Tag Archives: Music

My Hero Has Left The Building

We all have heroes. Some heroes earn that esteemed title from the quiet acts of service performed daily, others stumble into hero-ship by merits of their profession.

Webster defines a hero as:

A person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities; a person who is greatly admired.

I am going to try really hard to put into words my garbled feelings about hero-worship, and how the protective walls I held around one of my heroes came crushing around his memory today.

To understand how much I adored this person, let me give you some history. I was only three years and nine months old on August 16, 1977. I am pretty sure even then, I loved the gorgeous and talented man who died that day with all the love my little girl heart could muster. My Mother had plans on going to his next concert in our area. Yes, we wereare a family of screaming-crying Elvis fans.

As I grew, TBS always honored Elvis in January for his birthday week, playing his movies each day, and again in August, to celebrate his memory. I would watch them ritualistically and make sure I had my VHS set to record. Often with the other children went out to play, if Elvis was on, I was glued to the TV. We even had an 8 track player in the bathroom, anytime I went in there, I would put in Aloha from Hawaii. I loved Elvis.

Photo Credit:  wikimedia.org
Photo Credit: wikimedia.org

He did not just sing his country and rock and roll, the man could sing gospel music like he was singing with heaven’s choir. WOW. So touching. Just beautiful.

You know the first chapter book I check out from the public library to read? Elvis and Me, by Priscilla.

As I grew up, I often joked, it is probably a good thing that I was only a child when he passed, because if I had been an adult when he was alive, I am pretty sure I would have been a groupie and be one of the many women saying I had his love child. Of course I was joking, but dang, that man had it going on. Want to know a secret, my husband has lips that look like Elvis’. Shhhh…yes, that scored him points!

So anyway, hero-worship. I did not worship Elvis, but he was on a pretty high pedestal. Even knowing that he used drugs and that chances are his heart attack was caused by the drugs, I still held him up there. His looks and his voice, and the things I had heard the had done for charity. No one was going to knock him off his pedestal, well, no one but…Elvis.

I watched footage of a concert today that knocked the King right off, and broke my heart. He was obviously drunk or high during this concert, and the language he used was completely inappropriate. He was talking out of his mind, and then he said something thing after using a string of explicatives about cutting someone’s tongue out more explicatives. Sadly, he proved the point of the anonymous person he was threatening.

It made me very sad. Sad that he was so out of control, and I knew how his earthly story would end. Sad that after all of these years, I do not look at him the same way. Childhood innocence gone.

But maybe there is a lesson to be learned. Am I someone’s hero? Though it would be a heavy weight to carry, I know people are always watching.

After writing that, I paused and reminded myself. You never know who is watching your example as their guide. I began asking myself questions…

Are you showing your mistakes, but correcting them? Are you performing acts of service? Do you exhibit courage and moral integrity when faced with adversity? Are you loyal and devoted to the causes you pledge yourself to? Do you persevere when every fiber of your being wants to throw the towel in? Do you use your talents and skills to better the world around you?

We can all be heroes. I think we need to start with being our own hero, developing the qualities that make a true hero, not the status quo we are used to in choosing entertainment, politicians, and athletes such as Elvis, Justin Beiber, Obama, and other so-called “heroes”. They eventually make huge mistakes broadcast publicly, often lie about it, disappoint us again and again,shake foundation, causing us to question ourselves and our place in the world.

Be your own hero. You can do it!

Thanks for reading! ~Hope

Oh What A Beautiful Morning!

Oh What A Beautiful Morning!

Photo Credits: oscarroadtrip.com

I woke up bright and early. Called my most favorite triple play cable provider, to resolve our issues. I came pretty close to blowing a gasket when I found out that the gateway was not shipped yesterday as I was promised. Yep, burnt this gal’s biscuits.

I asked the status of my discounts. He saw where the discount for the shipping was to be given, but not the service. Oh no, I do not think so. When I was off the phone with him, I had a credit of $32 dollars on my bill, and his name and a confirmation.

Then on to the next representative because Mr. Credit had said that he could only issue the credits, he could not resolve the shipping issue. The clincher was that it was not put in for overnight, but that it would ship in 3-5 days. UNACCEPTABLE! (I do want to say that the representatives I have spoken with are very very nice, and I am trying to keep my cool while demanding what I am paying for. In my demanding I apologize that they are cleaning up the mess of others and getting the brunt of my wrath.)

