Archive for the Photos Category

On with the show

The DragonLady doesn’t like crowds. That’s why she doesn’t do concerts. Crowds freak her out. Also, she doesn’t like to pay the price concert tickets cost these days. But you know what? I went to see Fleetwood Mac last month paying way more than I wanted to pay for tickets in the rafters.

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Prior to the beginning of the show, I would look at that and get that feeling in my stomach as if I was going to pitch forward and fall to my death. Because I also don’t do heights.

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That’s my “this is too high” face. Note that we weren’t all the way at the top but close.

Once they came out and started playing, though, I did not notice the height at all. It was a heck of a good show! I sat there singing along with every single song as only someone who has spent a LOT of time listening to Fleetwood Mac can do. I screamed. I yelled. I was surprised I could talk the next day.

Dreams unwind. Love's a state of mind.

Dreams unwind. Love’s a state of mind.

Tusk

Tusk

They were so fantastic! Lindsey Buckingham didn’t leave the stage until just before the encore, and then just during the drum solo in World Turning. I know he is the youngest member of the band, but he is still mid-60’s rocking a 2.5 hour show.

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This was the finale, which I obviously didn’t take from the rafters. Someone with much better seats than I took this. Also, I used up my free space recording Gold Dust Woman. Which I haven’t uploaded.

Choice

It struck me in the middle of a conversation where I was sitting on my pity pot bemoaning the latest catastrophe to befall me.

Do I really trust God? Do I really trust Him?

Because it is one thing to pray and surrender everything to Him and His will, but when you’ve done that, and something happens that you didn’t anticipate, it’s another matter to follow through by walking in the faith you thought you had when you said that prayer. Talk is cheap, but living it out is going to cost something.

Clinging to control and self-sufficiency is going to cost you a lot more.

All the years I spent pushing myself and pushing myself trying to do it all and do it all perfectly exacted a heavy price. Multiple times. And I didn’t get it.

A few years ago I asked “Just how broken do I have to be?” I knew at the time. Completely. I just didn’t really know what that means exactly. I have a much better idea now. It’s whatever it takes until I become completely dependent upon God and quit trying to do everything (and do everything perfectly) in my own power in effort to be good enough.

Ah, but there’s more.

I was talking with a friend earlier this week and we got on the subject of legalism in the church. Since we both grew up Baptist, we were generally talking about Baptist churches since that’s what we have had the most experience with. I don’t know where it came from (I probably read it somewhere), but in response to discussing the logical though flawed thinking behind legalism, I said, “Grace is scary because grace can’t be controlled.”

If you can spot it, you got it.

The control freak in me doesn’t want to go down without a fight. She’s been calling the shots for decades because she has to head off every possible problem and either prevent it from happening or fix it before anyone finds out she messed up. Every time she thinks she’s hit bottom, it turns out to be a ledge, and she rolls right off over and over.

Can I really do this? Can I give up my control and self-sufficiency and really really surrender my will and my life over to the care of God?

Am I going to just admit where my best thinking has gotten me and just trust Him?

Am I going to accept the grace I can’t control?

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When the attitude changes

It seems like I turned into a girl overnight…at 45 years old. It’s the weirdest thing yet not something I want to fight. First it was just wearing makeup, but then I suddenly decided I wanted to wear dresses. Yes. The girl who hated, HATED, wearing dresses as a kid likes to wear dresses now. How does that even happen? And sure enough, when I wear them to work, everyone thinks I have an interview. And no, I don’t have an interview.

dress

What I do have is a different attitude and I can only assume it is related to sobriety and working out a lot of issues affecting my view of myself. I still have a long way to go, but it’s amazing how much easier it is to travel just one day at a time. I was reading earlier, and I had gotten to a chapter with a title that included the phrase “return to sanity.” It led to a short office discussion in which I stated that returning to sanity insinuates that you actually had sanity at some point. I will also point out that I was reading about home organization not any 12 step material. Although, the last chapter of the book referenced the founding of AA which had me look at the book from a different perspective.

