Newsflash: "Jesus" Wept

Everyone knows that I don't refer to the Messiah as Jesus, but for the sake of discussing him with people who don't know his real Hebrew name, I'll use the term. There seems to be a belief among certain people that we are supposed to walk around in this world and not display our emotions no matter how much painful stuff we endure or how many atrocities we see. Society often deems anyone who displays his or her emotions as problematic, weak, or worse yet, some kind of crazy. It's normal for society to have those cold views, but I'm shocked to hear them coming from people who refer to themselves as followers of "Christ." Well, which Christ do such people follow? There is more than one, actually. There's the one in the Bible, and then there's the one who one person made up and millions follow. 

It's gotten so bad lately that people are afraid to cry anymore. Crying is such a natural thing to do. Emotions are such natural things to have, as well. Our Creator designed us with those systems, but nowadays, people expect us to shut them down or shut them off. 

This note is for the "Christians" out there who think that there's something wrong with crying when something hurts or getting angry when something is clearly ungodly. "Jesus" wept (John 11:35). He also got angry when he saw something ungodly being done (Matthew 21:12). Our Father got angry many, many times (Deuteronomy 9:8, Psalms 7:11, Ezekiel 25:17 to name a few). So how is it that we're supposed to follow our Father or our Messiah, but we're supposed to also stifle the very emotions that He displayed in Scripture?


Believers are allowed to cry. Heck, we're supposed to cry. It's rather unhealthy NOT to cry if something hurts. We're allowed to be angry, but it has to be righteous anger, and it's not supposed to involve retaliation. In other words, we're not supposed to do the same wicked thing back to a person that they do to us. We're not supposed to try to hurt a person like they hurt us. We're not supposed to be manipulative and "teach them a lesson." That doesn't mean we can't contact the authorities or take them to court or report an incident or what have you. We're just not supposed to punish people and play vengeance games. Vengeance is for Yah! Furthermore, we're supposed to forgive our brothers and sisters.

As far as crying goes, I'd be leery of a person who never cries. It'd make me wonder what kind of spirit was in that person that he or she had no warmth or compassion and couldn't feel pain. 

There isn't anything wrong with people who express their emotions. If we weren't supposed to express them, we wouldn't have them. I never said anything differently. I said that proving our love to Yah has nothing to do with feelings...because he outright states how he wants us to do so. I said that our mushy feelings about him aren't what prove our love for him. Don't get that statement confused with not having any emotions at all. 

My Associate Degree

UOP finally released my degree and sent me a nice pretty one. Yay! This little associate degree doesn't mean much to most folks, but it does to me. Considering what I was going through at the time, it's a miracle that I passed. By 2008, I had been through numerous emotionally devastating scenarios, almost died more than once, been raked through the coals, and had to "start over" several times. In fact, my middle name should be "start over" because it seems it's all I ever do. I'd love for Yah to send me a king who will love Him and me enough to where I don't ever have to do any more starting over. This king would be there for me and never leave my side. He'd protect me and cherish me and be my very best friend. Most importantly, he'd love and worship Yah and would be a good spiritual leader to me. 

Anyway, thanks UOP for releasing your death grip on my degree. I appreciate it more than you know. I have no idea what an Associate of Arts is good for these days (table cloth maybe), but I do have one, lol. 

My Quick Review of a Chevrolet Sonic

I took a long drive in a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic today. I’d been looking at cars for quite some time since the 2005 Monte Carlo rebuild. The car still makes it from point A to point B, but because of its age, it’s falling apart everywhere else except the motor now. It’s about time to let it go. 

I’m a Chevy girl, so I won’t even look at or test-drive anything that’s not a Chevy, not for any reason of any kind. I’m leery of “new” stuff, too. I don’t like the idea of digital gauges, computer chips, funny-looking keys that regular stores can’t reproduce, or possible dealer repair dependence. No sir, I don’t like that idea at all because I enjoy working on Chevys myself. The Sonic is a pretty new car with funny looking keys and such, but I took a ride in it anyway.

I liked the salesman a lot. I liked that he didn’t try to sell me something I didn’t want. As soon as I said I preferred Chevys, he stopped talking about Toyotas and whatnot. I like a salesperson who listens to what the customer wants instead of pushing whatever he or she likes on the customer. I like Chevys. That’s the end of the story. Period. The salesperson respected that.

