Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Musical Monday: Share and Tell

Sad but true:  I fancy myself pretty mainstream musically-speaking.  Growing up, I was mostly Top-40, with a hard-rock edge.  Frankly, I had no idea there was anything else out there...until I met my indie, alternative, punk-rock husband.  On the great balance-scale that is our life together, I have introduced him to some stuff--mostly food (go figure!)--but I brought absolutely nothing to the table musically.

Yeah...I gave him tomatoes and bleu cheese and cream in his coffee, but he mainly rolls his eyes any time I think I've discovered a song he has never heard of.

That's what makes my recent find so extra fun for me!  Not only did I meet this song while watching television (which just isn't how I roll, typically), but I loved it so intensely, so immediately, that I went to iTunes and bought it!  (I haven't bought a song on iTunes in years.  Seriously.)  But then...when I asked Sweet Jimmy B if he loved this song, he wasn't even sure he'd heard it before!  

I should have run out and purchased a lottery ticket right then and there, because I was beating the tar out of all the odds on this one!

(Kidding!  Sheesh!  It's a joke!)

So maybe you are abundantly familiar with "Break Up the Concrete," by the Pretenders.  Maybe it's one of your favorites.  But I had never heard it until it rocked an episode of House...and now I share it with you:

Now, maybe the Pretenders aren't your cup of tea.  I've prepared a plan B.  Mainly because I had a hard time picking between the two.  And I believe in offering equal time to different musical genres.  And, plus, by the time I get this baby posted, it's going to be after midnight, so I figure I ought to levy some sort of fine against myself.  How else am I going to learn?

If you were reading a couple weeks ago when I shared the top 10 most-played songs on my iTunes, I shared the song "Fool with a Fancy Guitar," by Andrew Peterson.  Here is another song by this Christian singer/song-writer.  One of my favorites!  Enjoy "The Chasing Song."

Well, this was fun!  



Monday, August 25, 2014

August-Insanity Blog Challenge: The Final Installment!

It is with a strong desire to end well that I submit for your approval the final week of our blog challenge!  Who's with me?!  Let's bring this baby home!

  • Musical Monday  (That's today!):  Share a song that you don't think the rest of us have heard.  You know what I mean:  Something from the B-side of a record.  Something never released for radio play.  Something obscure that you happened upon.  It's nice to share!
  • Truth-or-Dare Tuesday:  What is your current Netflix (or similar) addiction?
  • What-Would-You Wednesday:  What would you eat for your "last meal" before a lengthy fast?
  • Thousand-Word Thursday:  Show us a picture of your most embarrassing article of clothing.  ;-)
  • Flashback Friday:  Share a story about a family member (not a parent or a sibling) who had a major impact on your childhood.  A picture would make this even better!
  • Shopping-List Saturday:  List at leave five (5) books that you have hated to see end.  Don't try to impress us with your literary genius!  We already like you!
  • Sunday Surprise:  If you should miss a day of blogging this week, use Sunday to catch up.  If, by week's end, you have blogged faithfully, use Sunday to share something interesting you learned in this month's blog challenge!

Happy blogging!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Truth-or-Dare Tuesday: Dare accepted!

The challenge:  To have the courage to share a picture of the contents of my purse.

But first...a story:

A few weeks ago, I was preparing to launch my family on a fabulous Chicago vacation.  Having gone places with this crowd before, I was abundantly aware of my primary duty:  pack camel.  Pretty much any time we leave the house, I feel compelled to say, "Hi, kids...what will I be carrying for you today?"

I've been around the block a few times, and this trip, they weren't going to catch me unprepared!  No more trying to cram one more kid thing into an already over-stuffed bag...no more juggling multiple souvenir purchases while trying to dig out our transit cards...

This pack camel was going to buy a bag befitting her fashion sense and special needs!
Ain't she a beaut?!

This bag has a ba-zillion compartments, while still being very user-friendly.  It's ginormous, yet abundantly carry-able.  My kids can really dish it out...but this bag took it all!  Slam-dunk!

But here's the Truth part of this post:  I'm a much better packer than I am an un-packer.  Un-packing is just so anti-climactic!

Can I get a witness?!

Plus, we returned from vacation only to jump back into life with both feet, and it seemed like I never considered returning to my standard-sized bag until I was literally on my way out the door...at which point, there wasn't time!  So for a week or so, I continued to carry around Atlas-bag (as it came to be known), even though it was clearly over-kill in most situations.  

