Sunday, August 31, 2003

Death and Dying

I just told Katie that Charles Bronson died. She asked how old was he? I said "81" and she replied "Oh my, our time is coming! We are going to be dead soon."

I Wonder

I wonder why Coke is spelled with a "K", but Coca-Cola with a "C".

This Is It!

Way FM streaming in, reading some great Christian blogs, and enjoying God...He's right here with me.

Woman in Focus

I was "interviewed" for our church's Ministry to Women Newsletter:

1. Where did you grow up? Hinckley, OH, the home of the buzzards! Great claim to fame I know... it comes complete with a pancake breakfast every March 15! Hinckley is approximately 30 miles south of Cleveland.

2. What was your life like growing up? Great! I grew up always knowing how much I was loved. My parents are very devoted to their children, so my two sisters and I saw our parents at every softball game, band concert and every tragedy and triumph as we grew. They raised us in the Catholic church and we were very involved with the Catholic Youth Organization.

3. How long have you lived in West Tennessee? I've lived here since January of 2000.

4. How long have you been a member of Northbrook? I committed to membership at Northbrook in March of 2001.

5. What small group do you attend and what ways are you actively involved in Northbrook? I love SaLT! When I first started at NB, SaLT with WaLT (Weber) was my first SaLT experience and I LOVE that group! I love SaLT so much that I joined another group and I actively participate in both as time permits. (Summer SaLT Shake was awesome too! I hate deciding which group to participate in!) Currently I go to a group led by Tommye Clifton and Robin Reid in Jackson. That is a fun group for me as well, and I can absorb so much knowledge just about anywhere among NB people. I currently help Ann Maxwell with the M2W Newsletter and before the technical difficulties, I helped to keep the NB website updated. I also help with FIT and greet some Sunday mornings.

6. What do you do during the day? I am the manager at FYE where I sell music and movies. On my days off I surf the Internet and run errands. I usually try to make time to blog as well. Blog? A blog is an online journal...check it out!

7. Have you read any good books lately? Why did you like it? I'm always reading books. I have 3 or 4 going at the same time. Right now my friend Katie and I are attempting once again this year to read the bible through cover to cover in chronological order. I am also reading David Gushee's "Kingdom Ethics". I like it because it is helping to affirm and form my "spiritual stance" on ethical issues and giving more insight as to what following Christ actually means. I am reading through "So What’s the Difference?" by Fritz Ridenour. It compares Christianity to many of the other religions out there. It is giving me insight into the beliefs of others so that I may be better equipped to defend my faith and also understand the inconsistencies of other faiths. I am really enjoying a book called "What's in the Bible" by R.C. Sproul & Robert Wolgemuth. It is a basic overview of the story of God. I find it helpful in understanding why the heck books like Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are even included in the Bible!

8. (if applicable) How long have you been married? What are some reflections and/or "words of wisdom" on marriage you can share with other women for our mutual increase in wisdom? Not married. Don't imagine I will be. I'm doing life God's way and His way, at least for now, is singlehood.

9. (if applicable) What ages are your children? What are some reflections on mothering you can share with other women? AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHKKKKK! I am the "NOT the mom"! My reflections on mothering are, "How the heck do you do it?", "Why the heck do you do it?" and "I hope I never have to do it!"

10. What are three activities you enjoy? Church, Blogging, Music; listening and playing trumpet.

11. What is one thing you want to do before you die? Live! And...d like to visit the Grand Canyon. I also contemplate owning my own Christian books, music and movie store that is run like a cafe with live performances, poetry readings and anything else I can think of, but I have a better chance seeing the Grand Canyon!

12. What is your best way (activity, place to go, etc.) of feeling the presence of God? Being in nature, of course, and I used to enjoy going to Pickwick for worship and bible study at the river. The river is not real accessible from Humboldt, so I find that time spent in the car listening to Christian music is one of my favorite ways to feel the presence of God. I also enjoy time home alone, on the computer, because one way I feel God is by listening to WAY FM online and reading the testimonies of other Christians and learning all about how God is working in the lives of others. I feel God most when I see Him at work all around me!

13. What is one of your favorite bible verses? What makes it a favorite? From Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God..." I like it because it is simple, straight forward and to the point. If I could always remember those few words, I probably wouldn't worry so much. It's the calm in the storm.

14. What is one thing that makes you joyful? Larry the Cucumber!

Friday, August 29, 2003

Favorite Tunes:

I have close to 2000 CDs now and when I think of the few that I would keep if I could only keep ten, I discovered that many are from my 'early' days in record collecting. Yes, I said "record"...the old vinyl things with grooves. The Smithsonian probably has some on display.

These are in no particular order and are just a few that popped into my head without much effort. I could probably come up with a few more I spent a lot of time listening to, but here's my first list:

  • Journey 'Escape'

  • REO Speedwagon 'Hi Infidelity'

  • Rush 'Moving Pictures'

  • Pink Floyd 'The Wall'

  • Indigo Girls 'Indigo Girls'

  • Basia 'Time and Tide'

  • Sonicflood 'Sonicfood' (with Jeff Deyo, their first/only CD)

  • Switchfoot 'Beautiful Letdown'

  • Jennifer Knapp 'Kansas'

  • Passion 'Better is One Day'

  • Gee, by looking at that list one could probably guestimate my high school years and about when I came to know Christ!

    I tried to think of the Cds that spent the most time in my player over the years...the ones that I listened to over and over and over again. I figured those must be my favorites!

    I got the idea for this post, and actually just copied and pasted my comment to a post over at Good Coffee...Good Conversations. Rus apparantly borrowed the idea from Kelly, so I wanted to give credit to the originator.

    So, what is in your top ten?

    Cactus Legs and Belly Laughs

    A couple days ago, my son decided to snuggle up to me while watching t.v. Suddenly he commented, "Ewwwwwww, Mom, you should shave! Your legs feel like a cactus!"

    So, the next morning, fearing that I would no longer get snuggled by my son (and since there are three females in the house to share shower time with and my time was very limited), I very irresponsibly decided that a quick, careless shave was in order. Well, needless to say.......I no longer have cactus legs....... I now have skinless shin and no achilles heel on my right leg (okay, I am exaggerating). As a result, the time I "saved" by shaving "quickly" in the shower was lost as I tried to stop the profuse bleeding after I got out of the shower (razor cuts bleed terribly). It wasn't long before a knock on the door was accompanied by a very patient voice as Sue asked, "Are you about finished in there?"

    At this point, I was dealing with the three inch cut down the front of my shin, I hadn't noticed the cut on my heel yet. I told Sue that I had cut myself shaving and was trying to stop the bleeding. I said "It's pretty bad." It was at this time that I noticed that there was this stinging sensation coming from the area of my achilles heel. I looked back to find blood running down my foot, on to the floor (actually the heel cuts weren't that bad, just two messy knicks). I whined loudly in agony from the other side of the door, "I look like I took a shower with Freddy Kruuuuger!"

    Sue lost it! She started laughing this hard belly laugh and continued laughing the entire time she took her shower, finished her shower, dried off, and got dressed! When she finally calmed down, she was yelling from the bathroom, "My stomach hurts!" I'm glad that my involuntary removal of multiple layers of skin provided Sue with such great entertainment. She really does have a bizarre sense of humor. I'm just glad I could hear her laugh so hard for so long. That was fun.

    This morning, taking a shower was a new experience for me. Before entering the shower I inspected carefully to make sure there were no characters from horror movies anywhere in the vicinity.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2003

    Air Guitar

    Hmpf! As I was on stage completely "in the zone", in the hot spotlight, jamming in front of 63,000 adoring fans, Katie said "you are too old to play air guitar" and totally brought me back down to earth.

    Can you be too old to play air guitar? I SAY NOT!

    Good Coffee & Good Conversation

    Good Coffee***Good Conversation is a new blog I have been reading. Rus has a interesting post on blogging. He also had the guts to say some things that many bloggers may think about but might not "blog" about.

