About Me

My photo
My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekend Rambles

I should be working now but ...

I'm still thawing out. The Assistant Fire Chief for Fairfield Township (where I live) passed away on Monday and the funeral was today. We have friends in the fire department and I have a huge respect for anyone who serves as a Firefighter or Police Officer so I really wanted to do something to pay respects. So this morning I bundled up and walked over to the funeral home to stand along the procession route ... just my way of saying thanks. It was the least I could do for a man who would willingly run into my burning house to save my family. It was something to see - the line of fire engines, the color guard, walking all the way from the funeral home to the church. I was proud of our friends on the fire department and proud that our church had a small part in offering shuttle service to the funeral.

There is another funeral going on today too. A friend who is a police officer is burying his father today down in Kentucky. That is where my husband and youngest son are. It will be a surprise for our friend who has no idea they are making the 3 hour trip.

Today I have the house to myself (I LOVE that) and I really should be working. Tomorrow is a team meeting - a really important one, maybe the most important one of the year and here I am needing to prepare for it and I really just want to take a nap instead.

OK, well guess I'll put some coffee on and get busy. Better make it strong coffee. :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

I Walk The Line

Some people seem to think I cross the line.

Maybe I do, I don't know ... I try to walk it.

It always kind of amazes me the number of well-meaning church people who don't seem to "get" what it is we're trying to do with REZonate.

Last year as we prepared for REZonate, I got a lot of laughs when people thought I was joking when I was as serious as could be. I got strange looks when I said I thought it was great that some vile, offensive rockers might be there. And I took some heat for having bands perform that maybe just might cuss on stage. Others wondered about the crowd ... would they be a bunch of drunk rough-necks who might hurt us? In fact, quite a few people stayed away from the event entirely and in my opinion, blew a really good opportunity to put their money and bodies where they're mouth is.

And that makes me wonder...

Are we really so far removed from the reason Jesus came? Do we really prefer to congregate in our holy huddles and shake our heads at how shameful the world is?

REZonate is not a Christian event. Some bands performing there will be "Christian", some very much so. Others will not resemble anything remotely Christian. Some people who attend will be Christians, some will not be at all. Some may be there who believe that Christians hate people like them.

So actually, I think it is a Christian event in the truest sense - in the sense that we are hanging out with people Jesus would hang out with and helping the people Jesus would help (the poor and helpless among us).

It is not a Church event though. And if people come they may well see or hear things that are offensive. Its my hope that we are mature enough to deal with that ... to accept people where they are and love them ... to let our light shine ... in short, to be Jesus with skin on to those folks. Not because we're better than them, because we're not. We all fall short of the example Jesus left. But because we have been given Grace and we ought to share that Grace with other people like us, who fail to live sinless lives.

I don't know, it seems pretty simple to me ... help give hope for a better future to some of America's most impoverished children by giving them school supplies, and in so doing, create a way to let the world see that we love the way Jesus loved.

To me, that seems pretty "Christ-like".

I guess that's why I love the line in the movie Walk the Line where Johnny Cash's studio executives were trying to dissuade him from performing in a prison.


"Your fans are church folk, Christians. They don't want to see you singing to a bunch of murderers and rapists, trying to cheer them up."

Cash replies, "Well, they're not Christians then."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tell Me What You Think (about this band, not about me)

I happened across this band and it was love at first listen ... but that's me. I would really like to hear your opinions about them. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thanks to a Very Good Friend

I have lost track of how many years it has been since I met Gary but its been several years now. He's a deep thinker, a very honest and compassionate person and he's an incredibly talented artist. He has done the logos for Backpacks For Pine Ridge and REZonate and has done so with short notice and never asked for a thing in return. That's just how he is. Just happy to serve. Tonight he sent me the header that you now see on my blog. Its beautiful! I really love it and it is extra special because it brings to mind a mutual friend that Gary and I shared for several years who is no longer with us. Thanks Gary! Your friendship is a treasure.

If You Saw Me in the Parking Lot


Gunner was out of heartworm preventative so I had the brilliant idea of taking him with me to Petsmart to pick up another box.

BAD idea.

