Saturday, May 28, 2016

Thoughts on Firearm Practice Safety


     If I Were to be Honest, I would tell you that I believe that ownership and proper practice with a firearm is an important part of life.  It also helps to keep us safe particularly in rural locations, from rabid animals, and from animals of the two legged kind, particularly since I cannot carry a SWAT team in my pocket.  However,  regular practice with a firearm is not completely safe either, and we must conduct ourselves accordingly.

         Please see my post today from another one of my blogs,

  Rational Preparedness

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Saturday Mornings Long Ago

Funny how I remember it all in color.

         If I were to be honest, I believe that the best thing that we can do with our children is to give them our time, but not necessarily give them things.  On Saturday mornings when I was a child, my father was at home.  My mother would be catching up and taking care of my younger brother. My father would have his own catch up projects and errands to do on the all too short Saturday. In those years most everything was closed on a Sunday so there was a big push to finish one's shopping and errands on Saturdays. Things were usually busy and often shops were crowded.  On those days my father would take me with him.  Sometimes we would venture into Montgomery Wards or Sears but often we would go to any number of individual local hardware stores. My father often had a list of things he needed in order to complete his own weekend chore list. In those small hardware stores I remember fuses, nails, wood screws, cleaning implements, welding supplies, mouse traps, silver polish, wire, copper for plumbing, electrical supplies, wire for fencing, chains and ropes people used to tie dogs, and lots of shovels and gardening implements. The stores would smell of linseed oil, dirt, and sometimes what I later learned was the smell of small amounts of fertilizer. Some of them smelled like sweet damp wood, a smell I learned much later, most often meant termite infestation of the building itself. In those years, hardware stores were often disorganized and did not have the neat and clean appearance that so many of them do today.

                 Had you asked me at the time, I liked going places with my father, but I was not a fan of hardware stores.  My dad would teach me things and speak to me as if I were another man. He didn't sugar coat or make assumptions about my vocabulary or my intelligence. He assumed I would understand, and often, I did, or I learned something. Sometimes, he would actually have me look for something for him while he would talk to the proprietor about something else. At the time, I would much rather have been looking in dress shops or toy shops with my mother, who would always stop during shopping for a snack, or a drink during the trip. Dad always had a mission and he wouldn't stop for a coca cola or a hot chocolate as my mother would have. In fact, when I asked to stop for a soda, I learned a lot from my father who related in detail the hazards of sugared carbonated drinks to tooth enamel long before it was fashionable to do so.

                 Most Saturdays my father took me with him, often to the Montgomery Wards, then a hardware store, then the tire shop, and then to another town to yet another hardware store to find the ever elusive part he needed for something. We would get home at around one o'clock where my mother had lunch waiting. Often a Saturday lunch was open grilled cheese from the broiler with bacon on it. In summer, it was often a large shrimp salad with french bread. At home with meals we all drank water. We had hot tea afterward. I don't think I had fast food until college.

               I don't think that anyone thought very much about the man who brought his six year old daughter to the hardware stores every Saturday.  I realize now that I benefited immensely from this time.   I watched him drive his standard shift Jeep from the front seat, as child safety and booster seats were not yet required.  The one time we had a near miss my father's arm stretched out in front of me preventing me from hitting the metal dash board on my side. It is no wonder that my cars have a standard shift today and that I taught all my own children to drive one.  Although I don't function on the level of a contractor, I do know the difference between a wood screw and sheet metal screws.  I know how to measure and I am able to maintain most things on our farm.  When a lock ages, I am able to change doorknobs and locks pretty quickly.  At least some of this is due to the choice one man made in 1965 to take his skinny little daughter with him each Saturday as he completed his household errands.

            As I take my young grandson with me sometimes I often think about the lessons he may be garnering from this special time. Sometimes some of our greatest investments are made inadvertently.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Launching of a Sibling Blog


       You might think it strange that someone who already has four blogs has started yet another.  Doesn't she have enough to do, especially since she is nearing a deadline for yet another writing project, a paid one no less ?   The fact is that each of my blogs has a different purpose and each taps into a different place.  I don't eat in the living room, or sleep in the bathroom, so in the same vein, each blog is a different room of sorts where we address different ideas, thoughts, and sometimes feelings.  Rational Preparedness is a blog that was created as a consequence of my podcasted radio program where I talk about issues of preparedness. Listeners wanted a place where they could refer to the names of products and their contact information for things I'd mentioned in the preceding podcast. When time constraints made it impossible for me to continue the program, listeners asked that I, at least, continue the blog.  The blog continued, and shortly after, I wrote a book called Rational Preparedness; A Primer to Preparedness.  The Rational Preparedness blog then became an arm of the promotion of that book and in addition, a place where I could elaborate on and extend some of the ideas I had introduced in the book.

                 What I Learned from Daniel, was actually my first blog.  I started it a few weeks after my twelve and a half year old son's sudden death. It was a way of journaling, staying sane, and perhaps sharing the process of our recovery with those who'd also known  losses and might even be helped by my musings. I had no way of knowing where it might lead. This blog continues, but also became a book entitled    What I Learned from Daniel.  Whereas the blog is primarily about my life and the life of my family and remaining children following Daniel's departure, the book is squarely about Daniel's life while he was here on Earth.

                 Jane Becomes an Author is a light hearted and honest assessment of how difficult the life of a new author is, especially in a period of time in history where book publishing has radically changed in the digital age. I usually enjoy the writing portion of the tasks. I do not enjoy some of the promotion, the begging for reviews from famous people, and the rewrites of passages which might have seemed to me to be the best paragraphs in the book. These are my thoughts on the process of becoming a professional writer.

                Life After the Rescues is an informational blog concerning our farm and the animals of many varieties who came to us as rescues. It shares ideas about animal management and also our thoughts when their lives finally come to an end. Our lives have most likely been enriched by the animals even more than they have appreciated being here with us.

               I plan to continue all of these blogs as appropriate.  Sometimes a thought, an issue or a problem doesn't fit well in any of these other blog homes.  Then, there might be a comment, a complaint or a yarn here.  Thanks for coming.