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….


of getting back to things and birthday parties

NOTE: there are at least three posts that I'm currently working on updating/writing about that will show up on their respective days so that this blog remains mostly in chronological order. Sooo, I'll get those up and letcha know so you shouldn't just read the most recent one! there might be more new ones below that you've missed!!! (not that i have a huge fan base... or any response or interest in my blog at all, but it's easier than an email update every so often that i probably would never keep up with.... /rant).

Today I got up, blogged about yesterday (see below) and then oh-my-goodness, I exercised. CONCEPT!!! I miss it so ridiculously much, it's not even funny. I've gotten so ridiculously out of shape in the last like, 3 weeks, it's pathetic and down right depressing. Lotsa crunches, pushups, 8-count grande-plies (aaaahh feel the burn you ballet dancer!)... among other things. Next in order was shower. Yup, it was marvelous. Then I had some cereal before listening to more music (I'm not even sure if I really need to be blogging about this as I almost always am listening to music, but you know, the generalities of shuffling through various songs on my itunes takes up too much of my time.

I spent a good amount of time deciphering between the differences in B.o.B. (ft. Hayley Williams)'s Airplanes (5:11) and Airplanes pt2 (3:01) and Moby's Extreme Ways (3:57) and the new Extreme Ways (Bourne's Ultimatum) (4:22). It was entertaining and insightful. I like them all and I like each one for different reasons.

Then I went to work. It was pretty basic. I worked the computer and some veggies. I'm still not completely proficient on "bread" just yet, but I'm sure they'll have me on that soon enough. I also found out that the store will be closed from Sunday through Tuesday. The exact reason, I'm not entirely sure... my one guess is that the National Guard in town is having this huge shindig catered by Subway, and we might be near-to-completely out of anything afterwards. Again, I don't actually know the real reason, but that's my current guess, lol.

After work, I came home and ate lunch while poking around on my computer a bit before changing to go to Robby's 16th birthday party over at Nancy&Co's (what I feel like I always call their place... or at least when I'm thinking about it; don't ask).

I had a really good time over there again. I should seriously visit more often than I do. It's kinda lame of me. Robby had the whole evening planned out just perfectly. We were to play three rounds of Bingo in 25 minutes, then we were to order pizza and proceed to play other various games (with their respective directions and proper number of players laid on the top of each box) for the next hour and half or so while we waited for the pizzas to arrive. Haha... there were even prizes for the bingo games. aka: candy. Jan won the first round, grabbing the Reese's, I took the second game, choosing the Mixed Berry Skittles, and Nancy claimed the third round. After that, candy was passed around to everyone present (me, Jan and Jim and their family). Then I went over to the living area and played Boggle with Nancy and John while the rest of them played Chinese Checkers at the table. A short while after the pizzas came (and we interrogated each other throughly about the ridiculous lot of three letter words we'd found), Robby opened a few gifts and we had pizza. Then we headed downstairs and watched a movie called Next, which features Nicholas Cage and, lacking names: a character from 30Rock who has this thing for Jack, and Ellen (the girlfriend... who was a "wait an see") from Elizabethtown. It was interesting... not awesome, but not horrible either. Nancy and I spent most of the movie finishing up her current puzzle. Super fun. I should borrow some while I'm still in town. I'm a nerd, and a nut, I know, but I love putting them together. Half-way through the movie, we breaked to have rootbeer floats. Never, ever bad.

After the movie was over, we talked for a bit while Nancy and I continued working on the puzzle a bit more - we were so close to being done!!! it was a little more than exciting to say the least, then Jan and Jim were getting up and heading out, so I followed suit because, well, it's only logical that I head out with them considering they were my ride, I live with them, and yeah... just made sense. Plus I wanted to call some people (am I turning into a phone person??!? weird...).

But it was weird, they never looked at me or said anything to me, but I hurried out the door behind them, but when I got out the front door, they just jumped in the car and took off without me. It was the weirdest thing - although, not super unlike what happened when I'd first gotten in the car back at the farmhouse before we were leaving to go to Nancy&Co's. Jim had no idea I'd jumped in the back seat, so we sat in the driveway, Jim talking to Jan about the garden for like, 5 minutes before he noticed I was there. I mean, I guess I could have said something, but there really wasn't anything for me to say, and I wasn't like, sneaking around, it was obvious I was there...so weird. Anyway, he drove off with out me... well, more like, leaving me running after the car, and then standing in the road, wondering what in the world had just happened. So ridiculous. So then I called Jim, and he didn't answer - I was actually surprised he even had his phone with him. Had he not, I probably would have gone back inside, or walked down to McComb park and called a few friends anyway before just walking home.... as it's really not more than 2 miles. Annoying, but nothing impossible. After trying to figure out what was going on, Jim just stated that he had assumed I was going to stick around... or something like that. and just waited up at the stop sign for me to walk up to them. awesome. I was kinda upset on the drive back, but I tried not to let it really get to me. He probably just wasn't thinking about anything but his computer work that he wanted to hurry up and get back to (I mean, they left Nancy&Co's so fast that Jan even forgot her shoes...).

Once back at the farmhouse, I called Aunt Linda and we had a fun conversation just about some stuff. I mean, I had called because they live up in the area where Josh is now, but like, I dunno... it's almost more that it just made me think of them when I found out that they live in the same area. Not that I want to like, use them or anything, but that I legit miss them -- I mean, yeah, I miss Josh a whole freaking crap-ton too, but that's really and honestly why I called. It was awesome to talk with her. I'd realized that I'd really not had a legit conversation with her since.... ever? So it was kinda trippy to actually talk with her about what I'm up to with school and life and all that. Before too long though, she had to go because she had to be to work super early, but it was still good to talk, and because of all that, I was thankful to have called when I did and not any later.

Then I kinda guess I just bummed around more on my computer, researching this-and-that and stuff-n-such. I was going to call a few other people, but just didn't find the motivation as no one really ever calls me back (with the exception of Danielle -- she's off the hook until next month, love you girl!). Around 10:30 or so, I took of on my bike just because I was bored and wanted to get out of my room. Before I headed down Airport Road, I did feed the chicks though. they're getting so big!!! I really need to take  more pictures....

In other news that's not super relevant. I'm spending an ungodly and extremely unhealthy amount of time on facebook. It's bad. I mean, any more, I'm just there begging for something to do. But it's not true. I have other stuff I could be doing. So I should look into doing... that other stuff. Like, now. Yup. done.

oh, and might I add that the cicadas have really started to set in? I heard this weird noise for the longest time tonight and couldn't for the life of me figure out what in the world it was... no, it wasn't that water bottle, or that other one, or that other one, no it wasn't music, or the fan... yup. a bug. outside. like, super ridiculously far away. dumb. that's all.

Oh, and tonight, after that late-night biking adventure, I decided I need to be biking around more than I already do. Yes, it's -- it's almost 2?!?! i thought it was only just 1. Wow... mega lame, but that aside, I used to bike in the morning, and that hasn't happened in awhile. Must restart.

I watched a ton of Bill Nye the Science Guy clips on YouTube. #1, always hilarious and classic, but #2: remind me of people, places, things... and yeah. from Oregon to Japanese Chinese food.

...any more brill ideas about me going up to Minnesota?


on to plan...

um... H?

otherwise: plan primero: God. as He is pretty much the ultimate of awesomeness.


of general boringness and epic phone conversations

Man... waking up after taking 2 benadryl is hard. But I took 'em last night (makes me sound like a druggie? awkward...) because I have, no joke, at least 50 mosquito and/or other bug bites on me right now. It sucks. Ulgh. Misery at it's finest. Can't get away from them.

Yesterday after I got up and showering, I bummed around on my computer for awhile before working on updating my blog some, then I headed over to the library and worked on a bit of homework and my blog some more before going to walmart and hitting up some chocolate and stamps. Chocolate in this weather is just no bueno, however, chocolate is always bueno.

After that adventure, I went by the church because my violin was still over there, so I went into the office area where I'd put it back on Sunday morning after church so it wouldn't roast (or get kidnapped) in the car while I helped Josh work on the Fiero all day. Talked with Pastor Dan for awhile and then practiced my violin in the sanctuary for awhile. It's been a long time since I've actually practiced like that. It was good. Well, not really... I sound miserable, and that fact is very depressing, but otherwise, it was good to get it out and play and stuff like that.

Went back to the farmhouse to work on homework, but I was slightly hungry, so I popped some of the light-butter pop corn that Jan got for me awhile back (I don't know about you, but I'm just not into mega-buttered popcorn... just the way I am) and read on the couch and tossed a few pieces of popcorn to Lacy every few seconds. It was ridiculous and hilarious to say the least. She likes popcorn.

Then I had to head back out to the church for Wednesday night worship practice before service tonight. Practice was definitely lacking and depressing without Josh. No one to give awkward glances to, or rock out like bandies. Lame. We kept playing songs  in ridiculous keys, but ended up switching at the last minute to different songs. They were all awesome, regardless. Then church started and we played away, and it went really well, and I managed so sound kinda awesome - schweet! Then we watched this new video series for the church on the book of Romans and the Apostle Paul and how it's comparable to New York/America as a whole today. Very interesting, and quite true. Then we broke up into small groups as always, to answer a few discussion questions, and Pastor Dan had me be a group leader. Went well.