The one I test drove was an LT hatchback model with a manual transmission (stick shift). I was super-excited to drive it because I missed driving manual vehicles. I hadn’t driven one in about 15 years though, so I knew I would be rusty. 

I was very rusty. In fact, the salesman wasn’t even sure if I could really drive a stick because of the way I acted at first. I was fine after a while. I was just used to my own car. It felt weird to be in something else at first. I needed a few minutes to wrap my mind around the sudden change.

Once I got a feel for the gears, everything was fine. Shifting was not a problem for me. I really liked the car, too. First of all, it had much more KICK than I thought it would ever have. I think I yawned at the specs (1.4-Liter turbo, 138 hp), but then the little engine that could wowed me down the road. 

I could really feel the difference and how heavy and burdened my Monte Carlo was after I drove around in the Sonic. It was very sporty, which was not at all what I expected from a subcompact hatchback. I always thought hatchbacks looked corny. I still have reservations about the sawed-off looking back, but I think I can get over them.  

I was very pleased with the vehicle’s performance. It took off so swiftly that I had to work my arm to keep up with the shifting. It was extremely zippadocious for a hatchback, and it had tinted windows to boot. 

The cabin was very quiet as I darted down the highway. I'm not sure if that's good or bad since I get tired easily these days.

The CD player worked, and there was an aux hole in case I wanted to hook up something else. It had Bluetooth too, but I couldn’t bother with hooking it up to my phone at the time.

The handling was superb, and the seating was comfy. It was spacious enough for me, but not so much for the tall salesman.

This Sonic had no recalls. My Monte had a recall, but it never acted up in the expected manner. It just refused to start from time to time, and I had to wait 10 minutes sometimes. 

I researched the Sonic before I even looked at it, and I saw the excellent reviews it had on US News and and such. I’m leaving another good one because it’s an amazing little snapper. It’s ideal for someone who likes a stick shift, is budget-conscious, and wants some punch out of the motor. It’ll provide a great workout for a frozen shoulder, too. 4.3 out of five stars. 

Sure Hope Work Is Good Today

Today was a pretty confusing and annoying day. I haven’t even gotten to work yet, but hopefully, things will be better there. One thing that irks me is that certain transcription companies I used to do contract work for keep contradicting themselves. Their style guide says not to correct the speakers' grammar, but then they get on the transcribers for making grammatical errors in the transcript. Huh?

When people talk on the phone, they don’t use correct grammar. When people speak to each other, they don’t use correct grammar. Thus, we don’t type correct grammar when we type a verbatim (or even a non-verbatim) transcript. Yes, grammar should be an issue when it’s an article, book, or email. It shouldn’t be an issue in a transcript if the speaker isn’t using correct grammar. I mean, it has to be one way or the other. Either the transcribers are supposed to correct the grammar, or they’re not. Which one is it? If they’re not, shut up. If they are, put it in the stylebook and ask them if they’re willing to work as editors for the low pay.


Almost Time to Ship Out

I am so thankful to Yah for providing me with a new place to live after I waited not-so-patiently all these years. The whole thing has definitely made me more appreciative of apartment approvals. I'll never take one for granted again. I'll tell you that much. I will treat it with the highest level of care and respect. If everything works out well, I will stay until it's time for me to move into a little house. I'll be ready to own a home this time. Hopefully, I'll have someone to share it with by then. I'm still praying and hoping for a compatible earthly husband, but I will understand if there isn't one in the plan for me. I'll be disappointed, but I'll be okay because I'll know that my Maker is my husband regardless (Isaiah 54:5).  

I did not move today because of Sabbath observance (moving activities=labor), but I was tempted to. Temptation always comes in one form or another every day. We just have to be strong and know when to pray for assistance. The apartment will be waiting for me after Shabbat. I did it in a way that I could take my time and move slowly without affecting my work schedule for the week or my energy level being that I'm so old and feeble. :-)

I met some of the neighbors yesterday and did a quick look around to see what was there. I love the setup. Everything I need is within two miles of the place. There's a Walmart (favorite store), KFC, Crystals, Walgreen's, pawn shop, thrift shop, several banks, auto repair shops, so forth and so on. There is a bowling alley nearby. The skating rink is 40 minutes away, but at least it's within my reach. 

