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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Video from Reds Baby Night

And This One Belongs to the TWINS!

The boys have gone to their second Reds game! Last night was Good Samaritan Hospital's baby night at the Reds when all the babies born at Good Sam were allowed to walk around the field before the game. Unfortunately Cody wasn't able to be there. He's in Florida taking classes for two weeks. We did call him as we were walking around and we videotaped it so he can watch later. Not the same at all, but .....

We also took my dad since he loves the Reds, watches every game on TV and had really wanted to go to a game. We got a wheel chair and took him as a Father's Day gift. So in typical grandparent style we had the camera out for most of the game. I hope to have a video up before too long as well.

Owen and Gramma Jan




(It has come to my attention that this is NOT Eli, its Owen.
The bib should have been a clue. Normally I can tell them apart.
I must be needing more sleep or something.)

Uncle Logan and Eli



Momma, Gramma Jan and Eli

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grand Isle

Tonight I sat in my usual place on the couch with my cup of coffee watching the evening news, crashing from another long day and ready to just veg out for the night. The lead story was of course, the oil spill in the Gulf. Truthfully, I tire of hearing about it. Its a mess. An unbelievable mess. And it seems there's nothing I can do about it, so I'd rather not hear about it yet again. But then they featured a story about Grand Isle, Louisiana. Particularly they talked about how when the story first broke they had interviewed a man there who had a fishing business. He had talked about how much he loved taking families out fishing when they came there on vacation. But then the oil disaster hit and like many others who had made their living on the Gulf, he went to work for BP helping to clean up the mess. But he became frustrated with the bureaucracy and depressed by the lack of progress. Earlier this week he fatally shot himself in the head.

My heart broke when I heard that story. I feel a connection with the people of Grand Isle, whether I've met them or not. A week after Hurricane Katrina hit, six of us headed to Louisiana with a semi-truck full of frozen meat and box truck full of other supplies. We drove across the bridge to Grand Isle that was broken in 13 places to take food and supplies to the people of that small barrier island that sits in the Gulf just south of New Orleans. We slept in the mayor's office because it was one of the few buildings left standing. It was quite an adventure and quite a blessing to be a part of helping out in such a tangible way. So many times we heard people who were shocked that we'd come all the way from Ohio tell us that if Ohio was ever in trouble, they'd be there for us.
Later our church planned another trip to help with the clean up of the destruction left by Katrina. When I realized the trip would be over Halloween I decided we had to do something for the kids there to give them some sense of normalcy. The secretary to the mayor of Grand Isle and I together planned a Halloween party for the kids via email. I gathered candy and decorations in Ohio, packed it all up and the kids had a great Halloween party.

Grand Isle became a part of my life. When I hear that name, I always feel a connection. And when I hear a story like the one I heard tonight, its a little hard to take. I don't know if anyone from Grand Isle ever reads this blog. I highly doubt it. But in the midst of this mess I hope they know that we've not forgotten them ... that our hearts hurt for them... and that I sure do wish there was something we could do to help them get through this disaster too.

Gramma Went a Little Crazy

Monday we are taking the twins to another Reds game. It's a special night - all the babies born at Good Samaritan Hospital this year get to go out onto the field with their parents and have a parade around the field. There are contest and photo ops with the Reds mascots and all sorts of fun. Well, since they are going to get to do all that ... I had to buy them Reds outfits ... and I had to put their names on the back of them. Yeah, you do things like that when you're a Grandma.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Life in a Whirlwind

Well its a little less than 3 weeks till we leave for Pine Ridge and my life has taken on the usual pre-trip chaos. Most of the time I don't know if I'm coming or going. Yes, I'm organized, overly so when it comes to these trips, but there are just some things that can't be organized. Here's the scoop:

We have 21 people signed up to go. Of those 21, 2 are iffy. One has dropped out and someone else may take her place and another is on the verge of dropping out. There may or may not be someone to take that person's place.

Of the 21 signed up to go, I've several have not been to too many of the team meetings. There are a few I've never even met yet. People who don't lead these trips don't see that as a problem but this will be my 7th year leading and trust me, its a problem. How big of a problem it is will depend on the person who missed meetings. If they're the kind of person who likes to have everything make sense to them, it may be a very big problem.

We may or may not get a donation from the meat company that has always donated food for our trip. If we do get a donation (probably), it may or may not be what we asked for (not really too much of a problems since food is food). All the other food that we have to buy still needs to be bought and packed. I still need to call in an order of bread to the little grocery store out there.

My dining room is full of boxes that are all packed and ready to load onto the truck. My dining room table and chairs are now in the living room, stacked along a wall. Not a problem - we've gotten used to living that way for a while each year.

The vans are reserved. The big truck is reserved. The auger we are renting is reserved. A lot of the building materials for the work project are stacked in my garage.

Among getting ready for the trip I'm getting ready for REZonate too. About every day something is asking to be done for REZonate.

And there are now bike events. Yesterday I finally contacted someone at the local shopping center about the bike event this weekend. I had tried before but wrong email addresses and spam filters messed that up. Now we've got a booth there. Just have to figure out how to make it all work now.

None of it is too unmanageable ... it just requires some juggling skills. All the unknowns and all the daily changes just make it hard to keep track of what's going on at any given time because once I have it figure out, it changes.

So life is literally "one day at a time" here. Most days its an hour at a time. I do get behind on email and phone messages. And then I can't remember if I responded or not because so many others came have come in. So, if I owe you a message of some kind ... I'll get to it eventually and if I don't, just remind me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Baseball has always been a part of our family. As a kid I first fell in love with the game watching Lou Brock steal bases for the St. Louis Cardinals. Then in 1975, when I was a freshman in High School, we moved to Cincinnati. It was at that time The Big Red Machine was in full swing and I began collecting baseball cards of Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, and Ken Griffey Sr. My boys did much the same with the 1990 Reds team. Today we went with Eli and Owen to their first Reds game. Allison's parents are here and her dad is a big Giant's fan so it was only right for them and us to go to see the Giants play the Reds with our grandsons. I'm happy to say that the REDS won! It was a good game - or so I'm told. I was too busy soaking up the sights of the two cutest babies in the ballpark.