I have been a busy bee this weekend. I went out to Blues Street BBQ with David, Michelle, the famous one and her friend. When I got home, I decided I was going to do the reading I had been procrastinating on for my course. When I looked at the syllabus, though, it turned out I had to read the whole book! But I forged on and completed it. I went online to take my content test only to find that my dsl had failed me and I was going to have to deal with tech support in the morning.
Which I did, completed the content test and also took another test on the book overall. In that regard, I'm apparently ahead - which is a great feeling! So it is on to unit 4 now, which I hope to complete this week and get back on the suggested one unit a week schedule.
I went to look at a townhouse yesterday. I wasn't thrilled with it, though it was a nice enough place. It had a little fenced in area in the picture that I was excited about - I really want some place of my own that I can plant flowers and a little vegetable garden and sit and read and relax. The place I am in now is a rental and the woman who lives above me has lived her for 30 years...so it always seems as though this is her property. Plus, with renting, there is little I can do. I have tomatoes growing haphazardly in pots and am trying in vain to grow an eggplant in one as well...though that seems pretty futile right now! Anyway, so I go to this house and step out in the fenced in area...nary a piece of grass or green anywhere!!!!!!!!!!!! It was all cement. You sat on cement and stared at your tight fencing. Kym & Trish and I were joking about it today that I could take a jackhammer to it - can you imagine??????????? So that is a no go.
Then last evening, K & I went to fundraiser for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation. I found out about it through a local singles group, and it was at a local zoo, so we thought we would check it out. Well, it was hotter than heck, packed with people, lacking animals, and just overall a flop. Though K does want me to point out that some random guy fanned me while I was waiting in line for a drink! But because I totally lack any social interaction skills with members of the opposite sex, that was about it. Oh well - seems like a good organization and one that doesn't get a great deal of attention, so the admission fee went to a good cause.
Today was another busy day with church and then a jaunt up to my parents neck of the woods. When I got home, I hunkered down and caught up on my homework for a Precept Bible study on the book of Jonah. I only have one day's work to finish by Tuesday - should be a piece of cake! (Cindy, aren't you proud?!?!?!?)
Now, here I am finishing up dishes and wash and generally putting my house back together finally after workcamp. I am still tired but feel more normal (ha) this weekend than I did last week. Another day off would serve me well, however. I have to give that some thought - my next planned day off from work is slated for a service project with the youth in the city to help out another church in our denomination that is trying to clean up their neighborhood. Sounds like a good day (twice, I typed "God day" - which it also will be!) and it'll be nice to serve somewhat locally. I'm thinking and talking to David about starting a once a month day of service - like First Saturday of Service for the youth and anyone else who wants to participate. Then people would know it was going on each month, be able to take off work, etc. if need be to participate. I know there are a lot of places & ways we can serve in the area. I just have to put it in motion and get people on board.
Well, enough for now. Hope you all had wonderful weekends and if you are here in the east, STAY COOL. They are calling for up to 115 degrees on Tuesday/Wednesday. YIKES! We right-coast-ers aren't used to such things!
We got home from West Virginia around 4:30 on Saturday and I had a dinner meeting at 6:30. I got home around 10:30 or so but had to take care of something for church in the morning.
Sunday was a whirlwind; church, taking the vans back, trying to get wash done and things back in some semblance of order, leaderhship community meeting, etc. Thankfully Kym invited me back in for dinner after the meeting or I would have completely forgotten to eat at all.
Monday was back to work day and I was dragging. After work, I had to take Ramona to the vet because she had been very lethargic and the petsitter said she was also drinking a lot while I was away. So we went to the vet, which she oh so loves, and because she is such a friendly, loving cat to the vet (NOT!) she got to stay so they could sedate her and take blood. I was so upset to leave her there overnight.
Tuesday morning began with a trip to the dentist. My last checkup I had a cavity -gasp! This is so unusual for me. In all my life, this is only my second cavity. So I was anxious about it. It really wasn't that bad - the worst part was the needle and then the numbness in my face which lasted about four hours afterwards. After work, I picked up Ramona and took her home (with no word from the vet on what was up) and hurried off to my bible study.
