I Am Finding That Being Part Of A Community Is So Important To Me

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It occurred to me that this, the topic of community, would be a great thing to blog about as I come back, once again, from an extended absence from my blog.

What has kept me from blogging this past almost month has been a community, my local faith community, and the commitments I have made to them.

My last post was on January 27th and I wanted to fill you in on what my February has been like thus far. First, though, I want to offer my deepest apologies for the lack of posts.

I have been more fulfilled and happy this past month, even though I have been extremely busy to the point of not getting to blog as much. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy blogging.

I plan to continue blogging but my posts will be as I am able to write them. If you are following this blog please know you have my thanks and I enjoy talking with you in the comments.

You will continue to be notified when I post a new blog. I hope that by expanding my time spent in my community I will have more topics and thoughts to share with all of you.

In one sense by being away from my blog, at times, I will actually be bringing more to it when I do write posts. At least that is my hope.

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The reason being part of a community is so important to me is because I feel like I am part of a team, that my contributions and volunteering of my skills matters and they are valued.

That is an amazing feeling. I think we are all hard wired with the need to belong.

From February 1st until today has been an extremely busy time for me. As many of you know I run the soundboard at our church. I also help clean the top floor of the church every week.

This means I have to be there for worship practice in order to set the correct levels ahead of Sunday morning’s services. We usually practice once a week on a Tuesday night.

Last week we had two practice nights during the week because we are introducing new songs to our church congregation. Our congregation consists of mostly elderly men and women.

These folks are so used to singing hymns and as a result, our church is not attracting any younger people in the community to come out and join our church or hear the gospel.

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The younger people are looking for a place to worship with a more contemporary feel and more upbeat music. So, the plan is to slowly (we are talking baby steps here) introduce new songs that are just that.

There will be a great deal of the music the congregation knows and loves but one new song will be added to the mix. That new song will then be repeated every Sunday for a few weeks so that people can learn and become familiar with it.

We started this Sunday (today as I am writing this) which, as I mentioned, was the reason for extra practice this week. It seemed to go over well but we shall see if the pastor gets much flak before next Sunday.

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On top of the soundboard and cleaning I do at the church I have been asked to take pictures of all the special events held at the church. These photographs will be posted on the church website.

The pastor explained it to me as a kind of free advertising to show anyone visiting the website that our church is active and doing things.

It is hoped that the pictures will help make others feel welcome and make them curious enough to come out and join us to see for themselves what we have to offer.

All I need to do is take the pictures as there is someone who takes care of the website and posts the Sunday message audio file on it every week. I record this as part of my duties on the soundboard.

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There have been two special events at the church this month and a third one began tonight.

On February 5th we held a free movie night to show a screening of the movie God Is NOT Dead 2. There was a modest turnout for the movie and I tried my best to take some photos even with the low light conditions.

On February 11th we held Valentine’s Day Dinner (actually just ahead of Valentines Day) which included a half hour of worship songs prior to going downstairs for a full roast beef dinner.

That was an event where I wore a couple of hats; soundboard and photographer. The music portion of the evening was an extra half hour of music to practice on top of our regular Sunday worship.

The man in the bottom picture holding the coffee pot is our pastor. His name is Pastor Dave Johnston.

Tonight, February 19th we began a six-week course entitled Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage. My husband and I attended this same course at our previous church many years ago.

We are attending this one as well since it is a good refresher and the speaker is hilarious to listen to while getting his points across loud and clear.

Besides, I am the official photographer and once again this is a low light situation so I must try to get the best shots possible.

I must take photos all while respecting that attendees may not want their photo taken for a website given that this is a marriage seminar. Here are the photos I took tonight.

I am thankful that there are five more Sunday nights to try and get better photos before they are posted to the church website.

Anyway, on top of all this activity at the church, I have been creating videos and uploading them to my YouTube channel, answering emails and watching what I can of other YouTubers videos that I am subscribed to.

I am pleased to say my channel is finally starting to take off; I am gaining subscribers, 726 at last count, and doing a little better in the financial department.

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I have also been working on my storybook for Ethan here and there when I can. I now have a name for the dragon Ethan befriends and a rough outline of the story.

Next up is the plotting of what the wording on each page will be and the general layout of the book. From there I will get down to practicing drawing Ethan’s likeness in the various poses that the wording suggests.

I will also need to create a dragon that looks friendly and yet can transform into a fierce companion ready to come to Ethan’s aid when he needs him.

In my spare time, that is after all of the above plus doing dishes, cooking meals, doing laundry (in other words – life) I have been doing a fair bit of reading.

Reading is my favorite pastime by far. Doing more reading was one of my New Year’s Intentions and on that score, I am happy to say I am achieving what I set out to do.

