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?


of epic an all-nighter

Soooo last night, yeah, somehow I managed to stay up for the duration. I don’t know how it happened. But it just, well, did. I was up at 12 and knew i’d probably be up for a few more hours, but once 2 hit after skyping with Kim, and her wondering why she was up at midnight, I was up at 2, I wasn’t sure how much longer I’d be awake. I was hoping to go to bed soon, but my mind was still racing like crazy

(don't ask me about the lines, i have no idea why they are there... they're driving me crazy)

Then 4 came along. By this time, I had made the final decision to add more excitement and spice to my life by coloring my hair again. I kinda freaked out when I pulled off some of the highlighting kit after awhile, but the funny thing was that I knew that would happen. I mean, it’s what I was hoping for, it’s just that the initial shock is always there to surprise me with the: holy chamois: my hair is blonde. But I like it. Then I showered and skyped with kim while making more bracelets some more before cleaning my room. And then cleaning my room and then putting more things up on my walls, and then kim went to bed and I kept putting things up on my walls and kept cleaning, and doing random things on my computer, cleaning more, organizing more, putting more things up, bumming out on my computer more. It just didn’t make sense to go to bed. I mean, seriously, I wasn’t tired.

Then my alarm went off at 6:00am to get ready to meet Annette for our bike/chat date. Woah. 6? Already. How insane is that. I mean, I wondered if I might end up staying up the whole night, but I never really thought it would really, really happen, and I didn’t do it intentionally. I just wasn’t tired.

So I did my best to wrap up the cleaning, get… dressed? and head out on my bike to meed up with Annette just on the other side of the Nishna/Airport and Hwy 59 intersection. Of course, leave it up to loser me to stumble half way through that intersection with cross traffic nearing the signal. Fail. But thankfully I had my lights on, so I made it through safely because they saw me there.

Then Annette and I biked back over to the church and decided to just stay there as it might rain were we to bike around or sit at a park (plus, it was deathly humid). After a few hours of talking on the couches at the church, I biked back to the farmhouse. The whole way back I had started to feel the whole you’ve-been-up-for-too-long kinda thing and was quite nauseous. But I made it safely back to the farmhouse and went straight to bed. Napped for five hours before heading to work. I was so confused about what day it was and what time and all that when I woke up from my nap. It was around 2pm, but it was kinda overcast (very Oregon weather) and looked pretty much like it could just about be any time of day.

Worked 4-8 with Philip, Jenny, and Amber and we generally had a good time. Between Amber laughing at all my stupid sayings and jokes (surprises me every time), and Philip is awkwardly a high school football player, so everything is flirting from him. But we have a good time, between the laughing, jokes, fake-complaining, the occasional (and annoying) gossip about the co-workers and regular customers, making of set-ups, and rag throwing/hitting, it’s always fun.

Looking back on it all, I realize that I had slept in until noon the day before my epic all-nighter (my second on record), so really, it was no worse as if I had stayed up til 3 after getting up at 6 the same day. Which I’ve done before (more times than I would like to say). So the whole staying-up-all-night isn’t nearly as awful or epic as some might like to think.


of mornings...

Argued madly with alarm clock that mercilessly kept going off every 2 minutes for 40 minutes. Yes, I did it to myself. Yes, it’s dumb. But I need to be getting up earlier. And it’s the only way I can get myself to do it because I’m the only one in my room – I mean, I can’t really ask anyone else here to wake me up at 6. I could have a friend call me, I suppose that might work, yeah, but at the same time, all my friends back home are still in bed at that hour (unless they are still up… lol) and I don’t know many people out here who are up that early.

Got up, and decided to try to find something to eat downstairs. I really wanted coffee, but I didn’t want to… drink whatever that concoction is that is in that pickle jar… then, I found it. The money item. Blueberry muffin/pancake mix. Brilliance in a box, right? Wrong. Yes, we might have had all the two ingredients needed for this stroke of genius, however, we lacked a few items. Namely: a pan to make them in, a spatula to flip them with, and syrup. How ridiculously lame to an amazing discovery is that? So I just drove down to the MD Lounge and got myself some coffee when I failed to even find some tea that wasn’t a weird flavor (like white chocolate – white chocolate TEA? Seriously? So weird and so not feeling it… I really wanted some Awake or Earl Grey… depressing).

