Medals of Honor

A post for yesterday….

I had the immense privilege to attend an event at the Medal of Honor Society Convention last night.  It was an intensely patriotic event that ended up lasting almost four hours.  The fun part for me was that Dave’s band played towards the end.

Abraham Lincoln apparently was President when the Congressional Medal of Honor was created.  He gave an important and historic speech that day.  He visited this evening’s celebration to repeat his memorable words.

One of the Medal of Honor Recipients arrived in style.  He is 80 years old and looking for adventure in his twilight years.  His entrance involved a Superman costume and a zip line…

Our narrator….well….we were in good hands.

My favorite part of the program that did not involve my sweetheart was Sammy Davis’  speech.  Sammy Davis, aka Forrest Gump, is a Medal of Honor Recipient who really knows how to engage the audience with a story.  He told the story of learning to play the harmonica.  It is probably on You-See-It-Again-Tube if you want to hear it.  It is the story of learning to play Shenandoah.  Then he played.  It was truly emotional, and really lovely.

Tony Orlando was a co host!!  He was awesome!  He really knows how to work a crowd and get people excited and involved.  I was super impressed.  So we were all tying yellow ribbons ’round old oak trees!

At different intervals in the evening there were actors to tell the story of five different Medal of Honor Recipients.  Dakota Meyer’s story was the last and was so moving.  Dave got to shake his hand.  I wish I could have met him.

The evening’s festivities began at 7:30pm.  Dave’s band finally took the stage at 10:50pm.  So not kidding.  Well, they sort of took the stage.  They almost made it to the stage.  They were on the floor in front of the stage.

I think Dave had fun rocking out!  I had fun taking tons of pictures!!

All in all a terrific evening.  There were many quote-ables, one of my favorites was “A country that does not honor its heroes will not long endure”.  Here’s to the heroes.  Here’s to my personal hero.

Hope your weekend is filled with the privilege of freedom!

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Marketing discovery

A day of grassroots marketing was seriously enlightening.  Being new in town is challenging as a music teacher.  Not something that is altogether new to me.  I’ve done it a few times before.  But this time I am trying to be smarter.  I seriously doubt I am actually succeeding at being all that smart, but hey, I’m very much trying.

I was able to make a significant discovery today.  In order to build my teaching studio in this city where I have no reputation, I will need to head north.  North is Louisville.  North is denser population.  North is school orchestra programs.  So I am northbound!  I am also excited about possibly teaching some students here at home.  There is an after school program that I might be able to get involved with.  I can’t wait to get my hands on young musicians again!

So today was good.  An important discovery was made.  My compass has been reset.

Onward and upward!

Beauty

I have had the loveliest experience.  I feel as though I have ventured into an artist colony.  I walked peacefully down a cool, dewey, grassy path into a village with clapboard houses, gravel roads, and gardens of wildflowers.  Each home was a blog, the residence of another right-brained photographer or painter or author or poet who shares a glimpse of their life through their blog.  It has been inspiring.  It has made me want to live a beautiful life.  It has made me want to be more aware of the beautiful that is in my life.  Maybe I can become a better writer by writing about it – beautifully.

May you be blessed by beauty.

S’mores!

We had the most perfect Friday evening with neighbors!  I love it when this type of thing happens.  A quick invitation by text message and we had a party on our back porch.  My sweet friends came over and Dave lit the old charcoal grill and we roasted marshmallows, ate s’mores, and chatted the night away.

Hope your weekend is full of happy moments shared with friends!

There was a plan…

I had the best plan for my blog today.  It is the first day of fall, the autumnal equinox if you will, and I was going to celebrate.  I was going to post a picture of something fall-ish and say “happy fall”.  Like the color of the leaves.  Or a decoration that symbolizes the season.  Though I have to admit all the decorations seem to be combining fall, halloween, and thanksgiving.  They are a little strange.  So anyway, I went out to take pictures.  Here is what I came up with.

Not exactly fall colors.  I think that branch is actually dead.  Whatever.

Oh but I did find an evergreen…kinda pretty.

Technically it is the color that it would be in the fall…oh, and I should have editted out trash can out, but I didn’t know how to do that without cutting the tree.  I guess I could learn.

