not the folks at the Brady Campaign, not the long line of celebrities who espouse love and concern for people killed by guns and not this “friend” from my past.

For all their concern, not a single one of them has expressed an ounce of sympathy to me. I dare say neither my brother nor I matter to them at all. But, they will include his death in their numbers to justify how evil guns are. They will use his death as one in a long line of emotional stories to manipulate the emotions of others and frankly that pisses me off. The only time this “friend” has ever spoke to me about my brother’s death was today and that was all of 5 words. The rest of the 6 paragraph email was about how wrong I am and how guns are bad and I should be sharing my brother’s sorry as a cautionary tale. Outside of the “I am thinking of you” sentence the rest was about the evil I am spreading(albeit probably out of being so naive) and how if we can save just one life…blah, blah, blah. She has not bothered to stay in contact with me, so she doesn’t know that I was attacked or that guns play a vital role in keeping my life safe, but of course my life doesn’t matter. My life isn’t part of the plan. What I do day to day has not mattered to her at all. Just today. Just the day Allen died. Her line saying “thinking of you” just doesn’t feel sincere for some reason.

The tragedy in his story is the abuse he suffered while he was alive and the loss of his life. The loss of his life is what sucks about this day.

His is not a gun death. It is simply a death. A sad, tragic, end of a life. I wish just one single anti-gun person would knowledge that. Acknowledged that his death is what haunts my dreams. That when I think I about him, I think about how my kids don’t know him or how strong I have become and he will never know or how much my son is like him or how empty it feels to now be an only child. I don’t think about how he died, but I do think about how he lived. In a home without guns, but one full of tremendous violence. All of that is very emotional and it only matters to me.

My brother’s life doesn’t matter to this “friend”. Guns do. His death doesn’t matter to this “friend”. Guns do. The tears of great sorrow that I have cried do not matter to this “friend”. Guns do. Only she and those like her focus on the thing. I focus on the life. I celebrate it, I mourn it and I fight for it.

The irony that the tool my brother used to end his life is the same one that saved mine is not lost on me. One of us chose to fight against the evil in the world and one of us chose to give into it. The things around us are irrelevant  The lessons are in our actions. There is plenty to learn from his choices and from mine.

This day is about nothing more than a man who made a choice to end his suffering and how that choice has affected those he left behind. Nothing more.



Update on Friend(house burned down)

This message was posted on Facebook, by Ce’s mom…

“Just talked to Ce. They are on the way to meet xxx. It appears to have been an electrical short. She said she could use clothing for herself, esp. tenny shoes size 8 1/2. Also any dog supplies, medications, kennels, etc. Both of their dogs are older Boston Terriers. They need to wait and see what they will do about living quarters before getting anything else. Thank you all so much for your love and friendship. Those are worth more in this world than anything money can buy.”

So clothes, animal supplies and gift cards are the most helpful right now. I do believe that both her and her husband were able to get out their personal carry pieces, but all the ammo went up.

Thank you all so very, very much for your help, thoughts and prayers!!!

UPDATE…here is the best address to use for sending your generous donations..

.P.O. Box 609 Greenville TX 75403

I have seen the house…speechless at the total devastation.

Here is a message left by Ce in the comments. I wanted to post it here for those that might not read them…

Hi everyone
First I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of prayers and support. I feel so very blessed that my family was able to get out of the house with no injuries. We did loose the fish :-( but my husband (evcrawfish aka Mark), my boys Walt, Jake, and Zac were able to get out along with our two Boston Terriers Maggie and Anna.
I have provided AGirl my PO Box and she will be providing it shortly I’m sure. I’ve already revived clothes for myself and the boys and I purchased a few necessities for the hubby today (against his will! He wanted only stuff for me and the boys).

I think what breaks my heart the most of things we lost was the wedding band my husband received from his grandpa as a heirloom, my diamond, and our firearms. I won’t go into our list but it was a nice collection we had hoped to pass to our sons.
We did make it out with a few , my Kahr PM 9 my Kahr P380, my beloved XD9, my husbands Kahr PM 9, one of our XD45′s and one XDs. My Springfield 1911 was down at a friends house so it was saved- but my hubby’s was not. We had matching pistols of all the above miraculously my husbands grandpa’s single shot 12 gauges came out unscathed!
Of course all the ammo except what we had in the mags with us was lost.
It was quite the fireworks.

Thank you again for the love and support you have shown. You will never know what it means to us.

A Favor

I have friend who is a gunnie and first rate Patriot who just hours ago lost her entire home to a fire.

The details are sketchy as they were told to me by her mom, but my friend, Ce, smelled something burning, went outside to explore and found her roof on fire. She and her husband were able to get their 3 kids and animals out of the house safely. They lives so far out that help was not possible and they lost everything!

I do not know all their needs, but they have 3 small boys who probably could use some clothes and maybe a toy or two. If anyone is willing to donate old clothes or other items laying around the house please leave a message here or email me.

The boys sizes are 5T, 3T and 18-24 months.

I would greatly, greatly appreciate any help you might be able to provide!

Update: If you would like to mail stuff to her send it to:

P.O Box 609 Greenville TX 75403


Addition To My EDC

A few weeks ago I decided to purchase a back-up battery for my cell phone. I am pretty obsessive about keeping my gas tank full(actually my husband is) and keeping my cell phone charged, but there are times when the phone has been roaming and has used up way more battery than I had planned. For that reason I felt a back up plan was a good idea.

I purchased a Halo Pocket Power with flashlight. The company claims that once the Halo charger is charged, if not used, it will hold a charge for up to a year. I have had mine a few weeks, so gonna have to get back to you on that.

Here is what you get for $29.97 plus shipping(mine is from QVC)…


A small carry case, two adapters to fit either an iphone or android type device, and a connector piece to charge Halo from a computer.

The first thing I did was plug the Halo into my computer and charge it. To charge it the first time it took about an hour. Then I left my cell phone run almost all the down to zero and used the Halo to charge it back up. To charge my cell phone to capacity it took 40 minutes, but I was able to use all the features on my phone immediately as it was charging and after the phone was fully charged, the Halo still had charge left.

The device is small, fairly inexpensive, handy and I think I very good fit to my everyday carry bag.  I bought two more. One for TSM and one for the teenager. If you watched my first video on my new Maxpedition Bag you saw the bag has a spot for a cell phone, but I keep my cell phone on my body leaving that pocket empty.That spot is perfect for the charger!!