Saturday, December 30, 2017

Blog Post for the New Year: Breaking Down Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable

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“Hello, it’s been a while”. It is one of the lines from Janet Jackson’s latest album, Unbreakable which is part of a song by the same name, Unbreakable.  It has been a while. A failed blogmas’ as well as a failed vlogmas’ for this year, and yet, my world is “unbreakable”.
This is how this song speaks to me (grabbing the lyrics from the site,
“I lived through my mistakes
It’s just a part of growing
And never for a single moment
Did I ever go without your love
You made me feel wanted
I wanna tell you how important
You are to me, love.”
We have all made some mistakes, and it is what it is.  You are learning, and you cannot learn if you do not make any mistakes.  My pet peeve about a perfectionist is they will call out your mistakes, and some will even remind you that mistake every now and then. “Remember that time when you…”   It is really annoying.  My question to the perfectionist is “how am I supposed to learn if I do not make a mistake”? For those of you who are, please ponder that for a moment. 
Next part of the phrase…
I started this journey of blogging because I wanted a voice.  I was not mad at anyone, I simply wanted a voice.  That is all a person who blogs, or vlogs wants is a voice. What is that voice?  It depends on that person.  Some want to change the world around them, some want to voice their opinion about a subject they are passionate about, and some want to be silly, but they still have a voice.  It is the same thing when a person writes a piece of music or choreographs a dance, they are speaking their mind.  I never thought of this thing called writing and I certainly never thought of putting it out in public, the internet of all places.
For the people who have read my posts, I want to thank you.  I wish I had a small gift to give to each one of you, but I do not.  It does not matter if you spent one minute or an hour or two reading, that is good enough for me.  Google has a different idea, but I am not worried about that at all.  I have too much on my plate to do that. 
My readers are important to me.  They keep me going when I do not feel like it.  When I post a link to a blog post that I have written, it is for you to read.  I have my own journal for me to write and read from. It is written in the same program that I start my blog posts from, MS. Word.  I have several posts mentioning my process when I write a blog post.  You may do something different or the same.  I give advice mostly to people who want to get started in writing, crafting, or whatever I decide to write about.
Verse 1:
“Truth is, truth is that I wouldn’t be here
Without the love I stand on
Anytime I get lost in the world
You’ll always be there
To care and share
In the joy and the pain, oh
Our love won’t change.”
Love of God, family, and friends is what I am all about.  I do not think that I could have survived without that love.  God brought me into this world through the help of my parents.  I am their only birth child.  I have a brother who was adopted at age 4 months, and through him, I have 2 nephews (21 years and 7 years old).  I have a foster sister, who I still call my sister, although she has plenty through her birth parents.  Through her, I have a nephew who is 10 years-old, and a niece, who is 9 years-old.  I also have various friends who I call my sisters and brothers, mostly through my church.  Do I wish that I had birth brothers and sisters?  I have two birth sisters who are in heaven, and at first, I did miss that bond to have someone to share my DNA with.  I went through that period when I was ages 10-16 years, but then I began the process of being thankful for who I have in my life.  I could have been a foster child myself, never have known these people who I call mom and dad.  I also could have been born in an abusive home like my foster sister. 
When you think back on your life, what do you think of?  I think of the joy and pain that Janet speaks about in this verse.  Do not think about the joy or the pain in your life, but think about all of it.  What molded you into the person you have become, even if you are a teen reading this right now?  I am so glad that my grandparents were praying grandparents, and in turn, made my parents praying parents.  Not only for the bad things but thanking God for the blessings that this family was and still able to enjoy, as well as getting us through the rough patches in our lives.
And what I share with you
Ever sacred, everlasting
The greatest love for me
I love you
And it’s pure
And it will endure
The world can’t break down
The connection
Cause our love is divine
And it’s unbreakable
Even though this is a secular song, I feel this chorus is God speaking to me and that His love is everlasting, very pure, and very sincere. (I was going to put another word there, but I do not want it to be misinterpreted to something more).  Even though God is a jealous God, meaning do not put anyone else before Him, he loves you like nothing else.  After all, He made us.  (Sorry, for those who believe otherwise, these are MY beliefs, and nothing you can say to change my belief).  When you make something, you cherish it, and you will do anything to protect it.  This is how God feels about us.  He sent His son, Jesus for that reason, among many reasons.  When Jesus died, He sent a comforter to look after us until He comes again.  It is a divine love that stands the test of time and space.
Verse 2:
Faithful love that I will always keep first
My heart will never be hurt
Family that walks through fire for me
So I don’t get burnt
Fans and friends chime in
To a love that’s true blue
I dedicate myself to you
I have nothing to say about this verse.  This is all Janet, and I said my peace in the first verse.  Family comes first after God.  I do have this to say, it is the reason why I have been absent from blogging.  With my parents’ health, it was important to me to tend to their needs.  (See Lesson 1:  Being a Dutiful Daughter) Next, it was important for me to take care of myself.  If I am not at my best, how can I take care of them?  I am not going to lie to say I have had a couple of financial issues through the year, and my parents have helped me with that. 2018 will be better, but I cannot say for my parents and their health.  Mom almost had a scare before Thanksgiving, but it is under control.  I pray nothing comes up while I am gone for a week with neither parent.
Cause our love is defined
And it’s unbreakable
Cause our love is defined
And it’s unbreakable
This is a repeat to let you know that God’s love is defined, and it is unbreakable