Regarding sanity and it’s role in organization or lack thereof, I also had a conversation recently regarding the disorganization of my house. I’ve known my house was out of control for years, but I never really saw it as it really was. Just as I took action on my own personal appearance, I have begun to take action on the appearance of my house. Truth be told, it has looked like a couple of drunks have been living in it. The kids’ rooms are complete wrecks because they learned housekeeping skills from a couple of drunks who made minimal (if any) effort to keep a clean and orderly house.

Given the state of our house and my change in attitude, I decided that the house is getting cleaned up one way or another. I had purchased 30 Days to a Clean and Organized House a few months ago, and with that as a guide, went after my family. Because, you know, if I’m the only one working and there are 3 other people living in that house, it should be clean. CLEAN! I gave the kids a week to get their rooms cleaned up or else I was turning the internet off. Chad asked for an extra day, but he got it done and his room was by far the worst in the house. In the meantime, I cleaned up my office, the landing upstairs, the master bathroom, and got a big chunk of the master bedroom done. James got the kitchen deep cleaned, and a lot of the living room. The only reason Jamie still has internet is because I cannot currently remember the admin password to the router.

“Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.” – Alcoholics Anonymous.

Finding a new way of life – and living it – will change your attitude, and the way you live life. Miracles happen, and promises come true.

Veteran’s Day #NaBloPoMo

I hated formations. I would do everything I could to get out of a formation. When I couldn’t, I was generally irritable and borderline (if not outright) belligerent. I knew there was some real work I could be doing rather than standing until my toes went numb. There was one when I was overseas that pissed me off to no end because while it was done with good intentions, the execution had the opposite effect. Because really, who wants to get up on the 4th of July and go stand in formation in order to improve patriotism. In “peacetime.” Having a lack of respect for a authority (which is not one of my good character traits), I pushed the envelope for that one. I dug out the worst uniform I owned which was one of my initial issued ones from basic, which I had worn at my first duty assignment. The pants were more faded than the shirt because that was one of the distinguishing marks of working in a combat comm unit in Oklahoma. You spent a lot of time outdoors in the heat with the BDU blouse off in just a tshirt. I found the worst looking BDU hat to wear, and probably found some mud to wade through and stick to my boots. Several of us carpooled, and so SSgt Nemec had 2 specialists and a senior airmen with her. I went all out to be a good role model. ;) When we got ready to leave, our division superintendent and commander were standing right in front of my car having a conversation. I said something like, “Hey y’all. Watch this!” I popped in a CD, skipped to the song I wanted, cranked up the volume, and blasted Fortunate Son. Despite that boldness, I was too scared to look as was Darrel and Val. But Emily looked, and gave a great description of the reaction. The commander pretended nothing was happening, but the superintendent’s jaw dropped in complete disbelief. Score! But, after all that, all of us disgruntled soldiers and airmen went to Pop Bellies for breakfast which made getting up worthwhile.

Fast forward a year later, and I still hate formations. And we all got tagged with one we couldn’t get out of. By all, I mean the entire organization, just like the 4th of July one. Only it was a workday, but a Friday, and this one required service dress/class A’s. Darrel managed to break something, so he had to stay and fix it while the rest of us dutifully gaggled up in front of headquarters. Now the occasion for this one was this. Every year the 303rd Bombardment Group who were based at RAF Molesworth during World War II would travel back to the UK for a reunion. That year was going to be their last reunion since it was so much harder for them to travel at their age. So the powers that be decided the JAC should greet them as they arrived. I was tired of standing long before they finally arrived. Let me tell you, I was not prepared for what I was about to be a part of. Yes, my uniform was sharp because I didn’t have crappy looking blues. My shoes were clean and shiny. And I snapped to attention and a sharp salute. What I wasn’t prepared for though was what I was about to see. I don’t know how many cars and buses drove through us. I have no idea how many WWII vets were in them. But there were a LOT, and I don’t think there was a dry eye among them. I know my eyes were leaking. I was filled with such pride to be able to honor those men – the heroes who made it. It was so humbling to watch those tear-filled men salute us back, and I was and still am so glad I didn’t get out of that one.