This year’s Goodreads Book Challenge I have set 40 books as my goal. So far this year I have read seven books, that is two books ahead of schedule. Currently, I have a further two books on the go. The one I read at night before sleep and the other I read during the day.

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It is now eleven o’clock at night and I will end this post here so I can proofread and edit in order to publish it to my blog.

Thank you, as always, for stopping by to read my thoughts today/tonight. I really appreciate you all being out there. Until my next post – remember it is important to do what makes you happy. This is not a dress rehearsal…this is life and it is too short to spend it unhappy. 🙂

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I’m Sorry…

 

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I didn’t keep my schedule of posting every third day. My last post was on September 30th and I should have had another post up on October 3rd…but I didn’t. Here it is October 5th and had I posted on October 3rd another post would be due tomorrow. Wow, I am so ashamed. It has been almost six days without a post.

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I am finally learning to be kinder to myself. Back in the day, I would have an anxiety attack knowing that I let someone down; in this case, it would be a lot of someones. This is the internet after all.

“So what happened Susan, what have you been doing all that time that was so important as to keep you from sticking to your posting schedule on WordPress?” I hear you saying.

The answer is; a lot of things have been happening this past week. I hurt my back somehow about a week ago (I might have slept on it the wrong way or lifted something too heavy) but the end result was a lot of pain in my spine.

It is not so easy to sit in a chair and compose a blog post when you are hurting. Yes, I took hot showers and did some stretching. I also took medication hoping it would resolve itself eventually.

Well, it has not resolved itself quite yet. The pain has gone down to a dull roar finally, though. So here I sit writing this blog post.

In the intervening time, I have entertained friends that showed up at our house with their RCs looking to do some trailing and crawling.

They came from almost two hours away so out we went to explore a new trail we had found locally but never explored ourselves.

It was a wonderful day and I got six videos out of it for my YouTube channel. Did my back still hurt? Yes, of course, but I thought the walk might do me some good.

They went back home and after transferring my video footage from my iPhone to my computer I pretty much called it a day.

I was so tired and sore I didn’t even want to weed through the footage to find enough good stuff to make videos with.

The footage took me two days to compile into the six videos of between 5 to 6 minutes each. Trust me, that is a lot of footage and a lot of editing.

I am proud of myself for learning how to hold my phone on the selfie stick and drive my Traxxas Summit along the trail.

Then came Sunday and we went to church in the morning as usual. I should have gone up to the front when they did an altar call at the end of service for prayers for healing.

Mea culpa, I chose to come home instead. I tend to try to do things in my own power instead of looking to others for help. I need to work on that more.

Our landlord’s birthday is coming up this Friday so of course, my husband asked them to come down for an impromptu dinner in his honor.

We were going to buy a frozen lasagna from the store but we decided that homemade would be better. There was cheesy garlic toast we bought to go with the lasagna too.

So, home we came from the store with the ingredients and I set to work building a homemade three cheese lasagna.

It turned out great! I got compliments from our landlord and his wife. While I was making it I also did a cooking video to show how I make lasagna on my YouTube channel.

Haha, two birds, one stone and all that. LOL Anyway, long story a tiny bit shorter, I am now back to writing my blog posts.

I am going to work on scheduling a few in that every-third-day posting schedule. I do feel bad that I messed up the every-third-day thing but I have decided to focus instead on taking care of myself.

The blog will be here as soon as I can get back to it and there probably wasn’t that many people that missed it anyway.

So, that is the final word on my posting schedule. Should I fail to put a post up every third day rest assured that something must have happened and I will be posting again just as soon as I can.

I appreciate every one of you great people that drop by my blog to read my thoughts; whatever they may be.

My back is now on the mend and with this post, I am back on track. See you again in about three days my friends. 😉

Oh, one last note on my mandolin. I am still practicing pretty much every day. My calluses are forming nicely on three of the four fingers on my left hand. I hardly use the pinky to form chords, well, not yet anyway. I am sure that time will come.

I hardly use the pinky to form chords, well, not yet anyway. I am sure that time will come. Most of the chords I have learned so far have been two fingers and one three finger chords.

I have been practicing some quick licks that Scott Groves taught on his YouTube channel and am pleased to say I am getting better at them.

My switching between chords is getting faster too. Now I am working on my strumming patterns so that I can start to try playing some songs. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Stubborn People Frustrate Me!

Frustration with stubborn people

Today’s post is inspired by the one word Daily Prompt

Stubborn

I don’t know about you but stubborn people frustrate the heck out of me. I try not to be stubborn myself although I mostly likely am stubborn from others’ viewpoints at times. I guess that really is a subjective measurement. What classifies as stubborn to one may not to another. This blog is about things from my perspective, however, so please proceed with that in mind.