So, LaQuesha, oh dear LaQuesha, she updated the system so I should get the gateway Monday or Tuesday. She is not sure with all the changes if they are shipping on Saturday. If they do, she has for it to go out, if not it WILL go out on Monday Priority Overnight.

So to calm myself after the events this morning it is a musical morning. I am in a Broadway morning. Yeah, finding all kinds of musicals on YouTube.

Make it a beautiful day! ~Hope

Heartbreak Sweethearts

Heartbreak Sweethearts.Many many years ago in a small town not too far away lived three best friends. No not Larry, Moe, and Curly, but Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dumb, and Tweedle-Stupid. The three loudest and craziest NKOTB, also known as New Kids on the Block, fans that you could ever hope to find.

We most literally joined ourselves at the hips most weekends. Walking arms linked, crossing leg over leg over leg, singing, “Hey, Hey we’re the Monkeys.” Or bouncing and bebopping around singing NKOTB songs. Wandering stores walking up to strangers asking, “Where’s Bubba? Have you seen Bubba?” Trying to keep a straight face as we talked in the silly voices and gave a description of our missing imaginary “Bubba”.

We shared the off-key dream of becoming the next girl band, of course to tour with our successful and dreamy husbands, Donnie, Danny, and Jordan, or which three we chose that week. Sometimes going a month or two without changing our favorite, then we knew it was true undying love.

Our group name The Heartbreak Sweethearts. We spent hours practicing into microphones AKA hair brushes in my room or the room of one of my “band mates.” We still have the VHS and cassette recordings to prove it. I would say it is blackmail, but I think we all three love the memories and the laughter incited by it, that I could never be blackmail.

It was such a fun time.

Once we even attempted a rap song. Calling ourselves, get this…DaMob.. So the rap went. (I’ll try to type it out how we sang it beat wise.)

Yo we DaMob
We got somethin’
To Say

We gonna
Teach you
How to par~ty
In a brand new way

You think alcohol and drugs
Are the way to go
Well life is much easier
If you
JUST — SAY — NO!!!!

It was so funny, but it was also something we lived by. We had good clean and crazy fun. We were cool like that.

So the Daily Post Challenge is to take you to where I spent my sixteenth birthday? To come along you must wear stone washed jeans, yeah the kind that when you bought them you found the tiny sand and stones in the pockets. Now do not forget to roll-cuff your jeans tightly at the ankles. Also do not forget your white Keds and white socks. Just incase you are confused you can refer to the picture album cover above. This was taken the night of our party. Our faces have been blurred to protect us from the embarrassment of such fashion taboos.

Don’t worry it’s not requisite to wear NKOTB attire. We did and man were we proud. My sister made these shirts for us. I still have mine somewhere. She put our NKOTB nickname on the pocket. Mine was Cheese. (Which happened to be Donnie’s also. I always seemed to make my way back to Donnie. The bad boy.)

The music for the evening. You guessed it. We played so much New Kids, but we did share the night we a couple of other friends, male friends, so other music was mixed in to give some variety.

My Daddy brought and requested a specific song to dance with me, I am so bummed that none of us can remember the name of it. I called and asked my parents. I remember dancing and laughing with Daddy. He thought he was embarrassing me, but I thought it was great. I thought I would never forget the name of the song. I hope one day I will hear and remember it.

I hope that I have it in one of my journals. I do not think I wrote in my journal that night or the day after because I went to stay with Bec. Yeah, that joined at the hip thing. We often teased each other, “Okay, who’s turn is it to have the brain?”

Many memorable and amazing things happened that night or can be linked there. Sharing a dance with my Daddy at my 16th birthday, having both of my parents there, so very special.

Though dreams of singing stardom are long gone, the Heartbreak Sweethearts are still best friends after all these years, even adding a fourth to our group. Man is now married to the fella Bec was dating at our 16th, and they have two amazing and brilliant children. Bec is engaged to one of the guys that we shared our night with, one of our male best friends.

Wonderful things do happen on your sixteenth. Sometimes it might take years to see the fruits, but when it does it is magical.

Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh..Hangin’ Tough! Thanks for coming with on my trip down memory lane. ~Hope

Daily Post Prompt: Sixteen

If I Were A Zombie

The last several days I have been compiling MP3s to help redirect my thoughts when I get really bad or start going there. I know that I have requested y’all to send me songs too. That request is still open. I asked my friends and family on Facebook also and received a great outpouring of response. I love being introduced to new artists and finding new gems in music. The music I have loaded so far seriously touches every genre imaginable. I even put some songs on there for Little Shanna.  It was almost fun selecting songs with her.

