Categories
danger Fear hunting life styles nature peace photography Uncategorized

Hunter or Hunted

Batman Says:

All my life I have, as have millions of others have, hunted things. Be it animals or pictures or items, hunting is ingrained in my soul. I have hunted with my eyes, numerous cameras, rifles, shotguns, bows, crossbows, fishing poles, traps, and cages, you name it and I have probably tried it. The degree of success depends on what you think the outcome should be. There are times when I could walk out my door and trip over something I wanted to hunt, and there have been times that entire seasons have gone by without me getting any game at all. Both to me are victories as I get to participate in a sport/hobby/lifestyle that I love. I have written a few times about being out in the wilds and finding my “peace”, and sometimes it applies when I’m hunting, not always though, as it’s a different mentality to me.

There’s not a lot of danger hunting where I do, yes there are some bear at times, and wild boar, and even a white tailed deer can mess you up if you get it cornered and are careless. But for the most part it’s accidents, the occasional snake or your own clumsiness that will be your undoing. There are ways to make it challenging and even the playing field a bit. The object of hunting is to take game to consume (for me anyways I DO NOT trophy hunt, you can’t eat horns) and to do so in a humane fashion. Granted I could shoot an animal from 500 yards away with today’s modern rifles, but in my humble opinion, this is not hunting in the true sense, it’s more sport shooting. I have NOTHING against this way, it’s just not hunting to me. I prefer the close combat hunting where I pit my stealth, woods knowledge and skill against an animal that lives there, where it knows all the paths and ways. Out foxing a wild animal at close range in its “home” to me is the definition of hunting. Slipping up on a sounder of wild boar within 20,15, 10 yards armed with a bow or crossbow or even a handgun, is thrilling and scary as all get out, especially if all you’re doing is taking photographs and the “weapon” you have is not really adequate to stop a determined charge of a boar or momma sow with piglets. My point in this being, given the right circumstance even modern hunting can be challenging and dangerous. I can describe things like this and people might get it, here wait, come along on a hunt with me and see…

Quietly closing the truck door in the darkness after getting all my gear out and on, I look up and listen to the night sounds. 05:30 am, still at least 2 hours before first light, may have gotten here a bit early today, but it is the first day of the season. Silently slipping into my back-pack and then cocking the crossbow I get set, and take a few quiet moments to look up at the sky full of millions upon billions of stars and thank God for another day. Some days you just feel “it”, there’s something here not quite right today, but you shake it off and begin to make your way to the ground blind that Peach and I set up a few weeks ago, this will be the first stopping point until it gets bright enough to see to legally hunt. Moving slowly along the trail, listening to try and make sure I don’t spook any early morning game on the way to the blind. Hearing the softest sound of a footfall in the palmettos and briars to the side of the trail and immediately freezing, to try and determine what it could be. It’s pitch black, I truly wish there was a better description of the kind of dark it gets in the deep woods before dawn, an inky blackness that blocks all light, it’s like swimming in black paint at times. At times like this it’s the other senses that I trust, closing my eyes I listen, and try to catch a whiff of any scents (animals do have distinct smells and we can sometimes pick up on them) that may be drifting on the almost non existent wind currents. Time slowly ticks past, and here and there the errant mosquito buzzes around and still I stand perfectly still like an old oak tree with its roots firmly sunk in the rich earth. There is a feeling something is there but no sound, no movement, no smell to give it away, so I wait. Slowly the feeling subsides and the night creatures go back to making their soft noises, and I, even though I cannot shake the feeling that I’m being watched, move on down the trail towards the blind. Finally I reach the blind and settle in one of the two camp chairs slowly relaxing and waiting on the first signs of daylight.

Waiting in the blind, listening to the world wake slowly, the feeling is still there, muted, subdued but still there, the feeling of watchfulness. The first hints of daylight start showing through and yet I still wait, not time to move yet, cannot legally hunt. Slowly things start to take shape in the graying light and something moves across the trail I just walked 25-30 yards away, low but moving like silk undulating in the wind without making a sound. What was that? No idea, but it was quick! Silently putting my back-pack on again and picking up my crossbow I emerge from the blind. Put a bolt (crossbow arrow) on the crossbow and stand still preparing to begin my hunting.

Today I’m “still hunting” which unlike its name, involves moving. Taking two preplanned steps I settle and look, slowly all the way around me, starting close up and moving my eyes in ever widening arcs over the terrain. It never ceases to amaze me how animals can be standing right in front of me and I don’t even see them until I make a mistake and get too close or move when I shouldn’t and they bolt. Still hunting brings into play all the senses and skills learned.

