Continuing in my trip down musical memory lane, here’s another artist I listened to. I tried to find “Strength of My Life” which is the song I used to perform way back in the day, but I only found a live concert performance (the second youtube clip below). I loved this song because I would sign it while I sang. The sign language for it is beautiful.
This first song is contagious.
. . . because I laugh out loud during episodes of “Scrubs.”
In this, it’s the guy’s response that gets me every time. Carla is his wife.
I received this official email last month. I’m so relieved. And wealthy, it seems. It’s so comforting to be assured by our government that they are looking out for me. Tax dollars well spent.
“From: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] (earthlink.net? good cover. very sneaky.)
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 9:31 AM
Subject: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SEEKING TO WIRETAP THE INTERNET (Just like me. Setting reasonable goals.)
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI.WASHINGTON DC .
WASHINGTON D.C ROOM, 7367 (I’m no punctuation expert, but I think your comma might be out of place.)
J. EDGAR HOOVER FBI BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE,
NW WASHINGTON, DC 20535, 0001. (Must be the main office.)
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SEEKING TO WIRETAP THE INTERNET (got that already, let’s move it along. I’m getting bored.)
We sincerely apologize for sending you this sensitive information via e-mail instead of a certified mail,Post-mail,Phone or Face-to- face conversation (no problem, I get a lot of personal emails sent to “email@example.com”), it is due to the urgency and importance of the security information of our citizenry. (what?) The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington, DC in conjunction with Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and some other relevant Investigation Agencies here in the United States of America (bwahahaha!!! “some other relevant Investigation Agencies?” I was all impressed with the official collaboration of these agencies – which kind of was my first clue – until you got to “some other relevant investigation agencies.” Good agency names, though. Thanks for the acronyms, they really help.) have recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network (there’s a Global intelligence monitoring network? Can you see me laughing on satellite?) that you presently have a transaction going on with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) (I do? I’m so glad you are monitoring me. I had no idea.) as regards to your over-due contract payment (You’re going to help me get my money? Really? wow. thanks.) which was fully endorsed in your favor accordingly. (yes. you are correct. it was fully endorsed in my favor. accordingly.) It might interest you to know (I’m rapt.) that we have taken out time (and honored) in screening through this project as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have finally confirmed that your contract payment is 100% genuine (well, I could have told you that. It’s amazing that your investigation of this matter could be so thorough without even asking me any questions about it. Excellent work.) and hitch free from all facet and of which (when the FBI assures me that something is “hitch free from all facet” then it’s gotta be hitch free, right?) you have the lawful right to claim your payment without further delay. (you seem to have an inside scoop on all this, can’t you just get it for me?)
We will further advise that you go ahead in dealing with the Central Bank accordingly (yes, of course, accordingly) as we will be monitoring all their activities with you as well as your correspondence at all level. (well, okay then. As long as you monitor everything. Which you have time to do. Because the security of our country is probably being handled “accordingly” as well.) We recently had a meeting with the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in the person of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo along with some of the top officials of the Ministry regarding your case, we were made to understand that your file has been held in abase (“held in abase?” I hate it when that happens.) depending on when you personally come for the claim. (so you’re not going to get my money for me? accordingly?)
We will further advise that you go ahead in dealing with the Central Bank accordingly (of course. accordingly.) as we will be monitoring all their activities with you as well as your correspondence at all level. We recently had a meeting with the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria , in the person of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo along with some of the top officials of the Ministry regarding your case, we were made to understand that your file has been held in abase depending on when you personally come for the claim. (oh, come on. You are a criminal AND a LOUSY proof reader. It’s an ENTIRE paragraph repeated. You didn’t see that?)
They also told us that the only problem they are facing right now is that some unscrupulous elements are using this project as an avenue to Scam innocent people off their hard earned money by impersonating the Executive Governor and the activities of the Central Bank office. (“unscrupulous elements?” That’s not what I would call you. And why is “Scam” capitalized?) We were also made to understand that a lady with name Mrs. Joan C. Bailey from Ohio (Joan Bailey, Joan Bailey. Doesn’t ring a bell. Is she married to Bill?) has already contacted them, she presented all the necessary documentations evidencing your claim purported to have been signed personally by you prior to the release of your contract fund valued about US $10,700,000.00 (Ten million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) but the Central Bank office did the wise thing (yes, very wise. they acted accordingly.) by insisting on hearing from you personally before they go ahead on wiring your fund to the Bank information which Mrs. Joan C. Bailey from Ohio forwarded to them, this was the main reason why they contacted us so as to assist them in contacting the true fund beneficiary and carrying out a professional investigations on this issue. (ohhhh. so THAT’s how you got involved. You protected me from theft. Thank you! Is Joan in the slammer now?)
