Monthly Archives: August 2011

sensitive ears

My throat is sore. I think Day 1 is to blame. I teach 6 sections straight (minus a thirty minute hiatus for lunch). I am not a smart vocalist, so I over work my voice on these days. Please don’t misunderstand–I’m not complaining about it, as teaching six sections in a row vastly beats planning for six sections in a row (which even this year has shown improvement in fun-factor), but you won’t hear me saying much tomorrow. At all.

I’ve noticed this summer in particular that “white” noise is really bothersome to me. I can hear sounds that should be background and insignificant as quite prevalent and annoying. My neato-mosquito projector was humming today that drove me crazy. CRAZY. Now between the locusts, crickets, and something electronic in my apartment humming, my ears are tired.

I had a chance to read from Anne of Windy Poplars this afternoon for a pretty silent and sustained period. It was quite enjoyable, as I was not too distracted by other pressing needs and my awesome friend and roommate was on a run. I think I’ve fallen away from reading regularly because I don’t have a lot of quiet time. Not “quiet time” like with the Lord quiet time. That should probably be capitalized ;). Time without talking or much action. Reading Anne of Green Gables  is well-suited to that kind of time. I hope to find some more of it in the weeks to come.

I also hope to find something to do. I’m impatient for a connection group to start meeting. I’m spending a lot of time doing stuff that needs to be done at school, but at the cost of tiredness…if I could commit to other things, perhaps I would pull myself away more freely.

And, fittingly for a close, my ears have detected not one but two owls out in grassy field yonder from our apartment. Cool place to live :).


break in

Typing that subject line might give the impression that someone broke in. Nope. I was thinking about an analogy for the new year, new place, new church (especially new church as it’s on my mind) and fellowship, and it’s a lot like breaking in a new pair of shoes. I have had two pairs of shoes in my life that made my feet bleed profusely within a hundred yards of donning them. One was a pair of dress shoes that eventually stretched out by me putting on three pairs of socks and walking around my dorm room. The other was a pair of “tennis” shoes (supposedly fashionable) that were thrown away without much of a second chance. Those were awful.

I’d like to suppose that all of the things that are new will end up like the shoes that did break in. Now they’re a little past their prime and in danger of being replaced, but they’ve had a long, good run once I got past the early strain. But that strain…whew. Makes me want to give up altogether…and not in a depressed, forlorn way…just a tired, I would rather go back to the old comforts way. Throw away the new shoes, wear the old ones, and look for a new pair with less enthusiasm.

But I’ll stick it out. The sun will come out tomorrow, a sense of accomplishment will eventually present itself when it comes to school work, and I’ll make friends and connections in this community that I’m in. I have to believe that God has me here intentionally and maintain hope that he’ll reveal it soon.

functional and deferred

My mail is functional! I received a package from a dear friend today with sweet pea scented things from BBW. It’s my favorite (how did she know?).

I tried to donate blood because they called on my eligibility day saying that they had an emergency…my iron count was 1% too low (needs to be 38…I was 37). I was a little upset. Then I went to Kohls and found a bathroom rug that should have been free with a coupon I had, but the way they calculated the savings meant that I had to pay $2 for it. This reminds me of the Stuff Christians Like post from earlier today. I paid $2 for a rug and found room to complain? Yikes. It’s a nice rug, not a typical $2 quality rug.

I had an excellent meal and chat and chai with G tonight. The porch was the perfect place to sit. I am aware that the stress of the school year is yet to come, but I am so at peace and excited for the year. Love it.

And I got more furniture at school. The library replaced some shelves to accommodate the new screen, and I hesitated to take a double-wide shelf, but now am really pumped to have proper book storage instead of book ends on file cabinets (for my teacher books). It’s looking schnazzy and even made a little nice/nook in the back corner of my room. I’m thinking about putting a rug in there (which I don’t currently have, but whatever) and making it a little listening center or something. But that will be down the road).

Peace be to you!


A word about birthdays

Okay, it’s a post. Not a word.

Today is my birthday, and my sister’s birthday. It’s always been an exciting time of year to have a birthday…I mean, you have school to look forward to (plus all those school supplies), a little celebrating, and lots of affirmation and love. Grand.

It’s weird to have all of that true now as a grown up, but not in the traditional setting and company. K is hundreds of miles from here doing her own thing. I worked today (I don’t think I ever would have imagined school starting on my birthday as a child). It’s not common knowledge (apart from fb) that it’s an extraordinary day for me, which puts me in the strange position of deciding whether or not to tell people. When you’re a kid, the whole year is about your birthday…the one you just had or the one that’s yet to come. As an adult, it’s awkward. If I tell you it’s my birthday, how can you not respond “Happy Birthday”…and isn’t it contrived? Alas.

