About Me

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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 27, 2010

I Am Not

So ... what's been going on? Well, I've once again found myself in the midst of a lot of "stuff". Its stuff that I find exciting and wonderful but stuff I know nothing about. Here's the thing ...

This year at Pine Ridge we'll be partnering with another local church. They had expressed interest in going to Pine Ridge and in working back to back with us on a project, but there was not a week available for them to go - so they're going with us! So we have TWO teams, TWO churches and ONE trip! I'm excited about the possibilities and nervous about them as well. :) Last year was a tough one. It was probably our best trip but personally for me it was a nightmare and I was SO not ready to put another one together. Now I have a bigger one. Funny how that works.

You see, I'm not a leader. Really, I'm not. I keep telling God that but He doesn't listen. He just keeps giving me more and bigger stuff. Gotta love Him.

No, I'm not a leader. And I'm not a concert organizer, or a concert promoter, or an event planner, or a biker, or a runner. And yet, I do all of those things on some level. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm most definitely not gifted in any of those areas but I am willing to jump into something blind and hope for the best. Kinda like skydiving. Crazy, oh yeah!

Oh, and I'm not an artist either and yet it seems I've just made a logo for the 5k we're doing for Backpacks this year. I kinda made it by accident and well, they liked it. That's right, we're doing a 5k for Backpacks for Pine Ridge this year. Soon I'll be able to tell you when and where ... right now we're still waiting for the park board to approve it - which shouldn't be a problem.

So yeah, I've been busy doing all the things I don't know how to do.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Its A Beautiful Thing

Whenever people come together to make a difference in the world, its a beautiful thing - whether its "stars" or people like me and you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shoulder Surgery 6 Weeks Out

Well, just when I decide that the more I blog the less people want to hear what I've got to say, a reader emailed me to encourage me to keep blogging about my shoulder surgery. If anything I've shared helped someone - great - that was my hope and reason for sharing.

So, here I am 6 weeks out from the surgery and doing fairly well. They said it would be a 6 week recovery period. They lied. I'm still a long way from "normal".

I have a Dr. appointment on Monday so we'll see what he says but as far as I'm concerned, I'm finished. I'm ready to get on with life and leave this behind. My shoulder may have other ideas though.

My complaints are:
  • I'm still not sleeping well at night and still have considerable pain during the night.
  • PT is generally good but there is one therapist who is brutal and always sets me back a few days after she works on me. I would say she couldn't touch me anymore except that I'm not sure if she's their best or worst. It all hurts but she hurts more and I don't have the ROM for a day or two afterwards that I otherwise have. Maybe that's how its supposed to work??
  • I'm ready to lift more weight - right now I'm at all of 3 lbs. Pretty sad, eh? I'm ready to do some running too. They say it takes bone 6 weeks to heal so I'm thinking I may be ready?

The good news is:

  • I can move MUCH further than I could before surgery.
  • I'm off pain meds for the most part. The only time I take them now is before a PT session. I REFUSE to go to PT without pain meds.

So I suppose it was worth it although I'd have to think long and hard before going through this again. Its not been easy. Who would have thought a stupid shoulder could cause so much grief?? Its been frustrating too, I'd love to go skiing or even sledding but that will have to wait till next year - don't want to chance a fall on my shoulder and have to start all over again. I feel OK with it as it is but think with time and work I can get more ROM. I hope so anyway. If not, I can live with it but it would be great to be back to "normal".

Eat to Lose Weight, HUH??

Yup, that's what I said - eat to lose weight. My super fit hubby shared this piece of info with me and guess what - it works! I'm not into science but it is based on science and leptin levels and all of that.

Like I said, I'm not into science but I'm sure you can Google it and get all the info. The thing I'm into is eating ... and being healthy, which is why I really like this.

