Saturday, May 16, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Hello again old friends! I've been very, very busy as of late. It was a long hard winter and I feel as though I might finally be surfacing again just in time for spring! I started writing a post a while back, but Mama always said...If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all! And I certainly consider myself to be smarter after heeding my Mama's advice on this point! I've decided to give you all a list! We'll see what information from the last couple of months is important enough to make my list!
I had my first (and hopefully LAST) opportunity to attempt CPR. My 24 year old neighbor was found unresponsive in his apartment...right across the hall from me...by his parents who were worried about him. The guy upstairs and I attempted chest compressions, but quite honestly, I am pretty sure he was too far gone....It took a while to get back to being able to walk past the empty apartment to get to mine without the visual of the day flashing into my head. A shadow of this day will be with me always.
I began looking for another job. I hope and pray that God has something for me closer to home. It has been a rough year so far from my church Family and friends! Driving 50 minutes to and from work and 50 minutes to and from church or any fellowship and hang out time has gotten really old! I have felt like the clown in the circus(and a three ring one to boot!) who is trying to keep the plates spinning on her poles. My difficulty is that the poles are all an hour away from each other! I get the plates spinning at work, and the fellowship plates come crashing down. On the weekend, I pack a bag and head into town to get refreshing fellowship and return home to find that no home plates are left spinning. I spend time cleaning and running errands to get my home back in order and realize that I've stayed up too late, or now have a migraine and miss a day of work! I stay late at work and arrive home to realize that I have no groceries and settle on popcorn or ice cream for dinner. Some days I don't even stop at home before I head to church, which cuts down the drive by at least a quarter hour. I have spent more time cleaning up shards of shattered plates then almost anything else!
I began to identify what God has been trying to teach me through my 2 years at this school. I got to borrow a friend's husband for some of the driving, and have learned a lot about having a brother! (I admit to turning up...just a little...some songs that my brother doesn't like from time to time...just to see my brother squirm!)
I have gotten really, really good at driving when I'm tired. Exhausted even! Last night I stayed in town late to put together a job application and drove home at 11:45-12:30 on a school night. I was beat, but arrived home safely (by the grace of God!). I have no idea where God will use this in my life, but He has some purpose! Perhaps this leads in to my next point....
On my much coveted spring break I drove a friend to Detroit. She isn't able to drive due to epilepsy and so I drove her to an appointment with a specialist in Detroit. It took us 12 hours to get there, with very few stops. Perhaps our most comical was at the gas station just outside of the city. Our joke....So, 2 white girls walked into a gas station with bullet proof glass at night and bought a map....yep, that's it. No real punch line.... We stayed over night, took a cab to the hospital and then explored the downtown area around the Hilton where we stayed! We especially enjoyed the neighborhood called GreekTown, with it's smells, it's casino and OH YEAH! the Astoria Pastry Shop! (When will technology allow smell-avision?) We did experience a bit of a cab-driver turf war, but after a short trip up over the median and side walk, we came to rest in the Valet parking area! We paid our Cabby made a hasty retreat into the hotel! We went back to the Astoria Pastry Shop again for breakfast before our departure....which, paired with a quick stop at the local Target, almost made rush hour in downtown Chicago worth it! A stop for dinner at Chipotle in Madison, Wisconsin rounded out our menu for the day! Yummmmm!
I'm quite busy at work right now as well. In the realm of Special Education, a meeting just isn't a meeting without 3 or 4 extra people! Could we make it more any more complicated? Throw in some med changes (my students thanks, not me!), some family drama and some hard core spiritual warfare on my church family, and I'm a bit wore out! My car was the latest, no- second to latest, car to be used in the warfare against the body of Christ! As I was watering the plants I'd been repotting on Saturday I heard crunching plastic in the parking lot. A neighbor's boyfriend accidentally backed into my back bumper and did a number on the paint job, and I've noticed that the bumper is a bit jiggly as well! His insurance is covering it, but I've got to get an estimate this week and fax it to the office. I spend 3 hours i my car on at least 2/5 days of the work week, and I wonder how not having a car will fit into my busy schedule? Perhaps I'll pray for a super-sweet, zippy little rental car?
I'm planning a move back to Menomonie, but the details are completely up in the air until I find a new job.... I have loved living so close to my family, only 15 minutes in the car instead of 45, and have loved only being a local call away! Both my mom and grandma will call my home phone and leave me little messages, something they didn't do when I only had a cell phone!
God is teaching me about prayer as of late. I'm really falling in love with my conversations with Him, which is another thing that suffers when I'm trying to keep those plates spinning! He is teaching be about being led by His eye (in Psalms somewhere) as a spouse or chils instead of by the bit and bridle like a dumb animal. You know, like when the husband and wife's eyes meet across the room, and without words they begin their good-byes and head for the door? Or when a parent only has to look at their child reaching for another piece of cake and the look stops the child in his tracks, without words or physical intervention? Perhaps I will always have those dumb animal tendencies, as the Bible says that my decisions will NEVER be free from the flesh-spirit war, but I want so much to know His mind and heart!
