Kristy Landgren

Really Stuck It To Me

 

Well, I thought I was being so responsible to get a flu shot early this year. But it seems this year's strain is like no other! By early afternoon, I was aching and fatigued; soon after, a fever surfaced. I was so disappointed because I planned on an active weekend but I wondered if this vaccine really stuck it to me. I wiped out with a full-on case of mini-flu! Maybe it was just a coincidence that I took the vaccine at the exact same time I had been exposed to the environmental virus (it was an inactivated vaccine) but I spoke with a friend Sunday night (I was finally beginning to move.) She said the same thing happened to her. She had taken past flu vaccines with no effects at all, or maybe a runny nose barely.  I suppose the germs are "really out there" this year!

It sure reminded me of the saying...

 

The Moody Blues

 

The Moody Blue's lead singer, Justin Hayward, and his solo tour ensemble left the audience wanting more from Saturday night's show.

Band members, Mike Dawes and Julie Ragins, distinctive musicians in their own right, magnificently contributed to the crowd-pleasing performance. Everyone in the audience left smiling, humming, and chatting up the rewarding experience they had with British humor, reflections, and a classic repertoire of all-time favorites.

It made me think how... 

Have You Found That Road to Happiness?

 

 Photo: Diego Jimenez (Unsplash)

I was talking to a fellow who asked people he would meet that question. He was surprised with the different answers he received:

  1. The poor person in a shack said, "If I had that house up on the hill, I would be happy."
  2. The rich person in the house said, "If I had a loving family like those people down the hill, I would be happy."
  3. The lonely person on the park bench said, "If I had three good friends, I would be happy."
  4. And so on...

It got me to thinking...

5 Steps To Enhance Your Love Story

 

 Photo: Daniel Gray 

  1. Have a clear goal in mind for yourselves as a couple: Make the marriage last! Even the best of relationships is work, so schedule time to do enjoyable things together - date nights or like-minded activities and projects. Remember to laugh and don't take yourself too seriously! 
  2. Bring spirituality into the relationship: Research shows that body, mind and spirit are connected, therefore, including positive beliefs, comfort, strength gained from religion, meditation and prayer can contribute to well-being and improved relationships. Show gratitude towards each other and God...                     

                                                                Photo: Pepe Reyes (Unsplash)

        

Happy Birthday, America!

 

Is this a splendid Hollywood Bowl, 4th of July photo, or what!?!   Are you looking forward to a July 4th holiday of parades, salutations, get-togethers, music, and fireworks - a celebration of America's independence and birth, as a nation, 243 years ago?  The Original Founders were not stupid, stodgy, old Englishmen (as some have alleged) but were well-educated, community leaders, who were among the most brilliant thinkers of all time. They studied governments and societies, financial structures, political systems, history, religion, human nature...

Memorial Day, 2219

 

With the Memorial Day weekend rapidly approaching, it comes time to reflect on the reason we observe this holiday. It isn’t just about barbeques, picnics, poolside amusements, or a “day-off-work,” although they are welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed.  In fact, Memorial Day is a solemn remembrance of all those who died, serving our Country in the Armed Forces. 

    It was originally called Decoration Day and began, May 30, 1868, after the Civil War, to honor and commemorate the thousands of early American soldiers who lost their lives on the battlefield.  May 30, was set aside as a day to place flowers and flags at the grave sites of those fallen heroes, honoring their ultimate sacrifices for freedom. Today, American flags are usually flown at half-mast until noon, as the tradition continues, in appreciation of all the American veterans who gave their lives, so that we may enjoy our many liberties (which are the envy of the world). Although, May 30, is the official holiday, in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Monday Act, which designated the observance of Memorial Day as the last Monday of the month, enabling a three-day weekend. I have a brother, whose birthday is on Memorial Day, so we have always enjoyed the jubilant activities of gathering in celebration of him, as well as, memorializing our noble servicemen and women. 

    But it seems that many, especially in younger generations, are no longer taught American history, civics, government, and economics in educational and cultural settings. They aren’t aware of the selfless sacrifices made over the past 243 years of America's existence. Unfortunately, many learn that America is imperialistic and has a history of prejudice and oppression, with nothing good that ever came from it. But, after a long, hard-fought Revolutionary War, between a rag-tag, colonial fighting-ensemble and the Royal, Majestic British Army/Navy, in 1776, this Country was finally born an independence nation! It began its infancy, then advanced through growing pains, as lessons were learned, and progress was made. History is a great teacher and, while mistakes occurred throughout it, just as imperfect human beings achieve growth from adversity, so do civilizations mature, enlarge, and improve with age, in wisdom and experience. 

