September 24, 2018

Blooming… What Does It Really Mean?

Posted on March 23, 2018 by in Magazine Issues

Join us this month as we look at all sorts of blooms and blooming!

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An Adorned Old Warhorse

Posted on March 23, 2018 by in Sittin' At The Gun Shop

Some people like to change and customize things. Most of the time I don’t fall into this category, but on this one particular pistol, I jumped off the deep end too. I floundered around a little, but not too much because I couldn’t afford to drown, (in debt that is). I’m talking about taking a box stock pistol and adding all of the bells and whistles to make it the crème de la cream of the day. It’s a bit of keeping up with the Jones you might say.

This Colt Combat Commander started life as a box stock Colt .45 acp caliber, four and a half inch barrel, single action bullet launcher perfectly capable of doing its job. When it came into my possession it had suffered some abuse. It had some surface rust and was in need of a good cleaning. Naturally, I took it to the gun shop and spoke with the shop’s gun cleaning guru, the manager named Frank.

While cleaning it up for me he said that it had good bones, but like a teenager on a diet of french fries, the skin was blemished. We talked and finally decided that the old warhorse would be sent off for what was called at the time a satin nickel finish, (now it’s called Colt Guard or matte finish). The older Colt single action semi-auto’s had a habit of skinning the hide off the web of my hand when fired, so I also added an extended beaver tail grip safety too.

As the photograph indicates the chosen grip safety doesn’t have the currently “in fad” speed bump on the lower part. It wasn’t known about or thought of way back then. The sights are fixed and squared off with a wide notch white outlined rear sight and a blaze orange ramp front sight. I had cut my fledgling law enforcement teeth on the N-frame and K-frame Smith and Wesson revolvers and had grown accustomed to this particular sight picture.

I think the brand name for these sights are Millet and they are probably still offered in their current catalog. I bought the finger groove hand filling stocks at the Pasadena Gun show a half decade later and felt that they gave me good control and they felt very natural in my hand. I shot the gun for many years and it would shoot better groups than I could ever muster with any other 1911. At combat distances it would make one ragged hole in the target with a steady hold and quality ammo.

Back in 1990 I was moved into the criminal investigation division and really fell hard for that type of work and the camaraderie of my fellow blood hounds. One thing about it bothered me though; we didn’t have a distinctive badge that identified us as detectives. We all had our regular issue badges that had the word PATROLMAN, emblazoned across the top.

Being somewhat of a trendsetter I went to the Blackington Badge Catalog and ordered what was called a mini-badge in the shape of my current badge with the State of Texas Seal and the department name and my badge number, but I had the title INVESTIGATOR put across the top. I believed this was more befitting a lawman of my stature and assignment.

When it came in I carried it in my wallet for several years. Within a few months after several inter-office memorandums between me and the CID sergeant, we got full size new badges approved for everyone. Many thanks to a great sack dragging detective, (who shall remain nameless) who found a citizen willing to foot the entire bill for the ten new gold tone expensive badges. We got our new shiny DETECTIVE badges that they still wear today because of the kindness of one man, who shall also remain nameless.

After I retired I went to the gun shop with this pistol because the Rampant Colt stock insert had come unglued. I also took the little investigator mini-badge with me to see Frank and asked him if he could carve out the wooden stocks enough to affix the little badge to them. He did it and it turned out to be an attractive addition in my opinion. Now the old warhorse is used as my training gun.

Once shooters that I’m working with get over their fear of recoil, I can train them with the old .45 quicker than anything else I own. They gain confidence quickly due to the higher hit probability and it just feels good in their hand. I hope you like the photograph, and just for your information I could have bought a brand new Colt Lightweight Commander for what it cost me to make these “custom” additions to this pistol. Oh wait, “I recently did just that”. Guess that will be another story.

Till then “shoot back first”, “make sure of your target”, and “may all of your groups be small”. And don’t forget to join the NRA to protect your gun rights.

Junior’s Boy


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This Much I Know… God is in Charge of the Seasons of our Lives

Posted on March 20, 2018 by in Letters to My Children

“Love never fails — never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end.” 1Cor 13:8 AMP

Be careful how you begin. With every new stage in your life – be sure you set it up like you want it. We are all creatures of habit. Whatever NEW patterns we establish, chances are they will become our NEW normal and we probably won’t change them again until another NEW season comes along.

Some seasons involve moving to a new town. Sometimes we are changing jobs, careers or retiring from them. We have seasons when we are in school or having babies and sometimes we’re doing both. Our nests empty, we go to war or sickness sometimes lingers and we go through seasons of grief, mourning and loss. All the big life changes require NEW set ups, NEW routines and sometimes they even come with NEW scenery! The only way to live your best life is to set it up with God’s wisdom.