Posts that have been recently uploaded:
July 30: "of friends, biking, and decisions"
August 10: "of the art of bumming"
August 11: "of school bashes and missing Oregon"
August 12: "of airplanes and shooting stars"
August 13 (today... erm, well, this very post, haha)

...i am still 14 posts behind. but no worries. i really want to get them up, so hopefully that will happen in the next few days (homework, and some other stuff, but gotta get this stuff in because I'm not going to get it in when i'm back in Oregon and it's going to be too hard for me then b/c i'll just miss this all in general. might as well just bite the bullet and get it out now, lol)

of airplanes and shooting stars

Just so everyone (and particularly some people) know, my delay in updating this blog is not due to things relating to anyone. I’ve been busy (well, sorta… I’ve been otherwise occupied) and completely unmotivated to update. But I am in the process of updating all the back days that I missed. I’ve kept track of my goings-on and will post them in chronological order soonish. I realize I’m over a week behind and also behind on a few back days when I said I would update, but haven’t. Those are coming. I promise.

Got up at 7:45 (Wow, I know, concept, right? morning… weird). Got myself some MD Lounge coffee (to wake up… I was up til well after 3 last night. No idea why. I don’t usually suffer from insomnia. Usually I can go to bed and crash (unless I’m a) hungry b) thirsty or c) needing chapstick), but not last night. Nooo Hannah goes to bed just after 11 and can she sleep? No… not four hours. So I get up around 1:30 and read my Bible for a bit and do a Bible study that I haven’t done in literally ages and then read more in What’s a Girl to do? After finishing that, I pull out Don’t Waste Your Life. I finally start getting to the point where I can’t coherently read a page without my eyes buzzing and flickering, so I shut off the light and try to get some shut eye. Didn’t work so well, but I eventually fell asleep. Only to have my alarm go off at 7:30am, 7:31am, 7:32am, and 7:33am before I realized I’d set one for every minute for five minutes to ensure that I would actually… well, you know, get up.
So then I did a Bible study and read a bit more, then worked on my puzzle and bummed it out online for awhile, showered, and then headed to work for a few hours. Worked with Michelle, Sandy, and Pat as per usual. Trevor came in to unload the truck and asked me to cover a few hours of work for him tomorrow. Considering how much of nothing I’m doing I didn’t mind, but I found out later that the hours I am to be cover is in the middle of the afternoon and therefore the hours of the day that I would be ridin’ solo while trying to get a tip at subway (wow, way to quote two songs in one go, Hannah). So they called another worker to come in because I’m not super dooper comfortable being by myself at Subway for 3 hours. I’ve done it for an hour, but I’d rather not have to for longer I suppose…

After work I came home and after awhile I got ready for worship practice, and then I remembered that Jan wanted to go to her exercise class tonight, and I can never remember what time she has to be to it… is it 5? Didn’t know… so I went down to talk to her about it because I had to be to worship practice by 5 and would be there til probably around 6:30 or so, so I asked her to just drop me off on her way out to Clarinda. Well, as it happens, her class isn’t until 7 or so, but I still didn’t want to make her late to it, so I asked her to just run me into town and drop me off. On the drive there, she kinda surprised me. I just tried being friendly as normal, talking about the weather (lame, I know), but also about my violin playing, my upcoming birthday, playing on the worship team at church, friends from church, and the like. Then she seemed to pause for a second and asked me if I was sworn off the garden because of the heat. Well, the heat is mostly ridiculous. 100 at night? Meaning from 9pm til 5am? Yeah, I’m not going to even attempt to work out there in that insanity, I am so sorry to disappoint. Plus, when I had talked to Jim a few weeks previous, he said that he “just wanted me to have a good time here in Iowa” and that “I’m not getting paid anything for the work I do, so I shouldn’t be expected to do all the work out there.” But it’s mostly that recently there have been a lot of growing weeds (likely due to the excessive heat and humidity we have here this summer; it’s a scortcher). Anyway, Jan is getting really frustrated and depressed about the garden because it was a huge investment for them and right now Jim is focusing on doing some programming work for a client with his computer business because this is the dude who provides their monthly rent needs, so his computer is the top priority right now. This only makes matters worse for Jan, and it’s probably a combination of her health issues, but she is of the opinion that we are doing things because we don’t appreciate her, which makes life for us rather challenging. So I’m trying my best to stay on her good side now, which is harddd….

