Tuesday, April 1, 2014

TUESDAY TUNES: "Tim McGraw" by Taylor Swift


This post may seem rather arrogant since I’m getting ready to re-write an award winning singer-songwriter’s song, but it must be done.  The chorus of Taylor Swift’s song, “Tim McGraw,” could be so much better with just a few simple tweaks. 

As a whole, I love Taylor’s lyrics.  She writes in such a fashion that takes this middle aged broad back to her high school years and memories of young love in the same way a whiff of Avon’s Sweet Honesty perfume does.  Even though it is one of her first hits, Taylor paints a picture like a pro with this song and the verses are spot on. It’s just the stinking chorus that drives me insane every unbearably monotonous time I hear it!!

Here are her original lyrics:

But when you think Tim McGraw
I hope you think my favorite song
The one we danced to all night long
The moon like a spotlight on the lake
When you think happiness
I hope you think that little black dress
Think of my head on your chest
And my old faded blue jeans
When you think Tim McGraw
I hope you think of me

Here are my changes:

But when you HEAR Tim McGraw
I hope you SING my favorite song
The one we danced to all night long
The moon like a spotlight on the lake
When you FEEL happiness
I hope you SEE that little black dress
PICTURE my head on your chest
And my old faded blue jeans
When you HEAR Tim McGraw
I hope you think of me

I know, right?!

I was taught you have to know the rules before you can break them.  If she knew the rules and thought this was a good way of breaking one, I would have to disagree.  I mean, I “think” I would have to disagree.  What do you “think?”  Do you “think” I’m over-reacting?  Do you “think” she chose wisely?  Do you “think” she noticed?  Do you “think” it even makes sense the way she wrote it?  Is my overuse of the word “think” getting on your nerves yet?

I am shocked and disappointed in the producers for allowing the word “think” to be used that way.  Where were her mentors?  Where were the people protecting her?  But then again, it was a top ten hit.  What do I know?

Question:  Ok, be honest, which version to you like better?  An award winning professional’s or a nobody hack?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TUESDAY TUNES: J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No 2 in F Major

I love music from the Baroque era, 1600-1750. Especially anything composed by Bach.  Good old Johann Sebastian.  He’s the Man!!!

I have many memories of this particular concerto.  My sisters and I made up dances to it when we were young.  I’m not sure why we even had a recording of it, but we did.  It’s not that my family was all that cultured. Lawrence Welk and Hee Haw were about as fancy as we got.  Maybe my piano teacher gave me the record, I don’t know.  Anyway, the little gray house on Fisk Street in Pullman, Washington had its walls rattled as we pranced around.  It was a combination of moves from the 1600’s with a little do-si-do square dance thrown in for fun.  I can still picture us dancing in our pajamas.  We’d be all serious with, what we thought were, the official dance moves from the era, and then giggle as we’d swing our partner at the end of a phrase.

Years later while in college, my fellow music major friends and I would play it and take turns directing the pretend ensembles in our dorm rooms.  Ah, music nerds.

If find it interesting, and quite telling about me, that I love Baroque music so much.  Dynamically, there are no crescendos or swells.  It pretty much goes from loud to soft quite instantly (mostly due to the abilities of the instruments at the time).  Like with me, I’m strolling along during my day just fine at a quiet(ish) level, when boom, something happens and I either burst out with a huge laugh or voice and my volume goes from pianissimo to forte just like that.  No warning.  Just, "Here I am!"

And once the piece begins, it rhythmically keeps driving to the end.  That’s me.  It’s, “Let’s get ‘er done time folks.”  That’s why Baroque music is my music of choice when cleaning the house.  Boom, boom, sweep, dust, scrub and look at that, we’re done! 

This is not the piece you want to listen to when you’re tired and need a nap.  This is “go time” music.  So the next time you’ve fallen behind on a project, need to organize your thoughts, or just wanna get your groove on, take a listen to something Baroque.  Preferably this piece by my man Bach.

My lovely friend Tina and I try to attend the Oregon Bach Festival every year.  This year’s dates are June 26-July 13.  We even get a T-Shirt like true Bach groupies.
Question:  What is your favorite era of music?