Ever so slowly I move in the same pattern, 2 steps, stop, look slowly around me. In this fashion I take a great deal of time to go anywhere. The sun still hasn’t breached the horizon, so the world is a gray pallet and distant things blend into the background. Making it to the fork in the trail I have to decide to either go into the deeper woods or stay along the edge. Today I enter the trail that will eventually take me past a ladder stand and into the woods deeper eventually running into the creek and swamp parts. Slipping deeper into the woods I stop by the ladder stand and just wait, watching an open area where game travels at times, partially due to its location near wild persimmon trees. Squirrels hop about gathering the abundant acorns and chasing each other and I slip quietly on. The sun finally erupts over the horizon behind the trees in a burst of color like blood and orange all across the sky behind the trees lighting the woods. Carefully I move trying not to be noticed by the animals seen and unseen that I know are here as I can see and “feel” them. Freezing mid step I see a flicker of movement ahead, and try to determine what it is. Bird? Or maybe it’s the tail of a feeding white tailed deer. It’s a deer! Walking away it hasn’t noticed me, not in a position to shoot either, walking away, to much growth between us and farther than I like. Winds ok, blowing to me off my right front so it won’t smell me, so I ever so slowly, like the decay of time, inch forward on the trail behind it trying to stay where I can keep it in sight. It’s amazing how they can brush past bushes but make no sound, if I could do that I’d be the most efficient hunter in the world. Despite my trying to, I’m unable to keep the deer in sight and be quiet, so it fades off into the trail ahead, not spooked that I can tell, just feeding along. I slip along, hoping to catch a glimpse but never do again. Breaking through to the edge of the creek line the woods are darker but the undergrowth much thinner, making visibility better but not as much as one would think. Slinking along in the same fashion I make my way through the woods cautiously, stopping every 2 steps just as before.

I stop and watch a raccoon family tromp past and cross the creek 15 yards to my right, never noticing I am there, too involved with whatever thoughts raccoons have. Slowly and steadily, I make my way in a long circle eventually coming back to the opening in the woods, by the persimmon trees, again this time from the opposite side and as I approach the hair on my neck stands up and I know I’m being watched. Freezing in place I start methodically picking apart every piece of cover, searching for whatever it is causing the creepy sensation, my senses in full alert as my heart pounds in my chest so loud I think it’s audible. Nothing! I can’t see…wait There it is, holy cow He’s huge!! And he’s looking right at me!!! Bobcat “Lynx Rufus” aka “red lynx” Florida’s #1 ambush predator, sneaky, stealthy, ghostly killer, efficient at its art. Not normally a threat to humans unless trapped or cornered. This is what I have been “feeling” since I first arrived, why is it not slinking off like normal. Watching it sink lower almost flat to the ground it’s floating shoulder blades allowing it to almost appear flat, claws digging into the ground to get a better grip it is getting ready to charge! Honestly I can’t believe what I’m seeing, leveling the crossbow scope on his shoulder I hear the audible click as the safety clicks off not even realizing I did so and at that instant he explodes from cover, leaping 5′ before I realize, I drop the sights rapidly catching up to him and release the bolt and it travels the 20′ left between us in seconds hitting home and passing completely through. He somersaults mid-stride Breaking off his charge and dashing towards the briars where I hear thrashing and growling for a few more seconds then silence. I had no idea I had backed up so far as I try 3 times before I can get another bolt from the quiver and cock the bow never taking my eyes off the spot I last saw him. Letting my heart sink back outta my throat I finally slowly (and I cannot stress how slowly) I move towards the spot. Scanning scanning don’t see him, gotta be there, where.. there he is, not moving, not breathing. I drag him out and look at him, big “Tom” bobcat, looks healthy, why did he act so odd? Bolt hit him right in the shoulder and passed clean through, he was dead before he knew he was hit. The scared ****less shakes hit, and subside with time and I gather the “cat” and slowly make my way back to the truck. I will skin, and sell the hide as I am also a trapper and bobcats are in season.

Funny how hunting goes, sometimes when we think we are the hunters, we become the hunted. I did nothing to the bobcat mentioned earlier, for some reason he chose to stalk and eventually try me. Today was my day, next time…

I’m a creature of the woods like all the other creatures God put here, I’m at home there as much as I’m at home in my house. I know there are dangers in hunting as in every walk of life, but with the “Armor of God” and faith in Him I will continue to hunt and live my life with Peach.

Next time you get to tag along Peach, 4 eyes see more stuff than 2″

Categories
bible danger Faith family Fear focus Law Enforcement peace

Rest

In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: — portion of Isaiah 30:15.

Peach here.

It’s been a long, hot summer, Y’all.

We took a few days off at the end of May, and it was nice. We enjoyed getting a few odds and ends done around the house. Hanging out. Whatnot. Resting up.

The world also blew up with regards to policing and race issues and social media became extremely non fun and toxic, the very same weekend.

We don’t watch the news. As in ever. Anything we want to know, we can find out on our phones without talking heads telling us what to think about it.

Of the two of us, Batman has the smarts to stay out of social media. And I’m SO grateful.

I’m good and hooked. 🙄 I have rules for boundaries though and stick to them! It helps a lot!

Social media is how I found out about all the bad stuff, weirdly in an account that I purposely keep only for inspiration, photography, family, praise and worship ministries, biblical teaching. (told ya social media became non fun!)

I’m not going to try to rehash the bad things that happened this summer. Just laying out a little corner of the world and how it impacted us.

I could see the storm coming to our country, our society, and there was no avoiding the wind, the rain, the lightening and the thunder.

It would impact us all, and if you are a law enforcement family, a lot.

There’s layers to it. It’s clear. And it’s jagged. All at the same time.

I was so distraught that weekend at what I was seeing. I worried how it would impact Batman and our little city. I remember I didn’t want him burdened with the knowledge of what I was seeing.

And so much more. My blood pressure was definitely up!

And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” — Mark 4:39.

The resulting unrest across the country had another side effect of causing people to realize they needed a certain kind of training which we (Batman) provide.