So I walked into worship practice feeling like a failure in general. I felt pressured, like a bad guest, like a miserable relative. Like the worst person imaginable. I’d come out here to help and serve, and what do I do? I complain about not having any friends. Who cares. Job lost his friends, his family, his everything, but he still served. No, I’m no Job, but I can try… It’s just really difficult. I just haven’t been putting myself forward enough I suppose. I’ve been getting too absorbed in my own world up in my room. Just bumming out because of the heat and not doing anything much at all. Like, seriously. I’m a bum, straight up. So besides the fact that I felt generally miserable, it was a wake-up jolt (not just a call… a bit more intense). So I was feeling kinda down (um… only kinda, right), and I ended up just quickly explaining things to Pam before we started up worship practice, and she didn’t have much to say, but she said that I was in the right place to be right now if I was upset about things.

I was glad for worship practice. Playing music, praising God. You know. Kinda awesome. But it all ended way fast. We played for, maybe 20 minutes tops. It was weird. We usually go for well over an hour. So… I didn’t have a car with me, or a bike because it was far to hot to bike, which was why I asked Jan to drive me here in the first place. So I just walked over to the library to do some homework, and on my way there (3 blocks to walk) I called Lydia, and we ended up talking for awhile, so I didn’t go inside, instead I went out back and sat in the grass in the shade. It reminded me of sitting behind the library in Hood River, only… there were no trees, no ice cream shops, no people, no incredible view, no river, no mountains, I wasn’t on a hill (flat as ever), and it was hot and super humid (lol). After we talked for a while, I decided to go over to Nancy&Co’s because I havent’ been over there in awhile, and would love to just talk with Nancy about everything that’s going on as she’s a decently normal person to talk with. Found out later that it is a 1.3 mile walk from the library to their house. I plugged in my headphones and walked it. With my backpack (because I thought I was going to be doing homework at the library), and my violin from worship practice. Yeah… a mile, in converse, without socks, in crazy heat and humidity… probably not among the smartest things I’ve ever done, but not the worst. Needless to say I managed two blisters (one per foot, but not the worst I’ve gotten [thank you ballet, modern, and gymnastics]).

So Rachel and I hugn out for awhile, me watching her play her new computer game (which, FYI, she bought for herself with her allowance on half.com with the computing assistance of her father), where she created new creatures and told me how they evolved (awesome…) and how her character can dance, pose, and kill (also awesome…). Then Nancy and I talked about a million and one things ranging from family, to old issues, to redecorating her house, to their recent trip to Chicago (made me actually want to go to a big city for once in my life), to everything in between. It was good just to talk, commiserate, and laugh about everything and nothing in general. Then we had dinner – but because their kitchen was just recently worked on, and their dishwasher is out of commission because of the sinks needing to be replaced and that hinging on the fact that her beautiful granite counter needs to be re-cut to fit the new sink (dishwasher was leaking, ruined her wood floor… got floor replaced with (beautiful) tile, decided to replace sinks to match stainless steal look of the rest of the kitchen (was going to do it anyway eventually, dishwasher connects to small sink, small sink doesn’t fit in available hole in granite counter, sink still not hooked up, therefore no dishwasher [because you so needed to know that]) – so Rachel and I helped ourselves to frozen (but healthy) dinners and frozen fruit bars. Then we hung out some more while Nancy practiced the piano. And ohmygoodness is she amazing. My jaw hit the floor with her intricate scales, chord progressions and finger exercises. Yes, indeed. She is a concert pianist. So awesome.
A bit later Nancy and John convened for their official dinner, which was a protein shake made from a protein mix (cafĂ© latte flavor) with almond milk. She gave me a sampling of part of it. It was quite good and goodness, filled me up for the rest of the evening. I got munchy later, but only because I wanted an occupation for my hands. So I worked on my puzzle more, lol. When Nancy drove me home later, she questioned me about keeping in contact with “that one guy friend of yours who moved up to… Wisconsin?” lol… Josh, and yes, I’d been in contact with him. We’d been texting all day. Haha.