Some of the music brings back wonderful peaceful memories of old country gospel. Listening to it with my parents in their room on 8 tracks.  I have some monster ballads, rap, 80s and 90s pop, classical and contemporary piano and cello, and some indie.  I love music.

As I added songs I thought about what I was trying to accomplish.  There are times I want to just escape into the music and sing the familiar songs.  Other times I will need to be reminded of my worth and that the struggles are worth every minute, and that this is not my final destination.  Sometimes I need to be reminded of my beauty inside and out.  Then there are the times that I need a good laugh.  Little Shanna wanted children’s songs, so I guess she wants to remind me not to forget her and the child in me.

I have felt stronger today.  Want to associate it with the music and learning how to communicate with Little Shanna, and I have decided to keep calling her by her name.  One reason is because it is so important to her, another is because even though “Little” is the child in the case, “Little Hope” has a negative connotation to it, as in not much hope.  I chose Hope as my blogging name as a positive name to emphasize the HOPE I have that I will reclaim my Narnia, and my life.  Beginning to recognize now if that means integrating or accepting Little Shanna, I will be okay, she is anything but little hope.

Part of my good day, I found part of my voice.  My good friend, my Mother’s best friend has dealt with her computer since 2010. Replacing six motherboards and a video card unacceptable.  I called the company for her today and talked to a very nice gentleman, of which I am most grateful for.  I explained the situation and we conferenced in the store and my friend.  As a result when she arrived at the store and talked to the manager they agreed to make it right and she left with a new computer.  I am so grateful for a kind corporate gentleman well versed in his job, extremely personable, and focused on customer satisfaction. All of which are so hard to find in the corporate world today with people overworked and underpaid.  I am so grateful that it was a pleasant experience because it is usually when I get overly stressed, or as Mother says, “Lose Control” that is when Little Shanna takes control.

Since this post is about music I must share a humorous song that I put on my MP3.  I preface this with my husband loves zombie movies, me not so much.  I did watch Warm Bodies with him because it was a zombie chick flick, but generally, not my thing.  I found this song and sent it to him cause well, I just love him. 😉

Enjoy~ Hope

Children Will Listen

How beautifully true the words are Children Will Listen, they kept playing over and over in my mind. Generally when we talk about children we speak of those that we touch in our physical world our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, students, friends, or just the child on the street.

As I sang this song with tears in my eyes recalling the words that Little Shanna has heard from me all these years. The words I have said about myself. The words she internalized and having no way to process or express, she attached these to her other negative secrets. (She asked that I use her real name.  I will not always, but today. I agreed, because it is important to her.)

Whereas my shield against the world, forged by my parents, family and friends has mostly been created with positive input, hers, due to my inner negative dialogue became a shield that was not much of a shield at all. Just awful awful scary untruths and half-truths. Words a five year-old should never hear.

It is no secret that since I was a teenager, I have had thoughts of suicide. I attempted it once, but the razor would not cut me. I do not take suicide thoughts, talk, or attempts lightly. I have had friends who have felt the darkness and stepped beyond trying to find relief. I will not judge them and I will jump to their defense if I hear anyone saying anything about someone who has attempted or committed suicide.

However, as I have said before, I have made a promise to my Mother that I will not kill myself as long as I have my faculties about me. I will reach out, call, do whatever I can do get out of that dark place where you physically, spiritually, and emotionally feel a pain that is black, completely absent of light, piercing every cell in your body. You just want the pain to stop.

Having said that, as she has watched from her corner of my mind, Little Shanna, has equated sadness with the need to die or to kill yourself. She does not remember the promise nor will she make the promise that I made with Mother. See has seen my misery and torment that words do not do justice, and heard my thoughts seen the pills in my hands, as I shook and yelled.  I just want to die.  She has heard it so many times.  I have to get her to trust me enough now to LISTEN and make the promise that we will keep each other safe.

Singing I looked over on my night stand and saw the monkey I bought her the first few weeks after she came out. He has been covered with junk since I came home from the weekend that I bought him. When she first let me know her secret, I felt sorry for her, broken-hearted. I considered it our secret. As the months passed I have pushed her farther and farther away. Angrily at times, blaming her for the mess my life is in. If she would have kept her secret to herself. If she would not act out. If she would…

Seeing her stuffed bear reminded me she is a child and reminded me of the feelings I felt for her when she first let me know what happened.  I began to be really penitent about pushing her away, even when she was being  a loud five-year old at inconvenient times. She is a child. Most children act out in the least convenient times.

