Best COVID-19 Parody Video – Ever!

An extraordinarily gifted friend of mine posted this fantastic parody video – Stay At Home / Let It Go. Enjoy!

Ramble #3 – another day in the life of…

**I’m not used to writing in such a personal and candid way, but maybe it will be diverting to someone.**

Well, college is “back” and I took my first online mid-term exam this morning. I was actually more anxious about how that would work, as in:

  • Am I signed up with everything?
  • Are my audio and video permissions on?
  • Are all of my contact methods correct and current? Which will they use?
  • And just exactly how are we going to be tested on ARABIC? (Yeah, Arabic. I lived in the Middle East long ago and decided to brush up on my basic skills so I could maybe practice a little on the folks who run some stores I go into.)

Yeah, that last point (the test) was a worry – few are comfortable with unknowns.  But I’m taking this course because I want to. I don’t need foreign language credit (should I decide to actually go back to school for another degree) so this’ll have no GPA effect, not that that was a concern.

Anyhow, turns out, the test went well and I had studied the right things, so I think I know what to expect next time. Whew!

However, the Arabic print was TINY (it was the prof’s first time doing this, too, so I expect a larger font next time.) I just did “Ctrl +” until it was large enough to see clearly.

Each person in the family has been handling this differently. Just FYI, we live in NY State. Uh huh. Yeah. But NOT in NYC or anywhere near it! It doesn’t seem to be as bad as the breathless media make it out to be.

Our daughter’s trying to mentally readjust to not working. She’s been cleaning her room and organizing. She also goes to different parks for walks every day or two. She has a friend (also “at liberty”) who’s now calling her “my dog” because she’ll text and say “Wanna go for a walk at (pick a…) Park?” She’s also getting more sleep and we’re seeing more of her!

Our son still works (and does college remotely – for 2 years, now) at the local airport. They just arrive early, clock in, wait in their cars for cargo planes to arrive (important shipping happens, you know), put on their usual gloves and gear, go to the planes, push and pull the big containers out and then in, then they clean up, log out and go home. It looks a little like this (from about 1:09 – 2:30):

My husband was part of a lay off from a medical device manufacturer, but is going back to work for a local, larger, competitor (no non-compete issues after the time off) next week.

I’ve my own plans to look into, but not until after April 1 when, God willing, things should become a little more predictable. In the meantime I’m doing a bit of tidying up, and getting my cooking practice back into shape. Most results are ranked 3-5 stars, most 4 stars; decent cookbooks help.

I should go walking and get out in the garden, but have been studying, updating computers, doing paperwork…. I also try to limit my TV and FB exposure. I find sites that present the facts and essential updates, but have REFUSED  to become “deer in the headlights” obsessed with this. I hate soap operas, and far too many people who seem to feed off that kind of drama seem to be “living the life.” No, thank you! I got tired of it quickly.

I PROMISE:

  • I will NOT go “political” and attack and groups or sides. I might personally be annoyed at some individuals, if it seems the greater good is less important than their agenda or axe they are grinding, but I doubt I’ll bring it up. I’ve HAD IT up to my back teeth with such hysteria. It accomplishes nothing good, and makes me very cross. I’ve “hidden” certain posts shared on my page because they were pointless, mean-spirited, or the workings of disordered minds.
  • Speaking of that last bit, NO conspiracy theories here! I don’t need no tin foil hat. Truth itself is often so strange (it’s no one’s business how I know) that there’s no need to make up or buy loony stuff.
  • I will try to share just life, facts, trivia and the mundane challenges of my life, similar to what so many of us are facing.
  • I will try to share things that remind us that there’s life still happening beyond this, for if all you do is look down, you’ll certainly only see trash and dirty worn-out shoes, and miss the sun, moon, stars, trees, animals, flowers, beauty, and pleasing sounds and smells that are there to appreciate, if we’re just willing.
  • I will try to always share knowing that eventually this, too, will pass, and then we’ll need to handle wherever the waves tossed to us, and we’ll need the useful and helpful.

I’m going back to Duolingo and Youtube for more language practice, then email the prof about how to submit my homework.

The sun is peeping through the clouds now and again and I may go take pictures of the flowers. I also went to the park a few days ago and have some pictures to share another time. Later, folks.

