Sunday, September 8, 2013

Breaking in the SR-22

In May I bought a Ruger SR-22.  What with one thing and what with another, I still hadn't had a chance to shoot it.  So today, my Uncle took me down to the railroad tracks and we put about 250 rounds through it.  

It's a sweet little gun, I really like it.  It is a trick to conceal.  My next gun will be a 9 mm with a smaller frame.  But for now, this is an inexpensive gun to learn with.  

While we were traipsing around down there, this guy popped out to give me the jitters.  I don't usually have problems with rattlesnakes, but then again, I usually see them before I hear them.  He started buzzing practically under my skirt, which I didn't appreciate.  

I don't have a pics of the cactus pads which I blew holes in, because I was trying to get as many rounds through as possible in a hurry.  I had 3 FTFs, but I'm using cheap ammo, 'cause that's what's easily available.  

Overall, it's a very fun, easy gun to shoot.  The 10-year-old did alright with it.  So that's that!

Gentlemen Appreciation Post

It doesn't take much to brighten a day.  Little things can be hugely encouraging.  Unexpected courtesies can bring a smile and a sense of fellowship.

It's cliche.  But the fact remains that a man opening a door for a lady is a pleasant surprise.  I don't know if guys realize just how much girls like that.  When I'm with certain people, I know that I won't be touching any door knobs.  It's a little thing, but it makes me smile.  I have a different level of respect for those men.  It demonstrates that they thought ahead.

One of my cousins is particularly good at walking between me and potential hazards.  When we're walking and we're approached by a stranger, he will actually switch sides to walk between me and the stranger.  It sounds small, but it demonstrates that he cares enough to watch out for me.

Then there's guys who carry things for us - I'm still learning to appreciate that one.  I think I'm not alone when I say that it can be difficult to accept that kind of help.  I can bait my own hook, load my own gun, and carry my own groceries, thank you very much - I wasn't raised to be a shelf ornament!  But it's worth it to learn to gracefully accept help.  I'm learning that it's not that guys think you can't, they just know you shouldn't have to.  It's another demonstration of their care.

Another under-used courtesy is eye contact, a smile, and a "hello!"  It makes it 10 hundred times easier to be a lady when a man has communicated that he's not afraid of you.  A handshake is a major plus, as well.  I have a friend who is particularly good at this one - a simple greeting to break the ice.

Then there's little, quirky things that might be unique to specific individuals, but are still manifestations of gentlemanliness.  I have a friend who tips his hat to people.  It's fantastic.  A cousin who always makes sure people's tires are properly filled.  It's very endearing.  A friend who still pulls out chairs for ladies.  Why did men stop doing that??

Or how 'bout a young man who is watching a movie which he already seen with a lady who is watching it for the first time.  He knows from previous conversations that she's not a fan of gratuitous violence.  Part way through the film he tells her that there's a scene that she won't like and he'll tell her when to look away.  About 5 minutes later, he tells her to look away.  She's just about to ask if it's noisy, because she doesn't like hearing violence, either, when he gets up and mutes the TV for the duration of the problem scene.  True story.  It would be great for any guy to be that tuned in to a lady.  But this young man is 11.  I was floored.

So to all the gentlemen I know, Thank You.  We do actually notice when you go out of your way to be courteous.

To the gals, thank the gentlemen you know.  Remember that it takes effort and forethought for them to be gentlemen.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Remind me why we live in houses??

Every time I head up North, the nomadic life of tents, temporary homes, and outdoor living sounds better and better.  Sort of joking - but not really.

Look at that open sky and those green trees!

That's 29 miles of dirt road.  And 44 miles of DIRT ROAD.
It's great!

I hate goats.  They are evil.  And these ones - I kid you not - were bigger than any mini horse or mini cow that I've ever met.  They were crazy big.  I was not happy.  Thankfully, we weren't here for very long.

Taken in Kanab, Utah!  I've now been to 24 states.  Only 26 left to see, and my goal is to see them before I'm 30.  Likely I'll get to add Colorado next year.

Mountains and clouds.  I can't get enough of them.

That was dehydrated.  It was weird, but good.

Tows!!  They wander loose through out Kaibab.
(No Mrs R, I did NOT misspell it.  Tows.  And hopgrassers.  And Runroaders :)

Well then.

Welcome to our living room/kitchen/dining room.  After meal clean up = fast.

Cicada nymph shells.  So weird, but terribly interesting.

The next two pictures are taken from the same spot.

Before Rain and Fog

After Rain and Fog

Where'd the Canyon go?!?!

Completely unedited.  That's really what it looked like.

On top of the clouds.  (About 9,000 ft)
That's how much fog and mist was rolling in.

Have I ever mentioned that I love North Rim?  Oh I Love It Here.

