Our First Set of Baby Chickens

baby chickens from coastals

We received our first dozen baby chickens this week and we are beyond excited about them. The real excitement was how well Big D took to them. Wanting to get as close as he could and touching them right away. So glad he is a gentle toddler and extremely curious but cautious at the same time. We are still living in city limits so at the moment we are breaking the law – breaking the law, but it’s temporary and we should have them up in our new home in a couple weeks.  For now they are hanging out in a cozy garage and hopefully loving all the attention they are getting.

farm kids first baby chicken

We are starting with 6 Rhode Island Reds and 6 Plymouth Rock hens. We plan to keep adding to our flock once we are outside of the city.

chick rhode island red FHTH

Updates: New Home, New Town and Two Additions

The blog is getting a face lift. Some updating of the site needs to happen because there is quite a bit of updating to our lives that has happened. The past two years have been exciting. My husband, “The Soldier”, has retired (medically) from the Army, we moved from the big city to a small country town in Eastern Washington and we now have two small people in our home. Big changes.

photo credit: Kady Photography

photo credit: Kady Photography

I am hopeful that I will eventually get outdoors to hunt sometime soon, but the honesty of the situation is, well, breastfeeding a newborn and chasing a toddler (1yearold) while keeping a house and husband happy take up most of my time. Excuses aside I hope to still provide a newbies view on hunting, guns, working hard to get to our dream home and now introducing kids to our new country life. But for now it is nap time for a particularly grumpy teething toddler and a feeding is due for a 2 month old baby girl.

What’s The Difference Between 556 & 223 round? My Husband Laughed

Last week we went to the gun show (read about it here) and saw a lot of over priced items. While we were there, ever time I heard my husband The Soldier chuckle, shake his head and say something that sounded like “insane” I would stop write down the item and price. Over the following week I looked for images on the internet of what I had written down, then I needed to match up those images to my list.

Doing this was quite entertaining to The Soldier. He could hear me talking to myself. “ok this is the Draco not DraCKo and here is the 556 not the 223.”

The Soldier – It’s interesting hearing you figure all of this out for yourself. Having to teach yourself.

The Housewife – I have to learn it some how, I might have been a tomboy but I spent my days playing in dirt and climbing trees not building guns out of sticks.

The Soldier – Well google things or just ask because 556 is a 5.56  and 223 is .223 They are also pretty similar but different.

I looked at him wanting to be annoyed but then glanced back at my picture realizing that it could be an image of either one 5.56 or .223. Great, now I had to find out the difference.

5.56 or .223

So here is a mix of what Wikipedia and a few Gun Forums had to say:

The .223 Remington is a sporting cartridge with the same external dimensions as the 5.56x45mm NATO military cartridge. It is loaded with a .224″ diameter, jacketed bullet, with weights ranging from 40 up to 90 grains, though the most common loadings by far are 55 grains.

The primary difference between .223 Remington and 5.56 x 45 mm is that .223 is loaded to lower pressures and velocities compared to 5.56 mm. .223 Remington ammunition can be safely fired in a 5.56 mm chambered gun, but the reverse can be an unsafe combination. The additional pressure created by 5.56 mm ammo will frequently cause over-pressure problems such as difficult extraction, flowing brass, or popped primers, but in extreme cases, could damage or destroy the rifle. Chambers cut to .223 Remington specifications have a shorter leade (throat) area as well as slightly shorter headspace dimensions compared to 5.56 mm “military” chamber specs, which contributes to the pressure issues.

While the 5.56 mm and .223 cartridges are very similar, they are not identical. Military cases are made from thicker brass than commercial cases, which reduces the powder capacity (an important consideration for handloaders), and the NATO specification allows a higher chamber pressure. Test barrels made for 5.56mm NATO measure chamber pressure at the case mouth, as opposed to the SAAMI location. This difference accounts for upwards of 20,000+ psi difference in pressure measurements. That means that advertised pressure of 58,000 psi for 5.56mm NATO, is around 78,000 psi tested in .223 Rem test barrels (SAAMI .223 Rem Proof MAP is 78,500 psi so every 5.56mm round fired is a proof load, very dangerous). The 5.56 mm chambering, known as a NATO or mil-spec chambers, have a longer leade, which is the distance between the mouth of the cartridge and the point at which the rifling engages the bullet. The .223 chambering, known as the “SAAMI chamber”, is allowed to have a shorter leade, and is only required to be proof tested to the lower SAAMI chamber pressure. To address these issues, various proprietary chambers exist, such as the Wylde chamber[2] or the Armalite chamber, which are designed to handle both 5.56 mm and .223 equally well.