Then I went home, but I was restless and really needed to get out and so something - and Jill said she'd call me back after church, so I was super stoked to talk with her. I don't think I'd talked to her on the phone since I've been out here, which is mega lame. So I rode out to McComb park and called her. No luck for awhile, but finally got through. I sat on the swing tonight, mostly. I like that park for some reason. Can't really say why. Maybe it kinda reminds me of Sorrosis Park and Jackson Park, only minus the hills and.... just about everything... but perhaps it's more because it's the largest park in town. Yeah. That. Anyway, I ended up calling a lot of people because I just miss people, and want to be doing something more with my life than just bumming around on my computer every evening (which is lame).

So, after having sat on a swing and actively swinging for, give or take, two hours, needless to say, I was a bit dizzy (and kinda sick to boot), and attempting to ride a bike while still on the phone, much less walk in a straight line is near-impossible. It was hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing for quite awhile. Anyway, I rode around town for awhile because I was still on the phone with Kim and didn't really feel like going back to the farmhouse just yet, but I did eventually and shared a few links with Kim before watching the tea party scene from Alice in Wonderland (my fav) and heading to bed.


of motivation

So I'd been SUPER unmotivated recently to update. Well, lacking anything else to do (kidding, I'm swamped, actually), I've decided to work on updating this here blog and I'm currently updating my playlist (wow, concept, right?)... not that you listen to it anyway, and not that anyone even reads this blog, but hey! I can enjoy it, right?
Good talk.

of spontaneity, realizations and questions

monday? no, it's tuesday. good grief.

I've realized I need to afford more grace with people here, and that I need to get things back together and keep up with the original way things were planned when I got here instead of bumming around so much.

Today I got up, showered and all that as normal, bummed around a bit on the computer, cleaned my room and vacuumed it (needed it), listened to too much music (wait... is that even possible? I think not...), then went to the library and dropped off the movies I'd picked up a few days before (Elizabethtown, which I'd watched, and the first of the Narnia installments, but I'd not watched it because I didn't find the time). Then I went to Walmart to look for some sticky-tack to finally (!!!) put up stuff on my walls... but, alas! they do not have it there. I don't understand it, really. It was so weird. So... I don't know quite what to think about that as of now. I could make a cool collage, but I'm lacking anything to put it up with... perhaps it will just have to wait til I get back to Corvallis....

As I'd talked with Kali about hanging out the day before, she shot me a text saying she was free and interested in doing... something. There's not a real whole lot of anything to do here in Shenandoah - this, as more time goes on, I am realizing more and more. So we resorted to spontaneity, which went well, I would say. We talked a bit about what I'd been up to in the last few days, and she said she had a long story about her past that was kinda associated with people I'd been around recently. Small town. People know everyone. Everyone's lives are connected in one way or another. I love hearing peoples back stories, because it gives more depth and meaning to why they are where they are today, and why they are who they are. But I don't force it out of people, and she offered it, so we picked up some ice cream at McDonald's and headed out to Manti Park to walk and explore a bit.

Once we got to Manti Park and after walking through this incredibly mosquito-infested forested area, the trail opened back up to a grassy area surrounded by acres upon acres of corn. There was a small, super old cemetery there, which we checked out for a bit before walking further in the grass and sitting down to just talk. It was a really good conversation - deep, and flowing all over and around topics on life and faith and God and family and such. Then we goofed around a bit more and I shared some about where I live back in Oregon, and some of the silly things me and my friends from OSU do together. Then after awhile she wanted to go down to Brown Shoe Store (or something like that) downtown because they were having this big sale. Ulgh, on the walk back through the forested area, I got hounded by mosquitos. It was horrible. I must have to have sweet blood or something. I just don't get it.. Super obnoxious to say the least.

After finding out that Brown's was closed, we drove around town a bit, found this awesome old barn that looked like it was from an episode of Wishbone before we headed over to Walmart to well... hangout, because, like in Hood River, that's what you do in a small town. Hang out at Walmart. They don't really have the fun downtown area with parks and awesome views downtown, so no one really hangs there.

After bumming out at Walmart for a bit, we went over to Casey's and picked up some sodas before finding our way back over to the church lot, where we'd met up a few hours before. Then we just kinda sat outside the car and blasted some christian rock music before heading our separate ways for the day. It was fun to hang out, and I'm really glad we did.

Then I was about to head back to the farmhouse, but I just didn't have the motivation to do that... there really isn't much for me back there, and I didn't want to just bum around on the computer for the next few hours before going to bed. So, I went over to McComb park. Once there, I called a million people, but no one answered, which was lame. Then I called Kelly, and we talked for an awesome-tastic 10 minutes before she had to hang up to finish her last corner and unload the combine (she was at work). Then I called dad and we talked for around an hour. It was awesome to talk to him, and I found out that Aunt Linda and Uncle David live up in Chanhassen, MN. I hadn't realized that's where they lived... I'd figured it was somewhere like, super far north, but no!!! I'd love to visit them, and plus, I dare say that's not far from the vicinity of where Josh is.... which would be mega awesome beyond the world to see him again before I go back to Oregon. Especially up there, because we pretty much ran out of anything to do down here in Shan... haha.

Then I went home, and watched part of a show with Jan on Hulu - haven't done that in a long time... then I went upstairs. I wasn't super hungry, as has been the case for a few weeks now. Lame, as I'm not a fan of feeling nauseous all the time, but otherwise, I don't really care because I don't really notice. After I was upstairs, I hit up the computer and chatted with Stephanie and Erin on fb for a bit. It was awesome to talk with them. I miss them a whole freaking lot.

But the weird thing is that the longer I'm here, the better things are... I don't really know how to describe it. Shenandoah is really boring, and there aren't many people in it, and there's not much for me to do, and the garden is kinda well, not needing any work hardly anymore, but I'm loving Shenandoah Assemblies of God, and some of the people I've met there, and the more I realize it, the more I'm going to miss it when I leave. It's going to be hard to pack up and go back to Oregon: where my life is planned out like processed cookies for the next year.

I meant to go to bed soon after going upstairs as I was actually quite tired, but somehow, I managed to stay up with that all too common problem/addiction that I have: music. Yup. I am still up and it's almost 2. I had planned to get up and go for a run and be generally productive tomorrow, but goodness knows, I'm not even going to attempt to get up at 6 tomorrow after being up so late.

I looked up bus, train, and airfares to Minneapolis... it's all about the same. The great debate is: should I go? and if so, how long? or should I not go?

To go or not to go: that is the question.


basic update. no motivation for more detail atm

sunday: worship practice, church, worked on josh's car, investigated parts for the car, moved car to a friend's farm shop, didn't have right part, went to omaha, fixed car, adjusted alignment, talked in car, went to bed

monday: got up, listened to music, shower, work, listened to more music, music, music, music, watched elizabethtown, tried to blog, didn't, blogged more, didn't, music, music, music, facebook chat? weird... anyway, music, music music, bed......


of county fairs and epic adventures

Hmm, long freaking day.... got up, showered and mostly just bummed around my room. Had such a good time last night. Woke up just thinking about it all and listening to TobyMAC some more (new album: Tonight = awesome). Then after awhile Jim came upstairs and said they were planning on going to either or both of the county fairs in the area today.

I had to pick up some stuff at the library -- really, really, really wanted to watch Elizabethtown, so I was hoping it would still be available when I got there, and I really wanted to have it to watch on Sunday after church because I'm going to be super, super, ridiculously bored when Josh leaves for Minnesota after church on Sunday. Because after then, there will be no random outings or drives, or random shenanigans to look forward to. Lame.

Anyway, after dropping off a few items and picking up Elizabethtown, the first Narnia movie and another book, we headed out to Clarinda via Hwy 2 to hit up the Page County Fair. There was hardy a crowd, no parking fee, and you park on the street (or wherever), but there were animal barns galore! First off we walked through the cows and then tried to find the open class building to find John's (Dr Bowery) photographs, because apparently he'd won "best in show" of sorts. We finally found it in the 4-H building - actually, the only building with static things... it was super small, which kinda made me sad considering the fair should be about the same size as the Hood River County Fair. We found his pictures, which were definitely the best ones there, and he'd won a "champion" award on one, and the rest "blues" which is awesome. Best in his category/class. Not bad :) Then I looked around more at the rest of the displays in the building, but Jan and Jim were itching to get out and look at the animals. Once out in the barns, Jim asked just about everyone if they had a Dexter cow, which is the breed he wishes to purchase for the farm here eventually. I figured that no one did, and that the kids wouldn't likely even know what he was talking about (yup), but it was worth asking about, I suppose. We walked through the pig barn, the small animal barn with chickens, turkeys, ducks and rabbits, and the cattle and sheep & goat barn. They have a really nice show ring. Only one, but it's super tricked out. I was having show-ring envy, haha. But it had to be covered and super nice for the risk of rain that they get out here during the summer, whereas the Hood River fair doesn't need such a cover because it pretty much never rains much during the fair.

