of final days

Slept through my alarm again. But what's new. I stayed up til well past 2, and on pain meds, so it's pretty much a given. But on that note, I missed work. not that they really wanted me anyway. they didn't. So I guess they also didn't need me because they didn't call. So I guess it's not an issue. Plus, it was my last day anyway. I need to still take in my work shirts, apron, and hideously bent visor (came that way). Oh, and also give Donna my SASE to get my last check (and mayhaps a change of address too so I can get my W-2 when the time comes).

Bummed around my room a bit, cleaned some more (again, not that it really needed it). started collecting things together for a box to mail home of books, pulled out my suitcase only to put it back. Too soon to start packing. I don't want to be without occupation, lol. Watched most of Act I of A Very Potter Musical (hilariously ridiculous, and a must-see if you are into that kind of thing).

Called the ethanol plant about getting a tour. Don't know if that will happen, but it's worth a try I suppose.

Made myself a PB&J before calling Nancy&Co to see if we were still on to record my violin piece with her. Yup and yup. They didn't know how well I'd be feeling with the shingles and all, but I said I was still up for it, so she said I was welcome to come over at any time and we could get to work on it.

dinner, phone w/ lydia, music, tv, talking, driving, home, meds, lol, bed


of endings

Woke up this morning in excruciating pain again. I get the feeling this is going to be a regular occurrence for the next few weeks. Ulgh. So. Not. Looking. Forward. To this.

In other news, one of my pain medications is also used as an anti-depressant. So, I might not be depressed in the next few months? Haha… interesting.

I stumbled around my room, bending over like an old pregnant woman. It’s depressing. I used to totally take it for granted that I could just bend-in-half to do, well, just about everything. Bending straight down from the waist is super convenient. For getting ready in the morning, cleaning your room, getting up out of bed, and numerous other things. You have no idea how much you use your abdominal muscles until you can’t or don’t want to because it causes pain. For me, I can use them, it just hurts a lot because it causes me to use the nerve that is affected by the shingles. It also hurts to slouch. Who knew.

Headed to church – I thought, on time, but I got there 5 minutes late for worship practice, for which I was kinda bummed about, but it wasn’t an issue at all. Still bummed though. Then after practice I walked around a bit and got some coffee at the coffee shop. Bud was really depressed. It was surprising. He was on the verge of tears the entire time I was getting my coffee.

Then I saw Kali, and she was already a mess. It was sad to find out that her Dad let her down and bailed on the whole song for the special offering that they were going to take for her to go to the Masters Commission up in Minnesota in a few weeks. So between that and the fact that I was leaving – this was my last Sunday at church, she was pretty down.

I found myself telling people not to be sad. I mean, I wasn’t crying. Did that make me a heartless person? (Or was it just that I’m on this anti-depressant/pain-killer? Lol) or is it because I know it’s foolish to get worked up over goodbyes? I have no idea, because it’s not like I don’t get worked up over goodbyes. I mean, I am going to miss all these people so much. Good gravy, yes, I am. It’s going to be hard going back to Oregon after having been here all summer. I haven’t been away from home and away from everyone I know in Oregon for this long since I went to Belhaven a few years ago. But even then, that was for school, and I didn’t really get to know a lot of people in the community like I have here.

Then during worship, I was supposed to play a solo of the chorus of a song… but I realized three notes in that I wasn’t supposed to play it at that exact time. Whups. But I just went with it anyway and finished it because if I stopped mid-way everyone would notice. Trick of stage performance: never let people think things happen unintentionally. The show must go on. haha.  Sooo I sat down at the back during announcements right after that feeling kinda like a dork, but oh well. The only people who knew were the worship team.

Then right as Pastor Dan was starting up his sermon, he gave a shout-out to me about how they have loved my playing and will miss me, as it’s my last week here in Shenandoah. It’s amazing how sweet all of the people here are. It’s one of the things that always manages to catch me off guard.