He does, too :)

We had originally planned to hang out in Utah, but that didn't work out.  We stayed one night before heading back to the Grand Canyon.  It rained almost the entire time we were there.  Which was fine, except that we took some serious risks bringing The Imp down some of those roads.  We ended up being temporarily flooded in.  When the "road" was passable, we drove to a more reliable spot.  That meant packing out the remainder of our stuff the next morning.  So much mud.  SO much mud.  It was great, but I was very glad for a real shower at home.  The only reason to go home, ever.  Showers.  Not beds, not roofs, not even cell phone reception or internet.  Showers.

I wished all my favorite people were there to share it with me.  Mom and I agreed that we felt a bit guilty enjoying the beauty alone.  Maybe someday some of y'all could join us.  I'd like that and I think y'all would, too :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


... In a fantastic monsoon, on the side of I-40, just outside of Flagstaff.  Overall not a bad place to be. Kind of sums up the month of August - delay by the unexpected.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Neat Ministries

I've never done a post like this before...  A sort of shout out to a few small ministries which I think more people should know about.  Last Sunday a young woman visited my church and spoke about missions in Uganda.  I was struck by her joy and her excitement about the work.  While I don't necessarily agree with having single women on "the mission field," I do think that God can use anyone anywhere.  I became so excited about what she shared that I wanted to share it with y'all.  And it started me thinking about other ministries, which aren't so big and so don't attract much attention.  They are, however, worthy works.

Erica Bulthuis with the OPC outreach.
She's part of a group of missionaries in Karamoja, Uganda.  They have a variety of ways of ministering to their community, including wells, medical, and education.  I was impressed by what they (optimistically) call "roads":

Associated links:

PPF is a ministry in South Sudan, headed by Brad Phillips (Doug Phillips' brother) and Matt Chancey.  South Sudan is the world's newest country and it's still in the throes of violence, racism, and other unrest.  PPF advocates for South Sudan, drills wells, provides medical care, supports local pastors, to name just a few of it's projects.

The Risley's are friends of ours serving in Sonora, Mexico.  They are such a neat family and God has blessed them so abundantly.  They provide medical care, establish and support core groups of christians in remote villages, preach in the prisons (!), and so, so much more.  You can sign up for their newsletter on their website (which is designed by a christian web developer EBC).

Monday, August 5, 2013


I saw a little quote awhile back and I liked it so well that I wrote it on my bathroom mirror.  I have no idea who said it first.

Not especially profound, but a good principle.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.  Ecclesiastes 9:10

I'm not a particularly enthusiastic person.  Enthusiasm requires energy and like many people, I am essentially lazy.  Plus, there's nothing inherently exciting in getting up in the same room you've lived in for 7 years and going through the usual motions of daily living.

However, I recently realized that my favorite people in this world are the enthusiastic ones.  Whether it's enthusiasm about missile simulation (who knew, right?), knots, chickens, planes, theology, books (I love it when I find someone who's enthusiastic about books!), or autism awareness, it spills out and carries everything in it's path down a waterfall of excitement.

And I love it.  I love being caught up in someone else's enjoyment of life.  Other than books, I don't have that many things which I become gushingly effervescent about.

But I should!

I live in a beautiful place.  We're in the rainy season and it's gorgeous right now.

I have an insane family.  In a good way :)  You never know what's going to happen in any given week.  A baby might start walking, someone might lose a tooth, or there might be an excuse for a sleep over.

I have 5 pets.  That one might sound really petty and silly, but I've come to really enjoy my animals.  I like waking up because the dog is snoring or the cat walked on my head.

I have running water, fresh food, and electricity (yay, air conditioning!).

I have some great friends, some of whom are reading this.  

And best of all, I belong to the Good Shepherd.   That's pretty exciting on multiple levels:

  • A shepherd guides his sheep.  I don't have to walk by what I feel to be right, I don't have to guess.  The Right way is before me.
  • A shepherd protects his sheep.  I can't be snatched out of His hand.
  • A shepherd cares for his sheep.  He provides bountifully and faithfully.
It's exciting to know that I'm not just down here, wanderin' around, just doin' whatever, hopin' everything all works out.

NO!  Jesus died to save us!  There is no room for apathy in that thought!  I'm on a mission, you're on a mission, we haven't time to be bored!  The night is far spent, the day is at hand!  Wake up and get busy!

And on the energy of all those exclamation points, I'm going to go wash the floor!  :)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chicken dreams and stranger things

I love M&Ms.

I know what you're thinking.
You know that I'm particular about M&Ms, but isn't this just a bit overly OCD?
Yes, it would be, but fortunately, this wasn't just for me :)

My Chicken Man had a birthday recently.  I'm a bit proud of the quilt I just made for him :)

Behold the reason for sorting a pound and a half of M&Ms.

LEGO cookies!