Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jingle Bell Run

Last Saturday was the Jingle Bell Run in Tulsa. I have known about this race for years, but never run it. Always wished I was in good enough shape to just sign up and run a 5K because I wanted to.

And that's what I did.

Saw some fun friends there. Patty Gerstenberger - LOVE that lady!

Lisa Jernigan Blain - it has been YEARS since I've seen her and I love her too!

I didn't run my PR (Personal Record) - but I enjoyed myself and ran a 10:40 mile.

Which is fine by me.

Of course one of my favorite incentives is the Nike Sportband.

I LOVE this thing - it records my distance, pace, calories and how long (minutes) I've run. And it's been calibrated, so I know it's accurate. And I can download it onto my own page on Nike, so I can keep track of my mileage, etc. And the calories are based on my weight, which I am also able to enter.

So, on my 30 minutes lunch break, I just hit walk and walk a mile out and then back and I'm gone about 28 minutes and I've burned over 200 calories. It's a great little gadget. And I didn't buy the Nike shoes for the little pedometer part. You can go to Amazon and purchase a little velcro thing for $3.50 and pop it on your shoe and you're good to go!

It's good for walking and running, and you can pause it and start again and all sorts of neat little tricks! It also keeps track of your mileage per week and total.

And all for $60. (I feel I am a better spokesperson for Nike than Tiger)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kitchen Cabinets

I hate these cabinets. Not the dcabinets so much as the color. Since I moved in. But, they were new when I moved in, so how does one (or me, actually) justify new ones? Oh yeah, and pay for them?

Enter, Kelli Portman, Gardener/House Renovator/Money-wise/Proverbs 31 Woman Extraordinaire...

She painted her cabinets, I painted my cabinets.

She re-stained her cabinets, I'm re-staining my cabinets...

it's a lot of work...

After the cabinets, the kitchen floor. Which I also hated when I moved in.

But, one things' already been done. That decripit fridge has been replaced. With a new one.

THIS one. No water in the door, but it wasn't worth an extra $800... Brita works just fine... It was on sale at LOWE'S for $998!!! Woo hoo!!

Although I won't/can't replace it until the cabinets AND the floor are finished...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cake Balls!

My new love - Cake Balls. They are fun and easy to make. I've even been toying around with the idea of selling them. Not sure how to go about it, though.

I thought maybe at Farmers Markets.

And for how much? At this hoity-toity bakery in town, Merritts, they sell them $2 each. I think that's ridiculous. But is $1 too much? And do I sell them singly, or in dozens or half-dozens? I was thinking I could use those clear to-go packages.

Am I living a pipe dream? Maybe I should send samples to people.

So, what do you think?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I made a turkey, last night. But, since I'm working full-time AND tutoring AND teaching piano AND trying to stay commited to my workouts, things are a bit hectic.

So, I read online that you could cook a turkey from it's frozen state. I had purchased a fresh one, Mondyay night, so I took out the neck, etc, put a cut up lemon in the empty part, then put it in it's pan, covered it with aluminum foil, and put it in the freezer.

Tuesday morning, I put it in the oven, set the oven to start at 1:00 pm at 325 degrees, and hoped for the best.

When I arrived at home at 6pm, the turkey was pretty near done. I set the temperature up to 350, removed the foil, and basted it.

Thirty minutes later, this is what I had:

So, it DOES work. Of course, it takes more time than a thawed turkey. But, if you're a working woman who's juggling a million things - you CAN have your turkey and eat it too!

Now, to finish re-finishing the kitchen cabinets...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Should've taken a Picture

This is not my pie - mine actually looked better - the crust wasn't dark brown AT ALL.
I kept meaning to take a picture, but then the moment was lost and so was the pie - in my belly. I didn't eat the whole pie, but enough to make the picture bad.

But... my, my, my... what a pie!

Now I am really writing to tell you about the pie CRUST. I got the recipe from Cooking Light, and although I am typically a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust gal, my friend Karen Kool inspired me by her roll the pie crust on the dishcloth, so I decided to give homemade a whirl.

This recipe calls for a "slurry" - gotta admit, never heard of one.

here's how it works:

1/2 c flour
6 tablespoons ICE water
1 tsp cider vinegar

whip those ingredients in a small bowl (whip it good! - reminisce about Devo here for a moment)

Then in a BIG-ger bowl, combine these items:

1 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 Tbsp shortening

Mix the above ingredients until it resembles crumbs (this is what they always say). Then add the slurry and mix with a fork until blended.
Now, divide in half and make each half into a 4 inch circle on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and roll out.
(I had to work with it until the edges weren't crumbly, but it was pretty easy).