    Unfortunately, it seems trendy today to embrace the deception of...

 

Rainbow Sheep

 

     I loved sheep.  They are one of the most enjoyable domesticated farm animals. The lambs are fun to watch, as they playfully frolic in the fields.  Sheep varieties come in many different colors and hues, which provide the best fleece for wool fibers and fabrics.  Sheep are friendly, they can learn their names, and will respond to them, whether they are pets or wild stock...

     The vibrant colors in this photo capture an exciting reminder that spring is here.  With it always come new life, rebirth, warmth, beauty and hopefulness.  Although, in the U.S., spring officially began March 20th, we see wide variations of it throughout the country...  Still, the longer, brighter days facilitate an increase in positivity and optimism.  This is the time for “spring” cleaning, which typically refers to the physical removal of dirt and clutter.  But it is also an appropriate time to spring-clean ourselves, emotionally and spiritually. 

     Everyone has baggage that needlessly gets carried around but there are things we can do to lighten our loads with some spring-cleaning...

Two Qualities Happy, Successful People Have

 

     It is an interesting phenomenon that we look at others, who seem to have it all, or have it "all together," we think their lives are perfect, they are flawless and they don’t have any problems.  It is such a natural tendency to assume that we are the only ones who are deficient in talents or consumed with worry.  Even though the grass is always greener on the other side, one of life’s great lessons is that everyone is here to grow, overcome, achieve, and triumph. 

     Even throughout the best of childhoods/adolescences, it is a struggle to find ourselves and to discover our purposes.  There are many avenues we can pursue in trying to do so.  Some people... 

 

 

Eyes on the Prize

 

 

For a musician, playing live is a truly noble profession. There are a few who do it exceptionally well and I have always stood in tremendous awe of their accomplishments. It is such good fortune to achieve dreams and to be able to make a living doing what one loves most — in my case, music.

I wish I could say I were in that League. My little league is the one that works by day to pay the bills and lives by night to make the music. Nevertheless, whether it is from the fifth row of an intimate theater or the pigeon rafters of an enormous auditorium, I find it remarkably rewarding to observe the great ones; I try to take away some morsel of craft that I can use to improve my performance skills.

One of the covers I always enjoyed doing was a Stevie Nicks song, “After the Glitter Fades.” It sings of excitement and glamour in the rock and roll world but also of the pain, sorrow and loneliness it brings. I never really did the song very convincingly. After all, I’m not a rock star, and how can I compete with that famous voice, anyway? But I always liked the song for its melody, sincerity and vulnerability.

Everyone is looking for happiness that lasts but sometimes the only kind we find is fleeting. If we are wise...

Moonlight to Daylight

 

 Photo by Caroline Ingebrigtsen on Unsplash

Welcome Daylight savings time!  I don’t know that I have been a proponent of year-long daylight savings.  I always enjoy the feel of a season change when shorter days become noticeable and longer nights appear earlier.  But with the approach of spring, it is enjoyable to bask in the glow of longer days and frolic in the warmth of moonlit nights.  Not that Spring has completely arrived.  It is certainly winter in most parts and, in California, it is still rainy and cool. Nevertheless, the Choir is undertaking rehearsals of heavenly music in preparation for its annual Easter Concert. I am reminded, through the inspirational lyrics, of the reaffirmation of new life, fresh beginnings, and endless possibilities. 

     Easter egg hunts, furry bunnies, and assorted candies are all fun reminders that Spring is almost here, but Jesus is the real reason for the season.  Redemption from past mistakes, as we forge a new course of corrective action, is among the healing gifts of His Atonement.  Peace, hope, and the assurance of a bright future are powerful rewards for even the most infantile of our efforts.  As our exertion increases, mighty changes can occur, through God’s divine Omnipotence, enabling us to achieve personal accomplishments and profound joy, those of which were previously unimagined. 

     Beyond the immediate, the optimism of the Resurrection instills comfort and confidence in deliverance from life’s greatest tragedies.  How it is that we are able to cope with pain, disappointment and the suffering of mortality?

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