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 ebuilderdirect.com. 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.