Headphones for Guitar Players

Have you ever seen someone wearing guitar headphones? You know, I hadn’t either until I saw a picture of Paul Gilbert playing guitar with headphones on. I thought it was an interesting idea. I figure most guitarists don’t want to wear them because they don’t look super cool. However, the reality is that if you’re playing gig after gig, it is simply brutal on your ears. Wearing some really good sound isolation headphones can go a long way in protecting a guitarists most precious investment… no, not his Les Paul, his ears.

Now, some of you are wondering, why the heck am I even writing about guitar headphones at all. Well, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about my headphone business. I recently launched a new site to pitch my headphones directly to guitarists. They are great for studio musicians and recording sessions, but as Paul Gilbert shows off at every concert, they are great for protecting a musicians ears on stage.

I want to conclude by saying, yes, this is a very strange post for The Daily Burns. But, I actually have kept this site in existence for just such cases where I need to talk about interesting things like headphones that musicians may need. So, I’m sorry if you were hoping to read some good burns news… nothing here but headphones for the moment. Sorry.


Children & Christmas

Just read a great post over at Preschoolers & Peace about Honoring Christ and Christmas. Part I of a 2 part series. It was jut a great perspective on of course presenting CHRIST throughout Christmas and teaching our kids about giving, but mostly remembering that they are children and will act & think as such. I think I often forget that growing up is a PROCESS and that just because my (3 & 4 year old!) kids don’t have the self control and selflessness expected of a christian adult, doesn’t mean they won’t grow toward that. She mentioned it last year, and I’m so glad she did this year too, because..well…I forgot! :) Thanks again Kendra! Now, go read the short post: Honoring Christ and Celebrating Christmas, Part I.

Subversive Jam

This summer I went through the book, “Feminine Appeal” by Carolyn Mahaney with the women’s group at my church. It basically goes through Titus 2:4-5.  I read it a few years back, I think when i was pregnant with Grace, and I LOVED it then.  So I was excited to go through it with other women. I think i read it the first time in 2 days (staying up almost all night to finish it….i think i was at the end of the pregnancy where you can’t sleep).  This time? I’ll be honest. I didn’t enjoy it as much this time.  I put off the reading until last minute & then skimmed through quick so it would hurt less.  I think the last time I read it I was either blissfully ignorant of the depth of my sinfulness, or I had just not yet reached a stage in life where I was having to put the principles in the book to work.  Most likely both.  More heavy on the latter, since most of my ‘problems’ were the chapters relating to our children.  Anyhow, it wasn’t that I disliked the book, I just disliked the mirror the book held up.  So it was a good thing, I’m just a booger so it was a tough read this time around.  Anyway. What does this book have to do with jam?  Nothing.

One of the things I really enjoyed/appreciated during our bi-monthly discussion group was how Cheryl & Betsy were careful to remind us time & again the concept of, “Principle vs. Method”.  Principle being the overall idea or concept or uh…biblical PRINCIPLE being taught and method being ways that principle can be applied.  Often we get this mixed up.  For example, let’s take the ‘principle’ of saving money on groceries.  Sally might clip coupons and shop at 4 different stores to save money.  She does a great job of it and enjoys it and tells her friends about it.  Her friends hear that and think, “If I’m going to save money, I need to clip coupons and shop in various stores”.  There are other ways to save money on groceries, but many of Sally’s friends might accidentally come to the conclusion the CORRECT way is hers.  That was a lame example but I’m too tired to come up with a better one.  Anyhow, with all things but especially things regarding child-rearing and living out our faith and being good stewards of the things God has blessed us with, it is VERY easy to slip into the ‘principle/method’ mix-up.  It’s always a good thing to be reminded that the way Sally loves her husband or cares for her children and home is going to look different from the way I do.  Just because Sally didn’t make her own jam this year, doesn’t mean she’s not being a good steward.   ..no, that’s not where jam comes in either.