Then after church I passed around some bracelets that I had hand-made in the last few days for all of them. I’ll miss them a lot. Some of them had a harder time accepting my departure than others. They all wanted me to stay forever. There was a lot of hugging, and me consoling them that it would be alright, and then Danny wanted to give me something that he had been wanting to give me every day for the last week. His old guitar. Yup, this kid has the hots for me. I had to convince him that I could not take it because it was his instrument, and because there was zero way I could get it back home with me on top of everything else.

Before Kali left, I made sure to give her the package I’d assembled for her, which included a notebook/journal, some of my favorite pens for her Master’s program, and a really good book for her to work through.

I could really go for some chicken nuggets right now. Why I am telling you this, I have no idea.

Then after more and more and more goodbyes and hand-shakes, and hugs, Erica wanted to do something for lunch when she found out that I had no plans. So she, Ashley, Tricia, and her brother Michael, and I went over to El Portal (where everyone goes after church because it’s kinda the only restaurant in town) for lunch. We saw a lot (and I don’t just mean like two or three, I’m talking like 10-20) of people from church there.

Then after lunch, I came back home. Erica had handed me a box and I opened it when I got to my room. A hilarious Hoops and Yoyo talking card, and a beautiful scarf were inside. So sweet.

Then I set to work cleaning my room and organizing things more (yes, I do continue to destroy it on a daily basis, thankyouverymuch). Then I vacuumed. I can’t do that enough, it seems. As it’s Sunday, there isn’t a whole lot of much I can do for the rest of the day. I visited with Jan a bit, watched a movie on my computer, tried to update my blog, but fell asleep for a few hours, and woke up only to find that I’d managed to type some garbled nothings while I was asleep.

Tomorrow is Monday. I’m hoping to do a few things tomorrow. I believe the plan is still for me to meet up with Susannah on Tuesday for lunch in St Joseph or something like that. So pretty much everything else that I want to do in Shenandoah has to be done tomorrow. Which, isn’t a whole lot, but still.


of misery and bowling adventures

Woke up this morning in a Benadryl coma of sorts, but also in excruciating pain. I had no idea what was going on. I have this bug bite on my back, but it’s like it circled around to the front. I couldn’t figure out what the deal was. But it was to the point that this morning I could hardly move or breathe without crying. I’d like to say that I’m pretty tolerant to pain, but this was a lot of it.

I decided I didn’t need to be up just yet, so I decided that more sleep might help me and that I might just be over thinking everything.

20 minutes of aggravated and painful attempts of sleep later, I woke up in tears and decided that I should at least probably call home. Maybe it sounds extreme, but I’m sorry, I just don’t want to die or be stuck in Iowa with health complications. Not cool. So I talked with dad for awhile before realizing that I should try calling Nanch&Co’s to talk with John, because, he’s, well, a doctor, and should know about these things. I felt slightly ridiculous while I was on the phone, because I just don’t have health issues – ever. And the fact that I was kinda sobbing on the phone was awkward, but it hurt a lot and I couldn’t stop it. He asked if I could drive over to their house to have him look at my apparent bug bite and evaluate me in person. After getting off the phone I wasn’t quite sure if it was the best idea to, you know, drive in my current state, but I figured that I was able to drive last night, what is stopping me from driving 3 miles to Nancy&Co’s? Granted, by this point, I had figured out what makes it hurt more and less, and worked through it all. Pretty much doing whatever I could to get my mind off the whole thing.

Once there, John took a quick look at my side and said he pretty much had me completely diagnosed over the phone but wanted to see me in person just to confirm things. He said I have shingles. Which is related to the chicken pox, but only contagious by the rash. It’s like the chicken pox virus kinda just hangs out and chills in your nervous system until something triggers it to come out of hibernation such as low immune system, emotional stress, among other things. It then follows the nerve around from the spinal cord and to the surface of this skin, most often around the waste. With this in mind, it’s kinda awesome. I can totally tell that it’s messing with my nerve (hence the pain), but also: it’s following my nerve! It’s kinda cool. Yes, I’m a total nerd. But it’s cool that it totally traces my nerve from my back around to my stomach. I mean, it’s not a good thing, but it’s really fascinating.