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Because of that one, I didn’t balk at going to the Memorial Day service the following year at Cambridge American Cemetery. Talk about another humbling experience. To walk among so many men who didn’t make it back. Utterly heartbreaking.

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Today I specifically want to remember family members who served before and with me. I don’t think there was a war since our countries founding that I didn’t have an ancestor serving in. Unfortunately, I can only put names to those since WWII. I have multiple uncles, cousins, in-laws, and a niece who have served in each branch. It’s great that my husband and I are among so many veterans among our families.

I’m going to try a little something #NaBloPoMo

Since I didn’t blog at all in October (I did do a lot of journaling), I thought I would give NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) at try and see if I can actually blog every single day in November. And to start it off, I’m going to recap October – mostly in pictures. ;)

My therapist told me I needed to get away an chill out because I was winding down September about to breakdown. So I spent the first weekend in October in and around Wilmington because what better way to chill out than on the beach!

Beach therapy. #beach #sand #ocean #sun

A photo posted by Martha (@dragonlady42) on

I hit a small beach at Ft Fisher, and there was hardly anyone down there but fishermen. That was fine as I wasn’t going in the water anyway because the red devil went with me to the beach. It was a good chance to relax, and had a friend tell me when I got back that I looked at lot better than I did before I left. I really enjoyed doing what I wanted when I wanted. I even enjoyed getting sunburned in October.

Um, ouch. #burn #worthit #yesiaminpajamasat5pm

A photo posted by Martha (@dragonlady42) on

Then I got called out by my daughter’s therapist for my avoidance, and after making a remark to Petra, she told me I needed to call my sponsor. Of course I didn’t. ;) But, I did make a plan to stop avoiding and had a family meeting and made Jamie get her learner’s permit.

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She also started crocheting again and I took this hat.

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Looks like I’m wearing my thug eyes.

I’ll finish this off with Halloween. Chad was the Ultimate Warrior, and I failed to get a picture of him. Jamie was an Adventure Time character, but since I didn’t get a shot of Chad, I won’t post that one. I, however, decided to go as Stevie Nicks. The $6 Walmart wig doesn’t really capture her hair in any era, but the witch dress kind of hearkened back to the White Album/Rumours era when combined with the top hat.

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Warner Bros Records

Warner Bros Records

Ok, perhaps I didn’t pull it off. Oh, well. People just thought I was a witch, and that’s ok. One of the baristas asked me where my broomstick was. Haha! 12 hours was way too long to wear a wig and I had a splitting headache by the time I got home.

There was a lot in between the beach trip and Halloween, but that all went into my journal. And therapy sessions.

So we will see if I can pull off this whole blog post a day thing in November.

New babies

Since I haven’t been able to motivate myself to actually write anything, here are some cat pictures since Amber hatched again over the weekend.

Newborns:

She had one more after that:

And her remaining 2 from first litter just because:

Adventures in Arkansas

I really should have sat down and written last night when I had things to say. Or at least made a note of what I wanted to write about like I suggested to Petra. Haha! But in my defense, I was sick as a dog from the flight back from Arkansas. But Enterprise hooked me up with a sweet rental car:

I almost didn’t make that trip. I really didn’t want to. I didn’t want to face my mom’s health issues because avoidance is my default action (or inaction as it were) when I can’t practice full on denial. But I plucked up the courage to do it anyway. Oh my word. Her short term memory is completely gone. She had a stroke while she was in the hospital recovering from pneumonia (and she has COPD), and while the memory issues could be attributed to Alzheimer’s, her inability to say the right words is not something she had prior. It was hard. Hard to listen to and watch her struggle to get out what she wanted to say, and hard to figure out what she meant. But she gets around fine, and I wore her out! Because that’s how I roll. ;) She’s in the nursing home for rehabilitation, and they let me check her out and run her around.

