of plants and evening bike rides

After doing homework, or attempting to do my homework, but actually in reality I did a lot of research on growing a garden and doing a CSA in Iowa and looking for other people doing the same in the Shenandoah area (nope, no one around).

Then I went to Walmart and got some envelopes to send my internship information back to Dr Velez every week.... which I still have yet to start sending anything. Really need to get on that tomorrow.

Tomorrow, around 9am, Jim and I are leaving to go talk to this one guy about the algae project. I'm supposed to dress nice. Sounds important, lol.

then I got home and all the plants were in the yard!!! Apparently the manager at Earl May Nursery thought that we gave him a pretty good bid for the lot of plants. I started sorting them by type, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, broccoli, eggplant, and then set about counting them. Found out we actually have cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and a few other plants besides what I originally thought. Awesome. Didn't get to finish counting them because Jan wanted to go get dinner. With the big purchase of all the plants, she didn't feel like cooking - plus, it was really hot in the house because Jim forgot to close it up and turn on the AC, but considering, it probably wasn't more than 80 degrees inside and out.

We went down to HyVee (they had me drive, lol) to the little deli to get these pork tenderloin sandwiches, but apparently they were completely sold out. So instead we went over to Godfather's Pizza and got the Ultimate Pizza combination thing. Hot stuff pizza, italian sausage pizza, and apple streusel pizza. Really good, and a lot of leftovers (yum).

Came back to the farmhouse and I did some reading for my summer class and when I got tired of swatting off mosquitos, I took off on my bike down towards the end of Airport road. Didn't mean to go that far, but I ended up going down the other way on Airport road and went all over Shenandoah. It was really nice out, and I had my bike lights, so I wasn't too worried about being out in the dark. Plus, there isn't really a thing that even remotely relates to traffic out here.

Rode through down town and passed the movie theater. It was packed out with high schoolers there to see the newest installment of the Twilight frenzy. A couple of boys were outside drinking energy drinks (because that's the cool thing to do when you're in high school, lol) and one yelled across the street "hey! do a wheelie!!!" another said to him "she's a girl, she's not going to do that, she probably can't," so I jumped a curb and actually got some major air off the other side. "WOAH!!!" "That was awesome!" "I toldja she could do it" hahah... it made me laugh and kinda happy.

I really, really miss social interaction with people my age (<--- I seriously can't say this enough!).

and it's only 11, but I'm peacing out to bed.

of algae, libraries, and plants

Talked with Jim last night about wanting to look over at the main part of Earl May Seed and Nursery, also Green Plains (the ethanol plant) while I'm here. He said he knows some of the people at both places and will look into getting me a potential tour of both. But at the same time I'm not giving up on contacting them myself.

Jim and a few other guys have been working on this project for years where they want to present it to the government and the head-honchos about how you can produce vast amounts of algae protein by utilizing the CO2 from the various large-operation plants around the nation, therefore cutting the carbon footprint to nearly non-existence. I understand their idea and it sounds not unlike some of the things some of the people in the classes I took at OSU want to see happen, but they don't exactly know how to go about it.

Anyway, Jim asked me if I'd be interested in doing a bit of work on it while I'm here, and I said I would be alright with doing some work on it. Jim called one of the guys this morning and it looks like they might even be able to pay me to work on assembling a presentation binder for their project. We'll see how it goes...

I'm currently at the library. I like it here. It's small (they have neither Hornblower or Master and Commander books... it's a royal shame. I might be able to get them from another branch though) and reminds me kinda of the old Hood River library. I'm sad that it's about to go under. Hopefully not for long though. But anyway, like the HR Library, they have a huge plan to renovate this library in the near future. I'm just hopeful that they'll be able to keep it up an running for longer than the HR library has been since the renovation.

Anyway, they have a few events every so often here at the library, and it just so happens that on July 22nd they're going to have a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon starting around 12pm and ending, goodness knows when. They'll have snacks and such and I can bring my own dinner if I want to stay for the whole thing (who wouldn't???). I'm considering going. Could be fun, and Jan might like it too. I'll bring it up later when I get back to the farmhouse.

Got up later than I planned... again. Think it's from the benadryl-coma I was in again last night because I had a few new bites that were really starting to bother me. I really need to get better about going to bed sooner too. It's just that it's so hot and light out until late these days, and then i want to stay up and call people or do stuff online, or read my books. But that aside, I just need to prioritize sleep a bit more I suppose.

After getting up, doing some more crunches and push-ups (I'm up to 50) and re-organizing my room, Jim and I went down to the house in town to clean up the backyard a bit more and then went over to the Earl May retail store in town and offered the guy $550 for all the rest of the vegetable and herb plants he had sitting out on sale (it's around 500 really nice plants. mostly tomatoes, but also various peppers, broccoli, eggplant, and sweet potatoes). The guy just said he'd work some numbers and get back to us in awhile. Then we went over to The Garage Sale Guy, which is this old building packed chock-full of random stuff. It's like a thrift store, but with endless amounts of stuff. It's actually kinda like living history because people just bring all of their stuff there. It was kinda funny, I found some shot glasses from the Portland Rose Festival and Gresham --- when does that happen in small-town, Iowa?

Thinking about bringing it up to Jan that I could streak her hair or highlight it or something. She'd actually brought it up to me and I guess I'd not really thought about it, but then mom mentioned it the other day and I thought: Hey! that's actually a good idea. Plus, leaves potential for more aunt-niece bonding time, lol. :)

Added some more pictures to my first facebook album and then created and uploaded more to a second facebook album. Check 'em out (but you don't have to comment on all of them...!!!)

of runs at dusk and watermelon

I went on a run tonight. I wasn't planning on actually running, I actually just wanted to see what the temperature was like outside. But I ended up actually going on my run anyway. I didn't think I would want to just run up and back airport road, but I did anyway and enjoyed it much more than I had anticipated. Usually I change and go through a process to get ready for my workouts... changing, slicking my hair back, it could almost be compared to the effort it takes to get ready for a ballet class, only not quite that extreme. But anyway, it was really good. I'm actually quite surprised with myself.

While sitting outside reading my book, I apparently got a sunburn on my legs, which is a bummer, but it's nothing worse than the other kinds of mild burns I've gotten that heal within a day since I've been here.

Afterwards, we all ate watermelon out on the front porch. It was really good melon, and it was really nice to just bum out on the porch in the cool evening air.

We turned off the AC for the night to take advantage of the natural coolness of the evening and opened up the house and turned on some box fans for circulation. I'm sure if we want to keep the house cool we'll have to close it up good and early though.


of updates and books

I really didn’t want to update my blog and go through with more detail about the last week or so, but I figured that if I didn’t’ do it now, I probably never would. So, if you are wondering, there are a lot more posts here and yes, I technically just put them up today, I didn’t actually write them all today, I had them in a word document, but I’ve been too lazy and lacking internet enough to go through the effort to update and publish them. I just figured that it’s been too long since I’ve really updated, and that if I don’t now, I never will. Plus, I’m getting tired of everyone asking me what I’m up to… lol. No kidding. I haven’t been updating you :P sorry…..

Got up this morning to goodness knows awful crampness. Took a shower, did some cruches, and lacking my awesome microwave flax thing, I did the next best thing. Outside. I went out on the sunken trampoline and read my book for several hours, just generally taking it easy and calming down too.

As I read, I would periodically get distracted by an airplane flying high above me and cotton fluffs floating towards the sky, wanting to float with them somewhere else. I noticed how loud it was here. It wasn't. I love it. With the exception of the slow, low rumble coming from the ethanol plant that is about a mile down the road, all you can hear is the bugs and the birds going about their daily business. 