Then we felt like we'd seen everything there was to see. Jim asked if we wanted to stay for the carnival, but really, it was just two really, really small rides for little kids, so we headed out. Once in the car, Jan suggested we stop for something to eat on our way out of town, so we stopped for Chinese food there in Clarinda. It was quite good, but I actually think that Jan and I were given the wrong plates of food - not much difference, really, chicken, spicy, good... yeah, we didn't really care, and I didn't say anything and I don't think Jan even noticed, lol. whups. There was and advertisement for The Snoopy play which would be showing in a few weeks - we might just have to try to go to that here in Clarinda when it's playing.

After lunch we headed all the way over to the Fremont County Fair over in Sidney. This fair was about the same size (?) maybe a bit smaller. The sun was shining over there though, unlike when we were out at Clarinda. Same, only one, small building for all the static displays (I think Hood River has like... three, yeah?), building for horses, another for cows, and the last for small animals. It was really pretty there. The fairgrounds are in the same location as the Sidney Rodeo (which is in like, a week!). There was a talent show going on after awhile, and all the 4-Hers were dancing and goofing around on stage. It was cute.

We drove home after that and I just kinda bummed around for awhile. I was super tired, but didn't want to nap in the car... just because I didn't want to. Got home and was no less tired, which was lame. I knew that Josh might text me around the hour of midnight to help him work on his car because he was up in Sioux City alllll day talking to people about JSAW (Jesus: Snow-Asphalt-Water) schtuffs (to start skate ministries and get the word out about their organization and to raise funds). So, I bummed around on my computer for a bit before picking up a few snacks in town before all the stores closed up for the night and went home and took a nap at like, 8 for a few hours. Got up again later to the dogs barking at... goodness knows what and bummed around on my computer for a bit and then texted Josh for a bit because he was still on his way back town from Sioux City but wanted me to run by the church to see if the garage was still open because that's where the Fiero was parked and needing to be worked on (he'd taken the Impala up to Sioux City). Locked. No bueno. Tried all the doors. Drat. So we went about deciding if we should wait til morning, or try to see if someone was up and would open the door for us. I ended up getting ahold of someone - felt kinda bad for the late hour, but we got the door open, which was awesome. It was to be a long night working on the car, but I was down for the epic adventure (as I called it, because, I mean, as hard and stressful as things can be when you're doing them all night can be fun... somehow, don't ask for a better answer to that, lol).

Josh was still around an hour out of Shenandoah, so I went back home and read Captivating for awhile before he called because he was super tired on the drive and only about 10 minutes out from town. Poor guy, he'd been up since seven that morning from driving up to Sioux City, was up super late the night before from having gone to Blue in Omaha, and was up the night before that when we went to Tarkio and skating around town after we got back. So we talked for awhile and then I headed over to the garage to help him with the car.

We go in the garage and move some stuff around to make more work space around the car and set up my stereo system to help us work by rocking out to some awesome music (Phil Wickham anyone? yes please!). He was kinda grumpy from the drive and being frustrated about the car in general needing the work, but after I handed him a Pepsi I'd picked up earlier (snacksss) he improved, lol. Oh the miracles of Pepsi late at night. But then we were both bummed out when we couldn't find the part we needed to get the car apart. Really frustrated, actually, because this would mean that it would delay his departure for Minneapolis til later. As it was he had been hoping to leave Sunday right after church, but this would put him out several more hours to go to the store to get the part during church (as stores in town are really not open on Sunday here in SmallTown, Iowa, with the exception of a few hours mid-day) and then work on it after finishing up worship at the end of service.

So, frustrated about that, and tired, we call it a night - to be continued the next morning... we were at the garage til around 3am trying to get various different ways to work, but the spindle is so busted and bolts are broken which is majorly no bueno, so we have to get the new ones on before he can drive up to Minnesota.

of normalcy and Omaha adventures

Today I got up and really hit into my homework before getting ready and going to work. Four hour shift. I'm moving up in the world. Haha. While I was there, Donna called me to the back saying how she really liked my work ethic. I'm fast, a quick learner, and I retain stuff, and I'm not stupid about things, and I'm energetic with the other employees and happy and polite with the customers. She wants to start giving me closing shifts, and then eventually opening shifts, and more hours over all. Sweet.

Got home, finished watching Black Hawk Down while eating lunch and then attacked homework. It took me longer than I was hoping, but it's alright. I got that done, showered, cleaned my room, and got ready to go out with peoples from church to go up to Omaha. ETA: 7:30pm. Happy hour at Blue starts at 10... or so we thought. Once we got there, at 9:30, we found out that it didn't start until 10:30, but they let us go with it anyway, which was awesome. We just had to wait about half an hour or so. It was such a hip, trendy, and urban place. Everyone was super tricked out and dressed up. Stilettos up the wall. It was intense. But I kinda liked it. It was fun. There is a place upstairs called Red (same restaurant, obviously, lol), but it's the bar and night club. We stayed down in Blue and ate outside. Needless to say, it was quite the experience - not to mention lots of fun.

It was me, Josh, Josh's mom, and Mandie, a girl from chruch. Josh was his normal skater self, his mom was sweet, and definitely his mother (lol), and Mandie is this super sweet, super bubbly and giggly girl. She kept whipping out her batman mask (it's actually for kids halloween costumes), and looking at people with it on while we were driving up to Omaha. Slightly ridiculous, but awesome none the less.

On our way to Omaha, we went through Emerson and then went over this old bridge that goes over the Missouri river to get to Omaha through the southeastern route through Bellevue. We passed by the Bellevue Masters Commission, which is an Assemblies of God school of ministry that both Josh and Mandie attended. Blue is located down in the old town area of Omaha. The streets are the original brick cobblestone, and the buildings are super old and awesome looking.

Blue had AMAZING sushi. Thinking back on it, I think I've only actually had sushi twice or something like that, but regardless, I've never had any that was this good. It was awesome. Not to mention the good company and exciting atmosphere.

After our late dinner, we walked down to Dodge Park, where we walked along the water for a bit, and Josh boarded for a bit, then we kept going over down to the Missouri River and walked along the boardwalk for quite awhile. We walked for awhile, Josh boarded for a bit but walked with us for most of the way. Then we walked up onto the pedestrian bridge and walked most of the way across it. We chilled out there for awhile. It was so awesome. Everything on the bridge was massive, and it was swaying slightly with the wind. So. Tight.

Then Josh boarded back to the car, and we walked to where we were he was to pick us up. The street we stopped at was just outside this restaurant that had a live jazz band playing on the deck. It was fun. There may or may not have been an impromptu improvisational dance session by yours truly.

Then we made the drive back to Shenandoah. Josh played some more music, and we found out that we're both ridiculous music junkies. He even likes Moby and Massive Attack. I about flipped out. It was awesome. He played a ton of popular Christian music. I was impressed. Also, he has so much drive and passion for it. It was so awesome. I know so many Christians who are so mellow or luke-warm, or even cold towards Christian music, that it was almost like a breath of fresh air to notice that about him. No, more than that: he couldn't seem to get enough of christian music. I loved it. It made me realize that it really is good music, no matter what other people think about it - and I really shouldn't let other's negativity affect my love for it. Done: listening to more good Christian music now. Looking at Josh at first glance, one would probably not think he was super intense about God or Christian music. Such is the beauty of Jesus Followers. We may not dress as the "quintessential christian" but we are who we are because God has made us that way, and it's that part of us which allows us to be open to non-believers, and share our love and passion for Christ with them.

We're hoping to hang out again before he leaves for Minnesota on Sunday after church. His Fiero needs some work before he leaves so he's going to work on that a bit tomorrow night (he's a grease monkey). The bearings on the wheels are busting off because the engine he put in it has too much torque or something. Might go over to chill and help out or something, we'll see... :P


of sandwich artistry and evening adventures across state lines

Got up today around... isn't important. I got up today and started in on my homework. Did some reading and watched a video for about an hour before getting ready and heading to work for my second day.

Now, I can officially say, I am a sandwich artist.

First thing, they put me on veggies. So I put all the veggies everyone requested on their sandwiches and slathered on the mayo... and man, people like they're mayo. It's disgusting. It kinda reminds me of the ladies in the back of McDonald's back in Oregon, how they have to keep everything stocked, first in-first out for everything (typical), and it was kinda funny because they thought they were going to have to teach me everything, but it's pretty basic. First in, first out, keep everything stocked, keep your ears open for the hard-to-hear customers, and the toaster oven, and the microwave, and stay out of peoples way, and tell the person at the register what people ordered, especially if it's extra meat or cheese, welcome everyone who walks in the door, learn the different kinds of sauces, figure out how to assemble salads, put sides of onion and sauces together for people.