Gunner HATES Petsmart because that is where the vet lives and Gunner HATES the vet. He crouched as we walked through the parking lot, refused to enter the store, and acted like a total wimp until I carried him. He's big now so that wasn't going to work for long so I decided to put him in a cart and push him through the store.

We got the meds and I got him a toy for being brave. (HA!) Its a Harley Davidson stuffed bone that says "Bad to the Bone" on it and makes a motorcycle noise when he bites it. Maybe it'll convince him that he's brave. I doubt it will convince anyone else.
I thought we were done ... that the worst was over, but boy was I wrong.

We left the store, walked to my Jeep and as I opened the door to my Jeep, Gunner jumped in and managed to wedge himself under the gas pedal and brake and would NOT come out. He has very powerful hind legs and I'm not sure HOW he did it, but he was definitely wedged in there with NO intention of going anywhere.

So, if you saw me in the parking lot at Bridgewater Falls looking like I was wrestling a weasel or some other crafty wild animal out of my Jeep - that's what was going on. It was so bad at one point I had the dog toy in my teeth as I wrestled the dog.
Sorry for the bad pic ... I was wore out and didn't feel like fighting him anymore to get a better picture.

REZonate Music Fest

REZonate Music Fest is on Myspace!

If you're in the greater Cincy area, send us a friend request!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tomorrow

I've never had a favorite song. Until now. I think this may well be my all time favorite. For those of you who know how much I love U2, you know its saying a lot for me to pick a song by another band as a favorite. :) But this one is deserving.

There's something about the song that resonates with me. There's just so much truth in it. So much reality. So much that I take personally.

And then of course, I do like Nikki Sixx. I respect anyone who has entered a process of recovery and come out the other side. I know going through a 12 Step program and years of therapy was one of the hardest things I've ever done and I can only imagine how much harder it would be for someone like Nikki whose whole identity and livelihood was defined by sex, drugs, and rock & roll. You can read his story of healing in The Heroin Diaries, a book I've recommended before (but not for the faint of heart or easily offended).

This song is from the soundtrack to the book.

Tomorrow by Sixx A.M.

Where ya gonna be tomorrow?
How ya gonna face the sorrow?
Where ya gonna be when you die?
'Cause nothing's gonna last forever
And things they change like the weather
They're gone in the blink of an eye

Just look at yourself, can you see where you are?
Look at yourself, now you can't hide the scars
Just look at yourself 'cause there's nowhere to go
And you know
Tomorrow
You're gonna have to live with the things you say
Tomorrow
You'll have to cross bridges that you burned today
Tomorrow...
And everything you do, it's coming back for you
You'll never outrun what waits for you
Tomorrow.

And are you terrified by sadness
And have you given into madness
You're running out of places to hide
'Cause everybody's got a reason
To justify how they're feelin'
Maybe you should open your eyes

Just look at yourself, do you like what you see?
Look at yourself, is this how it should be?
Just look at yourself, 'cause there's nowhere to go
And you'll know
Tomorrow
You're gonna have to live with the things you say
Tomorrow
You'll have to cross bridges that you burned today
Tomorrow...
And everything you do, it's coming back for you
You'll never outrun what waits for you
Tomorrow.

Are you waiting for the reason to change?
Are you waiting for the end, has it came?
Nothing's gonna stand in your way...

Just look at yourself, do you like what you see?
Look at yourself, is this how it should be?
Tomorrow
You're gonna have to live with the things you say
Tomorrow
You'll have to cross bridges that you burned today
Tomorrow...
And everything you do, it's coming back for you
You'll never outrun what waits for you
Tomorrow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

iHeart Faces: B&W

This week's theme at iHeart Faces is B&W. While these two photos are not "beautiful", like so many B&W photos can be, they are telling.




My Adult Entry

This is a man we met while carrying out the feeding program in Haiti.


My Kids Entry

And this little boy is one of the Lakota Sioux children on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Visit the web site iHeartFaces to see more B&W photos.

What Its All About

"Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in your beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken." - Rich Mullins

Friday, February 20, 2009

Randomness

I've managed to color my hair and clean house today and dinner is almost done too, but I'm bored. Maybe antsy is a better description. I have lots to do but it all depends on the answers I get from other people .... so I'm waiting....