After awhile, I was just contentedly ready and getting warm in the sun when I heard a growl. I looked up to see this little white dog sitting back on her haunches, fore-paws in the air, looking at me. "Jessie!" I called, and she loped towards me, super excited that I actually know who she was. She's our neighbor, Fred's little dog. She appears to be a Chihuahua/Jack Russell cross of some sort. She licked me when she got close and then proceeded to run all over me and around the trampoline about three or four times before stopping to get a few more pets and then taking off again towards Fred's garage. Soon, I could hear the faint sound of country music coming from Fred's Jeep Wrangler and before too much longer I saw him driving on the grass towards out soon-to-be garden with the disker in tow, little Jessie joining him in the passenger seat.

Internet is working at the farmhouse
(pray it doesn’t go out for any reason!!!)

I did some homework for my summer class, worked a bit on my paperwork for my internship, and then read more in my book. I actually finished it today. Heh... Then I cleaned and organized my room. I'm so much happier now that I am able to have My. Own. Space. Still no bed, but Jim did get slats for the bed frame today, which is a step in the right direction. He kept thinking it was a Queen size... it's a twin, lol. 

Then I went to the library and moseyed around there, looking at the books. Picked up a few that were for general entertainment to get into another world and away from movies or the reality that i'm in right now and then came back to the farmhouse. 

At one point today, apparently when I wasn't paying attention, Jan went out and got more groceries. She picked up some more cereal and a lot of veggies at my suggestion. I'm soo glad to have veggies again! I can't tell you enough how much I've missed them! We've pretty much just had cereal, pizza, rice, and meat for the last few days. Had a fantastic salad with my chicken kabob for dinner, and I've been up in my room, updating this blog ever since. Maybe now I can break out another one of the books I just got.


of libraries, and flooding rivers

I went out around 11 to the library to hit up the wifi there. I stopped at Walmart on my way to see if I could find a fun, plaid shirt for cheap. No such luck. They had some, but they were really weird, too small, or too hot. While I was at the library, I picked up a Nicholas Sparks novel. I’m not super into them or anything, but I kinda just wanted something to let me zone out into another world without having to watch another movie. It was interesting. They do use scanner barcodes with their Dewey Decimal System, but they stamp the inside of the books instead of giving you a receipt. I found it cute.

I’m thinking about riding my bike into town before I take my run and so that I can run in town. The idea of running along one long stretch of corn just doesn’t sound thrilling to me. Plus, it’s already hot, at least in town there are trees.

Got some more music while I was in town. It’s just pop radio stuff, but it’s fun, and it makes me happy. It’s surprising how life is different when you aren’t around people who are your peers all the time. It’s one of the few things that really remind me of my friends. I soak it up as much as possible.

And, good GRAVY, I’m sooo endlessly sick of people who are obsessed with Ron Paul. It’s driving me completely insane. They just talk about him like he’s this new fantastic potential leader that no one else in the entire universe can compare to, or something. I can’t stand it. He's not GOD, peoples!!! Stop making ALL of your conversations bend in a politically charged direction of exclamation about how amazing Ron Paul is while bashing everyone else in the world as ignorant of literally everything.

We went to Nancy’s house and picked up the bed frame (apparently no mattress), dresser and vanity. It’s Bowery heirloom furniture, so it’s super vintage. It’s awesome. Cleaned it and have it in my room now. I feel like I’ve finally arrived, it’s a good feeling to finally be able to unpack some of my stuff and get mostly up off the floor. Hopefully *fingers crossed* I’ll be able to get a mattress tomorrow.

For once in the world, Corvallis is 20% more humid than Shenandoah. When in the world does that happen?!?!

Rode my bike around and took some pictures of the flooding of the Nishnabotna River. I remember talking to DavidReeceandAndrewHartenstien (yes, it's one word... some friends would ask me who I was talking about, and apparently I said their names so fast it confused them) back in BA215 about the farmhouse out here in Iowa, and how inexpensive it was. Yes, it was not because it's a great house. It has acreage, yes, but it's actually a major fixer-upper. Also. Yes. it's basically on a flood plane. The 100 year flood line doesn't come up to the house, but the river went over it's banks yesterday, and the water started coming up pretty high considering how far away the actual river bed is from Airport Road.

EDIT: I edited some things out of this post because they came off a bit harsh and didn't want to seem like it was the-end-of-the-world. We were all just really hot because of the weather and stressed with the move.

It's not all fun and games here, it's still real life and people have real emotions, some less positive than others, which makes some situations more stressful, but by the grace of God I've been able to maintain my calm through everything.


Of storms, mooching internet, black gumbo, and Benadryl-comas

Last night I got home super, super late from Nancy’s from doing homework for my class. Got it all turned in on time, but I wish I could have worked on it sooner. But it’s alright.  At least I was able to get it done and turned in.

On my drive back, the sky was clear and the moon was full and out, it was awesome. In the distance, there was a huge storm system coming closer in the distance.  When I got to the house, it was really ominous, but still not over us yet. There was still some stuff left over from the moving on the deck, and I looked at it some more and it was a lot of open boxes with books and other such things that really shouldn’t be getting wet… so I went about to start moving stuff into the house. When I was about half way done it started raining. When I got back inside after getting everything out of the rain and going upstairs (with my handy LED flashlight that I got for xmas a few years back) there was this huge flash, giant thunder crash, and a torrent of rain hit the house. It freaked me out so much. Between the new house, the spiders, the emptiness, the darkness, and then the storm. Yeah. Talk about freaky. And I’m not usually scared of stuff like that.  Then I decided to not be scared of it, so I pulled out my camera and took a few videos of them.

This morning I slept through church, which was a bummer, but it’s ok, I’m sure I needed the sleep, and I was kinda in a Benadryl-coma. But, thankfully, when I did get up, my mosquito bites were dramatically improved. Made my day. Hopefully I’ll get in some Solid Rock podcasts this week in addition to my Bible readings and studies, and maybe even go to a Wednesday night service here in town. They don’t have Sunday evening services because it’s too small and enough people are able to go to the morning services.

Got up, ate some cold pizza, because it was the only edible thing in the fridge. Showered, vacuumed my room, and went to Mondo’s diner with Jan to get lunch… which, we actually got breakfast, but it was still good. Later, I did some more stuff in my room and then went back into town. Got some iced coffee (!!!!!) at McDonald’s (because it’s basically one of the only places in town that has some on the weekend), and parked at the library to see if I could mooch of the free wifi from the lot even though they were closed for the day. It totally worked. I felt fantastic about my idea.

There was an incredible amount of patriotism going on in town and people out on the street seeming to wait for a parade. I was starting to wonder if there was some holiday that I forgot about… no, it was still June, couldn’t be 4th of July just yet. Looked it up online and found that it was this parade thing:
June 27
Sea to Shining Sea Veterans Bike Ride Across America
Sea to Shining Sea Disabled Veterans Bicycle Ride will stop in Shenandoah. They should arrive between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. State Farm is sponsoring the ride. Fareway will help sponsor a cookout at the Shenandoah Inn and Suites parking lot. Public is invited to the cookout meal with a donation. The donation will go to the veterans expenses for the ride.
Corner of Sheridan Ave. and Elm St.
Arrive 4-6pm and cookout follows

Made me really excited for the 4th of July because of how excited every one was for this event.
After doing a little bit of internet surfing, I went back to the Shenandoah house to see how things were going (and mostly to use the bathroom). Mooched off the internet from the neighbors again when Jim asked me to come help move the chicken wire from over the garden and into the u-haul truck. Jim later chastised me for wearing my nice clothes, but I’d told them I wasn’t planning on doing any work today. Just taking it easy for the day and such… kinda frustrating, but anyway, I’m glad I was able to help.

