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Make A Melody In My Heart – My Journey Learning To Play Music As An Adult

Did you hear that? She was born with such talent!”  Have you heard something similar?  I know I have, in fact, most of my life I heard that musical people come from musical families and it is a genetic thing.  “Either you’re born with it, or you’re not!” That is another thing I heard all the time.  This comment always puzzled me since babies are not born speaking English or German, or any other language, they are taught how to speak the language by their parents.  Growing up on a ranch I also saw my fair share of calves being born.  They do walk pretty quickly but, they don’t just start off amazing at it.  In fact, I bet if they didn’t need to learn so quickly so they could reach for food, they may take a few more days getting better at it because they fall a lot on that first day.

In 2010 I began a real struggle on the inside.  I desperately wanted to learn more about music and how to play at least some of it.  However, I was paralyzed by fear and of the lie I had been conditioned to believe.  I was taught, whether on purpose or not, that music was to be reserved for only certain people, those who were born with a natural God-given gift that I was most certainly not  given.  More over, I believed that adults could never learn music, learning music was only for children, special children, of which I was not.  These lies I believed choked my desire to learn, I would find myself wandering through a book on music in an emotional tirade thinking I was not good enough or smart enough to understand any of the concepts outlined.

TED talks to the rescue! I’m pretty thankful for YouTube as silly as that may seem; I found TED talks on YouTube when looking into the possibility of an adult learning to play music.  Adults have fully formed brains and if we didn’t learn music as a child, our Corpus Callosum is smaller; therefore we can not learn music because it requires a LARGE Corpus Callosum!  Well, thankfully, this may not exactly be the case, you see as much as human knowledge has improved (we think anyway) there is still much to be learned about the brain, thyroid, and well just the human body in general.  Watching TED talks gave me hope that 1) learning never has to stop 2) an adult brain can adapt and learn new pathways at least some and 3) proper nutrition has more to do with brain function than ever known before.  Jonathan Harnum wrote a book, The Practice of Practice and it really changed my view on my ability to learn this new skill, music.  I highly recommend that you read it.  Obviously, I may never be as good as my children since they started music at a very early age but that doesn’t mean I can’t be good enough to play quite a few songs my friends and family enjoy!

Every week I try to set aside time to practice, that is really the biggest detractor from adult learning, you know, all those responsibilities.  We all run around chasing kids, pets, trying to keep order in the home and still maintain some me time.  Now that I know I can learn music, I actually find it truly relaxing to play the portions I do know well.  Now, while I’m learning a new concept and creating a new neural pathway in that gray matter, it is work!  Sometimes I even think I feel a heated “tar” being laid over asphalt in my brain, so don’t be fooled into thinking adults can learn music means it is easy.  However, it’s work that I love!  I know that I’m fulfilling a life long dream of finally learning piano and violin!  I’m helping to keep my mind sharp and giving my brain power up for later on in life in the event I do suffer from a stroke.  Exercising my brain with music is building alternate routes for the future if I ever need them.  Moreover, I know that I am currently making a joyful noise for my Lord and Savior and one day, one day, it may even be played skillfully for all of you to hear!

Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Psalm 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

My DD made me this cover sheet for my music binder.  I can tell you she knows I struggle on guitar!  She just thought this cover would be so funny. HaHa For some reason both piano and violin just click in my brain better.  I’m pretty sure that brain signals crossfire when I pick up a guitar.  I know what I’m supposed to do with a guitar but for the life of me I haven’t been able to make it click into place.  Sneetch number 2 on the other hand is a natural guitarist.  He loves it and is largely self taught!  He can play piano too!  He doesn’t enjoy piano as much but he plays it well and if he loved it like he does guitar, I’m pretty sure he’d be just as good on one as the other.  It’s already difficult for those who don’t listen to him daily to tell which was his first choice instrument.  Now he wants to start flute as well.  You can be assured this house is rarely quiet unless we are all sleeping.

MomsMusicCover

I hope that this inspires you to at least consider picking up an instrument and fiddle with it.  I’ve got a couple of videos, albeit very amateur ones of what I learned in the first 3 or 4 months of practice.  I need to make some more since I’ve learned a tad on the violin since then. My Music Progress 1 My Music Progress 2 I’m almost too embarrassed to even show these videos but, everyone has to start somewhere!  I’m even more embarrassed that I’ve only made 2!  My hope is that by documented the change over time someone can click through and see improvement over time and be inspired to at least give it a good college try!  Let me know in the comments below if you play or think you may now!