The last week discussing this book Cheryl took some time to ask whether or not we felt method was being placed above principle during the course of discussing the book.  She used an example about tattoos and we got a tiny bit sidetracked about how one person could be getting a tattoo out of rebellion, while another could be doing it as an expression of love or something equally honorable.  That much like wearing makeup is no longer reserved for prostitutes, tattoos don’t relegate you to delinquent status anymore.  Suddenly it hit me.  Jam.  Can making jam be a sin?

I made a bunch of raspberry and blueberry jam from berries we picked this summer.  In fact, I’m fairly confident we have more than enough canned to float us through till next year.  This was my first time ever making jam & my first time ever canning.  When I realized it was working and we did in fact have jam that could sit in the pantry until ready to use, I did not feel warm and homey like a frontier woman or something.  Nope. I felt like a subversive punk rock D.I.Y rebel.  Down with ‘big AG’.  I don’t need your sugar/fructose/corn syrup laden preserves or overpriced ‘all-fruit’.  I’m opting out.  I’m making my own.  I live in the suburbs in 2009. I do not NEED to make jam.  This was a political protest.  Yep.  You never know what a person’s motives are.  I guess that’s why God says, “It is mine to avenge, I will repay…” (Deut. 32:35 NIV).  Left up to us…well…One would probably assume I’m just being holly homemaker with my hot water bath canner boiling away.

**I’d like to clarify that i’m being facetious, and I do not think my jam rebellion sinful, as I’m not rebelling against God. Though sure, there’s probably some pride mixed in there that would qualify.

Putting my Library Obsession to work

My husband has officially worn off on me.  I have a new blog.  libraryday.com

Growing up I was a book worm.  Any free chance I got I pulled out a book.  I remember in 5th grade having ‘reading time’ for I think 15 minutes or so between english and history.  I repeatedly got in trouble for not putting my book away when history started.  It wasn’t because I was rebellious. I literally had no idea class had started.  I was that absorbed in the book.  In fact the main thing i occasionally find myself pining for in regards to pre-children days are lazy saturdays (especially in the winter) spent reading.  The ENTIRE day. I would sometimes read more than one book in a saturday.  Anyhow, in regards to my love of reading, I also loved the library.  I was always looking for something new to read, and the library was a never-ending free source to tap my obsession.  For the summers of grades 3-8 my sisters and I took up residence at the neighborhood pool.  We would literally spend the entire day there almost every day of the summer.  At least that’s what I remember.  That pool had a library pretty much across the street from it.  I remember heading over there armed with a backpack during the ‘adult swim’ to return to the pool backpack stuffed to the gills.  Ok, so I didn’t read many classics…I’m pretty sure I read every Sweet Valley High ever in print.  I do remember checking a book out on animal CPR once though…

Anyhow, fast forward to me with children.  I have been taking Asher to the library since he was a newborn in a carseat carrier.  However, there was a period, once he became mobile that I stopped, and seemed to all but forget the library.  It for some reason escaped my memory that it could be a place for kids.  Then I heard a friend mention something about library ‘storytime’ when Asher was about 18 months old and I was inspired.  Then I attempted to go.  Storytime was fun, but beyond that I was SO overwhelmed by the options, and trying to find things while also trying to keep him from tearing the place apart (did I mention I was about 9mo pregnant too?) I fled in terror.  I immediately emailed a friend of mine who (at the time) had 4 kids and I knew she took them regularly.  They always had a stack of library books floating around their house.

“How do you choose? How do you decide while also keeping your children from taking every book off the shelf or wandering off?”  Ect. Ect.   I clear forgot how to use the library too.  In true Rebekah fashion, she gave me great advice and indirectly caused me to fall into a new and ‘worthy’ obsession.  Library Day.

