Monday, March 28, 2011

Vacation - 3/28 thru 4/1

I love writing. And I love writing three times a week on Dry Ground, even though I’ve had to modify the entries a little to fit my full-time schedule. Even if no one is reading it (which I know is not true, but even if it was), I love writing on Dry Ground because it’s therapeutic to me!

However, I’ve managed to post something every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for nineteen months in a row!

So I figured that while I am taking a vacation from work for a week, I would also take a vacation from Dry Ground for the week as well.

I hope that when I get back in the saddle next Monday, I’ll be rested, revived and armed with fresh perspective to share!

I’ll miss you all, but I’m looking forward to getting away for a little while.

See you back here April 4th!

Be blessed, Dry Ground friends!

(photo by

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekend Tune Up

**oops... entered the wrong date to post... oh well. Hope this is still in time tune up your weekend!

As you might agree, judging from my most recent post, these lyrics are right on point. I do feel better, thanks in large part to some special friends communicating with me. Thank you, friends! I still need to take these words to heart!! I hope they help you tune up for your weekend too!

I've been holding on so tight
Look at these knuckles
They've gone white
I'm fighting for who I wanna be
I'm just trying to find security

But You say let it go, You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one to lose control
You say you will be, everything I need
You said if I lose my life it's then I'll find my soul
You say let it go.

Well it's hard enough to hear
Harder still, to move beyond this fear
We know there's nothing I can bring,
So tell me what do you want from me?

But You say let it go, You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one to lose control
You say You will be, everything I need
You said if I lose my life it's then I'll find my soul
You say let it go, You say let it go

What do I love?
What do I hate?
What will I lose?
What will I gain?
How do I save my soul?
What if I bend?
What if I break?
What will it cost?
What will it take?
For you to save my soul.

You say let it go, You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one to lose control
You say You will be, everything I need
You said if I lose my life it's then I'll find my soul

You say let it go, You say let it go
You say life is waiting for the one to lose control
You say you will be, everything I need
You said if I lose my life it's then I'll find my soul
You say let it go, You say let it go.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

POV Wednesday

I need some help.


This past week, a number of things have transpired that have made me angry.

I hate feeling angry.

Then, on the heels of the lies that made me angry, things were said that offended me.

I don’t know if you know this about me or not, but I don’t offend easily.

Now, I am fully aware that *stuff* happens in life that is maddening, unfair, wrong, unjust, uncomfortable, difficult, and that down right suck rocks. I know I was never promised an easy road. And I sure know that life's hard knocks teach us valuable eternal lessons.

I also know that different people have different perspectives, so those I perceive as liars and offenders perhaps could be completely convinced that they are neither liars nor offenders. They also may be unaware that they’ve offended me.

My head also reminds me that Jesus endured far worse, and far more valid offenses than I can ever dream.

I know. I know. I know.

But I don’t know how to change my perspective. Even if all I perceive is true, that I have been lied to in a harmful manner, I need a different take on the situation. I’ll be crushed under the yucky weight that holding on to this causes.

Forgiveness. Yes. Trust and thankfulness. All steps I must take. And part of me wants to. But so far, about four days now, not happening. I’m still hard-pressed.

In the midst of this, I can feel myself being outlandishly selfish, having a vomit-load of complaints, and whining that my life (at the moment) is so overwhelming and frustrating.

I hate even putting this out there because I hate feeling like a big crybaby. But since it is a matter of perspective, I chose the situation to highlight on POV Wednesday.

So, it is a matter of perspective, right? Or is it more?

Truly, I need your perspective, no matter how tough, to help my perspective on these feelings (incidentally, feelings = not a subject I’m so great on!)

Thanks for your input, Dry Ground friends! Hope your perspective on this Wednesday is that the glass is at least half full. J

(photo by

Monday, March 21, 2011

Movies You Might Have Missed Monday – Writers’ Edition

Today’s selection is one of my favorite movies if only because of the brilliant writing. It also happens to feature a writer as one of the main characters.

Directed by Billy Wilder in 1950, Sunset Blvd. is as classic as classic Hollywood can get. This film is a classic about classic Hollywood, exposing its glamour as well as its tragedies, all with fabulous irony.

Wonderful William Holden, who shows up in many of the classics I love, plays struggling movie screenwriter Joe Gillis. Struggling so much, in fact, that he has to outrun the repo man who is after his car. In a random move of evasion, he pulls his car into a garage on Sunset Boulevard and gets the door closed before the detectives buzz by. Needing to stay on the down low for a while, he investigates the residence acting as his hideout and finds that he’s at the house of former (and forgotten) silent film star diva Norma Desmond, played with legendary impact by Gloria Swanson who began her career as a silent film star herself. When Norma discovers that her uninvited houseguest is a screenwriter, she seizes the opportunity to employ him. She wants him to write her comeback picture, one that she plans to give to Cecil B. DeMille (who makes a cameo as himself) to direct and produce. Her delusions amuse Joe at first, but he quickly realizes that his washed up hostess believes her grandiose intentions and will do almost anything to accomplish them, which produces dire consequences for Joe in the end.