    The issue here is--when I'm honest with myself about it--that I resent not being able to spend more time blogging!! The rest of my life is encroaching on my time to be alone and surf the web and work on my blog. That's the issue.

    Whoa Rus! That's pretty honest! I wonder how many bloggers have thought the same? I must admit that sometimes I get irritated that I can't always blog in peace!

    Jeep Repairs

    My friend Carol informed me the other day after she followed me into the church parking lot that my brake light is out on the driver's side. I said "well, I'm getting the oil changed this week, I'll have them fix that too!"

    Today Jeepers went to the "doctor". The diagnosis? A bad lens. The lens needs replaced. Water is getting into the lens, through some cracks, and that is causing the bulb to blow. Replacing the bulb won't correct the problem because water will continue to get in and the bulbs will continue to blow. As with all vehicle repairs I immediately start seeing $$$ signs floating in front of my eyes as I was listening to the service man.

    Well, imagine this: "Miss Prince, your jeep just came out of warranty..." (never fails, it's the "Prince curse", my dad's fault. The warranty ran out only 2 thousand miles ago!) "...and my garage manager has noticed that you have been having your vehicle serviced here since 8 thousand miles. He said we are going to do it as an act of 'goodwill' and not charge you." WHAT? Come again? Really...they are going to replace the lens at no cost to me!

    I am starting to believe that the Prince curse has been broken! Woohooo!

    "God is bigger than the boogieman, He's bigger than Godzilla and the monsters on tv! God is bigger than the boogie man and He's watching over my jeep and me!"

    Katie Makes Me Laugh - AGAIN!

    She has common sense, just not .79 cents! She used her debit card for .79 cents! LOL I think that's funny!

    Hey, is there a way to make the cents symbol, you know the "C" with a line through it like in the dollar sign $ ?

    I took me forever to find the degree symbol, its 93° today (but I bet the degree symbol looks funky in different browsers with different font support.) Hmmmmmm, what about ¢ ? YAY!


    Well, it seems to add an extra character before the cents symbol in my browser. Bummer, it's distracting to read. I guess all the "alt0162, alt0186" doesn't work. Drat.

    Bummer, I was going to link that receipt to Derek's Walmart Receipts, but apparantly that site is no longer around. Derek actually uploaded all of his Walmart receipts! He had many years' worth too! I found it out surfing one day, but with all the shopping he did at Walmart, he must not have saved enough for his site hosting bill!

    What is Man?

    Psalm 8:3-5

    When I consider your heavens,

    the work of your fingers,

    the moon and the stars,

    which you have set in place,

    what is man that you are mindful of him,

    the son of man that you care for him?

    You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

    and crowned him with glory and honor.

    Oh that He cares for li'l ol' me. He is being so gentle as he restores my life back into order. He sent me some great new employees and things at home are settling for the moment. Life is good and God is blessing me.

    I'm asking my readers to pray for Paul, he is one of my new employees. He needs strength to follow God's plan for his life.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2003

    Read Something Cool

    I read this in a book yesterday, "The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament Revealed." I thought that was cool.

    Monday, August 25, 2003

    Trumpet Call to Worship

    YAY! It happened! I got a call last night from Tom. Tom is a trumpet player in the orchestra and has been for some 14 years. He is the guy I sat next to on Saturday, for the Starlight Symphony. He called me last night to ask if I would be willing to play for a Contemporary Christian Worship Service his church is having in October. I didn't hesitate to say YES! YAY! I get to worship the Lord on trumpet, and give back to Him, the talent He gave me!

    Sunday, August 24, 2003

    Katie Makes Me Laugh!

    As Katie was getting ready for church and fixing her hair, I had just finished showering and I heard her yell from the other room..."In heaven all creatures shall live in peace! But on earth that cricket shall DIEEEE!" WHACK! as she crushed it with a fly swatter!

    She then added "I sure hope God's going to let me in heaven after all the bugs I've killed!"

    Saturday, August 23, 2003

    Music, Friends and Backyard Burgers

    Well, it's over and man was it fun! and HOT! Very hot summer night, and very muggy. At one point while I was playing my glasses started to fog up! That was NOT cool at all!

    I really enjoyed tonight. There were so many people from church there supporting me and some who just happened to be in attendence. The Symphony usually expects crowds of about 6,000 people for The Starlight Symphony that traditionally features the 1812 Overture, complete with canons! Woo! It was LOUD! and fun! The morning paper even has a short article on the event.

    One of my new employees on my management staff asked me to stop by the store on my way to rehearsal. Paul gave me a nice summer bouqet of flowers, with a very nice, encouraging card. Awwwwwwwww. I was so blessed by that thought. He wished me good luck at the symphony and called me "Jackson's best trumpet player and manager!" I don't think that is entirely true, but it still made me smile. :-)

    I played fairly well, despite my technical difficulties during Stars and Stripes. What "pops" concert is complete without Sousa? Well, for some whacked reason my third valve slide kept sliding! When I didn't need it to! It was sliding without me moving it! I'm gonna have to check into that! I was playing and all of a sudden, any time I used my third valve I thought I was playing in the wrong key! But, ,while I was thinking "what the?" and looked at my slide was out! It was making me play any note that uses the third valve about a half step flat! That is not a good thing in the key of E! Well, that was my only major mishap of the night and it was caught before any major damage was done.

    On the way home I decided I wanted a Backyard Burger. It has been awhile since I feasted on a good burg. Katie was like "ummmmmmmm, we are almost home. Now you want to turn around and drive the 20 minutes back to Jackson to get a burger?" I said "Yep! I'm spontaneous!" She said "Well, drop Tiffany off because she has to clean her room before she goes to Marie's tomorrow." I said "I'm not gonna drop Tif off and then go out to eat!" Katie said "Fine, but it is your fault her room won't get clean!" So, I turned around when we were a mile from home and drove back for a Backyard Burger. Yum! It was good.

    Justin bought a rubber ball from one of the vending machines and managed to bounce it and it proceeded to bounce into the kitchen! LOL They couldn't find might be someone's "surprise" in the next burger they send out! LOL

    I enjoyed tonight. Good music on a nice, albeit HOT, night. Friends and framily and even a spontaneous event to top it off! Wooooooooohooooooooooooooo!!! God has given us so much life to live!

    Music! Friends! and Backyard Burgers!

    Blogroll Additions

    I found a couple of new blogs that caught my attention. Country Keepers by Gary Petersen I found via blogs4God and it is one I have seen linked by a few other blog sites that I read. I checked it out today and found it interesting, intelligent and insightful. Quite a potpourri of stuff too!

    I also linked to a new site called The Fondren Sisterhood. This is a blog by three young women and is just getting its start. The girls hope to share "stories of fun, family, romance, action (after all, we are involved with a motorcyle ministry!) and friends, friends, friends!" I've been reading Christy, one of the Fondren Sisterhood bloggers, for awhile now. I thought I'd plug her new effort!

    I'm Nervous

    My first rehearsal with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra begins in a few hours. I've practiced up, but I'm still nervous. It has been awhile...something like 8 or 9 years since I last performed with an orchestra. I'm going to enjoy it though, who knows when I will have the opportunity to do it again.

    So much for the Calm, Cool and Collected post below! (But, I will not panic!)

    Thursday, August 21, 2003

    Calm, Cool and Collected

    While out surfing tonight I came across an interesting quiz. The The Panic Quiz will let you see how you may fair in a crisis situation, like if a nuclear bomb dropped on your head.

    I scored a 78.2 which means I am "panic-resistant".

    I have always been able to keep my head when something critical happens like a car swerving out of control in the other lane. I can maintain my wits and deal. I don't remember being in too many crisis situations, thankfully, and I hope I can avoid them in the future. Especially those nasty atomic bombs!