Further more be informed that we should warn our dear citizens (The FBI is referring to the American public as “dear citizens?” I can feel the love.) who must have been informed of the contract payment which was awarded to them from the Central Bank of Nigeria , to be very careful prior to these irregularities so that they don’t fall victim to this ugly circumstance anymore. (thanks for the warning, and this personal email to me is nice and all, but shouldn’t this warning have a little more visibility? Like maybe television and newspaper? How about the internet? Oh THERE it is.) And in case you are already dealing with anybody or office claiming to be from the Central Bank of Nigeria, you are advised to STOP further contact with them in your best interest and then contact immediately the real office (“the real office” umm hmm.) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) only with the below information accordingly: (of course. accordingly.)
NAME: PROF. CHARLES CHUKWUMA SOLUDO
OFFICE ADDRESS: Central Bank of Nigeria,
Tinubu Square,Lagos – Nigeria.
Note: For your best interest and ensure a proper co-ordination by this body saddled with this sanitary responsibility (“sanitary responsibility?” excuse me. I need to roll my eyes. okay. I’m back.) we advice (thanks for the sound advise) you forward any mail/e-letter that you receive which seem suspicious and does not emanate or originate from the office of the Central Bank or Federal Bureau of Investigation for cross examination before response for security reasons. (of course. accordingly) Meanwhile we advice (that would be “advise”) that you contact the Central Bank office immediately (get right on it.) with the above e-mail address and request that they attend to your payment file as directed to enable you receive your contract payment now that foreign exchange is available. (cool. everything is just falling into place.) Ensure you follow all their procedure as may be required by them as that will further help hasten up the whole procedures as regards the transfer of your payment. (of course. I want to help hasten up the whole procedures.) Also have in mind that the Central Bank of Nigeria equally have their own protocol of operation as stipulated on their banking terms. Once again, we will advice (“advise”) that you contact them with the above email address and make sure you forward to them all the necessary information which they may require from you for the release of your fund as time is not in your favor. (“time is not in my favor?” uh oh. I’ll hurry.)
For further information in relation with this notification or if you are at the verge of making any payment for whatsoever reason, we advice (“adviSe” get a proof reader, you sound like an idiot.) you to first reach us for professional advice (THAT’S better! good job.) to guide you against any unforeseen circumstances that might lead you into been (you mean “being?”) scammed. Be wise and don’t be deceived. (oh. don’t worry. I won’t be deceived. sorry.)
ROBERT SWAN MUELLER III
This is the worst one ever. WHO believes this? WHO?
The book I’ve been carrying around in my purse is Women, Faith, And Work: How Ten Successful Professionals Blend Belief. I’m reading along, highlighting with my yellow (non-neon) Sharpie Accent marker and then I got to Susie Case, Professional Volunteer:
“Whatever her role is, she’s sure it will relate to the passion she’s had since childhood – helping women realize their dreams. Her friends think so too; whenever she asks them what she’s going to do with the rest of her life, they tell her she’s going to be “Norma Vincent Peale.”
“I know part of that comes out of having grown up with a mom who had a complicated life and a lot of broken dreams, and wishing I could fix her,” Susie says. “Of course I can’t fix her, but I can go out and help other women. My guess is that I’m going to end up doing something that ends up giving women hope in a practical way.“”
“wishing I could fix her.”
I hadn’t considered that possibility.
“. . . therefore I quote” Thursday: If you have a quote to share from something you’ve read recently, feel free to comment and/or include a link to your own “quote” post.
Need help making your link look pretty in the comment? Copy and use this code.
The poor guy who just knocked on my door selling magazines didn’t even get to say TWO words before I asked:
“magazine sales, right?”
I pointed at the folded vinyl packet in his hand and said, “I’ve seen that packet before. The magazines never come.”
Shock. Surprise. Opening of the folder to show me the current company name, like that makes any difference. (has he really not figured it out yet?)
I ask, “Did someone in a van drop you off? They’ll pick you up later?”
confused look. wondering. how did I know?
I shake my head no and I say “I’m sorry.”
He explains that a mom just helped him out. She bought magazines and she couldn’t even read.
(I am not stupid and I am unmoved. This has been going on for years, all over the country. The first time I was approached by someone carrying the vinyl packet was in a parking lot at the mall in the 80’s. This scam leads to identity theft, breaking and entering and assault. And you pay too much for magazines that are never delivered. )
I shake my head no and say “I’m sorry. The magazines never come.”