Be sane.

Be wise.

Be well.

Ramble #1

Wow, things change quickly in New York state! But I am glad we live in Rochester and not NYC. I like my green space. I have never talked about myself before, but I just feel like talking to…whoever wants to read. I don’t even know what to call it, so it’s a ramble, I guess (though I’ve considered calling it a mumble).

But I live in present,

not dwelling on the past,

nor conjecturing about the future.

not blaming any person or group,

not fearing the unknown, focusing energy on today.

Sanity is much easier that way.

 

My husband is still unemployed (next week exactly 2 years after the layoff), but he’s supposed to start a new manufacturing job on the 30th. So far we’ve heard nothing from the company, or any government entity, that would indicate he’s NOT going to start work. We are going on the cautious assumption that no news is good news. We’ve been through so much these 2 years that we are simply…waiting. We are ready to deal with whatever happens, because we no longer live at either extreme. That’s been shaken out of us. We’d be disappointed, but not like we would have been before.

My daughter’s coffee shop job at the hospital is “on hold” starting today. The company will rehire any employees when circumstances allow. She’s rather relieved, actually. It had been tense there with all the restrictions being instituted. She’s trying to come to terms with this “free time” in her own way. It’ll take her a week or so, I think.

I’m self-employed as an interpreter and my jobs are mostly evaporated. I’m supposed to work the Census starting in April, but….we’ll see. I really need to use my time well and catch up with paperwork quickly. I’m taking a class at our local community college (Arabic), but now we’re going online. THAT will be interesting. Especially doing an upcoming midterm. We’re supposed to be doing writing as part of the grade – how’s that going to work?

My son is the only one still working as the (PT) Cargo Lead at the airport – loading and unloading cargo from cargo planes. Not much people contact there, and plenty of fresh air. When he comes home he studies for four CLEP tests needed to finish his first two years of college. But he can’t take the exams until colleges open again, so he’s moving ahead with studies and will see how many he can do when the time comes. In general, he’s feeling the pressure.

They’re both still under 26, and it’s a good thing neither has moved out yet; it would be very hard on them right now. As now-former-homeschoolers, we know how to stick together and support each other. I grew up in places where I saw this modeled, and it has many benefits.

 

I changed to a (mostly) plant-based diet a few years ago for my health, and my family mostly follows. We all feel better. But if they want cheese or eggs or hot dogs, they buy them. Occasionally I have a small “celebration day” with them, but it doesn’t tempt me to go back. It’s also MUCH cheaper, even if I buy organic.

I’m getting better at it – I have more recipes, and I even bought a new cookbook that I am really enjoying because the recipes are simple and most are delicious. I’m glad, because I had started to get really bored and needed new inspiration. I have even some found good recipes using beans (dry or canned), which really pleases me. My favorite so far is a black-eyed salad, which is 5 Star! Nice change, because before this I had never found a way to eat them that didn’t make me want to just pass for that meal.

 

The garden is awaiting me. Sigh…I wish I could plant early vegetables, but I have invasive jumping worms, which is a disaster! The soil is like coffee grounds on the top, and the lawn is spongy. There is a possible control, though – I need to find someone with hungry chickens to bring them over and we’ll sit outside in the sun and breeze, drink hot beverages, and talk while watching them root through the mulch for those destructive monsters.

 

I am grateful that we are not sick, though we each have our own personal physical issues, but except for my son’s Type 1 diabetes, nothing seems acute. Now that my daughter is home for a while we may go for walks in the morning. I’d like that, and I definitely need to get some exercise.

 

That’s enough for now. Time to get some last minute things done before, like get some Duolingo time in (I’m doing Hindi and Arabic) before I lose my streak. I have, however, been putting in less time, recently. Of course. Been a little preoccupied.

 

An old hymn has been running at the edge of my mind, so I will share. It helps me, anyway, and I love Guy Penrod.

God sent his son, they called him Jesus,

He came to love, heal and forgive.

He  bled and died to buy our pardon,

an empty grave is there to prove our Savior lives, and

 

CHORUS

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,

Because He lives, all fear is gone.

Because I know, He holds the future.

And Life is worth the living, just because He lives.