Being so busy all summer was good medicine for my mind’s tendency to be over wrought with troubles and their potential implications.

Potential. Oh, the trouble we can weave in our minds and hearts, that never comes to pass. But, our bodies bear the brunt of the stress dumping hormones for sure!

So grateful for so many good people we have gotten to meet and help. Like I tell Batman, I love to watch him work! 😍 getting out of the routine to do this, was super good for me. Gave me distance from the perceived problems of our society, and the opportunity to do what I think I do best. Help. That’s my favorite! Help my husband, help our clients, help our family.

With the added layer of the virus and the various ways citizens and government have complicated it, I have had oodles of opinions!! Gracious!! Nobody needs more opinions though. So every time I was tempted to ‘put my foot down’ on social media about it, I always felt this check in my spirit. To be still. To know that He is God. The famous verse from Psalm 46, He had firmly planted it in my heart at the end of last year, and impressed upon me to take it with me into the coming year, 2020.

The check in my spirit, restraining me, from spouting off opinions no one needed to hear from me about the virus, was “I don’t know yet what is really going on. I know the devil is at work. And so is our Father. I don’t want to speak about things I don’t understand yet. Wait and see. Trust God. Be gracious. Be prudent. Believe the best. God will work good out of all this, if we make room for Him.”

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.— Psalm 46:10.

You know, that verse above we often quote the first half, and rightly so. We need, we crave, that stillness of our hearts and minds and lives. And it comes with KNOWING He (alone) is God!

But, let’s not forget the one, two punch of the second half of the verse! He WILL BE exalted among the heathen, He WILL BE exalted in the earth!

That. That restores order to my mind, hope to my heart, peace to my life.

I still keep an eye on the news online. I see it. But, I don’t soak in it. I also take care to not aim to be right, score points, or any of the things that social media is designed to do, but rather to know facts, stand for truth, encourage the best, keep it to a minimum, where possible, build tiny bridges.

Batman and I have also learned the joy and wisdom of taking a week each month off from our side gig, to catch up on life and rest and just enjoy!!

This year is teaching me over and over the beauty of ‘resting’ in the care and Grace of our Lord. In so many ways, trust in Him. Make room for Him. Expect good from Him. It’s not really about the storm clouds, the wind or the lightening, it’s about Jesus, being the center of our focus!

Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. — Matthew 11:29. The Amplified Bible.

Thanks for listening Y’all!! I’m praying we get all the ‘goody’ out of this crazy year, that He has for us all!

Categories
bible danger Faith Fear human trafficking Life missing safety Uncategorized

“Feelings”

Batman Says:

Not what you think I am willing to bet, unless you are in tune with the way my mind works and honestly, not many are (including me sometimes).

Sitting in a restaurant, when suddenly you get the “feeling” someone is watching you, walking down a street, there it is again. Late at night at home, you get the impression that something isn’t quite right, what is really going on? Wander along with me while we explore the possibilities of what these things could mean, and how we can handle them, be it a figment of the imagination, or something else…

First and foremost, I am not nor have I ever clamed to be an “expert” or doctor of ANY kind, the best I can do is Army first aid, and first responder first aid training, never been a fan or believer in “head doctors” Psychiatrists or the likes, that’s just me. I was brought up to believe in God, and I have NEVER waivered from that belief, anyways, wanted to point out that the ramblings here are from a person not trained in mental anything.

So back to those “feelings”, the ones that make us feel uncomfortable, or unsafe, what are they really? For this old boy, they are indicators of something dangerous, something unsafe or amiss. See, I am from the school that believes that the human body and mind can sense things, like danger prior to actually seeing it, can “feel” a dangerous person in the room or area. This can also be animals or areas, that for some reason the mind knows are dangerous even though there are no outward signs. I haven’t fallen off the deep end, I do not believe in the ability to read minds, or the like. But I do believe that some of us have learned not to suppress the abilities that God gave us to sense danger or harmful events, people, or animals. While eating out with your friends or family, I honestly believe everyone at one time or another has been effected by the sudden “feeling” something was wrong or someone was staring at them , I know I have on several occasions. Why is this? What is occurring that causes this “feeling” and why do some people get it more than others? Bigger question is, why do more people NOT react, instead they put it down to anything else, and continue with whatever they were doing.

As a hunter, and I have hunted wild animals, and men (still do as a Police Officer) I have been “hunted” as a Soldier and as a Police Officer, and it is, to put in plain speak, scary to know someone is “hunting” you with the intent to harm you, until you have been there, its a “feeling” you cannot understand. As a relatively normal person (shush Peach) I like to enjoy my time out with Peach and with family and friends. But because of being hyper-vigilant most of my adult life, I have developed the “feeling” for danger, and it helps keep me on my toes. Chances are that you will go through your entire life and never be confronted with a dangerous situation or person. This does not mean it won’t happen, but the chances are pretty good it won’t, and to my dismay, this is why people ignore or suppress the “feeling” that comes over them at times. This “feeling” is suppressed so often by the average person that it does not even get recognized anymore. This is a shame, and may lead to unnecessary events that could be avoided if they would only pay attention to what they “feel”.

