Just practicing my new British lingo.  Cheers! Brilliant! Tea and Biscuits. Take the roundabout, third exit.  Fancy a lie in?

And did you know that the Traditional English Breakfast includes baked beans and sauteed mushrooms?  Well now you are in the know.

Our family recently returned from the UK where Taylor’s band was on a summer tour.  It was wonderful for our family to be able to experience this together!  Courtney filmed every show, and she edited a couple of videos for the band.  Our return flight from London was oversold, and the airlines bumped Courtney and I up to Business Class.  OMG!  Real silverware, plates, and glasses… WARM scones and butter!!!  It was divine, and the funny part was that Keith, Taylor, and three other band/crew dudes looked like hammered shite when the flight was over, and Courtney and I were fresh as daisies.  🙂

The band toured Europe earlier this year and did one show in Manchester, England.  This tour was all in the UK, and the band was very well received by the audiences, so they have built a good fan base there.  Here is a video Courtney made of my favorite song on this tour.  It was their most heavy rock song, and Taylor makes full use of his luscious locks.  A bit of the right side of the video is cut off because I couldn’t get it to fit properly on my blog page.  The song is called All I Need, and it says, “All I need is something for shelter.”  We all look for a refuge, a place of shelter in our lives.  Those blessed with an assurance of God’s love and blessed with loving family and friends have found that shelter, but many in this world search frantically for a safe, secure place in life and never find it.

Published in: on August 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm  Comments (8)  

Magna Cum Laude and CJD Loud

Taylor’s band will be touring the UK in July.  13 shows in 13 days!  

Courtney graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design on June 4, 2011 with a degree in Film &  Television.  Woo Hoooo!!!

Published in: on June 10, 2011 at 7:02 am  Comments (9)  

First Music Video

Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm  Comments (6)  

The Latest Happenings

It’s been a busy time lately for our family.  Taylor’s band posted their first music video.  The band is finishing recording their last songs for their first album. Courtney and I were in Orlando for the first few days of recording then we drove back to Savannah last night. She is working hard to complete her final film project.  Graduation day is June 4th, and our family will be here to celebrate with her!

Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm  Comments (4)  

Assaulted at Walmart

Most of you have probably seen those funny emails with supposedly random photos taken of some ghastly looking people at Walmart. We’re not talking about women without makeup or men with beer bellies or any common, unflattering sights. We’re talking about hard core ocular assaults perpetrated by people who apparently are unaware of the invention of mirrors. I’m sure many of the photos are staged for the purpose of getting a laugh, but the Walmart that I frequent has some genuine specimens. The elderly,  tattooed woman who assaulted my eyes yesterday is a prime example. When she came into my field of vision, I quickly averted my eyes for fear of blindness, but relief was cut short by a 400-pound Elvis, with bushy sideburns and a bejeweled shirt. To be fair, I think the guy was probably going to or coming from some kind of office party or something where he was hired to make everyone laugh, at least I hope that was the case. The rest of my shopping excursion was uneventful until I reached the checkout line.  In the checkout line beside mine stood a tall man whose shiny, bald head was tattooed with flames shooting from his ears backward.  He was a good looking man, dressed normally and with no other oddities to speak of, but those dang flames!!! What in tarnation is going on??!! These are unprovoked visual attacks, and they are increasing. I’m wondering if I should knock them or join them. I’ve always fancied spiking my hair and wearing a pair of Daisy Dukes, a tube top, and six-inch stilettos to Walmart.  How about you?

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm  Comments (14)  

Expand Your Vision

Rev. JD here with a motivational message about reaching your dreams and expanding your vision to things greater than yourself. Each person has natural talents just waiting to be honed and used. This does not stop with age, so if you are an old fogey, you are not off the hook. No matter what age you are, you still have dreams and should be setting goals, even if they are small.  But don’t stop there, because the point of our lives should not be self-centered, but expanded outward.

My daughter is doing a film for her senior project, and she could have chosen to do the film on anything.  Because of the life and death of a darling little girl named Bailey, Courtney was inspired to do a documentary film on childhood cancer using a unique idea of giving kids their own cameras to help them tell their own stories.  So much has happened as a result of this project, and just last week, she was asked by Texas Children’s Cancer Center to do the same thing for them after she graduates that she is doing for her senior film.  She is reaching her personal goals of filmmaking, and expanding her vision to things greater than herself.  This is, I believe, the key to true fulfillment in life:  using our God-given talents not only to reach personal goals but to experience the joy of living an expanded life vision.

My son has been strumming a guitar and dreaming of being in a great rock band since he was a little feller.  His dreams are at the start of being fulfilled, and his band had an amazing first tour.  They partnered with a wonderful organization called To Write Love on Her Arms whose goal is to provide hope and help to young people suffering with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. A rep from this non-profit organization flew from New York and toured with the band.  She was able to promote the organization from the band’s merchandise table and spread the word of hope and help.  The band and TWLOHA organization are working to collaborate more in the future and bring  help to thousands of young people.  True personal fulfillment comes from being who God made us to be and then using whatever success we achieve to make a difference in ways that are greater than ourselves.