Painful, yes, very. But cool to think about. Annoying, even more so. And now… at this point in time: not awesome. But I’ll deal. Because John’s a doctor, he set me up with some prescriptions right there, which was awesome. One for an anti-viral which won’t “cure” it as shingles has no cure, but it will help by slowing down the reproduction cycle of the virus allowing my body to eliminate it sooner. He also gave me some pain prescriptions which won’t stop the pain, but help it not be quite so miserable. I’m just glad, if nothing else, to know what the heck is wrong with me. I tend to over-think things sometimes, and at first I had no idea if I might have a hernia, or even a kidney stone? Good gravy, it could be anything, but thankfully, it’s just shingles (and as annoying as that is, at least it’s a fairly standard thing with a basic solution). But also: this whole thing is yet another way that makes me feel like this is Peace Corps: Midwest Edition

So after filling my prescriptions at Walmart that John gave me (which, btw: the fact that he is family and a doctor and was willing to help me was seriously a blessing. It’s awesome to know that God is watching out for me that way… still not completely sure why I have shingles… and now, but I’m sure it will all work out soon enough) I hurried home to get ready for work. Now, I wasn’t sure if I should even go to work because of having shingles, but I felt bad for having called in late and missing work before (as much as I say it doesn’t bother me, I like being responsible and a good worker, and yes, it kinda bothers me when I’m late for work). But after being at work for less than 5 minutes, they sent me home. Understandable, I suppose. I’m not upset in the slightest, really. It’s more of just something to occupy my time than anything else.

So instead of work, I just came home, took a pain pill and took a nap as it’s kind of the only way to not be aware of the pain at the moment. The meds don’t do a whole lot for the pain. They just slightly take off an edge.
Around 6, I headed over to the church because the youth group was going bowling up in Red Oak. We all piled into one of the church vans and headed off. It was only about a half hour drive, but some kids pulled out their ipods, others sang, others played road trip games or just generally talked about everything. Once in Red Oak we hit up the Taco Bell/KFC (same building) before going over to the bowling ally for cosmic bowling. Oh yeah.
I never used to be a huge aficionado for bowling, but anymore it’s something fun to do. I’m still pretty miserable at it, but regardless, it’s not as boring as it used to be for me when I was younger (the games used to talk foooor evvver when I was little).

Maggie was so much fun to talk with, and she brought her friend, Sarina, who is a foreign exchange student here in the sates for a year – she’s 15, and incredibly sweet and gorgeous.

I loved hanging out with the kids at bowling. It reminded me of being a counselor at YMA. Maybe I never went bowling with the kids (did with the counselors though), but I could generally be goofy, and they thought I was awesome, which made me laugh. They loved my stupid dance moves to the fun music that was blasting around the room, and I fell at one point because well, the combination of the floors and the bowling shoes were just no bueno for a gravity challenged person like me.

Danny was being hilariously ridiculous the entire evening. I could tell there was more than just a friendship interest in me. He’s only 18, and pretty sweet, but downright girl-crazy.

Ashley, Erica, and I had a good time laughing with each other and at the kids. It was fun, but tiring. It wasn’t so bad for me because I guess I’ve learned how to bounce around my energy and pull at it when I’m even really tired.

After playing two games, we headed back to Shenandoah. Luke kindly serenaded us the entire journey back to various worship and TobyMAC tunes  (a capella of course as we took the van that had AC but now radio).
On my way back home I stopped by HyVee to pick up a snack of some ice cream. Saw Mandie. It was great to see her again. She has a new hamster called Everything-Nice. Sooo that makes it so she has Sugar, Spice, and Everything-Nice.  Two bunnies and a hamster. She told me a few stories about her pets and their latest adventures in her house, which was adorable.