Wednesday, the vet calls and leaves a very nonchalant message that Ramona has diabetes and will need to go on insulin, so hey, give a call back when you have a chance! Now I am not a fan of needles and I surely have never given anyone else one...so I am not sure how I am going to do this. But she is my baby and she is entrusted into my care - and care for her I will. But it took me until yesterday to get one of the vets to talk with me. We go in next Thursday to learn how to give the insulin, etc. Pray I can do it! Pray she lets me do it!
Last night I had a children's ministry management team meeting. We covered a lot and came up with some solutions to some problems that I hope will work out quickly and well. I am blessed with a great team of people to work with, who truly care for these kids. Trish stayed late catching up with me afterwards and ending up driving home in a WICKED storm. I pray she made it home ok! I'll have to give a call in a little while and make sure all is well.
And now, here I am, finally at Friday. I feel like I could sleep for a week and I probably could! I am definitely sleeping in tomorrow. I am going to look at a house in the afternoon (yes, I still have a fleeting hope of finding something - I haven't completely put aside that dream!) and in the evening K and I are going to a fundraiser at the Elmwood Park Zoo. I've never been there; it's something different & it sounds like fun. We shall see. There is a deep craving in my soul lately for thigns that are fun and different...as you may have noticed in previous posts...not sure where this will all lead...or what's causing it (though I have a tiny inkling.)
What's the funniest dream you can remember having?
I actually don’t remember my dreams most of the time. And when I do, they generally aren’t funny. They are often just ordinary, every day things happening or scary – falling, being chased, etc. I’ve never had any dreams like I was having tea in a jungle with a large pink alligator or anything like that…does that make me boring?
If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why?
This question is harder than it really should be. First I was going to say a Belgian sheepdog. They are sweet and loyal and very loving dogs. But then I keep thinking of my mom’s golden mix who is just a sweet and funny pup. Saints also have some redeeming qualities, although Missy, their current Saint, is a nut. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.
Continue this sentence: "I get confused when..."
I get confused when I don’t have all the information I need and I’m trying to do something I’ve never done before.
Name two things that need to be done, but you are procrastinating in completing.
A few months ago, I bought a wooden table for the living room. I bought stain, brushes, etc. but haven’t found time to actually stain it.
I’m also procrastinating on the wash as usual. It’s been down there a few days and will probably need to be rewashed. I don’t know if this one is procrastination or just laziness…
When was the last time you tried something new, and what was it?
I’m taking an online course for the first time; it started in June and is on pastoring children. It’s part of a Children’s Ministry certificate program. It’s going well but it is very different than having to actually go to class and interact with your classmates & professor. All our interaction is done via discussion boards and there are no firm deadlines to get things finished, which is odd for me. But I think it will work out well. I just need to commit to setting aside time each week for it.
We had a great week at workcamp in the Joyful Hills of West Virginia! This year, I was on staff as a photographer so I got to speak with many of the residents of the homes our group (about 400+ strong) were working on. They were all so very thankful - and the feeling of bringing hope and happiness those who can't help themselves is simply phenomenal! We had 60 crews of teens and adults from all over the country working on 53 homes throughout Upshur County.
A few times, I drove up Sago Road, past where the mine where all those miners lost their lives, and was absolutely chilled. I can't even describe it. I had to drive up one day that way and went past the coal processing plant and was literally shaken. I know that things like this do happen but being there, and working with the folks in this town, really brought the heartbreak home to me.
One of our youth was working on the house of one of the miner's best friends. He had a memorial put up in his front yard. I'll post a picture of it later on tonight or tomorrow.
I feel like there is so much to say, yet I am still so exhausted and trying to get back to the routine of my life. It's the same struggle I had last year, too. I know I have to get back to it, the every day of it, but I don't want to. I want to be back at workcamp. I want to be serving and loving on people.
More to come...
Name one thing nice that you could do for someone else today.
Hmm. I was hoping to be in hibernation today. I could water my neighbor's plants for her.
When was the last time you were frightened by the weather?
Last month, we had a great deal of rain and storms daily. We had one very bad on that I was sure was going to end up as a tornado.
What would you say is the most useful website or blog that you visit?
I'll pick two - www.weather.com and www.bloglines.com - I check them both all the time!
Who was your favorite singer/group when you were a child?
There were many, starting with Shaun Cassidy, then Prince, then I got into harder rock and liked Motley Crue, Dio, Ozzy...
Do you have any rituals? If so, what are they?
I have many, but I like to call them routines. : ) Most relate to household chores and taking care of the pets, so I won't bore you with them all!