How is she going to heal if the one who should love her most of all continues pushing her away with hateful words, wishing she were gone. How is she going to heal when her protector becomes her abuser?

If she cannot heal then we cannot heal, and if we cannot heal then I cannot heal.

I know that we both want to heal TOGETHER.

It’s Raining It’s Pouring

It has been raining today.  Heavy showers passing by.  Roscoe cannot stand the sound of the rain, he jumps up and begins shaking.  Yeah, my dog even has anxiety issues.  When it comes to the rain, I love it.  I love the sound. I love the smell. I love how it feels. I just love it.  Do not love how my head feels when the barometric pressure changes, but oh well, I still love rain.

The hubs and I have been watching a marathon on American Restoration on the Roku today.  Gosh, it totally amazes me how they can take something broken and in completely horrible shape, and restore it to such beautiful mint looking condition.  Of course as I watch it I think about myself.  I know how I look physically and emotionally.  I am in a pretty rough state.  The journey I am on, and the Healer and Refiner working with me, my Savior Jesus Christ, will in the end help me to be mint condition again.  A new person, well and whole.  It is just going to take time.

Another lesson I have learned in this analogy is that just like different methods need to be used on different materials or you will do more damage, so it is on this journey.  He’s with me and leading me.  Helping me to find the right things I need to do.  Yet another lesson is that each thing has its own time, you cannot rush it.

I know in the end I will be excited with the improvements and healing, and say, “Wow! I am not the same person that started on the journey.  I am better.”

My pray for myself and others on this journey that these thoughts are taken to heart.  It is easy to write them, and feel them as I write them.  It is another to remember them in the darkness of trial.

Thank you all for reading.  I am still working on my MP3.  Please send your music choices to help me.

Image

Can YOU Help Me?

Today I have been in bed all day with a headache.  I keep telling myself that I need to get up and do something, but I do not have the energy.  Between my head throbbing and the medication zapping me.  I keep saying I will use my energy to cook supper.  I am cooking Chicken Parmesan tonight.

I have been more down today emotionally too.  I do not know why.  I suppose it could be the rain coming.  I know that is probably why my head is throbbing.  The barometric pressure reeks havoc on my brain.

So anyway, I need your help.

I am working on filling my MP3 with music that I can listen to when I need to disconnect the emotional fuse, or when I am depressed.  

What songs do you think I should put on my MP3?  What are some uplifting, not necessarily church, but it can be, music that inspires you. What about relaxes you? What about funny songs?  I do not listen to music with swearing, but I’m pretty much open to all styles.

Thank you so much in advance for your help!

Songs of the Heart Sunday: A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief

First thing this morning the word to one of my favorite hymns kept running through my mind.

Savior, may I learn to love thee,
Walk the path that thou hast shown,
Pause to help and lift another,
Finding strength beyond my own.
Savior, may I learn to love thee-
Lord, I would follow thee.

Who am I to judge another
When I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden
Sorrow that the eye can’t see.
Who am I to judge another?
Lord, I would follow thee.

I would be my brother’s keeper;
I would learn the healer’s art.
To the wounded and the weary
I would show a gentle heart.
I would be my brother’s keeper-
Lord, I would follow thee.

Savior, may I love my brother
As I know thou lovest me,
Find in thee my strength, my beacon,
For thy servant I would be.
Savior, may I love my brother-
Lord, I would follow thee.

I had decided to write my whole Sunday post about this song. It teaches so much about service and who our brothers and sisters are.

Then at church today we sang another favorite, but we generally only sing the first three verses, the chorister today was prompted to sing all seven verses. At the conclusion of the song, there was not a dry eye in the room, or one that I could see through my tears.

As I have thought about the two songs together, realize that the theme is serving one another, and not knowing what is hidden that the eyes cannot see. The song touched everyone in a different way, for different reasons.

A poor wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not power to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.

Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel’s portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.

I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone.
The heedless water mocked his thirst;
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran and raised the suff’rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o’er;
I drank and never thirsted more.

’Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof.
I heard his voice abroad and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.
I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
And laid him on my couch to rest;
Then made the earth my bed, and seemed
In Eden’s garden while I dreamed.

Stripped, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment—he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.

In pris’n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor’s doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him ’mid shame and scorn.
My friendship’s utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, “I will!”

Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in His hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name He named,
“Of Me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto Me.”

Through out the song I pictured several people, but during the prison scene in my mind I saw one person. “Him”. As I sang the words, “He asked if I for him would die”. I knew the answer. I sobbed as I sang the words that echoed my own reply to “him”. I would and I knew I would. As terrified as I get when I see him, I do not want anything bad to happen to him.