Well, it’s getting late so, as always,

Until next time-

Davi

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Are Your Flowers Dainty Daisies or Twisted Briers- Endometriosis In Real Life

I really should have made more of an attempt to do this article while in recovery.  It would have been nice to have a more “month by month” story but in reality, I was busy getting well and recovering. In the early days of recovery, I was also dealing with thyroid disease that was newly diagnosed and I was just so tired, it was all I could do to just feed myself.  Thankfully, I am here today a little over two years later and I feel like an entirely different person!  I not 100% well, I may never be, but endometriosis hasn’t been a problem for me in two entire years and that is HUGE.

What is Endometriosis?  What could possibly have me reeling in pain day in and day out month after month with no end in sight? Well, let us start with what endometriosis is NOT.  According to the CEC (www.centerforendo.com) it’s not dysmenorrhea or “mild painful menses” in common terms nor is it just “killer cramps” in fact, when I was younger, like I’m talking 12, I used to boil over in anger when people suggested that I couldn’t handle being a girl… Yes! YOUNG girls DO suffer debilitating pain from this very disease! Also, it’s not just a little bit or even a lot of endometrium that has been misplaced or implanted from back flow of menses.  This is probably one of the most common myths.  Below is one of my favorite quotes from the CEC…

“Endometriosis is not a simplistic condition whereby normal uterine lining implants itself waywardly throughout the body like daises in a field with each period – yet unfortunately, this outdated, widely-touted notion continues to keep endometriosis mired needlessly in delayed diagnoses, hysterectomy, poor surgical treatment, ineffective medical suppressives and worst of all, a lack of hope. Fortunately – endometriosis is not a hopeless disease and quality treatments do exist.”                                  http://www.centerforendometriosiscare.com/understanding-endometriosis/

Endometriosis is tissue that looks like but is NOT the same as endometrium tissue that grows outside of the uterus.  It has a lot of symptoms but the most common one is extreme, debilitating pain usually around menses and often during ovulation as well.  These tissues can grow just about anywhere, not just on the reproductive organs.  Women have it on their diaphragm, liver, bladder, colon; it is not reduced to being located only on the ovary, Fallopian tube or uterus.  Due to the lack of education on Endometriosis, it is commonly misdiagnosed and women wait on average 7-10 years to get a correct diagnosis.

To make matters worse, endometriosis is often responsible for the build up of adhesive tissue that begins to slowly glue our organs together so that they can’t move freely any longer.  Adhesion tissues also contribute a great deal to pain levels, poor quality of life, and reduced mobility.  By the time I was 32, 20 years of pain had passed (what would you do in 20 years of time?) and so had adhesion build up.  I literally could not sit up in a straight back chair my mobility had been so reduced.  I had once been a pretty athletic person but as I aged, the amount of exercise I could do was greatly reduced until finally I could barely walk.  I felt like I was loosing who I was in leaps and bounds while everyone else had a normal body and aged slowly.

During one the episodes of menses pain I laid in my bed and really wondered how much more I could take.  I decided to search on youtube for endometriosis and I found a video done by Rebekah Hoyt called Ending Endometriosis.  I was actually down right mad after watching it! I thought for sure she must be selling snake oil and getting paid truck loads to make money off our suffering (she wasn’t!).  You see, my mother had endometriosis and she had been to several physicians and nothing was ever able to help her.  In fact, most of the treatments my mother went through actually made her pain worse each time she tried it.  I had been conditioned since I was 12 to believe there was no hope for this, it was just my lot in life.  However, my subconscious held on to the information in the video and a few months later, in agony again, I called the Center for Endometriosis Care, I had reached the end of my rope, I wasn’t living, I was literally just existing; something had to be done.  Locally, I was only offered the traditional treatments of pills, Lupron, or surgery.  I wasn’t willing to try Lupron with my newly diagnosis thyroid disease, pills had failed so many times before, and the surgery they offered here was the same type that failed my mother and every other person I’d known with endometriosis.   I was determined, if I must have a surgery, it will be a different procedure than they offered my mom.  Little did I know then, this would soon be the best thing I’ve ever done for my health. Hope was rekindled, life was on the way.  Excision surgery via vaporization was now the agenda.