This movie has drama, comedy, mystery, incredible performances and, like I said, superb writing. In fact, the writing won an Oscar!

So, hopefully to entice you a little more to rent Sunset Blvd., here are a few lines...

Norma Desmond: You're a writer, you said.

Joe Gillis: Why?

Norma Desmond: Are you or aren't you?

Joe Gillis: That's what it says on my Guild card.

Norma Desmond: And you have written pictures, haven't you?

Joe Gillis: I sure have. Want a list of my credits?

Norma Desmond: I want to ask you something. Come in here.

Joe Gillis: Last one I wrote was about Okies in the Dust Bowl. You'd never know because when it reached the screen, the whole thing played on a torpedo boat.

If you know anything about screenwriting, you appreciate that exchange!

For more quotes from Sunset Blvd., CLICK HERE. Maybe you’ll see why it’s one of my favorites and why I recommend watching it.

Happy Monday, Dry Ground Friends. Be blessed.

(Photos by

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Tune Up

I don't know about you, but I need to listen to this one over and over this weekend. I pray it gives you the encouragement you need! Be blessed, Dry Ground friends!

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

POV Wednesday - Strong Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:10 “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I confess, I’m the last to volunteer for all that this verse implicates.

I tend to delight in strength, praise, smooth roads and pampering. Just like the rest of the world.

And I don’t think that’s in and of itself altogether bad. (Ah… even now I don’t completely surrender!)

But when weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties DO arise, I need to delight in those too.

That’s difficult to do with a standard American world-view. It’s impossible without a relationship with Christ. It’s necessary and should even be desired because TRUE strength is in Christ alone. My strength pales in comparison to Jesus’ strength. The strength my problems exert also shrinks next to the strength of my Perfect Lover – which is exactly the point. Any strength aside from God’s strength is weakness. Knowing that I’ve got His power backing me up, holding me up, is all the strength I need in order to delight in the world’s attacks.

It’s a matter of perspective. J

How do you see it?

May Christ’s power rest on you today! (2 Cor. 12:9)

(photo by

Monday, March 14, 2011

Movies You Might Have Missed Monday – Writers’ Edition

Every Monday here on Dry Ground, I highlight a favorite movie of mine that, because of its age or obscurity or disfavor with the critics, you might have missed. In addition, for the month of March, I’m picking the ones featuring writers as main characters.

Two of my favorite things working in concert together – writing and movies.

While this week’s pick will sound similar to last week’s, The Philadelphia Story, it’s amazing how different of a movie it turns out to be.

His Girl Friday, from 1940 and directed by Howard Hawks, also stars Cary Grant, this time opposite of Rosalind Russell. Again, they are a previously married couple, she is engaged to someone else, and he is trying to win her back. And again, one of them, Rosalind, is a newspaper editor/writer.

A key plot point differs, however, as part of Russell’s character, Hildy’s, persuasion to stay on at the paper comes from a hot story – an accused murderer on death row claiming innocence.

Among such serious circumstances, Grant’s character, Walter Burns, weaves in and out with charm and wit to convince his once-bride to stay on at the paper, do what she does best, and reconsider their relationship.

I like this movie not only because it is funny and because I love to watch Grant do his thing, but also because Russell’s Hildy acts on a heavy conscience, ultimately ignoring what she wants personally to do what is right and what maintains her integrity. A bonus, too, is that Burns’ love is based on the fact that he knows Hildy better than anyone, and adores her for it. The superfluous fiancé has intentions of taking her from her editor/writer life and making a housewife out of her. Of course, nothing wrong with being a housewife (it’s my number one occupation dream, actually), but the point is that’s not Hildy, and Burns knows it.

So, check out His Girl Friday – a fun, sweet, sound, classic romantic comedy.

Two extras I need to add here today – diverting from the usual Monday agenda.

First, the bad news that we all already have witnessed on the news – Japan. Wow. What a tragedy. Just saying, I’m sure they are in all our thoughts and prayers. (Luke 21)

Finally, we’ll end on the good news! My sister/friend writer buddy, Lynn Rush, signed her first book deal last week! Join me as I rejoice with her! Congratulations and God Bless, Lynn! (Click HERE to check out her web page!)

Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends!