I could technically walk everywhere else I need to go...except for work. Work is here in Hardeeville, but there's a store right next to the new apartment, ha-ha. If I ever do transfer, I won't have far to walk at all. I could almost literally roll out of bed and be at work. 

I'm not sure why things didn't work out for me as far as finding a place to live here in Hardeeville, but oh well. It seemed like every attempt that I made to get a place here got thwarted. The next-to-last straw was when someone showed me a townhome, hyped me up like I was going to get it, and then pulled the rug from under me after I got excited about it. The very last straw was when the low-income complex sent my application to the back of the pile and changed my move-in date to 2020. I wasn't willing to keep trying to beg Hardeeville to "accept me" and approve my request for a place. I had been in the same motel room for three years. No one should have to live like that with no resolution for three years.  

Eventually, I just figured that it just wasn't for me. I figured that Yah had a different plan for me. I'm still not a huge fan of change, so I don't like the idea of having to change any paperwork or anything. I guess I'll get over it, though. Hey, and who knows? Maybe I'll fall in love with the new area. I'll still be working in Hardeeville, so I'll see the town every day as long as I keep working here.  

Right now, I am going to start my Bible studies, prayers, and worship song creation. I'm still working on a song called "Hands up High." I'm super excited about finishing it. It's a straight-up praise song. Make no mistake about it. 

Ending Another Chapter

It's funny how you can sometimes get so used to something that's bad that you get a little anxious when it's time to change for the better. That's the way a lot of long-term struggles are whether they're relationship struggles, living struggles, or something else. If a person isn't careful, he or she can get comfortable in a bad situation and think that it'll never end. It will end, though. One just has to keep the faith.

I had to live in a motel room for three years. I stayed at the same place all three years and never missed a beat. Shoot, I stayed there so long that I almost forgot that I was living in a motel --'til some people reminded me just to be mean. 

I wasn't doing anything wrong. I wasn't living a bad lifestyle. In fact, I was living by Biblical principles the whole time. I just got stuck in the high rent/can't save cycle. I was earning enough to pay for the room, but I didn't have much left over afterward. So from on the outside looking in, it appeared to other people that I was either poor with money, or I had some secret vice or issue that was sucking up all my income. 

Nope. None of that. It really was the rent. I mean sure, I got some things that weren't necessities every once in a while, but they really had no bearing on the rent. Not buying them wasn't going to bring me any closer to an apartment approval. 

Actually, a lot of people get stuck in the motel room trap. Some people raise their children in them and have custody and everything. Property managers know that they can get away with charging people an arm and a leg too because they know they get stuck in the cycle. Rooms are much more expensive than apartments and mortgages are.

For me, it was about stability and showing that I could stay put and consistently pay the rent. I'd been doing it all my life, but for some reason, no one believed me?? Well, who the heck was paying my rent all my life then? I'd like to know that because I darn sure thought it was me. 

I never intended to stay in the motel past two years, but I kept getting rejected for apartments and homes! 

For years, I struggled to try to explain to potential landlords that I could pay the rent, but they kept telling me no, no, no, no, no, no matter what proof I showed them. Finally, I called a manager back after they denied my application, and I asked them why. You'll probably laugh when you read this, but the whole thing was a misunderstanding over my self-employment income. Yes, I have regular employment now, but I haven't been working there long, so they looked at the self-employment that I did for seven years prior to that. 

Well, my pay stubs have tricky wording that can lead the reviewer to believe that I only earn X-hundred dollars for the whole month instead of in one week. Once I realized how they were misinterpreting the wording, it was easy for me to understand why everyone told me no. 

So basically, I had to take some extra steps to show the income because the stubs were too confusing. I got approved, but I'm a bit overwhelmed. There's a lot of stuff to do. There's no way I'm passing this up, though. I think I've suffered in a motel room and dealt with its stigmas, stereotypes, and other issues long enough. 