I hope he quits. He’s got a lousy job and a dishonest, exploitive employer.
In one of my “What I Learned This Week” post, I mentioned that I learned to use a neti pot. It was weird, but very effective. I love that it is all natural. And it’s so FAST – less than 5 minutes! It just doesn’t seem like you should be able to breathe through your mouth while you’re using it, but the fact that you can just proves that the saline doesn’t go down your throat – or you would be choking instead of breathing.
If you’re nervous or skeptical, check out these two short clips. The first shows the exact neti pot we own. The second clip is a homemade variation. A kid demonstrates using a funnel. He makes it look so easy!
eHow also has a great article explaining how it works.
If you struggle with sinus problems, give this a shot. This could be a perfect solution for those who shouldn’t take cold medication due to high blood pressure, pregnancy or some other medical condition. Don’t be chicken.
But you may not want to make it a spectator sport, because sometimes the results aren’t pretty. But then again, neither is that disgusting, wet, snorting sound frequently made by people trying to delay blowing their nose. ewww.
(UPDATE: December 2011 – PLEASE follow manufacturer’s directions for neti pots and USE ONLY FILTERED, DISTILLED or BOILED WATER.
Deaths have been linked to bacteria in tap water.
CLICK HERE to read more.)
Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer
What I Learned This Week . . .
1. I learned that it is possible for me to make 4 round trips to school in one day.
- Drop off.
- Take FavoriteSon to the athletic trainer to get a rehab plan for a strained quad and hip flexor he RE-strained after running at yesterday’s track meet – and return him to school to take two quizzes in two classes.
- Pick up FavoriteSon just before P.E. – which he can’t participate in anyway – to bring him home so he can crash because his allergies are winning today.
- PinkGirl pickup.
2. I learned another reason I love my house. It is 10 minutes from school.
3. I learned that my prescription iron isn’t strong enough.
4. I learned that it is possible to forget to pick up my new iron prescription 4 times in one day.
5. I learned that cold medicine can elevate my blood pressure.
6. I learned to use a Neti Pot to clear my sinuses. Amazing. I was a little concerned about getting saline down my throat and being able to breathe while using it, but it was surprisingly easy. And effective. We own THIS ONE because it has a lid. We actually own two because FirstHusband is a germaphobe and needs his own. With his name on it, so there’s no confusion. FavoriteSon and I just wash the other one after we use it.
7. I learned that I HATE it when a man talks to me like I have a giant pink bow on top of my head. Okay. I already knew that. (That would be the trainer at the track meet yesterday – NOT the trainer I took FavoriteSon to today. The trainer we saw today talks to me like I can understand big words and doesn’t speak in a “sing song” voice.)
8. I learned that, apparently, when a man talks to me like I have a giant pink bow on top of my head, my facial expression may give him the impression that I think he is an idiot. Which is good. Because he stopped. And I didn’t have to actually TELL him to talk to me like I was a man.
Oh. I would have gone there.
“Being kind is definitely something I struggle with. Not with the rest of the world, but with my own children. I get impatient, frustrated, short-tempered and unkind. And I really SO do not want to be that mom. I am praying now for a gentle spirit. I’ve always admired women who have that….godly women that love the Lord and seem to just live and breathe Proverbs 31. Believe me, my children don’t, as a rule, arise and call me blessed.”
My daughter sure as heck doesn’t arise and call me blessed. Often, she’s a crank in the morning until after we give her some orange juice or Ovaltine and her blood sugar levels out. We OFTEN wake her up with a no-spill sippy cup in our hand. (Try it, you might be amazed at the difference in your kiddo’s morning attitude and cooperation.)
I write about my parenting strategies and my perspective, and it may seem like I’m getting it right, but I need to clarify. I fall off the “good mom” wagon all the time. I just get back on as fast as I can. AND, I used to fall off MUCH more often when my kids were home with me 24-7. AND I know some of the reasons why.
PinkGirl and I have our moments. MOST of the time, I can give her grace when she has a blood sugar dip and starts crying for no apparent reason. But sometimes, I find myself asking her, “WHY are you crying NOW?” and saying my standard, “Handle this differently” or “Solve your problem.” in a frustrated, impatient tone of voice instead of my encouraging, reminder voice. Sometimes, when she is “disagreeable,” I completely forget to calculate when she ate last and I react with what is to me, a lack of empathy and a toneless voice. What SHE sees is a mom “who doesn’t care about me when I’m upset!” (and she tells me exactly that.) Instead of responding with grace and providing her a complex carb/protein combo before continuing in a reasonable conversation with her, I react immediately and escalate the situation. The whole episode steals time and energy and peace from our day. It’s a waste. And I know it. I don’t like it. So I try to take my own advice and “Solve my problem” by “handling things differently.”