Took some pictures of the dirt when we’d pulled off the chicken wire and the plastic underneath. It was beautiful. So, yes, I might be a nerd, but who cares! It was awesome. The dirt here is so black and high in clay content. It’s absolutely fascinating.

Called Lydia on the phone and we talked for around an hour. I walked back and forth along Airport road with the dogs, which was nice.

Jan made teriyaki steak and chicken tonight. It was more just meat boiled with teriyaki sauce (of sorts), and long grain rice, but it was still good. I miss veggies!!! After dinner, and eating a lot, Jim pulled out popcorn and chips and dip. I just had to leave. Not only was I already very full, I just didn’t want to overstuff myself because I’m just not doing well right now in that regard. I’ve been eating waay too much all the time.

I’m now up in my room, listening to this new album called Long Distance by Onra that Zach sent me today. I’m a definite fan. I think “Mechanical” is my favorite track so far.

Camp started today for real. The kids are all there. They’re probably in one of those group sessions right now. I’m going to guess, because it’s after 10 here, that they’re in their respective dorms, learning the camp song and doing all the camp guideline skits. So fun.

Without realizing it, I wore my old camp staff shirt today. Just pulled it out of my suitcase and threw it on. Apparently I subconsciously knew that it was the shirt to wear today… even if I am super far away.
Mom and Dad called, and I talked to them for a while. It was really good to talk to them.
I might be getting some Bowery family heirloom furniture for my room. I’m really hoping that I will get it tomorrow. I’ve been living mostly on the floor and sleeping on an air mattress since I’ve been here.


insane rain, slept through church, super disappointed, thinking of going to a wednesday night service at the ShenAG, need to podcast it up, made a calendar, homework reading, maccas for coffee, free wifi outside library, vacuumed, music from zach, dogs out in soy, diner lunch/breakfast w/ jan, want to paint room

have yet to find a guy in town that's not in high school and not married w/ kids, lol.

found more about the Sidney Rodeo. super excited. want to decorate room, need to talk with nancy, jim and rose about heirloom furniture in nancy's garage to use in my room, want to fix walls, floor and paintttttt!!!!!!!

not doing much in the way of work today b/c it's sunday. taking the day easy. still upset i missed church. was up til 3 w/ weather. 2 benadryl, sleep like a lot and well, bug bites amazingly small today PTL!!!

need to do some reading in boy book for class. jan and jim cleaning and getting rid of last bit of crap at shen house.

veteran's day thing in town. had to look it up to see what was the big deal, lol.
car has no parking break. good thing there's no real hills here!

so cool seeing all these guys strutting around in their military shirts and hats. :) reminds me of grampy and my other friends in the service right now (and how they'll be in the future at things like this, haha)

really miss YMA... happen to be wearing my camp shirt, must be ingrained in me to wear my staff shirt on the first day of camp. it was not planned. i just grabbed a shirt from my suitcase.

need to unpack some? unknown b/c of decorating room. should talk with rose about it. also need to do laundry.

thinking about texting amber. we talked a bit the other day. maybe we can hang out soon. who knows.

i need to work on some of the information for the CSA farm or whatever. but i'll do that tomorrow. i don't want to have to worry about it today.

i really wish i had some cow-girl gear for the rodeo and the upcoming fairs. I think it would be so fun. plus, it's not really unfashionable here, haha. lovve it. if only i had my fashionista, Danielle to assist me this time. oh well, maybe i can find something fun at walmart or something... speaking of, i need to give those receipts back to jim so he can reimburse me for the stuff i picked up for him yesterday.


Of moving, heat indexes, and homework

Lead-Mormon-Guy-helping-with-move: “Yup, that, that right there. That’s a black widow.”
Me: O.O *jaw drop*
Lead-Mormon-Guy-helping-with-move: “Yup, you got black widows here it looks like”

…a little while later in the basement, me, slightly shaken from seeing my first ever black widow live and in the flesh.

Lead-Mormon-Guy-helping-with-move: “Oh! And that! That guy’s a Brown recluse.”
Jim: “Is he alive?”
Lead-Mormon-Guy-helping-with-move: “Yeah.”
Jim: "Is he alive?"
Lead-Mormon-Guy-helping-with-move: "Yeah, he's moving."
Jim: “No, but is it alive?”
Lead-Mormon-Guy-helping-with-move: “Blow on it.”
Jim: “Oh! Yup, well there you go.”
Lead-Mormon-Guy-helping-with-move: "Toldja"

…then a bit later with jan

“isn’t that great. We have the stars here. It’s always fun to add deadly spiders to the mix”
The sarcastic comments she throws out are just fantastic. They always catch me off guard, and I love it.

Yeah. So, I thought I’d be too terrified to sleep, but apparently, after the guys went back to the Shenandoah house  to get more stuff with the moving truck, I went upstairs to my room to listen to some music, chill out, and maybe post on my blog or stalk people on facebook. But alas and alack. No internet. Not even a network that I could potentially mooch off of. Drat. So I closed my computer an just sat there. The next thing I realize is Lexx walking in my room super excited about life and followed shortly by his tag-a-long, Lacy. I fell asleep on the floor.

About five guys from the local mormon place came to help us move. Two were young guys about my again, serving their missions. I didn't feel right calling them "elder" when they were neither my elder, nor did we believe the same things, so I opted for calling them Dude1 and Dude2, or just "hey you" whichever was easier at the time. Nancy and John couldn't be there because they were at this Republican convention up in Des Moines, so being the kind people and generous mormons, they gave us money to get everyone who helped move pizza, so I ordered that and picked up more gatorade for everyone. People were stressed and not thinking clearly, and I knew it was beyond the time when people should have lunch, so I went on ahead and ordered it so that by the time Jim was actually ready for a break, there'd be food for the guys.

Jim was able to pick up a used washer and dryer for the house for around $75 for the set. So far they work really well, and it's great that they don't have to figure that out later.

About an hour or so later, Jim went around the whole house with super intense, but live-with-able insect and spider spray. Getting all the windows and baseboards of all the rooms. He wasn’t super happy with the real estate agent or the house inspector they had come through the house awhile back. They were supposed to check and warn them about such things, but apparently they were overlooked… I mean, you know. No big deal right? I mean well, I don’t know about you , but I’d rather not die of a spider bite while I’m in Iowa. Does that sound like too large of a request to you? Doesn’t to me.

I am now sitting in a white and green wicker chair in my rainbow paint splattered room. My stuff is lying on the floor in the center of the room. Music playing the Almost Alice album.

I finally figured out why there wasn’t a breeze coming in the windows. They’re super old fashioned double paned. You have to raise an inner window as well as the outside window. It was confusing, but I’m glad I finally got a breeze going through the upstairs. Not that it’s not cool enough with the AC on… the AC just isn’t very powerful, and the upstairs kinda smells like a combination of mold, general mustiness, dead bugs, and maybe other unknown scents.

But honestly, even with the windows finally open, it's hotter upstairs than it was before. The weather was suuuper hot today. With temperatures at like, 95, and the humidity at like, 80%, the heat index was out the roof at around 125, but with the breeze that was blowing it only supposedly felt 105. No big. 

It’s actually quite a large house. I’m surprised. I mean, I knew it was going to be 5 bedrooms, but still. It has several other rooms that “aren’t bedrooms” that just make the house bigger than I’d imagined.
Currently, there’s 1 and ¼(?) bath in the house. The one is downstairs in the master suite area, which is going to be “Jan and Jim’s” part of the house, because they’re actually leasing a portion of the house from Jim’s mom, Rose. Anyway, the upstairs has a “half bath” which is actually just a toilet in a closet and-nothing-else. It’s actually rather comical.