When I got home, I was kinda spacing out, but then I had a momentary freak out when I remembered that it was the Perseid Meteor Shower tonight. I was so stoked. Not only do I love stars, this is the one that always hits around my birthday (hence, why I always remember it). So, after getting far too excited, and texting a few friends about it, I went outside. Yard light. Lame. It was after 12, but I took off in the Buick. North on 59 for a few miles to get out of town. I pulled off onto 160th (whatever that is… it was a class B maintenance road, lol). It was so black out. The stars were beyond amazing. You couldn’t help but see the Milky Way. All the constellations were super visible, but also not because there were so many other smaller stars that you normally can’t see in any populated areas. I saw an airplane while I was watching the meteor shower. Yeah. Not the same thing. I realize I wasn’t watching stars fall, but meteors are a part of comets and well, meteors are actually what common people of today call shooting stars. So it was rather epic. It was really, really awesome. Yeah… and then I saw a satellite; not the same. Then an airplane flew overhead. Definitely not a shooting star (although, pre-song, I had always wished one could wish upon an airplane and pretend it was one). It was one of those moments where I wished I could have been with someone. It would have been a good moment to even be on the phone with a friend back home. But no. Not a romantic evening like one might wish for. Just me, God, and the stars.


of school bashes and missing Oregon

Meant to get up early, didn’t, felt super sick to my stomach, which is majorly lame and I couldn’t eat anything which made it worse but I had to work anyway, and I didn’t feel sick enough to just… you know, not go, and besides, I just don’t do that anyway. I only don’t go to work when I’m basically dead. So, I went to work, and worked for 2 hours. Donna asked me if I was going back to school because apparently Philip mentioned something about it to her. Ha. That made quitting easy. I didn’t have to break it to her any way. She just straight up asked me if I was, and if it was back in Oregon. Yup and yup. So I left her a note saying when I’d be leaving and when it starts and all that.

After work, I went to the Back to School bash at ShenAG for a few hours where they were giving out free backpacks loaded with the respective school needs for elementary and middle school students. There were loads of tables full of previously loved clothing for the taking, and haircuts given by some of the local ladies. There was also a table full of cookies donated by HyVee, and some orange drink donated by the McDonald’s in town. They also had face painting, but no one was volunteering to do that, so Kali and I painted some faces. I mostly painted few flowers on some girls. They absolutely loved it. Girl after adorable little girl kept coming up to me to have a flower painted on their face.  I don’t know or think that I’m like, a fantastic artist, and I was shaking up the wall because I hadn’t really had anything to eat all day, but they actually didn’t turn out too bad, especially considering my current state of health, and the fact that we were using washable watercolor paints (lol).

Then I went home, bummed around for about an hour, worked on my puzzle for a bit, watched another back episodes of Chuck (you know, I really probably should be listening to podcasts instead of watching these…) and then got ready to head back to church for worship practice before the Wednesday night service. For some reason I was super exhausted and had a miserable case of the hiccups.  Quite the comical combination if I do say so myself.

Some dude came to fix the upstairs (closet) bathroom while I was home. I was super confused about it, but it looks better/awesome now. He put up the mirror and put a piece of wood (paneling) in front of the sink, so it looks better now. No awkward place to store the cleaning supplies though, lol, but that’s alright though. I’ll live.

Kali said that her friend that was providing her with an extra ticket to the MercyMe and Newsboys concert up at the Iowa State fair on Thursday had another extra that I could use if I wanted to go. I said I’d be down, and we were to meet up in Bedford at 2:30pm to carpool up to the state fair. Awesome and super fun, but I’d either have to switch my shift at work, not go, or dip out early… potentially awkward.

But then she texted me later, not long before church, and said that the dude actually passed the extra ticket on to a friend that he knew, instead of saving it for me, which is a disappointment (people…), but honestly, I’m really not upset about it. I seriously have not been this un-upset about something in a long time. I can still go to work, and then work on homework and other stuff here.
Church was good, we had some missionaries from Mexico speak about the work they’ve been doing down there, and they will be heading to the UK shortly.

As per usual anymore the time I spend at church is filled with several short but rather awkward conversations with Bud, and with a few other people who try to get me to stay there in Shenandoah to play my violin at the church. Bud even went so low to say that he’d steal my violin. No one I consider a friend of mine would ever say that. No one says that and lives. No one.

