Monday, January 23, 2012

Sending a Prayer for Baby Charlotte

I can't stop thinking about a very sweet little girl.  Baby Charlotte has been in the hospital in Chicago since she was born in August of 2011.  She's had numerous surgeries and fights for her precious life every single day.

I don't ask for things very often, but I'm asking you to please pray for her healing, strength for not only her, but for her parents, Blake and Brooke, and for big brother, Clayton, and a miracle that she can recover from all the trauma her little body has been through.  They are such a great family and really could use all the extra prayers they can get.

I really can't imagine having to go through all that they have, I get choked up everytime I read Brooke's blog.  She's one strong mama, but no matter how strong she is, every mama can use a shoulder to lean on.  Let's help her by sending as many prayers and warm wishes as we can today!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Making a Difference - Helping Sarah McKinley

John Boch was interviewed by WCIA News, you can see the clip here:

I'm sure you've seen Sarah McKinley in the national news recently, she's the young woman who had the misfortune of having two bad guys break into her house less than a week after her husband died.  She was forced to shoot one of them.  What hasn't made national news?  What an Illinois/Indiana gun club has done to help her out.  Read on....   

Originally Published in GunsNews by John Boch

At the January meeting, GSL President John Boch brought up the story from New Year’s Eve of Sarah McKinley from Blanchard, OK. This 18-year-old mother lost her husband to cancer on Christmas Day 2011 and less than a week later, two opportunistic, armed thugs try to break into her home, probably to rape her. She barricaded her front door with her couch, then got her shotgun, her baby and her phone and retreated to the back of the residence.

For twenty-one minutes she waited for police to arrive as the two men tried to force their way in through both doors. Bad guy #1 was on the verge of breaching the front door when the 911 operator told Sarah not to shoot unless the intruder made it inside the house. The bad man got in far enough to begin climbing over the couch when young Sarah McKinley perforated him with her boom-stick. Amorous bad guy #2 suddenly sobered up and decided he had to be somewhere else and later turned himself in.

Boch spoke with the Blanchard police and they have nothing but praise for how McKinley handled the unfortunate situation. “It doesn’t get much more righteous than this one,” a detective told Boch.

McKinley’s primary home defense gun, the shotgun, was taken for evidence. “We’ll probably have it for at least a couple of months,” the detective said.

Mr. Boch and some friends decided to make a difference and make sure Sarah McKinley has a replacement home-defense shotgun. Antonio Luna, a part-time adjunct staff instructor with Fortress Defense Consultants, made some contacts and lined up a gun. The Blanchard police chief referred Mr. Boch to a trusted, nearby gun dealer, Nathan Morrison of KAIROS Services, LLC., and offered to send a squad to give Sarah a ride to pick up the shotgun once it arrived.

Everyone at Blanchard PD, from the chief down to the front desk clerk, expressed profound and sincere appreciation for any help we or others could provide. “Anything you can do to help with be very much appreciated as that young woman is having a very difficult time right now,” the desk clerk told Mr. Boch.

Mr. Luna secured most of the money needed for a bare-bones Remington 870. A day later, at the Tuesday evening GSL meeting, Mr. Boch asked GSL members to help come up with a $100 to $150 in order to trick out the shotgun with a side-saddle, sling and to take care of any incidental costs. After Boch started a hat around with $10, a few minutes later, GSL members came through with not one, but two hats, stuffed with $487.

Sarah McKinley’s gun arrived on Martin Luther King’s birthday. It’s a tricked-out Remington 870 Express 12ga with a Hogue fore-end and 13” youth stock, a Mesa Tactical 8 round side saddle, Trijicon ghost-ring tritium sights, an Advanced Technologies mag clamp swivel mount and a Vickers Tactical Blue Force two-point sling. Also included are a few boxes of Federal Personal Defense 00 buck, which the gun loves.

Sarah McKinley picking up the donated shotgun.

The gun was test fired before shipping. Ryan Stoy, of ZX Gun in Goshen, IN told Boch, ”I test fired the gun this afternoon. It’s a good gun. I built it up myself and it’s what I would want someone I care about to have.”