This principle is true for you, your kids, and your grandkids. You can attend a class to reach a goal, then help someone in that class by offering them a ride or money for a meal.  You can write a letter of encouragement or brighten someone’s day by sending them flowers. You can guide your kids and grandkids to take whatever natural skills they have and urge them to work hard to improve them and set goals for themselves.  Tell them to reach for the stars! Then encourage them to look for ways to turn their lives outward so they don’t become self-absorbed.  I truly believe that when we live this way that we smile, and most importantly God smiles. And everybody said… AMEN!

Published in: on March 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm  Comments (14)  

What’s a Crumpet?

In England, they call chips crisps, fries chips, and cookies biscuits. They spell many words differently than Americans do such as tyres, defence, colour, centre, and programme. They say aluminium (five syllables), and I say aluminum. A stove top is called a hob. I asked if the word hob stood for something, like Hot Oven Burners. I was looked at strangely, and frankly told, “It’s just called a hob.” Okay then, moving on…

They also don’t have many actual intersections on their roadways.  They have roundabouts instead.  Speaking of roads, theirs are WAY too skinny.  Why do they not make the roads wide enough for two cars?  Driving is like going through a gauntlet, very nerve racking, which is why I haven’t driven here yet.  I witnessed my first incident of road rage here when a trucker yelled out his window, “Fu**ing wanker!”  British charm at its finest. They have cool traffic lights that go from red to yellow to green, then from green to yellow to red.  You get a warning that it’s about time to stop and one that it’s about time to go.  Instead of Yield signs, theirs say Give Way.

My favorite sign so far is one I saw in London that said Good Behaviour Zone. (Note the spelling of behavior. I love all these little differences.)  A crumpet looks just like an English muffin, only a little thicker.
Monday night we board a ferry to Belgium to begin the tour!
Published in: on February 12, 2011 at 7:00 am  Comments (11)  

I Rest My Case

Need I give any more proof that this 600 year hotel is very much like a carnival fun house?  I give you the hallway:

I cannot stand fully upright in this hallway.  Please don’t tell The Reverend, but that jackhammer toilet I told you about was hammering away yesterday morning whilst I was brushing my teeth.  (No, I wasn’t brushing my teeth in the toilet.  The hammering happens when the sink water runs too or for no reason at all.)  I heard a plop and looked over to see that his hairbrush had taken a swan dive off the shelf and landed in the toilet.  I retrieved it, rinsed it with hot water, and replaced it as if nothing was amiss.  Luckily for him, it was not his toothbrush!  All of my toiletries are kept far away from that beast of a commode!  If you are so inclined, I have uploaded pics to my flickr page of things I’ve found interesting here.  I have yet to add the pics of the interesting road signs which I find delightful.  I’ll add more pics every couple of days or so.  Here’s my flickr link:

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm  Comments (5)  

Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen

Our first four nights in the UK were spent in a lovely apartment with high tech everything.  I had to use a manual to learn how to work the stove.  The refrig, dishwasher, and washer/dryer were hidden behind those lovely kitchen cabinets.

The shower was SO high tech, that after experiencing scalding of the flesh and uncontrollable water squirting in all directions all over the bathroom floor, The Reverend got online to look up the shower maker, then he drew a diagram for us to follow to reduce the frustration of showering.  Here is the diagram:

We are currently staying in the worst hotel we have ever endured.  It is over 600 years old and looks as if no renovations have taken place except in the downstairs restaurant and pub.  This is very deceiving.  When one decides to stay here, one knows not the hideousness of the upper floors, and the cost is more than the high tech apartment!  Alas, we had no other choice, other than sleeping in the train station, since the other hotel in town was fully booked.  How I long for the days of manuals and diagrams. Now, we have no in room phones or clocks, the toilets sound like jackhammers (and not just when flushed, but at unexpected times out of the blue as I found out the hard way upon my first sitting), the doorways are so low that The Reverend and Tater Tot’s foreheads have taken a beating, the bath towels are always damp (Do they NOT have an adequate dryer?!) and the worst thing of all is that ALL the floors tilt.  When I say all, I mean ALL.  Taylor put a water bottle against a wall, and the bottle rolled down to the bed.  It’s like staying in some kind of carnival fun house.  If you think I am exaggerating, just look at how much the floor lamp tilts.

If I sound like I’m complaining, I’m not.  We’ve laughed our fool heads off, and all of this is making our trip memorable.  The only thing terribly missing is that we don’t have our Courty Ree with us, since she is at school. I did one touristy thing so far:  I toured St. Alban’s Cathedral. Taylor’s band, *Crown *Jewel *Defense, has kept us busy, and I will write more about *CJD in a later post. For now, I will leave you with an image from the glorious cathedral.

Published in: on January 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm  Comments (6)  

Indestructible Croutons

Last night, Courtney was snacking on some croutons whilst she and I chatted by phone.  All of a sudden, she realized they were not ordinary, run of the mill croutons.  No, she was feasting on the most amazing croutons ever made!  Long after you and I have turned to dust, these indestructible croutons will remain.  They are not ordinary croutons.  Five hundred or even one thousand years from now, humans can open a bag of these croutons, made in our present day, and they will find them still crispy and delicious.  If you don’t believe me, check out the expiration date on these extraordinary croutons:

My next post will be from London, England.  We are incredibly blessed to be flying there tomorrow with Taylor’s band and joining them on tour.  Very exciting!

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm  Comments (5)