This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Don't Worry ( #BOTB Results )



Anxiety weighs down the heart,  but a kind word cheers it up.    

Proverbs 12:25 New International Version (NIV)

Pondering the Colorado River in Austin Texas

Pandemic Days

        There's so much for people to worry about these days that it's difficult to know where to start.  Maybe it's best to start by not worrying.  Jesus said not to worry (Matthew 6:25-34) and if you don't take any stock in what Jesus had to say then just use common sense.  How are you going to make things better by worrying? 

          If you find yourself consumed by worry then maybe you need to take some action to take your mind off of that worry.  After all, worry is essentially an act of selfishness if no action is taken to find ways to remedy that which is worrying you.  Worry is wasted effort which culminates in no positive result.  If all you do is worry then you aren't working towards personal wellness and your worry can become more contagious than the worst disease.

         Would you rather be spreading the negative energy of worry or the positive energy of hope, concern for others, and the mindset that things will get better? 

        Sometimes children know best.  Here's a story that my daughter Ada Z shared recently about my dear granddaughter, Grace, who is seven years old:

My daughter, Grace, had a dream the other night. She said,
“We were sitting around the campfire as a family and God came down to sit with us. He started singing a song about the world. Then he ate a marshmallow. Everything is going to be ok”
I asked her how she knew that it was God. She said, “It was definitely God”.
The smile that she had on her face and the twinkle in her eye gave me so much hope and it has truly gotten me through the last few days.

         Thank you for that sweet story, Ada, and bless the wisdom of my granddaughter, Gracie.  She put into words with elegant simplicity the advice I've been trying to live by over the past decade or so.  Eat marshmallows and sing happy songs.  Everything will turn out just fine--or at least the way it's supposed to work out.


Battle of the Bands Results




My Martyr Battle

         My most recent Battle saw "Joan of Arc" by Jennifer Warnes go up against "The Martyr" by prog rock group Wally.  As some of you might have guessed, my favorite was the song by Wally.   However either of the albums that these songs came from are big favorites of mine.  The voting ran close at the beginning of the race, but then Wally broke out ahead to capture the win.


   Final Vote Tally

Jennifer Warnes     5 votes

Wally                       9 votes


Next Battle on Wednesday April 1st

        This is going to be a big day in blogging since this will also be the start of Blogging from A to Z April Challenge for 2020.   So far nearly 300 blogs are signed up to the official list, but many more will be participating through social media sites like Facebook.  If you're basically locked down for the current pandemic then why not join us in A to Z.  This seems like the year to do it.

       And wait!  There's more!   April 1st will also be the posting date for Insecure Writer's Support Group.  So it's gonna be a whopper of a blogging day.  I've pulled all these together in one post in previous years so I guess I can do it again.

        Please be well.  And don't be afraid.






Sunday, March 15, 2020

Joan of Arc / The Martyr ( #BOTB )


We've got our corned beef brisket ready to cook on St. Pat's Day but I'll still need to run to the store on Monday to get some cabbage and potatoes to round out the dinner.  I hope I can get in the store.  All this shopping frenzy and panic is kind of weird.  Maybe people should stop paying so much attention to the news.  You'd think it's the end of the world...


Image result for lines waiting at costco
Queuing up for panic buying at Costco (Washington Post)

        I've been to the grocery store a couple times this week, not for those items in heavy demand like toilet paper and water, but just for stuff we wanted though not necessarily needed.  Certain shelves were emptied and the store traffic was higher than normal for the time that I visited.  I've heard rumors and seen news reports about the crazy lines and panic buying, but haven't seen much first hand that was too extreme.  Still, what's going on does seem a bit wacky.

         We typically have a goodly supply of necessities and we had already stocked up from Costco before all this craziness started, so we are in fine shape for now.  And I'm not overly concerned about this pandemic mania.  I guess if it's not political nuttiness or climate change extremism or whatever, then somebody somewhere will concoct some other needless fear.  Not to say we shouldn't be concerned, but we shouldn't drive ourselves crazy with worry.

          What, me worry? Alfred E. Newman said it best for me...


Battle of the Bands


        Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


Saints Be Praised!

         This week it's all about St. Patrick and all things Irish.  I guess I'll avoid this general theme for my Battle of the Bands and instead give tribute to another saint--Joan of Arc.  There are a number of songs that pay homage to St. Joan.  For this Battle I've chose two that are personal favorites...




Jennifer Warnes    "Joan of Arc"  (1987)

        Though there were a few Leonard Cohen songs that had caught my attention over the years, I wasn't much of a fan until Jennifer Warnes came out with her Famous Blue Raincoat album in 1986. I don't know what made me buy the cassette of her album, but I did and I liked it a great deal and as a consequence became more interested in Cohen's albums, eventually buying several of them to add to my music collection.

        In her rendition of "Joan of Arc", Warnes is joined by the composer himself, Leonard Cohen.  The recording is somewhat long so listening to the first couple of minutes will provide the gist of the song, but you might just like it so well that you will want to keep listening.  Give it a try...








Wally   "The Martyr"  (1974)

         Wally is a mostly forgotten and underrated prog rock band from the 1970's.  I first heard their song "The Martyr" in early 1975 on a radio station broadcasting from Johnson City TN.  The song immediately attracted me with the stately classically tinged violin solo that repeats throughout and then culminates into a dramatic prog rock closing. 
       