When find myself impatient or frustrated with my kids, I start by looking for the root causes so I can fix my real problem. Physiological, psychological, spiritual . . . I always start with the physiological. (I’ve got my fair share of problems, but today I’m only focusing on ONE of the the physical problems.) I do a little self-check.
- Am I tired?
- Am I hungry?
- Is my iron low because I keep forgetting to take that stupid pill?
- Am I in pain from my stupid neck/shoulder?
Until I “fix” these physical issues I can’t consistently parent intentionally or well. Unfortunately, “fixing” isn’t an instantaneous, one time thing. Often I have to make consistent changes over time to completely get RID of these problems rather than just trying to manage them. If I’m not careful, I could end up like this: (the first two minutes)
But back to fixing my (physical) problems and handling things differently. Let’s start with “tired.”
I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep. Sometimes I don’t get enough sleep. So I’ve made a few changes:
- First, I now take Ambien when I need it. Not every day – only when I can’t get to sleep. I started with Tylenol PM. One was too much. Half was just enough. When both my GP and my GYN heard I was taking it, they both suggested Ambien instead. I started with 10mg control release. Too much. I need to wake up when a kid needs me. Then I went with the regular 10mg. Too much. Drowsy the next morning. I now take 5mg.
- I also intentionally GO TO BED earlier. Sometimes (not often) as early as 10:00 p.m. I’m a night owl. Sometimes I’m not sleepy at 10:00 p.m. If I can’t get to sleep, I take some Ambien. My goal is to go to bed the same day I wake up instead of wake up the same day I go to bed.
- When I read in bed, I only read fiction. I don’t need to be learning when I’m trying to calm my mind. Even when I read a devotional, I find my brain ramping up when it should be ramping down. To make sure I don’t slip up, I don’t keep any non-fiction books in the bedroom.
- The low iron can make me weak and tired too, so I take a prescription iron supplement. (But I’m fixing that too.)
- No coffee after 1:00 p.m. or so. Enough said.
- Back when PinkGirl was a baby, I would nap when she napped. I read this over and over again when FavoriteSon was a baby and I rarely followed the advice. When PinkGirl was born, I was older, with more on my plate and more tired. I kinda had no choice.
- Sometimes it was the kid’s sleep cycles that threw a wrench in mine. When a kid won’t go to sleep or wakes up in the middle of the night, what are you going to do? Sleep anyway? Not likely. I’ll write another post on overcoming kid sleep problems. We had to do that too.
- I removed things from my “To Do” list. Some jobs get harder the longer they are delayed. Like dishes and laundry. But some jobs take the same amount of time and effort each time you do them, regardless of whether you last did them yesterday or last week. Like vacuuming, cleaning the toilet or dusting. So my house wasn’t up to white glove standards. big whoop.
So, given my history and challenges, I have a question for moms like Tina and I who sometimes get, as Tina put it, “impatient, frustrated, short-tempered and unkind:”
What kind of sleep are you getting? Supposedly, a sleep cycle is 90 minutes. I know that when my sleep is fragmented or I don’t get enough of it, I’m predisposed to a lack of patience and frustration. It doesn’t take much to push me off the “good mom” wagon.
Yes, when I get more sleep, my day is shorter. I have less time to accomplish all the things I “need” to. But when I get more (and better) sleep, my day – and my family’s day – is BETTER. And all those things I “need” to do? Some get done. Some don’t. Some jobs I keep doing. Some jobs FirstHusband handles. Some jobs the kids take care of. Some I decide not to do anymore.
You CAN change your situation. Even minor changes can add up. We have choices to make every day. When you say to yourself, “I HAVE to do (insert urgent, important task here).” Rethink it. Do you? What’s the worst thing that would happen if you didn’t? What things can you let go of? What things can you allow others to take responsibility for? Maybe the person who picks up your slack doesn’t do things exactly like you would. Is it THAT important that something be done your way?
I used to think I had no choices. But I was confusing “no choice” with “difficult choice.”
Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer
Larry Norman (April 8, 1947 – February 24, 2008)
A few weeks ago, when I posted a Petra song for Then Sings My Soul Saturday, I got a hankerin to search youtube for other Christian groups and songs I listened to “back in the day.” Eventually, I got around to Larry Norman, who some call the father of Christian rock music. None of my friends were that into him, but I went right out and bought the cassette “Only Visiting This Planet. My favorites were:
“Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus”
“I Wish We’d All Been Ready”
“I Am Six O’clock News”
“Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music”
In my reading, I learned that one of my FAVORITE all time Selah recordings, “Sweet, Sweet Song Of Salvation” was written by none other than Larry Norman. I had no idea.