I took her to the Veteran’s Walk of Flags by the hospital first. We did not walk the whole thing.

But my cousin Sharon was interviewed later that day while she was there:

Flags Flying for Veterans In Morrilton Today

It is such a beautiful and humbling display, and I feel honored that I now have a flag among so many others. I am so very grateful to Sharon for making sure all the Eoff family veterans got flags.

Then we went out to the Bishop family reunion and I didn’t take a single picture of any of my family. :( I did take one down at the creek:

Because the reunion isn’t just complete without a walk down to the creek. It was the thing to do when I was a kid, and it still is at 44. Not that I got off the bridge because the possibility of falling and getting wet doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Mainly because I didn’t want my phone ruined. haha! But I had a great time, and didn’t get glutened. Mom seemed to know everybody and that was great! I had a good talk with my sister-in-law even if it was short and kept semi on the down low given what I shared with her. And throughout the weekend I got to have really good visits with family and a couple old friends and my mom’s neighbor. And then after I dropped Mom off Saturday night and left the nursing home, I drove around town and bawled.

Now, I don’t like to fly, and have been terrified of flying since 1999. So as I drove up to RDU to leave, I thought I would try a little something different than I normally do. See, normally the DragonLady doesn’t get on a plane sober. Granted, last summer I flew sober, but I was a wreck the whole time. This time, drinking wasn’t an option I was willing to entertain so I prayed and asked God to remove my fear of flying. You know, it worked. I was not at all scared coming or going. Even with the turbulence and thunderstorms around Charlotte. And no, I didn’t ask God to give me a good rental car. That was pure bonus. hahaha!

You can’t hear if you’re not listening

There is a story behind that picture. I was scheduled to play at church this past Sunday, and there were several emails throughout the week regarding the song lineup. The first had to do with one particular song (video below) that only really had 3 instrumental parts: drums, bass, and keyboard. Bradford said that I would be playing keyboard. I laughed at that part of the email. He added not to worry that the keyboards would be tracked, and I just had to look like I was playing. Which made me laugh more because if I could fake playing a trumpet in college, I could definitely fake play keyboards. After listening to the song I thought that if I still had a keyboard and the time to practice (and the sheet music), I could have played it for real. But people thought I was really playing. Those who mentioned to me how cool it was that I play keyboards too got to hear the truth that I was keysyncing (like lipsyncing). And that was the only song I didn’t screw up. :cheesy: And I was glad to do it because otherwise I would have only been doing vocals, and I couldn’t do the clapping right. Plus clapping hurts my hands. Regardless, it gave me something to do with my hands.

Before rehearsal last Thursday as Bradford led us in a devotional, he summed up Pastor’s Nate’s sermon from the previous Sunday (which I missed).

Just because God is silent does not mean He isn’t active.

My experience has been that whenever I am going through a hard trial or a period of depression, God is not only silent, but He seems absent. I feel like I am completely alone and overwhelmed. Once it passes, I can then see that God was there the whole time working while I was wallowing in fear and/or self-pity. I’m starting to see, or hear, that He isn’t always silent in the pit.

I usually have ministry hangover the day after I play at church. Yesterday was no exception, and life compounded it. I felt it when I (finally) got out of bed, and I started praying while I showered. My shower is my “prayer closet” because generally speaking, I can be alone without interruption. This is also why I named my shower “the confessional.” So I was praying and as it progressed, I began praying about my self-will. I don’t remember what I asked, but I remember hearing the answer. I have already been set free.

Jesus is stronger than my self-will.

I have a hard time remembering that. Partially because of self-will. Partially because of bad theology. But hearing it helped. I immediately felt peace. And then life reared its head again, and the peace was gone. But over and over and over all day, I went back to my prayer time and reminded myself of what God spoke to me, and it got me through.

Pastor Benji said something during his sermon Sunday morning that really made an impression on me.

