Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Staycation in the Cherdo Nation

Surgeries, lawn care, paperwork, VBS, new grief, buying a house, selling a much-loved house (it's time), packing up a house, electrical work that zaps me of electricitiy for a day, your basic day-to-day stuff and general feeling of "whew!" followed by "dang...there's more..." leads me to make the executive decision to take a staycation. We all need one from time to time, and buddy - this is the time. 

I wish it meant I wouldn't be doing anything. That would be the icing on the cake.

Hope this is a great BOTB day for everyone, I'll be back in July with more tales from the flipside.

Seemed like a good pic for "bone tired." 
Hugs and love!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

BOTB Results: "Come As You Are"

That's right, friends! David Crowder ran away with this battle and that is notable! Sarah Reeves' version of "Come As You Are" was beautiful and moving but in the end, I side with the majority. 

David Crowder started his career in music in an non-typical way while a student at Baylor University. Realizing that more than half of the students at this Christian university didn't attend church, Crowder and Chris Seay started the University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. As a pastor there, he also led worship (plus music) and was soon approached about sharing his musical gifts with a wider audience. An album, Pour Over Me, followed in 1999 and the rest is musical history, as they say. After nine albums, the original David Crowder*Band disbanded and he went on to record as just Crowder.

One reason I like the David Crowder story is that he started a church while a student at Baylor. He pastored, he sang. He saw something lacking and didn't just "think" about doing something; he actually DID something. Regardless of your particular beliefs, I think we can all agree that we need more young people like that. It's inspirational.

So, let the humble victor sing us out with another song - the first one that brought him to my attention. Hope you like it!

Now, don't forget my friends and fellow Battle-mongers of the musical modes, and I'll see you back here on the 15th:

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Rising: Murder, Heartbreak, and the Power of Human Resilience in an American Town

Book Review: The Rising: Murder, Heartbreak, and the Power of Human Resilience in an American Town

True crime books are not for the faint of heart and too often turn the spotlight on the criminal trial. Author Ryan D'Agostino's well-crafted story about the horrific 2007 murders of the Petit family skillfully covers all the details and forensics while focusing on the one lone survivor: Dr. William Petit.

For the Petit family, the nightmare began when strangers broke into their suburban Connecticut home. Finding Dr. Petit asleep in a downstair sunroom, the assailants began their night of horror by beating Petit nearly to death with a ball bat. Miraculously, he survived; but barely. They tied him up rather than finish him off and moved on to the next victims, the wife and daughters. 

After binding the children, Hayley and Michaela, and Dr. Petit's wife, Jennifer, the house was scoured for valuables and cash. The disapointing haul let to the second phase of the crime as they forced Jennifer Hawke-Petit to go to their bank and withdraw a large sum of money. The promise of her family's safety must have given her pause; truly, these were not men who could be trusted. In a final act of unimaginable courage, she managed to pass on information about the ongoing crime. The cashier would later describe Jennifer as "petrified" as she was able to relay the details of their plight. The bank employee immediately notified local police who raced toward the family home. 

After returning to the house, the violation of the Petit family continued without mercy. Tied to a pole in the basement, Dr. Petit heard the rape of his wife and a comment from one of the attackers: "It will all be over soon." Investigators would later learn that his daughters were not spared the same indignity. Dr. Petit managed to excape and crawled towards a neighbor's yard, in spite of injuries were so severe that he was unrecognizable.  Realizing they were in over their heads, the attackers doused the house and victims with gasoline, set the home afire and attempted to escape in the family car - only to be met with by the police and captured. 

In the aftermath, Dr. Petit awoke in the hospital and found he was the only survivor of the prolonged assault. Yet, his life would go on and the story of his struggle to find his way and ultimate recreation of his life is heartbreaking in its details but ultimately, unbelievably, a story of resilience and hope. 

[I received this book free from the Blogging for Books program, in exchange for my honest review.] 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Lord, It's the Battle of the Bands

This music blogging event was first introduced by our friends and I'd like to give them a heartfelt "thank you":

Dear FAE has decided to depart the Battleground and I'm sad about that; send her good vibes, prayers or best wishes - just remember that she was and is our dear friend and we love her.

Our battles take place twice a month: on the 1st and 15th.  The results come six days later: on the 7th and 21st. That's when I return, total all of the votes, including mine (if necessary), and announce the winner. 

Tomorrow, Gonzo goes back to surgery. Summer begins, kids rush to the pool and activities and I am trying not to dwell on the fact that his summer will begin with pain and discomfort, followed by a lengthy recovery. It's a Mom thing to kick empathy in high gear. After the first two surgeries, Gonzo was a trooper and followed orders, but he his leg was not completely repaired. These things take time, I'm told. It's a step by step process. 

This return to immobility and dependence feels like a step backwards, though I know it is necessary. I'm shaking off anything short of thankfulness. My son came out of a bad accident alive; we are thankful for doctors who can perform amazing surgeries, for friends, and close family bonds that allow us to weather storms. Most of all, I'm thankful for God and his mercies. I'm thankful that we can come as we are and find healing for all kinds of broken. 