My friend suggested a few things such as, reading the book, “Honey for a Child’s Heart”, and browsing their book suggestions for a jumping off point.  Then when you find books you like, check out others from that same author.  I believe there was some mention of admitting to being ‘that mother’ who had kids dancing on tables while she browsed shelves.  The best tip for library trips with young children was utilizing internet resources such as “putting books on hold”.  I do this weekly.  I sometimes have 7 books on hold at a time.  If i hear about a good book, or read one and want to try another by the same author, I don’t even bother with getting it myself.  I go straight to the website & put it on hold.  That way, if nothing else, we will be able to go pick up our holds and be on our chaotic way.  Speaking of which, I should probably bake some cookies for the librarians.

With the advent of this weekly adventure (we’ve gone pretty much religiously once a week for almost 3 years now), came a new found love for children’s books.  I really do LOVE children’s books.  I don’t read much in the way of adult fiction anymore (though I do enjoy audio books to listen to while working on mindless chores), I read children’s books anywhere from 1-4 times a day.  A normal trip to the library brings home 20+ books.  We don’t always finish all of them, and  2 have gone missing (both eventually found…and I finally devised a system where the library books have their own special bookshelf in the living room), and it’s not rare to only like 5 or 10 of the 20, but when we find ones we like, I can’t help but talk (or type) about them.   This brings me (finally) to the point of this post.  I had the inkling of an idea and Ryan grabbed it and ran with it.  A few days later he presented me with: libraryday.com

On this snazzy little blog it is my intention to tell you about children’s books that we’ve found on our “library days” and want other people to read.  In an effort to make it something I will update regularly (weekly as a matter of fact), I promise not to ramble like i do here. Quick little book recommendations.  An outlet to share the gems we find each week.  I intend to add Asher & Grace’s thoughts when they offer them as well, but I’ll keep mine short & sweet (or short anyway).  Or so I intend…ha.

Delayed Response-tion

I mentioned more than once while on vacation about a month ago, that I had intentioned to write a “what i learned during my lent fast” post.  Figured it was probably so long overdue or so long since i put real thought to it that it would fall into the “mental compost” blog pile…with the one about how I once saw myself as the ‘bride’ in Hosea and am still brought to (happy) tears when i remember Ryan’s response (during early engagement…when he still had an easy ‘out’) to my divulging the shady past that was my-life-before-you-knew-me-and-ok-some-when-you-did…and many more that i’m sure your better off not hearing, mostly about food probably.  Anyhow, a friend of mine emailed me recently, asking about ‘how I found our church’ (or something like that).  She knew there were no step by step or one size fits all instructions, but it’s always nice to hear how it fares with others.  I shared my opinions on how i feel similarly to ‘finding a church’ as i do to ‘finding a spouse’.  A loose analogy, but it works for me.   I’ll leave it at that for now.

Anyhow, you may recall, for lent, for the first time since…I’m not sure when….I participated in that I ‘gave up’ parts of the social media aspect of the internet (i believe it became even more ‘specialized’ toward the end…as in…i was lame & not hard-core about it).  Basically I did not read my feed reader (i.e. other people’s blogs)..least i don’t think i did…did not twitter (think i cheated there too) & did not visit any forums.  Most noteably the traditional foodie forum where I hold the austere title of “moderator”.  I was true to the last one.  I discovered a few things.  Such as: I thought I would have a slew of ‘free time’ to pursue things like…oh…meditation on scriptures?  However, it would seem I was instead usurping time spent at the lunch & breakfast table with my kids…or time while they napped, that i should have been doing chores or prepping dinner so that I could play with them more when they were awake…ect.  Yeah.  Bring on the mama guilt!  ugh.

