Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another Kid Shoot update

So, I was checking Sweet Daughter’s homework this morning before it was turned in. One of the assignments was to use her spelling words in a sentence.

“I’m having a kid shoot.”

Yeah. No way that could possibly be misinterpreted, right? I fired off a quick email to her teacher explaining that we were teaching kids to shoot BB and pellet guns safely, and that we had a retired policeman and firearms instructor managing the firing line, and that SD was not actually planning on shooting kids. She got back to me, laughing, saying she’d been hearing all about this event for some time, and that she understood my house was finally getting cleaned up.


In case you are on the fence about attending, it’s Saturday, June 2nd, in my backyard, starting around 2:00. Email me if you need more details. There will be gunnies, non-gunnies, future gunnies and what sounds like lots of food. The weather is supposed to be beautiful.A high of 77 degrees, mostly sunny and no rain. But don't believe SD about the state of the house.

And, it’s open carry weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kid Shoot Update

Yeah, yeah. As in letting the kids shoot, not shooting the kids. Now that I’ve got the disclaimer out of the way …

We’re still planning on June 2, rain date June 3. Michael W., retired L.E.O., firearms instructor and Cutler to the Stars® will be here, and I’ve had at least one other adult offer to come by and lend a hand. There’s pellet gun fun to be had, a swing set, a sprinkler to run through, and a grill for a post-shoot cookout.

Sweet Daughter’s BFF will be here along with the rest of her family. Our neighbor and his son hope to show up, and Broken Andy plans on coming with his kids. I tentatively mentioned the event to a couple of other local moms and I was surprised at the enthusiastic response. That weekend is already booked for them, but the asked if they could attend the next one, and two moms have stated that *they* want to learn to shoot as well.

So, if you’re interested (with, or without kids), let me know and I’ll get you directions and details.

Oh, and rumor has it there may be a cake. Or something with candles. Lots and lots of candles.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Open Carry Weekend Reminder and my 2 cents

Just a reminder that OC weekend is coming up June 2-3.

It seems there is a segment of the gunnie population that is against Open Carry, and a few of them quite vociferously so. I was going to add my 2 cents to the discussion (echo chamber?) when I realized that I can’t do it as well as Linoge, or the comments here , or Robb, or a bunch of others, and it doesn’t matter.

While some will bemoan my lack of “training”, Sweet Daughter will be explaining to a kid in Target who wanted to know “why that lady has a gun” that I wear a gun to keep her safe.  Others will assume I must be an “attention whore” and I wear a gun in order to start conversations. That being said, if you're staring at my gun which just happens to be next to my left boob and you hurriedly complement the azalea in my shopping cart (directly in front of my left boob) as a way to prove you weren't really staring at my gun or my boob, I will respond in a pleasant manner even though I really didn’t notice you staring because I just want to check out and go home. And no, I’m not just waiting for my opportunity to engage in “ass-clownery” so I can pump my fist in the air and yell “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!” when in fact I’m a raging introvert that just wants to do my errands in safety.

I have my own reasons to OC and I’m very thankful that I live in a part of the world where I can do so.  If there are those that don’t like OC, then by all means – don’t do it. I’ll make a deal with you – I won’t tell you what do to, and you don’t tell me what to do. Because I don’t remember asking your opinion, and I certainly don’t need your permission.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gardening attempts

Or, if you throw enough crap at the wall, some is bound to stick.

I have a bit of a dark brown thumb. Gardening is not my thing. I basically stick stuff in the ground, threaten it,  and if it dies, I rip it out and may or may not try again. But this year I finally succumbed to Sweet Daughter’s request for a bigger garden plot. Her current space is about 24” x 24” -- small enough to weed and water while waiting for the school bus. But she wanted more.

It started with the sunflowers. And that meant finding a place to put them (how about in the corner of the yard by the 6’ tall section of fence?). Which meant digging up the blasted Bermuda grass and the Virginia Creeper, and putting down some real dirt, and a landscaping timber or two. The discounted tulips that were past their best at Easter? Why not? They were cheap. Then there were the extra annuals for the containers in the front of the house. And then a Black-Eyed Susan was strategically placed in front of the great gaping hole in the boxwood. And, holy cow, those Crape Myrtles sure do grow quickly. These came up from a long forgotten network of roots, popping up during a dry spell one summer when the grass wasn’t growing. Violets were transplanted from my sister’s farm so we’ll always have part of it at our house. A $1 pack of “wildflower” seeds meant knocking together something resembling a raised bed so they could contained. Luckily there’s a pile of old timbers from the previous owners, or that would have ended up being a $20 pack of seeds.

