Singers Who Have Shaped Me.

If I’m not mistaken, most people enjoy listening to music. We listen not only for relaxation, but to find meaning and connection with ourselves and others. What we listen to and how we listen to it as well as our interpretations of the music is an individual experience. As many know (or will know), I’m a big fan of country music and it has shaped my how and what kind of music I listen to outside of the genre. That doesn’t mean there’s some anomalies in my listening experience, but for the most part my musical tastes have taken a similar trait.

Regardless, there are singers who have moved me, changed me, saved my life on my occasions. These singers, in essence, have spoke to my soul and have explained my views and life so eloquently. They’ve colored my life, some more so than others, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here are some of those singers who shaped me:

  1. Garth Brooks.
  2. Josh Groban.
  3. Keith Urban.
  4. Shania Twain.
  5. Tim McGraw.
  6. Alison Krauss
  7. Chris Thile/Nickel Creek
  8. Toby Keith.
  9. Zak Brown Band.
  10. Faith Hill.
  11. Trisha Yearwood.
  12. John Denver.
  13. Lady Antebellum.
  14. Alabama.
  15. The Judds.
  16. Reba McIntyre.
  17. Montgomery Gentry.
  18. Little Big Town.
  19. Alan Jackson.
  20. Dolly Parton.

Things I Don’t Understand

I got this idea from Rick at Surrounded by Imbeciles and I thought it’d be a good idea to write one on my own and that is about things I don’t understand. I don’t understand a lot of things, but some things I just can’t ever understand, period. Maybe one day God will look down at me and say “Child, this is why these things happened,” but until then I’ll be forever in the dark about these things.

I do not understand why:

Men can’t ask women out to dates and pick them up for the date anymore.

People get such road rage and/or do stupid things while driving. Nowhere’s that important to get upset/risk other people’s lives just because you’re impatient to go where you’re going.

Others rant for ten minutes about why they hate country when I confess I like it.

iPhones/Androids/Smartphones are so obsessed over (I still have a flip phone with money added every 90 days).

Movies/t.v. shows are so important. Everything in moderation.

People don’t read.

Everyone’s pressured to be extroverted.

There’s not enough love in the world.

Why my eye likes to twitch randomly in the last couple days.

That’s all I got for tonight. Maybe I’ll do this as a series next time. And that’s a wrap.

My time to reflect and be thankful.

In the midst of wars, protests, deaths, and other heartaches, it’s easy to lose sight of all the good in this world and focus on everything that’s bad. Tomorrow we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday created exclusively for reflecting on the good and being thankful for what we have. I’ve had my share of bad times and I’ve forgotten to take the time to stop and see what good things I do have in my arsenal of experiences.

This morning I’m thankful for:

A roof over my head.

A job that pays me for the hours I work on time.

Clothes that keep me covered and warm during these cold months.

Food to keep me nourished.

Being able to stay home for the holidays and not have to go out and fight for these rights.

Having an education.

Living the life that I’ve lived.

Having a car to drive.

Getting to choose who I fall in love with or date (if at all).

An iPod that plays the music I want to listen to.

Getting some time off this week to sleep in and relax.

Having the good friends that I do.

Having a computer so I can blog and connect with others through other social media.

Having good health.

Having the rights and freedoms that I have.

Being able to read.

Not having to fear for my life.

Being able to catch my first fish and have my first motorcycle ride this year.

Knowing how to care and love someone deeply who has a serious illness, even if we’re no longer together or talking.

Sleeping in and snuggling in a warm bed.

Life in general.

Deceived Looks.

They say never to judge a book by its cover, that looks can be deceiving. This is never truer when dealing with people, especially those on the celebrity level. I say this because we’ve had a lot of celebrities in recent months that made us realize they were never the people we thought them to be. Robin Williams was suffering from severe depression and eventually committed suicide, Phillip Seymour Hoffman died of a drug overdose, the lead father on 7th Heaven was convicted of pedophilia, and in the more recent news, rape victims of Bill Cosby have been coming out of the shadows to finally tell their stories.

It shouldn’t be surprising, to be truthful. They are humans, after all. Just because they’re celebrities mean they are above the petty troubles the rest of us have to face on a daily basis. And yet as a society we have elevated them all to the level of gods. These people entertain us through the movies, books, and music we enjoy, surely they’re nothing less than the perfection of gods? They can do nothing wrong.

And yet they can, as so many have shown to us over the years. They are not always the personas that they have so carefully constructed. Some celebrities hold dark secrets of rape and incest, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illnesses and other secrets they don’t want to come out, yet inevitably do a lot of times. They’ve come to join the fame that they’ve gained throughout the years and who wouldn’t want to enjoy at least part of their success?

And yet we hold them to that standard. When their horrible truth comes out, we all ruffle our feathers and exclaim angrily that they couldn’t “possibly” have done that, they are the pinnacles of our lives, childhoods, etc. But they can and have and done and will continue to do if they’re not stopped. Just because they’re famous mean they’re exempt from the law or anything else. It’s too bad that it happened, since talent graces itself on the unlikeliest of people, but sometimes reality is what reality is. I hope we have the strength to overcome and move on.

