Friday, September 15, 2017

June-September Update, BoTB The Long Way Home

The last time I posted here was June. Wow. So much has happened since then. For those of you not interested in the update, scroll down to the bottom for Battle of the Bands. It's all good, my friends.

So, we went to Ohio again this summer for camp and visiting relatives. I stayed at camp three weeks Jul 5-July 29 (I think those dates are right). It was a great summer. By far the best summer I've had at camp since I returned. Not sure if it was because it was more familiar or I had a specific job all three weeks or both. But, it was definitely easier this year than the last two. I always realize just how out of shape I am when I go. It's so much walking (and walking on hills). I figure it's good for me. I also just love love love being out in nature for those three weeks. I love setting aside the internet (mostly) and all of the screens that suck up our lives and just being in nature for those weeks, worshiping God and His handiwork, and actually TALKING to other people. It's amazing how much talking gets down when the screens are off.

We enjoyed a nice visit with the family and Ohio friends. Every year I enjoy my SIL and brother more. It's been a real blessing in my life becoming friends with my SIL (and my brother, for that matter). Friendship doesn't necessarily happen with family, but it sure is great when it does.

Some of you might know that since my life improved dramatically in December by taking the Nascent Iodine, it's caused me to reevaluate where I'm going and what I want to do with this abundant life I didn't really think I'd get again. I've been very active in my church the last few years, even giving several messages on Sunday morning. I was encouraged by a retired pastor who goes to our church to apply for seminary. My first thought was I never wanted to go back to school. My next thought was that I really liked the idea of being in ministry. Ministering to people. The decision to go to seminary has brought with it many changes in my life.

I applied to Lexington Theological Seminary. They have a (mostly) online program. I also applied for a scholarship with our churches Mission fund. I was accepted for both. The scholarship is not a full one, but it sure will help.

One of those is that I want to also go back to work part-time. Social Security will help you move from being on disability to working. I have an appointment with an agency this morning to discuss how we can do that and look at different jobs. I will keep you posted on that.

I'm also in the process of changing churches. Seminary requires a lot of work within your church. I will now be going to a church out at the beach here in Jacksonville. They are a larger congregation with more people my age and two pastors who are willing to support me in this journey. As I was talking to the head pastor about the "congregational requirements" of the seminary, he was receiving emails from an independent living for seniors asking them to put on a Sunday afternoon service at their facility. There was no way they could do it (without me), but with me they could. So, a large part of my congregational requirement will be putting together that Sunday service. It doesn't necessarily mean giving the message every Sunday there, but making sure someone does. God's timing is way better than mine!

I also stopped in Augusta, Georgia, on my way back from camp to stay with Haley (my ex's daughter whom I consider a daughter) and her new baby.

Here is a picture of the cutie with her dog, Piper.

She had another dog (formerly Lola, now Dixie) who has moved in with me. Dixie was too much for their little family. She really likes being walked several times a day and wants attention Haley couldn't give her. So, now she's my baby!

And then there was IRMA. Oh boy. You know we evacuated this time. My mom took one look at the size of that hurricane and was like, "No way are we staying this time around." If you will recall, my mom wanted to evacuate for Matthew. Anyway, I agreed that it would be a good idea (even though I really thought we'd be okay here). We stayed with a friend of hers that went to our church in Ohio who now lives in La Grange, GA. Everyone got a nice visit and my mom got peace of mind. Turned out that Irma was worse for us than Matthew (according to our neighbors who stayed), but still just tree limbs down and a minor fence repair needed. We are very happy we aren't closer to the beach. Some of those folks are really suffering. We watch the damage on the news and feel blessed. There are houses that are still under water south of us (Clay County). It's very sad.

I believe that brings us current. All in all, I feel like we haven't been home much since June. I can't even tell you how happy I was to sleep in my own bed come August. So, for Battle of the Bands I knew I wanted a song about HOME. So, let's go... home. The long way, which is apparently how I like to do it!

This song was originally recorded by Tom Waits. It's called The Long Way Home. For a hot minute, I considered using Tom Waits in this battle. However, I know that would only create a blow-out. That is no fun and not how I want to re-start my Battle of the Bands. I found two covers I like pretty well. I hope you like them, too.