 

And then one day, I’ll cross the river

And I’ll fight Life’s final war with pain.

And then as death gives way to victory,

I’ll see the lights of glory and and I’ll know he reigns.   (chorus)

“Don’t Cry” – a song for foster, and other wounded, kids

My son is a hip-hop artist who only makes clean or Christian stuff. He wrote this song in collaboration with a friend and it has had a profound effect on many people. He recently posted it on Facebook and it has been quite the hit. Here is part of his intro:

“I have met and known so many people who have been through the U.S. Foster Care System and this song is dedicated to those who have been, or are still in it. It is also dedicated to those who have grown up with parents suffering from substance abuse.

This song is for you…And I pray that it would bring healing and encouragement to you.

Please like and share! Your support means the world to me and in you sharing this track, it can encourage others who need to hear this message. God hears you, trust me…More than you know, and you are not alone.”

Download now at:

http://noisetrade.com/jlloyd/dont-cry-single

Stream on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVylYzWUH28

Wealth – it’s emptiness, deception, and an alternative view

It is popular nowadays to point at people with a lot of money and try to blame them for the wrongs of the world, for certainly there are those who seek and use wealth to create trouble. However, the root of this attitude is largely based on covetousness, which is breaking the 10th of the Ten Commandments, so you are in as much trouble with God as a murderer. Think about that!

There are even those who foolishly imagine that wealthy people have somehow escaped the curse of humanity (and may even try to take a philosophical &/or humorous approach to it), but you couldn’t be more wrong – they experience turmoil, too.

It’s all for the Best – Godspell

When you feel sad, or under a curse!
Your life is bad, your prospects are worse.
Your wife is sighing, crying,
And your olive tree is dying,
Temples are graying, and teeth are decaying
And creditors weighing your purse…

Your mood and your robe are both a deep blue.
You’d bet that Job had nothing on you!
Don’t forget that when you get to Heaven you’ll be blessed.
Yes, it’s all for the best.

Some men are born to live at ease, doing what they please,
richer than the bees are in honey.
Never growing old, never feeling cold,
pulling pots of gold from thin air.
The best in every town, best at shaking down,
best at making mountains of money.
They can’t take it with them, but what do they care?

They get the center of the meat, cushions on the seat,
houses on the street where it’s sunny…
Summers at the sea, winters warm and free,
all of this and we get the rest.

But who is the land for? The sun and the sand for?
You guessed! It’s all for the best!

Don’t forget that when you get to Heaven you’ll be blessed!
Yes, it’s all for the…..(all your wrongs will be redressed..)
Yes, it’s all for the…..(you must never be distressed….)
Yes, it’s all for the…..(someone’s got to be oppressed!)
Yes, it’s all for the best!!!

There was a time in my life when I lived around people with more money and “influence” than they knew how to wisely handle. Few had REAL friends – most people just wanted something from them, not the pleasure of their company. This limited them to associating with others with money, even if they hated their politics, religion, morals, attitudes, lifestyles, shallow approach to life, or living with the peer pressure to live and dress certain ways.

They worked to pay to live in isolation, often behind walls and barred gates with security to protect them and their stuff, because jealous people target them. Some life, eh? Imagine people keying your cars, breaking your windows, breaking into your home (or trying), knowing that people say nasty things about what they think you are like, and more. Fame and fortune that you brought on yourself is a curse, not a blessing.

I quickly realized they were to be pitied, not envied, and decided I NEVER wanted wealth, but to have just enough to live on and help others. If you don’t get it, I pity you as much as them. Their marriages are no better (they are often targeted by gold-diggers), they often end up having to sell their fancy houses or cars because they are money pits, they vainly seek privacy, and they are just as prone to addictive behavior and suicide.

“The Power of Gold” by Dan Fogelberg

The story is told of the power of gold and its lure on the unsuspecting,
it glitters and shines, it badgers and blinds, and constantly needs protecting.
Balance the cost of the soul you lost with the dreams you lightly sold.
Are you under…the power of gold?

The letters and calls got you climbing the walls, and everyone wants a favor.
They beg to remind you of times left behind you, but you know the past is a loser.

The face you’re wearing is different now,
and the days run hot and cold.
Are you under…the power of gold?