    Wednesday, August 20, 2003

    Explain That

    Okay, I know I am going to get it for this one but here we go. This is a true story. There's a girl who is bisexual but not in a relationship. She has a cousin who is a heterosexual woman. The bisexual girl, in an attempt to compliment her cousin, tells her that she is attractive and would ask her out if it wasn't for the fact that that they were related. Of course the heterosexual cousin responds with, "Well, the fact that I'm a woman would cause a bit of a problem for me".

    The bisexual woman is part of a New Age movement that believes that you should follow your inner spirit and do what "feels" right because that is what is right for you. Just because it makes you happy does that make it moral? What if a person is attracted to a dog or cat? Where do you draw the line? Many people who are attracted to the same sex believe that it is some type of a genetic issue. As a Christian I believe it is a spiritual issue. Also, if homosexuality is genetic, does that mean bisexuality and beastiality is too? On any account however, my question in this specific situation is....if a woman does not care whether she is sexually relational with a man or a woman, then why should it even be an issue that the person is a relative? In that case it could definately be genetic!

    Tuesday, August 19, 2003

    I Love Retail

    My associate came over to me to ask me to give a customer a refund. She also explained that the CDs this guy brought in were the same CDs another man just repurchased because his were "stolen" or "lost" at JC Penney. The same exact two CDs.

    I asked Paul, ,whose name was on the reciept and rang the transaction in question, if he remembered checking that guy out and he said "no". The man explained that the CDs were a gift that he didn't want. He was starting to wonder what the problem was with a return. They were unopened CDs and he had a receipt.

    I went to the counter and began to explain the problem, "you see, these CDs were purchased by another gentleman..." 'I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANOTHER GENTLEMAN! I WANNA KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS WITH GETTING A REFUND! OH, I KNOW, IT'S BECAUSE I'M BLACK! THAT'S WHY YOU ARE GIVING ME A HARD TIME!" he interupted. I tried to ask where he got the CDs and he continued on about "MY WOMAN IS IN THE CAR! SHE GAVE THEM TO ME! YOU WANT ME TO GO GET HER? I DIDN'T WANT HER TO COME OUT IN THE HOT WEATHER, THE HOT SUN, TO COME IN HERE!" I said "yes, get her."

    I wondered why, if it was so hot and miserable out, why he left her in the car instead of bringing her inside air conditioning? But, I suppose, the AC in the car was working.

    He came back in with her. I asked her if she remembered who "rang her purchase". The associate, Paul, and I were both standing in front of her. She said "I don't remember who it was". (She had a choice from the three of us...I am an old woman, Nikki is a young woman, Paul is a man, but she couldn't remember who rang her up.) I asked "Do you remember if it was a man or a woman?" and she said "I'm not sure, I think it was a man". Mind you, the time of the transaction was just thirty minutes prior. So I asked "What time did you come in today?" and she said "I dunno. It was after noon sometime. It was after my nap." Well, it was at 2:30, which technically was after noon I guess. The guy got all upset "WHAT'S WITH ALL THESE QUESTIONS! WHY CAN'T WE JUST GET OUR REFUND!?" I asked "Well, about how long ago were you in here?" and she couldn't would have been just about 30 minutes ago. "IF WE WERE WHITE THEY WOULDN'T BE GIVING US A HARD TIME WITH ALL THESE QUESTIONS!" We offered them store credit for their "purchase" and the girl was considering just taking that, but the man...."NO WAY! I'M GETTING MY LAWYER! THESE PEOPLE ARE _ _ _HOLES! THEY ARE M'F'ing US AROUND!" Then speaking, or rather yelling at us directly said "IF I EVER SEE YOU OUTSIDE I'M GONNA KILL YOU AND YOUR MAMA!" He went on to say that he knows the "black woman who works here" and "she'll tell you that I'm an honest person!" I wondered why, if she knows him well enough to testify to his character, why he doesn't KNOW HER NAME!??? I also wondered how if he is "honest" and someone of integrity, how he could justify his behavior at that moment?

    It was a rather scary encounter. The man was cleary irrational and never gave us an opportunity to explain the problem, or our concern. He kept asking us "WHAT THE F___ IS THE F'ING PROBLEM?" yet, he wouldn't listen to the explanation.

    I verified on the electronic journal that those CDs were purchased together two times today. There was the original transaction (2:30), and the replacement transaction at about 2:50pm. A man made the purchase both times. The second time the man explained that he had "lost" his first purchase and came back to buy them again. The same man purchased those same CDs in one transaction two times today. At no time did a woman purchase those same two CDs together and pay cash. It is possible that the man who was so upset at us really believes we were wrong and thinks we were accusing him of stealing, however, he got those CDs from his girlfriend. She was willing to accept the store credit. Hmmmmmm... I think she knows what really happened. It blows my mind that she supported her "man" in this whole episode, knowing full well she did not buy those CDs.

    I wrote up an incident report and let mall security know that this man made some threats...actually said "I will kill you" and behaved very irrationally. You just don't know what some people will do.

    Tonight, Paul called me. The man and his girlfriend came back. The man stood out in the hall of the mall outside our store and motioned with his hands like he was going to "choke" Paul. He yelled obscenities into the store and called Paul names and called us all racist. Paul went out into the parking lot to get the tag number from their car. When the woman saw Paul, she sped up to try to get out of his sight. She was backing up in the parking lot, going the WRONG way, and an accident was averted because another driver slammed on their brakes to avoid a collision. Mall security was a witness to the unsafe driving, but nobody got the tag number, only a vehicle description. It was frightening, really it still is. I had Paul call me once he was home. This is so stupid and all over $31.

    This is why it is so much easier to just give the guy the refund, even though, in principle, it is the wrong thing to do. That money does not belong to that guy! It belongs to the man who originally purchased those two CDs. My store is out nothing...we had nothing to gain. We made a stand on principle today and only got death threats and accusations yelled at us through a string of obscenities.

    I am so sick of belligerent people bullying others around to get their way that I am more apt to give that questionable refund to someone who comes in and simply says "I understand your policy on open CDs, but I bought this thinking it was one thing and it turned out to be another. I don't enjoy it and was wondering if there was anything we could work out?" than to someone who comes in and goes on a rampage and makes death threats. All that makes me less likely to give in.

    There is no justice in this world. I long for Jesus.

    Sunday, August 17, 2003

    Questionnaire and Message Writing Experiment

    Check out this Questionnaire and Message Writing Experiment. Scott Nowson has a "blog experiment" going on and is asking for input. He will also want you to send him your May 2003 archives. I saw this posted on one site and got more info from IreneQ, so I thought I'd pass it on to anyone who cares.

    Organ Donation

    In Bioethics class this morning Dave Gushee had some interesting points to ponder.

    I learned that the first attempts at organ transplants happened in ancient Egypt with animal organs. I had no idea!

    I also learned that the central underlying principals in the federal laws and cultural aspects of organ donation include respecting the prior wishes of donor and wishes of the family. I learned that organ donation is encouraged and society "honors" it. Laws forbid harming oneself to donate organs and also that fairness is used in determining who gets the donated organs, that organs are not for the rich and/or famous, they are for the patient in most medical need.

    It really got interesting when considering the moral and theological implications of transplantation. He talked about the violation of the dignity and integrity of the dead body, concern about the resurrected body, how donation is an alruistic act of love, and about the "shudder" factor.

    Gushee told us that there is a desire for people to honor the dead with a proper burial. He said that all we can do for a loved one after they die is care for their body. In his studies and writings about the Holocaust in Germany during WWII, he learned that the jews have the most difficulty with the fact that the bodies of those who died were not taken care of and that they were simply thrown together into piles and mass graves. There was no dignity in their "burial". I thought that was an interesting point to learn. It also reminded me about that scene in "Amadeus" when Wolfgang died and was tossed into an unmarked mass grave. There is something "not right" about that. I never really considered it before, but Gushee was right, the only thing we can do for a loved one after they die is care for their body. It made me think about how Jesus' body was cared for after his death as well.