Ask for help. He’s the only one who knows what your next BEST step needs to be and the only way you are going to find out is to ask Him. You can just wing it on your own, but you’ll just be wasting your time. Eventually you will get so lost you’ll wind up giving up and asking Him for help anyway. Don’t wait until after you’ve created some big mess in your life to ask for direction. He created the season you are in for a reason. Lay down your ego at the beginning of each NEW season and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of trouble.

The object is to get the most out of each season and to bloom. Find out what you are there for and go after it! Blooming requires many, many seasons for us to become fully developed. And that’s what He’s after.

Lynn Dale

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Later Bloomers

Posted on March 20, 2018 by in Book Reviews

If you’re over 35 and not where you want to be in life … we’ve found the book for you!

This book chronicles the lives of people you have heard of (Susan Boyle, James Michener, Ina Garten…) and many you probably haven’t heard of, but who did fascinating things with their gifts and talents.  

If you find it amazing to learn what people do in their lives before they “make it”, this book will be great encouragement for you. The author is a late bloomer herself, so she knows what she is talking about firsthand. This book is available on Amazon in Kindle format only right HERE for the ridiculously LOW price of $2.99.

Does a story about a 92-year-old grandma running a marathon make your day? That’s the kind of good news that makes us happy, so we believe Later Bloomers is a really GOOD READ.

Other Reader’s Reviews

Pat Lockwood said: Very encouraging.

Rich McClure said: Every time I tried to take a break from reading I found myself coming back within minutes. I found this book very engaging and inspiring. I’ve often felt a creative pull, but I’ve been discouraged from following my dreams. Now I plan to follow my dreams while keeping my day job which I also enjoy. Who knows, maybe I’m destined to be the next late bloomer!

From the Author

“I want everyone to realize that creativity has no use-by date, that if we’re lucky and take care, our best years are ahead. I want to honor the hundreds of inspiring people who’ve proven this and I want to create an anthology of timeless profiles. I have learned that blooming is a life-long pursuit and creativity never gets old.

Look forward to the Second Edition soon!”  Debra Eve


Later BloomersP. S. If you would like to get in on the author’s encouraging Newsletter in which she shares her “latest finds” CLICK HERE and sign up, it’s very encouraging as well.

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The Way Back

Posted on March 13, 2018 by in Movie Reviews

Rating: A-

*Our NEW Rating System: A is excellent, B is good and anything less than that doesn’t get talked about here, because there’s nothing good to say.

Audience: Adults only.

There are very adult themes in this movie, savagery, political persecution, murder, friendship, love, and honor. It is not for the faint of heart or squeamish.

“FREEDOM is NEVER FREE” is the main theme of this movie and it shows that REAL men will die trying to stand up on free ground, rather than survive on bent knees in a mad man’s prison.

This movie begins at a terrible gulag (prison camp) in Stalin’s Soviet Union. The main character is a new fish (convict) just learning to tread water in a shark infested pond. He learns a few things from the old cons around him and slowly forms necessary alliances. Not friendships mind you, (these people would murder you in your sleep for a pork chop), but alliances that might help him escape the frozen hell-hole. The Siberian gulag is surrounded by 2000 square miles of snow, frozen ground, and plenty of locals that would turn them in for the bounty paid for escaping prisoners.

Unbelievable hardships plague the escapees during the cross country trek and death stalks their every step. One can pick out the reasons that we now call the men and women of this era the greatest generation. The scenery in this movie is breathtaking, but it’s extremely dangerous for even for the hardiest of them.

The movie ends well and their trip was well worth it.

Junior’s Boy

Showing: Now showing on Netflix.

Starring: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Ferrell and Saoirse Ronan.


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Simple Things

Posted on February 23, 2018 by in Magazine Issues

Join us this month as we look at ways to make life simple, better and more enjoyable.

If you need some encouragement today CLICK HERE to download this issue. As always, if you have a friend who needs some encouragement too – please share. It’s FREE.

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SIMPLE Childlike Faith vs Depression

Posted on February 22, 2018 by in Letters to My Children

Anytime you lose sight of LOVE – you begin to go astray…

Because to lose sight of God will automatically take you off course. Focusing on love is always the right course of action. Disconnected from the vine, you begin to wither.

When you get depressed you have taken your eyes off of the most important thing in life, which is – love. It’s not you, your problems, or your needs that are important. The only thing that really matters is love and you have gotten distracted and forgotten what you were taught as a child.