My Mother was one of the speakers. She was sitting on the stand, I in the congregation and we locked eyes, I sobbed. I did not know what my face registered. I know when “he” usually comes into my mind or my PTSD kicks in Little Hope is evident on my face. I did not feel that so much, it was just the realization within myself that I would die for this friend. Then singing the next verse, was very overwhelming.

After Church and a visit to see my aunt, when we were about to turn into our drive we saw “him”. I was already holding my husband’s hand. I squeezed it tightly afraid to let go. My breathing increased. The words to that verse started going through my head over and over and over again. When I would allow myself to move on to the next verse I calmed down enough to get out of the car.

Ten Years….Gone But Not Forgotten

There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go. ~Author Unknown

Ten years ago today my dear friend MJ gave the gift of life by donating blood, and sometime later went hiking in the mountains that he loved to do what he loved, take pictures of nature. He lost his footing and fell, and died instantly.

I miss him deeply. Grieve still. I believe that some friendships are blessed to be eternal. I eagerly await the day that I can introduce him to my husband.

MJ I am not going to say Rest In Peace, because resting is so far from what you are doing. I know you are busy teaching and doing whatever assignments you have been given in the Spirit World, so I am going to say God Speed! I know your Spirit has that amazing smile, so keep smiling.

Mayberry Monday: What The Heck Is A Schlimazel?

Once upon a time in a home not so far away there lived three young siblings, an older sibling, and their parents. Their loving parents bought three hamsters for the younger children. Now the two youngest sisters, the third too old (and smart) for a hamster, sat and discussed names for their new pet rodents. Then it hit them, the perfect names. Being a child in the 80s, two females a one male, no, not Krissy, Susanne, and Jack. We chose Laverne and Shirley. What of the dashing gray male with the pink nose? Carmine fit perfectly. Wrong, the male belonged to our little brother, he decided his name would be Rudolph.

I do not recall ever really enjoying being a hamster mom. When they were bad, spanking their little bootie, they would pee. I finally learned to wrap a tissue around them before I would tap tap tap their bottom. Those rascals would break out of the cage and life would stop until we found them. Often several rooms away, sometimes on the piano hiding in a clock in a clock, other times in the hide-a-way bed. We finally started taking several bread ties and tying the gate closed.

One winter night it was going to be really cold, I was a young child, didn’t really think this next heroic measure through. I took my beloved Mickey Mouse sleeping bag, and wrapped it around their cage to make sure they would be nice and toasty. I loved my Mickey sleeping bag, so did those dang hamsters, so much in fact they used their little hands to pull it into their cage and shred it into fluff. Dang rodents, you can leave now.

Then it happened, the miracle of life. Little tiny bald hamster babies. Sort of gross looking, but awww, they are babies wiggling around. I learned about cannibalism, Shirley ate her own babies. Can we say ewww?

Not too much later, Laverne had a litter, surely she would not be as gross as Shirley. She was my hamster after all. Each morning I would run in and check on the babies. Still there! Whew whoo! Until….that fateful morning, when I ran in and hovered over Laverne’s lifeless body, in some sort of hamster zombie apocalypse, Rudolph and Shirley were devouring her and her babies. Talk about a disturbing scene to behold. I ran crying, “Rudolph and Shirley ate Laverne!!”

I suppose we know who the Schlimazel was, and I guarantee it was not the two cannibals standing over the mangled body of dear Laverne, those two monsters definitely pulled the Schlemiel cards in this sad story.

It was not long after the massacre of Laverne and her babies that Rudolph and Shirley found a new home with our step-cousins, and think they ended up letting them out in the wild. How awful, because they lived in a trailer park with many cats and dogs. Who knows maybe they made it to the storm drain, and Sensei Splinter reformed them, and they now actively fight crime as members of the underground ninja team.

Naming our hamsters after Laverne and Shirley, tells you that we enjoyed the show. I love the theme song. I remember singing it with my BFFs as a teenager. Good memories.

This clip had me laughing.

I do not remember this, but I love it!

Trivia Time

1. I gave you hints as to what Schlemiel and Schlimazel mean, now your turn, what do they mean?
2. Who’s middle name is Wilhemina? How did we learn this?
3. What is the name of Shirley’s stuffed black cat?
4. What other tv show’s set was reused as the Laverne and Shirley set?

First correct answers for each question will be acknowledged with announcement of your blog in a special post with the answers on Friday. 🙂