Anyway, I felt very weird about walking up to one of my neighbors’ front porch to take a picture of fall decor.  Believe me, I do not even own fall decorations.  Not gonna happen.  My plans for my post are simply not happening.  I came inside and Dave asked me how it went and I stood in the living room staring around my house blankly.  I simply could not think of what to take a picture of.  Then this happened.

Yes, he prefers to be ON you when he relaxes.

The dogs became my photo shoot, and they loved it. They were totally hamming it up.

Hello?!?!

Play time.  Sometimes they actually do play together and both pull on the rope.  Most of the time Danger just pulls Gunny around the room until Gunny decides he has had enough and tackles Danger.  Or else they just sit at opposite ends of the rope and chew it to bits.

Like that.  I also got a bunch of pictures of Gunny’s tongue.  Seriously, you have to see this thing.  He has the longest tongue and he slurps it around as his primary sensory experience.  He likes to lick people….everything.

I love that tongue!

Dave may or may not be making pancakes.  I may or may not have put chocolate in the batter.  Tonight is a good night.

Happy Fall!

Groceries

Grocery shopping.  One of those chores that is simply required.  It is required if you want to eat.  If you don’t eat out at restaurants for each meal.  Eating every meal out sounds nice.  Until you do it on a regular basis.  We also live on a strict budget, so eating out every meal just is not part of our lives.

Not to mention we have a diet to adhere to.

Grocery shopping is just a part of life.

Around here it is sort of an adventure.  For the first six months I would not go to the local grocery store by myself.  They are renovating the store, aisle by aisle.  It is the slowest renovation of a grocery store that has ever happened.  It is an extremely well used store.  Always crowded.  It has particularly low prices.  Extreme couponers love, LOVE this store.  It is common to see a person with an entire cart full of one product and their coupon organizer sitting in the baby seat.  One time, the check out line was so long that is went across the front of the store, through the produce department, and all the way back into the meat department.  Every cart was full to overflowing.  It was overwhelming.

Back to grocery shopping being part of life.

You make a list.  You take it to the store.  You put the groceries in the cart.  You check off the list.  You pay the cashier.  You go home.  It is simple.

Have you ever noticed that we have the capacity to make enormous deals out of simple things?  Case in point, grocery shopping.  It can be so stressful!  The other customers can be rude or smelly.  The employees can be incompetent or just interested in chatting with co-workers.  The store can be lacking in basic necessities because the extreme couponer in front of me took every bottle of it.  It can be experienced as a ridiculous circus out to ruin my day.  I like to tell stories about these experiences, so I certainly remember and embed any drama.  The more drama I experience, the more stress I experience until I realize I am a wadded up ball of stress.

Really though, there is no need to derive stress from simple tasks.  Maybe I could just sit back and laugh.  Maybe I need to be more graceful to the people around me.  Maybe I’m learning a life lesson from the grocery store.

Maybe I just like to tell stories.

Blogging

Hello!  I had a blog I was writing for today….and it was awful!  I mean, seriously, it was boring!  I was getting bored finishing it!  HA!  So, it is deleted and I am starting over!  Let’s see…. a creative dinner of turkey burger, steamed spinach, avocado, and tomatoes from my garden.

So yummy, probably my favorite way to serve turkey burgers ever!

Danger and Gunny both are herders at heart.  They herd each other.  They herd us.  We have been working on the “get out of the kitchen” command with Gunny, one we thought Danger was pretty solid on.  Still there are moments they want to make sure we cannot get away without their notice.

Then they go to sleep.

We had a grilling adventure with our new grill.  Our first meal with the grill was grilled chicken and grilled zucchini.

Note the timer….getting it down to a science!

Danger actually got to come outside while we were grilling…without the leash.  There was nobody else around, which is pretty much the only time he goes out without a leash.  He wouldn’t harm anybody, but he would certainly go for a visit.  His curiosity trumps obedience every time.  The neighbors all feel pretty comfortable with Danger, but if he is running at you and barking, he can still make you nervous, so we avoid that situation diligently.

