Thursday, August 26, 2004

Breast Cancer

My mom beat it twice. Help others beat it too by clicking to fund free mammograms.







I remember when my mom suffered through her first bout with the cancer. I was so scared, but my mom never let me see her sweat. I remember coming home from college to visit and my mom, sister and I were all sitting around talking at the kitchen table.



This was in the very early stages of her diagnosis/treatment. I don't think she was feeling the effects of the treatments at this point, or if they had even started. Mom was sharing what she had learned about the disease and then she pulled out a catalogue. I looked at it and mom said something like "help me pick one out" or "do you like this?"



I stood up and had to leave the table. I walked away and tears flooded my eyes. I was so afraid. I was seeing my mom in a way I hadn't ever seen her before. I was seeing her as a mortal. My mom is mortal. I was afraid I was going to lose my mom. My mom has cancer I thought, and she is asking me to help her pick out a wig? Like it's some fashion statement? Like its a sociable thing to do?



I had such a rush of thoughts going through my head. It was so confusing. It was so scary. I remember grinning too, as I thought about the strength of my mother in that moment...that she is the one who was ill, seriously ill, and yet she was the strength in the family at that moment. I just couldn't handle it! I HATE it when Mom is sick! Mom is the one who is calm, cool, collected and ever so optimistic. So much so that she is enjoying having her daughters sit with her and help her pick out a wig in preparation of the side-effects from chemo! My mom blows my mind sometimes!



I remember one night when I was student teaching waiting for my parent's to arrive to see me "perform" as a band director for my first time as a student teacher. I was so proud of the work I had done with the band. I was waiting and waiting for them to arrive at the school and they never showed. This was unusual because they always arrive when they say they are going to, and they are always early too! (I'm still the same way!) I was worried about them that night because I didn't know what happened. When I called, dad didn't even realize they had missed something. They were preoccupied, with every reason to be, with mom's health. She had developed complications with the implants or something and had to go in to deal with that emergency. That was one moment that made me realize the severity of the illness and the complications of the treatment. My parents attended every softball game, every band concert, every awards ceremony and anything and everything I participated in. They missed one that night, and I missed them.



Mom did all the doctors asked her to do and was treated. She conquered the cancer and returned to the doctor periodically for I think seven or so years. Just when the time was coming that she could rest easy, the cancer returned. Again, mom, while not as physically strong anymore, endured massive radiation treatments and beat that nasty disease again! My mom beat cancer twice!



This all came back to me tonight when Mom sent me an email requesting that I purchases pink and white M&Ms to help fund breast cancer research. I am never one to really pay attention to fwds, but this one I did because mom sent it. She knows I don't do fwds! LOL So, I looked into the validity of the fwd and learned that the promotion was in October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) of 2003, but at one forum I did find this statement: "The promotion is real and is good September through November, 2004 - M&M's will donate 50 cents to Komen for each 8oz package of special pink & white M&M's purchased retail September through October or through their website where the offer is already available." The statement was made by "anonymous" and on a messageboard at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation site. I couldn't really find an official word yet, but anything as an excuse to buy chocolate WORKS FOR ME!

Compassion

As I read my devotion for the day, I read about a Russian couple who adopted 9 handicapped children from an orphanage. Just a few years ago, this story would not have moved me the way it did today. I keep praying for God to help me to love Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength ( see Mk 12:30). I have found that in answering this request, the biggest change I have experienced is in the area of compassion.



I was overwhelmed when I read this particular story. I was moved to tears. This couple never knew if the children they loved ever loved them back because the children were incapable of expressing love. Nevertheless, the couple loved and cared deeply for each child with the same dedication they had for their own 6 children. It made me think of Mother Teresa and how close to Jesus she must have walked every moment of every day. It made me ponder how as Christians, when we make our goal to become like Christ, we can't help but be filled with compassion for a world so desperately in need of His love. We are the window to that Love.



I find that in my personal walk with God, the more I pray and reach for that goal to be like Christ, the more my heart is broken and filled with desperate compassion for those who are suffering. Christians can not reflect Christ without experiencing an overwhelming sense of compassion for those in need. After all, the sacrifice our Savior made for us is the epitome of compassion. He set the perfect example of what being a Christ follower is all about. He taught us love in the most complete form. Christ is compassion defined.



I want to continue to walk in His light so that I can be a beacon to this very dark and scary world. I want others to see Christ through me. "When we walk in His light, the lost will see Him more" (Point Of Grace).



Father, thank you for all the trials, struggles, and times I have spent in the fire as you have been molding me into your image. I want to be a clear reflection of you and I can't do it without the fire. Thank you for never leaving me and for watching ever so carefully as you continue to purify me. Let me be a light to the lost.



In Jesus Name,

Amen



This is a repost. The original was from August 16.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings

I can't say it but I can spell it!