I’m trying to figure it out…. How does one deal with paint spatter on really crappy walls? Just start over with new walls? Sand over the paint and put on primer and then color? I don’t even know… thoughts?!?
The upstairs has what looks like industrial ceilings (like at Gloria Dei… I believe its for insulation reasons and also to hide all the pipes and such), and it’s the same with the lights. Makes it kinda feel like a dorm up here. Which, honestly, this house would be an awesome house to share with a bunch of young people because of all the rooms and how big it is. OH MAN!!! Just thinking about it makes me SO excited for this fall when I’ll be living with some fantastic people in our little Corvalils-House (does it have a name yet? Because we should really get on that…).

Good grief, I should really, really get some benadryl, real bug repellant, and anti-itch cream of some sort. I though the stuff I was using was working fine, and it was, until I started getting weird allergic reactions to the bites I’ve been getting. They don’t do normal things. They swell up over a period of a few days into these huge 6-inch welts. It doesn’t itch too much unless it’s super hot outside, thankfully, but at the same time, it’s so swollen and hot that it constricts the normal motion of my muscles and kinda makes walking painful.

....a bit later
Got some Benadryl and am over at Nancy’s, attempting to do my homework. It’s due at midnight, PST tonight. Which equates to 2am here, but hopefully I’ll be done long before then.
Rachel is bouncing about, playing her Zoo Tycoon 2 with arctic tundra, Rose is busy with her Sudoku game, and Robbie is making plans for building a campfire.


working on homework, shouldn't be on my blog...

buut today we moved. it was ridiculously hot out. mormon guys, dude 1 and 2, pizza, spiders, dogs, neighbor, corn, nancy's, homework, gatorade, madeline, kitchen, washer and dryer, my room, paint, pictures, moving van, sweeping, homework, bug bites, benadryl


of breakfast and improvisational pies

This morning I got up somewhat decently early (think it was around 8:30 or something), got ready for the day and walked down to Mondo’s Family Restaurant. I got so ridiculously many weird looks for walking, but it seriously wasn’t very far, and I didn’t care. I felt kinda like an idiot when I got there though because there wasn’t anyone else there and I just stood there, not really knowing what to do with myself. Then this waiter walked up to me and asked if he could help. I just mentioned how I just moved to the area and wanted to check everything out. He said I could sit wherever and he’d be right over with a menu.

When he brought over a menu he asked me if I wanted coffee. Now, usually I say no, but I haven’t had coffee in forever, so I went for it. Heck, why not, right? He brought me a pot of coffee and I ordered. A few minutes later a bunch of retired folks walked in and sat in a booth across from me. Their conversation ranged from their relatives, what their kids are up to, when they went on a morning walk (6am), and when they had breakfast (before that walk), and when that one guy got hit by that gravel truck about eight years back. It was amusing, but I felt kinda awkward for listening in.

After I was almost done with my food, I leaned over towards their table and mentioned how I didn’t want to be rude, but that I was new in town and wondered how they liked the area and what they enjoyed about it all the most. They were all more than happy to talk to me. One even tried to suggest that they should set me up with Brandon, our waiter, lol. One of the ladies mentioned how she felt bad for me because I don’t have any friends in the area and don’t really know anyone my age, saying how it had to be hard and she really hoped that I would be able to connect with some people soon.

I had to head out because I knew Jim wanted me to help him with… something. Can’t remember what, but when I was on my way back home he called me from Walmart, saying another thing had gone wrong with his bike and that the wanted me to come pick on out because I’d likely be riding it more than him anymore anyway. So I crossed Hwy 59 and headed over there, picking out a mountain bike that was about the same price as the one he originally got. I filled the tires with more air when we got back to the house and took it for a test run. It freaked me out at first, but its got pretty good shocks on the front. It’s awesome. So much fun to get air with that bike. The downside is that the bike seat is beyond-this-world uncomfortable.

Then I went over to Nancy’s to pick up my textbooks that had arrived so I could start into my homework, thinking I would just drop by to get them and head out again to work on it. But I ended up staying around helping Rose, Jim’s mom, who was now in town, edit a lease for renting the house to Jim and Jan because it was in PDF form and she didn’t know what to do, or how to work computers as well as I did. I was happy to help her in that way.

Then Rose and Rachel made a Mulberry pie from scratch. Rachel said she wanted to make it and that her mom was going to make it a  few days before, but hadn’t, Rose set right to it. They didn’t have a rolling pin, or a pie pan, so we improvised and used a jam jar to flatten the pie crust, and then baked it in a square pyrex pan, but it was still really good.

Rachel was all too excited to have me there and got me into playing her Zoo Tycoon 2 computer game where you build a zoo and then have to manage the upkeep of the grounds and animals. She said I was horrible, so I went with it (and I kinda was) and let her finish building my zoo for me (it’s saved as Hannah’s Habitats, in case you were wondering).

I finally had to head out, and helped Jan pack up a bit more of the house and packed up my stuff so that it would be more organized and together for the big move. Jim BBQ’d some steak and chicken for us and I created my choice combination of both into a salad. It was good.

Then I rode my bike around town and out and over to the farmhouse. I can’t wait to get out there!! And I cant believe it’s actually happening!!!

I got back to the house, watched Alice in Wonderland, couldn’t stop thinking of Lydia and Kim and Jeni for some reason, missing them all of course, can’t wait to put up my poster now either (!), and bed.

i could post... but....

I'm procrastinating more, and if i do stay up it should be to do homework, and i'm really tired, and if i do stay up i'll want to not do homework, but pack instead. so i'm updating slightly and then going to bed.


breakfast, talked with locals, bike, textbooks, rose, lease, pie, zoo typhoon 2, rachel, rachel & rose, packing, steak/chicken salad, dogs, bike ride, alice in wonderland, bed.

i promise, i'll edit these updates sooner than soon!!!!

of driving, Times Square, and almost-full moons

After sleeping in some, I cleaned my room because a ridiculous amount of dog hair blows in here at night. It’s insane. I took a nice long shower and then called just about as many businesses in town as I could. Pretty much all of the ones listed in the business section of the Shenandoah website.

Then, after finally giving up with a lack of more places to call, Jim and I went out in the ’93 Saturn and he showed me some of the ins and outs to driving manual. The first thing he said to me when I got in the car was: “alright, well, the first thing you have to do is adjust your seat” I blinked. Seriously? As if I haven’t been driving for the last 5 years without a single ticket or accident, and I don’t know that I need to adjust my seat? Ridiculous. I just brushed it off with some sarcasm and we took off. I drove over to a small parking lot to practice more on starting and stopping, and then we took off to a country road. It was super cute. I was more interested in the countryside than driving. It was these shallow rolling knolls. I loved it. Nothing at all like mountains or anything in Oregon or the Pacific Northwest, of course, but still. It was also amusing to me how the road just continued on straight over these small hills. Up and down, gently each time. The car, of course, letting off this disgusting amount of bluish gray smoke the entire time. But trying to ignore my current carbon footprint, I enjoyed it and didn't do too bad with the shifting and such. It was fun. 

Afterwards, Jan and I walked into the downtown area for "Thursday Night at the FlatIron" where Jara Johnson, a local of Page county sang and we all had free hotdogs and root beer floats sponsored by Bank Iowa and served by The Depot. 

I swear, there are NO cute guys who are my age and not married with kids. It's depressing. Oh well... I mean, I'm not here for that by any means, but still... lol. It's also kinda weird to think about how many people get married at so young of an age out here and just settle down. It makes me feel weird for still being in school and... yeah. anyway...