Eventually he settled down to watch the ongoing cooking.  Note the old, soon to be disposed of, grill and coal starter!

While Danger was outside with us, Gunny was pitching a complete temper tantrum right at the back door.  He was fussing and making growly squeaky noises that Belle calls dinosaur sounds.  He was not at all pleased with the fact that Danger got to be outside with us and he was left in doors.  It was truly hilarious.

Dave had the camera for a minute… and this is what I just found on my memory card.  I look so pensive.  I was probably just keeping an eye on the dog!

I liked this picture because of the light in the smoke.

Happy night bloggy-world!

Timeless

There are some things this day should absolutely be remembered for.  Today should be remembered as the day that when asked what fans should do to prepare for Saturday’s game,  New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady replied “well, we have an early game this week….4:15 start time….so start drinking early, let’s get rowdy!”  This only became funny when the Patriots PR team released a statement saying that what Tom meant was “stay hydrated….drink lots of water”.  WHAT?

Today should be remembered as the day I was called more pet names by random people than ever before.  I use a lot of pet names.  Darlin’.  Sweetheart.  Hon.  Pretty girl.  At the height of my thyroid-induced crazy, I was known to call most of my boy students Geranimo.  (is that how you spell that name??)  So sometimes pet names happen because I cannot remember your name.  Often they happen because I love you.  I do not often get called pet names though, except by momma.  I’ve always been some version of “angel” for her.  Today everybody was using pet names for me.  The cashier at the warehouse store called me “dear”.  She is my age too.  The waitress at the most amazing cuban restaurant ever called my variations of sweetheart the whole time I was there.  Sounded nice with her accent.  Still strange.

Today should be remembered as the day I bought my husband a surprise!  Really, the surprise was for both of us, but since I bought it the surprise factor was low.  I got the greatest deal on a gas grill for our back patio!  I literally paid 40% of the original price.  Brand spankin’ new grill!  I did the little dance.

Today should be remembered as the day I finally made some progress marketing myself in the Louisville area.  There are a few people willing to help me get my name out.  It is time for me to start teaching again.  I miss it.  I miss the kids….and their silly quirks.

Today should be remembered as the day I finally found personality in the physical therapy office.  Seriously, it has been “earth to people, are you there people???”  The girls there are really sweet and have good senses of humor.  They just don’t tell their faces.  Someone else came over to me to tell me about his violinist daughter.  I guess folks are starting to get to know me there.

So yeah, a day worth remembering.

Adventures of a Short Sale Pirate

Today we had more developments in the short sale of our condo.  Mostly the developments are further proof of what I have learned through this whole process…

– If you want something done in a timely manner, you have to nag the living day lights out of the people doing it.

– If they say they will have an answer in 48 hours, call them back in 24.

– If they are being obviously kind, they are playing good cop bad cop.  Expect the bad cop.

– They work for computers.  I feel like a modern day John Conner.  The computers control things.

– The people cannot actually use their brains.  In order to achieve human brain involvement, you must spend hours on the phone.

Do I sound cynical?  Believe me, I am not.

These poor people have a ridiculous job to do.  Most people out there have a ridiculous job to do.  They work for computers.  They are not allowed to think.  They fill in the blanks.  They check boxes.  They monkey back whatever the computer tells them.  So I listen.  I keep track of every word.  I pray.  And I treat these people with respect.  I may feel that I am being treated unfairly or disrespectfully, but I love Jesus.  He loves these people.  So I love these people.  I continue to work toward my goal of actually selling the condo that is now worth 45% of what we paid for it and I learn the many lessons the Lord is teaching me.

So many lessons.  There is one I would like to share with you, dear readers.  I tend to feel the emotions of day to day life very deeply.  When things are hard or a struggle, I get emotional.  I have always associated how I feel with how strong my faith is.  This adventure has taught me that I can be confident in my faith no matter what I feel and that it is okay to feel emotions while being confident in my faith.  I know the Lord is in control.  That doesn’t mean I don’t hate it when the computers turn out stupid answers.  I will praise the Lord in the hard stuff just like I praise Him in the happy stuff.

Oh and one more lesson – every minute has sixty seconds, only sixty.