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Anyone Need to Learn about Guns?


The RWA chapter to which I belong strives to hold meaningful lessons on craft every month. We all write about guns to some extent. Some of our members don’t have a great deal of experience with how a firearm feels at discharge or in your hand. Our October session was a conceal carry class. This was great opportunity for me to bond with one of my kids. I took my son. He just turned twenty-one and needed to get his CCL, being that he enjoys shooting guns and would like to carry legally.

It’s this one.

DSC_0165That is shyness. He isn’t too thrilled about being on camera, but tough beans. His mama likes to make a visual record of everything.

Since he goes to school a few hours away I love seeing him. And making pictures of him.                DSC_0174The class was taught by two police officers. While the one gave proper hand placement on a pistol.

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The other one fingerprinted all the participants.

DSC_0184 Ben looks so enthused (not). But he found somebody he could relate with. Dara’s hubby is a great guy!     DSC_0160

DSC_0181 One of our lovely DSRA members hosted us in her beautiful home. Her husband welcomed us  .

 

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And few bright faces from our group. We all came with family.

We finally got to go outside and dry shoot our weapons and practice the proper techniques for holding and standing.

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After this practice we took our skills to the shooting range.

 

DSC_0227 There was a lot of standing around and chewing the fat.

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I’ve had my CCL for several years, but I’m not very comfortable with using my weapon. This class was an awesome refresher and gave me some confidence I was missing.

 

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A very nice group of people. Thanks for the comradery!

Nena

Weekly Remedy – Birthdays


Birthdays can be great… until you get to be my age. But this doesn’t have anything to do with my own birthday.

Today is the birthday of my eldest son.

Thirty-four years ago he made me a mom. I am so proud to be his mom. And I can’t believe that much time has passed since the day of his birth. I still see him as a four-year old, then that obnoxious fourteen year old and then graduating from high school. Boy, the time flies when you’re having fun.

All day long I went through my day with a tiny glow knowing that this was the day he was born. I remember the incredible joy of being a mother, of bringing this new life into the world. How we inspected every piece of him, making sure he had all his little parts. He was perfect and healthy and complete. So much emotion and happiness filled me I almost couldn’t sleep. A profound experience for any of us.

Jeremy

Did I mention he is the father to my only grandchild?

Puts Jeremy right up there.

And he’s a lot like his daddy. Full of life and bright and loves Star Wars and super heroes and trucks and electronics. All the things important in this world. I should mention Riley’s mama has a great deal invested in this adventure.

Happy Birthday Jeremy.

I want to remind you all that a birthday, any birthday, is a great excuse for celebration and will always make you smile. A smile is a remedy for any ailment.

Nena

Weekly Remedy – Chicken Soup


Winter is upon us. Cold, wet, cold and really cold. It’s the flu season. Stuffy noses and coughs, congested chests… feeling miserable. The best defense against the illnesses of the season is simple.

Chicken soup.

There is something about chicken soup that shortens the life span of the common cold and/or a bout of the flu.

My favorite recipe is the one Pioneer Woman gives us.

Ingredients
1 whole Chicken
1 whole Bay Leaf
64 ounces, fluid Unsalted (or Low Sodium) Chicken Broth (you May Use Half Broth And Half Water If Desired.)
1 whole Large Onion, Chopped
3 whole Ribs Of Celery, Sliced
3 whole Carrots, Peeled And Chopped
3 whole Parsnips, Peeled And Chopped
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Ground Black Pepper
Preparation Instructions
Place all ingredients but the pepper into a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until chicken is done, vegetables are tender, and soup flavor is divine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Serve in a bowl, then sprinkle black pepper over the top.
*Note: Adjust broth levels and/or vegetable amounts as needed.

Thank you Ree for your gift of food.

If you eat this before, during and in the middle of your cold or flu, your illness will get better faster. Truly. Really.

Give it a try.

Nena

Weekly Remedy – It’s called Chicken


 

My daughter did a favor for a friend. She took in their little puppy for the short time they went out of town. The friend couldn’t believe her mom and dad were on board with it. A puppy? A not house broken, up in the middle of the night, cute as a button and more baby dog.

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Who could say no to that little face? Meet Chicken.

No that isn’t a typo. The little girl who owns him calls him Chicken. No idea why, but he really knows his name after a week at my house. He comes when you call him. Comes running with kisses and sharp toothed little puppy nips. Small and full of life and wiggles all soft and cuddly. And when he comes he jingles, because around his neck hangs a little bell. That’s because he can disappear like a roach and we need to be able to find him. “tinkle, tinkle, tinkle”

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Gahhh, I’m such a sap. We loved having him.

We didn’t dare let him off that leash outdoors. Chicken thought the grass was a play field in which he could run, and run, and run, and run. That little dog could run fast for something with such short stubby little legs, too. Cooper raced after him the last time he got away and side-swiped him for me, tumbling him end over end. The little thing rolled and lost his bearings enough he laid on his back, puppy paws in the air, long enough for me to scoop him up.

 

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Chicken is also now a traveling pup. He loved looking out the window as the miles flew by. If he wasn’t somebody else’s little guy, we’d have kept him for good.

Cooper might have had something to say about that, though. He spent the afternoons keeping out of Chicken’s reach. That meant sitting on the edge of the bed where stubby little puppy feet couldn’t gain enough purchase to climb up.