We (Boch, Luna, etc.) are weighing options for either giving McKinley a check for the remaining cash, or making arrangements to (legally) get her a personal defense caliber revolver.

There is a trust account set up to help Sarah McKinley. If you missed the meeting and would like to contribute to help this girl have a better year in the Year 2012, here is the contact information.

Sarah McKinley Trust Fund
Chickasa Bank & Trust
405 485-2300
Ask for Leah.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Personal Accountability, Anyone?

Well it happened again.  I went to the local watering hole last night for a "few" adult beverages.  Next thing I know, my alarm clock is screeching at me and I'm fighting off a blazing headache and upset stomach.  Oh, why does this happen!?  The bartender is supposed to be my friend, he isn't supposed to get me so drunk that I wake up with a hangover. 

Wait, I shouldn't blame the bartender you say?  You're right.  You are absolutely right.  It's not the bartender's fault that I'm fighting a case of the brown bottle flu.  Let's lay the blame at the feet of the person responsible.... the manufacturer of Captain Morgan!  How dare they make and endorse a product that is known to cause people to get drunk and consequently have hangovers!?  And while we are at it, let's add Dr. Pepper to the list of people at fault.  If Captain Morgan and Dr. Pepper didn't taste so darned good together, I would never have drank so much. 

You don't agree with this logic?  Maybe I should have a little personal accountability and be responsible for my OWN actions?  Huh, what a novel idea.

But if that's the case then we can't blame Paula Deen for people that have type 2 Diabetes, now can we?   

Is Paula responsible for her own case of diabetes?  Absolutely.   And guess what, she's taken full responsibility for that.  She fully admits that she hasn't taken care of her body the way that she should.  In the manner of what she consumes and her lack of physical activity.  But is she forcing her sugar and butter-laden dishes down anyone's throats?  I don't think so. 

I'm a firm believer in "everything in moderation".  If you enjoy the kind of food Paula features on her shows, by all means, make some!  But don't think that you can have it for three meals a day and not have any repercussions.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with whipping up a batch of her bacon cheeseburger meatloaf or deep fried cheesecake on occasion.  Just remember that calories in have to equal your calories out.    

I really think Andy Vance said it best, "Quit blaming the food, and start looking at the bigger lifestyle picture."  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Roasted Green Beans

I have really become quite the fan of roasted vegetables this past year, I'm not sure why I didn't do more of this before.  I love the crispness and the enhanced flavor that olive oil gives them.  Add a little cheese?  Yes please!  

What You'll Need:
  • Fresh Green Beans, trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Dash of salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan
What You Do:

Preheat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.
Scatter green beans out on the baking sheet and drizzle a small amoutn of oil over them. Season with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat
Bake 15, remove from the oven and sprinkle with parmesan.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Angry and Embarrassed

I have a friend who is overweight and is on a mission to get herself into shape.  She's told me in the past how she doesn't like going to the local gyms here because she's not treated very nicely.  She feels this is because she is overweight and people don't take her working out seriously.  Now, I'll be honest... I really thought maybe it was the way she was perceiving it because of how she thinks of herself.  She can be pretty self conscious.  She'd just say, well maybe some of it, but you just don't get it. 

She was right, I didn't get it.  But after the first two weeks of the new year, I do now.  I've seen it for myself.  And let me tell you, I'm appalled.

First, I've had a few friends mention recently how they hate the "Resolutioners" that start coming to the gym at the beginning of every year.  Their perspective is that they are only doing it for a couple of weeks and then they'll quit anyway, so basically they should just not go at all.  For some reason, they feel they have ownership of the gym and anyone new is infringing on their space.  The welcoming wagons definitely aren't circling.      

Second, (and this is a bit lengthy so bare with me) yesterday was a cold, nasty, snow day.  I had a volleyball game and didn't want to waste gas driving all the way home, so I decided to hit up the gym for a bit to kill time before the game.  At the gym I go to they have a small 'theater' room with cardio equipment and then a large room with all sorts of weights and cardio.  The theater room is laid out with 6 ellipticals in the back row, 6 treadmills in the middle and then 6 bikes in the front.  I was trucking along on an elliptical watching Avatar on the big screen.  A young woman that was considerably overweight came in and got on the treadmill directly in front of me.  She was walking at a very slow pace, slower than my average warm-up/cool-down.  Maybe 10 minutes had passed and a guy came in looking for an open machine.  There was a bike open in the front row and an elliptical next to me, all the treadmills were being used though. 

