Friday, September 15, 2017

June-September Update, BoTB The Long Way Home

The last time I posted here was June. Wow. So much has happened since then. For those of you not interested in the update, scroll down to the bottom for Battle of the Bands. It's all good, my friends.

So, we went to Ohio again this summer for camp and visiting relatives. I stayed at camp three weeks Jul 5-July 29 (I think those dates are right). It was a great summer. By far the best summer I've had at camp since I returned. Not sure if it was because it was more familiar or I had a specific job all three weeks or both. But, it was definitely easier this year than the last two. I always realize just how out of shape I am when I go. It's so much walking (and walking on hills). I figure it's good for me. I also just love love love being out in nature for those three weeks. I love setting aside the internet (mostly) and all of the screens that suck up our lives and just being in nature for those weeks, worshiping God and His handiwork, and actually TALKING to other people. It's amazing how much talking gets down when the screens are off.

We enjoyed a nice visit with the family and Ohio friends. Every year I enjoy my SIL and brother more. It's been a real blessing in my life becoming friends with my SIL (and my brother, for that matter). Friendship doesn't necessarily happen with family, but it sure is great when it does.

Some of you might know that since my life improved dramatically in December by taking the Nascent Iodine, it's caused me to reevaluate where I'm going and what I want to do with this abundant life I didn't really think I'd get again. I've been very active in my church the last few years, even giving several messages on Sunday morning. I was encouraged by a retired pastor who goes to our church to apply for seminary. My first thought was I never wanted to go back to school. My next thought was that I really liked the idea of being in ministry. Ministering to people. The decision to go to seminary has brought with it many changes in my life.

I applied to Lexington Theological Seminary. They have a (mostly) online program. I also applied for a scholarship with our churches Mission fund. I was accepted for both. The scholarship is not a full one, but it sure will help.

One of those is that I want to also go back to work part-time. Social Security will help you move from being on disability to working. I have an appointment with an agency this morning to discuss how we can do that and look at different jobs. I will keep you posted on that.

I'm also in the process of changing churches. Seminary requires a lot of work within your church. I will now be going to a church out at the beach here in Jacksonville. They are a larger congregation with more people my age and two pastors who are willing to support me in this journey. As I was talking to the head pastor about the "congregational requirements" of the seminary, he was receiving emails from an independent living for seniors asking them to put on a Sunday afternoon service at their facility. There was no way they could do it (without me), but with me they could. So, a large part of my congregational requirement will be putting together that Sunday service. It doesn't necessarily mean giving the message every Sunday there, but making sure someone does. God's timing is way better than mine!

I also stopped in Augusta, Georgia, on my way back from camp to stay with Haley (my ex's daughter whom I consider a daughter) and her new baby.

Here is a picture of the cutie with her dog, Piper.

She had another dog (formerly Lola, now Dixie) who has moved in with me. Dixie was too much for their little family. She really likes being walked several times a day and wants attention Haley couldn't give her. So, now she's my baby!

And then there was IRMA. Oh boy. You know we evacuated this time. My mom took one look at the size of that hurricane and was like, "No way are we staying this time around." If you will recall, my mom wanted to evacuate for Matthew. Anyway, I agreed that it would be a good idea (even though I really thought we'd be okay here). We stayed with a friend of hers that went to our church in Ohio who now lives in La Grange, GA. Everyone got a nice visit and my mom got peace of mind. Turned out that Irma was worse for us than Matthew (according to our neighbors who stayed), but still just tree limbs down and a minor fence repair needed. We are very happy we aren't closer to the beach. Some of those folks are really suffering. We watch the damage on the news and feel blessed. There are houses that are still under water south of us (Clay County). It's very sad.

I believe that brings us current. All in all, I feel like we haven't been home much since June. I can't even tell you how happy I was to sleep in my own bed come August. So, for Battle of the Bands I knew I wanted a song about HOME. So, let's go... home. The long way, which is apparently how I like to do it!

This song was originally recorded by Tom Waits. It's called The Long Way Home. For a hot minute, I considered using Tom Waits in this battle. However, I know that would only create a blow-out. That is no fun and not how I want to re-start my Battle of the Bands. I found two covers I like pretty well. I hope you like them, too.

First up is a lady I'd never heard of until I started this "cover search." Her name is Saskia Griffiths-Moore.

You might have heard Norah Jones cover this song. Yep, this is going to be the ladies duking it out on this one.

Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles. I've stopped trying to keep up with who is running a battle and who isn't. To see who is participating, go here: Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog.


  1. Seminary school! That is really cool, Robin. School might not be fun, but God's called you to do it.
    Glad you were safe through the hurricane. Both have left a mess and we still have one hanging out there.
    Neither version knocked my socks off, the first one's voice is beautiful.

    1. I'm going to mark you down for Saskia Griffith-Moore.

      I'm excited about seminary. Thank you for the well wishes!

  2. Welcome back to BOTB, Girl Wonder. We missed ya.

    And just as you've reentered the picture, Debbie has dropped out. It seems like we can never get BOTB in full swing anymore. Someone is always leaving, either permanently or for an extended period, at the same moment someone else decides to return.

    Piper is a beautiful and smart-looking dog. Is that a Labrador?

    I'm not usually fond of high-pitched voices, and NORAH JONES has the lower-pitched voice that appealed to me a bit more. Based on that, she gets my vote.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

    1. Piper is a pistol. She is very high strung. Yep, she's a lab who is a terror to try and walk on a leash. Well, unless you like your arm being yanked out of it's socket. I dreaded walking her. I thought I could teach her something, but no. She nearly dragged me across the pavement several times while I was there. Very strong.

      Dixie is now my baby, and she is also smart. Strong-willed, but not strong enough to drag ME.

