When I was very young (and by very young I mean under the age of 7 years) my grandfather decided that it would be a good idea to have me use his rifle to try to shoot some glass bottles off of a log. He did not put any kind of ear protection on my head, and did not warn me that there would be any recoil. I probably weighed all of forty pounds, had never been around guns before, and this was a very new experience for me. I remember lying down on my stomach and propping the gun on a log, and aiming the gun. The noise was very loud, and the recoil was very painful. I was scared and hurt. I cried. That was the end of my wanting anything to do with guns.
Ever since then I have respected the right of individuals to own and enjoy guns, but I have avoided them. There have been so many terrible stories in the news all of my life about the horrible things that have been done with guns. I am a peace-loving person that would prefer to reason with people than to fight with them. As a middle child, I’ve always been a peace-maker, a negotiator, a diplomat. I’m a lover, not a fighter!
I have not wanted to look at, touch, or hear guns. When I was single, and dating guys, if they expressed any interest in guns, I broke up with them! That was a deal-breaker! I did not even want any guns in my house, out of fear of someone getting hurt.
But recent events with a neighbor who has threatened the safety of my family has forced me to reconsider my position. I reluctantly agreed to learn to handle a gun. Just in case I really needed to use one in self-defense. But I did so with great trepidation. What if the recoil hurt my hands, which already hurt so much from that traffic accident that I was in a few years ago? And so my gun-loving friends and relatives have come out in droves to encourage me to learn to shoot.
This week I agreed to “try” one of my stepfather’s guns while I was visiting with my parents at their house. I think that my agreeing to try it shocked us all – I have been very reluctant to have anything to do with guns up until this point. But I decided to “suck it up” and give it a try. I won’t lie about it – I was nervous. Very nervous. I almost wanted to cry when he put the gun in my hand! He gave me a Browning Buckmark 22 pistol to use. He gave me some ear protectors that looked like overgrown ear-muffs, and I put them on. I was surprised that I could still hear his voice a bit after I put them on!
I listened to his instructions, then took a deep breath to calm my nerves and turned towards the target. The target was twenty-five feet away, stapled to a wooden pallet and was actually at a bit of an angle away from me – I could not see it “straight on” so the circles were actually a bit smaller than if I had been able to see it “straight on.” I held the pistol with both hands, propped my elbow against a pole he had implanted in the ground, closed one eye, and aimed at the target. I was very aware of my breathing, and focused on keeping my breathing calm and steady. When I couldn’t “put it off” any longer, I tried to keep my hands steady (which is hard to do when you suffer from “essential tremors”) and very cautiously, slowly, squeezed the trigger. The recoil was a lot less than I expected, (the gun went upwards instead of back into the palm of my hand) and I actually hit the target! Unbelievable! I’ve always been terrible at sports when I had to aim at something – basketball, archery, bowling…. You name it, if I had to “aim” at something, I was horrible! But this shot actually was within the circles of the target! Amazing!
I put the gun down and went to inspect the hole for myself – yes, it really was there! I laughed and said “I can’t believe I actually hit the target! Must be beginner’s luck!” Then I proceeded to shoot again. I hit the target again! And again! I experimented with which eye to close, whether to have my left foot or right foot forward. Most of my shots hit within the circles – and quite a few hit within the bulls-eye rings! My step-father encouraged me to shoot 100 rounds, so I kept going. The most difficult part was loading the ammo into the clip – holding the spring-loaded clip open with my thumbs was painful, so I had to figure out a way to load the clips without using my thumbs to hold the clip open. It was awkward, and slow, but I managed.
By the end of the 100 rounds, I was firing the rounds off quickly, and my aim became more reckless, but I was experimenting to see how well I could shoot if I had to shoot several rounds off quickly. For the most part I still hit within the circles, so I was satisfied that this was something I might actually be able to do.
When we finished for the day he said “I think I’ve created a Monster” and I laughed, replying “Now people are going to start calling me Annie Oakley!” I took some pictures of the target, and texted my hubby with the picture. His reply was “Well well, Annie….” And so it begins…..
Today he took me to the range close to where I live, and I managed to get off 90 rounds. I used the same pistol as before. This time the target was only twenty feet away. I think I did better, but I don’t know if that’s because I am getting better, or if it is because the target was closer.
Now my hubby, step-father, and mother are all encouraging me to go out and buy a hand gun of my own. I went to Gander Mountain yesterday with my step-father while we were running errands to try to buy some ammo for his guns, and while we were there we consulted with the guys in the firearms department about their recommendation. I have small hands, and some physical concerns.