I'm thinking ...

  • My blog is boring and ugly. It really needs a cool banner or header thingy but I have no idea how to make one. I don't "get" photoshop. I've tried. It's the only program so far that I just can't figure out. Cody once tried to teach me. It was hopeless.

  • My dad got good news today! His PSA is down again! That's good. Its not where we'd like to see it, but it is an improvement. And the doc also told him that the neuropathy in his feet will likely go away after he completes all of the chemo treatments. That is really good news. At this point the neuropathy is so bad that he's not able to drive - its really not safe for him to try and he's very unsteady on his feet. (Neuropathy is one of the wonderful side-effects of chemo.) This has been a tough thing for him to deal with. Not all that long ago he was vibrant and healthy and doing things for other people. To have to rely on others to help him, is well ... quite an adjustment to say the least. So maybe this summer he'll be back to driving that new red Rav 4 again. Maybe his hair will grow back too and then he'll have to part with the new stylish hats he has taken to wearing. I have a feeling he'll still be wearing those hats though.

    I think he's going to opt for a lower dose of chemo once a week rather than the heavy duty stuff every 3 weeks from now on. He's getting some bad stuff. If he hadn't been so healthy to begin with, I'm not sure he would have survived it. Good thing he was in good shape. Of all the men who have prostate cancer, only 8% have it as bad as my dad. He needed the big bad dose to deal with it.

  • And mom ... well, she met with a new doc yesterday too. I would have loved to have a video of that little interaction. She'll shoot me for putting this on my blog but .... suffice it to say that she came out of the doctor's office stating that she did not like him and he did not like her. I believe she called him a "little punk". That's my mama.
  • Gunner is a sweet dog but I'm thinking its sad that he now answers to my nickname for him "booger butt" as often as he answers to Gunner.

You Know You're Aging When ...

You know you're getting older when the sex symbols you grew up with are looking a bit worse for the wear.
Being a junkie for this kind of thing, I couldn't resist clicking on the link that came up on AOL yesterday morning and seeing Pam Anderson strutting her stuff in a golden bathing suit at Richie Riche's fashion show. Apparently she was the last model and was supposed to be the big wow at the end.
From the comments on that article, I was not the only one who thought it was just sad. The once hot Baywatch babe and sex symbol is growing older just like the rest of us, but seems to be having some trouble accepting that she's no longer a hot young thing.
Not that she looks bad - she doesn't. Not at all. For a 41 year old mom of two, I'd say she looks pretty good with or without makeup. To be fair, I think the pic of her with makeup is one from a few years ago and has been airbrushed a good deal. Just somebody trying to emphasize the difference between makeup and no makeup but not really a fair comparison.
The thing that seems sad is when women, celebrity or not, have trouble accepting the aging process. It happens to all of us. It would be abnormal not to gain some extra pounds and wrinkles, and yet, its seems some women have a hard time accepting it (not me of course). I guess it just reveals itself more when the person is in the spotlight like Pam is. And I can only imagine how difficult it would be to have your whole identity wrapped up in being a sex symbol and then lose it by age 40. What do you do then? As hard as aging is for us average people, I imagine it is that much harder for celebrity women who have to glare of the spotlight on them all the time and the pressure to remain "hot" despite age. I mean, obviously not many want to see an aging Pam Anderson. That just wouldn't be right would it. It might shred our illusion of whatever it is we're trying to hold onto.
If you know me, you know how much I hate Barbie dolls. To me, they seem only to give little girls an impossible ideal to live up to. And maybe they are still giving us ageing women that same ideal - after all, Barbie is still runway ready at 50. :)
I have to go color my hair now ... the grey is starting to show.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?

I don't have bad boys. I have two great son's and one great daughter-in-law and possibly will have a wonderful (I'm not gonna say great) grandchild this year. My kids really aren't kids so much anymore. This post is all about our youngest, Logan.

I'm proud of him for a lot of reasons, but today brings yet another reason to be proud. He has wanted to be a cop since he was in 5th grade. There was a D.A.R.E. officer at his school that made a big impression on him and that seemed to set the tone for things to come.

