Susan’s Dream Coming True!

My pre-ordered Susan Boyle CD arrived in the mail yesterday!…Go out and get this album, or order it online! I loved it, and you will, too!

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IDAD album cover
Perfect showcase album

My pre-ordered Susan Boyle CD arrived in the mail yesterday! I could not wait to listen to it. I played it through the TV stereo speakers, and simply sat still as these beautiful arrangements showcased Susan’s love for singing as only she can. Syco/Sony Music has done right by her and produced a first album that  lets Susan shine. Her voice, mature and mellow, still has a youthful sweetness in some renderings, yet disciplined control and power throughout her considerable range.

The biggest surprise for me was her earthy, heartfelt styling of a Spiritual ballad, “Up To The Mountain” (track 7). “Can this really be Susan?”, I wondered. Oh, yes, she is more versatile than we imagined. She is ready to free that powerful talent and “be somebody,” as she promised her Mum.

Go out and get this album, or order it online! I loved it, and you will, too! 🙂

Tort Reform Already a Fact (in Texas and Mississippi)

While politicians rant about the need for tort reform in our efforts to fix the current American healthcare system, the states of Texas and Mississippi have already enacted legislation, with the results that doctors are being attracted by the thousands to practice there.

An editorial appeared today in Investor’s Business Daily, revealing the little-known facts of how the situation has been improving in these two states. Read the article “Tort Reformed” here:

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=506980

Investor’s Business Daily editorials can now be found as part of “Investors.com”. The site also publishes excellent daily political cartoons by  prize-winning cartoonist Michael Ramirez.

Although IBD is predominantly a conservative publication, it includes every day at least one editorial by a writer identified as being “On the Left,” to present an alternative view.

There is Something New Under the Sun

The Deep South Texas sun has been brutal this year. While other parts of the state have had their share of thunderstorms this summer, we here on the Mexican border have not seen rain for 3 months or more–so long ago that I can’t rightly remember when the Blessed Wetness last kissed our parched earth.

We are used to a yearly drought, but not such a long one. Fortunately we got enough rain last year from the hurricanes that the river still supplies us with sufficient water for normal household use and irrigation for the crops. We don’t wash our cars often and we water the lawn and plants at night.

However, my friend and I, who are both on the Board of Trustees (BOT) of our small church, got the idea that our dusty building and grounds had looked pathetic and uncared-for long enough. We brought our proposals before the BOT, who ‘blessed’ it. We obtained bids from local contractors, and made our decisions. So, though there was a recession going on, what had started out as replacing a contrary fluorescent light fixture in the Women’s Restroom with a standard fixture that would take a “curly” fluorescent bulb, soon blossomed into a full-blown project which included exterior repainting of our buildings, removing trash-gathering hedges from around the church, landscaping the grounds with drought-resistant shrubs and flowers at the base of the sanctuary, and placing desert plants in two concrete-curbed islands on the front lawn.

The sprinkler system is still undergoing repair, but the plants are in the ground, which is covered with black fabric and small brown-and-tan river rocks. As a final touch, we had a professional janitorial service come in and strip the old wax off the tile floors, scrub, seal, and re-wax them; then they cleaned the carpets and stained-glass window panels.

We have a new concrete access ramp at the main entrance, and a newly restored utility ramp for the Fellowship Hall. Our new butter-tan and dark green buildings with their red and yellow ixoras in front, and the dwarf oleanders at the side and back, invite people to come in and worship in the cool, quiet, and clean atmosphere.

Another thing we are happy about is that we were able to provide work for several crews of men who had been having a slow year. And the money to do it was provided when we needed it. This gave us a chance to put our belief to the test, and we have seen the reward.

Front corner with new plants
Front corner with new plants

Susan Boyle: Her Voice and the Dream She Dreamed

Even if you don’t watch “Britain’s Got Talent” on TV, if you’ve had a news channel on in the past week, you have heard of the newest singing talent phenomenon, Susan Boyle, and have seen at least a portion of her YouTube video from her Week 1 performance. If it didn’t bring tears of joy overflowing from your heart, then you have no heart, friend!
She seems to have appeared out of nowhere, but according to some accounts, she is well-known for singing in church and on Karaoke circuits in her native Scotland. She has had her own Channel on YouTube.com since 2007, created and maintained by her nephew, since she has said she does not have a computer–although it’s possible that she has one now! Wherever she gets access to the Internet, she does make occasional replies to the thousands of comments posted on pages showing videos about her.
A 47-year-old woman living in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland, Susan is said to have taken care of her widowed “mum” until her death 2 years ago. But now, with her appearance on BGT, she will certainly get a recording contract, and we will be hearing much more from her. Good for her! She deserves it!
She has also pumped new life into the song, “I Dreamed a Dream”, written in 1980 by Claude-Michel Schönberg, with lyrics by Alain Boubil, Jean-Marc Natel, and Herbert Kretzmer. Still protected by International copyright, the purchased downloads of digital sheet music from online giant, Musicnotes.com, has surpassed downloads of “The Climb” from the recent Hannah Montana movie.
I must admit that when a friend asked me to help him find the lyrics and a soundtrack with which he could sing the song, I was swept up, myself. I had not seen the performance on TV, and had fallen asleep waiting for news video of it to come up on the news channel I was watching. But it didn’t take long to find it on http://www.youtube.com/SusanBoyle.

Recent interview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqZmcg0xEUU.

After listening to the song in every online version I could find, and copying the lyrics, I realized that “I Dreamed a Dream” is too complex to learn properly–and remember it–by that method. So I sprang for $4.95USD at www.musicnotes.com and printed out 6 pages of sheet music.
I can’t sing like Susan Boyle. But in the privacy of my home, I can dream a dream, and feel the joy of singing a beautiful song.
Go get ‘em, Susan Boyle! I’m in your corner!