"Come As You Are"



I'm an equal opportunity comment-monger! Vote and let me know which one you prefer. But if you love the Battle of the Bands, and you KNOW you do, there's more where that came from:

See you back here on the 21st!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Flashback Friday with Michael D'Agostino

Sometimes, you just want to go back. So, do it!

Michael D'Agostino is the ringleader for a new initiative. It's called Flashback Friday - a time of the month where you can republish and old post of yours that maybe didn't get enough attention, or that you're really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.  Personally, I think that is a brilliant idea.

Here's an oldie but...well, it's an oldie...

Bubble Busters #1: "Everything will work out fine in the end..."

I love people, but some days I just hate group efforts. As I strive to be a team player and support a leader but I find that I silently question the validity of decisions - and I don't speak up. Why? Because I don't want to be the one who isn't a team player, of course!   Where some of my cohorts are optimistic or pessimistic, some are just clueless about their lack of experience or inability to coordinate a group.

They don't realize how much you learn just by putting in the years - something that all flipsters know. 
It's one of the few flipster benefits that keeps on giving, till Alzheimers arrives.

Recently, when confronted with a situation that appeared to have all the markings of your classic huge mistake in judgement, a friend took it upon herself to remind us all that in spite of her very bad idea, rife with miscalculations and shoddy logic, every should proceed full speed ahead. Yay, team!

Why?  "Because everything will work out fine in the end," we were reminded by my clueless optimistic chick-jester; only she wasn't jesting. And her big plans crashed at her feet and she was devastated., not shocking at all!  Life decisions are about stacking things in your FAVOR, not taking a lackadaisical attitude toward outcomes. You don't always get three swings at the ball, player.

You don't have to be a history buff to test this hypothesis. The fact that occasionally things do work out, against all odds, merely fuels this delusion. In the words of my father, Fred:  "Even a broken clock is correct twice a day." But that doesn't make everyone run out and buy a broken clock.

Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that everything might NOT be fine in the end.  Eternal optimists everywhere, I don't want to squash your view of the world.  Persistent pessimists, you may be correct every now and then.  "Everything will be fine in the end" is a comforting comment that does not always hold up, either in practice or historically.

And so, I dub this the Bubble Buster #1, because we just want it to be true, don't we?  I'll close with these historical reminders of the ever present hammer of truth.  I have to wonder if these individuals had the same thought:

"I know there's tension between us, but I think everything will be fine after today's meeting.  They're reasonable men and I'm a god on earth.  Besides, Brutus will be there."   [Julius Caesar, on the way to the Senate before his March 15, 44 BC assassination]

"Rectina needs a ride home...I'm taking a ship to go save her.  I hear that volcano is an awesome spectacle!"
[Pliny the Elder, who died on the shore near Herculaneum during the 69 AD eruption of Vesuvius]

"Attack the English Navy, we rule the sea."
[Departing Spanish Armada, 1588, just prior to their defeat by the English Navy]

"Burr is an awful shot. This is a cakewalk." 
[Alexander Hamilton, 1804...snarking pre-duel. Burr disagreed.]

"Next stop: RUSSIA!" 
[Napoleon Bonaparte, 1812, shortly before he lost nearly all
 his troops to the Russian army...and the Russian winter.]

"Come on...they're just Indians. We're the US Calvary." 
[General Custer, June, 1876, on the way to Little Big Horn]

"Let's take the shortcut through the mountains."  
[Donner Party, 1846, reduced to cannibalism when they became snowbound in the Sierra Nevadas]

"I'm not really in the mood for a play." 
[Abe Lincoln, departing for the Ford's Theater]

"Hey, let's be on the maiden voyage of that ship! All the movers and shakers will be there !" 
[Everyone on the Titanic, April 1912]

"Hey, let's travel by blimp!" 
[Everyone on the Hindenburg, May 6, 1937]

"Napoleon had the right idea!  Next stop: SOVIET UNION!" 
[Adolf Hitler, promoting Operation Barbarossa, prior to invading the Soviet Union
 and suffering such a devastating loss that many say this was the reason 
Germany lost in WWII.  Bad ideas are not necessarily bad for everyone.]

"Hawaii is passe...let's vacation in Indonesia. " 
[Tourists, 2004, staying in Sumatra at the time 
of the biggest tsunami of recorded history.]


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Saturday, May 21, 2016

BOTB Results: The Battle of the Unknowns becomes KNOWN!

Well, Paul McCrane pulled it off and beat newcomer and close-singer, RVQ. Before the bragging starts, it was oooohhhh sooooo close: 

Paul McCrane: 13
RVQ: 11

Paul didn't have much of a singing career but I way grinning to myself as I saw that he had re-emerged with this song on an episdoe of Harry's Law (that's Harry, not hairy...obviously): 

Actually, it even looks like the same guitar. I desparately wanted to find a full video of the older Paul, but no luck. If you want to see the "partial" version, it's here.

To the victors go the spoils, so...sing us out, Paul McCrane!:

Remember, our battles take place twice a month: on the 1st and 15th.  The results come six days later: on the 7th and 21st. 

Check out our other great participants and pals!