They recommended a Bersa Thunder 380. I was shocked to see how expensive guns are! They let me hold one in my hand, and I agreed that it felt “right” in my hand. As if a gun will ever feel “right” in my hand. But it had a good light weight to it, and felt well-balanced. They told me that if I wanted a gun for protection that a 22 caliber was not a good idea. (They said that if a guy was attacking me that the 22 caliber would just “piss him off” but that the 380 caliber would stop him. Since I don’t want to “piss off” an attacker, I guess that a 380 would be a better choice.) The told me that this Bersa Thunder 380 gun has very little recoil, and is very accurate. They explained that this type of gun had a different recoil that would be going back into my body more than upwards, and that should decrease the possibility of hurting my hands. (I’m not sure which type of recoil is actually “better” for me at this point!)
I was concerned about the barrel length because the Bersa barrel is shorter than the barrel of the 22 I was using, and I thought that a shorter barrel would be less accurate. My hubby tells me that the velocity of a 380 will make up for the shorter barrel. I don’t know that much about the logistics of guns, so I’ll have to trust him on that one! I like that the Bersa has an optional laser feature that could be used to increase accuracy. I like that idea a lot! If I’m trying to defend myself, that would be a big benefit!
I’ve been watching some YouTube video reviews about the Bersa Thunder 380, and I haven’t come across any negative information about the gun yet.
I don’t know if I will end up getting one or not. I’d like to try it out before I buy it, and I don’t know if there is anywhere around here that will let me test fire one before committing to the purchase.
Are guns an evil necessity? I hate to think that they are, but maybe they are. That makes me sad.
I’ll have to give this some serious consideration. My money doesn’t grow on trees, and I still am ambivalent about being a gun-owner. But I AM concerned about protecting myself against my crazy neighbor. I’ve already tried to get the police to help, and there really isn’t much they can do until he actually attacks/kills one of us….. what to do, what to do…
Posted in Family and Friends, Fun, Life, Opinion, Product Review, Rants, Shopping and tagged Bersa Thunder 380, Browning Buckmark, guns, hand gun, pistol, police, rifle by Linda Bradshaw with .
Today I attended my Red Hatter Club’s monthly meeting at our “Queen’s” house. We were crafting with wine bottle corks, and I was the “leader” of the craft. Essentially that meant that I was the “main” person responsible for helping everyone understand the directions for the craft. Luckily through a group effort we had accumulated most of the supplies over the past several months, and little money was spent.
Since I’m not supposed to drive, out “Queen” came over to my house and picked me up to take me to her house. We got there several minutes before the rest of the ladies arrived, and I had time to figure out the directions for the craft before most of the people arrived. There were a couple of early birds, and they helped me to figure out the directions, and helped to pre-cut and pre-tie some of the ribbons and bows, which made things go a lot smoother.
One of the ladies brought a dessert to share called “Lemon Lush” that she got from a cookbook called “East Dessert First.” The dessert was essentially a lemon pudding with a topping that was made with cream cheese and Cool-Whip. Another lady brought in a pistachio flavored cake that was sprinkled with confectioners sugar in place of frosting. Both were delicious! We all had the chance to make several ornaments, we helped each other out from time to time, and we had a good time catching up with each other’s lives. I always have fun when we get together! After it was all over, we helped clean up, and the “Queen” drove me back home again. Next month we hope to go to the movies together, but we don’t know yet what movies will be playing. Hope we go to a comedy! I can always use a good laugh to lift my spirits!
Here are some photos of the ornaments that were made during the club meeting! Aren’t they just adorable!?
Posted in Crafts, DIY projects, Family and Friends, Food, Fun, Life and tagged craft, fun, home, money, ornaments, Red Hatter Club by Linda Bradshaw with .
Known as one of the most beautiful states in the country, Hawaii is a tropical paradise. Start planning your summer itinerary, beginning with these six travel tips:
1. Vacation Home
When it comes to visiting Hawaii, there are a myriad of places you can stay. Hawaii has some of the most luxurious resorts available that offer amenities like ocean front views, waterfall pools, and shuttles to any local area of interest. If spending a great deal of time in Hawaii, look into renting out vacation homes or timeshares. In the long run, it will probably be less expensive, for instead of spending money on every meal, you can cook within the property’s kitchen. Plus, you can spend evenings relaxing inside of a space that feels like home.
And, if you enjoy your time in Hawaii, look into investing in a timeshare instead of just renting one. The space is available to you whenever you want to getaway and can be rented out for a nice profit. Plus, sites like direct2tv.com/direct-tv/Hawaii/Honolulu offer great deals on exclusive amenities you can add to your timeshare.