Then put both of them in the freezer for FIVE minutes.

and there you have it.

I made Strawberry/Rhubarb and used a bag of frozen (thawed) strawberries and rhubarb. I drained them, added 1 1/2 c sugar and 1/3 cup flour.

Bakes it at 350 for 25 minutes with the edges covered, and then another 25 minutes with the edges uncovered. It turned out perfect, not runny or anything.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hello, Ham Girl

That was one of the suggestions on how I could answer the phone here at my new temp assignment. I'm here for three (possibly more?!?) weeks, and my job is to take orders for the Holiday Ham.

Seriously - and I L-O-V-E the job. And this seems to be a really wonderful company. There are over 7900 employees, and they cover 17 states, and they offer very employee, RETIREE and SURVIVING SPOUSE an option of an American Express Gift Card or a ham. Now before you say, "Heck no - give me the money", let me tell you about this ham. 6-8 pounds, bone in, spiral cut, WITH a Honey Glaze packet. As much as I'm not necessarily a ham person, THIS sounds like one heck of a ham.

So far, I've had 283 orders for ham. Not much, when you consider the amount of people they offer extends to. But, these people who call in are SO appreciative and they LOVE their hams. One lady told me it was her 50th ham.

And, that's another thing - The people I get to talk to are delightful. Many of them are retirees - they are funny people.

This one retiree from Minnesota told me he lived in the very very NORTH part of Minnesota and up there they have two seasons: Winter and the Fourth of July.

For the record, the first time I answered the phone I said, "Ham Hotline" by mistake. Since then I have consistently said HOLIDAY Hotline.

It's a fun job - and I'm glad I was picked to do it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

From a Friend

I haven't ever done this before, but this was written by one of my former students who is now a grown up, and is LIVING in England, and has some very real experiences with GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTHCARE. Just thought I'd share her life experiences... (she said I could)

some thoughts on the "public option"

with all that has been happening in america recently, i have had many discussions with my fellow americans regarding health care and obama's plans to "revitalize" the system. Because i live here, in the UK, and we have nationalised health care, people have been asking me lots of questions. and offering their opinions. most of those opinions are based on exactly that, opinion. since the american system basically offers you two choices, private insurance or no insurance, most people have never had the privilege of dealing with a nationalised system. or public option as obama is choosing to call it.

and the general consensus of most americans that i speak with is that the plan is a good one. it will benefit the poor, help those with little to no insurance, and on a whole wont really change the system. because what could be bad about health care that is free right? hmmm...

i recently had one friend point out that the new plan will predominately help those who really cant afford health care. he ended his argument by pointing out that we have never really been poor and in america. true. i have never really been poor. i have been a struggling college and grad student, working 40 plus hours to try and make ends meet. i have been a struggling new graduate, working a crap teaching job that didnt even pay enough to cover rent and bills. but i have been all of that as a single person, no husband, no family. so my friend was right in a sense that i have never really been poor and needed health care. but i have been without insurance and needed medical attention. oh boy, that was a challenge.

during graduate school and my first year out, i did not have medical insurance. i couldn't really afford it. but i did get sick in those 3 years. and i had huge amounts out of pocket to see a doctor and get prescriptions. and the care i received was different. the clinics i had to go to were not as nice, not as well staffed and well, pretty much you could tell that i was at a place that would see people on a cash only basis. its hard to be in america without insurance.

but hear me on this. i would take america with no health insurance over government run health care any day. there is no choice. because even though the care wasnt the same as if i had had health insurance, and even though the clinic may not have been as nice, i was still seen in a timely and efficient manner. the problem was address quickly and effectively.

timely and efficient are words that seem to evaporate over here. because health care is government run, everything is worked out on a cost/time/effort basis. will the procedure be lengthy and time consuming? if the answer is yes, then dont expect it to happen. doctors (GP's as we call them over here) are paid based on how many people they see in a day. when you have an appointment you are given 10 minutes. well 10 minutes at my doctors office. its less elsewhere. but when you allotted time limit is up, you have to go. my sister in law was actually told, and i quote, "your 5 minutes are up. if you have more questions you will have to make another appointment." she did have more questions. she had only briefly discussed her problem and had a questions about her daughter. she had to make another appointment.