You’re a creature of habit, run like a rabbit, scared of a fear you can’t name.
Your own paranoia is looming before you, and nobody thinks that it’s a game.

Balance the cost of the soul you lost,
with the dreams you lightly sold.
Then tell me that you’re free of the power of gold.
The power of gold!

The women are lovely, the wine is superb,
but there’s something about the song that disturbs you…
The women are lovely, the wine is superb,
but there’s something about the song that disturbs you…
The women are lovely, the wine is superb,
but there’s something about the song that disturbs you…

Money can’t buy freedom from trouble, disaster, disease or death, and you can’t take it with you… Wealth is a cold and heartless “god” and master and waves goodbye at the end, leaving you with…nothing. Remember, Jesus warned “what benefit is it to a man if he gains the world, but loses his soul?”

I follow the Savior of the world and daily understand, better than the day before, that since God made everything, when we are gone all that remains is His. My heavenly Father really does own everything, so why do I need to pursue stuff as if I could take it with me? He will provide what I need, if I ask, and has a history of doing just that. For now, we are just caretakers of what becomes part of our lives.

Video

“Hear My Heart”

I wasn’t going to post again so soon, but my son just came in and said I had to see this video. I’m glad I did. Andy Mineo is a Christian rapper and he just TODAY released this video in honor of his sister, who is deaf (and this is International Week of the Deaf). It is his apology for not learning sign language and apologizing. My husband is also deaf, and he really liked this, too. It’s very catchy. Enjoy!

 

Video

When you are in turmoil…

Life is full of turmoil (and all the people shouted “Well, duh!”). For some it is more difficult than others, but here’s a big, obvious news flash: EVERYBODY suffers! NOBODY is immune to pain, sorrow and trouble, even the wealthy, so let this excellent music video encourage everyone.

God, who chose the children of Israel, and then offered salvation to us all, is a personal being. He can be known (to the extent that humans are able), and actually loves us and cares about puny people, as evidenced by Him choosing to live as one, then dying for us so we can become His children if we will just accept the gift. He will be there to help us through the troubles of this broken world. We don’t have to go it alone. I speak from experience.

Video

Looking back in time with music

Some of you know that I am partial to songs that tell stories. Some are very poignant and can make your heart long for a memory, or make you feel like you had the experience, especially if there is a good back story and even a music video to go with it.

There are times when I’ll hear a song somewhere and can’t get it out of my head; that happened recently. In fact, this morning I woke up with “Your Wildest Dreams” still echoing in my mind after several days of haunting me, so I grabbed my phone and Googled it, determined to play whatever video came up just to make it stop nagging me.

There are usually multiple videos on YouTube from which to choose and I didn’t want to have to pick one just to hear the song. Interestingly, video from the web search was the original music video! I didn’t even know it existed, and it was good enough that it had won awards. Then, right after I heard the first song, they played another (“I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”) that was its actual sequel! So I have created a 2″story-song” playlist for the two.

Video

The ORIGINAL version of the Serenity Prayer

This famous bit of poetry was first written by the theologian Reinhold Neibuhr. He was a powerful influence on the German Pastor and Nazi resister, Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Our world is violent and hurting, and people are anxious and angry. Dietrich also lived in a time of great trouble that, in many ways, was worse, but it is easy to lose perspective through our institutionalized ignorance of history. You see, His convictions cost him his life. The Nazis hung him on April 14, 1945, less than a month before the end of the war.  

Many are familiar with this prayer in its shortened form through AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), although it has since become popular with many others. However, it is well that we also know it as written, for there is great wisdom there, especially considering its original context.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

jesus-the-good-shepherd

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“I went to a strip club”

I saw this blog post and was moved. The problem with re-blogging is that readers sometimes only get a link, as in this case. But here is how it begins:

“A while back I was asked by a group of pastor’s wives to go with them to strip clubs.

That sentence alone sounds strange. But hang with me.

At first I was a little hesitant. And not for reasons you might think.

I love people. Especially ones who are broken; it’s part of my calling. But, given what I’ve walked through, I know how fragile broken people can be.

And I know how insensitive the church can be.

And I was uneasy.

But, these weren’t just any pastors wives.” continue reading…

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