But there was more.  If I’ve talked to you in person I have probably mentioned that I had approx. 2.5 friends in my 9 months in florida.  ..and I didn’t have opportunity to spend a lot of time with said friends..though it started increasing just before we moved away.  In part I look back appreciatively to the Providential hand i was dealt….being apparently destined to leave….I’m not sure I could suffer again the heartache i felt when leaving Richmond VA.  The first place I have vivid memory of friends that were women and legitimately, intrinsicly MY friends.  Not born of an aquiantence via a ‘boy’ (i.e. making friends through newly acquired boyfriends, as was my MO in high school/college).  They filled a role in my life I realized I had spent most of my life trying to make a boy fill.  I’m sure Ryan is grateful for the discovery.  His nights are free from chatter about cloth diapers, the virtues of pastured animals (ok..mostly..), and ideas on efficiently yet lovingly running a household..among other less savory subjects (he jokes that if i’m left alone with only women discussion of birth control always just ‘comes up’ somehow).  Not to mention that said ‘Virginia friends’ and I had our kids together.  I mean..not TOGETHER…but ya know…they’re similar ages (& mostly genders too).  I had roots.  Don’t get me wrong.  There was no arm twisting on Ryan’s part.  The Army Brat in me flew the coop with fervor.  Always excited about the next new adventure.   I am grateful for everwhere I’ve been, everyone I’ve met and everything those people and places God used to shape who i am.  However, after i eventually get chickens, perhaps someone should suggest I just dye my hair when I announce whatever new plan I hatch after that one.  I can’t help it. I seem programmed for a need for change every few years.

So, here I am, months into the newest locale…a few aquiantences – with some bright prospects on ‘real’ friends on the horizon – under my belt.  Yet still feeling like i’ve hit that socially awkward wall.  I’m putting myself out there.  I talk to people at the park, I chit chat at library story hour. I go to womanly activity things hosted by women from church.  And. I. feel. like. a. dork.  but lonely?  maybe. I don’t know.  Enter “not forums”.  Ouch.  I LOVE the internet. I enjoy ‘social media’. Especially as one who’s family is dotted across the US (ok mostly dotted across the east coast, with one sibling in Illinios, which I’ve come to realize I don’t know where that’s categorized).  I twitter with the idea that my main audience are the kids’ grandparents, peering in across the continent.  Even as an Army Brat brownie (never made it to a full-fledged girl-scout), being trained with the song “make new friends, but keep the old…” I never kept in touch via snail mail.  I kept in touch with 2 people.  Only because both those people put fort the main effort and put up with my months of no response.  Eventually even they apparently decided i wasn’t putting in my share.  I get easily sucked into my own little bubble of ‘here and now’ and can’t be bothered to write and send a letter (or a blog post it would seem).  However, just after our move to Florida it had – unbeknownst to me – become a crutch of sorts.  The foodie blog in particular.  What drew me in initially was trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with my son’s intenstines.  But it became deeper.  Then, as I slowly moved from wandering novice to seeming ‘expert’ (ok, perhaps not expert….’know it all’ perhaps?)…well, somewhere in there I found a family.  As quack as it sounds.  In fact when I realized we were moving here to Washington, I took note of the women on this forum who live in the area.  And I’m happy to say I’ve had one of them over for dinner since we moved here.  So it’s not ALL cloak and dagger anyway.  But it was pulling me away from REAL life.  It was stunting my availability…desire…to really reach out to the inconvenience of figuring out how to fit into other people’s lives.  How to make friends.  Again. Enter the ‘fast’.

I thought it would be a time of being reminded of who God is by the study of his word and hours of naptimes spent deep in prayer.  Instead, I mostly felt lonely…disconnected… and compelled to pick up the…gasp..phone.  It was during lent that I began to spend purposeful time with the women here that I’m becoming more and more connected to.  I am a social creature.  Granted, I don’t like a lot of hubub, playdates, and appointments.  But I like to chat with some girls.  it’s more than that though.  I crave community.  I need eyes outside my own nuclear family to peer in and remind me of things like, “well…did you pray about it?” or, “you know that’s normal, right?”.  People who along with my own family, that I can take a deep breath and stop sucking in my stomach around (not entirely analogy).  Praise the Lord that he pressed upon my heart to ‘unplug’.  I did not find Him in the way I was expecting.  But I found Him in the way he tends to work…people.  His people.

I Hate Facebook

Ok, maybe I don’t hate it, but I don’t like it… that much I know.