Then I finally took my wallet, my medications, and my keys, and I put them back into my everyday purse, but I kept realizing that there were actually things in Atlas-bag that I might discover that I needed!  So I would end up bringing both bags along:

In my defense, Atlas typically stayed in the van, just in case I ran into an emergency that only he could handle...but still.  Ridiculous, right?

And, because I evidently have no shame, here is the inside view:

Send help.

But it gets better.  Here are the contents of both bags:

Can we still be friends?

And, yes...for the visually impaired, that does show two separate big bags of M&M's.  Vacation...remember?  And I was running on two purses for a bit there!  Sometimes there's a chocolatey emergency!

Want a better look?  I organized the mess:

No.  I have no shame.  Clearly.

BUT...I'm happy to report that Atlas has been demoted to being my trusty computer-bag until such time as I require his services as saddle-bag again.  And I'm down to one purse again.  Most of the time.  And I usually only have one bag of M&M's in there.


And, while my daughter Grace is in Colorado at Summit Ministries, I even stole...er, borrowed...a smaller-than-usual bag from her collection.  I'm so totally cool now.

Super-cute, right?  $3.38 at Goodwill!

Until tomorrow (later today, truthfully)!



Monday, August 18, 2014

August-Insanity Blog Challenge...the Saga Continues...

I know...I know...

We've had a hard time maintaining momentum during this month-long challenge, but if it was going to be easy, we would have given it a different name!  Am I right?!


Here is the challenge for the week.  If some of these assignments look a little familiar, well...they should.  Barring my ability to go back in time and make up for the days I missed, I decided that the least I could do was re-assign the skipped work.  

Ask my kids...I'm a harsh task-master!  

Without further delay, here's what we have to look forward to this week:

  • Musical Monday (That's today!):  Share a song that reminds you of someone you love.  Want to make it even more fun?  Share a sound file or a music video so we can share it!
  • Truth-or-Dare Tuesday:  Show us a picture of the contents of your purse.  (Before this assignment inspires you to clean it out!)  Yes...this was last week's Thousand-Word Thursday assignment, but I didn't get to share...and I took pictures and everything!  Come on...I dare ya!
  • What-Would-You Wednesday:  What would you do if someone gave you $1,000 with the stipulation that you have to spend it on yourself?
  • Thousand-Word Thursday:  Share a picture of someone/something that made you smile today!
  • Flashback Friday:  Share five TV shows that remind you of your childhood.  :-)  This is going to be fun!
  • Shopping-List Saturday:  What are your 10 favorite foods?  (Bonus points for sharing recipes!)
  • Sunday Surprise:  Tell us about a random act of kindness you have witnessed. 

So what are you waiting for?!  Get crackin'!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Truth-or-Dare Tuesday: It Don't Get Any Better Than This!

Disclaimer:  The following post contains the terms "ruptured membranes" and "uterus."  If that's just more than you can handle, no hard feelings!  I'll see you tomorrow!

Still here?

I respect the way you handle your rig.

Once upon a time, I had a baby.  (Desperate to know more?  Click here!)  I met my first-born at the intersection of "being a clueless 17-year-old" and "running out the clock on ruptured membranes."  (AKA:  C-section boulevard.)

Eleven years later (and a wee bit smarter), I made another run at a garden-variety delivery, only to end up failing (miserably) to progress.  Fifteen months later...breech baby.

After a while, you figure you might as well stick to what you know.

All told, I have had six Caesarian deliveries--five of them in the span of eight years.  

Though the numbers vary depending on the source, there is a common misconception (pun so totally intended!) that there is a magic number of C-section deliveries any one woman is allowed before her frequent-flyer card is revoked.  Some say two.  Some three.  But six is definitely outer-limits.

However, every OB/GYN I've ever had (and I've had six different delivering physicians) has followed a reliable, predictable pattern:  First, he/she expresses concern at the increasing number of surgical assaults upon my body.  I then assure him/her that the doctor who attended my previous delivery was astounded by the pristine condition of my uterine wall.  Current doc would express extreme skepticism...then, following the delivery, said doctor would compose yet another ballad celebrating the amazing wonder that is my uterus.  It baffles all medical science!  Like a steel-belted radial tire, it is!  Virtually no indication it has ever experienced a previous run-in with a scalpel!  