Unconscious Mutterings



  1. Olympics:: John Williams

  2. Wicked:: witch

  3. Intoxicating:: worship

  4. Radical:: Jesus

  5. Misinformed:: hmmmmm?

  6. Triplets:: 6/8 time

  7. Coronation:: ball

  8. Asimov:: Isaac

  9. Contemporary:: CCM

  10. 1:: God

Friday, August 20, 2004

I'm Not For Sale

I'm not for sale, but if I were I'd cost $1,593,542.00. Good. I'm glad that's settled. Actually, I'm quite surprised that I am worth that much to mankind. Thanks to Susan for the link.



I am most concerned with how much I am worth to God.



I am worth more than rubies.



I am worth more than many sparrows.



Am I really worth those things to God? I try to be a good person, but sometimes, probably most of the time, I am not. I am so unworthy of His love. It is simply because God created me in His image, because of His Love, that I have worth.



$1,593,542 sounds pretty good to me! And Katie is worth even more! She tops out at $1,662,530.00. (Hey, wonder what's up with that!?) What makes a person worthy to man? or to God?



Fact is, I am not worthy of God's love. If I love my mom and dad more than Him, I am not worthy of Him. If I don't "take up my cross" I am not worthy. Heck, John the Baptist didn't consider himself worthy to untie Jesus' sandles, so who the heck am I? There is no one that is righteous. We all fall short of the glory of God.



So, mankind would actually pay $1,593,542 for me. It is easy enough to write a check, but what if man had to really sacrifice? What if man had to die for me? Mankind would buy me, but would it die for me? Am I worthy enough to die for? I bet not. Do I have so much worth that another person would actually die in my place? Do I have so much worth that it is more important for me to live, than for that person to live? The world says "no" without a doubt, but, what is interesting is that someone did die for me.



The "world" says "no", I am not worthy, but the Creator of the world said "yes".



In filling out the questionairre that "determined" my worth, I noticed that it didn't really focus much on personality or character. That is all God cares about...my character. My heart. He doesn't care the color of my eyes, how much money I make, or what kind of car I drive. All that matters to Him is that I have a relationship with Him and that I allow Him to transform my heart to His. That my character develops into that of His Son. That's what he looks at to determine my worth.



THAT IS SCARY! He's looking at my heart?!?



How does He measure my character? How does He know my heart? I look over those Ten Commandments and think to myself I break every single one of them daily. I am sooooooooo not worthy.



What is so interesting, and somewhat a dichotomy, is that it is my unworthiness that makes me worthy. Compared to God, nobody is worthy. When God looks at me, He doesn't see my unworthiness. He sees His Son. He sees me through the eyes of His Son who makes me Holy. Woohooo! Jesus creates in me a clean heart.



So, even though I am not good, not worthy, Jesus paid waaaaaaaaaaaaay more than $1,593,542 for me!!



Are you good? <--- interactive flash presentation (hat tip to Shanktified! for the link.)



I'm not for sale, because I have already been bought! <--- really neat flash presentation!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Picture Captions

Here are some captions for the picture below. Add your suggestion in the comments!



MarcV, you make me laugh! Valerie...great caption!



Katie, no dishwasher could replace you! :-)







Why must they always clear the table before I'm finished....??

Valerie



I refuse to let another dishwasher replace me!

Katie



So come on down to Fido's Eat&Wash - you'll feel good inside and out!

MarcV











Share your caption idea!

Blog Punctuation and Grammar

Anyone who types in all lowercase needs to be taken out back and beaten. You are not e.e. cummings; you are not being "artistic." You're just too lazy to hit the shift key. If you can't be bothered with the extra keystroke, I can't be bothered to read your site.





That was a quote from Jennifer Garrett, from an article that was published at the Blogger Knowledge page. Her post there is called Eats, Blogs & Leaves.



I think she has some interesting things to say and I for one do get annoyed with people who do not capitalize when emailing or blogging. I don't know why it bothers me, well, yes I do BECAUSE THAT IS NOT HOW WE ARE TAUGHT TO WRITE/TYPE!



This type of post always invites criticism and I'm sure Garrett had many decided to go word by word and criticize all she wrote in that post, but I think she has a point. I know that not everything I post is grammatically correct...heck, you should have seen what I went through simply trying to put the apostrophe in the correct place in Sisters' Weblog! I misspell words. I can at times use comma splices, and run on sentences, and fragments. I'm not talking about the occassional "poetic license" or typo. I'm talking about outright defiance! LOL



Why is it that some people choose to avoid using the shift key to capitalize words? Garrett points out that many people excuse this laziness by saying "it's just a blog". There is some truth to that, but what are you trying to do with that blog? It's hard for me to assume that intelligent thought went into a post if it is typed without capital letters where they are meant to be. The rules of punctuation are many. I don't claim to know them all. I do claim to know a few of the basics which would include capitalization, periods, quotation marks, etc.