and before you think "yeah, thats just an isolated incident. doesnt happen all the time" think again. if something is not cheap, quick and easy then its more than likely they wont do it. sometimes you get a doctor who is willing to take the time to actually talk to you and investigate, but those are few and far between. and the really disheartening thing is that even when you get a doctor who is willing to help, to really investigate, you still have to fight with the NHS system as a whole.

take my daughter for example. There is potential that due to the difficulty in labour and delivery, eleri may have some nerve damage in her right arm and hand. we went to the doctor to get it checked out. he agreed that there was potential she has some weakness and sent her to the hospital paediatrician/neurologist to check it out. we went into the GP on the 6th of November. The FIRST appointment available at the hospital is the 20th of January. that is almost an entire 3 MONTHS after i would have had the first doctors appointment. 3 MONTHS. but i cant do a single thing about it. the doctor mentioned that catching nerve damage within the first 5 months means that there is a big chance the problem can be corrected. by the time we get our appointment that 5 month window will be gone. She will be 6 months old already.

and there is not a single thing i can do about it. i just have to wait. but hey, at least its free right?

and what could possibly be wrong with free health care?!

the problem is that you pay for what you get. if you pay nothing, then that is what you can expect to get. nothing. and as a new mother who wants the absolute best for her daughter, nothing is just not good enough. waiting 3 months to see a doctor is not good enough. and what can i do about it? nothing. sucks.

i could pay to go private in the UK, but the cost is astronomical. essentially there are two choices in this country as well, government run health care at a sub par level or pay out huge amounts of money for private care. not too be a downer, but i foresee this as the way it will end up in the states. people keep saying that the public option really wont affect the system as it is now. but i dont buy it. at all. i have experienced government run health care. and it sucks. i can only imagine what americans will think of it.

to be fair, i will say that not every experience i have had with the NHS has been negative. when i went in to the doctor in the summer and was diagnosed with skin cancer, i had a fantastic NHS doctor. she was brilliant. quick, efficient, and free. so in that instance the government run and paid for health care was perfect. but there have been more times than i can count that have been awful.

so forgive me, fellow americans, if i can not jump on board 100% with obama's plan of government run health care. I do agree that something needs to happen to change americas system. it does not work for every one. i do understand that. but i do not think that health care run and paid for by the government is the right answer. i know that the NHS is a more extreme version of what obama wants. i realise there are many differences between what i have described and what obama wants to implement. but the basic principle is the same.

and in my opinion the outcome is the same. government run health care sucks.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Home for the Weekend

I got to go HOME, last weekend! It was so NICE to sleep in my own bed for three whole nights. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for my job, but I did some quick calculations, and realized that for the calendar year of Nov '08 to Nov '09, I will have only been in my own home for two months and one week. The rest of the time I was either in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kenya or the East Coast. All GREAT places to be, but still there's no place like home.

I went for a run with my Running Group Saturday morning. Gotta admit, I had a lot of trepidation - was worried about keeping up. But, I DID! And we ran 8.6 miles, at an 11 minute pace, so I feel really really good about the Tulsa Run on October 31st.

And then, Saturday night, I went to the Fair. I was coerced into trying this:

You're thinking, Seriously, Chocolate Covered Bacon? Yes, that is what it is. Fortunately, the requirement was one bite - (I was kind of curious, but one bite cured that)

And then, for the first time in my life, I was won a prize.

Cute lil guy, isn't he? But, he smelled so NASTY that I left him on a table for someone to take (which someone did in about 3.2 seconds) It truly was the thought that counted.

Now I'm back in DC - with a group, because they were snowed into Minneapolis. So, THEY'LL arrive tomorrow. Whilst in the Chicago airport I saw this...

Tulsa State Fair is way ahead of it's time.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Remember the Rabbits?

Way back in June i created my own new little garden space and had some issues with a pack of rabbits that had been born in my back yard and then ATE the seeds that I had planted. SO, I had decided to do away with them, and they apparently felt the vibe, because they disappeared. Which was a good thing. For them. I was going to drown them, and then was shamed into releasing them into a field, but then they were gone and that was the end.

In case you feel I am hard hearted, please remember they had encroached on my land, with no offer to help with the mortgage and THEN were also eating the very items I was using to save money in these hard economic times.