My uterus is kind of a big deal at three respected medical centers in the midwest--one a satellite of the prestigious Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota, where there is a plaque displayed in the Labor and Delivery Suite in honor of my finest physical feature.

In other anatomical news, I've always liked my shoulders.  The ravages of age and dramatic weight-loss will do a number on the ol' body...but not my shoulders, boy!  I've still got the shoulders of a 16-year-old!  And beyond being aesthetically pleasing, my shoulders have been loved and enjoyed by decades of babies, small children, big children, and loved ones of all ages!

That clearly beats out my uterus, which, though stunning, has only been truly appreciated by a half-dozen of my closest friends.  ;-)


PS...If we're still on speaking terms, please join us again tomorrow so we can compare notes on what we would do with a precious few hours alone to do whatever we wish!

Musical Monday: Unfortunately, Casey Kasem was unavailable to M.C. my count-down!

Funny how easily I forget that I have to answer my own blog challenge!  I'll think, Oh, this is a great idea!  Then I will sit down to write, and I'll realize what I've done.  Ugh.  This could be embarrassing!

But here goes!  This is a list of the top ten (because the top five seemed utterly non-representative!) most-played songs on my iTunes account:
  1. Somewhere Else (Toby Keith)       
  2. I Don't Have to Be Me Til Monday (Steve Azar)   
  3. Heads Carolina, Tails California (Jo Dee Messina)           
  4. Something Like That (Tim McGraw)          
  5. Put You In a Song (Keith Urban)   
  6. And We Danced (The Hooters)      
  7. Fool With A Fancy Guitar (Andrew Peterson)      
  8. Alone (Heart)           
  9. Startin' With Me (Jake Owen)        
  10. Mona (John Foley, from Pump Boys and Dinettes)
At the risk of protesting too much, I feel that I must defend myself a little bit.  (Big surprise!)  First off, I would like to repeat what I said last week at this time:  My relationship with iTunes has been largely eclipsed by my great love for Songza.  (Which is all the fun favorites, along with nostalgic surprises...and all for free!)  So this list is really more about where I was living musically two or three years ago.  AND my kids get on my iTunes constantly!  AND...there's no judging here...remember?!

 Now, just in case you're unfamiliar with Pump Boys and Dinettes (#10), allow me to enlighten you!  :-)  This is a super-fun musical which has one of the greatest soundtracks of all time and which you must absolutely go see if you ever get the chance!  And take me with you!!

So certain am I that you would love "Mona" (and the rest of the soundtrack), I tried and tried to find you a good youTube video to enjoy.  There really aren't any.  But that's just all the more reason why you should find a performance near you and GO!

What I was able to find, however, was a recording of Andrew Peterson (#7) singing "Fool With a Fancy Guitar," which I LOVE.  You should too!

Did you listen?  Seriously...do it!

(Whew!  I hope these challenge become less challenging!)


Monday, August 11, 2014

Stand back! We're taking another run at it!

Praise God...I serve the God of Second Chances!  Know what I mean?  And if He is willing to give me a second chance at the big things, I should certainly give myself a little grace on the little things...right?  Yes...I should have knows that I was asking for trouble when I scheduled a vacation in the same month as a blog challenge.  But the fact of the matter is that I am notorious for thinking I can do far more than any mere mortal should attempt at home...or on a Chicago vacation with a family of nine!

So, here we are!

How 'bout this:  Let's make a quick modification to last week's challenge and just roll 'em from the top?  Deal?

  • Musical Monday (That's today!):  What are the top five most-frequently played songs on your iPod/iTunes account?  Be honest!  We're all friends here!  No one will judge you!  Giggle, perhaps...but not judge!  ;-)
  • Truth-or-Dare Tuesday:  Describe your best physical feature.  :-)
  • What-Would-You Wednesday:  What would you do if you found yourself at home alone for three uninterrupted hours?
  • Thousand-Word Thursday:  Show us a picture of the contents of your purse.  (Before this assignment inspires you to clean it out!)
  • Flashback Friday:  Share five songs that remind you of your childhood.  And explain why.
  • Shopping-List Saturday:  List five movies you can watch over and over again, and you simply never tire of them!

So, get to writing!  And don't forget to let us all know when you post each day's blog (or Facebook post, or whatever) so we can all keep up!