The basics of punctuation really do help a blogger convey his/her thoughts more clearly. So, why do so many choose not to be clear?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

We Are Selfish Creatures

Deb and I had excellent conversation over dinner. I LOVE GOD TALK! She shared about how she is praying for a servant's heart.



She also shared an experience that left her feeling ashamed. A couple in her church with two young children were missionaries in the jungle on the other side of the planet. The wife was pregnant and the husband had contracted malaria. The couple was leaving their mission due to circumstances and the health issues and were coming home to the states so he could get medical help and she could have the baby here. The pastor told the congregation of the need they had for a home to live in temporarily and to have some sort of reliable transportation.



Deb had this situation heavy on her heart and one day called the church. She told the church secretary that there had to be something she could do, she could help financially and "maybe if we all pool our resources...". The secretary then told Deb not to worry, it was all worked out. Deb, surprised and relieved and ashamed.



Ashamed? Yes, she said "I have a house, I could give it up for awhile and go live with my mom. But I didn't. I wouldn't. I have my house and I have it set up like I like. I don't want kids running around messing that up."



I said "that is what many Christians struggle with. It's easier to write a check than it is to step outside our comfort zone."



We talked about how selfish we are as humans. At one point she mentioned that basically we have to learn to surrender our "right" to our house, our money, our stuff...step outside our comfort zone! I thought, how true, because really we have no right to anything. All is His.



We have no right to anything. All is His. All.

Home Again

I'm back home from my Ohio visit. Drove ten hours straight to get there, and ten hours again today to get home.



I had a very nice time at the family reunion on Sunday. I got to see my sisters, my one year old neice, and my uncles, and other people I had never met before that I am related to. Interesting. I even played some Bocci Ball. I never played Bocci Ball before so that was interesting. We created a cheer for our team, we were red, we would just cheer BOCCI BOCCI BOCCI BOCCI BOCCIIIIIIIIIIIII! getting increasingly louder with each BOCCI and augmenting the last "I"! We were so weird. Red dominated the entire game, match, or whatever it is in Bocci Ball. It was a very challenging course too, with hills and ditches, high grasses, trees and various other obstacles to avoid on the course!



I drove my sister Dawn to the airport on Sunday evening after the reunion, so we had some time together to talk. That was nice and I enjoyed our visit.



On Monday my mom and I basically hung out together playing on the computer and sitting on the swing chatting. Dad insisted on watching his broken tv that only has a viewable picture about 40% of the time. Gram played some solitaire and was reading her books as usual. I'm convinced that she read every single book in the Hinckley Public Library when she lived there, and I'm sure she has made a huge dent in the collection at the Medina Public Library since moving with my parents to that town.



On Tuesday mom and I busted open the computer to see if we could correct a problem it was having. She had mentioned to me a couple of months ago this problem she was having with the computer "revving". I got to experience that first hand! I was surfing the Net when suddenly the fans on the computer started making a heck of a lot of noise! It reminded me of a jet airliner getting ready to take off! I backed away from it, I thought it was going to blow! Mom said "it does that". I said "interesting". So, it would continue to do this throughout the time I was playing around on her PC, and then I noticed an odor. "What's burning?" I asked. Mom couldn't smell anything. I said "I bet it's the computer overheating."



So, yesterday I opened up the computer and mom and I proceeded to use Emminent Domain to force the dust bunnies to find new residences. Our goal was to complete the task before Dad came home from his haircut appointment. We didn't think dad would take too well to walking in on some major PC surgery. We got her put back together and started her up. In walked Dad. Whew! Success! Dad didn't catch us and the computer issue was fixed! It was overheating. Computers need proper ventilation! Dust bunnies kill.



Yesterday afternoon I met with Deb. She is the personal responsible for leading me to Christ...well, a lot of people were, but she was the catalyst, the tool God used to draw me to Himself. Everytime I go home I make it a point to see Deb.



We had great conversation over dinner. She shared all about what God is doing in her life and how she is praying for a servant's heart, and to be content in all situations. Oh, it was such neat conversation!



Last night I spent some more time playing "Bookworm" with my mom online. We had fun and became Supreme Archivists! Woohoooo!



I woke up early and drove ten hours to get home in time for bible study tonight. We had such great conversation that we didn't get through the entire weeks worth of the study...oops. There's always next time!



So, I'm home and have a pretty large agenda for tomorrow regarding errands and checking into business opportunities.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Caption?

Here's a great pic I happened across checking out some pics on my ma's computer.



I just had to post and ask for some caption ideas:



Brake Light II

Katie, you dissin' my blog?

High Definition Television

Last year at about this same time, my dad invested in a big screen, high definition television.



Boy, it sure looks great.



However, a picture would be nice. LOL



It has a bad high voltage card and some other big name word thing wrong with it. What we see most of the time is just a plain black screen. When we are lucky, we actually get some sort of picture.