I told my last tour group this story. This is then what I found in my seat of the bus...

So cute. Funny. Witty. Hilarious. And the time they put into hunting for that cute little rabbit meant a lot.

And then, I was reaching into my purse the following morning, and this is what I found...

the sickos... :)

Star Sightings

SO, there we were, leaving the Broadway Show The Lion King (yes, for the twelfth time... ok - maybe 13) and we were walking down 45th to the bus that was waiting for us on 8th Ave, when we came across a crowd. Yes, unusual for Manhattan. They were standing under a canopy by a Stage Door... the Stage Door that HUGH JACKMAN was going to come out of.

And here are the amazing photos I got with my new phone...

Does it seem blurry? That's him - the first guy

Oh yeah, no flash, no zoom...

We also saw Daniel Craig and Bill Pullman. I was GOING to take photos, but well... you saw the last ones.

And also. I LOVE my job, and just had the funniest group, but I miss home. My community at church, my friends, my garden, my bed, my house.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Technology abounds

So... I bought a mini. I like it. It's light and handy and I can use it when I'm touring, etc.

Then my phone broke - I continued to use it until it became near impossible. I shopped around, and discovered that staying with T-mobile was my best option. I was hoping to get a really great deal on an air card, so I could have instant internet whilst traveling, but to no avail. But... I do have the internet on my phone. I ended up with the My Touch - T-mobile's answer to the I Phone.

It's really pretty spectacular. And... I only pay $85 a month (with tax) for unlimited everything. I'm on the loyalty plan. This same plan with ATT is $179/month and at Sprint is $149... woo hoo! I am happy to be loyal. (I got the Red one)

But... when doing a vacation thing in Hawaii, my camera got wrecked.
And although Sams gave me my money back... they no longer have my camera. So, I'm shopping. I'd like to stay at $200-$250, but MUST have 10x optical zoom. I am leaning like Pisa towards a Panasonic Lumix, but if any of you have a great idea that I am ignorant of... I would LOVE your help, Especially you great picture takers.

Thank you for your help and comments and thoughts and suggestions. Any and all are welcome. And later I'll tell you my ridiculous stories about men hitting on me. Pathetic, really. I think that new show Cougars is NOT going to help my cause... you see, I don't LIKE being hit on by persistent 21 year olds.... it irritates me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Heard this from a Friend

Many of you probably know I worked in Hawaii for about 6 weeks, last year. I still have a friend working over there, and I occasionally speak with him. Sometimes I even enjoy the conversations... :)

Anyhow - he told me this story and I thought it was hilarious - and so typically "Hawaii".

Apparently, he went into Kinkos to get 25 copies of a 50 page document copied and stapled. The guy asked him when he needed it and he said Tomorrow. To which the guy replied, "This is pretty think. We might have to staple it by hand." To which HE replied, "That's fine. It doesn't matter if it costs more." And then the over-achieving Hawaiian Kinkos worker said, "Well, we're out of toner."

...Yes, Folks, the Kinkos was out of toner. That makes sense...

After being in Hawaii last year, I have an opinion about people and Hawaii. (I know, SHOCKING!) I think it's where the lazy people from the Mainland go because they can't hack it here. Now - this gives true Hawaiians a bad name - because they actually ARE laid back - yet intelligent and hard working - when they need to be. But, not paTHEtic. That's reserved for the Mainland Transplants...

Monday, August 17, 2009

About "The Race"

I ran the race. Saturday, August 1st, so this is a bit overdue. Sorry, but since hardly anyone ever comments on my posts anyhow, it doesn't seem like it matters... (yes, a nice healthy dose of self-pity)

So... the day was pretty good for August in Tulsa. Rained a little right before so the air was pretty heavy-feeling, but at least it wasn't 105 degrees, which we have run in plenty of times...

It started great. Our main coach, Kim, was pacing us - and there are four of us who always tend to run together. I felt great until about 2/3 of the way through - all of a sudden I couldn't breathe. I TOTALLY thought this was psychological, and as Mindy and Abby pulled away I started getting really ticked off - they are not faster than me - was all I could think.

But, I couldn't get a darn breath. Kim stayed with me, and at one point, I even had to walk - probably 30-45 seconds. This REALLY irritated me, because I kept thinking I was psyching myself out, and what a pathetic thing, to psyche yourself out when you've been running great for the past 12 weeks, etc.

So, finally I started running again.