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I had coffee with friend and fellow blogger, Wendy, last Saturday morning.  Here is a link to her blog http://partofmystory.blogspot.com.  I mentioned since I started blogging again, after a rather lengthy absence, the few posts I’ve done have been serious and I missed the funny me.  Cuz I am a funny one.  And when I say funny I don’t mean funny Ha Ha, but funny in that I do and say stupid things.  Like this episode a while back with my equally funny sister, Chrystal.
During my basement dweller days Chrystal and I would occasionally go grocery shopping together.  (She lived upstairs in the main part of the house and I, and my two cats, lived in the cute little basement.  Cute, if you could overlook the spiders.)  We came home from one such shopping trip to find I was locked out of my apartment. 

“No problem, just go through my house, through the garage and laundry room and use the connecting door,” Chrystal suggested.

“Ok.”  As I said that I was trying to remember if I had left that door unlocked or not.  I usually locked it even though she was the only one with access, because I’m a fraidy cat.  What if the bad guys come through her house, rob and kill her, and then decide to check out the basement dweller!

Sure enough, it was locked.

“I’ll get a screw driver and hammer and take it off the hinges,” said one of us.  I think it was me because I remember being the one to actually UNSUCCESSFULLY take it off the hinges. 

“Well since that didn’t work just use the hammer to break the lock.”  I distinctly remember it being Chrystal who came up with that idea.

After about 20 minutes of the two of us taking turns trying to break the stupid lock, which of course wouldn’t break because it was doing its job, we gave up.

“This door is not the sturdiest of doors.  What if we use the hammer to chop a hole right next to the door knob, and then reach in and unlock the door.”  Again, I credit Chrystal with suggesting another brilliant plan.

So chop we did.  And we chopped some more.  We got a lot of aggression out on that stinking door!
“Wow, these doors are sturdier than they appear,” I said after another 10 minutes. 

Another few minutes of chopping and we had a hole big enough to reach through only to find out that, in our earlier attempt to break it, we had damaged the lock beyond use.  So locked it stayed.

We stood there for a few minutes staring at all the wood chips on the floor with nothing to show for it.  It was then that Chrystal decided to give it a shot with the hammer and screw driver to take the door off the hinges. 

It came right off. 

What?!?!?  What had I done wrong?  I have taken doors off hinges many times to move large furniture in or out or to paint or something.  What?!?!?

We discussed if for a bit and decided it was because we were tired.  And maybe also needed some therapy time to hit, punch, yell, and destroy an inanimate object.  Poor little door.

Since we rented the house from our church we thought the most Christian thing to do would be to hide it and get someone else to come put in a new door before the elder in charge found out.  Which is what we did.  Unfortunately the elder in charge was mowing our backyard when the chopped up door passed by.  He laughed, shook his head and said he didn’t dare ask what happened.

So that is how my single sister and I solved the problem of being locked out.  Would a husband have gotten it off the hinges on the first try?  Or would he have not forgotten his key in the first place.  Either way I think our plan worked out just fine.  I got in didn’t I?

Question:  Ever been locked out?  Have better luck in getting in than we did? 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

TUESDAY TUNES: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0jpHtsSEQo  Hillsong Version
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWxb6VvPrkE Michael W. Smith Version

Matthew 6:33 is a Life verse for me:  But seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

These words of Jesus are from the Sermon on the Mount.  Leading up to this verse He is talking about worry.  I’m a worrier.  Maybe that’s why I love this verse so much.  When I daily seek Him first, He tells me everything else will fall into place.  So don’t worry.

If I know that to be true, and I trust Him, then why do I have stomach issues, break out into rashes and get fever blisters all stemming from worry?  It’s that head knowledge-heart knowledge stuff again.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Daily…step by step…one second at a time…start again…listen…trust…remember…pray…be still…seek Him first…do it all again…

God speaks to me through the “address” of this verse:

When I get home from work and wonder what’s on tap for my evening and realize it’s 6:33, I think, “God wants me to spend some time with Him.”  6:33 Seek HIM.

When I’ve made a questionable choice and look at the clock and see that it’s 6:33, I think, “Was that really the best way to handle that situation.”  6:33 Seek HIM

At random times when I see the cost of something is $6.33 or an address is 633 or my eye catches 633 in the middle of a set of numbers, I stop and remember His promise.  6:33 Seek HIM

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, seek His wonderful face, and He will provide.  And what you thought was best for you will grow strangely dim because, in the light of His glory and grace, His plans are always better than what our earthly minds could come think of.

