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Gather

Batman says:

Hi, y’all! Been a minute since I wrote anything at all, and I figure I better say something before I forget how to do this. Peach is forever wanting to gather with family and have a bonfire and cook a big meal for everyone. Me, I’m a hermit. As much as I love Peach’s cooking, and as much as I love family and friends, I’m a hermit. Peach in her patient ways, always drags the cave man out into the light from time to time and when she does and I stop grumblin’, I always end up having a really fun time.

Someone once said, “to truly be happy, a person must make others happy“ (if no one said it I’ll claim it) although I don’t believe that’s the case, I will say making others genuinely smile, does make me happy. I have been blessed with the most beautiful and perfect partner to stumble through life with, and in doing so have been blessed with awesome children, and grandchildren. But more than that, Peach’s family add an awesome blessing into the mix. Always up for a bonfire, or a day at the range, never without smiles and good cheer, they are like my own kin. We have been able to spend a bit more time with some of them now that I’m fully retired, before, being a Police Officer I missed gatherings and opportunities to spend time, now I am able to and we do.

Raised by two great parents my two of my nieces (you know who you are) are growing too fast into wonderful young ladies, one with two incredible talents (that I know of) one is as an artist at which she is very good at, and the other writing, a talent rivaling many a starving book writers, she will, if she keeps at it, publish a best seller before she’s 20. The other, quieter and more a thinker (just based on my observations) I have been told is an excellent cook, creating dishes that are both pleasing to the palette but also creations that are wondrous to look at, this talent does not surprise me as I know she is also a skillful artist (although I have to pry to get a look at her work, I can be annoying at times yes it’s true) her art belies her age, and like her sister with writing, if she keeps at it will make her mark in Culinary Arts or any other field she chooses (not to forget they are both really good shots and seem to enjoy range time). The reason I mention these young ladies is because the more we visit the more I see their talent and come to appreciate how they mirror their parents in the fact that they love family and I pray they keep at it and shine. At our outings or bonfires I like to think everyone has a good time and can’t wait to do it again, I know I can’t.

Gatherings with family like this are something I hope all get a chance to do (if we’re having one you’re welcome to join the family) as I know the conversation that happens while sitting around the fire with the dark crowding in all around, and the trees seemingly stretching their limbs towards the fire to warm, is conversation that’s good for the soul. Thought provoking and sometimes funny, the conversation is for all ages, as we believe that everyone has something to share. Being retired, I am catching up for the first couple months, on things I need to get a handle on. After that, Peach and I are going to take our famous driving trips and see what we find. There are plans to stay in cabins (I’m all in long as there’s a creek or pond I can sit by and fish in), in parts of the country where it’s more “country”, near places where we can take hikes or walks and /or bike rides. The plans include times with family doing the same things and having the same style conversations around fires at night, until we are no longer able.

As I age, I reflect as I’m sure everyone does, on missed opportunities to tell people what they mean to you, and how you cherish their friendship and company. I tend to turn friends into family and to me there are no more important people than family. I want my children to succeed in all walks of life and they are well on the right path to do so. I want for Peach’s family the same, as to me they are my family also and there is nothing on the earth I would not do to see them succeed or come to their aid.

I think the point of this inane babble (anyone get the reference?) is to explain that despite all my life liking to be a hermit, there is nothing on the planet that would keep me from helping family, and now days, “gathering” to just be together.

“Yes Peach I did light the bonfire

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Family!

Peach says:

It’s been a minute since I could slow my roll and make a post without likely falling asleep!

I think I may have mentioned we have two new grand kids coming this year! 🥰🥰🥰🥰

Our youngest son and his sweet girl had a ‘Gender Reveal’ party at the first of this month. She is very organized and really gifted for decorating and doing so in a thrifty fashion!! I’m so amazed at and proud of her mad skills! Everything was super cute and pink and blue, with lots of ways for the attendees to stake their claim on if the baby is a girl or a boy!

My heart was so full for about a week and half I couldn’t process any writing! Then it was work, work and here — take some more work!! 🤣🤣

But you know, I do not say that in complaint! Work is absolutely a blessing! We are made to sharpen our skills and accomplish and serve and lead and train and help and provide! I’ve been both ways, and working is BY FAR the better! Whether I worked as a housewife and homeschool mom and writer or keeping a friend’s child or as a Sergeant in a law enforcement agency that was leading the way for Florida back in the day, or in insurance sales and firearms training, there are so many ways we contribute, we grow and we learn.

It’s only that I need more sleep than I use to, so I can’t burn the candle at both ends like I did back in my 20s and 30s and somewhat in my 40s!

Alton Brown’s Banana Pudding

So, the days have been so full and among them has been seeing to little details for Batman’s upcoming retirement. There’s a lot of paperwork. Lots of questions with answers sought and comprehension eventually acquired! I remember the days when we longed for and sought for this job, this calling. I remember the struggles and sacrifice and much heart ache, adrenaline rushes, exhaustion, and steady grinding. I’m not entirely sure he understands the depth and breadth of what he has accomplished. All with and through the Grace of God and his own willingness.

I am so grateful and excited for his upcoming next. Scriptures tell us, our latter shall be greater. The path of the just is as the shining sun, shining more and more unto the perfect day!! I’m completely believing that for him, and for me with him! Just. Getting. Started.

Early morning on his work day patrol.

We share birthdays so to speak, my birthday being the day after his! Which is awfully handy!