Wow, tomorrow is my last day at Shenandoah Assemblies of God. I can’t believe it. It’s going to be so weird to just… leave. I’ve gotten to know these people pretty well over the last few months

of road tripping

Soo… I worked today for a few hours and then talked with Susannah. Tons of facebook messages and posts later, we finally figured out a potential time for us to hangout/meet up. I’m so excited. I can’t even begin to say. How incredibly. Excited I am.

I ordered a book for Kali, but three weeks later, and it’s still not here. It’s too late to order another one online, and there are no, zero, zilch bookstores around here. The closest are in the big cities around an hour away. So, decidedly, I realized I still needed to go through with my plan and get her the book. I called Borders books up in Omaha. Didn’t have the book in stock. Barnes and Noble closed too early for me to make it there on time. So I started calling Christian book stores in the Omaha area. Parables. Had the book. Open til 9. Perfect. Deep in Omaha. Not so awesome. But at the same time, I wasn’t too worried about it. After getting permission to drive up to Omaha in the Buick, I quickly showered and headed out. Slightly crazy, yes, but basically just what I needed at the moment. A road trip. I love road trips. I don’t take long enough ones, or take them often enough.

So there I was, driving through a city I’d really never been in before (I’d been in Council Bluffs a few times, and the downtown area of Omaha, but there is a huge part of Omaha that I’d never seen in my life). I was in the Buick. On a five-lane interstate. Awesome. Probably the largest interstate I’ve ever driven on by myself. But I wasn’t too afraid. I didn’t have the use of one of my mirrors because it wasn’t working and only showed me the sky, but I didn’t let it bother me and just checked my blind spot when I needed to. All I had for direction was my open laptop with a google maps page still up, but no further internet access and no other map.

I just want to say: I got there without a problem. So, yes, I did not turn left when I was supposed to at 114th, but at the same time, I will have to say that I was 3 lanes over (and there were two more to my right). So I just went up a block and turned around. No problem. It was an adventure for sure. Good gravy Omaha roads are insane.

I just want to say though; I was not expecting Parables to be such a massive store. It was awesome. My book was waiting for me at Customer Service (they asked if I wanted them to hold me a copy when I called up there). After getting my book, I walked around a bit and looked at everything. It was fun. Then I headed off back towards Shen, but before leaving the area, I stopped into the Target (and Panda Express: the most tricked out, huge Panda I’ve been in) and got myself a few things.
I really didn’t want to go back to Shenandoah. I wanted to hop back on to I-80 and go west. Back to Oregon. I wanted to drive the whole way. I didn’t care that I didn’t have any of my things with me, or that it would take me a few days. I wanted to drive it. But I knew that the car would not make it that far and that I also had a paper to write.

Maybe next time I come out this way I can drive? That would be so awesome. Maybe I could make a country voyage out of it. Dipping down even to Mississippi to visit people? I don’t know if my Subaru would make it, but I don’t really see why not. It’s worth the idea anyway.

Anyway, I will just have to say that this Omaha adventure is one that I’ll likely not forget for quite some time. It was pretty epic, even though I didn’t actually do much, I did it all by myself (haha: I’m a big kid now).

After getting back up to Shenandoah, I contemplated being an awkward creeper and doing my homework in the car in front of the library, but decided against it as the light from my computer would likely bother me after 20 minutes, and I still have to use other sources from my textbook and that would be difficult without a proper light.

I have this awkward pain on my abdomen. I have no idea what to make of it. It’s hot, cold, itchy, and just there, but invisible. I have this epic bug bite on my back, but it’s almost like the bite hit me in the back, but then went through my body and hit on the inside wall of the front of my body. No idea… and not that you really needed to know that anyway.

…the Benadryl I took for my bites is starting to kick in. I know this because I’m getting tired and my typing skills have gone to pot.


of failing on updating but attempting to get on that

So much for keeping up with updates. I fail you all. So sorry. I'm also playing around with different fonts for this blog as it has been mentioned to me that it is either too small or fuzzy or some combination of that. So, yes. 