Logan has never really wavered from his desire to be a cop. He has had a plan and is now working hard toward making his dream a reality. Currently he is the Loss Prevention Manager at Sears and today sent me a text saying that he was offered a job in security at Kings Island. That job will be a second job he will have during the spring/summer to help him save money for the Police Academy. He'll be attending the Academy in Sept., will hopefully graduate from that next April and then he will be old enough to get a position with a police department.

I'm proud of his work ethic ... that he's willing to work two jobs to make his dream of being a police officer come true. I'm proud of his strong sense of justice and his desire to make a positive difference in the world. Yeah, he's a pretty good kid. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Five Years

I've reworked this a bit. The first part is a little dry because of the many crew members over the years, but the rest should be at least mildly entertaining.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wonder


I have always loved this picture of Cody and thought I would enter it in the iHeart Faces contest this week. If you haven't checked out this site, go there and see all of the great photos!


Friday, February 13, 2009

What a Crazy Small World

Yesterday I updated the Backpacks for Pine Ridge blog with this post (What does a Rock Band, a Bar, a Pastor's Wife, a Heating & Air Conditioning Guy, and Plumber Have in Common?) and was amazed when a few hours later I received an email from an officer at The Link Center Foundation. She was very excited to hear about all that we were doing for the Lakota people - especially in regard to heaters and expressed a lot of gratitude for us, 8 Lives Spent, Roy Hauser and Brody Jacobs (Brody you need a web site) for being involved in trying to make a difference in the lives of some very deserving people.

It was great to hear from her, to know that people are doing all they can to help educate the American public about what is happening right here in our own country. It was also really strange ... through her I discovered that the "stats" page on our web site was written by the president of the Link Center Foundation! Talk about a small world!

Just another strange happening in my day. :)

For anyone interested, here is a portion of her email that describes what they do.

Link Center Foundation is a non-profit all volunteer-run organization. We raise funds to provide emergency heating assistance for the elderly, ill, or disabled living on South Dakota's Indian Reservations. Most of our relief efforts serve those on Pine Ridge. This winter season we've helped over 220 families. But it's only a small dent. Hundreds of applications are still sitting on our desk, and contributions are only trickling in.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gotta Love This

Whew! Its been crazy here. Lots going on ... sometimes it feels like I'm spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. I've been putting in some long days setting up web sites and getting things ready to be able to promote REZonate Music Fest.

And I've been emailing and calling bands, sponsors, etc. And now I'm waiting ... and waiting ... and waiting for people to get back to me. There is so many VERY cool possibilities ... but none of them confirmed so I can't talk about them. I would love to have just ONE thing confirmed. Just one.

Oh yeah, and then there's all the stuff for the trip to Pine Ridge. Still collecting payments from team members that was due last Sunday ... putting together a Power Point presentation about our work project, and trying to figure out how we will recoupe the $800 we as a team lost when a team member dropped out.


Speaking of wheels ...



Don't ya just love this Harley? Wow. My first thought is "I would LOVE one of those", but then I remember that its really not a good idea for me to drive one of those. Last time I did I ran straight into a tree. I saw the tree coming but it came so fast I didn't have a chance to turn or brake or do much of anything but crash.



But speaking of Harley Davidson bikes ...



One thing we would LOVE to be able to do this year is to include a charity bike run in conjunction with REZonate. Wouldn't that be cool? Bikers are great people, they get into charity events, and they love a party. Jeff is prepared to do an awful lot of work to make this happen ... as long as our insurance will work out. There's a lot to putting together a bike run ... you have to lay out the route, contact all the municipalities involved and get permission, pay any "parade" fees that are involved, pay for police presence if necessary, supply the bikers with food and water along the way, and that's just the beginning.

This, by the way, is Jeff on his horse "Confusion" last year at Pine Ridge. I think I will always remember riding up next to Jeff on my horse "Gunther". Jeff turned to me and said, "Want some jerky? No, seriously, want some jerky?" and he pulled out a pouch of jerky. I don't know, it just struck me as hilarious ... like something out of City Slickers or something.

OK, back to work ...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I Love My Job!