Gong back to the previous post about Human Trafficking, and using your eyes and ears for danger, if you allow your sense of “feeling” danger develop and do not block it out or ignore it, it would be one more tool to use. Animals all have this sense, and all use it all the time. Granted the oblivious armadillo, or opossum, or raccoon wander into the roadways and get taken out on an hourly basis, but observe them in the wild and you will see a side of them that is pretty interesting. Here, let me give you a personal example; I was in a ground blind last year, hunting deer with a bow. It was a slow morning and the woods were still, birds were all over singing and flying around and there were a couple of squirrels playing around 15 yards or so away. I suddenly “knew” a predator was around, I hadn’t heard anything, or seen anything but I knew without a doubt that I was not the only hunter in that immediate area at that time. The hairs on the back of my neck felt like they were standing straight out on my arms to, and I became hyper-alert. The squirrels and birds were still feeding and playing and then everything stopped. It was as if someone threw a switch, birds melted into oblivion, the squirrels froze in place and it was apparent they could “sense” the danger I felt seconds prior. I looked down at something in my blind and when I did I heard a thump out in front of me, as I looked up a bobcat (seen a lot of bobcats in my time this one was HUGE) was coming down from the tree he had jumped into chasing one of the squirrels. Flabbergasted is the only way I can describe my thoughts, there was less that 2 seconds before NOTHING around for 40-50′ in a pretty wide open area, and “poof” there was the largest bobcat I have ever seen coming down from an unsuccessful “pounce” after a squirrel. I “felt” his presence 20-30 seconds before his beaming down from wherever (how else he got there without me seeing his approach I cannot explain), the animals also picked this “feeling” up and acted upon it. Over my years as an outdoorsman and hunter, I have had this “feeling” numerous times, I sometimes suppress it if I am with others so as not to frighten them, but I remain on alert.

What does all this mean, why the ramble and why all the fuss about a “feeling” that most people will deny they ever get? Because I feel in todays time and atmosphere that people need to be extra careful of danger. People need to trust their instincts about people or situations, their senses should play a part and not be ignored. God gave us the ability to think, reason, prepare and defend, we should use ALL His gifts to help us do so.

Pay attention to your surroundings, pay attention to people, places and things. Lock your doors and windows when you are home and in your car, “listen” to that nagging voice, or feeling, listen to a trusted friend when they warn you of something. Who would warn you against a potential danger, except someone who has your interest in mind.

As a lifelong hunter of the evil most say “does not exist” my hope is none of you ever come face to face with it, as its ugly and violent and has only evil in mind. Take care of yourselves, take care of your family and friends, watch out when you have that “feeling”, it really is there to help. Myself and other “hunters of evil” will always do our best to keep you and yours safe, but do not think evil can’t find you even still.

“Put on the full armor of God, so that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” Ephesians 6:11

Peach have you seen my batman socks?

Categories
children danger exploited family Fatherhood Fear human trafficking Life missing parents safety Uncategorized

Find the Missing

Batman Says:

I’m not sure why, but I’m sure it is going on, most of the world turning a blind eye to “Human Trafficking”. Where are the outcry’s of rage? Where is the supposed “news media”, where are the family members of missing loved ones? Where are the Police? Where are the elected officials? Where for Gods sake are the red blooded American citizens who should be beating down the powers that be’s doors?

There are an estimated 800,000 missing children EVERY YEAR and these estimates are lowballed and do not include adults. There are evil people out there, snatching kids off the streets, playgrounds, and even yards, to sell as slaves and sex objects. It is not a new thing, it has been going on for ages, in the background, silently and stealthily, people are being snatched and disappear hourly.

Where is the outcry? It makes no sense, with all the families of the missing, there should be marching in the streets. Where is the so called news media, that says they have the public’s interest at heart in their “news” stories, one would think something like this would be front and center DAILY so people would see the severity of the problem and rise up to begin to stop it. They are not reporting it because it’s not sensational enough, there are no bad cops to show, nor politicians whose ideas they don’t agree with to bash, therefore they do not care. Folks to fix the news media is another story all by itself, but emailing and writing may help, I suggest something radical that I’m sure not a lot will do, but it would work, stop watching the news, stop watching that network, the one thing I do know these people want is ratings, without you they don’t have that, then they send out polls as to why and you can express your opinion and tell them why, but this is about the missing not the biased news.

This is no fantasy story, nor something happening only in lower class places, this is something that effects us all. Human traffickers care about only one thing, money, and to get money they need live bodies, boys, girls, men and women are ALL targets. We as people have GOT to make a stand and start thwarting these (and I won’t use foul language) lowest of life forms on the planet, by EVERY means available to us.

Here are a few tips:

Moms and Dads know where your kids are at all times

Watch your neighborhood, call the Police over suspicious people and / vehicles

Go places as groups not alone

Look at your surroundings as you move about, look up, not at your feet

Always tell someone where you are going to be, and when to expect you back

Let someone know your route you plan to take.

(Where it’s legal) Carry pepper spray, mace, or a stun gun, in your hand Anytime you are walking or running.

Park your car as close to the store you’re visiting as you can get, under a light if possible.

Do not park next to a van or truck, especially if it is between you and the store front.

When you leave the store Know where your vehicle is prior to wandering all over the lot.

(Where it’s legal) Walking to your vehicle have your pepper spray / mace/stun gun in your hand until you are in your car, with the door locked. Look at your car, does it look like it’s been disturbed? Is there a car or truck or even a car with dark tinted windows around it? If so, ask a store worker to walk you to your car.