But in other news, I am currently suffering from pulicosis. Unfortunately, they do not include insanity and constant paranoia among the symptoms. However, I will say there is a reason why they call it Pulex irritans. Details aside. I will simply put it this way: I cannot wait to get out of here if for no other reason than this. Some times I continue to feel like it’s the Peace Corps: Midwest edition.

Ended up going to bed after 3 because I got distracted on stumbleupon after skyping with Kim and when she later became consumed with talking to her BF. I thought I wouldn’t be able to wake up in the morning, so my concern for sleeping through my alarm was very present in my memory, so I set my alarm for every two minutes. But the weird part was that I ended up waking up an hour before it was supposed to go off. The light in my room was quite orange, so I looked out my window, and the pre-sunrise was beautiful. I knew I couldn’t just let it go without a picture. So I headed outside and took a few before going back to bed. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go back to sleep. I’m too paranoid. So then I got up when my alarm finally went off, cleaned my room a bit (need to vacuum it later today. Might help with the insanity/paranoia), and then got some coffee at MD Lounge because I knew that with the little sleep I got last night I’d need some sort of pick-me-up before going to work at 11.

Messaged and skyped Susannah a few times trying to figure out a way to see her before I head back – because, let’s face it. It would be absolutely ridiculous to be 3 hours north of her for an entire summer without meeting up. But it’s slightly ridiculous already that we haven’t hung out already, and now we might not hang out or meet up until the day before I leave for Oregon. Still looking forward to meeting up with her though!

recent updates:
August 19: "of missing alarms and watching movies with persons"
August 18: "of special desserts"

of missing alarms and watching movies with persons

Apparently my alarm went off at 8 like I set it for, but I honestly do not remember it at all. No recollection. None. Whatsoever. So lame.

So anyway, my attempt to get up early and do something with my life ended up in me missing out on the entire morning and then also missing out on most of my shift at work, and thaaat when on so far as to me calling in to work asking if they still wanted me to come in (my shift had been switched yesterday afternoon without even so much as a concern as if it would be alright with me to switch it like that) so I just said that I’d forgotten about my switch and stuff, and they ended up not needing me anyway (I was kinda surprised that they hadn’t called me earlier, but apparently they had not been super busy so it wasn’t really even an issue) it was Thursday after all, and those days aren’t super busy at lunch time.

Then, realizing I didn’t need to worry about going into work, I cleaned my room a bit (one would think it would be ok by now, but apparently I manage to destroy it on a daily basis anymore), and then showered before having Jan drive me down to ShenAG early because of her needing the Buick before heading off to Clarinda for her bi-weekly yoga class. Plus, I figured that I could at least attempt to whip out some homework before worship practice started. Which didn’t end up even starting on time because Erica had gone down to Maryville and had gotten stuck in construction on her way back. Not an issue though because we were all there. So then we practiced the songs we will sing on Sunday, and she included a few pieces for me to do solo work. They are mainly just the chorus line of a few hymns that I’m actually familiar with, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

After worship, Erica mentioned that she really wanted to see Dinner for Schmucks, so we met up with Tricia at the theater (Thursday = student id night special. w00t. such are the benefits of always flashing my student id at movie theaters). The movie actually wasn’t the greatest, but I suppose it could have been worse (somehow…) but the thing that made it all worth it for me was that Roy from the IT Crowd played a blind, French fencer. So ridiculous.

After the movie, I noticed that I had a new voicemail, so after Erica drove me home (since I drove my invisimobile) I listened to it. It was from Jim. He mentioned they were going to watch Princess Mononoke over at Nancy&Co’s around 9:30pm. I thought I had missed it, but it was only just after nine at that point. So, as I had walked through the majority of the house and seen nor heard anyone, I called Nancy&Co’s to see if the party had already started without me (which would be weird, considering both cars were still in the drive). No, she said she had expected them to be there by now, but no one was there yet. So I went downstairs, and it was like magic. People that weren’t present were there (lol). So, as I knew I was not going to get anything productive done, I might as well be social and watch the movie with peoples, so I went over. Plus, I hadn’t seen Princess Mononoke before.