(photos by

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Tune Up

Well, it's been a week!! And I'm ready to chillax. Sometimes, the way I do that is to rock out! Shake out the ick and release the tension by turning up jamming tunes and LITERALLY shaking it out. "Mess of Me" absolutely assists in that endeavor in an uplifting way. I hope this Switchfoot song helps you tune up for your weekend too!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

POV Wednesday – Wolves of Worry

First, I must clarify, as a zoo employee, my intention is not to demonize wolves in general. Three of them live at the zoo, and I love and respect them. J

However, traditionally, and in literature especially, wolves represent sneaky evil buggers and we’ve all been conditioned to be wary of them.

It’s on that image of wolves I proceed.

Actually, I want to share a page from the devotional I’ve been reading (thanks to my mama!) called “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. It’s written in first person, as if Jesus was talking to the reader, a wonderful, personal touch that really drives home each point. Here’s the entry for March 4th:

“Refuse to worry! In this world there will always be something enticing you to worry. That is the nature of a fallen, fractured planet. Things are not as they should be. So, the temptation to be anxious is constantly with you, trying to worm its way into your mind. The best defense is continual communication with Me, richly seasoned with thanksgiving. Awareness of My Presence fills your mind with Light and Peace, leaving no room for fear. This awareness lifts you up above your circumstances, enabling you to see problems from My perspective. Live close to Me! Together we can keep the wolves of worry at bay.”

How often do we see things from God’s perspective? Especially problems? The above entry directs readers next to Luke 12:25-26, which sheds light on that perspective a bit more. It says, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” {NLT, ital. mine}

I LOVE that the Bible calls adding a single moment to life (controlling time, life, death, etc.) a little thing! Because it gives us a little perspective on how big our God is.

Are the wolves of worry nipping at your heels? Maybe a change of perspective will help!

(photo by

Monday, March 7, 2011

Movies You Might Have Missed Monday – Writers’ Series

Many of the films I like, especially the classic ones, feature a writer as one of its main characters. Not sure if that’s a coincidence or not. Next to cops/detectives, I think writer was the favorite occupation for writers to write about back in the day. Seems like all the iconic actors took a turn at portraying writers, two of the most notable in today’s selection, first in a short series here on DG of writers in movies - The Philadelphia Story, directed by George Cukor in 1940.

High society daughter Tracy Lord, played by Katharine Hepburn, is getting married (again). It’s the news of the century, but closed to the press. As a foot in the door, an editor sends writer Macaulay Connor (Jimmy Stewart), along with a witty female photographer, undercover as friends of the family represented by fellow writer, C.K. Dexter Haven (Cary Grant), who also happens to be Tracy’s ex-husband. He only agrees because of his ulterior motive – to win Tracy back.

For good reason, this movie won the Oscar for best writing. Crack after crack, witty remark after witty remark, one laugh barely ends by the time the next one is necessary. But it’s not shallow or simplistic. It’s smart and ironic. Word usage is sublime. The story is sound and quite romantic. It’s a family circus, a love triangle…or square…sort of, a comedy of errors, a masterpiece of words.

As much as I like Grant and Stewart and even Hepburn in this one, the show-stealer is Ruth Hussey – the photographer, Elizabeth Imbrie – who accompanies Stewart’s character into the Lord household. Worthy of the Best Supporting Actress nod she received, Hussey delivers the best lines with the perfect blend of sarcasm and sincerity. Among a cast of heavy hitters, she stands out as the one everyone relates to, the one you really cheer for after all is said and done.

I highly recommend The Philadelphia Story. Not only does it feature writers as the main characters, but in a chest full of treasures, it sparkles a little brighter than all the rest.

Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends!

(photos by

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weekend Tune Up

Been hearing this song on Pandora a lot lately, and I just love the words and the sound and the message. I hope you like it, and I hope it encourages any of you out there experiencing hardships. Love ya'll! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

POV Wednesday – Diva Thoughts

What do you think about most?



The future?

The past?

Your family?





Thousands of things can take center stage in your thought life, but only a small set of similar subjects demand constant attention – diva thoughts, let’s call them. And those little divas drive the show – a.k.a. your perspective or worldview.

So, the focus of your thoughts determines your perspective.

Conversely, your perspective says a lot about your focus.

For example, is fear one of your diva thoughts? Then you probably have a Murphy’s Law type worldview – if something bad can happen, something bad will happen.

Obsess about the past? Then your perspective of the future may not be too bright.

Focusing on problems? Days to you must seem heavy, stressful, dark.

The Word of God supports this theory, but on the lighter side. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You.”

Basically, it’s saying that the main One singing on the stage of your mind should be God, because that’s how we experience peace. If we hear everything else in accompaniment with the Main Voice, backup singers rather than show-stealing divas, then we’ll remain in peace. A perspective of peace keeps the divas from taking over, making life much more manageable as well as enjoyable. One could even call it abundant.

Are your diva thoughts drowning out the Main Voice? Get them in tune with God and His Word, and you’ll hear a whole new, beautiful concert, no matter what you’re facing.

(photo by