It's a gorgeous place in a very good area, too. I only wish that I had gotten this before my middle son had decided to go into the military. I could have offered him to stay someplace decent until he was ready to go out on his own. But then again, everything happens for a reason. There's a reason I didn't get this until now and a reason that it's in a different town than I had my heart set on. Sometimes, the Heavenly Father has different plans for us than we have for ourselves. Oh well.  

The Real Me

Everyone who knows me knows I'm an artist, or at least they should know by now. Music is my first love in terms of art, then creative writing. Business marketing article writing was just something I did to pay bills. I didn't necessarily like it because it didn't allow me a lot of creative freedom. 

Music wasn't something I just decided I wanted to do when I was thirtysomething. It's just that no one paid me much mind, so they didn't really know what I was into. I started writing poetry and short stories at a very young age. I wrote my first song when I was about 14, but I don't remember it in my head. It was a rap song I'm sure, and I wrote it at a time when my cousins were breakdancing and whatnot.

I called the first one I can remember writing and recording "Take It or Leave It." I can still remember the music and my first five or six lines. I was 17 when I wrote that, and I was not living in my parents' home. I had a job, though, and my boss had a studio and made music on the side. He produced the song. I made some other ones inside of professional studios and continued to write music over the years, but you know the story of starving artists, right? I never made it my primary focus because there was just not much money in it. 

I got back into it hard in 2009. I technically made three CDs, but I didn't feel they were as good as they could have been. For one, I hadn't yet repented, so there was a lot of "extra stuff" in the songs that shouldn't have been there (cussing, anger, etc.). Secondly, I hadn't found my voice yet. Back then, I tried to do every kind of music, every genre, every pitch, etc. Some of it worked for me, and some of it didn't, but I didn't really have a distinctive voice that I could say was "the real me." 

The CD that I am working on now is one I'd like to leave as my musical legacy. It says a lot about who I am NOW and what direction I'm going in. I don't proclaim perfection, but I do proclaim that a lot of work has been done. I think I found my voice, too. I believe the deeper vocals are best for me. My productions still aren't the highest of quality, but hey, it is what it is. I can't make spectacular productions without the funding and equipment, right? 

The Real Me is the title to the album, and there's a song with the same name. Check it out. Just click the little play button on the player. If you want to know my lyrics, you can visit the SoundClick page. I wrote them there. They're not downloadable because they aren't the final cuts. I'm still in the process of re-recording and smoothing everything out. 

Not What I Expected

Today went in a totally unexpected direction. I didn't do anything I thought I was going to do, but I did end up doing stuff I wasn't supposed to do. First of all, my entire exhaust system is screwed up. I had no idea because, as I said, I don't go underneath cars. I crawled up under there today, though. I did it gangsta style with no jack or anything. 

Man, the hole is the least of the problems. Neither one of my mufflers is even connected to the pipe, lol. WTH? They've both snapped off. I'm not sure when it happened. It could have happened when I disconnected the exhaust from underneath the hood during the head gasket job. The weight of the pipes bearing down may have snapped the mufflers loose because they were old and rusty at the connection points. 

It could have also happened when those men helped me to connect the exhaust back to the car. I don't know. I wasn't under there until today. I knew nothing except for the unmissable hole. Those guys never said anything about what happened, which leads me to believe that it may have been them who did it, ha-ha. You think they would have said, "Say, uh, both of your mufflers have snapped off"? Lol, I don't think I would have gotten mad. I knew the ish was old. 

So I basically have two choices at this point: Pay someone several hundred dollars, or learn to weld before these pipes and crap touch the ground, lol. 

By the way, I'm not kidding about learning to weld. My motivation goes up when I'm having expensive car issues. If it's doable, I will figure out how to do it. I'll weld them joints back on with NO jack at all -- gangsta style, just crawl under there and grab them craps with my bare hands and burn 'em on. 

Seriously though, I'm not sure how mobile I'll be. I noticed that I didn't have much mobility in my right arm when I reached to touch the pipe, and I kind of need it if I'm going to tinker with the exhaust. I want to do this. I love a challenge. I actually want to weld them back on without using a jack. You know why? Because it's different, and it's acrobatic, and it's fun, and there's no fear because the car belongs to me. 

I'll watch some videos and then work on it when my time at the new job goes down. I think it'll be fine for a few more weeks, but it needs to be done soon. 