Drove home after church and made myself some wraps because Jan has started feeling better and getting over her cold, so we now have some food = awesome. Thennnn I watched more Chuck, bummed around online, played with my puzzle some more, texted and called a few peoples. Talked for awhile with Josh, which was fun because we haven’t actually talked in awhile, but he had to go before too long because he didn’t want to wake up his roommates (found out that he cohabitates with some of his fellow missionaries, which is awesome, but they’ve been basically fasting for the last few days because well, they’ve been short on funding and that’s at the bottom of the totem pole. Which is sad, but reality folks. He’s afraid I won’t have time to talk with him when I move back to Oregon in 2 weeks, which might and might not be true. I do have friends back home, but it’s not that I won’t want to keep in touch with my new friends from Iowa – it’s a weakness I have. I miss people like crazy-insane. I’ll miss everyone here quite terribly once I’m back to the good ol’ OR. And I don’t even mean that lightly. Even though I’ll be crazy busy with school and state fair and teaching, I’m going to still want to keep in touch with all of my friends – those from school and those from everywhere else around the world, lol. Duh.

I need to send in my internship update… hmm awkward.

Played some unfortunate phone tag with Kara… drat. We srsly need to actually talk soon, lol. Emailed mom a bit. I miss hommmeee. Can’t wait for normal food. Like Burritos, wraps, pork steak things, salad, meandering through the garden in the cool of the evening, lying on the pavement with the kitties, driving through the Gorge, cruising around downtown in my bombtastically awesome Subaru, mountains, rivers, lakes, oceannnn, fruit trees, negative humidity, cool evenings. 

Yup, I miss it.

I thought I might.

When I was planning on coming out to Iowa, I kinda figgurd that I’d miss Oregon after awhile and enjoy it all the more once I returned. Sometimes being away like this is a good thing. You stop taking things like the awesomeness of Oregon for granted.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m actually kinda liking Iowa. It’s just that at times, it’s in the evening, and I’d like to hang out with someone, but I know no one to hang out with, and it’s too hot to go out on a bike ride, and we live over a mile from town and this road is super straight and boring to walk along, and infested with mosquitoes, and everything in town closes at either 2pm, 5pm, or 11pm… so the options dwindle as the day progresses, which is lame.

And then it gets even more lame (spell-check wants me to correct this to “lamer” but I like it the way it is) when I try calling friends from back home, only to remember that they, like, but also unlike me, have lives – work, school, friends, family, church. And don’t answer their phones… or call me back… and they aren’t available for skype-chatting like they say they want to be. But I can’t let myself be upset, because the truth is that they have lives! And I can’t be mad at them for that, lol. I knew communication was going to be difficult when I was planning to fly out here back in May, so I’m dealing with it. It’s frustrating, because as much as I want to hang out with people, like, all the freaking time when I get back to Oregon, I have no $$ to do anything or go anywhere (gas and all that…), and I’ll pretty much be hitting the ground running. As of this moment, I’m not even completely positive that I’ll even be going back to my parents house before I rocket off to the Oregon State Fair for the startings of my AgEd program.


of the art of bumming

I think I’ve generally been able to perfect the art of being a bum… today I slept in til 11, then I moseyed around and finally started to clean my room (and by clean, I mean legit cleaned. I haven’t cleaned it so much since I’ve been here, basically), I worked on my puzzle a bit, only to later realize that it is too big for this card table that I hoarked from the downstairs area, so I tried working on it more on it, but then decided to move it back to the floor. Well, that’s not entirely true. I now have it on the backside of my Alice in Wonderland poster that Kim got me for my gradumation (it would be up on my wall, did this town have anything to put thins up on the wall with), and it actually doesn’t even really fit on it… it’s a panoramic shot, lol.

Talked to Lydia on the phone for awhile… I miss her a lot (“a lot” is too short a phrase for the extent that I miss her). Then I went down to HyVee because I was bored and hungry (we have little to no food… I’m talking broiled hamburgers and one uncooked one left uncovered on the same plate together, spoiled salad greens, numerous varieties of beer, diet Mountain Dew, diet Coke with Lime, water, Gatorade, light Gatorade, HyVee brand cinnamon Life cereal…. Yeah I think that’s about it besides some milk, orange juice, and assorted sauces and salad dressings. I was going to get something to eat, but I ended up just going for some ice cream. Found the HyVee brand for $1.48/box. So picked up Cookies and Cream and Butter Crunch. I wanted cookie dough or mint chip, but I didn’t see either. And while I was there I remembered that I had another handy-dandy frozen Totino’s in the freezer to pop in the new, fancy schmancy toaster oven.