Julian Smith helps explain some things he hates about facebook… yup, I agree:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVA047JAQsk&hl=en&fs=1]

Lost, Found or Somewhere in Between

Someone said something recently that keeps replaying in my mind…and it seems everywhere I turn I have been hearing or reading some variation of it…and thinking about it…and feeling the tension.

One woman described it as having a “mid-life crisis” of sorts… another expressed feelings of being “lost in motherhood”… trying to recapture pieces of themselves…old hobbies…revisiting forgotten skills… pining for a career that had been paused. I don’t know if it’s just something in the air or what. But i feel it. My list is ever-growing…. books to read, topics to study, flute to practice, tinkering in the kitchen, taking up knitting, finishing an old crotchet project, pining for exercise, desiring to blog….dreaming about rock climbing again…wanting to spend the weekend on the couch with a book, tea, chocolate & yarn…. ya know…what weekends meant before children. I get it.

At the same time, i don’t. While I understand the sentiment, I don’t fall into the “lost in motherhood” category…at least not in a negative sense. I commented to Ryan recently that I feel “found” in it. For so long I floundered lost, wondering what the heck i was supposed to “do when i grow up”. A week into motherhood & I knew..at least for the time they’re in our home…THAT was my “career”. Though even that isn’t always a good thing… finding my IDENTITY in them..i certainly don’t want to end up being so singly focused that i find myself empty-handed and broken hearted when they do what they’re supposed to do — grow up & move out. My identity of course lies in Christ…as a Child of God…serving in Joy… which sounds wonderfully romantic but sure is hard to pin down. It’s easier to say, “I’m a mom” or “I’m a flute player” or…

Anyhow, that being said, I’ve been pondering lately what my expectations should be. Is it reasonable to attempt a new hobby right now? IS this a stage of life… will I someday be able to join a community orchestra (how cool am i? i would like to join a community orchestra…or band…even nerdier)? I mean, I’d like to “someday” but i DON’T want to now…not only because it’s not logistically possible, but it would stretch me too thin…i honestly don’t WANT to yet…but I do want to eventually. Again, at the same time it seems a shame to let such a thick layer of dust gather on that gift. For now I’ll just make an effort to practice…

That’s just one small example. I’m not sure the answer…I’m just thinking about it lately. Especially in regards to: Do we have more children? If so, when? Am I ready to give up another piece of myself? Is Ryan? How does this work? The spirit is willing…and sometimes the flesh is too…but not always. I’ve noticed when my mind is focused more closely on “Heavenly matters” I am aware of an acute lack…someone is missing from the family. I get excited at the prospect of the kids with another sibling, of another small person Ryan and I get to share our love and life with…that we get to see grow in the ‘knowledge and admonition of the Lord’. Then…the other times (& even sometimes at THE SAME TIME)…it feels like i may not be able to ‘handle’ another moment in “small people depending on me for 98-100% of everything they do & need” land. It seems we’re on the cusp of some independence…even tiny things like Asher can go upstairs & get himself dressed entirely by himself…wow. Imagine…all of us just getting dressed at the same time instead of in shifts. I know it’s a stage. But the flesh is weak.

In the women’s bible study I’ve been attending we’re going through the book, “Stepping Heavenward“. This past week was the first i’ve read any (they’re almost done, and I just started attending)…and the following quote resounded so strongly for me. It’s exactly what I occasionally feel & always desire to feel. This is where I am…and I’m so happy for it. I’m so grateful for it. What a blessing that I have the opportunity to hang some non-eternal leisure and pursuits on the shelf..whether temporarily or permanently, in order to gain a “friend” more dearer than them all….to whom I get to minister in Christ’s name. I apologize it’s such a long quote, but I promise well worth the time to read:

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her most tender cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!

And by the way, thanks mom…for the investment of YOUR youth in me. It’s an example I am so grateful to have had. Ultimately, as with everything else…it’s NOT about me. I know God will unfold His plan in His time. In the meantime…I ponder.