And so dear, starved blogging buddies, this is my life. I have been active on Face Book, as it's a quick one-liner kind of communication, leading to personal conversations and opportunities for relationships with the body of Christ and a crazy rekindling of old friendships. I have been included in celebrations of life, opportunities for prayer and some great humor as a result!
I have no idea where the next months will take me. I do know that God is in the driver's seat. If you don't hear from me, just know that I've relegated myself to the trunk so that God may completely drive my car! And not only is He the Driver, he's the wheel I cling to, the air I breathe and the headlights that light my way! Okay...so I think I've gone a bit over the top...do you remember the part of the story that tells you that I didn't even get home until 12:30 last night? Four hours of sleep does not a full night make! Perhaps tonight will make it better....if I stop blogging and start cooking!
If you're still around, drop me a line to say hi, if you want!
Your blogging flunky,
From the mouth of A at 6:47 PM
Sunday, January 11, 2009
...it's been a long time. So many happenings and yet some things haven't changed a bit.
I'll give you the highlights:
As December approached it's midpoint, it became painfully obvious that my new tires were not going to wait for January as I'd hoped. On my way to church one morning in the rain-not-yet-turned-snow, my car lost all traction and I spun end for end down the highway. God's hand was on my car, though, as there was no other cars on the road and I came to rest backwards in the ditch. I didn't seem to be slowing down at all, though, until I met the snow. I'm sure that at the speed I was going, had I left the road at any other angle, my car would have rolled or at the very least my airbags would have went off. I'd hit the only patch of glare ice around. The temperature was just at the right point on this shaded portion of the road to freeze into a surface resembling skating rink. My dad was off work and was able to pull me out with some chains and a big bag of water softener salt on the highway. He then loaned me the money to buy new tires, for which I am grateful! With four new tires, I was now excited for the winter....until I realized that my car had serious issues. After a frightening and slow drive to work the next week, my principal recommended that I call a custodian who also runs an auto shop. He met me in the parking lot and determined that I had at least one bad tire.
Christmas eve morning found me back at the shop where I bought my tires. After their careful inspection determined that I did indeed have one "factory defect" on my car, they began the (apparently) long process of replacing the tire. But hey- what else would I have spent that 3 hours of my Christmas Eve day doing? :)
If you are car shopping and spend part of your year driving in snow- I wouldn't recommend getting a Ford Focus. The tires helped, but honestly- any time my little car even sees snow in the distance it's little tail starts wagging and causes the rest of the back end to wag from side to side- a bad combination with winter driving! If you don't drive in snow and you're looking for a new car...hey! I've got a nice little blue one up here in Wisconsin for sale!
Last week I went back to work after the holidays for a fairly busy week. Our Monday night ministry group, Kineo, had our restaurant fellowships, our church had their first Home Fellowship night of 2009, and we had a coffeehouse training on Saturday morning. I worked late Tuesday night and spent some time with a sister Thursday night...all in all- quite busy.
Friday night I came home to the news that my Dad's older sister was in the hospital...we had known that her cancer had returned since Christmas...but the severity was somewhat of a surprise. My gut said that it was bad...she wouldn't recover this time. She's had a rough life and didn't seem to have any fight left in her. She had a blood clot in her leg and the cancer that was in her back was now throughout her lungs and liver. They initially had given her 6 months, but soon changed it to making no guarantees beyond 72 hours. I think she was a believer, which gives me some peace, but I've selfishly shed and continue to shed many tears since the news of her passing tonight. I'm sad that I didn't get to see her before she died, but I knew it was imminent and just couldn't drive the couple of hours...somehow life goes on. When my dad's youngest sister Debbie was dying of cancer in December of 2001, this aunt, another aunt and I spent many days together at the nursing home. We camped out for days. I'm sorry that I couldn't do this for my aunt Ginny, too.
If you pray to my God, I selfishly covet your prayers for my family right now. It will be a hard week ahead for my extended family with lots of travel in terribly cold weather. Thanks...I appreciate it.
Perhaps I'll be back soon to visit, when I have better news? As for now, it's easier to type than it is to talk.
Glad for His presence,
From the mouth of A at 6:26 PM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
On December 2nd, 1986 my family was involved in a 2 car, head-on collision. We were on our way to a wake or visitation for one of my dad's best friends who had died. We didn't make it. Less than 3 miles from home a driver who had been drinking bent down to pick something up from the floor of his car and came over the center line, hitting us head on. No one wore seat belts in 1986. We do now. If he hadn't hit us, he would have hit a family who was standing outside of their car on the side of the road because they were having car problems.
This is the car afterward. The door that had been cut off was stuffed inside. My cousin Randy came to stay with us and take care of us. We only had a wood stove, so he kept the wood stove fired up so that nothing would freeze. He went to look at the car a couple of days later. This was the car's good side. My dad was driving and was conscious through the entire accident. In bracing himself, he bent the steering wheel, broke both legs and his right arm. With over 300 stitches in his body, 120 of them were in his right bicep area where he had flung his arm out to protect my 7 year old sister who was in the front center. Mom fractured her pelvis and was pretty beat up. One of my parents was hospitalized 13 days, the other 8. My little sister broke her ankle and had stitches in her forehead, but was mostly protected by my dad's out thrown arm. She spent 2 nights in ICU. My older sister and I were in the back seat and were better off. She was banged up and her asthma was triggered. I flattened my nose and face against the seat in front of me. I had the imprint of the seat on my forehead for years. I had a gash on my knee and a puncture wound on my shin.