The one I am thinking of today and I think I mentioned it in a previous meme is relating to travel (which is currently in the forefront of my mind!) I always take a drink (usually ginger ale) and a can of Pringles Reduced Fat chips on long road trips. I don't know why but I always do it!
- Group handles all the logistics. All you have to do is get your youth to the location. They house you, they feed you, they arrange the homes you are going to be working on - everything!
- It gives us a great opportunity for our youth group (and the adults!) to get to know each other better and also meet new people from all over the country (and Canada, too, eh!)
- Hard work that helps others is good, honest work.
- We get tired. But it's a good tired. You can't help but sleep well at night after serving others in this way all day.
- They have great evening programs every night that bring both youth and adults closer to God.
- They have an awesome program on Thursday night that is designed to make you reflect on your life and your relationship with God...and what needs to change to make them better.
- Each day there is a different devotional topic that ties into the week's theme. We do devotions at lunchtime with our crews on the sites and in the evening with our youth groups.
- This year, we had pre-camp devotions as well, that helped set the stage for camp and hopefully helped prepare the hearts of those going with us.
- We get to visit places we might never go otherwise. On Wednesday afternoon, we have free time with our youth group to relax and sightsee. Last year, we hung out at a waterfall for the afternoon.
- We get to bless people in need through our service.
- We get to remember to be thankful for what we have - no matter how much or how little.
- Group gives you opportunities to serve in different ways. I had a great time last year working on a house with my crew but this year I chose to volunteer as staff and work with the program team as a photographer. Ultimately, I hope to be trained to be the MC for the evening programs - that would be so much fun!
- We get to hear about so many God sightings at camp - all the wonderful and amazing ways He is always at work around us!!!!!!
**I originally took this from Bev at Blessed Beyond Measure. I realized after posting that there were one or two I didn't change her answers on...think I got them all now!!
Accent: I don’t think I have one. But
Bible Book That I Like: Ruth is my favorite. I also like Isaiah and Nehemiah.
Chore That I Don't Care For: I don’t like any chores. Period. But if I had to pick my least favorite, I’d say laundry. I know it’s not hard but I just hate it.
Dog or Cat: Cat
Essential Electronics: Cell phone, computer with email, DVR
Favorite Movie: Anything with John Cusack in it. I also love You’ve Got Mail & Sleepless in
Gold or Silver: I actually wear both, depending on the outfit.
Handbag I Carry Most Often: I got a really great Healthy Back bag from Ameribag. I love it! You can carry a ton in it and it feels light as a feather.
Insomnia: The story of my life.
Job Title: Continuing Education Administrator
Kids: three furry ones – two girls & a boy
Living Arrangements: Renting
Most Memorable Moment: Driving through floodwaters with Trish after Lisa’s birthday dinner…and then getting turned around by the police and having to drive BACK through them again.
Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: Turning all the furniture in the house upside down with Jessica while my mom was sleeping
Phobias: Spiders. House fires. Tornados.
Quote: It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. W. Somerst Maugham
Religion: Saved by grace, attend non-denominational church.
Siblings: None that I have ever met. I know that half-siblings exist but haven’t had the inclination to locate them.
Time I Wake Up: When
Unusual Talent: I have absolutely no idea.
Vegetable I Refuse To Eat: Sweet potatoes
Worst Habit: Too many to list…overspending, overcommiting, procrastinating…
X-rays: Many, many. Spine, foot, head, chest, teeth…
Yummy Stuff I Cook: I think I make a pretty good lasagna. Also, my taco dip is usually a big hit (not that that is really complicated)
Zoo Animal I Like Most: Giraffes, elephants, bears…anything BIG
BUT I DON'T WANNA.
Fun. I need fun.
I visited the hospital on June 23rd when my friend Kim's mom was in the ER but couldn't locate them. Before that, my last visit was in February when Sarah had Audrey.
Salad: Make a sentence using the letters of a body part. (Example: (mouth) My other ukelele tings healthily.)
Leg - Let's eat grapes!
Main Course: If you were to start a club, what would the subject matter be, and what would you name it?
For a long while I wanted a book club, but I've found one of them. I think I would like a Christian women's fellowship club...a place for women to get together and have fun together on a regular basis. As for the name, all I can come up with is "His Girls".
Dessert: What color is the carpet/flooring in your home?