We started last year getting some of our family together to celebrate on Batman’s birthday and this year was just overwhelmingly everything good and joyful! He grilled and I cooked side dishes and baked. And my brother and his tribe came and our sons and their families!

There was a little friendly horseshoe competition between the guys and lots of wrangling the littlest of the younguns!

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese!
A bit of much needed shade! 😎

We are blessed to have so much family to enjoy! I know this sounds sappy, and I’m quite ok with that! The last two years prior to this, while filled with much of The Lord’s much needed Grace and blessings, were very painful in lots of ways. So, I believe celebration for accomplishments, progress and just altogether sweetness of life are important to life! 😍👏🏻👏🏻

We capped it off by sparklers, and the youngest three of the affectionately known as Sugarboogars, had not so far had an opportunity to experience such things just yet!

There were much squeals of shock and awe and utter delight! Oddly none of them were afraid! Even the almost two year old Loved them! I can’t imagine where they got that from! 🙃 But, I will say my second favorite holiday is Independence Day!! 🎇🎆🎇🎆

Just a bit of sparkly!
‘Taking cover’ behind the woodpile while videoing the sparklers with their cameras their Daddy got them last year! They get SO MUCH pleasure out of them!

I am praying this year draws Batman even closer to the Lord and fills his heart with joy and peace and old dreams fulfilled and new dreams dreamed! That the Lord teaches me how to be more of a surprise and blessing to him! He’s beyond good to me! So very grateful for him!

In closing:

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” — Psalm 138:7-8

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birthday family fun kids outdoors parents range Uncategorized

Family Range Day

Batman says:

Today is the day! “Yay! We get to go to the shooting range with family!” To me there is no better way to spend time, than being together with family and having great fun. Toss in shooting guns, and teaching young folk firearms use and safety, and you have a recipe for an awesome time.

I’ve been blessed with awesome kin folk, on both sides of Peach and my families. This time we’re together with Peach’s brother, lovely wife and two absolutely awesome nieces.

So here we are, all out at the range, and we get stuff out and set up. Canopy for the sun, table for guns and bullets, and ear protection eye protection, and miscellaneous items. Firearms and kids, be it a 10 year old, or 17 year old, or 50 year old, should always be directly supervised by an adult that actually knows about firearms and firearms safety!

Anywho..at the range we are all set to go and first order of business is safety, safety, safety and safety (this is the ONLY exception to my “safety 3rd” rule). New shooter/old shooter, doesn’t matter which or who, safety is paramount around firearms. We take our time and go over safety, and gun fundamentals with the two nieces and others even if they have shot before.

Then off we go to shoot, it was a GREAT time and I think everyone enjoyed themselves, we all shot each other’s guns the nieces started with a small caliber .22 and shot it AWESOME!! Couldn’t have asked for better from two girls that had never shot before. Even had them do a shoot while moving course later that we threw together just for fun, and they excelled at it. I have been a firearms instructor for a lot of years and in my opinion, if they keep shooting they could go to competitions and do quite well. K (I never reveal family names) did very well, but I believe the sound was bothering her until we got her to wear earmuffs instead of the ear plugs once we made that swap I think it was better for her. She shot well prior to and shot well after, I believe the sound and heat was a bit taxing on her but she hung in there like a trooper. L on the other hand, took to it like a duck to water and shot the whole time and excelled even though her uncle kept making her run the course over and over because he couldn’t get the video he was taking right (hey, I never claimed to be a film maker, have a son that graduated school for that).

Both my wonderful nieces are a pleasure to be around and that’s a compliment to their parents who are two great people. Their dad is a good shot on his own and seemed to enjoy the shooting and the fact that his 3 “girls” were having as much fun as he was. If things go the way we hope I foresee many more trips to the range in his future. The “mom” has always been just a fun person to be around and boy howdy can she shoot a handgun! Everyone can use tips, but when you shoot that well the tips are more about posture, tiny grip changes, and mental focus. The premise starting off was to get the “girls” comfortable with the guns, I think we accomplished that pretty quick, and I also think we need to get back out there before too long has passed so as to reaffirm the habits taught and learned. A couple more times of basics and I think we could sit down and discuss a bit of home defense shooting.

Cart before the horse it seems, anywho to bring this ramble to a close, before I get lost in inane babble, Peach and I had an absolute blast with them all, and it is my sincere hope it started something we can do much more frequently, I hope they had as much fun as I did. If by chance my kin read this, thanks for coming out and hanging out with us, for me there can be no better time than to be together with kinfolk doing fun things. K get mom and dad to buy you good hearing protection, L do the same and both of you will do great if you keep at it. L&M in my old fashioned humble opinion, perfect kids come from great parents you two fit the mold, y’all let us know when ya wanna shoot again and we will make it happen.

Side note to others that read this and are interested, find a competent teacher, doesn’t have to have credentials from fancy associations, just needs to have the patience and knowledge to teach, and go have fun.

Recommended Apparel and Equipment:

Hat with a brim, eye protection (safety glasses), good hearing protection, I recommend a collared shirt (hot brass flies down your shirt it will melt your skin TRUST ME IT HURTS) shorts are ok, I wear loose pants BDU or cargo, but shorts are fine (no one wants to be subjected to these legs) but wear closed toe shoes that cover your foot even tennis shoes or the like (see above about brass) and that you can move in.

As for guns, I have never recommended calibers or types, I suggest you try as many as you can till you find the one that fits your hand and you handle the recoil on the best.

“Peach that was fun, right?”