    Some people have a concern about the resurrected body. People wonder if they will need all their parts?! LOL Gushee made us all laugh with the way he asked this question "When the roll is called up yonder will I need most of me to be there?" LOL I figure God creates something from nothing, so I'm not too worried that this would be any sort of problem for me. Afterall, don't we all just decay into nothing in our graves anyway?

    Donation is an act of love. It is a very unselfish act. Some are living donors who give away a kidney to family members, friends, and sometimes even strangers. I wrote in my notes while I pondered donation of my body parts after death, if it is really an unselfish act?...afterall, I'll be dead. It's like giving away a toy after you have outgrown it and gotten tired of it. You aren't using it anymore, might as well give it to someone who will. Living donors to me are the epitome of unselfish love. My best friend from high school shared this once about her parents. Her dad, a retired Disciples of Christ minister, has suffered with kidney problems over the years and a few years ago, her mom donated one of her kidneys to him. It blows me away! God blessed that as well because both are doing well. Her dad still is weak and ill, but has enjoyed a quality of life over the years, given him through the love and donation of his wife. That's cool!

    Then I learned about the "shudder" factor, sometimes called the "yuck" factor. Gushee wanted us to understand what Meilaender, author of the Bioethics book we are reading and studying from, meant by this. Meilaender wants us to consider why we have something in us that hesitates at organ donation. Why we "shudder" when we think about the body and death and donation. Why we cringe when we see roadkill. It isn't always because it's gross, but that we recognize that it was once a living breathing being, running around in the world. Now it is dead. A carcass. Why is it that we hesitate? Could it be that there is a sliver of morality in us that considers it wrong or inappropriate to tamper with a dead body? He wasn't answering the question, but simply pointing out that there really may be a legitimate reason we "shudder", or hesitate, when we consider organ donation.

    We also discussed other concerns about organ donation. Some fear that organ donation may create a "black market" of organ parts that people sell for money. That doctors might even hasten death to an individual in order to harvest organs. That like in John Q, people would kill themselves in order to save a loved one. We talked about a death row inmate that recieved a heart transplant in recent past. We discussed many other issues and it made for some interesting stuff.

    Oh, one more thing. Gushee was talking about the fact that organ donation is encouraged and that more than 82,000 people are awaiting donations in the world today. It is because of these large numbers of people waiting that health care workers strongly encourage donation. We are led to believe that there is a "shortage" of parts. Won't there always be a shortage of parts? Gushee said that what we have is a "mortality surplus".

    I have so much enjoyed the balanced way Gushee presents stuff in this bioethics class. He has really made me think about things.

    I signed my donor card a long time ago. I love the fact that after I am dead other people may actually benefit from my least what will still be usable. Skin for someone who had theirs burned off, eyes so someone might see, heart for someone whose no longer beats, who knows whatever else can be used. I think just about everything but maybe my pinky toe! I plan to be resurrected and trust that God will give me a new body!

    Jeremiah and His Want of Revenge

    Jeremiah is what we are studying in church these days. Before the service, the "entrance" music was "Joy to the World" one was singing, it was just the instrumentalists jamming as people came into the gathering place. Who can help not humming along "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" DAAA NAH NAH "Was a good friend of mine..." DAAA NAH NAH (imitating the guitar riff)? Anyway, that was interesting to visitors I'm sure!

    So, Chuck taught on Jeremiah 18:18-23 and how Jeremiah cried out to God and asked Him to basically take out his anger on Jeremiah's enemies. Jeremiah's enemies plotted against him and intended to slander him and not listen to anything he said. Jeremiah, like me, wants people like that "to pay".

    Chuck came onto the stage wearing a backpack filled up with large rocks. He was making the point that when we choose to hang onto the bitterness, anger, hurt, and worries that those things only serve to weigh us down and make us feel miserable. He also shared about how Jeremiah's attitude weighed him down. We need to hand over all this "excess baggage" to God. As Christians we should not seek revenge on those that hurt us.

    Katie and I were talking about the message today and how we aren't sure where the line of revenge is drawn. This is what we mean. Was it really wrong for Jeremiah to ask God to deal with his enemies? Was it wrong for Jeremiah to want his enemies to suffer?

    I think there is a difference between wanting revenge, and wanting someone to be held accountable and suffer consequences of their poor behavior. I do think it is wrong to simply want to see someone to suffer to get a "taste of their own medicine". I do not think it is wrong to wish that someone be held accountable for an indescretion and have to suffer the consequences. If you steal, you should be made to pay replacement value and depending on what the circumstances are, pay restitution and time in jail. None of that is revenge, it is a consequence.

    I struggle with some leftover "baggage" from Katie's old church. I was very unimpressed with them, their attitudes, their actions and the un-Christian way they handled things with her and her husband. I used to be so angry. I wanted lightning to strike. Literally. I wanted God's wrath to come down on that church in such a bad way! I couldn't understand why God even allows a church like that to exist! I struggled with this for over a year. I also struggled with the anger I had toward her ex-husband and the injustice that I saw there. I became so convicted about this and it weighed me down so bad. I was like Chuck walking around with a backpack full of heavy rocks. About a year ago I gave it up.

    I no longer want lightning to strike that church or a tornado to blow it away. I no longer want Katie's ex to die in a fiery crash. I wrote a long letter to that church and asked forgiveness for harboring so much bitterness toward them and making judgments against them. I still wish for that church to learn from their mistakes, but I don't want revenge. I still want Katie's ex-husband to deal with the consequences of his poor choices and irresponsibility, but I don't want revenge. (I must admit, part of me rejoiced knowing that his pocketbook was hit recently when child support was garnished from his unemployment check.)

    Then I it wrong to become satisfied knowing that someone is suffering the consequences of poor choices? How would I have learned to make good choices if I never suffered consequences from making bad ones? Should a Christian not celebrate accountability? Justice? If it is wrong, how do I deal with that?

    God never responded to Jeremiah's plea in 18:18-23. He went onto other things. I think he basically let Jeremiah blow off some steam and allowed him a cooling off period. God was saying "Yo, Jeremiah, chill."

    God is the ultimate Judge. He promises that all wrongs will be made right. I have to trust in that. I have to see all of this through eyes that look to eternity...WHICH TAKES THE PATIENCE OF GOD!

    Friday, August 15, 2003

    The Friday Five

    The Friday Five from Sue:

    1. How much time do you spend online each day?

    Lots! About 3-6 hours if I am working and if I am off, I am on for many, many, many hours...maybe 8-12!

    2. What is your browser homepage set to?

    My Weather

    3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)? AOL IM "Wah00Sue" (the o's are zeros), and sometimes I turn on ICQ "17088030". I used to use ICQ almost exclusively when I played Hardball 6 online, but that era has ended. I am AOL IM nightly, excluding nights I work, from about 8:00 pm-10:00 pm Central Time, to talk to my Ma.

    4. Where was your first webpage located? I had two, they were mirrors. Xoom was my first one though, and the one I paid attention to. It is now defunct. It's a bummer to put so much work into the site and then have it disappear one day. I also had one at Geocities, but let that go. Wonder whatever happened to it?

    5. How long have you had your current website? I got it started up and running the late summer of 2000. Added a blog in September 2002.

    Thursday, August 14, 2003

    The Gumshoe

    The 13 year old boy finished showering, dressed for bed and went to his room.

    Shortly thereafter his 10 year old sister entered the bathroom and was heard shouting to her brother "Didn't your mother teach you how to flush?!"

    The boy replied sharply, with indignance, "I didn't use the toilet!"

    The girl, considering that possibility for a moment, quickly disgarded the thought and shouted back "Girls use toilet paper. Can you explain why there is pee in the toilet but no toiletpaper?"

    Kids are funny!


    I called my dad who lives near Cleveland, OH to see if he was affected by the power outtage. He said the power went out for about fifteen minutes and he treid to use the phone to call and report it. That didn't work either so he tried the cell and the line to the phone company was busy. His power came on but he said "I don't understand why? Everyone all around us has no power...Cleveland and Akron are both out." Weird.