Nothing exciting, tan throughout
I honestly was unsure of the subject matter - the premise is built around terrorists raiding the birthday party of a Japanese business man at which a famous opera singer is performing. But her writing caught my interest and the relationships that are forged and the character development was really quite good. And there is an unexpected twist at the end...which I shan't reveal!
I will admit that I am a horrible, terrible reader - I always flip to the back early on to see if I can figure out what is going to happen. This time, my flipping did me no good. I couldn't figure it out and when I finally read the whole thing, I was so surprised at how it turned out.
Now I am on to The Great Husband Hunt by Laurie Graham. I picked it up because it looked humorous but really I am just plodding through it more than anything at this point. Some of it is interesting and some of it is meant to be shocking...but overall I am feeling ho hum about it.
Update: I finished that one too. Not thrilled but it was a little better toward the end. I think the characters could have been developed a great deal better. They were somewhat two dimensional.
I will admit that the organizing is not technically complete. But everything has a home now...those homes just need to be gone through and purged a bit...but everything has a home. What was lost, has been found, much to my relief. I hate having to ask people to give me things again. I hate admitting I am not at all time the organized soul I am thought to be! Or, as dear Liz pointed out to me as we rushed like mad women back to my house the other Sunday while Jim sat on my step waiting for us to arrive a half hour late, I am not perfect. Nobody is.
I read an article today about Ashley Judd receiving counseling for depression. (I'll admit I kind of skimmed it - I am interested in such things, especially when someone "famous" comes forward and admits that they needed help because it makes me see that they are just real people like you and me...) Anyway, as usual, I digress. Toward the end of the article, she quoted someone who told her that perfectionism is a form of self abuse.
I can see where this could be true. No one who walks this earth today (and really only One who ever walked it!) is perfect. Yet so many of us try to hard to be, for whatever reasons drive us. And when we fail, it is just that much more disheartening each time. It would be so much easier to cast off the shackles of perfectionism and just be human, fallible and real. But how do you give up something that has been such a part of your life, of who you are? You don't need to give up quality, to give up caring about the things you do and the things you are. You just need to not berate yourself when things don't go the way you think they should or you do misplace something or you do miss an appointment...
It's not the end of the world.
- Quit my job.
- Buy a house. Or two. Or three. One by my family and friends, one by the sea, and one in the mountains.
- Pay off all my bills and my parents' bills and my dear friends' bills.
- Do ministry full time.
- Go on more missions trips...more trips, more often.
- Donate large sums of money and equal amounts of my time to causes and organizations I care about.
- Visit all the places I have ever wanted to visit
- Buy my parents a house in Maine to retire to.
- Buy my parents a fancy RV to get to the house in Maine with all the dogs in tow.
- Pay for the education of the children near and dear to me (...and maybe others I do not know as well!)
- Buy a building for our church!
- Buy an airplane to be used for Angel Flights.
- Make a sick child's wish come true, whatever that wish may be.
This list was harder than you'd think to come up with. I guess I've never given it too much thought beyond the first few, really.
I was feeling under the weather Friday so my early dismissal turned into a rush visit to the dr before the holiday weekend arrived. Everything turned out to be ok, thankfully, and I had several of the ladies from church over to make a little craft for the workcampers to give to their residents as a gift. We decorated terra cotta pots and are going to include flower seeds with a scripture verse on them. They came out really great! I am so thankful for the time and effort my friends put into them. It means a lot to me and to the youth...I know it will mean something to the residents as well.
Yesterday, I decided that a closet makeover was desperately in order. I got rid of clothing that I don't wear/doesn't fit and moved some things I need to keep but only wear on special occassions into another closet. I hate when stuff is everywhere and it looks like something exploded in my closet but the end result was good...it's the in between I hate!
Then I met Kris for dinner & listed to Tommy Conwell for a few hours. We had a great time catching up (& Tommy is always cool, too. I love when he sings Elvis!)
Today I had to teach and the kids were exceptionally well behaved. I ran some errands on the way home and just finished up a meeting with the adult leaders/chaperones for workcamp. Everything is coming together!
Now I feel like I should start working on the spare room/office/horrible terrible mess. But I know I won't finish and I hate leaving things strewn all over all night. Maybe that will have to be a project for tomorrow. It will get accomplished before I go back to work on Thursday - I can tell you that!
I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!