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My First Experience
I vividly remember the first time I shot a gun. It was in England, lakeside, and I got to say “pull!”. To my utter delight, I actually hit a clay pigeon. FIRST. TIME. OUT!
I was so proud. Not only was I unharmed by the recoil, but, I actually hit a target in the air!
Well, not hooked, but, I enjoyed the experience.
I’ve always had respect for guns.
Always believed that I should need to know how to take one apart, keep it clean, keep it safe from others should I ever possess one.
I didn’t own one so, I didn’t have the opportunity to practice that.
A little background here
After my first opportunity to learn how to handle a firearm, it was pretty much my last, other than a BB or pellet gun.
When school shootings and mass public shootings started to become prevalent, I was angry.
“Who needs that kind of fire power?????!!!”
“If you can’t hunt without an assault rifle, you have no business hunting!”
“The right to bear arms didn’t factor in the progress of weapons!”
“No one has business having assault weapons if they’re not in the military or law enforcement!”
“Of course they’re mentally ill! No one ‘mentally healthy’ would do such a thing!”
“Why are there no laws to stop people who shouldn’t have guns??”
“Keep them away from kids!!!!!!”
What is still true to me
People with violent pasts and/or mental illness should not have access to a machine that can mow down a mass of people.
(Do Not Compare Knife Attacks To Guns! Apples and oranges. Yes, if someone has an intention of hurting/killing people, they WILL find a way. However, someone with a knife can be taken down with minimal casualties and a much larger survival rate than someone who has just fired upon a crowd with a gun. Although, yeah, they have access to vehicles, which, can’t be contained and have also taken mass amount of people out in a single swipe. Look, I’m still working this out in my head.)
Keep your firearms away from children! Lock them up! (Not the children.)
And yeah, if you need ‘rapid fire’ to take down something to eat, probably you shouldn’t be putting them through torture trying to do so with a single shot. (Hypocritical animal lover here … I eat meat, yet, there is no way I could shoot an animal. I OWN that hypocrisy.)
What I did
It was always a plan to learn how to operate a firearm responsibly. What you see above is me, in a pathetic stance and loose-handed using the .38 special .
After that, we moved onto other weapons. I was eager.
My husband actually got frustrated with me – and rightfully so.
He was trying to teach me about a particular piece I had ZERO experience with and it was a LOT of information. Too much for me.
After all, I was there to have fun and shoot!!
He was right, and I didn’t get to ‘play’ with the gun (well, after a discussion, I did get to later).
I deserved that scolding!
Yet, there were several guns, and I had already learned a few things about them (as much as I could) – there is SO much to learn! All so different.
Is the safety on?
Is it off?
Is it racked?
Is it clear?
Are you sure it’s clear?
Why are you sure it’s clear?
I should mention that his friend had been low key training me for a while with a revolver.
I would eject the clip (magazine) and check the chamber. Reload, do again. Repeat.
Going to digress again.
My husband told me several times that day, “You have to know this! If he kills me, you have to kill him!”
Me: “Well, wait … what did you do?”
Not so funny to my husband, but I got a few other laughs.
After I earned the trust back
I felt a lot better with this weapon.
If my back was against the wall in my outer perimeter, I would feel more secure holding and firing this than the .38 special. I had ZERO talent at aim with the .38. I need to practice.
Racking was hard at first, but, worth it.
This is why I need to learn how to clean/oil etc. Make that maneuver seamless.
My favorite however … and I was as shocked as you will be!
The weapon I had been the most against.
I had more control, better aim and it felt more comfortable in my hand.
We own over 2 acres. Should people be in the outer-perimeter that I mentioned earlier, with bad intentions, I would be useless with a .38. And, I for sure wouldn’t deter them. (Although, honestly, after that first shot it rang my bell!!! BIG time. Yes, I’m still talking about the .38, which, is why you see me wearing the ear protection afterwards.)
Here, in all it’s glory, is the honor to RESPECT and fire the AR 15.
I have so much to learn
I truly do.
I would love to be in a position to master all of these weapons.
I have such respect, always have.
I love that everyone with me was encouraging, patient, and responsible.
You should know that we hike a lot. At one point in time, we had to leave immediately because bullets were whizzing past out heads. Literally. It was terrifying.
The spot we were practicing shooting was no where near hikers or homes. We were between TWO huge buffers of dirt. No person was at risk. (Well, if you count me pointing the gun down there was one.)