    He did say that Cleveland is in a water crisis because the generators that pump water from Lake Erie are out. This might effect my dad because he said that their water comes from the Lake.

    I'm gonna pray about this situation because it could become a very, very major crisis.

    Everyone remain calm. No looting! Be nice! People used to live without electricity just fine. However, it is easy for me to say...I can still blog! "Give me blog or give me...." well, I won't die without the blog. It's a fact.

    She's Swinging that Axe....(Just Call Me Lizzy!)

    Not really! LOL Anyone catch the reference to Lizzy Borden? Well, I thought it was funny. I may be alone in that! LOL

    I fired another employee today. That's two days in a row I have fired an employee. This latest firing was brought on by the fact that apparantly this employee "quit". I haven't heard from him in two weeks and he never showed for his last three scheduled shifts. I had my assistant call him the first time he missed and the said employee never called back. Oh well.

    I just don't understand why an employee wouldn't simply give notice (two weeks or not) and then leave. When you abandon your job, you make yourself a non-rehire. You basically "burn bridges". What a shame.

    Wednesday, August 13, 2003

    Jennifer Knapp

    November 4 is the scheduled release day for Jennifer Knapp's greatest hits collection called Diamond in the Rough. Gotee is asking JK fans to give their input and you can select your favorite nine songs from her three albums and also submit your thoughts about two of the songs you choose. Your testimony about a song could possibly make it into the album packaging! Cool!

    Pilar Part II

    I did a Google search on Pilar and discovered Pilar is a character in the Hemingway novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls".

    I also learned that Pilar was the name of Hemingway's boat.


    Pilar Loren (Pee-lar, "Loren" using the French pronunciation as in Ralph Loren) is my new niece. My brother-in-law finally got some pics emailed to me. The kid was born on August 4th! I have no clue what the hold up was. I'm hoping to get home soon to meet her!

    These pics are of Pilar and the proud parents!

    So what about Pilar? All I know is that my sister and her husband are big Hemingway fans. That's all I know. I can't explain. LOL

    What I Don't Like About Being a Manager

    When I interviewed for the position of manager of my store I was asked what kinds of things do you like about being a manager? I named things like "I enjoy 'running the show', like the challenge, enjoy building "teams" and succeeding at goals, blah blah blah..."

    I was also asked what I don't like about being a manager and I remember saying exactly "dealing with personnel issues, the hiring and firing." Hiring is a pain because it entails sifting through countless, mostly worthless applications (and I really think high schools should do a better job of preparing students to go into the working world. Teach them how to fill out applications properly and teach them good interviewing skills!), interviewing people then making a decision. It's always a gamble to choose someone good. I wish that interviews could be the first 30 days on the job, and if you don't cut it, I could cut you! But, no, I have to figure out if you are the right employee by looking at an application and talking to you one on one for a few minutes. It's such a pain.

    Then the worst part is the firing. I hate the firing. Sometimes the firing is justice. If I have a really bad employee, who is not dependable and just needs to go away, it is not usually a problem for me to say "I'm letting you go, sign here".

    Monday, August 11, 2003

    From Yesterday's Message

    I love my church! Yesterday was awesome! George Guthrie, one of the pastors, gave a wonderful message about doubt. The current series we are in is called Grappling with God about Personal Crises in Life. It is a trek through the book of Jeremiah. I won't go into all the detail stuff, but I did want to share the main points of the message.

    Jeremiah was out there proclaiming God's Word. He got hassled for it bigtime. That was depressing to him and He was always wanting God to do something about the injustice of it all. I mean, who doesn't want to be liked? Jeremiah's efforts just were not appreciated by the people because he kept telling them how wrong they were. At times, Jeremiah doubted if God cared about him, or about how his enemies were getting away with everything.

    We have to keep in mind a few truths:

  • We live in a fallen world

  • Satan is the father of lies

  • We live in a now and not yet reality
  • . Now is not what a Christian should live for, but for the day in which God will make all things new and all things right. That day has not yet come, but it will. That is God's Promise and our hope.

    George also explained a few things about how to fight that occasional doubt that might surface. This is taken from Jeremiah 17:12-18

    • Begin with right thinking about God We start moving away from God the moment we start doubting.

      • God rules

      • He is our Hope!

      • He is our source of resources. When we think it can't be done, God will make a way.

    • Bring Your Urgent Requests to God George pointed out that "if you fear God, you fear nothing else, but if you do not fear God you fear everything else." What does fear bring?

      • brokeness

      • disappointment

      • shame

      • injustice

    • Bank on God's Grace and Character (like Jeremiah did)

      • His persistance in obediance

      • His resistance to wrath

      • His assistance through His Word

    Here were some helpful tips from George as well, to help us with the lessons learned from Jeremiah:

  • avoid sin and have an accountablity system

  • be in the Word

  • fellowship with other believers

  • stay with Jesus!

    Something else that has stuck with me from George's message was an interesting visual he told us about. He told us about what another man in our church shared with him at lunch one day recently. Tom used to ride his bike all around Jackson. This was during a time where there were no air conditioners in houses and no tv. Tom told him that back then the Cardinals were a very big thing and that when a cardinal's game was on the radio, everyone was tuned in. Tom shared with George the fact that as he rode his bike around town, he could listen to the entire game with almost no interruption, just from all the radios people had turned on in their homes. George compared that to our relationship with God and how doubt can be that interruption. I thought that was a neat analogy!

    We can go along in life and see God and hear God in everything that we do, but the minute we start that doubting, our relationship with Him will suffer. This isn't just the occasional doubt we are talking about, this is serious, debilitating doubt. Wow! It was an awesome day of worship! I LOVE MY CHURCH!

    George was used by God in many ways yesterday. His prayer was for people struggling with doubt, and I could feel the Spirit moving there. Hearts were pricked by God yesterday. Some had doubts removed. God is Amazing!
  • God is Amazing

    Last week was crazy for me. I worked every single day but Wednesday and clocked a total of 48 hours. Then, in the evenings I had "Hello Dolly" rehearsals until the performances began on Wednesday. The show was almost 3 hours long and I always had to be there a half hour before curtain. On Tuesday, in order to polish some trouble spots, the orchestra was asked to arrive at 5:30 instead of 7:00. Total time put in for the show was approximately 30 hours, including Saturday's two performances and pit strike. That is 78 hours total! Whew! I was exhausted. I still am pretty tired but with a renewed spirit and energy!

    I go to many bible studies and read many books about the bible and about Christianity and all things God. I pray and I have "spiritual" conversations with other believers and even blog about some thoughts that come to me as I read other Christian blogs. I have been trying to get closer to God by doing all these things and at times it seems in vain. I am already close to God! But, I work to keep my relationship going strong with Him. Sometimes I feel so drained. Life had drained right out of me with all my staffing issues at work and just the amount of work I am expected to get done. The kids here at home can drive me crazy. Life gets so hectic. Money runs short. I sometimes am on the verge of just "giving up", not literally, but I get so tired of "being good" and doing the right thing sometimes, especially when life gets overwhelming.

    What's so amazing about God? Well, the fact that He used one of the busiest weeks in my life ever, and a cute musical called "Hello Dolly" to speak to me.

    Katie says "All the bible reading you do, all the studying, and God chooses to use "Hello Dolly" to speak to you! Isn't it just like Him to find us right where we are at!?"

    Dolly, in the musical, is a widow and sets her eyes on a widower name Horace. He is rich, and Dolly eyes that money...not for herself, but to "send it circulating among the people like rainwater". In her efforts to ret her that husband, she ends up natchmaking the other characters in the story. "Hello Dolly" is "an ebullient and irresistible story of the joy of living, glittering with happy songs, shining with loving scenes, alive with the personality of one of the most fabulous characters on the musical stage...Dolly Gallagher Levi!" It's simply fun!

    The scene that keeps replaying in my mind, (well, sort of...I was under the stage in the pit, so I couldn't see anything), but what I heard was Dolly "talking" to her late husband about an oak leaf that fell out of her bible. She compared that flattened, brown leaf to her life, that it was colorless and lifeless. She wanted to be free to live life and enjoy it again and "asked" her late husband to let her go. Life is meant to be enjoyed! It's a wonderful world!

