Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Am Grateful For...


Signs? You might ask. Yes, signs.

I am thankful for the signs I was given this week. The following story is adapted from a status update I shared on Facebook:

Sign Number 1 
Most of you car owners have seen a similar sticker in your front window. It stays out of sight and out of mind behind the visor for the most part. My father however, ingrained into me the compulsion to make sure that the oil is changed every 3000 miles and before long trips. About a week ago, I noticed I was overdue for an oil change. I am usually very prompt in doing this, but have been very busy. I kept telling myself, I will do it tomorrow after school. However, every tomorrow would find me passing the exit for the service station, and I would magically somehow find myself pulling into my driveway without an oil change. This task would have to wait until "tomorrow." 

Next the right blinker started blinking too fast. I have experienced this before. I learned that is the blinker's way of telling me that a light bulb is out. (You don't realize how often you use that blinker until you have to hear that horrible sound over and over again.) I decided I could put it off a couple more days. However, quite frequently I would find that I was going down the interstate and  a state trooper would be traveling behind me. Had he noticed that I changed lanes without a turn signal? (I do use my signal, you just can't tell from behind.) By now, I have forgotten about the oil change, mind you. 

Then the heater started going in and out on the car. Sometime it would blow hot and sometimes it would blow freezing cold. With 30 degree temperatures coming I wondered how long I could put it off, but decided that the kids would eventually be in the car this weekend driving back from state championships in St. Louis and I better get it fixed. (I have not forgotten that darn turn signal though because it keeps chicka chicka chicking away each time I turn right or try to move to the right lane, ticking off a lot of motorists along the way I am sure.)

Tuesday, I remembered to take the proper exit and wound my way to my favorite mechanic, Don. Don first thought a baffle wasn't properly closing, then he decided it was low coolant because my radiator cap was leaky. I was so thankful that it was a simple procedure. (Simple = Less Expensive) The radiator just needed a flush, some more coolant and a new radiator cap.... Or so he thought...

...And now for the rest of the story... 

As Don was finishing the flush and testing the pressure, he found that the leak wasn't the radiator cap, it was the actual radiator. He called me out to the garage to show me the coolant that had spewed out of the radiator all over the shop floor. The radiator had a little crack in it. If my blinker hadn't been bugging me, and if I hadn't been freezing my tuchas off, I probably wouldn't have stopped at the mechanic, and we would have driven to St Louis (or at least tried to.) Thankfully, I was given enough signs and finally listened to them and got the car fixed. A new radiator at a trusted mechanic 5 miles from home is far better than a break down on the interstate three hours out of town.

I was then reminded of a story by a FB friend who said: 
Reminds me of the joke about a guy in a flood. First a cop comes and offers to drive him out. He says save someone else, the Lord will provide for me. Water rises and then a boat comes by and offers a ride. Again save someone else, the Lord will provide for me. Water rises and he is on the roof. Helicopter comes in and again he says save someone else, the Lord will provide for me. Finally he drowns and gets to the pearly gates. Upon arriving he asks God "Why didn't you save me?" God replies, I sent a cop car, a boat and a helicopter, what more did you expect me to do???
 Thank you God for the oil change sticker, annoying turn signal and lack of heat.

My question for you today is:
Tell me about a time you were given a sign. Did you ignore it or heed it? And what happened?

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL of you regardless of when or if you celebrate this holiday. I am thankful to have you as readers and friends.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why I Love the Internet

A while back an article was written by Nicolas Carr in the Atlantic that suggested that Google is making us stupid. (By the way, I had to Google who wrote it and found it on the research teacher's dreaded Wikipedia.)

I suppose there is some validity to his premise. I used to read an article or hear a story on the news and subconsciously must have known that I needed to remember it because it would have been difficult to find that information again without going to a library and digging through the Periodicals Index. As Google came along, if I heard or read something, I soon learned that I could just find it on the internet somewhere. In fact, my coworkers would often turn to me when they couldn't remember something, and I would use the right turn of phrase to get what they wanted. Then I found this "useful" site through an online friend that I could refer coworkers to when they had deep unsolvable questions. It is a valuable research tool. Check it out. I will wait.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Okay, so why does this come up today?? I was sitting at the computer this morning when a song started running through my head. It was a song that I hadn't heard in a very long time. I don't know if I learned it in school or if my brother learned it and came home singing it. It had an oriental tune and very simply said, "Chii chii papa, chii papa." There were words about teaching little birds to sing in spring. I wondered what would happen if I put in chichi papa and lo and behold I found what I was looking for. Well, sort of. I found a blog about a Japanese children's song. After reading that post, knew what to further look for and hoped to find a tune which I did here. It even included an English translation which had almost nothing to do with the words I learned as a child, but the tune was very similar. So I decided that this internet hunt can be deemed a success. Now I am looking for a playlist version, but in the meantime you can listen to the Nate Henricks tune that is on the playlist. (Oh, and Peggy's Playlist to the right has a group of children singing it at a school assembly. Not bad for a youtube video.)

Has the internet made me dumber? I don't know, I still hold a lot of information in my head, it is a lot of old information. I think I am going to have to beef up my brain with some real reading soon.

No art to post for today. I have a project running through my head for The Sketchbook Project . It is due by the end of January 2012 and I have some really fun ideas. Today, I plan on heading out to the craft store to pick up some heavy paper, but happily, now that the movers came I can go out to my garage and find some long awaited materials. I will share with you the some of the project when I am done.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pretty Colors on a Rainy Day

One more day and I will have completed my first full week at Wright Career College. I work Tuesday through Thursday. I think this will be a good thing and I see more opportunities possible coming in January so keep your fingers crossed. I would rather work full time at one job rather than part time at two jobs.

A couple of days ago I broke out the water colors and got to painting.

The first page started out as a sketch in my little book and I recreated it in my bigger book. It needs something, but it will be a good base for something else.

The last page is based off a photo that one of my friends shared on FB. The little bug caught my eye but even more eye catching was the dark orange of the pumpkin. I tried to capture that color on my page. I am really happy with this.

Tomorrow and Friday I will begin the shift from one apartment/house to another. They are basically the same apartment but the new one will have more windows, the laundry room downstairs instead of up, one less bathroom :-( but one more bedroom which is the most important thing. AND James will get to stay at his school.

I will get come back online on Saturday maybe when everything gets hooked back up.
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