Using commercial .223 cartridges in a 5.56-chambered rifle should work reliably, but generally will not be as accurate as when fired from a .223-chambered gun due to the excessive leade. [3] Using 5.56 mil-spec cartridges (such as the M855) in a .223-chambered rifle can lead to excessive wear and stress on the rifle and even be unsafe, and the SAAMI recommends against the practice.[4] Some commercial rifles marked as “.223 Remington” are in fact suited for 5.56 mm, such as many commercial AR-15 variants and the Ruger Mini-14, but the manufacturer should always be consulted to verify that this is acceptable before attempting it, and signs of excessive pressure (such as flattening or gas staining of the primers) should be looked for in the initial testing with 5.56 mm ammunition.

So with that said. I know the differences beyond what I thought I needed to know.

Is It accurate?

At The Gun Show: Prices, My eyes almost fell out of my head

We woke up at 6:00am on a bright sunny… no, just kidding. We woke up at 6:00am on a typical Western Washington, Pacific Northwest January morning, to get to the gun show before the rest of the population had their wheaties and washed their hair. Dogs rushing around, excited we were awake and feeding them early only to be disappointed when we walked out the door without them. Driving past the front gates of the Puyallup Fairgrounds, The Soldier and I smiled at each other. Knowing without having to say a word to one another that we made the right choice. There was already, 150 people or more, building a line at 7:20 and the show didn’t open until 8am.

223 ammo

223 AMMO booths asking $1.00 per round

Being that we were 2012 members and expired I thought we would have to wait in line, so we headed towards the end. Before we could get there a woman was announcing that 2012 members and current members did not have to wait in line. An invisible High Five passed between The Soldier and I. We quickly turned around and headed to the front. Our excitement was squashed a little once we walked through the gate and saw 100 more members in a roped off area. Instead of waiting outside the gates in the cold we waited just inside the gates in 33degree COLD. But excitement was building, people were chattering from the cold and about what they were hoping to find. AMMO mostly.

Sure Fire 60 rnd Magazine for $249 ~ photo from midway USA

Sure Fire 60 rnd Magazine for $249 ~ photo from midway USA

Right at 8am the rope dropped and a few people in the very front of the crowd took off running. Seriously! Running towards the front door. We noticed a few folks cut out of the crowd and move towards a side door. The Soldier grabbed my hand and off we went. That side door dropped us in front of the running herd and right next to the Ammo Booth.

Draco Booth asking $1750 ~ photo: highplainstactical.com

Draco a booth asking $1750 ~ photo: highplainstactical.com

Never before was there a specific spot to wait in order to be served. Normally like all other booths you walk up get a sales person attention, ask your questions and either make a purchase or walk away whispering under your breathe. Not this time. Red Tape. Big Signs and a man calling out to wait behind the red line. The soldier and I looked on the ground and quickly stood behind one other man. Before we were called up I looked behind me. By 8:15am the line was out the side door we came in and wrapping around the side wall. Looked like 80 people or more not including couples and kids.

Booths were asking $50.00 ~ Photo from midway USA

Booths were asking $50.00 ~ Photo from midway USA

 

OUT of AMMO: 5.56 and 7.62, with no info on when they would get restocked.

At least we could still grab the next items on the list. Training ammo I would need for my M&P 15-22 and picked up reloaded 40Cal. Great tactic to be OUT of something and have a line going around the building. We did feel a little like we needed to by something because who wanted to wait in another line.

.22 LR brick $33.00 photo from midway USA

.22 LR brick $33.00 photo from midway USA

Feeling a little better and heavier we walked the show floor. One man was selling 30 round magazines for $60.00. Whenever I heard him say his price, it was quickly followed by the sound of the magazine touching the table again.

Every Booth had something to laugh about, look in shock at or wonder how they can raise their prices so much. One Ammo booth TacticalAmmunition.com had sold out of all the usual things and was bringing out the ammo they typically leave at home. We picked up 300winmag from that table that wasn’t over priced.

The average price of items had tripled since the last gunshow in December ~pre gun ban talks ~ definitely kicking ourselves for not buying then. But prices will drop, hopefully soon, and the cycle will repeat itself.

Any shocking moments from your last Gun Show experience?

Political Bullying or Just gathering Information about the Gun Ban issue?

I received a very long email from the Obama Office, now it isn’t an “Official” type of letter. It was sent to me because I signed up to receive info on Obama’s campaign the first go around (I am smarter now) and they send me random emails pertaining to current issues. I was waiting for the Gun Ban email to come.

If you don’t want to read the entire letter scroll down I have the cliff notes version below ~*

Housewife —

I hope you saw Vice President Joe Biden’s email this morning.
In order to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence, he and President Obama need your help. The most important steps we can take will require congressional action. And Congress will only act if we all raise our voices to demand it.

Housewife, your voice in this couldn’t be more important. Tell your members of Congress that you want to see decisive action on this issue.