I still need to figure out what I want to do for my birthday. Aunt Jan said they’d be down with doing whatever I want, but I don’t know what it is… and I have to work 4-8 on my birthday… AND it’s on a Sunday. So that rules out a lot of the day.

I still need to quit my job – if nothing else then simply after yesterday, I have nothing wrong with just leaving it as it is. As much as I didn’t like working back at the MD Lounge in Oregon, it was actually decent compared to the super crappy management and constant blame-shifting that goes on here. Misery.

For the rest of today, I ended up attempting to update my blog (hence, this post, finally, after a ridiculous amount of delay), but… mostly I just watched too much back episodes of Chuck and ate too much ice cream, worked on my puzzle a bit, and missed hanging out with people, working out and being generally active in life.

It’s so retardedly hot anymore. It’s pushing 100 every night – for the whole night (like, you know… from sunset to sunrise? Yeah… 100 outside during those hours), and just gets hotter during the day. It’s frustrating. I can’t do anything outside. It’s too hot to even go for a midnight run or bike ride to the park to sit on the swings (even though the park actually closes at 10 and I have been kicked out by the cops before… haha).

Sometimes I wonder what people would think and/or do if they knew if I was a secret agent or a spy or something. I mean, really? How many people come to small town Iowa for the summer? And work on forming friendships and relationships with the people in town, get involved with the library, go for road trips around the area, but don’t really do a whole lot else? I mean, seriously, I could be top secret undercover if you didn’t know better. Ok, so, by you reading this, you automatically know that I’m not undercover (I wish…), but there are times when I just take in everything. Seeing who is where, how many of this and another thing, how things go down, watching how things play out, thinking about various ways they could potentially play out if I wanted them to be that way… etc, etc, etc, lol. I am a dork…


of friends, biking, and decisions

Got up, showered, and then biked into town and stopped by the church to pick up some music for worship on Sunday. I missed worship practice last night and just had Erica leave my music for me there. Then I biked over to Fair Oaks, which is an assisted care facility and just asked if I could talk to the people there. I know people in homes like that get so often forgotten, and it kinda reminded me of the home where Grampy and Grammy were in Hood River. Perhaps it was one of those weird things that you never think remind you of home, but pulls on your heart so hard that you have to go back. So I sat on the couch and talked with Betty and her friend. It was a challenge for me. They didn’t know me from Adam, and here I was talking to them. They had memory issues to boot, which made it doubly awkward, but when I said that my only friend in town just left for Minneapolis, Betty patted to the couch and told me to sit myself right down because if I was in need of a friend, I had come to the right place. We didn’t talk about much. Knowing that they didn’t know anything about me and might be weirded out about me, I just started telling them about myself and the things I had been up to here in Shenandoah. Betty told me that she’s always lived here in Iowa, and grew up on a big farm back in the day. It was just a sweet and pleasant conversation. We watched part of Oprah and talked a bit more, and then I headed off to work on homework. From there I went to McComb park and hung out on the swings for awhile before biking over to Nancy&Co's to borrow a few puzzles (Nancy said I could borrow some last night at Robby's bday party) the library to work on homework for awhile.

Then I biked around town for awhile before heading back to the farmhouse to really power out my homework.

…until I ran into a mega-problem. Our internet went out. Right as I was turning in my assignments. Flip. No bueno. So I waited around and got it turned in and all figured out.

I have two options of what to do tomorrow:

Why am I saying this? Don’t I always have options. Yes, I do. However, tomorrow, we are bug bombing the house (we have fleas… and I’m getting eating alive) and we have to vacate the premises for at least 4 hours. As it happens, Jim’s high school groupies are in a band, and they will be performing up in Glenwood tomorrow night, and it’s kinda like a mini reunion for them all and other high school groupies who live in the Midwest area. So they’re going to that and I can go along. They might go up to Omaha, which would be fun. I’d love to go there. I could hang out with Josh, but he’s no longer in town. Same with Nancy&Co, but they’re leaving on vacation tomorrow for Chicago for a week or so. Laame. I could also just bum around town, hang out at the library, maybe see a movie with me, myself, and I, or do homework, or walk around town (it’s a tad warm out, but you know, it’s cool [well, no, it’s not. Not literally anyway]).

Decisions, decisions….