Mostly we just have sound.



High definition television sure sounds nice.



However, a picture would be nice.



The repair people are supposed to come next week. Now the question is, can dad survive on high definition radio?

Editors Choice

Okay so that should get the Editor's Choice award for the most exciting blog in history!

Brake Light

When I was leaving my uncles place yesterday he pointed out that my right brake light was out.



I went to Walmart to buy a new bulb, but when I replaced it I still had no brake light. That can't be good.



Drat.



I'll need to have that checked out when I get home.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Family Reunion

I am blogging from my parent's house in Medina, OH. I'm home on vacation and today was our family's first ever family reunion.



My uncle bought himself 18 acres of prime real estate in Carrollton, OH this year and we figured a family reunion would make good use of that land! So, we all met at his place today and reunited. Actually, I met most of the people for the first time, so we weren't really REunited, we were simply united! I met 4 second cousins I didn't know I had. Pretty sad considering the oldest was about 30 years old!



I met a few great uncles too. The best part though was seeing my sisters, my Uncle Ronnie from Madison, WI and my Uncle Bob whose place we were meeting at. I also met my first cousin Marcella, who is now 9 years old. I had never met her...but she was born in New Mexico? Tucson, AZ? One of those far away desert places which is why I never met her. She's lived so far from me. I really had fun talking with Ron, Holly and Marcy. Hearing the name Marcy brought back memories of my great Aunt Marcella (Marcy). I don't remember too much about my aunt except that she was a bundle of joy everytime I saw her and seemed like so much fun! Crazy fun is more like it!



My Uncle Ron has spent many hours scanning the thousands of slides, cleaning them up, and will eventually have them on discs for all of us. He brought along his laptop and we all sat around it viewing all the hundreds of pictures. It was different than we used to do. We used to find a seat, put up the projector screen and have a slide show presentation. Times have changed!



I talked some with my sister today while I was driving her to the airport. She needs so much prayer. She is one of those people that just keeps making life mistakes. I don't think she intends to, but she does. She gets herself into one mess after another. I feel bad for her because I really can't help her. She has to decide that she needs to stop doing the same things over and over and over. She did admit she does it...she's sought counseling in the past...but she needs it again, and she needs to continue seeking help from outside parties I think. It's so frustrating watching a beautiful, intelligent young woman keep making mistake after mistake.



I'm looking forward to spending some time with my parents tomorrow. I know that one thing I need to do is get to the auto parts store and get a replacement bulb for my brake light that blew. My uncle noticed it as I was backing out of the driveway to leave the reunion today.



Tuesday I have an appointment to meet up with my "Phillip". I'm really looking forward to that!



Well, time to get some rest. My eyeballs are moving back and forth really fast!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Practical Joke and Elevated Terror Threats

In order to understand this story, you must have some background information.



Mary, my assistant manager is a bit high strung...ok, A LOT high strung. She has a tendency to react to things without thinking, and at times this has led her into situations she was unprepared for. It has never been anything serious. You need to understand that Mary is also gullible. The staff has fun teasing her with different things and watching her overreact. It's usually very funny!



If you read this blog with any regularity, you probably already know that at my store, we are also a Ticketmaster outlet. I hate Ticketmaster. The reason I hate it is because the phone rings off the hook all with people asking for ticket info. It is annoying because we are an outlet, therefore a "walk-in" service only. We don't sell over the phone, so we do not answer specific questions about events over the phone, and we hardly make any money on the whole deal anyway. Ticketmaster is very time consuming as people want to pick just the right seat and sometimes it takes "forever". I hate it I hate it I hate it.



I really hate "on sale" days. These are days that tickets go on sale for a particular artist. Popular artist obviously draw a crowd and on those days we have lines of people to deal with. It is usually very frantic and can become rather stressful.



This week we had an employee issue which left us short staffed. I am on vacation as of an hour ago. YAY! Anyway, Mary is scheduled to open tomorrow. One of the new hires is going to work an open to close shift to help out. He is rather inexperienced at Ticketmaster so having an onsale tomorrow wouldn't be a good thing....but it sure would be fun to make Mary think there was going to be a huge "on sale"!



My associate and I decided it would be fun if R. Kelly tickets went on sale tomorrow. We plotted how to go about making it seem real and so I told Mary that I was somewhat concerned about tomorrow morning. She asked why and so I told her that people have been coming in telling me that the radio is announcing an R. Kelly concert in Memphis and tickets are going on sale tomorrow. Mary said "OH MY GOSH! NO! Well, I will handle it." So, while she did have a bit a reaction, it wasn't what I'd hope for. I reminded her that she is opening with the new guy. She got a little more concerned, but was determined to make it through ok. Then, Misty, my associate upped the ante by telling Mary "George Strait tickets go onsale at noon tomorrow. "Oh that'll be fun" I said, and Mary had a slightly bigger reaction to that.