If I didn’t already know what the Bible has to say about my self-will, I don’t think I would have heard God’s voice as I did.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26 ESV)

But additionally, I don’t think I would have heard it if I hadn’t been willing to hear something that might not be what I want to hear. Nor do I think I would have heard it if I wasn’t willing to give up my self-will. And I wouldn’t be willing to give up my self-will if living according to my will worked.

Living the dream

One line. At :28. By Blair. :)

So there I was right, on my way to the dentist to get my permanent crown when I had a thought. The thought was 2 years in the making, but I was finally going to go through with it. Probably. To ensure I would, I texted Petra to see if she had anything going on. See, it also wasn’t something I was going to do solo. haha. She didn’t so I told her what I was planning, and she was all like “I gotta see this!”

I decided to get my nose pierced.

I’m pretty sure we had discussed it before, but it seemed to genuinely shock her. But, she was going to base her decision on my experience.

With his finger all up in my nose. :)

With his finger all up in my nose. :)

What is up with that spare tire I am carrying around?

What is up with that spare tire I am carrying around?

Oh. My. Word. At least he warned me about what to expect. The actual piercing didn’t really hurt that bad. It was getting the ring in that was the issue. You know, because I’m not going to be normal. I have really thick cartilage. So it took some work to get the ring in. Then Petra says, “You have blood on your boob.” Wait. What? When he got the bleeding pretty much stopped and I looked down, I was all like “Holy crap!” It wasn’t just on my boob. It was all down my shirt. I said I was going to wear it to rehearsal like a badge of honor, but I didn’t. I changed.

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We both wished she had gotten a shot when the needle was sticking through. And it was a HUGE needle. I commented that it was like blood donation needle. Because it was. Petra now refuses to get her nose pierced. I called her a puss. I mean really. She’s had 7 kids. What’s a big needle through the nose? ;) She’s getting tattoos first though. If she has no reaction to the ink, then I will feel it’s safe(ish) to get one. And maybe by then I will figure out what I want. Besides the mushroom cloud tramp stamp, that is. ;)

This is hilarious!

H/T to Stephen Altrogge.

Random Randomness of Random

I should just go ahead an announce a blog hiatus because every time I have ever done that I’ve been able to write. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write, it’s just organizing thoughts into something coherent. Of course, there will be no coherency in this post just because. ;)

I took off work Friday so I could take the hubster to court. Told him early in the week that I had the day off. Late Thursday night he informed me that he had another ride. Alrighty then. He nearly got arrested due to the county rescheduling and not letting anyone know but him. So he goes back in June and I will not be his transportation this time.

Since I had the day, I took care of some bidness at the insurance agent, and went to Chapel Hill to pick up my race packet for the Tar Hell 10 Miler.

I love how fancy it’s all personalized. More on the race later.

I was a little hungry and definitely thirsty, so I stopped in Pittsboro at Chatham Marketplace, and they had what I wanted. I decided to have some fun and sent my sponsor a text saying, “So I picked up a 6 pack for lunch…” I followed that up with this pic:

6-pack

After eating the second one, I sent Petra a text saying that I had just had a mouthgasm. Yes, it was that good.

About the 10 miler. I woke up at 4:30 am with abdominal cramps from hell. Same thing happened about a month ago. So rather than treating it as a stomach bug, I took some ibuprofen and the pain was gone around noon. I don’t know what is up with that crap, or the hot flash from hell that had me up from 2-3:30 this morning. My knee is hurt also so there was a valid(ish) reason for not racing other than the fact that I haven’t run in so long I don’t remember the last time I ran.

After the meds kicked in Saturday, the good idea fairy showed up and convinced me that since it was such a nice day it would be a great idea to wash and wax my car. I’m pretty sure running 10 miles would have been less painful. 4 hours, and I am still sore today. I got some good sleeps that night and didn’t wake up until 9 yesterday.

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Oh, and Amber hatched Easter Sunday:

2 are already spoken for, thank goodness. She had 4, but one didn’t make it.

Enjoy your Monday.