When we got back, I did some homework and then got too antsy, so I went on a run. It was nice, but I was just super stressed. I stopped about half way at this little park, did some pull-ups on the monkey bars and then sat on the swing. Let me tell you, I was dizzy after awhile, but it was really good for me to just be doing nothing. I started crying and just not knowing what to do. I have been super frustrated about the move and all the unknowns regarding whether or not we're actually going to be able to move this week, or goodness knows what. Then I got up and started my run again, going a bit farther than normal. Once I got back to the house, I just couldn't bring myself to go inside. I just didn't want to go in there again. Everything in me wanted to stay away. So I kept walking. I walked over across Hwy 59, which is ridiculously never busy normally, and mostly dead at night. I walked along Airport road for awhile. I didn't get much farther than Eaton, but I didn't care. I just wanted to be away from city lights, and do something - myself. To just get alone with me and God. Away from the house, the stress of the move, everything. I was so sick of being by myself all the time, but the least I could do was get a bit closer with God.

I sat down on the road. No one was driving this late, and even if they were, I would know far in advance because the road was so straight and flat. I lied down on the road. It reminded me of The Notebook, minus, of course, a cute guy... or even just a friend. The moon was out and almost full. It was beautiful. There were hardly any streetlights to get in its way. I loved it. I stared at the stars, noting how they looked from the different angle that Iowa is at. After awhile, I decided I had probably head back to the house so they wouldn't think I'd disappeared on them. As I was walking back towards the house, this younger guy in a truck stopped and reversed until he came up to me and asked if I wanted a ride (no one walks here, especially at night, even though that's the only time it's cool here). I said I was fine and not far from home, and that I was just out for a walk. He wasn't sure, and made sure I was completely fine before driving off.

When I got home, Cory had called, so I called him back and we talked for awhile. I went back outside and just walked around the neighborhood while talking.

aaaand bedtime for me.

need to update

but again, procrastinating, or just too tired. it's almost 2am.... super tired

slept in, cleaned room a bit, showered (didn't yesterday, ew), called a million places about work, lesson in manual driving, walked into downtown for Thursday Night at the Flatiron (with a few pics), homework, run, walk, call w/ Cory, bed.


of depressing and awkward things, and dinner

I woke up today in a bad mood. I just woke up mad. Everything was making me upset. Between the lack of move, and generally everything else. Probably doesn’t help that I realized when I woke up that I dreamt last night that I was going to be arranged in a marriage to Pastor Baumann. That didn’t fly so well and when I realized (in my dream) what was going on, I took off in the car out of the church to Walmart, which, in my dream, was next to the Clackamas Town Center mall, and then it started pouring rain, and then some Mexican who didn’t speak a lick of English crashed into the driver’s side of my car when I had parked. I called 911, but they hung up on me. I woke up soon after. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best dream.

The move doesn’t look like it’s going to work, Jim’s saying something about his mom needing to go in for some kind of surgery some time soon, I don’t know when because no one is giving me anything related to details about anything, and he’s saying she’s probably not going to be here for some reason relating to that.

I spent a long time on the phone with my parents because of this, and also, it was good to talk with them. I’ve been here around a week now and I just feel like I haven’t done anything even remotely related to my internship, and I don’t have a job, which is incredibly discouraging. I’m super down about it.

While on the phone at one point, I was just walking along the road and got a straight up checking-out & cat-call whistle from these two guys on a motorcycle. Um… awkward. I didn’t do anything and just kept walking.

Then after I got off the phone, I went to The Depot with Jan. Supposedly a good restaurant with bad beer from their microbrewery. When we walked in the door, I got a straight-up cat call whistle again. I didn’t look over. They whistled again, only much slower to make sure I noticed. Oh, I did. I still didn’t look over. I’m sorry, but we just don’t condone stuff like that out in the PNW, I don’t know what planet you are from, you weirdo. Jan and I sat in a different room and ordered our food. I got this fantastic chicken burger. It was sooo incredibly good.

Jim would have come with us, even though he doesn’t really like the food they have at the Depot, but he was on this skype conference call with these other guys about setting up some sort of programming for a facebook application where people can take this personality quiz for like, $20. I didn’t really want to ask him anything else about it, lol.


i'm too tired to post right now, but i feel like if i don't update, i'll continue to procrastinate and postpone it and never ever update again... so here's a brief run down of my day:

3 cat calls, hot guy at pool, dinner @ depot, walk/talk w/ m&d on phone, jim on phone allll day, spacey lacy, awful dream,


of downtown, lunch, and other such things

Today, my alarm went off at 6:30am. I actually did pull myself out of bed and looked outside. It wasn't raining. So I went and stood outside the back door for a bit to see if I really did want to go for a run. I did. So I put on my shoes and went off. I didn't go quite as far as last time, but I didn't expect to. It was really awesome, the sun was rising, and even though it was super humid, it wasn't quite as hot out. People continued to give me insane looks, it was kinda amusing.

After my run, I took a shower, had some cereal and did my Bible reading outside. It was really nice weather. I've decided it's probably the best part of the day here.

Oh dear. Power's dipping. There must be a thunderstorm not far away! ... yup, I can hear it now.

I can't tell you how much lack of motivation I have to write this right now. Staying away since 5pm (today) has been the biggest struggle of my life, it's ridiculous. How I've managed to still be awke now is amazing to me.

After awhile, I walked into the downtown area, stopping first in the library to get a library card. Ha, the librarian was kinda intense about giving me the library card:
Librarian: you live here? you got proof?
Me: uhh, I just moved in with my relatives.
Librarian: oh, ok, well, we'll have to send you your library card then.
Me: um, ok?
Librarian: oh, and this phone number is long distance, so is it alright if we email you when you have a reserve or when an item is over due?
Me: yeah, that's totally fine.
....so funny.

Then I walked around downtown, taking lots of pictures. They have this thing called the Iowa Walk of Fame, which is where they have bricks on the sidewalk of a map of Iowa with a famous person's name and a star with the town they're from.

I went into a few shops. Some are cutsie little boutiques. One was a clothing store full of old ladies trying to pick out colors that they should wear to some relative's wedding up near the city by a pond.

Shenandoah wants to be a tourist town, but it soooo isn't. I almost got hit by grandma on more than one occasion. They were at stop signs! I was at the cross walk, one would think (especially coming from tourist-central [aka Hood River]) that people would stop when you want to cross. But no. They don't. I mean, really. In a town of 6,000, I'm probably the one tourist, so why should they care?

Also, I went into a few shops


*ahem*... I went into a few shops and actually got to talking to some of the people who worked in them. Mostly because I was their only customer and they were more than interested in assisting me. I talked to them and said I just moved here (people don't understand the concept of "just visiting for the summer" so it's either: "I'm just visiting" or "I just moved here") and we got to talking about life in Shenandoah, they're all very welcoming and want to know what I'm doing out here and such. It was cool. Then I went into a more trendy boutique and got to talking to the girl in there. Her name is Amber, she's 23 and lives in a town not far from here. We got to talking (more of the same, but also about meeting people and hanging out with ppl our age), and she gave me her number and said she'd love to hang out, and mentioned some other people around our age in the area. Super exciting. I was going to call her tonight, but I'm just too tired to care at the moment. Perhaps tomorrow. She also said that I'm more than welcome to come by the store she works at any time because she works every day and often gets bored (I just want to say, that this reminded me of Jill b/c I used to visit her at Anana's a lot, although this store wasn't quite so intense as Ananas, just mainly trendy).

I went into the Donut Stop and the gal said "All we got is day'olz" cool, no problem. I don't really care. So I got myself a chocolate glazed bar (called a longjohn apparently) for 35 cents. Very good.

