Friday, July 14, 2017

In My Ears

I've been trying to broaden my musical horizons a bit lately..

Y'all know I love me some country music.  Old and new (although some people say that Country Music Died in 1985 - and what they are playing now just "ain't country"). For reals.

And even though, I am thoroughly enjoying the newest music (see my list below) country has to offer, I'm reaching out a bit, trying to get out of my "comfort zone" so to speak. I'm learning that I have quite a variety of favorites on my playlist lately. I mean, QUITE a variety.

Thanks to my family (two teenage boys and one teenage girl, as well as my Motown Lovin' Daddy) and a few friends, I've added several new tunes to my Apple Music library.  Well, not all of them are "new"... In fact, some are actually pretty old (lol), but they are new (or different) to me!

So without further ado, here's what's been in my ears most recently....
  • Ed Sheeran  - Divide (the whole stinkin' album)
  • Led Zeppelin - Rain Song
  • Frankie Valli and the Four Seasoos - Sherry
  • Lionel Richie - Easy
  • Fall Out Boy - Sugar We're Goin Down
  • Eddie Money - Shakin'
  • Pink Floyd - Learning To Fly
  • The Black Crowes - Hard to Handle
  • Soundgarden - The Day I Tried to Live (RIP Chris Cornell)
  • Elvis Presley - Can't Help Falling In Love With You
  • Shawn Mendez - Ain't Nothing Holdin' Me Back
  • John Mayer - Gravity

There's more, but I picked 12 to share, because that's about how many songs are included on albums these days.  Also, I've been playing the heck out of a few new country albums/artists, as well.  Here are my top 5:

So here's where you chime in.  Yes people. I want feedback!! (Feel free to comment below or on my Facebook feed where this is linked up.)  What songs/artists would you have me add to my "Horizons" list above?  Have you heard any of the newer country stuff that I have listed?  What do you think?? Heck! Feel free to weigh in on the state of Country Music, or just music in general.  Inquiring minds want to know!! 

Hope y'all have a great weekend!  Meanwhile I'll get back to listenin'. 


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Friday, July 7, 2017

Lemony Things

Y'all, I have recently become a lover of lemons. Not just in my Sweet Tea, but in my water, on my salads... Heck, I even tried it in my Diet Coke, once! (Blech! I think I'll stick to my tea, thank you very much.)

Oh, and I'm all about some lemon dishwasher detergent, Lemon Joy, and Bath & Body Works Kitchen Lemon soaps and sanitizers.  Yes, Ma'am. This girl's got to have her lemon scents and flavors. All day. Any way.

This has gotten my wheels turning a bit.
Since when do I like lemons so much?  Ever since I can remember, I've been a fan of all things sweet and sugary... Cherry Blossoms. Sweet Pea. Vanilla Bean.  Apple Cinnamon. Those are the scents and flavors I've loved for years.  And let's not forget CHOCOLATE! But something has changed, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

Throughout my life, if things were sour, or bitter, I naturally steered clear.  Lately, though... I'm beginning to gain an appreciation for these things.  We've all heard the phrase, "When life hands you lemons, make Lemonade!"  But you know what?  You don't always have to dump a bunch of sugar on things to make it better.  Sometimes life needs a little sour.

In fact, studies show that drinking warm lemon water every day, is extremely beneficial health-wise.



And since essential oils are now all the rage in our homes right now, I thought I'd share some of those uses with you, as well.  According to Dr. Axe,
Lemon is best known for it’s ability to cleanse toxins from any part of the body and is widely used to stimulate lymph drainage, to rejuvenate energy, purify skin and act as a bug repellent.
Wow!! And if that's not enough, Dr. Axe quotes yet another expert; listing many more uses for lemon oil.
According to Alva’s Ayurveda Medical College assistant professor Dr. J.V. Hebbar, the benefits of lemon include:
  • Cleansing and purification
  • Oral health and remedy for halitosis (bad breath)
  • Digestion
  • Thirst quencher
  • Remedy for abdominal colic pain
  • Cough relief
  • Calms stomach and relieves nausea
  • Prevents malabsorption
  • Improves digestion
  • Nourishes the skin
  • Promotes Weight loss
So there. Now you know.

See? Life isn't just all about the sweet things.  We actually need some sour to help us be more balanced and healthy.

Remember that next time you have a bad hair day, or someone pulls out in front of you in traffic and makes you late for work. Or you get into an argument with someone you love, and it just ruins your perspective.

Take it in stride.

A bit of sourness is good for you, and actually adds to your life in a positive way. Just like a little lemon juice adds some yummy goodness to our Sweet Tea.

Mmm.. I think I'll go pour myself a nice tall glass right now.












Cheers, Y'all!
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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Dancing Through TIme

Okay, so I posted on this blog yesterday for the first time in over a year.

Wow.

Today I am sitting in front of my computer perusing all my past blog posts, and I'm thinking... (I know. Dangerous, right?) But I'm wondering if I should delete everything up to this point and start over?  I really don't want to do that because there are some good pieces here... Stories and lessons that  I want to keep around, like leaving little notes of remembrance to myself.  Then again, there are also some posts that are hard to look at and read back through.  As I read them, my eyes fill with tears, and my heart breaks a little bit more.

As I was driving over to my work assignment this morning, a song came on the radio.  I'd heard it a few weeks ago, and had not even shed one tear.  But today, it evoked a lot of emotion.  The song was "The Dance" by Garth Brooks.  You may be familiar with this tune.  In it, the singer is recollecting a fond memory of dancing under the stars with a very special partner.  Someone he thought the world of, and never wanted to let go.  It's almost as if he wishes this particular waltz was still playing ... pining over what could have been. But he also realizes that if he had been able to see in the future and known then what he knows now, he wouldn't have changed a thing.

And now
I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end
The way it all would go
Our lives
Are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss
The dance



Of course the "dance" was a metaphor for life.  A specific season spent with a remarkable person. I've spent the last 23 years of my life in a dance with a certain partner. Sometimes the pace was slow and easy, at other times the music of life seemed to speed up to such a hectic pace we could barely keep up. Yet we continued to skip to the beat of the drum.  Until we suffered misfortune and fell... and now this partnership has splintered apart, and I am standing alone on the dance floor once again.

Like I said in my "Begin Again" post, change is hard, and saying goodbye to the past isn't easy. Looking back on the memories of the shared dances can be painful, but it can also be educational, and memorial.

As I looked back through my posts on Sweet Tea Diaries, I saw many snapshots, even a few portraits of that dance. Should I delete them from existence, the way we would delete photos from our smart phones or computers?

I say, "No".

Never.

Each and every memory is a piece of my past... Woven into the person I have become, very similar to the way a craftsman may weave colors into a tapestry.  I wouldn't be the woman I am now without these times, these special moments, these phases and stages of my past.  And truth be told, even though my partner and I now dance separately, we will always be somewhat linked together in life because we have three very magnificent dance selections in common.

A ballet.

A foxtrot.

A samba.

If we had never become partners in the first place, we wouldn't have these beautiful, remarkable, amazing pieces in our repertoire.

Sometimes when we become injured, our first inclination is to leave the floor altogether, but we've got to press on and continue to move in order to finish well. To be honest, I'm still not sure "the way it all will end... the way it all will go".  I know where it's headed.  And I know it's a heartbreaking thing. But our brokenness is how The Light flows through our lives. This is how we continue to shine, even through the darkest of times.

So, yeah. The blog? I'm gonna leave her as is, because she's really just a reflection of me.  And I will forever be glad that I didn't miss the dance.
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