I mentioned how it was such a cold crappy day, well you can imagine that a lot of people decided to skip their daily workout and stay home, so while the theater room was full, the big room was practically empty, there were TONS of open treadmills.  This guy apparently really wanted a treadmill in the theater room because after standing in the doorway a few minutes, he walked over to the girl in front of me and very rudely asked, "Are you done on there yet?"  It's quite dark in there so while I couldn't see her face turn red, I could see the complete look of astonishment and embarrassment on it.  She politely said no and kept on walking.  He stood behind her for a few more seconds and grumbled what sounded like, "Give me a break."  Even though she told him she wasn't done, he kept standing there, basically hovering over her, TRYING to make her feel uncomfortable so she'd get off. 

At this point, I was a little ticked off, who was he to think that he deserved that treadmill more than her?  I bit my tongue and held back what I really wanted to say and instead very nicely said to him, "Maybe you didn't hear her, she said she's not done.  And in fact, she just got on.  There are a lot of open treadmills in the other room if that is what you really want, if you aren't picky then your more than welcome to come join me on the ellipticals as this one is open right here."

For my putting my nose where it doesn't belong, I got a very nasty look from said guy, but he did turn and leave the room.  And the girl?  She gave me a very simple, grateful smile. 

Now, my point to this long, drawn out story.  It's no wonder those "Resolutioners" don't stay for more than a few weeks!  I'm sure it's not the most comfortable situation to go into a gym where you don't know anyone, you don't the atmosphere or how some pieces of equipment even work, but then to have someone basically heckle you?  It's not a welcoming situation.  Who cares what the motivation is behind them going to the gym, whether it's to lose weight or to just get fit, the important thing is that they are doing it.  Instead of sitting at home, watching TV and eating ice cream, they are taking the first steps and putting forth the effort to BETTER their health and their lives.  Why would anyone want to make them feel unwelcome and more uncomfortable than they already do?  It's rude.  And frankly, embarrassing.              


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Say Cheese!

We've been fortunate enough recently to have some great weather.  I would never have imagined that we'd be playing outside in just sweatshirts at the beginning of January!  Let's keep this streak of warm temps going please!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

One Helluva Giveaway

Any women out there looking to learn how to shoot or brush up on your self defense?  I wanted to share a pretty awesome giveaway that A Girl and Her Gun is having. 

Not only do you get $300 towards any reputable beginning self defense shooting course in the United States, but some other pretty generous bloggers have thrown in more items... just look at all of this!
  • 200 rounds of Ammo in either 9mm, 10mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP or .38 spl provided by the very cool ZerCool  
  • 100 additional rounds provided by the generous North  
  • 150 additional rounds provided by the generous and competitive Tango Juliet
  • If you are in the Metro Charlotte area of North Carolina a basic pistol class and Conceal Carry Handgun Class or if you are not in the area a $50 gift certificate for gear(ie eyes, ears, range bag) provided by the generous and very competitive Keads
  • 100 Rounds provided by the nicest of nice Scott McCray
  • 250 rounds provided by the incredibly supportive The Calm Gun
  • 200 more rounds by the extremely kind Old NFO
  • A $50 gift certificate provide by the goddess of all Gun Goddesses
  • Electric ear muffs and if you live near Northern Virgina, a personal consultant to take you holster shopping or an hour of one-on-one range time provided by talented and knowledgeable Female and Armed
  • A pistol class for the winner and a friend if she lives in the state of Iowa (or is willing to travel) provided by yet another generous blogger,known as Bill
  • A fabulous holster provided by the good folks at Remora
If you are in the Central Illinois area and happen to win this, I can recommend a great class to take.  You have until February 3rd to enter! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Dirty Dozen

Compliments of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance/

As 2012 begins, it’s important to take note of groups that are working against your opportunities to hunt, trap, fish and enjoy the outdoors.  I've stated many times on here how some of these organizations fool you into believing that they actually care for animals, when really all they care about is putting money in their pockets.  To that effect, here is what we call The Dirty Dozen:

1) Humane Society of the United States or HSUS—needs no commentary or introduction to hunters and trappers everywhere, but has been in the news and advertisements recently for sharing only one percent with animal shelters of the $187,515,301.00 the group raked in during 2010. Details are at

2) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA—outrageous, radical and out of touch with mainstream America on issues related to pets, food, hunting, trapping, fishing and many other topics. PETA also promotes a vegan lifestyle and has many programs to turn children against farming, hunting, trapping, fishing and other mainstream lifestyles. This group paid legal fees for a convicted animal rights terrorist.

3) Center for Biological Diversity—the CBD makes a living suing mainly the federal government, and then recouping those fees and more. CBD strives to expand the Endangered Species Act to include hundreds of animals and plants. The group has also been involved in some seemingly tangential activities such as passing out condoms in a campaign about controlling the human population.

4) Defenders of Wildlife—works to save and increase the number of wolves, prairie dogs, and other nuisance species roaming America. But there is no doubt Defenders' main focus is their misguided effort to protect and restore wolves throughout the Lower 48 States and in Alaska. They do this without regard to the havoc caused by uncontrolled wolf populations to other wildlife such as moose, elk and mule deer. According the group’s IRS 990, Defenders’ of Wildlife collected more than $29 million in revenue in 2010, spending more than $1.5 million on more fund raising during that period.

5) American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals— ASPCA thinks hunting and trapping are cruel and should be outlawed everywhere, beginning with wildlife refuges. It advances its anti-hunting agenda by lobbying legislators, government officials and policy makers to obtain support for anti-sportsmen legislation. The ASPCA encourages grassroots activists to take part in letter writing campaigns to legislators and encourages boycotts of products tested on animals.

6) Sierra Club—Sierra Club and many of its chapters oppose access by roads to vast tracts of public lands and the group also opposes many scientific wildlife management practices. The Sierra Club’s Legal Defense Fund has frequently sued the federal government over those issues, then sought reimbursement for its legal expenses. Many of its chapters have actively opposed hunting. For example, a New Jersey Sierra Club chapter has been a leader in opposing that state’s bear hunts. The Sierra Club Grand Canyon chapter worked to end all hunting in Arizona when Proposition 109 was being considered. The Sierra Club in California opposed bear hunting with hounds. Yes, actions speak louder than words - the Sierra Club and many of its chapters are anti-hunting.

7) Friends of Animals— is opposed to deer, goose, wolf and other types of hunting according to its website information. The group has formed protests against deer management hunts in the Northeast and also formed a protest in Montana opposing wolf hunting.

8) Wild Earth Guardians—is opposed to trapping and worked to end trapping on all public lands in New Mexico, according to the group’s website. WEG also actively opposes wolf and mountain lion hunting.

9) Animal Welfare Institute—sued to stop trapping in Maine because of the Canada lynx. The AWI reports that it wants to “end the torture inflicted on furbearing animals by steel jaw leghold traps and wire snares.” The group’s website also reports that it “…wants to end cruel and irresponsible hunting and trapping, capture and killing for profit …” The group, active since 1951, produces “Trapped Animal” and “Cull of the Wild” brochures filled with sensational mistruths to present its opposition to trapping and the fur industry.

10) Animal Legal Defense Fund—opposes hunting and trapping and notes that “animals are entitled to basic legal rights in our society.” In other words, they believe a squirrel should be able to sue you for hunting it. This group’s IRS 2010 Form 990 reports revenue of more than $5 million – all to take away your outdoor heritage.

11) In Defense of Animals—worldwide organization founded in 1983 that would like to see all hunting banned. It also strongly opposes trapping and other forms of animal use based on the opinion that these acts are unduly exploiting animals.

12) International Fund for Animal Welfare—an international organization that has done considerable work to ban hunting with hounds and seal hunting. It boasts of approximately two million members worldwide, and believes “all animals and humans are linked in fate.” It first gained notoriety when it campaigned to ban Canada seal hunts.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Bat Stew

Would anyone care for a little bat stew?

For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.