I said "I dunno Mary, maybe I should postpone leaving on vacation for a couple hours?" and she again reassured me it was going to be alright. I pushed her on it a bit more and she snapped back... "Sue, it's going to be alright. We can handle this." I said "think about the type of crowd you are going to have here Mary...could be some "thug types" for R. Kelly, and then those rednecks will be comin' in for George Strait". She said "I can handle rednecks, and thugs? Well, I know thugs, and I can be a thug right back!" LOL



She continue as she began to go off ranting..."and another thing! I am on a new diet pill (I have no clue what that has to do with anything, but that's Mary) and I smoke! I will be okay!"



It seems Mary was convinced that all would be okay. Misty and I still weren't satisfied. We were surprised that she simply took our word for things and never went over to the Ticketmaster computer to look this info up for herself, but that is what was making it fun. I decided it was time for the new hire, Cali, to have a little fender bender that caused him to miss work tonight and tomorrow. She was closing with him tonight, and he was going to be there for the massive "on sale" tomorrow.



Well, we never got around to Cali calling off. Instead, I had a scathingly brilliant idea! What if the power went out tomorrow? Right in time for the on sale? Muhahahahahah! *evil grin



I mentioned it to Misty who nodded her approval so I headed off to the backroom computer to type up a memo from the mall office:



Memo: All merchants

Re: Planned power outage



Please be advised that due to problems with the electric grid in this area,

which has been causing the recent power outages at the mall and surrounding

areas, the Jackson Energy Authority will be replacing a transformer. This

work will cause the power to the mall to be out on Saturday, August 14 from

5:00am to approximately 10:00am.



The mall will not be open until power is restored, but the JEA has

reassured us that the work should be completed by 10:00, normal mall opening

time. We realize that some merchants require some additional opening time,

but we are asking that preparations be made so that all merchants can be open

for business no later than 10:15am.



We apologize for any inconvenience,



Mall Management





Now, this letter was typed onto a blank white sheet so there was no official mall letterhead. I also used Mary's home phone number as the contact number in the heading. I thought it would be obvious that this was a joke.



Now, how were we going to get Mary to read it and be inconspicous about it? I played it up. Mary was checking out a customer at the counter and I acted as though someone from outside the store was trying to get my attention. That "person" would be outside Mary's line of vision. I went outside of the store entrance, and then re-entered with the false memo in hand. Like I do with mall memos, I casually tossed it onto the counter without paying it much attention. Mary finished with her customer, and then noticed the memo on the counter.



I was having a hard time keeping a straight face, so I went and hid behind a browser. Then I heard Mary exclaim "OH MY GOD!" and I busted out, doubled over behind a bin, out of her line of sight. I was laughing so hard I was crying. I stood up after I regained composure and Mary said "Sue, did you see this?" I shrugged, "eh, it's a mall memo. I never pay attention much to those."



"Uh, uhhh, this one is something to pay attention to."



"What?" I asked.



"Read it."



So I began to read it and said "Yay! They are finally doing something about the power. You know, that whole side of the mall was dark again last night."



"LOOK AT THE TIMES!"



"OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Why would they do that on a Saturday morning?"



Mary screams "BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID, THAT'S WHY! I'M CALLING DOWN THERE! NO! I'M GOING DOWN THERE!"



(Mary was upset because the mall opens at 10:00am and this could delay things. What complicates matters is that the "R. Kelly tickets go onsale" at 10am and people start lining up at 9am. At 10:00, when tickets go on sale, the people will demand tickets! Not being open on time could be a very very very bad thing!)



So, Mary was hot under the collar and fuming mad! She was sooooo ticked! I said "calm down, just call" (I was attempting to focus her attention on the phone number, so she would notice it was her own number and realize the joke was on her.)



"NO! I'M GOING TO TALK TO THE MALL MANAGER!"



And off she went...with memo in hand, down to the mall office.



The next bit of the story is Mary's version of what happened next.



She marched into the mall office where she was greeted by the polite receptionist. Mary said "I want to talk to Bill (mall mgr.)."



"Ummm, I'll have to check to see if he is in."



"I KNOW HE IS IN, I SAW HIS CAR HERE TODAY, I WANT TO SEE HIM NOW!"



The polite receptionist was somewhat puzzled by the anger in Mary's voice and went to tell Bill that Mary was here to see him.



"Mary, FYE Mary?" he asked.



"Yes, and she doesn't seem too happy at the moment."



So Mary met with Bill and waved the memo in his face going off on how stupid this was. Bill was unaware of the memo and said so.



"What do you mean you don't know? You manage the mall don't you?" and he denied knowing anything about it.



He immediately inquired of his staff and no one knew anything. He demanded to see the "sign-off sheet". (When important memos are circulated, each merchant has to sign indicating receipt.) There wasn't a sign off sheet!