I also would like to make a personal point.
While I respect and will always maintain the right to bear arms … tangent again … here ARE my bare arms after that day lol!
Bottom line, the only person I hurt in anyway was myself (and maybe my honey’s feelings with my joke). And that’s a learning curve.
I want to be a responsible gun user.
I have learned that AR originated from Armalite Rifle.
I have learned that I was willing to stop, accept help, and only proceed when the environment was safe.
And, as for that AR – I’m not mad at it. I’m mad that awful people have ruined it’s reputation.
P.S. If there was one thing I COULD change? (Other than being called a ‘snowflake’) The whole, ‘Red Dot’ means ‘go’ is SO confusing! We’re hardwired with the traffic light scenario. I was thrown off a lot with that. Safety on, is green. Safety OFF? Red.
It’s been a while – I know!
I don’t know whether to blame my lack of posts on the absence of a laundromat, or just be honest and say I haven’t been doing much of anything I used to do .
I have had a pretty eventful few days however, and thought I would share them with you.
I had tried to call in Tuesday morning due to a flipping sinus infection I’ve had for over a month. My boss didn’t get my message until it was after the cut off time for me getting to work on time, so the martyr I am, I drug my arse in.
Turns out my arse was tuckered out after an hour and I had permission to take it home.
I reached a spot where there is a final gas station before coming to my town, and there, on the corner of said station was a woman holding a blue gas can with her thumb out.
I ALMOST stopped – having recently encountered being stuck on the side of that very same road not so long ago, but – I’ve seen too many movies and just knew she had an accomplice lurking.
I passed her, then felt awful.
I vowed if I saw a car on the side of the road (no matter which side) I would go back and collect her.
Not. One. Car.
Which, in and of itself is strange because there’s almost always at LEAST one car showing off it’s hazard lights or exposed engine.
This made me curious and yes, I shared it on my Facebook page.
I was then informed by those ‘in the know’ that the lady hitcher was in fact a hooker.
Hey, I have nothing against hookers personally, but felt like an idiot. And, what if I HAD pulled over? Then what? Would she have come clean? Or got in? I will never know.
Alright, so yesterday, I DID stay home. I slept harder than I can last remember sleeping. (If you are comparing that sleep to other times I did while only utilizing one quarter of one nostril to breathe through.)
Between almost drowning from my own condition or suffocating, I did manage to get quite a bit of rest actually and I was super thirsty due to a lot of mouth breathing. I got up late afternoon craving ice cold iced tea. I had no iced tea. I was to venture out of my infirmary and GET some dang iced tea.
So I did.
Now, stick with me here.
I’ve explained before how dangerous our local highway is. I am very cautious! I get to the gas station just fine, select some tea and prepare to go home to rest some more.
I pulled out into the median turn lane and to my right, both lanes, lots of cars were coming. So I wait.
The ATV next to me however, decided they didn’t want to wait. Oh, and first of all, not sure why he was NEXT to me. Although, I was pulled over pretty tight to the left to execute my turn.
Regardless, back to the ATV.
The driver gunned it!
And as he arrived (barely) safely on the other side of the highway I realized that the ATV was minus a dog.
Here is the actual road (not during the actual moment obviously) – with very professional exhibit markers for you.
There was still throngs of traffic coming and a very stunned looking dog. Beautiful older collie with a worn bandana.
What to do?
GET THE DOG!
I got out of my car, slowly (as slowly as one can while an animal is in danger of being hit) I approached the pupper and grabbed onto it’s collar.
Across the highway I could hear the passenger, who, evidently was the owner, cursing out the driver in a very big way.
He couldn’t cross to me but he did entertain me as I heard sentences like: “You stupid fucking asshole!” and “What a stupid idiot!”
I just nodded in agreement and asked the dog if it was okay.
It didn’t answer – just panted and sat looking at me a little stunned.
Finally the owner was able to come to the middle and thanked me and that’s when the gravity of the situation sort of kicked in.
I remember getting into my car. I remember shaking uncontrollably and I remember making the turn then realizing I didn’t have my seat belt on.
I made it home safely.
I always like to think I’d react a certain way in different situations – but always suspected I might freeze due to my anxiety.
I was happy I hadn’t frozen. Because I never could have erased the image of that sweet dog being hit by a car on that highway.
Just as I’ll never be able to look at a blue gas can now without thinking of a hooker.
Oh what a week!
I’ll just get this out of the way – I turned 50 on Wednesday.