You’ve lost sight of the most important thing.

All the needs and problems in the world are only temporary things. Love is all that is permanent. It’s the only thing that lasts, therefore it’s all that really matters.

So simple and yet so easy to forget.

We get all tied up in the temporary and lose sight of what is really important until our depression reminds us. There used to be a sign hung on the refrigerator when you were young that said (Get yourself off of your mind and go help someone else.) Remember?

I put it there to remind us all of what happens when we get mired down in our focus on ourselves. Narcissism is the root of all unhappiness. You always have to look outside of yourself to find happiness in this world.

Lynn Dale

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The Next Big GOOD Thing!

Posted on February 20, 2018 by in Good Stuff

We have found a great NEW magazine…

Yes, we are a digital magazine promoting another digital magazine – because it’s that good!

It’s called Simplify Magazine and it’s a GOOD READ in our opinion.

Their 1st issue covered Happiness.

The 2nd covered Health and Wellness.

And the 3rd is titled Stress and Overwhelm.

All 3 issues are Good Reads for anyone, not just parents of young families. And the best part is – it’s really affordable!

Here’s an excerpt from their 1st issue that we enjoyed called “What Living Danishly Taught Me About Happiness” by Helen Russell.

Families Living Danishly

At the start of 2014, I gave birth to a baby boy, and it was this experience that really won me around to the advantages of “living Danishly.” Our neighbors left a wooden stork outside our house, as is the custom in Denmark, to warn the mail delivery person to tread lightly for a while—and I came to learn that Denmark is a great place to have kids.

Parents get 52 weeks of leave to share between them so men don’t miss out on spending time with their kids and the business of childrearing is shared more equally. So after two weeks of paternity leave post birth, my husband went back to work before tying up loose ends to take 10 weeks off to care for our mini Viking. Because a dad taking time out, fully paid, to look after his child is recognized as something that’s important and so is encouraged. As a result, fathers bond with their babies far sooner than those cramming in quality time at weekends.

Lego Man (that’s where he works) learned how to change nappies, how to do bath time and bedtime, and how you can feel like you’re going insane by 2 p.m. on a Tuesday when all you want is an hour’s uninterrupted sleep. And maybe a shower. He came to understand how looking after an infant 24 hours a day can be hugely rewarding but that it’s also relentlessly tough. He knows that, some days, all you need is for someone to come home and say: “You’re doing a great job—have some ice cream!”

And then we both went back to work, since kids are guaranteed a place in high-quality state-run day care from six months of age in Denmark, the cost 75 percent subsidized via taxes. All this at a time when friends back home have had to give up their jobs as they can’t afford child care. Because it’s totally doable to have a family and a career, 85 percent of Danish mothers return to work, and domestic chores are shared more equally between the sexes. It’s as if Danes recognize that caregiving is just as important as breadwinning—and it doesn’t matter who’s doing what.

Children also get to grow up free in Denmark. Preschoolers play outside, come sleet or snow, and are encouraged to run, jump, fight, and fall (often, if my own is anything to go by) without anyone rushing in to arbitrate. The idea of the “terrible twos” and “threenagers” are alien to Danes, who class toddlerdom as trodsalder, or “the boundary age,” when it’s accepted that pushing the limits is normal rather than naughty. This makes meltdowns in the mall or that awkward moment when your three year old defecates in a friend’s playhouse (just for example…) far more bearable—and no one gets judged.

Living Danishly…Anywhere

Of course, living in the land of Nord isn’t all a hippy-haven cakewalk. The weather’s terrible, the 50 percent tax rate takes some getting used to, and Denmark faces many of the same problems as the rest of the world—but these are countries with none of Denmark’s advantages.

From my research and experiences, I’ve come to the conclusion that the pollsters were right: living Danishly can make you happier.

So, at the end of our first year, we decided to stay—and now we’re in our fifth year. We’re happier. We’re more relaxed; we have our priorities straight; and we trust more. Oh, and I’m expecting twins next week.

But you don’t need to emigrate to get a slice of the happy Dane action.

Everyone can live a little more Danishly by prioritizing leisure, pleasure, and family. So leave work on time. Eat that pastry. Block out time for a hobby. Play with your kids, letting them get muddy and even fall down occasionally.

Remember the simple things that make you happy—seeing friends or family, lighting a candle, brewing a fresh cup of coffee, or just having a bacon sandwich. See? You’re feeling better already.

Editor’s Note:

If you’re not completely sold on this magazine yet, CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page to have a look at the entire first issue for FREE. You can also read the whole article you just finished above from the beginning.