         Though I was living in a cabin in the mountains at the time (we had electricity so I could listen to music), first chance I had to drive down to Knoxville I went to a record store to purchase the vinyl LP which I still have to this day.

          As with the previous song, "The Martyr" is probably a bit long for some of you so you might want to just sample some of it.  If you don't feel compelled to listen to the entire track then get a sample of the beginning and then run forward to about 4:40 where they start rocking out a bit more.  Give it chance and see what you think...






Time to Vote!

         You don't have to be a martyr about this, but I hope you'll indulge us in listening to these two songs.   Which song version do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.




Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘Storms and Stardust’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday March 23rd

          For those interested in Blogging from A to Z, don't forget that the Theme Reveal will be happening on Monday March 16th.  I'm not doing any special post for this as my theme is still kind of in the works.  In other words, I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing.  On the sign up sheet I stated my theme as "Life Goals", but that might not be exactly right--kind of right, maybe, but maybe not exactly.   I might actually be winging it this year.  Kind of like I did the first year.  Still there should be a lot of A to Z participants who will have something to say for Theme Reveal Day.









Monday, March 9, 2020

The Truth about my Most Recent Battle of the Bands ( #BOTB Results )


I always hate it when I lose an hour, but seem to think little when I throw away hours upon hours in ultimately useless pursuits...

See the source image
https://sahajtimepass.wordpress.com/
   
         Last week was like going through a time warp.  Come to think of it my whole life seems to be going that way.  But it seems like life has always gone that way from the beginning except when I was younger everything seemed new and for me it really was. 

         Sometimes I think the progress of the world is moving too fast. Would we want or expect it any other way?

Battle of the Bands Results




          My most recent Battle was between young up-and-comer Dawnelle Elizabeth and rock-and-roll legend Dion.  I wasn't sure how this match would turn out, but I knew that Dion was my pick.  I've liked Dion's work in Christian music since I first came across it back in the eighties.  There's also something about the melody of Dion's song--a haunting quality that particularly appeals to me.

          Dawnelle's song is a rousing upbeat tune, but I usually go for the more introspective music.  I would have thought she'd have gotten more votes, but the tally tells the story...

Final Vote Tally

Dawnelle Elizabeth           3

Dion Dimucci                  11




 Next Battle on Sunday March 15th

         This Battle will be another kind of religious theme.  I'll be featuring two different songs about the same historical martyr.  And the Battle will have nothing to do with St. Patrick, but this saint will be a worthy companion...



Blogging from A to Z April Challenge


#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge     Sign ups for this year's Challenge at now open at the A to Z Blog.   You don't have to sign up in order to participate, but it does help us keep track of who is participating and makes it easier for others to find blogs that are a part of the 2020 Challenge.  So far nearly 200 blogs have signed on to this year's Challenge.  Why don't you become a part of the Challenge in 2020?   







Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Insecure? Write Like It's Going Out of Style ( #IWSG & #AtoZChallenge )


Are you a writer?  Do you feel a bit insecure about your writing?   Maybe you need some writing practice and inspiration...


The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog


The co-hosts for the March 4 posting of the IWSG are Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence.


       
March 4 question - Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?


       A Tradition is Returning!

        I've got nothing in regard to this month's question, but coming soon there is what has become an annual tradition for writers who blog:  The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge!   

         Most of you probably know about the Challenge which involves blogging for 26 days of the month with the daily theme matching that day's letter of the alphabet.  This will be my eleventh year of doing this and many others have likewise done it for many seasons.  That's why it's become a tradition I guess.

        The sign up sheet is now open at the A to Z Blog site. 











Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Truth Will Set You Free (#BOTB)




These days we get bombarded by so much in the name of truth that sometimes it's difficult to say what really is true.  What we often hope to be true is rarely what is true in the end...


Where'd That Come From?

         This past week, just as it seemed my computer was bouncing back from its previously cantankerous behavior, my body decided to pack me a wallop.  Amid a barrage of news reporting about a Coronavirus pandemic, I was knocked out for the first three days of last week with some weird malady that had me in bed much of the time.  Now I seem to be bouncing back just in time for the March 1st edition of Battle of the Bands...



Battle of the Bands


        Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


The Truth Will Set You Free

          In this Battle I'll be presenting two very different songs that have the same name and the same theme.  The first comes from Dawnelle Elizabeth, an up-and-coming young Christian singer from Southern California.  The second from a rock legend who's been making music and charting hits for many decades--Dion Dimucci, or just "Dion" as most of you probably know him.

          Take a listen to each and then cast your vote for the song performance that you like best...


Dawnelle Elizabeth   "The Truth Will Set You Free"  (2014)






Dion     "The Truth Will Set You Free"  (1980)







Time to Vote!

         Did one of these songs set you free more than the other?  Or did you just like one better than the other?   I hope you'll play along with us.   Which song version do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.



Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘Storms and Stardust’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday March 9th

        But wait!  There's more!  I'll have my entry to the March edition of Insecure Writer's Support Group coming on Wednesday March 4th.  Oh, and don't forget to be checking the A to Z Blog if you are interested in signing up for the 2020 April Challenge which is coming very soon!
        


Blogging from A to Z April Challenge