2. Pearl Harbor
If you want to see Pearl Harbor, reserve your tickets in advance. As a major attraction, tours often sell out quickly, especially in the peak months of tourist season.
3. Waikiki and Honolulu
Some of the island’s best attractions are located in the tourist zone of Waikiki Beach and Honolulu. Though crowded, the sites are well worth it. Spend a day snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, a protected nature preserve on Oahu’s coast, or go for a drive up the windward coast on Kalanianaole Highway, where you’ll be able to see a dormant volcano and sharp cliffs overlooking a turquoise ocean.
Spend a day at Lanikai Beach, which has been consistently voted Hawaii’s number one beach. It’s a little off the beaten path, making it usually free from tourists. Or, visit Oahu’s North Shore to check out the Polynesian Cultural Center. It is a lot like Disney’s EPCOT, for it represents every culture from Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji, Hawaii, to several others islands in order to showcase their culture, food, music, and other traditions.
4. Food Specialties
While in Hawaii, experience the local cuisine like dinner at Duke’s Waikiki or Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. For a little legendary shaved ice, give Matsumoto Shave Ice in the historic Haleiwa a try. Matsumoto is known for its unique flavors like tangerine, green tea, and creamsicle.
Maui is full of picturesque beach options that range from large and crowded to small and peacefully unknown. Whalers Village is a typical shopping destination while Mt. Haleakala is an impressive volcano site most tourists hitch a ride to see. Lahaina Harbor is known for its whale-watching tours, especially during December-April. Maui hosts plenty of luaus that tourists can attend to experience a traditional Hawaiian night full of hula dancing, Hawaiian food, and music.
6. Before You Leave…
Make sure to toss a flower lei into the ocean before you leave. It’s a traditional symbol that you’ll be back to paradise someday.
Posted in Food, Fun, Life, Travel and tagged food, travel, vacation by Linda Bradshaw with .
Memories of my loving grandparents trying to get my siblings and me excited about dipping hard-boiled eggs into those little bowls of dye that smelled like vinegar make me cringe. They were kind, and patient, but I was not. After all, I did not like the smell of vinegar, and I did not like eating hard-boiled eggs.
Just the thought of eating something that I didn’t like in the first place, after ruining the pieces of art I was creating after suffering the offensive vinegar smell was just horrific to me! I’m sorry to admit that I was probably a pain in the neck during those times of decorating those Easter eggs!
But I guess that with the eruption of spring flowers, the urge to create spring-related, and Easter-related things gets to me. I try hard to resist, but now and then I succumb to the urge.
A few years ago I was watching a crafting television show on HGTV, and one of the topics was decoupaging Easter eggs. The show inspired me to try my hand at decoupage, and I had all of the supplies that I needed – some old plastic Easter Eggs, some glue, and some pretty, floral wrapping paper. The photo at the top of this page is a sample of some of the results, and I have to admit that I was pleased enough that these are displayed in a glass case all year-long in the foyer of my home.
I just found a YouTube video that demonstrates a similar technique to do what I did, although it is not exactly the same. I’ll admit that I really like the idea of decoupaging the half-eggs, and then filling the eggs with something special, but that is not what I had done. I simply decoupaged the entire egg so that it will never open. I am feeling inspired, though, to do what this video is demonstrating! And adding ribbons around the outside of the egg certainly makes it egg-stra special (pun intended.) I’m just not sure when I’ll have the time to actually DO this.
I will consider taking advantage of the after-Easter clearance sales to pick up some plastic eggs and put them in my craft-room storage closet for when I WILL have time, on a day when my hands don’t hurt too much to take on a crafting project.
Posted in Computers and Internet, Crafts, DIY projects, Family and Friends, Food, Fun, Life, Memories, Videos and tagged crafts, Easter, life, memories, YouTube by Linda Bradshaw with .
This morning my hubby showed me a photograph that someone sent to his phone. It looked like one of my sons riding a chicken! I asked him how in the world he did that, and he ignored my question. Eventually I heard him tell someone else that it was a picture that someone found on the Internet and sent the picture to him. The photo is not of my son at all, but boy, at first glance, it certainly does look a lot like him!
So I decided to go online and try to find the photograph for myself. It only took a few moments, and I found this website that talks about the photograph and how it was created by Graphic designer Richie Nolan. Apparently the photograph became an Internet sensation months ago (why am I only seeing it for the first time now, I wonder?)
Both my kids have a very strong resemblance to each other, you could guess either one if you’d like! I just think it is really funny! Especially since my kids enjoy role-playing video games, and I can just envision them riding a chicken off to battle!
Posted in Family and Friends, Fun, Life and tagged family, Internet, kids, photograph by Linda Bradshaw with .