There are hundreds of things we can do to make ourselves and our children and friends “hard targets” but it takes constant vigilance to do it.

As a Police Officer, I am appalled at the lack of concern, lack of public knowledge, lack of commitment by most anyone on this subject. It’s a disgrace and should not be allowed to stand.

Folks, if you know ANYTHING at all that could lead to finding even one missing person, one human trafficker, one location, or anything, I beg you to tell a Law Enforcement Officer, or anyone you can that may be able to help…if you’re afraid or don’t want to get involved, message us here privately and we will get the right people to the right places.

Together we can stop this horrible crime and maybe rescue someone’s loved one in the meantime.

Use the tips I posted 24 hours a day 7 days a week, pass them to your friends and family, pass the word around, information and diligence is key and together we can win.

Peach and I are both available to speak to groups about personal safety, just shoot us a message and we will see what we can come up with.

God bless you all and please be safe.

Your stun gun is fully charged Peach, is my hair sticking up?”

Categories
bible Faith Fear grace Life Uncategorized

Scared

I see a lot of scared people theses days, some are scared of the so called pandemic, but most I see, are scared at the unrest.

I see people that are afraid to leave their houses, afraid that someone will loot their business, rob them, and or harm them. These are normal everyday people, good people that should be able to rest easy and get on with their lives without fear.

Some of these people come to see Peach and I to get trained in how to protect themselves. They want to learn how to shoot, how to defend themselves against someone who thinks they are a lesser person. These are everyday people, moms and dads, store managers, retirees, whatever. Peach and I help the ones we can with good safe training and teaching skills to improve awareness, plus shooting skills that are relevant in real daily life.

But what we really see needed is a return to Godliness, a return to following Gods teachings and more faith and grace. I’m by no means a preacher, I know I have faults but I pray every night to be forgiven and every morning that I do better than the last.

If the world would stop trying to deny God’s existence, and just for 1 month follow His word, I guarantee there would be no need for people to want firearms training, no need to be afraid, only the need to live in grace.

Till then (if it ever happens), Peach and I will teach the skills needed to defend oneself and others against the evil that exists out there.

Word to my brothers and sisters in “Blue” “Cowboy up and do your job, you took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of your state, and of your agency or department, do not let crime happen if you can stop it, millions of people are counting on us to Do Our Jobs and Protect them, if you cannot or will not do that, turn your crap in and find a different line of work”.

If this offends you, tough, we do not stand by and watch people attacked by mask wearing punks and do nothing, if you do you’re no better than they are.

Anywho, I’m climbing off my podium and gonna hang out with Peach, you all have a blessed day/night/whatever.

“See Peach, it wasn’t that bad of a tirade”

Categories
Faith family Fear focus Life

Listening

Batman Says:

Sitting out on the deck early this morning before most of this part of the world wakes up, I closed my eyes and just listened. Ever do that? Just listen? Interesting what the result may be if you do. Because I was outdoors, and Peach and I live out in the country (not deep in the woods away from all sounds of man like I wish but, still country folk) I get to hear nature, sometimes mans noise butts in, but mainly nature. Early like this, there are still night creatures about but also the day crews are waking up and moving about. It’s a peaceful time, and the amount of nature that could be heard (probably could hear more, but for years of teaching shooting numbing my hearing 😳) night hawks, whip-or-wills (Chuck-will’s-widow more often) early morning Cardinals, Mocking birds and of course, the always present sound of roosters crowing, Horned owls, Barred owls, and Screech owls… you get the idea. All add their voices at one time or another, together or separate, frequent or rarely, and just listening to them relaxes me.

There are at times no sounds at all, it’s creepy still, the time of morning or night when as Sherlock Holmes put it “the powers of evil are exalted”. Times like these some get nervous or frightened, but as Don Williams sang “Nothing makes a sound in the night like the wind does, but you’re not afraid if you’re washed in the blood like I was”. Night sounds (early morning, too) can stir up fears in people, an involuntary reaction stemming back to the days when it was kill or be killed, and wild carnivores roamed everywhere, it also stems from man’s evilness to one another where certain elements prey on weaker victims. But in the here and now, the sounds I hear are stealthy, and then some are musical, neither cause fear as I have and still hunt the evil most refuse to acknowledge exists and fear little in doing so (“Fear profits no man” ..13th Warrior). Settling more in my comfy chair I hear leaves rustle, probably a mouse or mole looking for edible yummies, as I look up thru the live oak leaves to the crystal clear ink black sky with its brilliant sparkly lights (them is stars in case you didn’t get it) flashing colorful lights from far away. You can almost hear the trees talking to the wind and each other (probably wondering why we get to move around when they can’t) with soft subtle voices that you either believe in or don’t. If you believe, you can quietly hear the soft voices on the wind, maybe not understand them but you can hear them if you listen. Most refuse to hear those quiet voices from things in nature, especially those they hear when it is dark, and they do it out of fears. Fears of the unknown, fears others may not have heard it and would ridicule or belittle them, fears they would lose friendships or companions.