    I thought about that and how I, in some ways, have become colorless and lifeless. I have let myself get run down. I am that oak leaf falling out of a bible. God gave us life to glorify Himself. He gave us life. Life is a gift! He put many wonderful things into it, and He desires for us to enjoy it! He doesn't expect us to take the gift He gave us and not even remove the price tag and stick it in the back of the closet! He expects us to wear it! He wants us to shine! "I want to be in the light, as You are in the Light, I want to shine like the stars in the heavens."

    Life is meant to be enjoyed. Sure, there will be hardships, but there is no hardship God has not gone through with us. And like Katie said in a blog earlier, if "God is before us, who can be against us?" I used to know that...heck! I have always known that...but there was a time that I felt it too. There is no reason not to believe it is still true, whether or not I feel it!

    So, God is amazing. He spoke to me through song and stage this week, during a time I had very little time to myself. He showed Himself to be Sovereign. He showed Himself to be real. He showed Himself to me and in the process even used me in the life of another believer in a profound way. I can not go into details due to confidentiality, but GOD IS AMAZING!

    Wooooooohoooooooooooo! If you have been keeping up with my blogging throughout the "Hello Dolly" show, sporadic as my entries were, you also know that God gave me a little taste of heaven as well! HE HAS LIT A FIRE IN ME! WOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO! \o/

    Sunday, August 10, 2003

    I Miss My Blogs!

    I am really going to start having withdrawal if Irene Q isn't able to blog soon! (No pressure Irene!) It seems that technical difficulties have her blog down. How unfortunate since she just moved her blog and got her own domain name! Figures. So I started reading her Xanga blog and that's down too! This all has me down! :-(

    I Found My Ideal Job

    You can Find Your Ideal Job via the link that I snatched from Jax.

    It was interesting:

    *Susan - nun That was really interesting because in high school my aptitude tests suggested that I consider a career in the clergy or psychology.

    *Sue - circus freak HA! (Katie might agree with that one!)

    *Susie - witch doctor so people would ask upon my miraculous healings..."Witch doctor did you see?"

    *Soobie - bra designer Oh boy! I do NOT think that is the career for me! I heard that they only last 18 hours!

    *Suzanne - government minister hmmmmmmmmmmm?

    *Susan Louise - interior decorator this is definately NOT me!

    *Susie Lou - Y-front model Hmmmmm? I'm not sure I even know what the heck this is!

    *Soo - Lounge Lizard that could be cool!

    *Soob - lollipop person ick!

    It was stupid, but fun. :-)


    YEAH! WOOOOOOOOOOOO! Oh yeah, Uh huh! TONIGHT WAS AWESOME! WE ROCKED! WE RAAAAAAAAAWKED! We kicked it! Woooooohoooooooooooo!!! THIS IS WHY I AM A MUSICIAN!!!!!!!!!!!

    We just gelled. Only a musician can understand this. It happened to me before, in 1989 on a tour with the University Jazz Ensemble. It's something electric. It's energy and everyone "gets" it. The whole ensemble just hits every note, every rhythm, and then there is the extra something special that defies description. Something else happens and the ensemble "feels" it. It's magic. It's music. It's AWESOME!

    When you play that well and hit the last note right on target, it makes me pump my fists with a "yeah! Nailed it!" Man! It's so cool!

    I was thinking on the way home, in between all the celebrating I was doing in the jeep, in my solitude, that this must be what heaven is like. When every moment is "right on". Each moment is electric, and energized! Woooohooooo!! Joy abounds and all is well. I imagine working in heaven, like the work I've put into this show, but then with all the work and effort, comes the payoff! WOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!! and WHAT A PAYOFF TODAY! WE JAMMED!

    I wish I could find the right words to describe this feeling! It's so frustrating. I keep thinking someone that reads this blog, that has no clue what it is like to play in a band or any type of ensemble, will think I am nuts...OH! Hey! It's a similar feeling in sports!

    Many people participate in sports, or have at one time or another. It's that feeling when the team is just playing so well together that you are almost invincible. Not cocky and invincible, CONFIDENT and invincible. All the right plays are called and executed perfectly. There is that energy and electricity in the air that everyone feels and the game comes alive. It's not just a "good game" it is that one game....THE game that you won't ever forget how it felt to play in. THAT WAS MY NIGHT TONIGHT!

    Wooooooooohooooooooooooooo!! I LOVE MUSIC! I praise God for giving me this talent and opportunity to use it tonight. I am so blessed! He even gave me a glimpse of heaven tonight! WOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    I don't want to go to bed! I just want to celebrate! (But it's getting lonely since everyone else is gone for the night!)

    Saturday, August 09, 2003


    On August 4 I celebrated 3 years since the day I began metamorphosis. I didn't know when I awoke at my mothers that morning that I would leave my husband of 11 years that night. For 11 years I lived in stagnation because I was trapped in a cocoon of dysfunction and abuse. I didn't grow... I couldn't. I never knew anything about me. I only knew what I was told about me. I was trapped and it actually appeared safer that way.

    Last week I went to a butterfly release through the WRAP program. Each butterfly was released in memory or in honor of a victim of abuse. While I was there, I met Twana. She is the incredible woman who began a support group through WRAP. The support group is called Survivors. Well, I am now a member of that group. I attended my first meeting Thursday night. Much like the butterfly release, it was an emotional time for me. I rejoiced in my new life while my heart grieved with those who were still living in their cocoon. There was a woman at the release who was covered with bruises over every exposed part of her body. At the meeting, there was a woman who weeped bitterly the entire time. She was sitting beside me. I have tears welling up as I think about it. My heart rejoices in my new found freedom but it hurts for those who are still hurting more deeply than words can explain. I know that hurt. Sometimes I think I have forgotten because it's behind me now but then I see their faces and I have a fresh understanding of what they are going through.

    There is not a doubt in my mind where my calling is in this life. I have always wondered. Now, I know. My heart is with these women and Twana is my new role model. I talked with her last night for about an hour. I don't think she will ever know how much our conversation blessed me. I remember talking about how unjustly victims are treated and how difficult it is for them to be understood. I shared with her a little bit about how I went from victim to criminal.

    I told Twana about how I went to counseling and how it blew me away when the counselors predicted every move my husband would make. It was almost as if my counselors were psychic or something. It was scary! I learned about manipulation and how abusers like to hide behind religion. This happened in my situation. While under an order of protection, my husband all of a sudden ended up at church one Sunday morning (which was against his religion). When it came time for the closing prayer prior to invitation, we (me, the kids, and Sue) slipped out in fear. It was at this time that my husband "got saved". I was prepared that he might do this but unsure whether or not he was sincere. I prayed about it and it couldn't have been more clear to me that God wanted me to watch for the fruit. Well, that evening the church called wanting me to attend marriage counseling. I knew that this wasn't God's plan for that time so I respectfully refused explaining that I needed time and further one on one counseling first. I believe that was the turning point when I went from victim to criminal because at the next court hearing, I had no support from the church husband did! I was accused of having an affair with my best friend (which was expected). The lawyer given to me by the state ended up giving me copies of articles about women who had lost their children due to having certain "wrongful" relationships (after the judge laughed at the accusation). Then when I got a new lawyer that I had to pay, HE SEEMED TO BE ON MY HUSBANDS SIDE! When we were in his office he basically said that I was like all women just trying to make him look bad by crying abuse. GIVE ME A BREAK! OH BROTHER! It was truly by the grace of God and God alone that I got to the place where I am today! So, there you have it! I CAN do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Phil 4:13) and if God goes before me........who can come against me (Rom. 8:31)??????