And we can't forget the marigold that SD coveted and earned by helping the "Plant Lady" at our last reenactment.
Then there are the redbuds. I love redbud trees, and I seem to find a volunteer each year that gets painstaking transplanted, and invariably mowed over. (Call it aggressive pruning.) Well, I’ve moved two so far this spring, found a third, and the one that got mowed flat last year is coming back. So far, so good.
And then I discovered the “scratch and dent” section in the nursery at Lowes. Why not? I’d rather kill a $5 blueberry bush than a $10 one (and after killing 4 in the past few years, these are both are doing very well, thank-you-very-much). And that’s when SD saw the raspberries. “Momma! Look! Raspberries! You love raspberries! Think of the money you’ll save!” I grabbed one, liked the price and put it on the cart. Then the nice gentleman with the mullet and muscle shirt came running over with two more. (No, I have no idea what that was about.)  I managed to resurrect the Catawba grape that got mowed last year. I planted a Carolina Jasmine to cover the chain-link fence. I started some morning glories from seed. I put in some more herbs. I put an azalea in under an oak tree where it’s hard to mow. I pruned back and Shorter Half moved about 20 Barberry bushes to the other side of the fence, closer to the road.
SD got a larger section of flower garden, and plants were procured. Seeing Breda’s tomatoes shamed me into planting a couple of my own. Roma? Safe. Then I picked a variety at random … a Jet Star. Low acid, good for eating and cooking, it said. I got it home and read the fine print. Grows four to six feet tall. Really? Any suggestions on what to use for a tomato cage or should I just ask what what caliber? Attack of the killer tomatoes is right.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

O/C Marketing Fail

I try to be a good ambassador when I O/C. I make an effort to not look like a slob, or to act like I’m anything but a safe, sane, typical person. Last Sunday, I failed in that endeavor.

I’d been working in the yard all day, digging holes, pruning, weeding, sowing, transplanting, hauling water, you name it. I had to run to Wally World to pick up some mulch and some groceries, so I took a break and headed out. I did not change clothes, or even apply lip gloss. My pants were dirty, and my arms were so scratched from cutting back the barberry bushes, I looked like I’d been cutting myself. I got home, unloaded the car and got back to work only to realize I’d worn this shirt,

At least this part was on the back.
 and this hat.

Yeah. I'll try really hard not to do that again.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kid Shoot

As in kids shooting, not shooting kids.

At the NoVA get-together in Stafford at the end of April, the topic of “Take your Daughter to the Range Day” came up. To sum up a long, convoluted conversation, the following were observed …

Some ranges have an age limit due to insurance regulations, and so young kids can’t shoot.

Getting kids started with a pellet gun means you don’t have to wear hearing protection, and so instruction is easier.

An adult can grab the barrel of a pellet gun (or pellet pistol) to maintain muzzle control without worrying about injury.

Targets can be hung at a more appropriate height and distance, and they can be reactive.

Pellet guns, with a proper backstop can be shot in the backyard.

There was more, but you get the idea ...

So, is anybody interested in a Kid Shoot? The date that was kicked around was the first weekend in June (plan on Saturday, rain date for Sunday). Michael W. (retired LEO and firearms instructor) said he’d come up and lend a hand, and JB Miller has a couple of pellet guns and found a really cool target. Sweet Daugter even volunteered to share her purple pistol.
Sweet Daughter, age 4, first time shooting

I could host it here* -- there’s a place to set up in the shade, a swing-set, and BrokenAndy volunteered to bring an inflatable bouncy thing so the kids have something to do in between turns shooting because I’m not anticipating long attention spans.  Frequent changes in activity, yes-- sort of like squirrels on meth. We could wrap up with the adults taking a turn or two, and throwing stuff on the grill.  I’m sure that if this is successful, there will be other ones planned before the summer is over.

I’m open to suggestions – let me know if you might be interested in coming (with or without kids) at

*I’m about a half hour from Fredericksburg, VA, about an hour from the north side of Richmond, and about 45 minutes from Waldorf, MD.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Open Carry Day 2012

Okay, so it's two days this year. Open Carry Weekend. The first weekend in June.

If you can do it where you live, try it. You might find you like it.