The song, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” was one of the solos I sang in high school – when kids were still allowed to sing Christian music in public school.
This is a compilation of Larry Norman song clips:
For more Saturday music, check out Then Sings My Soul Saturday every Saturday hosted by Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders.
I read, therefore I quote.
And eventually being perfect became like carrying a backpack filled with bricks every single day. And oh, how I wanted to lay my burden down. So if any of this sounds in any way familiar to you, if you have been trying to be perfect too, then perhaps today is the day to put down that backpack before you develop permanent curvature of the spirit. Trying to be perfect may be inevitable for people who are smart and ambitious and interested in the world and in its good opinion. But at some level it’s too hard, and at another, it’s too cheap and easy. Because all it really requires of you, mainly is to read the zeitgeist of wherever and whenever you happen to be and to assume the masks necessary to be the best at whatever the zeitgeist dictates or requires. Those requirements shape-shift, sure, but when you’re clever you can read them and come up with the imitation necessary.
But nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great, ever came out of imitation. What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.
More difficult because there is no zeitgeist to read, no template to follow, no mask to wear. Terrifying, actually, because it requires you to set aside what your friends expect, what your family and your co-workers demand, what your acquaintances require, to set aside the messages this culture sends, through its advertising, its entertainment, its disdain, and its disapproval, about how you should behave.
. . . Begin with the most frightening of all things, a clean slate. And then look, every day, at the choices you are making, and when you ask yourself why you are making them, find this answer: Because they are what I want, or wish for. Because they reflect who and what I am.
I’ve L O N G since stopped trying to be perfect. That’s another post. That’s not where my mind went today when I read “Being Perfect” by Anna Quindlen.
Instead, I’ve been thinking about those last three paragraphs above. Last week I watched Facing the Giants – the entire movie, in 10 minute increments, on youtube. (I will definitely be purchasing this movie for my family.) It’s a football movie, sure, but it encompasses so much more. Since watching the movie, I’ve found myself thinking quite a bit about the overall messages presented.
I’ve written recently about being prepared for opportunity. In the Facing the Giants, a man tells a story about faith and preparation:
I’ve been preparing for opportunity. I’ve been taking action. But my goal has been . . . unfocused. I’m taking advantage of every opportunity I come across, but it’s all adding up to a big pile of puzzle pieces. I haven’t been able to figure out, as Anna Quinland said, “what I want or what I wish for.”
I think I’ve figured out what I want. The coach in Facing the Giants articulated it for me:
“I resolve to give God everything I’ve got. Then I’ll leave the results up to Him.”
So, I’ll continue to prepare for opportunity. Or rain, whichever is in my future. But my focus isn’t only on the logistics anymore. It’s on giving God everything I’ve got. And leaving the results up to Him. That means spending more time in my Bible. And in prayer. And not just in praise and thanks and petitions, but quietly as well. Abiding. (I’m not that good at “doing nothing,” so abiding is difficult for me.) And I’m going to start with a clean slate. I’m going to take my past into consideration, of course, it led me to where and who I am right now. But I’m not going to let momentum lead me into the future. Or be distracted by confessed sin and the past. Rather, in His promise of no condemnation, looking both forward to the future and, more importantly, engaging – really ENGAGING in the present, I’m going to focus on “giving Him the best I’ve got.” (oh, you just THOUGHT I approached life with intention BEFORE. Just wait. I’m going to be . . . tenacious.)
And I feel like I need to clarify. I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of “finding” my “one” purpose or figuring out God’s “perfect” plan for my life. If one person misses God’s “perfect will” for their lives, it would impact too many other people and cause them to miss out on God’s perfect will for THEIR life. Just marrying the “wrong” person means their spouse didn’t marry the right person and so on and so on. I’ve written about it before in a post entitled “learning in flux” but basically here’s what I believe (in a tiny little nutshell):
If I am a God fearing, faith filled, honorable woman who makes choices based on Biblical wisdom, then within the moral will of God, whatever I decide to do, will be equally pleasing to God. And whatever choices I make, I know “that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, and who have been called according to His purpose.” HIS purpose. It’s not about me. It’s about me giving Him my very best. Preparing for rain. And leaving the results up to Him.
This last clip is the one that compelled me to watch the entire movie. This is the clip that inspires me. And while many viewers may be inspired and encouraged by Brock’s determination to make it to the 50 yard line, I am inspired by the coach and his determination to show Brock how much more he could accomplish if he gave God his best effort.