When we got there, we had salad, and Robby vented to me about how he hates being a sophomore because it means he has to go to bed all the earlier and has a lot of homework and the work is harder. But I’m sure he’s doing fairly well, and well, it comes with school. Going to bed early… well, at least in high school. And sleep is always good… perhaps I should try to go to bed by 10.

Like that would happen.
It’s a nice idea though.

Got back to the house and skyped with Kim and facebook chatted with Kali for awhile and generally bummed out on my computer for far too long. Tried to potentially get something together to meet up with Susannah before I head back to Oregon – which is like, 5 days away!!! How crazy is that? So crazy.

Its after 1. I should go to bed. But am I? no… dumb.

In other news, this is my new favorite song. Who knew that Zac Levi from Chuck could sing? So tight.


of special desserts

I went to bed at 9:30 last night for if nothing, for the reason that I could.

In other news, I brought enough clothes along with me for 2 weeks (give or take) worth of clothes to wear. I have gone over 4 weeks without doing anything related to laundry. So, needless to say, I did some laundry today. So weird.  I’d forgotten a lot of the clothes I’d brought along with me because it’s been so long since I’ve seen them. And… I still have grease and dirt stains on that shirt from – fixing the Fiero with Josh? Crazy. He’s been gone for forever… I haven’t done laundry since then? Wild.


Out of a combination of boredom and my veterinary/general-animal-nerdyness, I picked fleas off the dogs for about 20 minutes. Poor. Dogs. They are literally miserable. Lexx is losing his fur like mad. It actually makes me mad. But there really isn’t a whole lot of anything that I can do about it.
I’m so looking forward to being back in Oregon. As much stress as I will have and as much things  as I will have to do once I return, I am looking forward to going back.

Cleaned my room pretty well before vacuuming. Hopefully that might help with some of the insect issues I am having. Hopefully…

Went out and fed the chicks. Around 2/3 of them are outside running about and having a jolly good time in general. Jessie has not managed to devour any more thanks to the electric fence and our dogs are leaving them all alone, which is a miracle in itself.

Church tonight was good. We watched more of the video series on Romans. Pretty darn awesome. Oh! And they surprised me with a kind of a going away dessert/hangout session after church. All the ladies brought brownies, cookies, or rice krispies (someone brought this awesome cookie/cream cheese/fruit bars), and we all hung around and talked for a while. It was really special. I’m going to miss all of these people a lot. As much as Iowa is deficient on thing so to do, it is not short of awesome people.

Talked with Erica and Pastor Dan about helping with the youth bowling event planned for sometime later this weekend up in Red Oak. Should be fun.

Then headed home and made a few more bracelets for myself and friends here while skype vidchatting with Cory.

In the realm of skyping… I will have to say that even though I am well aware that my friends all have lives, and that I have talked with a few, and texted a few more since I’ve been here, I am very sad  that i haven't been able to actually be in contact with many of my friends from Oregon over the time I've been in Iowa (yes, you have lives, and I have one too, but srsly. It’s not the dark ages people!!! Facebook, skype, email, aim, google talk, text, cell phones… contact me… somehow sometime). How depressing is that. No wonder I’ve been down for the last few weeks. I’m an extrovert. I get my energy from being around people. When I’m not around people, or don’t hear from them. I die inside.  

BUT! I am super excited to see you when I’m back in Oregon, because, well, lets face it, I haven’t seen or heard from you in 3forevers (actually, 10 weeks), so of course I’m going to be a little more than excited to see (and finally talk) to you again. I miss you all bucket loads and far more than you can even imagine. So lets forget this nonsense of not talking and communicate peoples!!! lets hang out like, all the time when I'm back in your neck of the woods, eh?