“Fear does not stop death it stops Life and worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles it takes away today’s Peace”

If you must fear, the fear should be that you have let God down by not following his word. (Squirrel ran by…apologies)

Listening teaches us so much more than talking does, and if most people would open their ears and close their mouths, they would learn tons and there would be way less conflict. So I sit, when I can, be it at home or at work (rare but I do sometimes get the chance) and I listen to what the world is trying to tell me. I hear the sunrise, I hear the wind, I hear Gods creations great and small. I don’t always understand them, but I hear them all, each has its own unique voice, some booming some barely perceptible. None of these would I be able to hear if all I did was talk. The gift of silence is often underestimated, but having the ability to let someone talk or vent, without interjecting, is a rare ability that more people need. Take the time to shut up and just listen, I bet you hear a lot and maybe learn to appreciate silence more.

“What’s that Peach? Sorry wasn’t listening” 😬

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Faith family Fear focus health Life

Unremembered Forest Things

Batman Says:

When I was little (yes everyone I once was little and didn’t have adult cares, how long ago? None of your business cheeky bugger), I was born (not hatched or beamed down as some believe) in a very small country town. I was actually the only one of my siblings born in this small town, but my moms family was from there and we lived there a short while. We moved to a different place, not to far away from where I was born and made frequent return trips there, so much so when I was small, it was as if I never left. Many memories of those days are gone, lost or pushed aside by other information garnered over the many years of my life (no you don’t need to know how many!). Some are still there and pop up at weird times to remind me of something (I truly wish I knew what that was) and they sometimes linger about showing up off and onto annoy me.

Like my grandpa’s place where we stayed at times, he had a tater field and would pay us kids a quarter for whoever dig up the biggest tater (by hand of course). Even fonder memories were of visits to my Aunt and Uncles house (10 minute walk across one dirt road and a couple fields) where they had rabbits (for eating, sorry no pets) and a pond that I would spend hours catching and releasing bream and catfish in (unless my uncle said “keep’em we will eat them for lunch/dinner”). My childhood memories of these times were to me idyllic and I’m saddened that they slip out of remembrance only to pop up occasionally now days.

My grandpa, my uncle and sometimes dad if he were not off helping someone fix something (seems I remember him always fixing stuff for people when we visited there) would take me fishing on a river that ran thru our little town, and at this part of the country, separated two states acting as part of the state lines. When it was summer and it hadn’t rained much, you could basically walk the river for miles without ever getting past thigh deep (on a small boy) except for parts around stumps and widow-makers (underwater snags).these deeper pockets is where the “Stump Knockers” (google it) were hiding and where the lines from our cane poles were put to catch what we could then move on to the next.

Sometimes my grandpa or uncle would stop and stare off into the woods as if seeing something but try as I might I never caught what they were seeing. I asked over and over ‘what are u looking at grandpa /uncle ” and would get “nothin son” or “just looking”. My aunt told me later that they were seeing “forest creatures” and she would laugh. Now as a small boy this fascinated me to no end, but soon I would be off to other small boy things and it would be forgotten.

Fast forward a few years (again, don’t ask how many, it’s rude) and I spend as many spare seconds as I can in the woods or creeks, hunting, fishing, photography, just being outside with Peach, or whatever. This is my happy place, my forget all your troubles, relax and just “breathe” place. Took me several years to catch on but I think I finally get it..

People who spend time in the fields, forests, swamps and natural places will know immediately what I mean in a couple seconds, some others will also as there are other types in the world. Here you are, let’s use photography as the reason you are there in nature just as a for instance. Strolling along slowly maybe with purpose in mind of something to photograph or maybe not, then, without knowing why or even thinking about it, your focus is drawn to a area or specific spot, why? Did u subconsciously see something, was it a memory of something from a time ago, or something else?

I have come to believe in my own silly mind it is done with purpose and you were drawn to that spot where one of the Unremembered Forest things was, or had just been. Your mind saw it before your eyes could catch it and your vision focused on the spot it just vacated. Good hunters have a developed sense of where game can be found, same goes for good photographers and other nature lovers. We all have in us a Predator instinct, that’s why our eyes are set in front of our head and not out to the sides (look at a cat as opposed to a deer). This instinct does not go away, but now days it’s suppressed by societies belief that “hunters are evil” (sorry squirrel ran by).

When we were children and out in nature I believe we could see the unremembered Forest things, and they weren’t afraid to be seen, but as we get older and refuse to believe, they have become skittish and we only get to see the places they just were when we spooked them.

There are so many unexplained things in nature that scientist and nay-sayers roll their eyes at, doesn’t matter, I still believe. I spend lots of time outdoors, exploring the wild, and I am constantly being drawn towards things without knowing why.

Here is an example of not seeing what’s there, I took this picture without knowing why, the colors are ok, but I didn’t really think it was that awesome. I was drawn to it without knowing why, snapped it and moved on. As I reflected upon it later I recognized the image before my eyes, if you do not see an “Angel praying” then you need to get outside into the forest for several days to reset your brain before it’s to late.

Seeing for the first time in ages the hiding places of these “things” sometimes leads one to make up rationalizations for why we chose that spot to focus. That’s cool If that’s what you believe, who am I to try and dissuade your beliefs? Just like I chunk opinions of others who try and dissuade mine into the “bucket” with the other rubbish.

I call these things “Unremembered Forest Things” because I believe that when we were small, and well before our brains were polluted with things society thinks we should know, we knew these “things” be it creatures or something else. But over time we have forgotten them, only to be reminded every so often subtly by our unconscious mind, a tugging of your focus for no apparent reason to a certain spot, and hint of a smell, or whatever. Watching the stillness of a pond where no breeze is blowing, when suddenly there are ripples on the surface as if a stick was drawn across it, Water Faries dancing on the surface? Naw just the wind right?