Then after awhile, it started dying down, so Donna showed me how to work the first half of the line where you select the respective kind of bread, cut the bread, and assemble the sandwich based on the desired kinds of meats and cheeses, and then use the microwave or toaster if they so desire. It was kinda stressful, but I just took it as it went and tried to be kind to the customers and just let them know I was still learning the ropes of everything, and they, for the most part (except for two customers, one who was this old lady who wanted double meat and was super picky and impatient and I happened to be the only one working at the time, the other was this Indian dude, and I couldn't understand a thing he was saying, but he wanted no meat... or something like that, lol), were pretty good about being kind and patient (although, I will have to say that I was pretty quick, and my manager kept being surprised with my work, and how fast I was catching on to everything, and how I would ask to do other stuff... that's, well, normal, like sweeping and checking the lobby, lol).

Got home and watched part of Black Hawk Down... man, I still need to finish that, and then went to worship practice. Josh and I kinda just poked around on our instruments, made faces at each other, and joked around while the other ladies were trying to figure out the proper keys and timing to some of the pieces that were pretty straight forward for us, so we were kinda bored.

After worship, Josh mentioned that they were still going to this place called Blue that had been mentioned on Sunday, I said I was down, even though I didn't really know what it was... lol, then he realized he'd forgotten to save my number to his phone, so I called him, and we were both sitting in our cars, watching each other, laughing at me, who was having the worlds hardest time getting my sunglasses on and to stay on my face and I mentioned how I was off to the library to work on homework (oh-the-joy), and you know, such a thrilling thing, then he said that if I was interested, he had some things around the area that we could do after I was done. So I shot him a text after I was done at the library and headed home. We were going to go up to Bellvue, Nebraska, but ended up hitting up the BK Lounge (good old McD Lounge was closed for construction... the nerve), then we headed south for Tarkio, Missouri. I kept thinking he was saying "turkey" or "Tokyo" but no, Tarkio. Ridiculous name for a city, but anyway. He told me a few of his crazy stories from when he was in high school and before he was a Christian, not unlike corn-boarding, but a bit more extreme, but he'd repaid all his debts; but it was sad, as much as he want's to turn around and help the community of Shenandoah, he made such a negative name for himself back then that it's kinda stuck that way, even though he's changed a lot since then.

They have the most amazing amount of windmills there!!! It's insane. We drove up next to one and I got to stand under it. It was turning, and it was awesome. So cool. So huge, and the stars were out... yeah, it was awesome. Then we went on into Tarkio itself. Every street in that town, is named for what's on it. College? Yeah, that's the super creepy old Tarkio College that used to be a legitimate school, then got run down and then was reused as a mental hospital, and now there's just nothing but beautiful, but creepy old buildings - especially at night. It's super dark. Apparently they have a super intense library that's still full of books. So cool, but also soo sad. Park street had a park, and we hung out there for awhile after going down Main street a bit and picked up some sodas and snacks at a store. Josh stuck his finger in the radiator fluid to check if it had been leaking... it was hot. Really hot. I felt bad. But um, yeah, not such a good idea.

On the way back to Shenandoah, he talked about driving on Route 66, because, you know, everyone wants to do that, right? He was hoping to find that... city from Cars, Radiator Springs, yeah? Haha... yeah, but I said something about how he might not want to go there because it's probably too hot anyway. awkward. hilarious. i'm so mean sometimes... Anyway, he said that Route 66 was actually really boring and super horrible; it was full of potholes and at times the pavement would drop away and you'd be driving on gravel for miles on end of boring Nebraska prairie. Then he explained some to me about Blue and the historic area of Omaha along the Missouri River, and some things he did after he became a Christian and was at a ministry program.

It was really fun to hang out and see a bit more of the area. Goodness only knows I would have spent that time just plunking around on my computer, so it was awesome to get out of the farmhouse and hang out with someone.


of work, church, and chicks

Today... today, today, today, today. What did I do? Lol, goodness.

Got up, checked on the garden a bit - the plants really need to be put on something like a trellis of some sort. It's pathetic, and I'm not above thinking that some of the plants have some sort of ...something. Plus, the rain we get is just so torrential that it blasts the top soil off everywhere, and it's all flown all over everything and moved about, it's quite weird (so is this sentence).

After that, I checked up on the chicks and went back up to my room to clean it up a bit (it's been demolished again since), then showered (so far that water bottle barrier has worked with Lacy), and got ready for work. Work. Weird. What is also weird is that I felt like I did when going to class... I rushed around my room getting ready with enough time, but I was so distracted by the world that I was rushing out the door with just enough time to squeak in the door early.

Got there, and was kinda nervous about it. I've had so many first days of work that I've been humiliated to the worlds end and back. But I walked in the door and three ladies were standing in a back corner, smiling and waving me back to the employee door. It was kinda cute. Then my manager looked at me, said something about me being super small and skinny and needing a smaller shirt than they had available for me, passed me my work shirts, apron, visor, and employee handbook. Then the set me to work slicing green peppers, onions (goodness, it was horrible! they are so potent. I felt like Julia Child, in tears, but dramatically slicing onions), then doing dishes, and then cutting more cucumbers and assembling properly weighed teriyaki chicken portions.

They were all super surprised at how well I was working and learning everything and not asking mindless questions. They kept noting "how the manager actually hired someone had a brain!" They couldn't get enough of how good of a worker I was. I didn't really get it, I mean, I just did what they wanted. It was super basic, and everything, although much less organized and also smaller than the McDonald's I used to work at, I was still pretty new to the whole thing. But it wasn't too bad. Just don't cut myself, and do what they tell me to do. Basic stuff, really. But apparently they get a bunch of bums or something... no idea. Regardless, I'm not sure if it's something special for this place, or that it was my first time, or what, but I got a complementary sandwich, which, I got to assemble myself.

I am a sandwich artist.

Well, okay, not quite just yet. They don't officially have me on that part of the store yet, as I was just doing prep stuff in the back, but I'm sure I'll be able to move up in rank soon enough. Haha...

After work, I ate my sandwich, read a bit for my class (goodness only knows I have to the other side of the world and back left to read), watched part of the new Sherlock Holmes movie (so good), and then took a nap. We were going to the Fremont County fair as the a/c went out around noon today, and the only place that has window units in stock is in Nebraska City, which is just past Sidney, which is where the fair is. But as it turned out, Jim ended up needing to work a computer job down in Farragut, and Jan took off for the pool (good choice), and the a/c place would only be open til five, which didn't leave enough time for everyone to come back to a central location and head out. So, that was a wash. But I ended up being able to play at church again tonight. I biked there because... I guess because I thought I would have to when I was heading downstairs, but when I got outside, both cars were home, but I wanted to go out on my bike anyway. It was hot out, but I didn't really mind. Jan came to church tonight :) She really loved the music, and I'm really glad. She stayed through the rest of the service and said that she'd like to come again.

Josh longboarded to church in skinny jeans... like girl-ish skinny jeans.
that's all.

After church, I biked home because I had biked there and all, then checked on the chicks. They're basically growing by the minute. It's crazy. Every time I go in there, they're bigger. They need a new coop soooooon. Gave the more food because they've been eating like mad-birds again. Also refilled the smaller waterer. Jim gave them some fresh grass clipping to play around in. They've also been sleeping a lot. I go in there and they're all in this massive chick-pile of sleepyness. It's pretty much adorable.

Made an epic Mexican-ish salad for dinner. Fantastic. Now to write one of my papers before heading to bed.

Was asked to come into work tomorrow at 12. That's all I know. Um... yeah. lol. I'm kinda excited about it. Gives me something to do and a way to get out of the house without spending money and all that. Plus, the ladies I worked with today were super fun and friendly.


of an interview, and conversations with neighbor Fred

Last night, I stayed up ridiculously late talking with Kim, Jeni, and Lydia. We ended up sharing goodness knows how many links and youtube videos. It was a lot of fun, and the time just got away from me -- until I realized the hour and how tired I was (and how tired I would be in the morning).

After getting up, I just kinda bummed around for awhile. It was too wet outside to do much in the garden (again, it's been raining about every few days, keeping things nice and wet). Played the guitar (not well, mind), but still, it's entertaining, and I'm getting somewhat better. Then I watched movie trailers online. Then the phone rang at 11. It was Subway? They wanted to know if I'd be free and interested for an interview today at 2. Sure, I'm not doing anything. Um... cool.

Showered and got ready for the interview and showed up early. She told me a little about the job requirements, but mostly about how she didn't want me giving anything away to customers or family members and thereby stealing things and then lying about it later. She apparently gets super uptight about things like that. Good to know.

I wasn't sure if I should mention the fact that I'm going to be around for another month, but I decided not to really worry about it and just play the whole thing by ear. I mean, seriously, I haven't had an actual job interview for a long time... a few years, perhaps? My most intimidating one, by far, was for YMA, but that was like, 5 years ago.