Right now they are running a BUY ONE, GIFT ONE special which is lifetime access to all issues for yourself and a friend for just $20.00! You just can’t beat that.

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Wind River

Posted on February 12, 2018 by in Movie Reviews

Rating: B+

*Our NEW Rating System: A is excellent, B is good and anything less than that doesn’t get talked about here, because there’s nothing good to say.

Audience: *Adults only, graphic violence, language, death scenes, etc.

The movie begins with a young Native American Arapaho Indian girl running through the snow. You can tell by the intensity of her frantic breathing, the speed of her running and the look on her face that she is running for her life. And you can tell that this isn’t going to end well for her. The next scene is a small flock of goats being stalked by a trio of wolves and just as one of them heads toward the innocent young goats, a sharp crack rings out. This is a metaphor of things to come. Two of the wolves go down and then you see the shooter, clad in a white winter hunting suit laying prone in the snow.

He’s holding a sniper rifle that any Delta Force tier one operator would be comfortable using in battle. You can’t tell at this point if he’s a good guy or a bad guy. It turns out that he is a Wildlife Officer working for the State of Wyoming. Next, he finds the corpse of the Indian girl and he’s visibly moved by her death for a reason that becomes clear later in the movie.

A grizzled old reservation Chief of Police is called to the scene and he explains that he doesn’t have jurisdiction in murder cases on the reservation. He will have to call the FBI to investigate this murder and as if on cue – a blizzard starts dumping snow on the crime scene. The Police Chief says he can’t move the body until the FBI gives their approval, so they go to the station to wait and watch the snow fall. A new Chevy Tahoe drives up and a very young, blonde, white female in a lightweight FBI windbreaker jumps out.

The chief, the wildlife officer (WLO), and a local hanger on look at each other in total disbelief. The attractive twenty something agent asks them to be taken to the crime scene to view the corpse. The WLO explains to her that the crime scene is about five miles away by snowmobile and she would likely freeze to death before they got there. The petite young agent is loaned a winter snowsuit and the investigation continues in a normal manner, however the weather and the remoteness of the area continue to be big factors that normal crime scenes don’t have.

This as far as I’m comfortable taking you in this story, but of you like a good murder mystery coupled with beautiful scenery, this is a movie you should watch.

Junior’s Boy

Showing: At a Redbox kiosk near you.

Starring: Elizabeth Olsen as FBI Agent Jane Banner and Jeremy Renner as WLO Cody Lambert.

The Wind River Indian reservation really exists in Wyoming. It is home to members of the Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribe. It’s a beautiful and wild mountainous area, but for the indigenous Native American people it’s an unfenced prison without jobs, schooling, or any hope. What they do have in abundance is drugs, crime, death, snow and silence.

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Posted on February 7, 2018 by in Good Stuff

There is a new thrill ride in town for all of you first responder junkies out there sitting on your couches, wishing you could go out and save the world. It’s called appropriately enough 911.

This series is not the same old cop and fireman show like Adam 12 or Emergency of yesteryear…

It starts when the phone call comes into the 911 center, (answered by the gorgeous red head, Connie Britton) whose calm, soothing voice will do her very best to get you the help you need. Or explain how to do CPR to help keep your loved one alive till the paramedics arrive. Or if fire or rescue is the order of the day, she will dispatch the LAFD to quickly respond to your needs. They will race headlong into the breach to get you off of a wayward roller coaster or they can save your suicidal boyfriend who erroneously thinks you cheated on him and is threatening to jump off a seven story building.

There is plenty of LAFD eye candy for the ladies in this firehouse in the form of probationary firefighter Evan (Buck) Buckley (actor Oliver Stark). His habit of taking the fire truck apparatus out to woo the ladies without the fire captains permission is about to get him fired. I’m going to watch this guy just to see how many lovely ladies he entertains in each episode.

If evil is afoot and you need police help, the 911 operator calls the LAPD, who will respond to your scene ready to dispense justice swiftly! You are put into the capable hands of (Sgt. Athena Grant, played by veteran actress Angela Bassett). Athena is a dedicated professional cop who has a multitude of personal and family problems she’s dealing with. She goes from one crisis to another, solving them quickly and lawfully, most of the time. She has a secret that shocks everyone in episode two.

Running into burning buildings or towards gunshots while everyone else is running away takes a special kind of person. They are called heroes by many, but they just call themselves FIRST RESPONDERS. When you need them, they will come every time . Check your local listings for 911 on the Fox Network .

It’s looking like it’s going to be a pretty good little show.

Junior’s Boy

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