My original fantasy goal was to fun it in under 30. On July 4th, when we had our first practice run and I ran a 5K in 37, my goal changed to under 35...

The week before the RACE, we ran another practice at 33:12, so then my goal was SURELY to run it in under 32.

Well, I came in at 32:11. A very irritated 32:11, I might add.

When I was still struggling to get a full breath Sunday NIGHT, I decided I would make an appointment to see the Doctor. Turns out I have a respiratory infection, and was put on a decongestant, antibiotics and an inhaler... with complete blood work and a chest X-ray... reminds me, I haven't heard back on the X-ray.

At least it turns out I am not a total psychological wuss...

These are some of my new running buddies from our group. We all "earned" our jackets - wahoo! ABby and Lili are missing. Abby was on her way to Honolulu at the time, and Lili had hustled herself off to work - she's a nurse.

Why do I look orange? I do NOT go to a tanning booth, and rarely even step out in the sun these days... seriously.

Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Over and I'm Fine!

Vacation Bible School was this week - it ended Thursday. It was great. I'm very glad I did it, and I think children learned about Jesus.

It was the story of Moses - Day One was him and the burning bush. I found myself wondering at my choice of words when I said, "Even though you get really angry at someone and even IF they've done a bad thing, you should never kill them (When explaining how he ended up taking care of sheep on that mountain)." I made a little burning bush with flames and live branches and it was good.

Now, teenagers at our church help with VBS, and I was assigned four of them. Which was fine by me. Turns out the two girls' moms were on my wing at ORU sophomore year... crazy.

Well, these little teenage chickadees had a problem after the first day - they said it was boring - they were used to it being very entertaining, as in the past, the gals in charge have been super creative, creating their own scripts and characters and making it funny and exciting.

I, however, made it very clear when I signed up that if they got me they would NOT be getting that, but they WOULD be getting an excellent teacher who has a knack for engaging students AND keeping order all at the same time. (To which i received a rousing Thank you, this is what we've been praying for)So, the kids complained afterwards on Monday, saying, "It's not at all entertaining", and "before...." and "if WE're bored..."

So, Tuesday morning we had a little Coming to Jesus meeting, in which I told them that it was NOT about them, that complaining and comparing is foolish and unwise, according to Paul in Corinthians, that MY authorities told me to teach the story from the book and I'm obeying my authorities, and that their job is to be positive, not complain and act like Jesus.

Things went much better after that.

The next day was Moses, Pharoah and the plagues - we turned water into blood (little red food dye at the bottom of the clear glass), threw rubber frogs, had them walk on Cap'n Crunch on black tarp barefooted to imagine the locusts, etc. It was a hit.

The next two days were similarly successful, what with the Angel of Death and the Passover lamb; had them paint a door frame with "blood" - yeah, WATER. All in all, great success.

Tonight I'm going to Wicked and tomorrow morning is my 5K run which officially ends my 12 week running program. I'm excited. Miraculously.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Check Them Out!

So there's this contest that the Jonas Brothers have going, and the Boss girls, Jessica, Andrea and Kirsten decided to enter. I helped them practice a little - and as you can see, they are so darn cute and clever. No one but their father, Scott Boss, could have thought about siging in the shower...

Aren't they darling?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I LOVE Funny People

No, I haven't seen the movie, and probably won't as it doesn't look funny to me. I'm talking about the funny people I have been blessed to know...

I went to coffee with a friend at Starbucks, this morning. I stopped giving my real name at these sorts of places YEARS ago - Lord knows I have spelled it enough times... so I give a name that needs no explanation. I say my name is Sally.

So, this morning I placed my order, she asked my name and I said, "Sally."
She said, "With a "Y" or an "I-E"? Yes, she did. I am NOT joking...
I said, "With a Y".

My friend then places her order and when asked for her name, without missing a beat she said, "Sallie with an I-E"... ahhhhhhh - I LOVE it!!! I just looked at her with no way to stop the joy in my face.

Tell me something funny someone has said in conversation with you, lately.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Favorite Summer Salad

This is it. Fresh mozarella, tomatoes, fresh basil (from my OWN garden) drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I LOVE this.

And here are the first two cucumbers from my garden! Yippee!! That one looks kind of pregnant, and I was afraid it would be too seedy, but being homegrown, it was still great! (And cucumbers aren't even one of my favorite vegetables)

Still no job... and Kenya looks like it's back on hold...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And Today she works and learns...