Give them a call, let them know you support the President’s plan, ask if your members of Congress are on board, then make sure you report back on the conversation.
It doesn’t take long. According to our records, here’s who you should call:
Blah Blah

555-555-5555

Let us know how it went and who’s on board right here:
Thanks,
Messina

—–Original Message—–
From: Joe Biden
Subject: President Obama is counting on you

Friend —

The President did something big last week.
He proposed a set of major reforms to help protect our children and our communities by curbing gun violence, and he’s already announced 23 executive actions that will go a long way in helping keep our kids safe.
This is an important start — but I have no illusions about what needs to be done and how difficult it will be.
Every step we intend to take will preserve the tradition of responsible gun ownership in our country and uphold the Second Amendment. And while we’ll never end gun violence entirely, if we can save the life of even one child, then we have a responsibility to act.

This action includes not only what we can do, but what Congress can do. To make a real and lasting difference, they must act soon.

The President has called on Congress to act on four specific legislative measures: closing background check loopholes, banning military-style assault weapons and limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines, making our schools safer, and increasing access to mental health services.
Read more about the President’s plan to reduce gun violence, and make sure you forward this to friends and family.

The President asked me to work with law enforcement, teachers, parents, sportsmen, Democrats, Republicans, faith leaders, mental health experts, and other organizations and individuals to come up with a set of concrete policy proposals. The plan he put forth is the product of those conversations and recommendations.

Right now, President Obama is counting on you.
Each one of us needs to speak up and demand action. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a big city or a small town like Newtown, Connecticut. When our fellow Americans are victims of senseless violence, we all pull together as one American family.

Let’s get this done, folks.
Whether the action we take saves one life or 1,000, it matters.
Thank you,

Joe

Basically JOE wants me to support the gun ban… if you haven’t been to my site before you now know that isn’t going to happen. It also goes on to ask me to call representatives in my area and ask if they support Obama’s/Biden’s Gun Ban. Then I am to go back to a Link within the email and fill out a survey.

barack obama gun ban survey

This survey would provide them with My email (again) and the names of any politician who did or did not Support this ban. So I wonder are they interested in my thoughts… NO! It felt to me that they are more interested in seeing how hard they will have to work to get the NO’s to say Yes when it comes down to a vote. Great way to make the citizens do the work.

The Email and tactic felt fishy, slimy, made me resent even more that I was ever apart of the original Obama madness and well in an odd way bullied into feeling like I had to call. Oh and that I need to go take a shower and wash it all away. Dramatic maybe, but after a year of having my eyes opened, see things crumble, this might be my breaking point. As I have tried not to voice too many political views on this blog  (I am not very educated on politics in general) but as more and more affects me, as it always has, I am more inclined to get educated, have a voice and get loud.

Have you been  approached or felt put on to give up information for a cause you are against?

A New Addiction: Creating Fashion Boards for Conceal Carry

Thanks to twitter and Cashmere & Camo I am addicted to making these boards. While I am not someone who likes to go shopping for hours on end or even look through fashion magazines I had a blast making this board. Probably because I had a mission…

Conceal Carry Fashion

Create an outfit that could conceal a Gun. With the plaid button shirt open or closed I think with the right fit I could conceal my .38 special without any issues. Perhaps the purse could be modified with an easy access side pocket too.

What do you think? Are your on Polyvore? Follow ME I will follow you back

Want to see more Conceal Carry Fashion options Check out the Next Broad

3 Gun Competition: Safety First, Training

I didn’t realize there were gun competitions that ran on a course. Competitions that take participants through different scenarios and guns with a prize at the end. Had no clue. While watching one of the outdoor channels on a sleepy Sunday afternoon I was glued to the tv watching clips from previous competitions. Asking the soldier about it lead to hundreds of videos of 3 gun competitions online and women participating. He smiled and clicked on the first video. “You could totally do this babe.” We watched, and watched for hours. I was hooked.

Shooting range in the winter

Training started with light stuff. Why light? I have only shot a few guns, rifles, pistols… I could count them on two hands the amount of times I have shot them all total. So starting light is the best option. Nothing to scare me or scar me just yet and to get my procedures and body mechanics right.

My first trip to the gun range with the mission of TRAINING was exciting. Work couldn’t end soon enough, rushing out of the office sending a text to The Soldier “on my way home ~ load up the truck”. Getting home I ran through the house changing clothes and dodging dogs. Licks and barks from 3 very happy dogs who of course were hoping to be with us for this outing, no luck this time. I had rifles, eye/ear protection and a smile. We were off.

The gun range was cold 35 degrees, outdoor and quiet. It was only 2:00 in the afternoon. One other person was there with a contraption just in front of him down range, I’ll figure out the name of that thing later. The Soldier had me all set up and pointed to my first task. Hanging Targets, 25 yards out, I thought it was too close and too easy. His motto “Lets set you up for success” He wants me to find consistency first and then go for farther shots.