Yeah, I actually do have a job. I just don't get paid for it. At least I don't get paid in $$ for it. I do however, get plenty of blessings. And I get to work from home, hence its noon and I'm still in my jammies. I did pull on a pair of boots to go retrieve Gunner from the neighbor's yard - still in jammies but with boots on. Yesterday I put in about a 10 hour day. Today will probably be the same. Its fun.

Yes at times it can be FRUSTRATING and at times I'd like to STRANGLE a few people and there are times when I do things I REALLY DON'T want to do, but where else can I work in jammies and get to see all the really crazy, cool, fun, amazing, completely and utterly awesome things that are happening.

Just check out the Pine Ridge blog for a bit of it ... not all of it ... there is still a LOT going on behind the scenes, but its a taste of it.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition: Pine Ridge

We've got some crazy fun things planned for the trip to Pine Ridge this year.
Click here to see what wild work project we have planned!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

I Live in a Warehouse

Its a good thing we have a big house.

Because ...

not only do I have 42 heaters in my dining room ....

and 500+ backpacks in Cody's old bedroom ...


and the school supplies to go in them ...


but now I'm buying a case of water each week to store up for Rezonate.
Several bands + about 100 volunteers + 90 something degree temps = lots of water needed.
To save money I'm just buying a case each week out of my grocery money.
Now I've just got to figure out where to put it.
Oh, and eventually we'll be storing food for the trip in the dining room too. HA!
Yeah, I live in a warehouse.



Friday, February 06, 2009

Something Good That Happened

Click here

Queston About Boundaries

It took me years, a life-threatening disease, and massive recovery effort, but I finally "got it" about the need for boundaries.

Boundaries are essential to a healthy life. They are NOT walls to keep people out, they merely define what is yours and what is mine so it is clear what is your responsibility and what is my responsibility. They make life saner. They make life more peaceful. They are a lot like a fence around your yard to define where my responibilty begins and ends. I get that. There is a lot of freedom in understanding that. And I've gotten pretty good at establishing and enforcing healthy boundaries ... BUT, I have a question.

OK, so to use an analogy ... say my neighbor's garbage keeps getting into my yard. Its their garbage, not mine. However, I might choose to just throw it away, but if it becomes a habit, say they get the idea that they can just throw their stuff in my yard and I'll deal with it so they don't have to, then I need to push their garbage back into their yard for them to deal with, right? Right. I'm cool with that.

BUT ... I still live in the neighborhood. I still have to witness the chaos in their yard. SO.... how do I deal with that without going crazy??

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Random Stuff

There's not a lot to say, which I guess is why I've been posting pics of my dogs. There's plenty going on .... this is the time of year that I get slammed with trying to get sponsors for Rezonate and book bands. So far, there are dozens of bands that want to play ... its a matter of trying to get the one's that I want to play. And there are never an abundance of sponsors. Mostly its a matter of knocking on a lot of doors and then waiting, and waiting, and waiting for someone to get back to you. And one thing hinges on another so I often find myself in a position of "This depends on that and that hasn't been confirmed yet so I can't do this yet but I need to do both asap". And the fun part is ... most of it is out of my control.

OK, if none of that made any sense, welcome to my world.


Then there is the usual family and church stress, the stress of having to put Jazz down, and so forth. So, January was not much fun - other than a trip to Winchester, VA, and February is not looking really great either.


Some good things are happening with Rezonate, but nothing that is confirmed yet so I can't say it out loud yet. ;) Cross your fingers and toes and pray ... cause if it happens ... it'll be HUGE!
I could only enter one photo in the iHeartFaces pet contest, but here is one of Taser so she doesn't feel left out. Gary and Tim - you guys are great photographers ... you should enter some stuff there. I'm betting you guys would win.

Monday, February 02, 2009

iHeart Faces!



I found this great site through Michelle (thanks Michelle) and I LOVE it! i Heart Faces is a great web site for anyone who loves photos of faces. I love photography. I suck at it, but I love it. One day maybe I'll take the time to study it and learn how to take better pics. That's a goal anyway.


So anyway, I'm going to do something crazy and enter a pic of Gunner in this week's Pet photo contest. I took this one this morning while the dogs were playing. I really miss Jazz. :(


Gunner is the stray that moved in and took over our home last summer. He's a quirky, sweet dog who is always into something but never hesitates to snuggle up and give lots of love.