Got the call at 9 this morning. A secretary had called in sick and they were needing a sub. I can SO DO THAT. Also though I am only getting paid for six hours, who CARES!?! It's a job. And interestingly, it's for an engineering firm. Really? This is interesting? Well, yes, because I majored in Engineering for 1 1/2 years in University. So, I was interested to see what an engineering firm looks like "on the inside". And this is what I learned - I made the absolutely CORRECT decision when I changed to Music Education. Period. True, the only men I worked with were the 60+ year old Principal and equally aged custodian throughout my 20's. And the male prospects were equally dismal at my other schools. (Unless you want to count the MARRIED man who was trying to start an affair with me - shudder at the thought!) Yet still... although I haven't ever doubted the decision to change, it's funny to see the other side, and nice to be reassured.

I am sure this office doesn't represent ALL engineering firms - but it is a fairly large one and is also international.

On another note, look at my WATERMELONS! Woo hoo!

And isn't that Butternut Squash cute?!

And these are the zinnias that grew from the flowers that I let die and left where they were. I LOVE that!

And also, Kenya is on! So, I will be putting the final touches on my support letter, etc (a little scary to think about) and moving forward.

I am actually checking in to gathering textbooks from here in the Tulsa area and shipping them to Kenya. Any ideas on the process anyone? I was also wondering about contacting WalMart or Target to see if they would donate boxes of paper and pencils, etc. I so have NO IDEA what I am doing, but I figure might as well punch through this paper bag on my head while work is sporadic and see what happens on the other side. I am open to suggestions and advice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What Do You Think?

I checked this and it is not a hoax or pretend or propaganda. He really said all this and he is really holding the coin.

Medvedev sees single currency dream in G8 coin gift
4 days ago

L'AQUILA, Italy (AFP) — Even if Russia's call for a global currency failed to gain much traction at a G8 summit, President Dmitry Medvedev took home a coin meant to symbolize that the dream may one day come true.

The Russian leader proudly displayed the coin, which bears the English words "United Future World Currency", to journalists after the summit wrapped up in the quake-hit Italian town of L'Aquila.

Medvedev said that although the coin, which resembled a euro and featured the image of five leaves, was just a gift given to leaders it showed that people were beginning to think seriously about a new global currency.

"In all likelihood something similar could appear and it could be held in your hand and used as a means of payment," he told reporters. "This is the international currency."

Russia, along with China, has been a vocal proponent of diversifying the global currency system away from the dollar, which has dominated global finance and commerce since the end of World War II.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the summit joined the band in favour of dumping the dollar as the international currency of reference, insisting that "we cannot stick with just one single currency."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lost My Job

After a second infiltration (Where the needle goes through the vein and fluid, this time blood, starts filling your ARM instead of the vein where it belongs), it has been decided that the selling of plasma is not for me. So, there goes that income source.

On another note, I am now the Drama Director of our church's VBS, called Crocodile Dock. Now, please understand, when it comes to creativity and drama what I am is a great DIRECTOR. As fas as performing, if I'm given a script or idea and someone great to act with, then that's fine, but I'm not into being the "Superstar" - I'm a HUGE believer in less is more (this could be because I'm lazy, I guess) Anyway - there's no real script for any of this. But, I have teens under me who I'm told will do anything I ask of them. So, I met with a friend who helped me come up with ideas for the four days and now I feel pretty good about it.

There is some light construction involved, but lucky for me, my parents will be here the weekend before when it all gets put together. (They don't know this unless they are reading this right now - but they'll be fine with it - they're just great like that)

So - no job. I have put in an appplication in at Starbucks, sent my resume to another Temp Agency, and to the DA who asked me to pass it his way. My two piano students are very hit and miss, as it's summer.

I will NOT fall into a funk. Good thing I'm exercising. Need all the endorphins I can get.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Giving Plasma and Running

I started my Fourth of July with a 5K! And I finshed and ran the whole way. Which was my goal and so I'm so happy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bits and Pieces

I guess I shouldn't have called it a contest, because I didn't offer a prize.

And it was only 84 degress in my house, so now I feel like I was being overly dramatic... but it felt SO HOT!!!

I have realized, working here at Senior Star (which I have thoroughly enjoyed) somthing:

Never use the first bathroom stall when there are only three. Because to make sure no one's in it before you push the door you ahve to glance that way and the gaps between the door and the walls are about an INCH wide. You can see who's in there doing there business. Use the second one.