First up is a lady I'd never heard of until I started this "cover search." Her name is Saskia Griffiths-Moore.

You might have heard Norah Jones cover this song. Yep, this is going to be the ladies duking it out on this one.

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Another Update

Last night I watched The Shack. Now I MUST read the book. So good if you haven't seen it. I am part of a Ladies Bible Study that meets on Monday nights. Really loved it. We decided to change things up this week and watch that movie. Anyway, while I was driving there it occurred to me that I hadn't written a blog post in a while. Then I began to wonder if I ever posted the vote outcome from May's battle. I was thinking yes, but I wasn't sure. Turns out... no.

I am feeling rather bogged down with life, and it's showing in all kinds of places. This blog is one of them (obviously). I will get into that in a moment. First, I want to let you know how that battle turned out. It was Everlast vs Lifehouse and the song was Broken. Two very different songs. Same name. I suspected Lifehouse would win and by approximately the margin it won, so it wasn't a shock to me. I really like BOTH songs. I am partial to Everlast's song in this case, but only by the slimmest of margins. That brings the final tally to this: Everlast: 6. Lifehouse: 11.

Regarding Battle of the Bands, I don't plan on participating until September. I am going to camp again soon. I am very excited about that! After that, I will be staying in Augusta for a few weeks with my ex's daughter. She's having a baby. Does this make me a grandma? Yes, yes it does. It's a bit much to wrap the brain around.

My mother seems to be in the final leg of her recovery. I just realized what I said: leg. ha! She had that hip replacement in March. A few weeks later she was back in for surgery as it broke her femur. And she is now using a walker to get around. It's been a process. I confess that care-giving saps a person. I don't know how people do it long-term. Those people are genuine angels. I am thankful my mom is improving every day.

I've also been tangling with big decisions regarding what to do with my future (now that it appears I have one). When your health is in the toilet, and you don't have a life, well the decisions are easy... because there are none. I have started a new novel project with a friend, and writer, I very much admire. Lots of excitement about this endeavor! I'm also applying to go back to school (seminary) and will be looking for part-time work in the fall. Big changes. Sometimes staring into the future feels overwhelming (too much to take in), but I keep reminding myself that when God leads you to it, He leads you through it.

I will arrive at camp on July 5. Will be there until the last Saturday of July. If you want to write, the address is:
Robin Richards or Mergan
Cedarbrook Camp of Ohio at Stony Glen
 5300 W. Loveland Rd
 Madison, OH 44057

If you include your return address, I will make every effort to write you back! I will not have easy access to WiFi while there, so don't be surprised if I am more silent than usual during this time!!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Battle of the Bands ~ Broken

I'm going to be honest. I nearly sat this edition of BoTB out. Things are still pretty crazy here, so when I get downtime, the internet is not my go-to place for relaxation. I tend to scroll through my FB wall for about ten minutes on my phone and call it done.

Mom is still recovering, albeit slowly. It will be another two weeks or so before she is cleared to put all of her weight on the bad leg. If the X-ray comes back indicating the bone isn't healing, it will be longer than that. So, I'm praying that she heals well. We are still doing rehab, though from this point on we'll be going to rehab rather than the rehab person coming here.

Recently, two songs by the exact same name played back to back from my playlist. And that got me to wondering if I couldn't do a little twist on BoTB and use them here. Given the state of my life, I decided that YES, YES I CAN.

The song is called Broken. I find that to be particularly relevant given that my life is revolving around my mom's broken leg. Ha! Like I said, they are not the same song. Two totally different songs that have the same name. One of them was popular on the radio, while the other wasn't. Will that give one song an advantage over the other? Possibly. Familiarity does seem to play a role in these things. However, many of you don't actually listen to the radio (or stopped at a certain decade), so both of these might be new to you. In any case, I'm just running with it and seeing what happens.

We'll look at them chronologically. The first appeared in 2004 on Everlast's album, White Trash Beautiful. It was NOT a single for them. Point of fact, none of the songs on this album charted in the US. So, I will be surprised if any of you have heard this before. Let me know in the comments!

Lifehouse released the album Who We Are in 2007. Broken charted in the US in 2008. I suspect this will be familiar to some ears out there. But, familiarity doesn't necessarily mean better. Let the game begin!

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.