Severe dieting can do you harm. We know that, right? I know that from experience. So the idea is to eat a healthy diet of lean meats and veggies and the good kind of carbs (whole grains), work out regularly, and once a week have what I call the blessed cheat day. On your cheat day you get to eat what you want. Don't worry about it. Just enjoy. By doing that you actually will kick your metabolism up a notch. Not only does it do your body good but it is a great break mentally too. Its fun to plan ahead for your cheat day. Dieting can really drag you down and make you feel deprived and that's a sure way to defeat yourself - plus it can be self-defeating because you're body adapts to the usual and doesn't burn fuel (calories) as efficiently.

Something else I've found helpful is to not be too legalistic about anything. The key is BALANCE - not rigid rules.

Some things that are helping me (and remember I am NOT a health freak or a professional or anything of the sort - I'm just a middle-aged overweight lady who wants to stay active as long as possible).

  • I have an app on my phone that I can easily and quickly enter foods to track calories. If I don't record it somehow somewhere, I'll end up way over my limit. If I'm a little over the limit that's fine but way over is not good.

  • A playlist of music that keeps me moving at the gym. Fast music makes me want to move faster and if its a song I like, all the better cause I'll stay on that bike or treadmill for 3 more minutes just to hear it. I HATE exercise - especially cardio but music makes it a bit more fun.
  • Stick to your goals. Other people will have their opinions of what you should and shouldn't do. Some will differ with the idea of a cheat day. Oh well. Their loss. :) I struggle with this because I tend to compete with myself. I not competitive with other people but I do compete with myself pretty hard and I can have a tendency to be distracted from my goals. As I said, I'm overweight and I'd love to lose weight but, that cannot be my goal because I know I won't see results fast enough and will quit. I have to constantly remind myself that my goal is to be healthy and to stay active for as long as possible. I'd hate for something fun to come up and me not be able to do it because I wasn't up to it. ;)

  • Do NOT be too hard on yourself. Do what you can do and if you can, push it just a wee bit further all the better. So what if you're not an athlete? Who cares? Nobody. Some days I can do 45 min. of cardio. Other days I can only get 15 in. Just keep at it and don't beat yourself up for the "bad" days and you'll find the bad days get fewer and further between.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Simple Things

Chris, over at Enchanted Oak has issued a challenge to all bloggers. For every blogger who posts a list of the simple things that make them happy, she will donate $2.00 to Heartline Ministries in Haiti. Here are the rules from her blog:

Post your piece this weekend and include a link to my blog. Then pop in here to say you’ve posted your “Simple Things.” Post by midnight, Pacific time, Sunday and don’t forget to link with me and notify me that you’ve posted. You can borrow the “Simple Things” photo. If you don’t have a blog, a comment on my blog will count too if you tell me so.

Here are some simple things that make me happy:

  • snuggling with my dogs
  • a good hot cup of coffee
  • chocolate chip cookies
  • talking with my husband
  • music
  • a fire in the fireplace
  • a good book

Thanks to Bob for the head's up on this one.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

Its All About ME!

Yeah, this post is probably more than anyone wants to know about me and where I'm at physically, but for the record ....

I'm doing well. Its 5 1/2 weeks post surgery and I have pretty good range of motion. The pain is less too. Sleeping still presents a HUGE problem. Its not that I can't go to sleep, its that pain won't let me stay there. For some reason it hurts a lot more at night than other times. Here's a typical night for me.

Lay down but have trouble getting comfortable. With the help of a heating pad I get comfortable enough to drift off. Somewhere in that state between being awake and asleep I have an awareness of tossing and turning and an awareness of being uncomfortable. At some point I wake up with "OUCH, OUCH, OUCH, that really hurts now". I try to deal with it by tossing and turning some more and then decide to get up because I can't sleep and its got to be morning by now. I get up, look at the clock and its only an hour or two since I went to bed. I grab an ice pack and head back to bed to repeat the process. Some nights I give up around 2 or 3 am and take a percocet. Even on those nights I wake up in the morning with pain.

Once I'm up the pain lessens - on most days. Some days I have no pain at all and others I feel a general ache and others there is more of a twinging pain.