I know music videos are probably lame, but Gayla this one is especially for you. Even though she doesn't drink coffee. Raspberry tea with Vanilla creamer. That's how we always made ourselves feel special when we lived together. And I LOVE this song. And it's not a new song, but I DO think it is universally enjoyable.

It's raining - I am SO HAPPY! It means a much cooler run this evening (I am SO loving my Running Group)

Another thing I love - running skorts. They are so much cooler than shorts and I don't get that stupid rash from my shorts... they are terrific. I now own three. And one of them is actually a tennis skirt, so if I ever decide to play, I have a play to put the balls.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My First Video "Embedding"

I guess this is an old song, but it was new to me in Kenya and I love it so much I'm embedding it! It's called The Father's Song and it's be Matt Redman.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My First Contest

Guess how HOT it was in my house when I walked in today after work? As in, what did the indoor thermometer on the AC thing read? And, no, my AC is not broken (Whew!)

Okay - you have until Friday at 5pm... and if, by any chance, you actually read and rarely comment so I would never know who even reads... throw a number out there.

Monday, June 29, 2009

the Plan WAS...

In my heart and head the plan was to work temporary jobs here for July and August, and then head to Kenya September - November to help them start their school. School starts for them in January, and there is a gal who has her Masters In Christian Education Adminstration, and she is planning on going over there in January to actually run the school for a while. I would be the "front runner" so to speak. Testing/placing the children, doing necessary paperwork and helping interview teachers. I have my support letter written, and although this whole "don't have a job" thing is freaking me out to some extent, I have been here before, and have just been trusting that my heart feels really settled on this and therefore, things will work out.

However, the snafu is that OAI (Open Arms) may not be ready to launch the school then. They have a lot of projects going on, and SEVERAL short term teams going over - these things are GREAT!, by the way, but that means the school may need to be put on hold. I completely understand where they are at... I do not at all understand where I am at. I can't continue to not have a job indefinitely. I can't tour guide full-time in the Fall - there just isn't that kind of work available.

I don't know what to do, and I can't just sit around and cry, as that doesn't pay the bills.

I gave plasma yesterday - that was $30. I know that sounds pathetic... just covering my bases. I'm not even near homeless - but if i can't find temporary work, (And the jobs AREN'T lining themselves up), then I have to make some cash.

What do I WANT to do? Whatever it is God has for me. I am open. I will even teach again, if a job is thrown in my lap. (Dang, she IS desperate... :))

Sunday, June 28, 2009

been a while

I guess life has been busy - well, absent of the computer, actually.

Kind of been a rough few weeks - emotionally.

Finished up tour season - went well.

Worked for a week with a company that I love - no job now, though. I need work for the next nine weeks.

I have decided I AM going to Kenya. September 2nd is my target date. I need to raise $6000. I have a support letter ready to go. I think I will get that out this week. Since I don't have work. Need work. I'll do anything.

Feeling a little downhearted. I guess I'm going through another layer of grief.

Joined a Running Club adn that is DEFINITELY the highlight of my summer - I LOVE it. We meet twice a week and then a group of us meet a third time for the extra run. The goal is a 5K on July 27th. My goal is to run it in under 30 minutes. And for me, this will be a great accomplishment.

I've managed to gain 7 pounds while running. And I would love to think it's muscle, but my clothes are fitting tighter. And I'm not eating more because I "know I'm running."

Trying to remember that God is good and life could be SO MUCH WORSE. But, just feeling sad, anyway.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Around the House

I've decided since I was home for these two weeks between tours, that instead of being stressed about not having work, I would choose to be happy about the time to work on my home. I needed to change the locks after my "tenant" escapade, and so that began all of this. I went to Home Depot and priced door knobs, etc... and then I went to dinner at the Portman's...

Jeff and Kelli Portman have been my friends for ages. College era friends, like Karen and Gayla and Renee Scobel - friends that will be in my life FOR life. Kelli is truly a friend after my own heart in so many ways - we share a passion for gardening, (actually before dinner we took a stroll of the yard), at my request. Jeff just built her a raised bed - boy, does she have things planted! And she gave me a six-pack of tomato plants. I happily returned the favor with zinnia plants that had re-seeded over the winter.