She had two open spots, and four applicants. I was the last to be interviewed because I had turned in an application most recently. She seemed to be super distant about the hiring process and said she'd call tomorrow about her choice and such. Then we talked for a few more minutes about the job, and she seemed to be deciding something as we were talking. The next thing I know, she says she'd like to hire me and pulls out her schedule and puts me down for 11-2 tomorrow. Woah. Happened so fast. Trippy. I have a job. Man, I almost don't want to leave now. Between church, and now work... cool.

I was kinda in disbelief, but there it is. Wow, crazy.

I went by ShenAG to say hi to Ashley. We talked for awhile, and we might get together for lunch sometime this week. Awesome :) Then I went by the library and returned some books I didn't actually want to read... one was large print (which is just awkward), and the others were more by the same author I've been reading, and they're good, just slightly formulaic, so the whole thing gets old after awhile.

Then I went by the little guitar store downtown to pick up myself a capo so I can play more songs that I haven't really been able to play, lacking the correct key. Dude, that guy in that store was so creepy. I could tell he was just checking me out the entire time. No bueno, creeper. But I was willing to overlook that and just get my capo. But his card machine wasn't working, so I said I'd come back soon to get it... Once I got in my car, I realized I wasn't going to come back. I'd either send Jim, or look at another store, or go to another town, or try ebay.com. No way I was going back to that creep-stop. So I went by Walmart and actually managed to find a decent capo there. Weird, but awesome. Plus, it was cheeper than the one had been at the guitar shop. Bomb-dig.

Went home and played the guitar for a long time. Again, not well, but better than I had been a few weeks ago. Then went down to dinner with Jan, Jim, and Fred, who came over for dinner. Fred is quite the interesting character. He has three or four exwives, was a trucker, has been all over the States with that job, he has a lot of toys in his yard: truck, jeep, 4-wheeler, lawn mowers, RV, and his little dog, Jessie (very protective of him, it's adorable). He joined the Marines back in 1953, was in it for three years before switching to the Army for another four years. He said he was stationed in France for a long time where they had this massive building to surface the U-boats. So awesome to hear about.

The whole baby-gate-to-keep-lacy-out-of-the-upstairs idea didn't work super well, as she still had the landing to use... so I put up some empty water bottles on the stairs to both block the stairs more, and to fall on her/down the stairs, making a massive amount of noise, were something like that to potentially occur in the future.

When I was at Walmart, I also got some red vines because they remind me of Lydia... It's super weird eating them all by myself. Not the same. But still reminds me of her a ridiculous amount. I keep thinking she's just in the next room or something *sigh* nope...

The chicks are eating like mad-birds. It's insane, but I guess it's a given. They're young, growing, and are hungry, plus, there are so many of them. Chicken Little was doing very poorly the other day, and I actually thought he was going to die just like the first one had. He is ridiculously tiny. I think he must be a bantam or something. He's at least half the size of the rest, but bosses them around like none other. It's adorable and really funny. But I didn't know what to do, then I got the idea to check and clean his vent... and then just pray. And viola! He's better and back to normal! It made me super happy, but also kinda frustrated at myself for not having checked that with the other chick. All of the chicks were taking a nap together and on top of each other this after noon. It was most adorable.

I have a ton of reading to catch up on for my class. It's depressing. Ulgh. Why do I get so behind?!? For starters though, I will for sure have to say that this class has been a ton more work than I had anticipated. It's so insane. Read this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and then summarize and synthesize it all into 1000 words every week, and then respond in 400 words to 2 other student's papers from last week. Baaaaaaaaahh. It's driving me crazy.

The Page county fair started yesterday, and I think the Fremont county fair starts today. I really want to go to both, even if I don't like, help or work with them in anything for my FFA interests, I'd just love to go to them as something to do and all that. I'm endlessly sad that I'm going to miss the HR county fair this year.


of nasty habits and caffeine

Woke up this morning, and had a large argument with my alarm clock... so I guess I should say that I didn't actually wake up, but instead, I fought with my alarm clock in semi-consciousness for several hours. That aside, the weather wasn't too bad with the exception of a flash storm for like, 2 minutes, complete with wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. Then it blew away. No big.

It's been raining on and off for the last week, so the grass really needs to be mowed, but the downside to all the rain is that the grass is too wet to cut... and now it's almost getting too long. 

Read a chapter in my book for my summer class. I really need to get cracking at all that reading I have for that class. Top priority now. Then I motivated myself enough to get out of bed and shower... noticed a unique scent of dog poop on my way down the hall towards the stairs. Glanced in the pink-and-blue room, and what do you know. 3 lovely deposits. Great... Apparently we're all distracted enough to not realize how often Lacy is getting outside and when she really needs to go out, so she's been using the upstairs for this purpose. Someone was in the bathroom, and I was kinda upset about the fact that Lacy has been using the upstairs and not being supervised properly in a new house as a puppy, so I just went back to my room, got dressed and headed out. No shower (heaven forbid, I know). Otherwise, no one was around to talk about the dog issue... later, I eventually found people again, so Jan picked up a baby gate to put at the top of the stairs to keep her from going upstairs to continue in this habit.

I went to HyVee and picked up some cookies and coffee for a snack. Mmmm coffee. It was a bottled Starbucks Frap: Not my favorite, mind. Definitely not my first pick, but it was better than nothing for sure. Man, it put me on SUCH a caffeine high too, because I haven't had it in so long.

Headed over to the library and drank my coffee while just messing around online, formulating a playlist for Kim to run to, until I remembered that I would have to find all the files for the songs in order to email her the list... more work, so I'll work on that later. I'm so slow at this, lol. It's sad... also? it's kinda a long list.

Then I got bored with the library and felt like I'd been there for a long time, so I headed out and called Kara. She was super busy with Pearl's Place sorting cherries and helping customers, so I let her go, saying I'd call her later... crud, should do that as I still haven't...

Then I drove over to McComb park (I go there a lot) and called Danielle. It was awesome talking to her. We talked for like, an hour. It was fantastic. I miss that girl so much. We talked about goodness knows, everything. It was great. (I mean, I guess. It could have been a lot better, but you know...) lol. :-P

Ohmygoodness, my new favorite song is Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. I've listened to this song allll day, it's slightly ridiculous, and some might say overkill, but I love it.

After dinner, I talked with Jim for a super long time about everything that's going on with the farm, what I thought was going to happen, what has happened, is happening, and what needs to happen... and other stuff. Including "training Lacy not to chase the chickens" it was an eye opening experience to say the least. To give you an idea, here is a quote that was running through my head about this very thing:

"Orcs are roaming freely across our lands. Unchecked. Unchallenged. Killing at will."
                                                - √Čomer, LotR: TTT


of ice cream sundae sunday

Ulgh, last night there was the WORST storm. I mean, it could have been worse, I realize, but still... it woke me up, and not a whole lot will actually disturb my sleep enough to make me actually wake up, much less get out of bed anymore (thankyoucollegeformakingmesleepallthetime). The wind was super intense. The whole house was creaking and part of it, I am serious, was even shifting slightly with the wind. It was crazy. Not to mention all the groaning of the house and everything. Plus the trees outside were just blowing around and all over everywhere. Then the pieces of the shed that has yet to be put together were picked up by the wind and blew into part of Fred's yard - quite far, actually. There wasn't any rain, which was kinda the weird part, but there was definitely thunder and lightning. I couldn't really see anything with the exception for when there would be near-constant flashes of lightning. It was terrifying. I had a really hard time going back to sleep. But I just had to figure that the house has stood for well over 100 years, and it's not likely to blow away to Oz in one more storm.

When my alarm finally went off, I was still pretty intimidated by the storm from the night previous, but I got ready for church regardless. The weather had calmed down to pretty much normal by that time.

Church was good, but before I left, I checked up on the chicks, and one wasn't doing so well. I was afraid it wasn't going to make it much longer. It was just really lethargic and uninterested in running around, food, or water. It also kept lifting it's wings. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. It was really getting to me. But all the same, we have 50 chicks. at least 20% are going to die before they reach full maturity.

Worship practice and church went really well. I'm always kinda nervous about playing songs and such, especially because Erica kinda goes off and repeats stuff, but I just have to kinda sazuki it up and memorize the chord progression and keep to that. The message during church was on the Pearl of Great Price, it was really good, but something I've been noticing about here is that the sermons are super short! We're talking like, 20 minutes max. I'm so used to the hour + messages of The Way and Solid Rock. I kinda miss it... I'll have to podcast them up some more here soon.

After church I caught up with a few people, which was good. I have yet to actually have coffee there at church. I think I'm a little intimidated by how they have someone there to serve it to you... weird, lol. Then Josh wanted to show me his new car that the church help him get. It's a super cute two-seater, silver, Pontiac Fiero. Engine in back, trunk in front. It's super adorable. Definitely a boy-toy. Then he invited me to go along with another friend to El Portal, the only (mostly) mexican restaurant in town. The food isn't really the greatest as far as mexican food goes, but it's better than nothing. He said he'd pick me up at my house so I wouldn't have to drive over there and wait because they weren't heading over just yet.

So I headed home, and noticed that the sickly chick was doing worse, which was frustrating. But I knew it was inevitable.