I don't understand it. But I deal with it. Discouraging.

I am still in Physical Therapy and I still take an anti-inflammatory twice a day per doctor orders. I still have plenty of percocet too for those times when I need it. I don't take it often - always one before PT and maybe one on those nights when I can't take it anymore. If I took it as prescribed I would be taking it every 4-6 hours. Sometimes I go a couple of days with none.

I'm at the gym 6 days a week. I'm still not permitted to do any upper body work or run. So about the only thing I can do is 4 leg machines and ride the bike. Sometimes I do the elliptical without the arm motions. I like to think I'm progressing as far as fitness goes because when I started I could barely ride the bike for 20 min. Now I aim for 40-45 min of more intense cardio. I DESPISE cardio but sometimes you have to stop whining and just do it anyway. In spite of it all, I've yet to lose even one pound. Discouraging.

I can't complain, but I do sometimes. All in all I don't think I'm doing all that bad for 5 weeks post surgery but being somebody who thinks they should be able to do more, I do get discouraged. I mean really, it was just a stupid shoulder ... how hard can it be. Pretty hard actually.

Now I'm sure I'm supposed to be learning some lesson from this about patience, self-acceptance, or endurance or some such thing ... I'm just not all that sure I'm listening.

BTW ... I recommend Pure Protein bars. They pack 20 grams of protein, 180 calories, 4 grams fat and only 2 grams of sugar and they taste good! They could almost pass for a candy bar ... almost.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

What a Day!

Its been quite a day. Things have been happening fast and furious. That's a good thing. Me? I'm just trying to hang on and hang in and keep up with the flurry of activity and ideas.

Me and another team member started off the day meeting with 2 people from the mission's team from another area church. They are hoping to take a group to the village of Allen (where we always go) on the Pine Ridge Reservation this summer too and we've been in conversation with them for a while now. They hope to go either the week before our group goes or the week after so that our two groups can work back-to-back on a rather large work project.

You see, there's this hole.

Its a big horseshoe shaped hole that has eroded and continues to erode right next to the church building in Allen. Every year it gets bigger and if something isn't done with it soon, it will become the hole that ate the church building.

Its also safety hazard for the kids because of course, its "off limits" because its dangerous and both of those qualities make it irresistible to kids.

So, the plan is to use the shape of the hole that God has already started for us there and make it into an amphitheater that will be used as a multi-purpose structure. This will prevent it from further erosion, save the church building from damage, and provide a great place for all sorts of gatherings. It will also keep the kiddos safe when they play on the playground. And we're also hoping to somehow make a storm shelter in it as well because when they have tornadoes there is simply nowhere to go and many of the people live in trailers which we all know are the first targets of tornadoes.

This will all take a lot of time and money and hard work and its really cool that we have two area churches willing to work together on it. That in and of itself is quite miraculous. If the day would have ended there it would have been a good day.

But there was more.

We had our second team meeting tonight and I think it went really well. We have all kinds of crazy ideas about things to do with the kids and from the sounds of the banter and laughter in the room, it just might be a really fun trip as well as a productive one.

Then I had my third meeting of the day. Me and a team member met to discuss the possibility of a 5k run to benefit Backpacks For Pine Ridge. So far, its looking GOOD! I hope to have some info to share soon.

Its been a good day.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Music That'll Rock Your World

I've got two things to tell you about today.
  1. You've heard me talk about 8 Lives Spent before right? Well, they have some new music coming out real soon that I can't wait to hear ... and they now have a blog! So all you bloggers can check them out and follow them to see what they're up to.

    So, what are you waiting for ... go check 'em out.
  2. And then there's Jason. Jason is my cousin's kid who's just about to hit the big time. If you think I'm kidding about that or being biased, well, you've not heard him. His new song "Simple Life" hits a radio station near you TODAY! But you don't have to wait to hear it on radio, you can go right now to his Myspace page and hear the brand new song "Simple Life". Its a good song and its all about his hometown which just happens to be my hometown too.