      I'm not surprised you chose Norah Jones. I remember you saying you don't care much for high voices.

  3. So good to see you back! It sounds like you had a heavenly summertime with a fruitful outcome. Glad to hear that things are starting to come into better focus for you. And it's good that you managed through Irma as you did.

    I've not heard the song before, but what an appropriate one for you at this time in your life. Nice tune. I like both covers about equally--nothing that I'd count wrong with either of them.

    Saskia's version is absolutely lovely. However I give a slight edge to Norah's vocals and the instrumentals add a very nice touch.

    My vote goes to Norah Jones.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Thanks Lee. It was a crazy busy summer. Nice to be home where things are a bit quieter.

      Glad you liked both versions. Got you down for Norah Jones.

  4. Welcome back, Robin!

    It's so good to have you back. It sounds like you had a full summer, and have some exciting adventures ahead of you.

    I really enjoyed both versions of this song, and I honestly thought I would be giving my vote to Saskia. But the instrumentals mixed with Norah's voice won me over. (I think the bass made me think of Johnny Cash)

    At any rate, I'm going to give my vote to Norah Jones.


    1. Dorothy was right: there's no place like home. I'm glad to be back, too.

      I'm glad people are conflicted. I wanted two really good versions of this song. Thanks for voting. Got you down for Norah Jones!

  5. Welcome back! We've missed you!

    Both ladies have gorgeous voices, and we know Norah Jones would do a great job with this one. But Saskia Griffiths-Moore grabbed me right away. You know how sometimes you hear someone and just feel this sense of intimacy? Yeah, that's what this was. Saskia Griffiths-Moore takes it for me.

    1. Thanks John. I ran out of time yesterday to listen to your BoTB, but it is my next stop today!

      I like that description. A sense of intimacy. Got you down for Saskia!

  6. It sounds like you had a full summer, and have some exciting adventures ahead of you.


  7. Welcome back! My vote goes for Norah Jones on this one!

  8. Robin,

    Great to read your update and to learn you guys are well after Irma. I thought for some reason you lived up north, though. *scratch head* Okay, good to see ya back with BoTB. As you know I'm back, too. Normally, I do not like female vocals especially those high pitched voices. Nora Jones has a lower pitch but her style of singing appeals to me with certain songs more than others. I actually I liked Saskia Griffiths-Moore voice better than Nora. While she's sings higher, it's not squeaky high and offered a soothing quality to my ears. Please give my vote to Saskia Have a bandtastic week, my friend!

  9. Wow, that's so much going on! I'm just glad to hear you made it out of Irma okay, and that you had a great time at camp. I wish more people would disconnect like that, willingly. I don't think folks realize just how little we actually talk with all of these devices that so-called 'connect' us.

    As for the battle, Saskia is pretty good, but I like Norah Jones. Give my vote to her.

  10. I've been absent too, so I've been playing catch up this week. I'm so happy to see your update is so wonderful (personally, I prefer the update to the battle of the bands, so I scroll past that sometimes, hehe)
    Awesome, wonderful things happening for you. God moves when we're ready. I'm so happy for you. Love your new baby. And the human baby. What cuties.

  11. Good to see you posting again! I haven't been able to jump back into the battles since I don't think I would have time yet to properly visit everyone (and my musical tastes don't really mesh with what others like), but I hope to return someday myself.

    Glad you guys didn't get trounced too bad by Irma. We got some of the remnants here, but nothing bad. Sounds like you had a great, busy summer!

  12. P.S. Dixie is adorable! Is she a Doxie? I have a chocolate and tan Dachshund named April. She is my baby!

  13. Hey Girl, Welcome Back! Good to see you. Wow, you've had some summer! Sounds fabulous, fun and exciting with your new endeavor. Congrats. I think that's awesome! Divine timing --- you know He's lookin' out for you when he puts those big flashing lights in front of you: DO THIS NOW! And they have nothing to do with coincidence. You must be incredibly excited. Life is full of changes for you right now and that's always an interesting ride. Enjoy it!

    And what a sweetie Dixie is!!! Soooo adorable! You'll have to tell me if she gets along with other dogs. My parents had a dachshund and she hated other dogs! Was quite interesting when they stayed here with me for a year and little Star had to deal with my two greyhounds and all the guest dogs that were constantly coming and going. She was so ferocious that we had to keep a basket muzzle on her. I called it her "bad-ass mask". :) So I'll be interested to hear how Dixie's personality is with other canines.

    As for your battle: I love how you used the song to coincide with your homecoming. It couldn't be more perfect! I really enjoyed being introduced to Saskia Griffiths-Moore. My vote is going to her. I liked her voice. Where is she from? I heard her accent in her singing but didn't pick up where it's from.

    I didn't have a battle this month because I plum forgot it was the middle of the month. September 15th came up on me and I was more than surprised when I received an email from a friend wanting to know why I didn't have a battle posted. I was like "What? It's September 15th already?!" Ay-yi-yi. My life has been nuts of late and this is a prime example of the effects of that craziness. But I'll be back next month with the battle that I had intended on posting last week. Although don't let that stop you from heading over to Angels Bark. The last few posts were pretty cool... :)

    Glad you're back home safe and sound (and really happy that Irma didn't mess you up like she did so many others. I was close to Harvey (3 hours from Houston) so we got a ton of rain and some winds that knocked down some tree limbs in my yard but nothing major... nothing like those poor souls in Houston and the coastal towns. Devastating, both hurricanes. And now Maria hitting Puerto Rico. And the earthquake in Mexico. It's downright worrisome...

    Anyway, welcome back Robin! Looking forward to catching up over the coming months. Have a good weekend,

    Michele at Angels Bark


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