I found some awesome skirts at the Goodwill today. One of them had flowers on it. It's so pretty. I love my skirts. I needed some "new" ones because all my other ones had holes in them. I did sew them, but I'm not the best sewer. The patch jobs look like amateur jobs. 

Oh, and I heard that some "karma" came to someone who had wronged me. At first, I smiled, but I didn't really mean to bask in someone else's misfortune. It was more like an "I told you so" smile. Like I told you it wasn't me. But I actually hate for any of my brothers or sisters to see misfortune or get themselves into misfortune. Every time that happens, the devil wins a round. So no, I'm not happy for that individual's current plight. I'm sad it had to come to that, but then again, maybe Yah is calling that person. Sometimes he lets bad things happen, and they end up being good things. 

Tonight, for Shabbat, I am going to make a faith-based video about prayer. HalleluYAH! Studies, prayers, and rest after that. 

The Muffler Project

I just decided what I was going to do today on my day off. That's what we have to do when we work for other people. We can't just lounge, frolic, travel, and write articles whenever we darn well please. Nope. We have a schedule to which we must adhere. We lease ourselves out to a corporation, and such a corporation expects us to be there when they put us on the schedule. So... Today is my day off for myself to do whatever I want. Tomorrow is for Yah.

I've had a messed up muffler on my car for eons. Crap, it was probably like that when I first bought it in 2013, but I don't really know because I spent zero time looking at the bottom. That' the thing about me and cars. I'll try to tackle anything under the hood, but I don't mess with tires, brakes, struts, shocks, or anything that one has to get underneath the car to access. I don't even do my own oil change because it requires me to get under the car to remove the filter and drain plug. Nope.

I don't have many options with the muffler because the hole is so big, but I can't afford to really buy a brand new muffler and pay a shop to weld it on or bolt it on. I don't have several hundred dollars for the work. I just don't, and I mean, it is what it is.

I think I want to try a patch and wrap job. I'm good at rigging stuff and doing DIY projects. People hate me for it, but it works for me more times than it doesn't. I have to do what's best for me and my budget because no one else is going to assist me. I can't worry about other people and what they think. 

I think I'll drive to Lowe's and see if I can find a piece of sheet metal the right size. Then maybe I can find something to adhere the metal to the muffler -- something that can withstand the heat, of course. After I get that straightened out, maybe I can wrap something around it to sort of seal the deal. Hangers are quite ghetto, but they probably work. Maybe that'll be my project today.

I just have a funny feeling that if I try to take that muffler off and fool with the exhaust, I will have an issue. I remember the hell that I went through just disconnecting the part of the exhaust that's under the hood during that head gasket project. It was a miracle that none of those old rusty bolts broke. I don't want to make my situation worse by breaking something under there.

And yes, I do realize that I just said that I was going to attempt to do work that requires me to get under the vehicle. I'll take this as another "growth opportunity" to get over my fear of being underneath a vehicle. I'll buy goggles to protect my eyes and take a deep breath.

Other than that, I think I will go to the Goodwill and the gym. I have little time to get to the gym anymore, so I have to do it today. I'm not really complaining. I'm just still getting used to stuff. It's amazing how long I worked for myself and had no boss. It was a little difficult getting over my seven-year "Be your own boss" stretch. I liked it, but personally, I like when I have more structure. Sometimes one can have too much freedom to do absolutely nothing. One can also have so much "me time" that she forgets how to interact with the people in society. So I think going back to "regular" work was a positive thing. I'm still my own boss when I think about it. I can decide not to work for these folks at any time because it's "at will" work. Isn't at-will work the same thing I was doing anyway?

I needed the time to myself to heal and be away from drama, trauma, etc. I needed the time to get to know my Heavenly Father. I appreciated the time and the fact that it paid my bills and kept me okay until I was ready to go back.

I guess I better go now. I'd like to get some writing done before I go on my missions. Sunset is getting earlier and earlier, so my time to do things on Friday is getting shorter. Here's a rollback video from when I was working on the car. I guess you'll have to hit the play button to watch it.

I'm Happy With the Breast Reduction

  Here I am five days post-op, and I am delighted with the results. It's exactly what I wanted. Now, mind you, the breasts are still swo...