Then I got a call from Josh saying he was here... but he wasn't in the driveway, so I was confused. Apparently the road was confusing: and I'll give it to him, it is. Airport Road curves south into Manti, but it also goes straight into the Dead End of a gravel drive. We're down the latter. Haha, on the phone "gravel road....? Tiny car!!" hilarious. But it was fun to hang out, and lunch was actually really good. He used to work there, so he said to go with anything steak. I chose the fajita burrito w/ steak. It was a good choice.

After lunch, he took me on a local's tour of the town. It was great. But kinda sad at the same time. He told me about how many businesses were now shut down and vacant, and how many of the houses were pretty much the same story. Shenandoah is full of wealthy families, but people are leaving the town left and right and not caring for it well. Also, because there isn't much in the way of things for the youth to do in this town, most of the high schoolers are getting involved with serious drugs, or ending up pregnant. He said he spend the day previous with a kid a few years younger than him that he knew from when he used to live in town. The kid kept trying to sell him drugs. It broke his heart.

We rounded another corner and I kept asking what other things he used to do in town. Suddenly, he made a last minute turn north of the downtown area, pointing to large silos and grain conveyer-belts, he said: oh yeah, we used to go corn-boarding here all the time. I didn't really know if I'd heard him right... Corn... Boarding?!?! Yup. Cornboarding. You take a snow board, and climb up a grain conveyer-belt and strap in and go down this massive mountain of corn. Of course, you often hit giant pockets of air and  fall in to about your waste, so it's kinda scary, but that's half the fun (well, that's what he said). I asked if he ever got caught doing this... Apparently all the cops go home around 3, so you just gotta know how to plan stuff right. Oh, the life of a local.

As soon as I got home, Jan told me we were going up and over to Randolf to the museum to an ice cream social - they were especially hoping it would be with home-made ice cream. I was up for an adventure, so I tagged along. After getting lost on the way with our lack of maps, and the sever lack of road signage in this part of Iowa (you just have to know where you're going... meaning you know where you are by land marks, curves and hills in the road, and other.... things.... ...?) we stopped and asked for directions a few times before landing on the museum. It was this really adorable old house restored to look like it did for normal life back in the 1930s. I loved it. It was beautiful. I also found an ad on one of the desks for spoon rings!!! It made me so happy... it was an ancient advertisement! It also made me want a spoon ring even more than before...

Then after ice cream (blue bunny appeared to be from costco or something of that giantly bulk nature), I checked out the wash house, and then called Lydia just to chat and say hi. It was fun talking with her, but once we were back on the road, my signal kept dropping out because we were, well in the middle of BFE going through goodness only knows how much corn. So I called her back once I got home. The ride was so boring, hot and tiring. The a/c doesn't really reach the back very well, and leather seats are not cool by any means. But it was alright, thankfully the ride was only about half an hour.

Got home, had some celery, and found out that the sickly chick died while we were gone. I was super depressed about it. It was so beautiful and perfect, and adorable. *sigh* but chickens die, and more frequently than that, chicks die... so, depressed more than I was before, I went back to my room to read more of my book, got bored with that, so was going to get coffee even though it was like 5 in the afternoon, but the cars were gone, so that idea was scratched because i didn't want to go out on my bike just yet. so i read my book some more before finally taking out on the bike. I went up Clarinda Hill and then back down, then went to various parks, hitting McComb up first, then Priest Park over by Shenandoah Assemblies of God church. I just bummed out on the swings for awhile and the laid down in the grass. Then I saw that Annette and family were over by the church, so I rode my bike in that direction, and we got to talking. Pastor Dan and Annette's house is literally, right next to the church, so we went in and had some sun tea and drank it while sitting on the porch. It was really good just to talk and stuff. Annette has a daughter who is right about my age, so I can tell she misses her and such. Plus, her other kids are a blast to talk and hang out with.

Then we went inside and Annette put out some various food items for me to assemble into a sandwich. Oh my goodness, I have not eaten so much since I've been here. It was wonderful. Just basic home made food, egg salad sandwich, home made jalepeno poppers, and ice cream, but still. It was beyond wonderful. Plus, the fact that there was the food combined with talking to Annette, it was awesome. They are such amazingly wonderful people. It meant so much to me. and when I rode my bike home later that evening, I just remember feeling soo rejuvenated and so happy, and so blessed to have been here in Shenandoah this summer, and to have found that church too.


of book reading and snack eating

Because it's well, Saturday, I took the opportunity to sleep in. Not that I haven't been getting enough sleep or anything, it's just that it's nice to actually sleep in sometimes. Then after waking up, I just bummed around and read my book.

I checked on the chicks. They're already getting bigger, it's kinda hard to believe, but they're adorable. So much fun to watch. :)

I've been playing the guitar a good bit these days. I'm not good by any means, but it's entertaining and fun. I wish I could be better than I am currently, but I suppose that will only come with time and practice.  Then I pretty much just bummed out for the rest of the day by reading my most recent book. My new snack of choice has been cinnamon graham crackers with crunchy peanut butter on top. Sooo yummy. and quite filling to say the least.

Getting bored with just reading in my room and eating said snack above, I went to HyVee to investigate another snack and came across the best: Chex Mix Bold, found some vanilla yogurt (after the sad, sad, realization that they do not have Tillamook French Vanilla yogurt), and picked out a few nectarines (so wonderful), and grabbed a spoon from the deli area before heading out to find a park to enjoy my new snack and more of my book. First I hit up McComb Park because it's one of the largest in town, and I love that one slide, but alas, it was quite occupied, so then I decided to hit up Manti Park, which is one that we drove past when going out to Jason's farm the other night. It's really small, there's a small bridge over a creek, one picnic table, and well, that's about it. But I loved it. Apparently there's more to with with a path to hike up, but it was starting to get dark, so I just hunkered down on the bridge with my book and my snacks for awhile.

I just want to say: that yogurt was the most disappointing things of my week. It was gnarly. Ulgh. So gross. It didn't taste anything like yogurt -- more like frosting, and it was a weird texture to boot (and I'm not even a texture person). Stupid corn syrup. I'll have to make a mental note not get that brand again. Ever. haha...

After awhile it started getting dark, so I headed back to the farmhouse and just read more of my book for the rest of the evening before going to bed.


of homework, chickens, and a bbq

Today, I didn't work as I'd already put in over 40 hours of work either actually in the garden, in homework, research, and setup for the chicks by noon on Thursday. I'm living work. It's kinda insane at times, but I manage to get away from it a bit by doing stuff with the church, going on bike rides, and studying adventures.

I checked up on the chicks and watched them for a bit. They're super, super cute. I'm having a really hard time not getting attached to them. I know that a percentage of them will die before they reach full maturity, but still... they're so cute and so full of personality.

I then drove to Pioneer Park, a location I'd spotted on our way to Clarinda last night. Upon further investigation, it's a small campground, surrounded by farmland, with a small lake. All in all, it was a very good break from everything and I was able to get in some serious reading for my class. I witnessed a guy catch and release a small fish. It was cool. Lol... I'm easily amused.

Then I drove back to Shenandoah and kinda filmed my driving back. Not super exciting, and I have yet to post it. Might soonish...

On my drive, I was just craving an all American burger, so I got one, or the best I could get, once back in Shenandoah before heading over to the library for homework. Sadly, I didn't get much done in the time I was there. I really need to figure out studying habits... that are well, ...better.

Then I went back home to work on more homework, but got interrupted by a potential tour to Jason's farm. Jason is the guy who came to plow our garden. Nancy was going to come give us a ride, I wasn't sure why at first, but then later found out it's because none of the houses out where he lives have any sort of identifying feature or road signs or numbers at them, so it's kinda like: you have to live there or really know where you're going. But when I got downstairs when Nancy pulled up, Jim wasn't home and the Buick was gone... weird, so we decided to go over there anyway, then Jim showed up and just followed us. *shrug* anyway...

Jason has a really nice chicken coop. Complete with lots of perches, feeders, waterers, lots of nest boxes and the like. The chickens were running around the yard, along with this really, really annoying black duck that had iridescent black/emerald feathers on its head. There were also two cats, one orange tom cat and another smaller tabby kitten. Both were adorable, sweet and loving, but also very much independent farm cats. They also had a rabbit who looked like Benny, only smaller, and four homing pigeons in another pen. The garden was a bit smaller than the one we're working in out at our farmhouse, but it was definitely well developed so far, well, especially because they have had their plants in the ground for several months now.

The main idea of going there was to scope out the chicken coop, as we have to build one ourselves in the very near future. But some forgot to notice it, so I managed to look at is as much as I could to memorize it's features. Then we went to HyVee to pick up some items for a BBQ to have at our house. Then we went back to the house and Nancy + kids came over and we hung out and talked for awhile. Actually, Nancy and I talked for a long while and started getting eaten by mosquitos, so we moved into the house, but it was really good to talk with her.