Then I went into the Nishnabotna Cafe (Nishnabotna is the river that flows just north of town (and just north of the farmhouse... there's also a really cool bridge that goes over it on part of the Wabash Trace bike trail). I thought it was the coffee place I'd seen online, but it was really just a diner. It reminded me of The Ranch. Walking in, there was an entry way full of business cards and local announcements. Then I walked into the place proper. It was filled - filled - with retired and working farmers from the area. They all looked up when I walked in. Yup, I'm a sore thumb, but I don't mind. I walked over to the counter and sat down, struck up a conversation with the waitress as she handed me the two-sided, plastic-sleeve covered paper menu (love small diners in small towns). I got distracted by the place instead of looking at my menu. There were so many cute sayings on the wall, so many old things like a super old fridge (still in use), calendars and football schedules from the 50s, in addition to the people. Everyone was talking to everyone. Not just people knowing about the happenings of town, but actively talking about everything with each other from across tables and across the restaurant. I hastily ordered a bacon cheeseburger when she came back (only $4) and got some fries with it.

The waitress and I talked about how I liked the place because it reminded me of a place I used to work at (anything that reminds me of HR is awesome).
Waitress: so you just moved here?
Me: Yeah, I'm from Oregon
Waitress: Oregon... ok, that's not too far, Oregon, Missouri and all
Me: Oh, no, Oregon, the state of
Waitress: Oh! Really? Wow!!! What brings you out to Shenandoah?
...and our conversation went on from there ;)
this is actually common... just like when you say Washington, you have to specify that it's the state, and not DC.

Then this really sweet older guy sat down a few chairs over from me. He asked me why I wasn't in the pool on a hot day like this. I said I was going there soon. Then after we started talking a bit, he moved over to sit closer to me, and we just had a really sweet conversation the whole time we were there. He is a local meter-reader in the area. Said he gets plenty of exercise and fresh air in his job. We talked about how nice and peaceful and safe small towns like Shenandoah are, and how busy Oregon is, and how the weather is like out there, and of course, we talked about the humidity and fireflies. It was like talking to a grandpa. I loved it. I asked him what his favorite thing about living in the area was. His response? "You gotta get married and have your kids here. It's a really good place. Good schools and not a lot of crime. There are still cooks out there, so you can't be too careful, but it's so much better than those big cities." We then talked about coffee and how people in the Northwest are obsessed with coffee and specialty drinks and espresso. He had to know if Starbucks was all that it was cracked up to be. I told him that regular coffee is often burnt because they leave it on the burner all day. He was shocked... and at such an expense! He had to know the most expensive drink, I told him I didn't know, but that I had seen some that were over $6. He just couldn't believe spending so much on one drink. We finished our lunches and he insisted on paying for my lunch because "the good company was worth getting a lunch for, and you have such beautiful dimples." As we were eating lunch, I just had to thank God for letting me be open to meeting new people and being outgoing today, even though it's hot and scary being in a new town in the middle of corn-city, Iowa. Then I went on my way, and after I'd walked a few blocks, he passed me in his truck and waved as he drove by. It really made my day.

Then I walked home. It. Was. So. Hot.

After I got home, I uploaded my pictures to my computer and called Lydia. She called later and we talked for over an hour. It was really good to catch up with her. I miss her soooo much! I love hearing familiar voices on the phone. IMing, skyping, texting, emailing, and facebooking are awesome, but it doesn't compare to live voices!

After talking with Lydia, I went down to the pool. Jan was already there (she got too over heated, and I don't blame her! With temperatures in the 90s plus humidity made the heat index in the 100s! The pool was kinda a mad house. Packed with kids and parents. But it was worth it! Jan and I went between getting in the water and lying out under the spraying mist of the fountains at the pool. Probably should have continuously applied the sunscreen because I got a little sunburnt, but it's not bad and I applied aloe as soon as we got home.

After swimming, I was sooo beat. I just wanted to go to bed, but it was only 5pm! I just couldn't justify going to bed so early. So I ate my leftovers (yum!), and watched a detective movie with Jan on Hulu called "The Good Guys" it was kinda dumb, but funny, and it kept me awake for another hour. Afterwards Jan mentioned cleaning the rest of the house today. I said I think we should just take a break for the day because I was just super exhausted, probably from the run, the walking around town, and the swimming. I managed to stay up late enough to go on a walk with Jan around 9ish. It was still really hot and really humid, but it was a good walk and I really enjoy our late-evening walks together.

I just want to say that I've figured out the two big universities here. Iowa State University is a lot like Oregon State University. It has Ag, Animal Sciences, and other science-oriented majors. The University of Iowa has more of the liberal arts degrees that University of Oregon has. ha! and would you look at that! The titles of the universities are even the same. I will have to say though, I am partial to the orange and black. Although UofI is the Hawkeyes, and their colors are black and gold, and then ISU is the Cyclones, but their mascot is a red cardinal and their colors are red and gold, which isn't quite as awesome, but still cool. Yeah ag!!!

It's kinda a bummer, for some reason, Jim's mom might not be able to be there for the signing of the house this week for some reason or another. It's still pending, so it might work out, but if not, we won't be moving til next week. This is really, really starting to wear on both Jan and Jim. They're itching to move. Everything is ready to go. They can't wait to get the garden started and the painting done and the moving over with. Especially so they can have their normal lives back. They've been living in boxes for at least two weeks already. Hopefully, we won't have to be this way for another week!

Bed is really calling my name. I might get up early tomorrow, might not. Who knows. Not super worried about it. Depends on how I feel when I wake up.

Pictures posted to my facebook album and my flickr photostream. :)


of dining rooms and madeline

Here's a few pictures from yesterday that I should have posted... well, yesterday.

side/dining room before

side/dining room after
(note, I moved almost all the boxes from the living room, kitchen and entry into here to aid in further cleaning of those respective areas and  for ease of walking around the house)

and also....

Introducing: Madeline

She's super sweet and her favorite spot to hang out is on the kitchen counter. She loves attention, but not while the canines are around. If you are around and not paying her proper attention, she will rub against you, meow kindly, and roll around on the floor (or counter). Most adorable.


of bbq's, thunderstorms, and bedrooms

For the rest of yesterday we went over to Nancy's house for the BBQ (sorry, forgot my camera!!! super sad about this... next time though!!!). Sunday night, as it happens, is the traditional Mormon Family Night. The idea of a "family night" is nothing bad in any way. Just the fact that they plug "mormon" on the front of it that bothers me. They gave their father gifts because it was Father's Day, then everyone talked a little, and then Nancy read out of a book for awhile before prayer and dinner was started. For dinner we had salad, home-made baked beans (left over from a missionary feed of sorts), and steak. It was all really good. Then we went up to Rachel's room, which is painted the most beautiful shade of royal purple and overlaid with sparkles (at her request), adorned with leopard wall paper, and featuring a fun, full-sized loft bed, 3 toads, a tree frog, a pet bearded dragon and a hamster. Needless to say, Rachel loves her pet. She loves cats and dragons and could talk for hours about the video games she plays and the books she loves to read. Then we went down to the basement and watched the pilot episode of Kings while eating home-made popcorn. Very good.

Then we came back to the house, and I attempted to go to bed, but there was such an epic thunderstorm out that I just couldn't sleep. So I watched "Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging" (made me think of Jill because she said it was super cute. wished i could have watched it with her!) which was an adorable British chick-flick of sorts while the sky flashed constantly (which I video'd and you can see below... it's not nearly as epic on youtube than it is live).

This morning I was going to get up super early and go for a run, but that was postponed due to the incredible storm that was still going on outside, with growing intensity. Giving up on that idea, I went back to bed.