Mary continued ranting "I DON'T KNOW WHAT GOES ON AROUND HERE BUT THERE'S TOO MANY MONKEYS IN THE KITCHEN!" LOL Whatever that means! LOL



She really gave Bill a very hard time. He was confused and quite concerned about the memo. He immediately called the Jackson Energy Authority to ask about the planned power outage.



Meanwhile, I'm back at the store wondering what on earth was taking Mary so long. I theorized that she was plotting a payback and that she was going to come back all angry at me and embarrassed that she gave Bill such a hard time. I was starting to feel like maybe the joke got a little out of hand. I had no idea of what was about to take place.



She finally came back to the store and explained that "THIS MALL IS OUT OF CONTROL! BILL HAS NO IDEA WHERE THIS CAME FROM AND WHEN HE CALLED THE JEA, THEY GOT ALL FREAKED OUT AND CALLED THE JPD! (Jackson Police Department)"



"WHAT?!?" I yelled!



"Yes! They think it could be an attack on the power grid and the JEA has been told to report anything suspicious!"



"You are kidding!" (I was thinking this was the attempt at a payback)



"NO I'M NOT! BILL IS CALLING THAT NUMBER ON THE MEMO RIGHT NOW!"



"Ummmm, Mary, did you look at that number?"



She replied "no".



"Look at it"



Perplexed, she responds, "Hey,...ummmm... that's my number!"



She was so confused. Then it dawned on her it WAS all a joke! She said "OH MY GOSH! THE JPD HAS BEEN CALLED! JEA IS PLANNING TO HAVE ARMED GUARDS PROTECTING THE SUBSTATIONS TOMORROW MORNING!"



That was ALL REAL!



So, Mary called Bill and explained the joke and then the calls had to be made to the JEA and the police. Oh my! I had NO IDEA it was going to go that far.



But, the JEA still felt uneasy and reported the incident. They had to be talked out of the whole thing. Apparantly the authorities were notified thirty days ago to report suspicious activity, expecially "threats" to the power grids.



I can't believe my practical joke almost raised the terror alert level!



I was laughing so hard. I can't believe that she fell for all of that!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Is God Doing Something?

Hmmmmmmmmmm....



The church has asked me if I would consider being on the Management Team. The Management Team is mainly responsible for the financial well-being of the church, and has some other duties as well. It is a three year committment and will conflict with one of my brass ensemble rehearsals once every month. My first reaction is "no, I don't want to do this" but I am seriously considering it. I'm praying about it and talking to other people about this decision because I don't want what I want, I want what God wants. It may be an opportunity to use the Spiritual Gifts he has given me.



I've also had a business proposition. I have had this "dream" of owning my own book and music store for Christians. I imagine a place to hang out and talk over coffee, listen to live Christian bands (they are more entertaining than dead ones), lectures possibly, book signings, bible studies, maybe even an Internet Cafe type thing. If it grew maybe even a "dance club" for Christians, and I even think about the possibility of housing a radio station studio. I envison it as sort of a Borders Books and Music for Christians.



The owners of a local bookstore franchise are retiring come January when the lease is up and are willing to sell the business for the price of inventory only. They have put their heart and soul into this business for years are want to see it continue and succeed, so they are also willing to work with the new owners during the transition, and help keep it going strong. A young man from church approached me about possibly going in on this deal as partners. I said "I don't know anything about owning my own business!" He said "but, you know how to manage...I'm good at starting things!" So, I said "hmmmmmmmmm, well, we need to learn more about this. When I get back from vacation, I will call you and we can set up a meeting with the current owners and learn what we can about this." So, next week, we will meet and discuss possibilities and see what God is doing.



Also, God is working in the area of my framily. I have attended a couple parenting seminars and have been praying about my relationship with Katie's daughter. We were doing better for a couple of weeks, but it's back to a bit strained. I do know God is working in this area, so I'm continuing to try to stay in His Will. I have a huge responsibility to this special framily that God has given me. I do not take it lightly and want to do the best I can do. I fail too much.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

The Village

Today I used the Gift Certificate my staff gave me to go see The Village.



GOOD MOVIE!



Wow! Very intense at moments, and great story of heroic bravery and endurance, and love. It is mysterious and interestingly intriguing. One is glued to the seat throughout the entire movie awaiting what was to come next to help you solve the "puzzle", yet you find yourself fearful at times to know.



Many things to ponder about it too. I like the ponderables.

Cute Kid Eh?

Boy, Katie has some beautiful kids!



Here are a couple pics of her daughter.



















Me and Katie's boy in line for My Fair Lady. (We were having fun embarrassing Tiffany by acting really strange...which is what we do best!)







Here is Northbrook Church...I call it "home". I love it there! This was a "drive by" on our way to the play the other night. Actually, the "Gathering Place" is behind the portable office building that we recently added to the campus due to growth.