Watch Rebeka’s video here

http://www.rebekahhoyt.com/blog/2011/12/9/endometriosis-documentary.html

I’ve never met this woman but I am SO thankful she made this video or I may still be in pain today!

Do you want to know more about my life with endometriosis? Comment below or give me a like if you’d like to see more information regarding endometriosis in my life and how I eventually overcame it or if you’d like to see more resources.

If you’re on Facebook and would like to know more, join Nancy’s Nook group where lots of great up to date endometriosis information is posted by some of the best in the field as well as patients who have gone many years longer than I have to date with no recurrence.

 

Looking Forward 2018 Book List

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I can hardly believe that 2017 is nearly complete history now!  This time of the year, a lot of people are making New Years Resolutions and reflecting on the things that went poorly this year.  I’m not sure you about you, but I often forget to look at the good things that happened during the year unless they are really big like, one of my best friends got married, or another out of state friend had a baby, etc.  The negative seems to linger more for me.  Since I’ve pin pointed this dilemma, I’ve decided to remedy it by making lists to track my accomplishments during the year.  It’s not a new concept really, I mean when you’re in school you get report cards that keep you in touch with how you are progressing.  I can not really remember even 5 of the books I’ve read in 2017!  I know I read many (my overdue library fees will prove it!) Are you compiling a list yourself?

Our sweet little bookstore, Read It Again, is going out of business this year, December 31, 2017.  It’s really pretty sad for us since the owners have watched our children grow up over the last 10 years.  The silver lining is, we were able to use up our store credit and the books were 40% off as well.  With $33 dollars of credit in tow, DD and I went shopping!  Here’s a list of much of what we found and what currently makes up my 2018 reading list.  The books are not in a particular order.

Build Your Author Platform by Carole Jelen and Michael McCallister (2014): I hope that this book will still have relevancy since my end goal is to write full time.

Sim and Schuster Handbook for Writers by Lynn Quitman Troyka and Douglass Hesse (2005): I’m sure this will come in handy!

Teaching Developmental Reading by Normah A. Stahl and Hunter Boylan (2003): It’s probably a good idea to freshen up on “how” to read so I can also learn to write better.

Two Parts Textbook, One Part Love by Louanne Johnson (1998): This seemed interesting!

Lessons From A Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell (2002):  Hope this will get me a little bit of a jump on the learning curve.

Yankee Home Hints by Earl Proulx (1993): because my homemaking skills can always use a little tweaking I’m sure. 😉

Blue Mountain- Turning Dreams Into Reality by Susan Polis Schutz (2004): I’m excited about this one!  I hope it inspires me and ya’ll… I got this one brand new in the shrink wrap, a retail of $35.95 for $3.60!  Gotta love a bargain for your frugalista self!

Incidental Music- Remarkable Stories About the Worlds Greatest Composers by David Ott (I can’t find a year): I’m really stoked about this book too since I’m an aspiring musician and love to hear stories of real people years ago.

A Short Guide to Writing About History by Richard Marius and Melvin E. Page (2002): I have always had a desire to write some sort of historical book.

What’s Yours is Mine Open Access and the Rise of Infrastructure Socialism by Adam Theierer and Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. (2003): I have no idea what to expect here, but it was very inexpensive so, why not!?

Defense of the Faith or Christian Doctrine by Albert Garner (1956): I really like the very old Christian Writing from the 1800’s and early 1900’s so 1956 is a little “new” for me but I thought I would give this a try.

Unfashionable Convictions by Bernard Iddings Bell (1931):  Again, a little newer than I generally like but, the title was alluring.

Cupcakes by Susanna Tee (2006): Everybody needs a new book on making cupcakes once in awhile. num num DH is looking forward to reviewing this one with me, only he will do the eating not the reading!

Zone Meals In Seconds by Barry Sear and Lynn Sears (2004): It’s a cookbook but i have no idea what zone meals are.  I sure look forward to having food in seconds though!

Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson (1999):  I didn’t get this one at our book store, I ordered this one off of Amazon.  It looks like it may be able to offer some information on the art and science of homemaking and I always desire to improve there, especially in house keeping and clutter control (my biggest area of failure).

Cold Knights: Two Brothers: One A Prince by LeRoy Clary (2017):  I saw the cover and have looked forward to reading this since!

GotBooks

I plan to review all of these books, we shall see how the endeavor goes!

What do you think? Did you get any ideas for your book list?  Get started today, not much time is left before we start a brand new year.

Until next time-

Davi

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