Two Years of Blogging and Counting.

Yesterday, I got a notification saying that I’ve been blogging here for two years now. I’m still a little surprised that it’s been so long. Every day I still feel like a new blogger: always struggling to find topics to write about, what my blog should look like, and what my blog actually is. I’ve read a lot about how bloggers should know what they’re blog should be about, the theme of it as it were, and tailor everything around what you’re trying to write about.

I struggle because I see so many blogs that have mainly one topic they talk about: food, photography, politics, sports, gender equality, fashion. You name it, there’s a blog about it. I just write about life. And genealogy. And writing. And creativity. I write about everything. So I thought to myself, “Well, you know, maybe I’m  a lifestyle blogger. Yeah! That’s what I am: a lifestyle blogger. I write about life and everything that happens in it!” But when I look for blogs under the tag lifestyle all I see is fashion. I don’t know a *thing* about fashion. I probably couldn’t write a post about the difference between a beret and a cap without doing some serious research beforehand.

I want to call my blog a personal blog because after all, it’s personal, but there’s no official tag for personal blogs in the blogging world, so I have to settle for lifestyle even if it doesn’t quite fit. But that’s probably just as well. I have a variety of interests and thoughts in real life, so why shouldn’t I blog about a little of everything? I don’t need to force myself to write about things I’m not interested in or continue to write about something long after I’ve run out of things to say about it.

So, for those of you who have followed me from the beginning or have started following me and watched as my blog grew, I thank you. I hope we can share many more travels together in the future.

How I Write.

You probably didn’t know this about me, but I like to write longhand. There are many reasons for this:

  1. Writing longhand is obviously much slower than typing on the computer and it helps slow me down, focus, and think more about what I’m writing.
  2. Writing longhand gets my creative thoughts moving much faster than typing.
  3. There’s just something great about having a pen in my hand and putting it together. Perhaps it’s the utilizing of traditional methods that make it feel so right.

Don’t get me wrong, I love typing. It’s fast and easy when I need to get something done quickly, but it doesn’t compare to writing with pen and paper. There’s just no comparison whatsoever.

I used to do that a lot with this blog. Whenever I had an idea for a blog post, I’d take out a sheet of paper and just write it out. I noticed a big difference between the posts that I started writing out longhand versus the ones I just typed up on the spot, not to mention I noticed more likes and visits to my page because I wrote it out longhand first. I don’t do that very much anymore, but occasionally I’ll just stop and pull out some paper and just write out my thoughts before transcribing it onto the screen just for something different and to get more depth and soul in my writing. But when I write creatively, I always start out writing in my notebook because it helps me think better.

Maybe I’m crazy for thinking so or just a little off, but that’s how I roll. I’m sure there’s people who would much rather type up their thoughts and stories on the computer because writing longhand would hinder their writing process and that’s fine. We’re all different. I just prefer to do things the slower way sometimes. How do you prefer to write?

Thanks for the Liebster Award!

Liebster

I was nominated by RKnutson from Enkelt Liv (Simple Life) nominated for the Liebster Award. Thank you for noticing me and enjoying what I write for my blog enough to nominate me for this award. Here are the directions for accepting the award:

  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.
  • Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

Here are some random facts about me:

  1. I have one parent who was born and raised in England and went several times as a child to visit family. I’ve only been there once since I was 9, though.
  2. I’m very allergic to cats and can’t even walk into the room where they just were without my face immediately burning and getting runny nose and eyes.
  3. I never owned a video game system growing up since my parents didn’t want me to sit in front of the t.v. all day.
  4. I’m an only child, but always wanted to have a brother (or sister).
  5. My favorite season is spring because it’s always a promise of warmer weather and a feeling of new beginnings.
  6. I read a lot of young adult literature.
  7. I want to learn how to scuba dive and swim with sharks.
  8. My favorite movie is Cold Mountain.
  9. I like taking pictures, but never made it an official hobby, just whenever I feel like it.
  10. I’ve worked in a library for ten years.
  11. I published a poem when I was 11 years old. Such a long time ago!

My answers to questions from the one who nominated me:

  1. What do you think is one of the most undervalued professions right now and why? Teaching because they’re asked to take care of society’s kids’ education and not getting enough money or credit for doing it, all their getting is more restrictions and standards rather than help to become better teachers.
  2. How do you feel about public speaking? I like it. It makes me nervous, but if I’m well prepared, I enjoy the process of doing it. I get hooked on the adrenaline.
  3. If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet? This is hard: my ancestors and ask them about their lives, Elizabeth I and ask her how she managed to accomplish so much and bringing peace to the country, Charles Dickens because he’s my favorite author, Abraham Lincoln because he fought to keep the States together, Jane Austen and ask her about her life that we don’t know nothing about, many other authors and people.
  4. What accomplishments are you most proud of? Getting a Master’s degree and having my dad see it before he died.
  5. When you open someone’s blog for the first time, what makes you keep reading? They write about topics I’m interested in and they keep their writing conversational, making feel like I’m sitting there with them as they’re talking (or typing in this case).

Most of the blogs I follow already have over 2oo followers (if not thousands), so I won’t nominate anybody but I appreciate the award!