Then when Chicken went home, the house silent of his little bell, Cooper laid around looking rather depressed. After all those evasive maneuvers to keep out of Chicken reach, I thought Cooper would be glad to have the house and us to himself. Evidently even bothersome puppies can endear themselves to older canines…

… and old men. My husband misses ole Chicken.

 

This lovely distraction is just the remedy I needed. A rest from the book that doesn’t seem to want to be finished and shot of pure puppy joy. It’s what we all need.

I hope remedies something with you too.

Nena

Updates Everyone!


Shamefully, it has been several months since I graced my own blog.  It doesn’t mean I haven’t written any blogs, just that the time to spend on this one ran out every time. This is going to change.

I have been running around like a headless chicken for the past several months. Not an entirely unpleasant state, but it keeps a body busy and terribly preoccupied. The spring and summer here have been so wonderful. No extreme heat, lots of rain and mild temps. I’m still writing on the front porch. After my mama left here for the summer, I planted the garden. It is some garden too.

There is a raised garden….

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We have tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, more peppers, more tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, okra and green beans.

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Peppers just keep coming!

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This is the first year I’ve grown okra. It’s fabulously easy and grows like crazy! We eat veggies like crazy this summer.

And then a standard garden with a bunch of weeds.

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Then, as if this isn’t enough to keep me busy, we took a little trip to Michigan to visit my mom. It was a blast.

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She lives on Lake Huron. It is beautiful and so very different from central Arkansas.

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We took Cooper with us. Wouldn’t leave home without him. That water is chilly by the way.

I took the opportunity to take a lot of pictures, too.

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The weather vascillated from gray to bright, chilly to warm. We got quite a sampling of the Michigan climate.

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We even took in the water sports. Terrifying to this old girl.

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Great trip all in all.

We came back to a tennis tournament and all the fun that goes along with that.

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Then we moved our next to the youngest child to University of Arkansas for the fall session.

All in all a very busy summer. And I’m ashamed to state I haven’t edited A Forever Heart completely yet.

And next week I start a new job at my work. Will changes never cease?

Editing is primary and blogging WILL ensue.

Nena

My Writing Buddy


We all have a special environment in which we like to write. At a desk or on the couch. Outdoors on the porch or locked away from family distractions. Whatever it is, it works for each of us, or we find one that does work finally. Our surroundings all contribute to our productivity in some way or another.

I like to write away from my family when possible. Not always accomplished, but very nice when I do get there. One thing is constant, though. I always have Cooper with me.

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Cooper is a Shitzu of two years. He came to us as a puppy and is technically my daughter’s baby. But since I was the one at home caring for him, he took to me like a fish to water. I’m his mamma.

And who couldn’t love that little face?

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I know, I know… I have four great kids. I love them all, am proud of their accomplishments. I even have a stunning grandson who really does outshine any pet any day of the week, but….

I love Cooper like one of my kids. He’s always there as I write. He gives me a distraction when I get restless. He helps feed the goats and the chickens providing me endless satisfaction as I watch him race around our farm like a bullet – for about ten minutes. Short legs can only work so long before they tire.

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He gives me something to huggle when I get frustrated. I talk to him when I get stuck. I love having this little guy around.

Tell me about your companion. I know you have a cat or a dog, big or small. They give you unconditional support and wonderfully amusing distraction when you need it most.

Thank God for all the little creatures.

Nena

Jason Aldean Rocks!


Something I have become over the past year is an avid country music fan. I have a Pandora station playing at work all time and the radio in the car playing the local country station. I blame it all on my daughter. She turned the radio on last summer and Luke Bryan was singing “You’ve got your hands up, you’re rocking in my truck” and I was hooked.

So of course the logical thing to do was hit the next concert that comes to town. George Strait sold out in minutes, but I bought tickets to Jason Aldean’s Night Train concert without an issue.

This past weekend my daughter and I spent the weekend together. Making it an awesome time was staying at the Marriott. But the highlight was the concert itself. I’m ashamed to admit it has been almost forty years since I went to a live concert. I’ve attended the ballet, classical concerts, plays, but a real rock concert… nope.

Country music isn’t the twangy stuff from twenty years ago. The new country artists have rock and roll souls with a heart in the country. You feel it when the bass reverberates through your whole body and those drums shake you to your feet. Of course, you’re left half deaf by the end, but the thrill of getting to that stage out weighs the lack of ability to hear.

Opening the event was Thomas Rhett.

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If you know anything about country music, this fellow sings “A Beer with Jesus”.

The next guy singing was Jake Owen. He was awesome. He’s really cute in person. My daughter says he looks like a younger, darker Matthew Mcconaughey. We love his music and band.

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Then came the headliner!! Jason Aldean.

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Every song was awesome. I sang the words to every one of those songs. That is an eerie feeling knowing every lyric he sings. He opened with “Take a Little Ride” and I waited and waited, along with the whole arena of fans, until he sang “She’s Country”. The roar of the crowd was overwhelming. I can only imagine what it feels like getting that reception on the stage. Exhilarating I guess.

The man looks great in a pair of jeans, by the way.

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I had to use the little point and shoot camera for these pics. The concert promoter wouldn’t allow cameras with detachable lenses inside the arena. I still managed a few decent shots, but nothing as stunning as my regular Nikon delivers.

This is a short post just to get all this off my chest until I write about on my real person blog.

It was such an exercise in people observation. The writer in me went bonkers. I have so much going on inside my head it’ll be a few weeks before it all calms down.

Love this kind of stuff.

Nena