Kelli is also a coupon gal - I LOVE that. She told me that on E Bay, you can BUY 10% coupons at Lowes and Home Depot. I bought three at Lowes for 3.50, and have already saved 14.00 on one purchase, so I have made my money back and created PROFITS!

Then she showed me the door handles and hinges they replaced. Dark oil rubbed bronze. I love them and she said, "We know it will increase our home value and decided to actually enjoy it, rather than do it right before we decide we want to sell." Which, as evidenced by so many shows on HGTV is what a large percentage of the people in our country do.

So I started thinking about MY Door Knobs, and this is what I found in my own home.

Now I LIKE these. These are the ones I picked out when I first moved in.

And then there's these... They must be the VERY cheap ones installed in 1984 when the house was built. DId I already say it? For CHEAP.

And then there's this one... no idea WHY it is on ONE bedroom door.
Nice, huh?

But, the door knobs I wanted were very expensive at Home Depot AND Lowes (the least expensive I saw was $24 each, which would have come to at least $300 with the dead bolts,and the priced soared to $40-$75 from there), so I hopped online and found a website called Each door knob and deadbolt priced in between $8 and $11. I was able to replace 9 door knobs and two deadbolts for $138, which included Fedex shipping.

AND... she had painted her bathroom cabinets and they looked wonderful. She told me the paint she had been recommended by some lady, and I got to it, and at Sherwin Williams they really treat you great - they even keep a record of every paint you buy, so they will ALWAYS be able to match it up for you if you ever need more.

I have HATED my mantle since BEFORE I bought the house.

It was the FIRST thing I wanted to change. But not even my father (who has had a Handy Man business as a side job for the past 30 years) could get that thing down. So, I have wanted to PAINT it. I thought maybe to match the brick mortar. And I finally did it last night.

I sanded it, primed it, and here it is.

I think it looks so much better.

I really like the color and am now going to tackle the bathroom cabinets which I have also disliked for four years (can't believe I have lived owned my home for four years!) This post is entirely too long - sorry about that - you are BRAVE for reading!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Camping at the Buffalo

Spent Friday and Saturday in Arkansas at the Buffalo River. What a great time! I left early Friday morning, as the plan was to canoe on Friday and most of the group was already there. I went with the Langstons and some other friends. Lauren brought two friends from Kenya, one from Rwanda and one from Russia. I got to practice my Swahili and learned two words in Russian. (Not bad ones). With Nathan and Benson, the Kenyans.

I took my camera on the canoe trip so you could share the beauty.

My canoe partner and "rudder", Kelly.

Benson and Darlene.

Chloe and Beau, the children I enjoyed on the trip. (It wasn't cold - they were pretending)

Sweet Lauren!

Hiking up to Hemmed-in Hollow.

Tallest waterfall in Mid-America.

And freezing!

I never even wore flip flops until I turned 40. And so, I decided to wear them CANOEING and HIKING? Good job! The rocky bottom of the Buffalo makes for some beautifully clear water and some PAINFUL barefoot moving the canoe when it's stuck.

And then, yes then... we tipped. There are 52 sets of rapids on this 8 mile canoe trip. Someone had mistakenly called it a FLOAT TRIP (Kelly) - I had no idea it was as intense as it was. And this is what happened to my camera.

You know, a ZIPLOC bag could have prevented this... yeah - thought of that about twenty minutes AFTER my camera was submerged. At first, it didn't work at all. I set it out in the sun and after 24 hours the screen dried out. But, not the lense... so I have no photos of the amazing hike we did yesterday.

And then, a stroke of genious. Took it back to Sams and told them it was working but the picture was bad. Showed them. They asked if I had purchased it in the past six months and if I had the card with which I purchased it. I did. I had to go home to get the cords, etc, and when I got back, for the FIRST time the water had moved up to the actual visible lense, and the gal behind the counter said, "That's the problem. There's water in there." And I remained silent and I got a brand new camera! I am LEARNING the lesson - I DO NOT HAVE TO TELL EVERYBODY EVERYTHING. Somehow in my early years of walking with Christ, the message of TRANSPARENCY got branded into my brain that if I TRULY loved God I would be TOTALLY HONEST ABOUT EVERYTHING. This has resulted in SERIOUS PAIN AND HEARTACHE. Words cannot describe the pain - I have trusted those I shouldn't because they told me they loved God. I am actually getting tears of sorrow in my eyes right now just typing it, so I must stop. Sufice to say, I was BLESSED and I didn't lie.