Then when they left I realized I still had homework to complete. Drat. So I managed to get it turned in, but not til super late, and my last paper, the 4-pager, I threw together in 20 minutes. Not good, peoples. This is just no bueno. I will have to say that I was surprised how amazingly it came together, but definitely not my best work, and not something I should do again. A God thing, for certain, but still... never, never, never, never ever again. Bad, very bad.


of little work and an evening in Clarinda

Noting that virtually no work could be done in the garden and there was no further plan to put forth any effort into setting up the compost bin, and the chicks had yet to arrive, and everything (be it a pool) is already set up for that. So I slept in. Granted, it was only til 9, but then I bummed around and finished my most recent book. It was a good morning. Ha, though, I must admit that I woke up at my usual time of dark-thirty to go outside out of habit. Didn't actually get up though.

Cleaned my room - something that I was behind about a week in doing. It was sad how long it took me to pick everything up... I mean, I don't even have all that much stuff here, but it'd managed to find its way all over my room.

Worked on a bit of homework, but didn't really get to anything productive, which is kinda lame - just means I'll have to complete it all tomorrow, but that's ok, I can do that. Might go to the church to work on it. Cool, quiet, little distractions. Uncertainty of wireless = potentially very productive day ahead of me tomorrow.

Little known fact about me:
I've been keeping track of how many days I have left, by the ever dwindling quantity of gummy vitamins left in the bottle I got a few days after my arrival.

The chicks arrived today. I didn't really want to go down because I'm not really for the whole empty swimming pool idea... but anyway, managed to go out later and saw them. Yup, cuteness overload to the max. Wanted to name them, but there's just too many, and I don't want to get attached to them like that. It's sad, really. I'm going to try to care for them as much as I can, but other than that, I can only pray that they survive to full fledged chickens.

Jan went to her support group out in Clarinda -- I only know this because the car I was going to take into town to do some homework was gone. But it's not a problem, I mean, I can do stuff here, or take the bike.

Then around 4:30, I realized I should be heading over to the church for worship practice... going outside, the car was gone again. Jim was out getting some things at the feed/hardware store in town, and I didn't know when he'd be back, and considering how I'm still lacking the skillz to drive a manual (will anyone with a manual in Corvallis please teach me how to drive their car this next year?) I just took off with my bike; violin in tow.

Worship practice went a bit longer than anticipated, so Erica and I weren't ready to go to the Garrison House until 6:38, and Ashley was already in Clarinda waiting for us... kinda a bummer, but we headed out in that direction with Tricia anyway. Once we were almost to Clarinda, Ashley called saying that they'd changed their hours and were only open til 7... it was currently 7:02pm. Bummer. So, no cute coffee house, or fun music. But instead, since we were just about 2 minutes outside Clarinda, we went to J's Pizza instead. It was good pizza, and a lot of fun just talking with them. J's Pizza is really cute. Tacky wall paper, paneling, and oddly/obnoxiously pink tables and chairs. Not to mention all the people packed inside talking across tables and laughing amongst everyone. It felt like one big family reunion (who knows, anything might be in this area... kidding).

After pizza and talking about life, church, weather, family, and everything in between, we went over to McDonald's to hit up their smoothies. We sat outside, taking in the evening and continuing our conversations of the evening before heading home.


of strobe lights and cannon fire... or something like that

Got up today, and it was ridiculously humid. I thought it was raining. But no. Just like, 80 degrees and super humid. At 6am. Talk about insane. But went on my run anyway. It was harder than it was a few days ago, considering everything I've been doing lately, but it was still good. Then I showered, read some in my book, ate some cereal and headed out to work outside. It was super hot already, and not even 8am. Jim and I put the pool together for the chickens. I seriously don't understand. I asked where he got the idea. He just said he wanted something to keep them in, and there are going to be ssooo many of them, and he wants to keep them safe and in something that's durable and that they can't get out of. How we're going to get IN is another challenge all in itself. I don't understand it at all. But all the same, I know he's sick of me questioning his motives, so I just left it alone. Maybe I can research something that would be less expensive and easier: ie: appliance boxes?

There is this SUPER intense storm outside right now. It's insane.

Then after working outside for hours, Jim said he wanted to put the lettuce mix down... erm, he wanted me to. But I said I was about to call it a day. Between the work I was doing, being on my knees for so long, and in the hot sun and everything, you just can't work much past noon before any sort of work outside is just out of any sort of sane question.

Finished my few rows after replanting the rows Robby had done yesterday afternoon as many of the plants were on their sides and sticking out into the aisles. Sad.

Then I showered (again), had lunch, took a nap (glorious, glorious sleep), and headed down to the library to work on my internship papers and send a TY note to Aunt Loraine. I ended up staying later than I thought I would. It's nice and cool there. The AC works soo well. It's not working super well at the house, but supposedly someone is coming to work on it tomorrow.

With the humidity calculated into the heat index, it was 120 today. Yeah. No joke. You step outside for half a second and you start sweating literally buckets. I've not sweated so much in my life, ever. It's insane. You can't drink enough to keep up with it.

After librarying it up, I didn't really have time eat anything before worship practice before Wednesday night church, so I hit up Maccas again for a smoothie. Sadly, they'd just run out of yogurt (didn't know they were actually that legit... figured they were more of a healthy excuse for a milkshake (which really, they are, but anyway) but apparently not).  So they offered me a blended coffee drink. Coffee? Um, YES please! Haha, when I was working out in the garden today, I realized that I've only had coffee 6 (now 7) times since I've been here. In the last 4 weeks, I've had coffee 7 times. How insane is that? Can you count that? I mean, of course, I have enough time on my hands to think about such things when I'm out in the garden all by myself for 3-7 hours planting tomatoes, but still. It's slightly ridiculous that I think and add up such things. Lol...

The power keeps dipping. I'm starting to wonder when it's actually going to go out. Got my handy-dandy LED flashlight out just for this potential. I was hoping (power dip) to read tonight before going to bed, but if the power goes out, I might just eat my mexican (power dip) salad and go to bed. Goodness knows I need the sleep anyway.

I'm trying to decide if I'll still go for a bike ride/run tomorrow if it's raining like this.... well, actually, if it's raining at all, there really is no sense to even get up in the morning as all (power dip) my work is outside, and with all this rain, it's going to be miserable tomorrow. Humid like mad, and thick, nasty, sticky clay mud.

Worship was good Erica (worship leader) was having trouble with her voice, which was sad. I kept hitting one of the songs in the wrong key. Felt pretty stupid for that. Stupid D#... Then, after the message, we split up into smaller groups to discuss introducing small groups to the church to help people connect together. Pastor Dan asked me to be a group leader. I was kinda surprised, but I also wasn't as nervous as I thought I might be. It went really well.

Then I hung around afterwards, talking to various people at the church (wednesday services are a smaller crowd than sunday), and hung out with the youth group and some of the younger kids. It was good talking to them, and I can kinda tell that they think I'm "cool" because I'm different, and from Oregon (which makes me exciting and exotic), and in college (even more exciting)... WOAH. INSANE thunder crash just now. Sounded like, a million garbage can lids just smashed into the driveway all at once. Rain is pelting down like there's no tomorrow.

God, protect us! ahhh!!! o.0

Towards the end of service, a storm started heading in (the same one that's still over us), and there was rumor that there was funnel clouds in the area and tornados to the east and west of us. Still not sure if those are just rumors. But thankfully, it's not been more than a severe thunderstorm.

Video'd my drive down Airport Rd. It's not much, and you can hardly see anything, but it's kinda the general idea of how it is. It hasn't let up at all in the last 2 hours. Wind. Rain. Thunder. Lightning. It's at moments like these when you know that God has to be real. (Huge thunder crash that made me jump). The flashes are pretty much constant.

If fireflies are God's glitter, then this thunderstorm is God's strobe lights. Maybe it's a rave, God style? Ha... kidding... :P

When I finally headed out to my car about an hour after church, I had to run through literally 8 inches of water rushing to the drains. It just wouldn't let up at all. I was soaked by the time I got in the car -- and I wasn't parked more than 50 yards from the church front door. IN.SANE. Once I got home (took forever as I couldn't go more than like, 20mph and still have relative visibility) I had to close the garage doors and pull all my stuff out of the car and run into the house. I looked like I'd taken a 20 minute shower in my clothes once I finally got in the house.

...and when I walked in the back door. Guess what. All the doors and windows were still open. Jim and Jan were in their living area watching a movie on Hulu. So I ran around the house, closing everything up because with all the wind, the rain was just streaming into the house. There was a good half inch of standing water just inside the back entryway. I'm serious here, intense storm.

Oh! and Jan came to church! She came because I was playing on the worship team and she wanted to hear me play, sadly she didn't get there in time for it because she'd wanted to take a cold shower, but she stayed for the rest of the service. I didn't see her til about a third of the way through the message, but I quickly jumped up and went over to sit by her for the rest of the message.

Going to the Garrison Coffee House tomorrow for coffee/dinner with Ashley and Tricia after worship practice at church. I'm super, super excited. :) Apparently the coffee house is a Christian place and is usually only open til the mid afternoon, but Thursday nights they have bands come play music in the early evening. So that should be fun, and I'm looking forward to our outing.