To be honest, I didn’t see myself getting out of my 20’s. So, this milestone was met with a handshake, which graduated to a hug and then a laugh between friends who knew too much about one another.
My work family treated me like a queen. My husband spoiled me. My family covered me in love.
I’m excited for what is to come.
ANYWAY! The older I get, the less it is about me and more about … well, me gardening. LOL!
After my last post, my potato plant suffered. Big time.
I decided to be kind and put it down.
I was very surprised by the results!
I’m determined to see my garden to fruition, yet, summer is upon us here and we’ll be seeing triple digits soon.
One of the gifts I received was a trio of fledgling plants – tomato, squash and hot peppers. I have put the squash out in the garden knowing they’re hearty and in an area they can climb. I’ve also turned my laundry room into a green house for the tomatoes and peppers.
Look at me go!
Ms. Black thumb is having the time of her life. Her FIVE DECADES of life (lol).
Used to be, gardening was not soothing for me, but after a surprise manicure and pedicure from work, I found myself wanting to reimburse them for the fingers – because they soon found dirt and ruin.
And, I don’t think I’d want it any other way.
It would have been so easy to stay in bed today. No obligations. No husband. No motivation.
Yet, YET! I got up and did so very much.
We have a lot of catching up to do.
So, today, I went against my best instinct, which was to stay in bed, watch Netflix and snack.
I forced myself out of the house for some things we needed from Home Depot and provisions.
The provisions thing didn’t go too well and pretty sure I’m headed back into town tomorrow.
In fact, the provisions excursion was terrifying!
I was looking for the prepped salad and a few other things. I found myself like a deer in headlights. That huge cart, navigating it – a few times, I was behind someone and they apologized. I told them, “I don’t know where I’m going, there is no rush.”
I literally left with two things. TWO! Noodles and chicken sandwiches.
I AM proud I left the house though.
When I returned, I had a plan.
Not such a great plan. lol
But, I did work on the garden, the house (OH! That’s where Home Depot comes in. I replaced god awful eggplant fixtures in the bathroom with lovely ones.)
My ultimate moment though …
Here are my babies.
The one to the very right was the experimental plant It’s in it’s new spot, Can’t imagine what’s in the flourishing ones!
My little potato next to a penny.
Should I bake it? A thimble full of sour cream and cheese? lol
My onions are doing well also … plus a fun(gi) friend. 😉
Looks like a little alien with it’s hands on it’s face thinking, “Oh, no!” (To me)
Time to milk the last of my time in the garden and contemplate whether or not to renew that Sam’s Club membership.
Hope everyone is having a productive weekend – better yet, I hope you’re not, there is nothing wrong with self care! So if you’re not glove deep in a potato bag, open up a bottle of something and just enjoy your view.
Well, it was a long week. And, I reached out a few times and many posts were not posted.
I’ll start with this so you may understand my absence.
And in the words of Mr. Gump. That’s all I have to say about that.
The weekend she passed … here’s what I was doing.
A hike to Richardson Ranch. This was the beginning of our adventure. A friends dog stayed with me, probably because she knew I was the weakest link.
The ‘noose tree’ – We found it like that a long time ago. I truly hope it wasn’t used for it’s intention. I truly hope it was designed to haul folks out of the dirt road.
Part Three: I explore Richardsons’ Ranch.
Moved on from there and …
Then this happened. You know, they say ‘Don’t hike alone’ for a reason. You could sprain an ankle, be struck by a snake, lose yourself. Which, in this case, happened. The lose yourself part.
We got home.
One more thing. I’m watching ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and the doctor is telling John, “You can’t reason your way out of this!”. Almost verbatim to my doctor telling me “You can’t smart your way out of this.” Meaning, the anxiety.
But, I’ve made so much progress.
I can drive home.
I can drive to work.
I still do the rituals – my OCD is not going to leave me soon, but will.
I ask myself, things like: How many times have you HIT a coyote?
How many times have you been in a crash?
How many times has a steer or rock fell off of the pass onto the road (yes, I thought about those things.)
I used logic, even while panicking.
I still acknowledge the unknown, as well as the very known – every cross on that road I take twice a day – but, now I make things practical in my head.
I don’t know what my friend went through in her last days, but I’m betting she didn’t see a light. I’m betting no phone call or visit would have changed her state of mind.
I am here.
I want to be here.
I am making strives without medicinal help.
And – Bye for NOW.