Got up a few hours later and cleaned (like, swept, mostly -- can't really clean it until the boxes are out of it) and organized the spare room that I'm currently living in. Realized that I could actually be keeping all of my stuff in the closet (with shelves!) instead of at the mercy of the dogs (were Lacy to get in again, I try to keep the room door closed as much as I can anymore, regardless of where my stuff is).

Then I showered, organized things a bit more, and with the added space in my room, I moved some of the boxes from the kitchen and main walkways into my room.

spare (my) room before

other side of side(my) room before

spare/my room after

 other side of spare/my room after
(notice the location of the light switch. i think someone was drunk when they designed this room)

 another view of spare/my room.
you can see my stuff in the closet, and my awesome speaker system on top of the wardrobe (which is where I keep all my electronics, actually)

 View out the northern facing window and the backyard

view out the eastern facing window (and our neighbor's house, lol)

Then we all went to Walmart and I was able to pick up some things I've been missing (you have no idea how much you love floss until you don't have access to any after eating a ton of corn!!!). Then I set to work cleaning out the side room, which I can only assume was intended for a dining room. Moved boxes, scared the cat with the vacuum cleaner. Vacuumed that rug on the floor to death, then did a Cinderella job on the floor. Now waiting for the floor to dry before moving more boxes into that room. I think one or both of the dogs, and perhaps the cats as well used one of the side walls in that room for marking purposes. Disgusting.

Got my syllabus for my summer class. Ew. Not looking forward to working on that in addition to cleaning and moving, and looking for a job. But that's just the way things go, I suppose. No way around it. I also need to turn in my internship paperwork.... should get some envelops for that.

After cleaning some, Jan and I tried to hit up the pool, but it was occupied by a swim meet, which was a bummer. It was a perfect day to go swimming. Nice and boiling hot.

Then I finished cleaning the dining/side room and then Jan and I went out to this mexican restaurant in town that's over by HyVee and Walmart. It was really small, but the food wasn't bad. I can be kinda picky when it comes to Mexican cuisine, I suppose. Got a Quesadilla de Fajitas, but it tasted kinda like the cheese was a cheese sauce instead of actual cheese. No harm done, and I was only able to eat half of it, so I brought the rest home with me, which will either be happily devoured later this evening, or saved for the lunch hour of tomorrow. :)

Going to try to run tonight and hopefully *fingers crossed* actually get out and go around town some more by myself tomorrow morning/afternoon.

I've been here almost a week!!! How crazy is that? Insane. But also? I've made some new goals for myself because, although this is "summer break" it's not really a break for me because there is so much I have to do, so many goals I have for myself, in addition to everything I have to do with helping Jan and Jim, and then moving, and then summer class, and internship, and work (please, God!!! give me a paying job!)

Jim's mom has kinda gone AWOL about the whole closure on the house thing. Kinda frustrating because we're trying to move in on Saturday (after the move-in date already got moved several times), and I have a lot I have to do, they don't want to be stuck in the house here in Shen longer than they have to, and his mom is the one who is doing the main part of the financial stuff in regards to the house. Plus, they were trying to go to Iowa City next Monday to get some more trial meds for Jan, but that might have to be postponed anyway with the car trouble they've been having, and the short time they'll have between actually moving (if we do move on Saturday) and the road tripping there on Sunday for their Monday appointment.

*sigh* I guess just more prayer that everything goes smoothly and according to the current plan is something I need to be doing.

Well, now on to more organizing of the dining room, and perhaps a few pictures of it when it's finished.

Can't wait til we move and I can put up my wall decorations and maybe actually sleep in a real bed! This air mattress is starting to get the best of me... :(


of rain, church, and insect bites

I woke up this morning, and it was raining. Normally, I would consider this kind of rain to be no-problemo, but here in Iowa, when it even kinda tries to rain, the drops are still MASSIVE. So I debated on going, calling to maybe get a ride from a church member, or waking up Jan or Jim, which I hated the thought of. But I managed to catch the storm, right between rushes of water downpouring form the sky and biked over to the CMA church (which they call C and MA... slightly adorable)

I went to Cornerstone Fellowship this morning, it's a CMA church here in Shenandoah. It was really cute, probably around 60 people were there. Kinda reminded me of Shepherd of the Valley in HR (not that I've been to that church often, but still...). After singing a few worship songs (and getting goodness-knows how many weird looks, haha) we breaked to "greet the people around us."

Now, normally, I would say that this is just saying hi and introducing yourself to the people around you. Not so here! Everyone shuffled around and said hi to everyone, even the worship team broke apart and mingled with everyone. It was really interesting. Most people were actually quite open to me and said hi, of course, wanting to know where I'm from and what I'm doing here. They were all shocked beyond their minds when I said I was from Oregon --  which is SOOooo far away, apparently, haha. One guy said that he and his wife vacationed in Waldport last summer... which is not exactly what I would call a vacation spot, but anyway! They all wanted to know what I was doing out here, how I heard about Shenandoah, and how I heard about Cornerstone, oh, and when I was moving out for good!!!

They lost their pastor a few weeks ago as he and his wife were called to New Hampshire, so they had a guest pastor from Nebraska this week. He taught a really good message on 1 Peter 2:9-12... all about accepting the call God has for your life. This again... interesting, must be a reason why I'm here then!

Also, I must say, I have the mosquito bite of the century right now. I caught the sucker when he was selecting a meal off my leg. It was a nasty smash, to say the least. But it hurt! The last 4 times I've been prey to the mosquitos, I've totally felt it! So not cool.... At first there was no swelling, but I really wanted to scratch it. However, thanks to the over-nerdy-ness that I gained thanks to BioIII with Dr Chestnut @ Belhaven, I try not to scratch bug bites, because well, it just spreads things around, and isn't good in general.  So I resisted and iced it (well as close as a refrigerated diet pepsi can get). Did that help? Yeah, I guess, and it really didn't start swelling up til later in the day. But now? Now I have this 2" diameter welt on my leg. It's quite attractive, let me tell you.

But count is up by 2 since the last time... making it, what? 7? Still not too bad, thankfully.

Not sure if I'll return to Cornerstone next week, might try out another service, or might go back because it's also the closest church to here and the farmhouse -- well, close is a relative term as everything is within easy walking distance and probably less than a mile.

of bathrooms, puppies, and modern technology

Today, we attacked the bathroom. Well, I guess I did. I was going to get up early and start the day. Resetting the alarm three times and I got up before noon. Well, it's better than days previous I suppose.

Yesterday I'd taken to listening to Solid Rock podcasts while cleaning the kitchen on my ipod. I used it in my ipod arm-band so that I wouldn't weird Jan and Jim out with the teachings I was listening to. I mean, I guess everyone assumes 20-somethings listen to pop music while cleaning, yeah? So, today I opted for using the awesome speaker system my way-cool friends, Kim and Jeni got me for my graduation because I was in the bathroom and could shut the door. Plus, without the arm-band, I have more motility of my head/arms, haha.

I've been doing my best to keep Lacy out of my room. I'm of the belief that she used to use the rug in there for a potty spot when people didn't notice she needed to go outside because the first night I was here, it smelled incredibly and overwhelmingly like dog urine. Rug removed, but her habit remains. Thankfully, nothing like that has happened yet, but she started to wander back in that side room. I didn't want her confiscating anything, but apparently, I wasn't on top of it enough.

Death to my left black Old Navy flip flop and the necessary connection to my ipod arm-band. Right about the same time I found this out, I realized I'd gotten bleach on my favorite TWLOHA shirt.

I was super frustrated.
It was almost like I was super mad that after all this time, it seemed like everything had gone pretty much alright. But now, the fury of Hannah was to be unleashed.