    This butterfly found emancipation! I am no longer living in the bondage of dysfunction or abuse that I grew up in and married. It is truly a miracle that I can share this testimony today. God made a way when there seemed to be no way. With God all things are possible (Matt 19:26). The odds were against me. I lost my church, my friends, and my family couldn't do much to help. They were too far away. I gained a new church family who are as close or closer to me than most of my earthly family. I have my sister, Sue who has been the biggest tool God has used in my life and the lives of my children. Then, there is Dave, my main counselor who helped me to realize that I can achieve goals and I do have worth. God has used people like Sue's mentor from Iowa (now mine too, and a great counselor as well) and other members of the body to give us financial and otherwise needed support at just the right time. Then, there is Sue's family. They have adopted us into their family as if we belong there. There are so many more that I could go on all day.

    I didn't have a support group. I didn't have a church that could help me. I had no money and no place to go. But, I had God and that was all this caterpillar needed to become a butterfly. Now my heart is committed to all the other caterpillars who are sitting stagnant in their cocoons. For some of them it is past time for metamorphosis. They are dying and they need help. They need prayer, support, and love. God has called me for this. I began my metamorphosis on August 4, 2000. Today, I embrace my freedom as a butterfly. I am a beautiful creation, fearfully and wonderfully made , knit together by the very hand of God (Ps. 139:14). By His very breath I live (Job 33:4). I am fully equipped to do everything according to His will (2 Tim 3:16-17).

    I used to see myself as a failure. I had no goals in life. That is the past. As for the present.....I celebrated my first anniversary of freedom by giving a gift to Dr. David friend, my counselor, my brother in Christ. It was a sheet of paper containing a list of goals with every one checked off. He had given me these goals when we first met for counseling. I have set and achieved many goals since them and I am currently working on many more. I have a new goal now (well, maybe..I'm toying with the idea). Just for fun, I might to try out for a musical at some point. I was inspired at the Hello Dolly performance the other night. They just seemed to be having so much fun! I pursued a career in theatre at one point in my life but due to my negative programming I gave up on that idea. I no longer desire that as a career because I feel that God has other plans for my life. But, I do think it would be fun to take part in theatre as a hobby. I also plan to write and publish at least one book in my lifetime (of which is currently in the making).

    God has surrounded me with so many beautiful butterflies to be my role models. My biggest goal in life is to give back to Him by presenting myself as a role model in hopes to see other butterflies released as I have been... And I do as I always will... give to Him... all the Glory and Honor and Praise Forever!

    When God called me to women's ministry this is the scripture He gave me:

    "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer. 29:11)

    I do have hope and a future. Thank you Lord, Jesus. It's all because of You.

    Thank Goodness

    This is the last day of getting out of bed at 6:30 AM, going to work then straight onto the show and not getting home until 11:30 PM. Whew! I'm exhausted!

    Show is going well though. Some minor slip ups and brain gags on my part last night. Whatever it was, it was contagious because even some of the cast was making mistakes. The conductor blamed it on over confidence, but I think it's fatigue. I am so tired that my brain just isn't functioning correctly.

    Well, I'm off for another long day!

    Friday, August 08, 2003

    I'm tired

    I'm tired. I am ready to leave for tonight's performance of Hello Dolly. I want to do it because it is fun, but I also could use a long nap. My chops could use a break as well!

    Friday Five

    Katie answers the Friday Five...(forgot to sign in under MY name...duh!)

    1. What's the last place you traveled to, outside your own home state/country? I took the kids to visit my father's side of the family in Massachusetts in June. This was our first time there in five years.

    2. What's the most bizarre/unusual thing that's ever happened to you while traveling?
    Well, when I was moving Sue here, she had a bad cold. When we were almost home, I stopped for a potty break. I tried to wake Sue up but I couldn't. So I began to panic because I thought she was dead. I can't remember how I found out she was alive. I think I just shook her really hard and yelled. But, I may have just checked to see if she was breathing. I was really freaking out because my mind got carried away imagining what I was going to say to her parents and how I was going to deal with it all. (I was really worn out from all the driving and it was late.)

    3. If you could take off to anywhere, money and time being no object, where would you go? I would love to go to Hawaii but if time and money were no object, why stop there? Why not just take a cruise to see the world?

    4. Do you prefer traveling by plane, train or car?
    I love to fly!!!!!!

    5. What's the next place on your list to visit? I know what Sue will say to this one. I don't know where my next place to visit will be but I hope it will be in Vermont for a horse drawn sleigh ride in the snow just before Christmas. I would love to stay at a bed and breakfast type place while I'm there. However, that is not likely. In reality, I hope to travel just a few cities over to Memphis to visit the Salvation Army's House of Hope for women. It's a Christian run recovery/rehabilitation center for women who are victims of abuse and addiction. I want to learn how to help women to recover and rebuild from abusive/dysfunctional living. That is why I'm back in school after all these years.

    Thursday, August 07, 2003

    The Squeaky Podium

    The podium was fixed for the performance tonight...almost. About halfway through the first act the sqeak returned, and with a vengeance this time! Oh man it was wasn't so bad when the orchestra was playing a pretty loud piece, but when a soft ballad was being sung, oh was bad. Just imagine a really rhythmic loud squeak to every single beat. It was distracting, but it almost made me giggle! LOL

    During intermission a guy came down with some power tools and 2x4s and fixed it. I think it is fixed this time for good. It sure was a nuisance.

    Oh man my chops are hurtin'! I don't know how my lips are gonna make it through 4 more shows...2 on Saturday! Ugh! I think they are swelling! I need to ice my lips! I could have sworn that after the last note tonight they were bleeding! LOL

    The performance was sold out and it went very well. All is well. Except for my lips.

    Wednesday, August 06, 2003

    The Pit

    Hello Dolly had its first performance tonight. For those of you who don't know, I am a trumpet player and I am playing in the pit orchestra for this musical. It was an interesting experience tonight!

    There were a couple of trouble spots that I was dreading getting to. I had practiced and practiced, but still not as confident as I would like to be on performance night. The first half of the show was superb! The orchestra sounded as good as you will get after only one rehearsal and two run-throughs with the cast. At one point, something really funny happened in the show and our conductor started laughing and almost couldn't regain composure! I was bumming that I couldn't see what was going on! We do have closed circuit tv down in the pit, but it wasn't working for the first half at all and actually, when I am playing the music, I can't really watch tv at the same time anyway. All I am able to get are the dialogue parts in between the music sections, which, since Hello Dolly is a musical, there are a lot of.

    The second half, through it went well, we ran into some minor bumps along the way. I had to laugh at Donna, who is playing the second trumpet part, when she asked after finishing one song, "have we ever played that before? I don't remember rehearsing that!" LOLOL There is so much music to play that sometimes it can get to that point. It's like driving somewhere and you don't recall making all the turns to get there.

    Then, while playing I started to hear this annoying squeaking sound. I couldn't exactly tell where it was coming from but it was loud and started to get distracting. The music changed to a slow dramatic ballad type piece and the squeaking was really not cool at all. I then noticed that the squeaks were simultaneous with the conductor's movements. The podium that he is standing on was built very tall because the pit is rather deep. I think it is at least 8 feet deep and in order for him to see what is going on on stage, he has to be up high. It is actually a difficult set up because it is hard to see him directing us because he is out of our line of sight over the music stands. Anyway, the podium is what started squeaking as he moved around. He tried not to move a lot, trying not to activate the squeaking, but you can't conduct and not move. It is virtually impossible. I hope they look into that because it was very distracting and I am sure the audience up front could hear it too.

    When we got to the trouble spots I had practiced, I crashed. Drat! But...luckily there was a chance for me to redeem myself which I did! I nailed that puppy the second time! Woooohooooo! I have five more performanced to prove that I can do it! Oh yeah! I played better tonight than for any of the rehearsals, so that is good. Hopefully each night will get better and better.

    Being in the pit I can't see what is going on in the audience, let alone what is on stage, but the people were laughing and seemed to really be enjoying the performance. I think it is possible that the show got a standing ovation because it sure was a hearty applause at the end. Many times throughout the show there was spontaneous applause at the end of some really spectacular scenes. It is fun to hear all that going on. I can't wait for tomorrow night now!