The other day I had a little mishap with my ceramic top stove. A pot of mushroom soup boiled over and left a huge mess on the hot cooktop. Now I am the one who usually cooks in this house and as such am the one with the most knowledge and experience with this stove.

I have wanted a ceramic top stove ever since they came out but finances dictated that we buy used coil burner stoves for the longest time. Ugh, those stupid pots under the burners that catch things like boil overs. They are notoriously hard to clean even if you use one of those foil inserts to help protect them. Then there is the matter of the coil burners that sometimes shift and do not hold your pot level. Talk about frustrating!

I can deal with that frustration though since it is an inanimate object and there is no will behind the things messing up on the stove. It is simply a stove messing up due to lousy design. Finally, though,  we were able to afford not only a ceramic top stove but a brand new one. So I hope you can understand my protectiveness over it.

People, on the other hand, are another matter entirely. Their stubbornness tells me that they are so sure they are right that they will continue doing whatever they want regardless of what I have to say. It is as if I don’t matter like I know nothing and couldn’t possibly be right about what I am saying.

Okay, back to the mushroom soup boil over on my ceramic top stove…someone happened to be in the kitchen with me at the time and leaped into action. I already had my hand on the pot handle and was moving it off the active burner. They grabbed a washcloth ran it under the cold water and proceeded to try to wipe up the mess on and around the burner!

Now, I do understand they were trying to help me and their intentions were good in that sense. But, that is the fastest way to crack the cooktop and I rapidly told them this. The owners manual advises to let the mess be until the stove has cooled completely at which time you use the special cleaner for the stove and the non-scratching pad for this purpose to apply the cleaner. Then you take a microfiber cloth and wipe it clean and buff to a shine.

Since I had wanted a stove like this for years and I was the one who had the most experience with it and had studied the care, cleaning and use of it I was offended when they didn’t immediately stop when I told them they could crack it.

They did stop, eventually…but oh, the stress and frustration I was dealing with by then. Now, I do feel horrible telling you all this about someone who was only trying to help when it happened but it is the most direct example of frustrating people I can think of at the moment. It illustrates my point precisely.

I guess what I am trying to say by saying all of that is that sometimes, just sometimes, I need people to listen to me.

What I know and what I say has value. I just want to be heard.

I will admit that this has been an ongoing issue, a sore spot, for me from years and years ago when I was growing up. I need to figure out how to heal that old wound so it doesn’t aggravate my life now, but how?

That is the question, isn’t it?

I would be interested to know how you deal with stubborn people. If there are any helpful techniques I could practice I would sure appreciate hearing about them.

Thanks for stopping by and reading another rant post from me. I just had to get that off my chest and make others aware of the dangers of hot versus cold when it comes to ceramic tops.

Have a wonderful day/night (whatever it is when you are reading this) my friends.  =)

It’s raining, it’s pouring… the old man is snoring. =)

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As I sit here at my computer writing this the rain continues to fall outside my window. It started in the wee hours of the morning and has not stopped yet but I must get up and start completing dinner soon. It is 5:15 PM already. Boy, the day flies by fast when you read a book and fall asleep on the couch. I had my couch time earlier this afternoon, not too long after lunch, in fact. Now it is my husbands turn to grab a few Zs. I don’t know what it is about the rain that makes one tired. I had sufficient sleep last night (at least I am pretty sure I did) but I could not hold my eyes open very long once I picked up my book. I finished it today and am already on to my next one. I am a voracious reader and have bookcases full of books to prove it. LOL

There are pork chops in the slow cooker smothered in cream of mushroom soup with an extra can of mushroom pieces and stems thrown in for good measure. I must get up shortly and peel the potatoes I need to make whipped potatoes, my hubby’s favorite, to go along with the corn. Tomorrow night we will be having chicken when my best friend comes to visit. I get to see her for the first time in three or four years. I also get to meet her boyfriend this time so I am looking forward to that. I am not sure what recipe I will be using with the chicken but there is time to figure that out.

Even though the rain outside makes me tired it also makes me happy to be warm and dry inside. I sip my hot cup of tea and write this blog post and cannot think of anything I would rather be doing. Sure, the sunshine and hot weather are nice for swimming in the pool and working on my tan but I know that the earth needs this rain. Otherwise, the fire ban will be in full force again due to the risk of the dry grass and hay burning in the fields that surround us. I also like bonfires and if there is a fire ban is in force there won’t be any of them in my future either. So I welcome the necessary rain and use this time inside to do something I love, writing my thoughts down in my blog. Now I am off to the kitchen to finish preparing a hot and satisfying dinner for Kevin and I. Have a wonderful day/night everybody. Thanks for visiting my blog once again. I do appreciate it. =)