(I found a friend)
(I found a friend)
It’s been a while
(I found a friend)
Lots to talk about
(I found a friend)
I’m glad you’re still here
(I dedicate myself to you)
I hope you enjoy
I was going to take out the words in the parentheses, but it takes away from the song itself, so I left it in because I have found a friend.  I may not know you, but I do consider you a friend, a reader, a fan, a viewer, whatever you want to be to me. 
So, I have come full-circle, back to the beginning of this post, “Hello, it’s been a while.  Lots to talk about.  Glad you are still here.  I hope you enjoy.”  2018 is going to be one of my best years, and I want to take you along with me.  I am leaving 2017 behind, having learned from it, and having dealt with all the stuff that came with it, both the good and the bad.   My life is far from perfect.  This is your takeaway for the evening and the year that was 2017.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Blogmas day 5: Behind already, Yikes!

Welcome to Blogmas day 5, and no formal intros, except the one with me making the announcement that I am doing one.   How silly of me?
Let’s see….
First off, there is the preparation of getting ready for Blogmas and Vlogmas (Heh, did I mentioned I was doing that too?)  I did not realize that there is so much prep work going into these things.  There is the mental prep and the emotional prep.  You must be ready to think on your feet at all times.  Heh, no problem.  OK, did I also mention that I have my normal Christmas, plus a cruise to prepare for?  Yep, that’s me in a nutshell, always ready to think at the last minute on how I am doing something.  You would think that in the nine years of blogging I would be prepared mentally, and really I am, but it is the organizational part that worries me.  Don’t worry, I will do fine.  I am getting used to this all over again.  I would not be doing this if I thought I could not handle it. So that is the end of that subject.  On to the next thing smoking.
Shopping for decorations
This is a tip for those of you who, say, misplace your decorations from one year to the next, or have very little to would with:  Dollar Tree and 50% off sales.  
50% off sales have been going on (at least in the United States) for a couple of weeks, and you have to act fast.   I was late this year because I was a late bloomer (meaning I am now discovering this myself).  I went to Hobby Lobby Saturday looking for the sales.  It also helps that I was out of money as well. The shelves were almost empty when I got there.  I am looking for a color scheme of red and silver, with maybe a touch of blue here and there.  I am abandoning my traditional colors of burgundy and gold, with a touch of mauve or rose pink, whichever color name you choose.  It is only for this year (maybe). My plan is to look at Michaels this week. 
Unless you plan on keeping your decorations year after year, including the same color scheme. Dollar Tree is your friend.  In fact, this store is your BFF.  I have found more items that are as good, if not, a little better than name brands.   Now, a word of caution:  There are some items, like electronics, I do leave to the bigger brands like Target and Walmart, but since I am a crafter, I will upcycle the item.  That is another tip:  Upcycle when you can. I plan on posting this as one of my Vlogmas Videos, hopefully, this week. 
When you upcycle a less than perfect product, there are some tools and supplies you will need:
·         Adhesive
o   Wet Glue
o   Tape runner
o   Painter’s tape (blue- I use 3M)
o   Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
o   Double-sided tape (I use Scor-Tape, although there is a cheaper tape at Tuesday Mornings
o   Scotch Tape
·         Stapling gun (one for light projects and one for heavier projects like wood)
o   Staples
·         Paint
o   Gesso
o   White paint
o   Black paint
o   Mediums
§  Gel-to dilute the paint, available in Gloss, Semi-Gloss, and Matte.  You can also use Gel mediums to adhere things to the paper or other materials
§  Texture-to modify the texture of the paint.  Use as Modeling paste, which can be sanded or painted on. Use also with pastels,
§  Flow increase- it allows the paints to flow better on the canvas or wood
§  Slow drying- it allows you to blend colors.  The reason is acrylic paint dries fast, allowing you more time to blend your colors.
·         Paper-I will not go into the different types, but this is something you will need on hand.
·         Fabric-same advice.
·         Sewing machine.  Some people like to upcycle clothing
·         Scissors
·         Markers and pens
These are the basics.  I will have more in a future post or Vlog.
More Decorations…..
I mentioned that I am on a last-minute hunt for decorations.  I went with my folks to look at the different neighborhoods in the city at lights.  We have done it each year when I was a child, and for some reason, I want to start that tradition with my niece and nephews.  Tonight, was not a good night to look, everyone does not have their lights up.  We will try again later.
My plan is to keep the Blogmas blog post short and sweet.  I also will not put a takeaway element at the end of Blogmas posts unless, I decide to combine the two.
Have a good evening.