No. Not that. Seriously. That's ridiculous. The shirt was old, and I knew there was a possibility of it getting dirty or bleached. The flip-flop was also old, and worth only a few dollars. Same with the arm-band. I got it on ebay for under $5 thanks to my thriftiness.

My next thought was to God. Asking for grace. Patience. Especially towards Lacy. I could see myself hating her for the whole rest of the summer. Over what? Her being a 6 month old puppy and chewing up a plastic flip-flop? *sigh*

I forced myself to 1) eat something, 2) take a deep breath, and 3) keep cleaning the bathroom.

I was listening to the podcast on the story of Jesus, Part 5, "Demons, Pigs, and You" taught by Mike Erre. I'd already heard it at least twice, considering I was able to be there for the teaching, and I listened to it again when I was back at OSU. In it, towards the end, he asks us to find the 3x5 cards placed around the sanctuary, write "God has" at the top, and then list what God has done for us in our lives. Redeemed, Forgiven, Loved, Graceful... endless amounts of things could be written.

It made me think, made me realize how much I'd started to think about myself. Me. My trip to Iowa. This whole thing had been about me. How I could benefit. How I could help people. I'd started back up with my Bible study and was planning with full hope to go to church on Sunday, shouldn't God give me things? A boyfriend, or at least some friends, perhaps? Something... anything? Me, me, me. I was helping Jan and Jim, yes, but I was so involved with myself.

Between realizing that "yeah, it was just a stupid plastic flip flop" and "yeah that arm-band was awesome, but you probably won't use it that much while you're here anyway, it's too hot to run with anyway" and "give her grace, she's just a puppy," was completely mind-blowing.

Being out here is different. Not everyone has a cell phone. Not everyone has an ipod, much less even know what one is. Not everyone has a laptop, or even a computer, much less one with good internet access. Even fewer people have all of the above. I never really think about how fortunate of a place I come from. Yes, I might be a low-middle class college student, swimming in student loans, but I also hold a degree (well... for technicalities sake, almost), I have a laptop, internet, an ipod, a speaker system for my ipod, a cellphone, nice clothes, a car back at home. I have a lot. Way more than I could ever be thankful for.

I've started to miss the simple.

iPod arm band? Awesome, yes, but really? I should be spending my time with family. I'm here with Jan  and Jim to do just that: be there with them. Why should I be like those stupid teen-agers on those tv shows and in those movies who are absorbed into their texting and solitary tunes.

It's also a wake-up call. I need to be fearless about sharing my love for Jesus. I'm surrounded here by family, some of which are mormons, others, non-believers, others clueless about anything. It makes me sad. But I shouldn't be afraid. It's almost like God let Lacy chew up my arm-band so that I wouldn't be afraid to listen to the teachings from Solid Rock to myself. If I want to hear them, I either need a pocket, or an open potential to sharing them with everyone in the room. I guess you could almost say it's God being like: "Duh Hannah, don't be afraid! You want to share my love? Share it! Don't be a slacker! You think you want to back off and just bring it along gently? Well, think again, you're going to do it my way."

Needless to say, cleaning the bathroom is very cathartic. I went in half-way through after scrubbing and getting super asphyxiated by bleach, soap, and pine-sol. But man, between cleaning and listening to teachings form Solid Rock. It's amazing what a few hours can do. I went in, the floors basically black, the tile orange and black, toilet super cruddy. It looked beyond hopeless. But, never fear! Nothing an aggressive cleaning can't remedy!

The other thing is that I'm not mad at Lacy anymore. They might call her The Criminal, but really? she's just a 6 month old puppy, learning the ropes of society.

I guess I can also be thankful that it was the little things that she attacked (and even the shirt... it's replaceable). All the rest of my belongings are still safe and untouched by puppy jaws. :) Just a reminder that I now, more than ever, need to keep my door shut, and my stuff together so that there is no opportunity left open for anything like this (or worse) to happen again.

Also, I just want to add that it's been attempting to rain with thunder and intense lightening for the duration of me writing this. I do count the seconds each time there's a flash to see how far away the storm is from us (it's about 10 miles, if seconds per mile is correct).

Also, the most adorable thing ever is when Jim calls the cats. He calls their names and then meows.

As for the rest of my day, after getting up and preparing myself to clean the bathroom, Jim and I went out to investigate the local gym. It's locked from the outside, so apparently one must get a membership on a weekday :P Then we went down to the pool. It's super nice. Either way, Jim said that they'd be willing to pay for pool or gym membership for me and Jan this summer because I'm super active and encouraging to do stuff with Jan. So we opted for the pool because it's cool and swimming is always fun in the summer. We can also always go out on bike rides on the Wabash Trace trail, and walks around town. Neither happened with us today, but there's always tomorrow. :) The BBQ with family has been postponed til tomorrow evening as we're still super busy with packing and Nancy's deck was getting re-stained today.

Rain is exciting. Lightning intimidating. Thunder is ominous and rattles everything in the house.
I kinda like it. :) kinda makes God feel more present somehow.

bathroom before

bathroom after
(lighting is the same in both pictures... yes, the colors actually changed!!! talk about rewarding!)

tub before

tub after

floor before

floor after
(yes, it's a completely different color)

toilet area before

toilet after

check and check


completely guiltless sundaes?

After dinner, we had ice cream sundaes. Well, guilt free ice cream (sweetened w/splenda), plus schnapps... does that mean it's beyond guilt-free because you even forget about any potential guilt you may have potentially had in the first place even though it's already free of guilt? I'm not even sure.

Regardless, it doesn't pertain to me anyway. I had toast and plain ice cream.

We watched more of Kings and the pilot episode of this new show called Rubicon. Looks cool.

Ulgh, I had a weird amount of spare energy. I was going to go on a walk tonight with Jan, but when that finally came around, they were in the middle of an episode of Rubicon, aand it was after 11pm. So, it was a no on the walk, but I just needed to burn off some energy, in some way or another, it was late, and I could have gone to bed, but I just kinda really wanted to see if I could go on a run.

So I went. I kinda looked up a generic distance of about 2 miles in a circuit around town. Well, I ended up going past the road I was supposed to turn on without realizing it, and what I thought was me just running like 2 miles, was actually me running more like 3 miles. Which, honestly? Is awesome! I can't believe it. I mean, I was tired, but not really. I felt like I could have gone farther, had I planned it out differently. But man, I was really sweaty. I mean, now, the weather is 74 degrees with 84% humidity, and it's been about an hour since I got back. I think I was hitting on 14-15 minute miles, which isn't great, but isn't bad, especially since I haven't done much running in over a week. I really wasn't concerned about speed, and I wasn't worried about completing it all. But in a way, I guess I kinda felt like an idiot for taking off on a run at 11 at night. And I wanted to keep going. It felt really good to run. I haven't run outside, or at night, or without music in like... forever. Shenandoah is a really sleepy town, it's weird. There was virtually no one around, and none of the areas where I was seemed creepy at all. Everything was pretty much the same in regards to nice houses in the neighborhoods. But I wanted to keep going even if there was a potential of it being weird. I guess no one runs in this town, because the people that I did pass looked at me really weird, lol.

I guess I should say that there was the fear of lightening from the thunderhead just to the south of us was slightly intimidating. I'll admit that it's still scaring me because I'm entirely unaccustomed to it anymore. I've been in Oregon too long since Mississippi to not really be concerned about that kind of thing. I mean, I like it, don't get me wrong, I actually love watching it, but there's this certain fear about that I have. Where I think if I just don't look at it, it's not happening. But running through it. That was awesome. Yes, I wasn't actually in it. I was probably about 60-100 miles away from it, but it was lighting up the entire sky in sudden flashes of brilliance.

It was like facing my fear head-on,
in the dark,

Just me and God.

It was fantastic.