In the stillness and quietness, I find my peace, and I find those parts of myself from my childhood I thought were gone forever. Sometimes I can just stand still in the woods, for hours at a time and be content. This refreshing memory inducing time is only ever bettered, when I have my Peach along with me. Peach gets it, she gets me to, she knows there are things we cannot explain, nor do we have to try, we should just enjoy them.

God has filled this wonderful earth with creatures great and small, and it’s up to us to “remember” them all, and to take time to go seek them where they are.

Hope you all enjoy this ramble, and it’s my wish that if you want to, you go into nature, and let your unconscious mind guide you, follow it, and see if it does not reveal some of the “Unremembered Forest Things” that you knew in your childhood years.

Did ya see how that last pick looks like it has a turtle in it Peach?”

Categories
Fear focus health Life life styles Uncategorized

Sense of Humor?

Batman Says:

Just curious, anybody remember what that is anymore? I honestly believe that most people have either never had one, forgotten what it was, or just are to persnickety to allow theirs to show up.

I have been called lots of things in my lifetime, funny, weird, gruff, grumpy, hardheaded, ok ok that’s enough, but I’ve always had a sense of humor. Mine’s a little off kilter, and sometimes ‘bent’ but most people that really “know” me, will tell you I have a great sense of humor, those who think otherwise may be acquainted with me, but they don’t “know” me.

Humor is a stress release I think, and helps us cope with everyday stupidity. Before you get sidetracked, I’m not talking about laughing or joking at someone’s distress, I’m talking about not being afraid to laugh out loud at something you find funny. I have found in my career as a person who deals with other people’s problems, that most who have a sense of humor, are easier to work with than the naysayers and “the sky is falling” kind of people.

Meeting people on the street and having conversations will quickly tell you which type you’re dealing with, which should tell you how the conversation is probably going to wind up, example:

I was at our City marina in the dock masters office (small building out by the fuel dock where reservations are taken, fuel is paid for, dock hands relax for a couple seconds) getting my morning coffee, and of course because the world is losing its proverbial mind over a flu-bug, only one customer at a time is allowed in the office at a time. I saw a man headed up the ramp towards the office, so I opened the door and was going to leave so he could conduct his business. I said “mornin, come on in I don’t have any diseases”, which anyone with a sense of humor would have thought was funny, the dock hands did who were there and it was said with a smile and a sincere greeting. This fella chose to be an *ss and replied “prove it” as he was pulling up his face mask (which by the was was a dust mask not one rated to stop this junk). I stopped on the outside of the door holding it for him, and replied, again with a smile “if I got it, it just happened talking to you as I just got my test results back and they were negative”. This person was a sailboater, who had been staying at said marina for the past few days, so I asked “soooo what essential reason do you have to be here on your boat instead of quarantined at home per the Governors orders?” again EVERYBODY but this person knew I was being funny and could care less. This person turned pale, stammered and shuddered for a coherent answer that was plausible, and failed miserably, all he had to say was “I dunno” and went about his way, but since he chose to be an *ss I let him dangle for a while before smiling and wishing him a “nicer day”.

I went about my job and when I stopped back by later to fuel up one of the dock guys was still there and thanked me for “putting him in his place” as apparently he was rude to them the entire stay. Wasn’t my intention, I was honestly being humorous and I meant the “good morning and have a nicer day” greetings, but this person chose to be rude.

A sense of humor will get you out of more pickles easier than any other thing I know. If you cannot laugh at yourself, and laugh with others when they laugh at your goof ups or silliness, you are in for a long sad time in life.

Somewhere along the way it apparently became unpopular to have a sense of humor, probably some group someplace decided that they were offended by people laughing and quietly it has gotten pushed aside. Y’all are way too serious in this day and age. Happy people are more productive and make better employees and customers, why not spread humor instead of hate, good feelings instead of bad? Being paranoid does no one any good, being humorless only makes people not want to be around you, or if they are, they are mostly guarded and aren’t the people they are normally.

People without a sense of humor are such bores, I mean seriously, who wants to be around someone who can’t find it n themselves to laugh sometimes, no matter how serious the job or occasion.

I read this stuff someplace:

“Laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner”

The above quote I read someplace about laughter and it’s benefits, I new it was good for you but until I read that I had no idea the extent. Here, check this out:

“Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter boosts the immune system.Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.

Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.

Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.”

(Sorry can’t find the actual article to give them total credit for the above quoted info)

Who’d a thunk it? Simply giggling and laughing can have so many positive benefits.

Someone find that sailboater with his goofy mask and tell him a funny joke will ya, he could certainly use a good laugh.

You can stop laughing now Peach I finally figured the remote out”

Categories
coffee Faith family Fear focus Life life styles Time management

Range Day

Batman Says:

Today, today was a good day, with many things accomplished, some partially, others put off till another day. Today started with a perfect breakfast of Bacon and eggs cooked to perfection by Peach. I used the French press to make a batch of Black Rifle “Coffee or Die” coffee (yes, that’s a thing here). Showers, load the truck (watch Peach go back inside because she forgot her phone), head to the range for a class with one of our long time clients and she is bringing her daughter for the first time.