    Quote of the Day

    The Quote of the Day, as posted on, concerning the Episcopal Church's recent decision, really summed up my thoughts.

    Unfortunately, as Ganns pointed out in the comments, the quote changed. That explains why it is called "Today's Quote", and since it is tomorrow today, the quote I linked to changed. :-( Bummer.

    I can not remember the quote verbatim, but to paraphrase, it was from another bishop in the Episcopal Church that opposed Robinson's appointment. He said that the fact that he (Robinson) is living outside the bounds of holy matrimony goes agains the tradition of the church and teaching of Holy Scripture. He asked God to have mercy.

    Drat! It was such an awesome quote too! If anyone can find that thing, I'd love to see it again. I wish had a "Today's Quote" archive. That would be too simple.

    Tuesday, August 05, 2003

    Hello Dolly

    Well, it figures. Hello Dolly opens tomorrow night and I have a zit...right on my lip! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Sunday, August 03, 2003


    Does one who is going insane know that they are going insane?

    Today, I had such a horrendous morning. I actually wondered if I were going insane because my mind is not able to handle much more these days.

    I know that most of what I think about and "dwell on" (Katie says I dwell) is unnecessary, but how do you stop thinking about things? I am constantly thinking about everything I have to do at work. It is a lot. I am also thinking about the fact that I am probably the only one thinking about everything not getting done, when I really would like some of my management staff to carry some of the load. I feel so alone at work these days. I have a good staff, it is just weak in the management area right now with a lot of inexperience. Training is straining!

    Well, my day started out with the copy machine at church not working properly. This frustrated me. I thought I didn't know how to get it to do what I wanted it to do (copy 2 sides to 2 sides) and I kept trying to figure it out. I wasted about 20 minutes trying different configurations and nothing was working. To normal person it is no big deal, but I am going insane, so this was very irritating. I was also running late and I hate late. It makes me insane too! Finally some church people arrived and I asked for help and discovered that it wasn't me, it was the machine, it is broken. I was able to make copies, I just had to use the feeder tray and go one by one. This is not a good thing for a very impatient person who was already 10 minutes late to work. It made me insane! But, I got the copies of the newsletter done and left for work.

    Stopped at McDonald's for breakfast and got irritated at the drive thru. One of my pet peeves is when a person who is waiting for their order is asked to pull up. This happens to allow those behind that person to get their order and go on around the person waiting. My pet peeve is when the person who pulls up does not leave enough room to go around and then sits there oblivious as you carefully maneuver around them. I was getting very frustrated at the day already and I knew all of what needed to get done. I only stopped at McDonald's because I was so late anyway, 5 more minutes wasn't gonna hurt anything, but that woman in the car ahead of me was driving me insane!

    So, I finally make it to work and proceed to print out the daily paperwork and reports. I was already irritated, and the printer decided to push me closer to the edge, and malfunctioned. It took me about 20 minutes to purge all the documents and "fix" the printer so I could start printing again. For some reason the pages wouldn't feed correctly and it would jam. This is the short story...I wasted a heck of a lot of time with that piece of equipment and really wanted to rip it off of its perch on the desk and slam it down to the ground in a bazillion pieces! I was so ticked! I don't have the time to mess with that kind of stuff! I was talking to myself! I was yelling at the printer! It didn't respond! THAT MADE ME EVEN MORE ANGRY! This sure sounds dumb to blog. That's where I started wondering if I were insane.

    My brain felt like it was going to explode. I was talking to myself. I was so on edge. It was as if satan was hitting me with small arrows, but LOTS of them. Everything was going wrong. It was like that Alanis Morissette song from years back "Ironic" (yes, I know it was the wrong use of the term ironic) but the song was about how everything seems to go wrong..."no smoking sign on your cigarette break", "rain on your wedding day", "free ride when you've already paid"...that kind of stuff. That was my morning. Thing is I have a lot of those mornings/days. When I was talking to myself I started telling satan, "you are not going to break me", but then I would say to myself "ummmmmmmm, I think he has!" and I would say "NO!" and then "Sue, you are talking to yourself. You better hope no employee shows up early to work, you may be committed." Then I sat in the chair that I had pulled up to the stupid printer so I could feed the paper through by hand and just sat there with my head in my hands. I sat quiet. I was screaming inside. I could feel my heart beating in the veins in my head.

    I tried to calm down. I knew that I needed God to help me with my burdens. With my stress. I just didn't know how to give it to Him and to be honest, I was upset with Him. I even asked why He was allowing all this stuff in my life to go on? What was His point? What is He trying to teach me. This is not just about broken copy machines and printers. There's more stress than that....staffing issues, financial issues, framily issues, nothing is serious in and of itself, but all put together, it weighs a ton!

    It was about 20 minutes until the store was to open. I decided to sit at my desk and pray. And listen. Tears came. I want my heart right and I don't know what to do.

    It was time to open the store and I was feeling better. Then, I opened the store and my employee who was scheduled to be there was not. I immediately was very irritated by that and just about all the comfort I gained in my prayer time went right out the window. I am sick and tired of working understaffed with the labor hours I am allowed, and when someone doesn't show up on time, it really really really gets me upset. It makes me insane! Also, I plan to work on certain projects, some of which are time-sensitive and when someone is late or doesn't come in, it throws off the plan. I hate that! It was just another thing piled on top of my giant irritating mountain of annoyance! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    So, I am looking forward to my vacation. I am hoping that time away from my store and time spent at home in Ohio will do me good. I do need time away. I don't want to be insane. It scares me.

    Other than that, which all happened before noon, the day went well. Made sales goal. My new hires are doing well. I had Potato Buds for dinner even though Katie protested "That's all you are having for dinner? Fake smashed tators?" Is that a sign of insanity?

    Friday, August 01, 2003

    Earthly Cousin, Heavenly Sister

    I just finished having a conversation with a long lost cousin. We have never been really close in the past but recently we both discovered that each of us is a Christian. Now, I am not talking about somebody who said a prayer, goes to church and lives holy holy on Sunday and helly helly on Monday thru Saturday. I'm talking about a sister in Christ who dies to herself daily... moment by moment. She is such an inspiration to me. She has this insatiable hunger for the Word of God and feeds daily on the Truth of His Word. She focuses her heart on hearing His voice. She told me about how God placed a conviction on her heart because she gave credit to a woman for the tribe (seven children) she created. The conviction was a still, small Voice that said...."No, I am the Creator". I am so touched.

    My cousin, Kathleen is coming to visit in December and I can't wait! It is so nice to know that somebody in my Earthly family is on fire for our Lord. Heck she's not even insane! (I don't think.) I am amazed at how relationships change when God is the foundation. My Earthly cousin is five years born again! She is adopted by my Father and we are now sisters in Christ......that's what it's all about my fellow bloggers! We are family! I got all my sisters (and brothers) in me! Wooohooo! I pray that God will use us to strengthen and encourage one another towards the goal.....Christlikeness. I want to be more like Jesus.

    The Friday Five

    The Friday Five

    1. What time do you wake up on weekday mornings? Normally, if I haven't been working way too much, I will wake up around 8 or 8:30 on my days off or on the days I don't go in until noon. When I work, I get up around 6:30 am.

    2. Do you sleep in on the weekends? How late? Not usually because I usually work Saturdays and if I have Sundays off I get up for church around 7:30-7:45 am. Sleeping in for me is usually 8:00 am. That is how I determined that I got old!

    3. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning? Head to the bathroom! Then turn on the computer and let the dogs out.

    4. How long does it take to get ready for your day? about 30 minutes

    5. When possible, what is your favorite place to go for breakfast? Cathey's Restaurant in Trenton! Matter of fact we are going this morning! Woooohooooo! It's a small town family type restaurant, and the best waitress in the world, Faye, works there and we are such regulars, that the cook starts making my shredded hashbrowns as soon as we walk in!