M&P 15-22

I sat down to my first Rifle. A Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 and a drill. Picking up the rifle, no magazine in place, finger off the trigger, safety on and pulling back the charging handle, observe the chamber through the ejection port, Weapon’s Clear, release the charging handle.

I just cleared my first weapon. Exciting stuff to a newbie.

We repeated this until The Soldier would say ok ready and he noticed I was checking safety 100% of the time before moving on to the next instructions. To be sure I have the Safe/fire switch ingrained in me we dry fired the M&P several times. Ready, safety check, safety off, looking through my iron sight, fire and safety back on. Once I was doing this without a reminder The Soldier handed me a 30 round Magazine.

First time shooter

At this point I was feeling good, comfortable and knew MISTAKES were not going to happen.

What safety drills did/do you practice? Did you have an instructor, like I have The Soldier (my husband) or your father/friend? Who taught you how to be safe with any gun?

The SHOT Show 2013: living through others

SHOT show

from nssf.org/SHOT/

It wasn’t until 4 months ago that I first heard of this “Shot Show” thing and had no idea what was being talked about on facebook and twitter. Finally doing a google search and asking question lead me to my answer with a resounding I WILL GO TO SHOTSHOW in 2014!!! After going through the SHOT show website I have discovered that I need to be a Professional either in the gun industry or media. And seeing a few blogging friends making their way to the show leaves me hope. If I can’t become a professional shooter or get into gun retail in the next 11 months then perhaps blogging (media) can get me in.

So being that I couldn’t make it to this years SHOT show I am living through other blogs and industry folks who were fortunate enough to attend. Here is a very short list of blogs and there SHOT Show posts.

The Friearm Blog

I’m a Rife Gal. What Can I Say? on The Firearm Blog

RebeccaGuns

SHOT show: Space Camp for Gun Nerds from RebeccaGuns

Monderno

SHOT show 2013 day 3 from MONDERNO

Guns & Ammo

SHOT show: New Handguns for 2013 from Guns & Ammo

Gun Noob

SHOT Show Report: Day 1&2 from Gun Noob

This year I am training for 3 gun competitions. I hope to post a lot about the different guns I shoot and the add-ons my trainer aka The Soldier thinks I need. Should be fun. SHOT show 2014 who’s coming?

The Housewife: Caring for Cast Iron pans

My first set of cast iron pans are teaching me a few things. Mainly, CLEAN THEM RIGHT AWAY, and also season them immediately.

Be sure to let the pan cool before you clean it. Don’t soak it, most of the time they clean up easily if they aren’t left for too long, thanks to the seasoning you will do. All you need to clean the pan is hot water, a very mild soap or none at all and a stainless steal scrubbing pad.

washing a cast iron pan

I like to wear gloves too.

Unseasoned Cast Iron Pan

Unseasoned Cast Iron Pan

To Season the pan I picked up a few tips from online. However, I went with a “no-brainer” and bought Camp Fire Cast Oil Seasoning Oil.

Campfire seasoning oil

Cast Iron Conditioner

The instructions were basic and didn’t require or didn’t mention curing the pan in the oven. Placing a small amount of the oil in the pan and with a paper towel I spread the oil all over the pan and on the underside of this one.

a small amount goes a long way

a small amount goes a long way

I have to say there is something quite fulfilling about having a black shining cast iron pan proudly gleaming in front of you.

Seasoned Cast Iron, Ready to use

Seasoned Cast Iron, Ready to use

Keeping Cast Iron seasoned and ready to use means that you will be more likely to use them. I sit them on top of a clean paper towel near the stove.

I would love to hear what you do to keep your Cast Iron Pans in cooking shape?

Smith & Wesson .38 Special Gets a Make Over

My favorite revolver, ok the only revolver I own, is a Smith & Wesson .38 Special. I have owned it for years, shot it several times at a gun range, but have never had to use it *knock on wood, to protect myself yet.

Smith & Wesson .38

And as I was discussing the recent mass shootings with my husband and what could have been done to stop it I realized that although I am comfortable carrying the .38 I don’t think I would be comfortable shooting it in a crowded room in order to save lives. If it came down to that.

Crimson Trace Laser Grip Sight

The Soldier mentioned a laser grip sight. I looked at him puzzled. “Where would the sight go.”

Crimson Trace Laser Grip Sight

Once the Crimson Trace Lasergrip was zeroed in I couldn’t believe how much more comfortable I felt with it. Always hoping I never need to use it, but now feeling far more confident that if I needed to I would get my target and only my target.

What Sights (laser and otherwise) have you used?

Any Favorites?