Ha, even if the power does go out, I'm not even sure if I will be able to sleep with how intense this strobe-light-and-cannon-fire storm is.


of silliness

Yup, 17 and in high school. I was almost positive of it. And I was right. Everything else aside, I knew the second I saw him he wasn't my type, besides. Leaving a number? never a good way to get me, sorry. Texting is not a good start to any kind of relationship. Lol... still comical how much he flipped out when he found out I'm 21. Actually, he gave himself away with his language how he doesn't love Jesus. Big turn off - not to mention not something I can really respect, especially from a high schooler, kinda made me sad.

Back to reading my book before bed. :)

Ulgh. still so hot in this house!!! I would like to stop sweating already. It's almost like I can feel the salt crystals forming on my face - it kinda hurts. Obnoxious.

of bike rides, longboards, and aviator kid

So I must say, that I am sitting here, now laughing quietly to myself. I was, however, laughing a bit more out loud a few minutes ago. Why you might ask? I will tell you...

My day started out not unlike yesterday. Alarm hitting off at 5:45am and me deciding whether to attempt an exercise thing of sorts in my  room, go for another run (went for one yesterday, see), or go for a bike ride. The bike riding won, so I headed out. Wasn't too unlike yesterday, except there weren't any clouds. Just the standard midwestern haze along the horizon. The sun hadn't come up just yet. Once I got into town, I decided to hit up the Wabash Trace bike trail... at least for awhile anyway. Sounded like a nice enjoyable thing to do. When I was almost towards the trail, the sun started to arrive just above the horizon. It was beautiful. Not much was lit by it just yet, but it was the deepest orange-pink, and it was literally massive. Maybe the humidity, the smog, or the general concept that it's on the horizon is what makes it so big at sunrise and sunset (probably), but it's such an awesome thing that you basically never see in the Pacific Northwest (yeah, at the beach, but seriously, peoples, how often is it clear enough at the beach to actually see the sunset, lol). Went over the Nishnabotna River, across Hwy 59, and a bit farther to whatever 170th is... hwy? road? driveway? no idea... it was gravel (not that this fact helps anything). Anyway, I just looked it up on google maps and it says I apparently went around 12 miles. Did not know I went that far. Regardless, I really enjoyed my bike ride. Plus, as I was only gone for around an hour, I was still able to do some stuff before starting in on planting again.

Oh, and if you were like, seriously wondering where in the world I am:

There you go, now you're not in the dark about where I am, lol.

After my bike ride, I had some cereal and got ready to start planting more. Set up my handy-dandy ipod stereo again and was able to plug into some of the Solid Rock podcasts. Always awesome. Also, managed to get up to The Way event, so I listened to those again. Really awesome.

Then around 10 or so, Jim needed me to follow him into town with the Buick so he could drop off the Saturn at the glass repair shop because the windshield is miserable on that car and needed to be replaced. So after dropping off the Saturn, I drove Jim around to a few clients for his computer business of sorts to drop off and pick up some stuff before heading back home. Then when I got back home, I called Lydia. Her phone isn't working right, which is mega lame. :(

While I was on the phone with her, Lexx started barking, so I walked around from behind the garage to see what was up. Team Green drove up in a van... didn't know what it was until I saw the key, magic word on the van: Plumbing.


I'm getting a real sink upstairs! I could not be more excited.

Out from the van pops your typical construction worker and a younger kid. I knew immediately he was checking me out - me with my sweat, caked dirt, work clothes, and all. Ridiculous kid, flaunting his intense aviators. I guessed he might be in high school no way to tell though, I mean, I look like a high schooler myself, so who am I do judge? lol... Then I got back to working and kinda forgot about it.

After awhile, Jim came back with Robby. He watched me work a bit before I was done for the day - I'd let Jim know before he got Robby that I was about to call it a day after finishing my current row of carefully planted and watered tomatoes.

Once I'd gone back inside, showered (somehow, this clay does not want to come off my arms. it's weird and kinda frustrating), and went back to my room to just chill before getting something for lunch and heading to town to go to the library to finish my grad school application. I already applied and got accepted to my program (agriculture education), but I'm technically still not in the graduate school of OSU, so I have to apply to that as well. All I need to do now is get some letters of recommendation and my transcript.

While I was bumming on my bed, reading a book, the house vibrated with a drill bit. The plumbers were back (haha, no no, they were installing something overhead, so no suggestive/retarded comments :P ). Meant I had to walk past them on the way downstairs, because they were working in the stairs because the mini bathroom is actually above the staircase. They were also working a bit in the kitchen too because of pipe connections and such. I could tell that apprentice plumber dude was still upchecking me out. Whatever.

I grabbed some food and headed back to my room to finish watching the last 48 minutes of Harry Potter 6. I realized, I hadn't seen it since last summer - in the theaters. And I was really cold, and didn't want to be watching it when I saw it, and I saw it with a total non-HP fan, so it was too long and depressing to say the least. But this time: this time, it was good. And I had to wonder why I was so weird about it when I first saw it: circumstances <--- that's all. Anyway, no more movie dates (w/guys) for me, that's all I can say, lol. They're just no bueno. BUT! this time, I loved it, and I kinda want to watch it again, but at the same time, I want to be done with watching movies for awhile. I'm soo into reading books right now, and I'm in the midst of like, 5 right now (hate it when that happens, actually), and I have at least 9 more waiting to be read on my shelf. So excited (like, you have no idea).

Then headed out to the library to return HP5 and HP6 before finishing my grad school app. Got it in! Happy about that, but now I have to work on the rest of everything.

Also? I'm kinda of the opinion that people out here don't know about Starfield, Telecast, or Phil (ridiculously-awesome) Wickham, and this, my friends, is a very upsetting fact. A fact that must be remedied soon (and very soon).

After the library I got a smoothie at McDonalds (apparently it's a new feature, and goodness, although it was sweet, it was goooood and just what I wanted... well, besides salad. I'd been craving salad like mad for the last few days, apparently I'm not getting enough veggies) and headed over to McComb park and read some more in my most recent fun book (book #3 of the summer so far). Then I played on the zip-line thing at the park before finding the worlds most awesome slide ever. it's not really a slide, and I didn't manage to get a picture of it, but it's almost flat and made up mostly of free spinning rods. Goodness, it's so awesome. It's like a rush, no joke. Then I went down like I was boarding. It made me really miss snowboarding. I went down it like that probably 10 times at least. Must have looked absolutely ridiculous to the neighbors, lol. So then, I got a sudden idea that I really wanted to get myself a longboard (nothing new, I might add). No sporting stores like that in town. Lame. So I headed to walmart to check out what they had. for $15 I could get myself a how-to-train-your-dragon themed 28" skateboard. Not really what I'd had in mind... but it's an option. How would I get it back to Oregon? Take the trucks off, of course. But I'm still not set on getting that one, I'm going to craigslist it up a bit and maybe see if I can look for one up in Omaha or something and tag along with someone.... it's a thought. I love longboards, and I wish I was more proficient. Not many people board around here at all, it's kinda sad. Food for thought, not doing anything major as of just yet.

After that adventure, I headed back to the farmhouse. I noticed Jan had picked up some salad makings, and it was around 6pm, and I'd been up since, well... for the last 12 hours, and I really can't wait til 8 or later for dinner as is the norm around here. I tried to decide between making myself a burrito (something I've been craving like mad because they don't have real mexican food here. Muchas Gracias date when I get back? Yes please, like right after I get back - thank goodness they're open 24hrs. But I also really wanted a salad. I opted for a taco-ish salad. Hot refried beans, salsa, ranch (no sour cream), avocado, lettuce, sweet corn, carrots (weird, but still on the crave list). So. Awesome.

Took some pics of the garden and such. Jim is currently out plowing. It's kinda still really hot, but anyway. Then I headed upstairs, walked into my room and set my stuff down and started pulling a few things from my backpack. Made sure that the dogs hadn't managed to wander upstairs and take off with one of my shoes and wondering why it's so ridiculously hot when we have air conditioning in this house, I walked in and out of my room. Looking down, I noticed a blue rubber bracelet. Thinking it must have been something Jan or Jim had left for me, as I was wearing two today (one, my orange Identity one from The Way event, and the other my new, black JSAW bracelet I got at church the other day... orange and black, perfect, no?), I picked it up. It's really plain, so I wonder if it must just be a misplaced rubber band from the plumbing guys? but why would they have rubber bands working with PVC pipes? Nope. There it is. Noticed the key thing. Wow. A phone number. Tricky, aviator kid. Haha, good one. Placed, I realized, directly in front, and in the middle of my door. Adorable.

This, my friends, is why I am laughing right now. I'm not super sure what to think about it, haha. So cute. Quite the smooth move. Still not positive this kid's not in high school, lol.

Anyway, now it's super hot in the house, and I'm sweating like mad, so I asked Jim why the air isn't on... apparently he just forgot. Um, anyway, Jan was super excited when she remembered too, so now the air's on, but it's still a million degrees in here.