Great range session, I think some new skills were learned and I believe all had a good time. Peach and I try and be attentive to clients needs and wants at the range and tailor training specific for them, this one is a photographer, often off on her own. She is a super shot (trust me on this, she’s really good) so we worked on scenarios where she was photographing and had to drop the camera, draw and shoot, all which after a few slow repetitions, she did with moderate speed, and excellent skill. Her daughter who also is a great shot and safe gun handler, shoots a rifle with skill that would make some tough guys stand up and take notice (I did, as this was the first time meeting her), both mom and daughter made the morning very fun.

Backtracking a bit, I have been teaching people to shoot for a long (very very in case you must know) time, I am a NRA pistol instructor, a Police firearms instructor, a Class K (can give armed security guard firearms classes) instructor, and give Concealed Carry classes ( CCW classes to Law Enforcement and Military families are always free thru Peach and my Company). All this is done as a side to mine and Peach’s full time jobs, we do it because we feel people need good, safe and friendly training and the two of us together, do our best to give it.

So back to today..

Peach took the time today to do a little shooting with her Glock, and I did my best to help her do it right. She is already a good shot, and more important, she is SAFE WITH FIREARMS any time she handles them. Peach has a “block” issue, I’ve come to recognize this when she shoots. She is such a perfectionist that when a bullet does not go EXACTLY where she thought she was aiming at the point of trigger break, she gets frustrated and unconsciously blocks out any instruction.

At this point I’m going to point out an old saying I heard someplace “a husband should not try to teach his wife to shoot”, why? Because it can, and often does, lead to hurt feelings or worse. My personal belief is that if your relationship is a strong one, and you (that means you husbands, or boyfriends) can show superhuman patience and kindness, all the while smiling and being gracious, then by all means then teach them to shoot (yep, your prolly right, hire someone else). Ok back to the “block”….

Patience and repetitive skill sets will get you past the “block”, as stated earlier, Peach is a good shot and has the right mindset for self defense and for sport shooting. She wants to improve and wants to shoot more than we do. So today started what I hope to be a recurring theme of getting us out there shooting more together.

Today’s only issue with shooting for Peach was rounds impacting lower than she thought she was aiming. I could see the muzzle dipping at the point of trigger break (some would call this recoil anticipation but that was not why she was doing it). Peach’s issue wasn’t recoil anticipation it was lack of trigger time with this new gun, which has a firmer trigger pull. I had her dry fire (first time without her knowledge) and she immediately saw the muzzle dip. We worked a few times with dry fire and letting her use a bit more finger (leverage works no matter how small the lever) and after less than 5 minutes, the dip was gone. Live fire and she was back on the money, now after each reload she was still sending a few rounds low, but she recognized it and concentrated on the trigger break and front site and it all came together. She wanted to stop after one particular round of shooting, but me being somewhat obtuse ( think I used it right this time Peach) I had her shoot one more magazine, and I just stayed back and out of the way. Six rounds in the 2″ circle was the result, Peach was happy and I was happy for her (always try to end any skill contest on a good note).

None of this will mean much to a lot of people, it will offend some, and some will get it. Today was a “good day” for Peach and I and I hope it was a “good day” for you all as well.

I’m going to end this post with a hopeful request..

Say a prayer for their safety and give thanks for their sacrifices, and if you see a Soldier or a Police Officer tell them you appreciate all they do.

“No peach you cannot shoot an apple off my head no matter how good a shot you are”

Categories
bible Faith family Fear focus health Life life styles Music Procrastination

Letting go

Batman Says:

Ever get one of those things you did or didn’t do stuck in your head? You know what I mean, the annoying kind, the should have done differently or completed or that was stupid kinda thing.

We all have them, we all hang onto them way longer than we should. I think it’s human nature to dwell on the coulda woulda shoulda’s (funny, I thought I was making those words up but apparently not) and sometimes we can’t help but do it. We let the things get in our head and we have a hard time getting them out.

I stopped doing it, hanging on to them like I used to. Once we did or didn’t do a thing, it’s over, it’s gone and we cannot change it, so there’s no sense letting it effect whatever we are doing now or are going to do. If it’s something you can redo better then by all means go for it, but if it’s unchangeable, then chuck it in the bucket and move on. I’ve come to the conclusion that wasting my time worrying over what might have been or what I didn’t do correctly, is just that, a waste of time. We are all only given so much time, so we should spend every moment living the life we were given, not dwelling on mistakes or misfortune.

Since I came to this conclusion, I have actually felt better and been less of a grumpy guss (technical term for pain in the a**), not that I am often but I did have more moments of grumpiness than normal. I like me better this way and it makes the job I do more tolerable. I prefer this way cause Peach deserves a not so grumpy me hehe and cast iron skillets hurt (just kidding good grief y’all don’t read nothin into it, joke, humor, funny).

There’s a verse that I found (stumbled on watching a youtube music video featuring Mercy Me singing “Bring the Rain”) that seemed to fit with this letting go problem, because if we are honest we don’t let go because we are silly and apparently like to suffer and stew over things we cannot control.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:18 KJV

If you read this verse with your mind and heart open, these silly things we feel we must hang on to, reveal themselves to be of no consequence and therefore they are easy to let go.

Anywho, that’s how I see it, and I’m happier for it.

“Thanks for watching the video with me for the millionth time Peach”