Question:  Do you have things like my 633 where God catches your attention?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014



I’m on a Margaret Becker kick.  She was my girl back in the late 80’s and 90’s.  Now I’m listening to her again.  I really hadn’t noticed until this go ‘round how much she sounds like the Wilson sisters of Heart; a band I also liked in the 80’s.  But Heart’s “If Looks Could Kill You’d be Lying on the Floor” is a far cry from Becker’s “Say the Name.”

“If Looks Could Kill” would have gotten me through a breakup or hard times back in 1988. But words like, “I was a sucker to believe in you, a sucker for every line,” or “Love is on the line, I ain’t about to be kind,” have such a negative ring to them, don’t ya think??  But I remember blaring that album, (you know, vinyl record albums) in my cute little four-plex on Judge Ely Blvd. in Abilene, TX back in the day.

But thankfully, I’ve progressed past the negativity!  I can sit back and “Say the name that has heard my cry, has seen my tears and wiped them dry,” and find a much more productive healing.  Now, “Just a whisper is enough to set my soul at ease.  Just thinking of this name brings my heart to peace.”
Several years ago, I was standing a few rows behind an elderly woman while we were singing Natalie Grant’s song “Your Great Name.”  She was seated, but when we got to the words, “The enemy, he has to leave, at the sound of Your Great Name,” she struggled to a standing position.  That gesture of respect moved me to tears.  “May I never grow so strong that my heart cannot be moved. May I never grow so weak that I fear to speak the truth. I will say this holy Name no matter who agrees. For no other name on earth means so much to me.”

Philippians 2:9-11
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

“From now until the end of time, I’ll Say the Name.”

Thursday, March 6, 2014

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Be Still and Know that I am God

Photo by Lois Flores
I was recently asked if I could “Be Still” for a while and await an answer regarding a job.  I replied, “Well, I can tell you it is part of Psalm 46:10 and the entire Psalm starts out with telling us that God is our refuge and strength.  But to actually put it in to practice, nope, I can’t do that.”  Fortunately my potential employer chuckled along with me, also knowing that waiting isn’t easy.

When you’re single, your income is it.  You’re not a supplemental income alongside your spouse's to help with extra expenses.  You’re not a comparable amount to be part of the monthly budget.  You are it!

Sometimes I find that scary. 
Sometimes I find it an exciting opportunity to see how God will work things out. 
Be still…and know that I am God…

Sometimes I find it frustrating. 
Sometimes I find it a good way to trust God.
Be still…and know that I am God…

Sometimes I want to make a phone call and get things rolling.
Sometimes I just want to sit at His feet and watch Him work.
Be still…and know that I am God…

It’s not just “knowing” that He is God.  I have to “let” Him be God.  It’s the difference between reciting Psalm 46 and believing it and trusting Him enough to live it out. 

I joke around with friends and say, “This is the year I marry money!”  My Portland to Coast team would like extra money to buy a van, team T-shirts, a cushy hotel and massage in Seaside after the race.  But until I find that rich husband it just isn’t going to happen.  But in reality, I have found someone…

I found Him while I was being still enough to know Him and then let Him be God.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


This was my theme song for last summer…
I became unemployed and homeless all in one weekend in the spring of 2013.  So in June I found myself on a plane headed for Tennessee to spend the summer with some good friends working as their nanny.  I also needed to clear my head and figure out what was next.

 As I drove around beautiful Franklin, Tennessee with its green cotton-ball trees, Sidewalk Prophets’ song “Help Me Find It” always seemed to be on the radio every time I needed it to be. 

It was my story...

“I don’t know where to go from here, it all used to seem so clear.”

”If there’s a road I should walk, help me find it.”

 And the comfort of…

“For every step, I’ve never been alone.”
“Even when it hurts You’ll have Your way, even in the valley I will say, with every breath You’ve never let me go.”

 If I was alone in the car I would sing it at the top of my lungs! But one evening the song came on while I was driving the girls to dance, or to eat, or to a friend’s house or to something.  I said, “Oh, I LOVE this song.  It’s my theme song.”  They asked me why, so I started singing along with the words like I was telling them my story.  When it got to the words “You’ve never failed before” I had to turn my head and fight back tears, because He never has.

 Right before that phrase are the words, “I will wait for You.”  That’s the hard part!!  But I’m learning to “Be Still and Know (remember) that He is God.”  These are not new concepts for me.  It’s just when you find yourself in a difficult situation you learn them all over again.

 Ten months later I’m still a bit in limbo.  But, He’s never failed before!  That’s all I need to know.  So even though I don’t know where to go from here, I will wait for Him.  And He won’t fail me this time either!