The family on the side of the road were some new friends of ours from the 4-H group we'd just joined. I remember how cold that night was, and I will always remember the feel of the burlap bags that were given to us to try to keep us warm. I will never forget the ride to the hospital, with my sister in a chair, one of the men from the other car strapped on the gurney next to me. I was on the bench, held in place only by one lone belt! The speed they were going made my location precarious! We were being taken to the hospital that the man had requested, and my parents were being taken to one 30 minutes away. They were half way to the other hospital when my parents found out and demanded that they turn their ambulance around. My aunt and cousin were able to meet us at the hospital. They were great support during that time, as we were all in our own areas in the ER.
I haven't been able to find the rest of the pictures.
By the grace of God we are celebrating our 22nd anniversary today. Only by the grace of God!
From the mouth of A at 9:06 PM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Wow! Hard to believe that we're almost at the end of November! The rest of this week, a shortened holiday week next week and Viola! we're done! Amazing! I can't remember any of my 33 previous falls flying by at quite this speed!
Work remains busy. Meetings after meetings. Our kids and schedule are looking promising, like MAYBE they'll sort themselves out . . . I'm not holding my breath quite yet, though!
I'm staying busy over on Face Book for now, because it seems to work better with my ADHD self. A quick blurb, checking in on everyone else's blurbs and I'm off to the next thing! Works for me!
My favorite little boy turned 5 on Sunday! Hard to believe just 5 years ago I was watching Brother Bear in the theater with my nieces(now 11 and 14, yikes!). Upon returning them home, my younger sister's contractions were getting closer and closer, and off they went to the hospital! Mom and I followed close behind! Some stress when our little boy was discovered to be facing the wrong direction, sunny side up! Whenever my sister tried to push, little Joey went into distress. An unplanned C-section and all was again well with our world! Five years later and he's a healthy little boy! Happy birthday Bug!
See you again soon,
From the mouth of A at 10:39 PM
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Hey all! I thought I'd drop by and tell you all how excited I am that my favorite band will be playing at my favorite coffeehouse on Friday November 7, 2008!
The Get-Rites will be coming to the Blind Munchies Coffeehouse! If you're in Western Wisconsin, or feel like driving, it's free and will be a blast! I'm just so tickled!
From the mouth of A at 9:21 PM
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Alright. I did it. I confess . . . I joined FaceBook. I couldn't help it! Anne so nicely pleaded with me! Well, I joined thinking that I could hide for a bit and, you know, feel it out before jumping in full force. Hmmm . . . not so much. For those of you who aren't on FaceBook(you know, that'd be those of you who are still getting through your to-do lists!) you CANNOT join "just to check it out". It's all or nothin' and once you're in- you're in! They even flash your picture and name to people who might know you, causing people who knew you when you were in 1st grade and then moved away to want to get back in touch! Personally, I think it has to do with a subconscious desire to have more "friends" than the next schmuck. It does an ego good to open up your inbox and have 5 or 6 "friend requests" and to think of other people opening up your profile picture and seeing that you have a bazillion friends. (seriously- like you FB addicts haven't thought it!) I've enjoyed the back-and-forth nature of FaceBook and without a doubt, it is more accommodating to my non-committal, ADHD-tendencies self!
So besides FaceBook, I'm working on department scheduling(imagine a never ending trip to the dentist), improving my teaching, learning more about Autism Spectrum Disorders, and staying on track with my walk with God. Oh- and somewhere in there is the normal tries to stay on top of laundry, dishes, cooking and eating. I am also wondering when in the midst of all that I am going to get my storage room organized so that I can fit my lawn furniture and bike in it?!?!?
My back has been out since Tuesday, and to top it all off, the extra stressor of this weekend involved a strange cut under my thumb nail that has gotten infected. I KNOW, TMI! But besides serving lunch at the men's conference at church, I spent a good amount of the weekend with my thumb alternating between a bucket of hot soapy Epsom salt-y water and peroxide. Seriously- how ridiculous is that???
School is a little crazy, as well. Kids leaving, kids coming, kids being sent home, and time spent following up with a behavior specialist. We've had several rough weeks, with some particularly rough days that will be etched forever in my memory . . .
A few humorous moments made it in to the weeks, too. How about overhearing a 10 year old boy in the hallway, "does this sweatshirt make me look fat?" He's the same boy who wondered aloud where the bellybutton was on the gourd that another student had brought with him. (why?? I do not ask those questions!)
I'll be back, I promise. I'm also checking in on my blogger peeps regularly. I just couldn't miss what is going on in your lives! My own life is just not that exciting in reality, I promise!
From the mouth of A at 10:25 PM