My $20 Pocket Digital Camera, that is about the size of a credit card, may not take the best pictures in the world, but I'm still having fun with it!





OH MY! I just went to the Logitech site to grab a pic of my $20 camera and found it listed here, FOR $149.95!!!!!!!!!!! I REALLY GOT A DEAL! Wait, that can't be right...ok, this is not the same model as my camera...mine has half the memory, BUT STILL! Woohooo!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Woohooo! That's Why I'm a Musician!

YEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!



Wooohoooooooooooooooo!



THAT WAS FUN!



Tonight, I joined the Johnny Cash Band on stage and played on Ring of Fire! IT WAS SOOOOOOOOOO COOL!



One of the most exciting parts of this experience was how the guys in the band treated us. They were so appreciative that we were there to help them out. When I showed up today, Bob Wootton said "oh, I'm glad to see you!" What a greeting!



WS Holland was also very happy to have us there, and Dave Roe (bass) said he was glad we were there too.



I sat around backstage while some other bands finished up. Then the Cash Band went on stage. I sat there mentally rehearsing through the chart before we got on stage with the band. We watched the playlist and then knew it was time to head out. The audience was ready to go and anticipated Ring of Fire because it's the show stopper!



The spotlights were shining on us, and Bob said "Whenever you are ready!" and with a nod Dave started walkin' the bass and away we went! I played my heart out and loved every minute! The crowd loved it! The band likes to pick the tempo up a bit from the recording, and puts a little "fire" into it. At the last chord the audience jumped to its feet and cheered! IT WAS SO FUN!



We exited the stage to loud cheering and the band members again seemed pleased with our performance! WS came over and gave me a big huge hug and Bob did the same! Woohoooo! I was amazed that these "legends" were so humble, and so gracious to us! They made me feel like the star! ...and I only played for a total of one minute! LOL



Well, it sure was fun and it ranks up there with one of the highlights of my music career! It's these kind of moments when the adrenaline rushes and everything clicks into place that makes being a musician so awesome! Woooo! I LOVE IT!



I called Mom and Dad to share my joy and they were exstatic too! Mom asked, "so, did you get any pictures at the festival with that new digital camera?" and I had to say "no". I can't help it, I'm just not the autograph and picture taking type...although the other night someone asked for MY autograph! LOL I said "ummmmmmm, I'm playing trumpet for about one minute" and I was told "she wants everybody who performs to sign her shirt! So, I did! LOL



I wonder if my signature will go for anything on Ebay?

Friday, August 06, 2004

$20 Digital Camera Fun

Would you believe this is my assistant manager?









When I arrived at work today, I noticed that some price changes had been done. Impressed as I was that they were actually done and that I didn't have to do them, I also noticed that a Logitech Pocket Digital Camera was marked down...from &59.99 to $19.99. I thought, for $20 I'll give it a try. I splurged on my birthday and bought myself a gift!



Here's me excited to have a Veggietale B-day card from my staff!



Unfortunately my mom and dad will see me wearing my old glasses because my new ones were being remade. Thanks for my birthday glasses Ma and Pop! I got them back and can seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!







Not bad for a $20 digital camera...it still captures the memories!



My staff through me a "party" today. I really appreciated it and now I need to blog the memory.



Mary asked "I can't find the movie How Deaf Can You Be" I replied "How dead can you be? How death can you be?" and she said "NOOOOOOOO! How DEAF can you be?" (I thought I was being funny! Anyway, I asked if the computer said we had it and she told me that it says we have one and that she couldn't find it. I went with her over to the VHS wall and attempted to find this movie, all the while saying "I've never heard of this movie. I don't think I've ever seen that movie in here...blah, blah, blah."



Suddenly the music stopped playing and Mary called over to Misty "Hey! What are you doin'? Is that for a customer?" and Misty aknowledged that it was. We sometimes will play the music in the store so a customer can verify that it is the right song they are looking for.



So, this kid type music starts playing, some rhyming poem about a donkey, and Misty was fishing for a particular song. I listened to a few stanzas of the poem on my way back to the cash wrap after unsuccessfully attempting to find that How Deaf Can You Be movie. As I rounded the corner, the poem stopped midway through a rhyme, so I finished it by saying "tail". Misty laughed and then the Happy Birthday song started to play as I was just beginning to ring a sale. Then I look and Danielle is walking toward me with cupcakes, and candles lit and all. My staff all wished me a happy birthday and we all laughed. Wasn't that sweet! They gave me a Veggietale card that I adore! I love most all things Veggie...except of course for actual food! LOL



They also gave me a pass to go see the movies! YAY! Wonder what I'll go see? Hmmmmmmm...any ideas?

My Fair Lady Pictures

Katie as Mrs. Pearce



Katie as Mrs. Pearce the maid is seen here behind Eliza.



Katie helping put the finishing touches on Eliza.



Mr. Higgins and Katie is a serious conversation.



Mrs. Pearce (Katie) with her band of Merry Maids.



See More Pics of the show here.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Johnny Cash Band

I played Ring of Fire tonight with the Johnny Cash Band. I met some famous people...and one is W.S. Holland who played drums with Johnny Cash for 37 years! It was really neat to have a rehearsal session with the guys to work out the "kinks" in Ring of Fire. I really appreciated Dave Roe, the bassist, because he was very helpful to leading us through the parts. At one point he asked if we were getting paid for this gig...I said "No, but we get to hobnob with the greats! That's payment enough!" He asked "Who are the greats?" and then I said "YOU!", he laughed.



I was impressed by the guitar player, Bob Wootten, who chatted with Tom and me. He talked quite a bit and at one point he explained that he doesn't do encores. He learned from Johnny..."play, and when you are done, you're done. I think it's an ego thing with some people."



After our small rehearsal, Holland told us that in a few places they will get local trumpet players to do Ring of Fire and it does not always go as well as it did with us. He went on to tell a story about a disasterous time with the trumpets that they had to work with at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH. I said "that's because I moved! (Cleveland is what I call home. It was the nearest big city to my home in Hinckley)



It was an interesting evening. Wink Martindale is Master of Ceremonies for the Rockabilly Festival this weekend. I got to see Brenda Lee inducted into the Hall tonight, and hear a performance by Sonny Burgess and The Pacers. Tomorrow night The Comets are set to play, but I have a date...a date to go to see My Fair Lady and watch my best friend perform in it!



But, I get to do Ring of Fire again on Saturday night. I have to say, it's been fun and a little nervewracking because I am not good with "wingin' it", playing without music, following chord changes, and playing along with a band of professional touring musicians that have been playing this song for many many years. It's been a neat experience though, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity. I am playing Ring of Fire with the guys who played with Johnny Cash...a legend! Wow! That is neat! I am so blessed!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Wet Shorts

The other day I spilled Coke onto my computer chair while I was vacuuming behind the computer.



It wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that the covering on the chair is ripped and the foam cushion is exposed. It acted as a sponge and prompty soaked up the cola.



I took the chair outside and added detergent, cleaned it, and rinsed it with the hose.



I thought five days of sitting in the hot sun in the backyard would do well enough to dry the thing. I checked it and it seemed dry to the touch.



I've been sitting in my chair all evening enjoying some games of Battlefield 1942, and when I got up to get myself a Coke (you would think I'd learn that Coke may not be a good idea...what with this episode, and the whole keyboard incident a year ago), but I continue to drink it.



My name is Sue, I am a Cokaholic. I haven't had a drink in over thirty seconds...



Anyway, when I got up, I noticed that my shorts are soaking wet! I guess my chair has not yet dried.



I need to find an upholsterer. I love this chair...almost as much as my purse!

Kids Don't Think Like Adults

Kids don't think like adults. Kids dont' think like adults. Kids don't think like adults.



I have to remember that kids don't think like adults. Katie says that I keep expecting them to, and this gets me stressed out.



Then she gave me a little story to read out of a devotional about how kids see things differently and simply want to enjoy life. While they liesurely enjoy the summer by reading, watching movies, snacking, playing video games and doing whatever it is that entertains kids these days...I stress myself out wanting the tv turned down (we must respect the others in the house who are NOT watching the movie), the recliners put back upright (I dont' understand why they constantly leave the chairs reclined...they are harder to get out of that way!) when they leave the chair, the snack packages either put away or thrown away. Peace. I want peace and order. With kids, there is little of either and sometimes IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!



The devotional says that I am the one getting stressed out about the "little things in life" and that if kids grew up around furniture that was not allowed to be used and was covered in plastic, or rooms that weren't allowed to be used, that as they grow, they are more likely to want to get out of the house fast! (Isn't that what we want too? LOL) The house should be a place that one feels comfortable "letting their hair down".



I agree to some extent...but, there is a purpose for order. I find comfort in order. Kids do to...and this is evidenced by the fact that when they trash their bedroom, they move to another room in the house...a room that starts out neat and in order!



Interesting that on the very next page, the devotional tackles the subject of responsibility. Isn't part of bringing up kids to teach responsibility...like respect for other peoples things? Like putting recliners upright when you aren't sitting in them anymore, so the next person to use the chair doesn't have to "dive" in. That is what helps make a home comfortable if you ask me!



So, I'm stressed, and Katie is feeling like she is not doing her job as a parent. I think that I do get stressed out about things I shouldn't, so to some extent I have taken that devotional reading to heart. Katie is a great parent, and she has two beautiful, wonderful, God-fearing kids who sure do put up with a lot from me!



I am praying that God help me to entrust Him with the little things in life, and not allow myself to get all worked up about things.







Sunday, August 01, 2004

Ring of Fire

I have Ring of Fire down. My fear is that they will change the key. I hate when that happens!