Can I just say my dad is the authority on fly swatting? I’ve killed about 20 on my own in 4 days, but he smacked them down like nobody’s business..about 15 in one minute, all on the first try. I told him I’d sleep on the couch if he’d be my resident swatter. He didn’t take the offer…I’ll have to improve my tactics of persuasion.

Stories and memories mean a lot more to me this year on my birthday. Perhaps because there are more than a handful of memories and stories to choose from (I’m getting up there 🙂 )…I heard the story of the night I was born tonight. Tears are coming to my eyes again. This life is such a gift, and to think that God’s love extended to me in His creation of me and salvation of me is very powerful. He gave me the parents and sister that He did with purpose and intent. WOW.

My dear roommate blessed me this morning. Ephesians 3:14-20 read with my name inserted and a hand on my shoulder. All this before a fabulous breakfast she prepared. I am so well loved and so undeserving of a great roommate and living situation, Praise to God for this season.

I’m really excited about my classroom. I knocked down three bulletin boards today, and some more decorating. Tomorrow will probably be my big day for gradebooks, planning (eep!), rules and procedures posters, and some long-term vision.

I’ve been experimenting with hair-dos lately, compliments of which points me to tutorials. I’ve been frenchbraiding for about two thirds of my life (my first attempts were at 7 or 8), but these simple variations are AWESOME. I might have found an “up-do” that I can do. Very fun.

Knitting again…back to it. Fish hat #2 🙂

Back to School

My new contract year starts tomorrow. Today I spent about 4.5 hours in my own classroom and 3+ hours in someone else’s (observing!)…and it felt really good to be back. I am really thankful for the new year and the excitement this time of year brings.

Today a lot of the stuff I ordered at the end of the year was delivered to my room. This includes a drum (a tubano!), a plethora of office supplies (Ticonderoga #2 soft pencils, sharpie pens topping the list), and a host of other things. FUN.

Our living room is set up. It’s a lot more interesting than the last one, as we have an offset couch and a closet that breaks up the monotonous entry way-dining room-living room. I don’t have an eye for furniture placement, but my roommate does. Score! I even “installed” my knitting in the former TV cabinet (we don’t have a TV, which so far is OK), so there’s plenty of fun stuff to do. The keyboard is also here, next to a book shelf of sheet music.

I really like this place a lot except an unnatural number of flies out on the deck and in the apartment when the sliding glass door is closed. I’ve initiated a massive campaign against them and have come out barely ahead…there remain a handful of flies at any given time (probably not a literal handful), but I’ve probably killed more than twenty. I stalk them as though I’m a careful hunter. I might need a new fly swatter soon…my strength and speed are not well matched to the weapon I wield. 🙂

I strongly desire to become settled in here. We’ve got the living room, but the kitchen table is MIA (under my stuff, regrettably) and my bedroom is a work in progress. A little progress every day…

Peace out from a not-much-longer-to-be 23 year old.

wiped whirlwind whoa weekend

I am in a new apartment thanks to the faithful love and help of a bunch of people I know from Ames, Iowa.  The neat thing, though it’s my connection group, it was almost an entirely new group since the time I moved from Ames to here…which means that I don’t have seven best friends in Ames who will do anything and everything for me, but instead I have a community that is willing to pitch in even though they’ve moved about 9 people in the last 3 weeks. I still have lots to do, but I am so overwhelmed with gratitude that I have to put it out there.

Also on the VIP list for moving was my sister who headed up some special tasks (arranging my bedroom, for one thing) and provided excellent company and support along the way. She’s headed back to MN tomorrow (bleh) and we parted ways after a grand day at the fair. Which means we’re both really tired. But that’s good.

School starts this week. What!? I don’t have to be there until Tuesday, but I’ve decided tomorrow can be a day too. I’m observing in the morning and working in the afternoon to get my classroom to back-to-school-night readiness (Thursday).

That is all. I should end my hour long milk, sitting, and surfing break with some hardcore unpacking, settling, and music listening.


Please open the door

I’m moving into a new apartment that has so many heavy fire doors. It’s a wonder so many of the residents are retired and older…these doors pose a problem for me. Taking the elevator doesn’t eliminate a single door, either, as you must go through a door to get to it. Ha!

As I pack up and take loads over there, eagerly anticipating the arrival of my sister tomorrow (who I had hoped would not need to help at all, I find that moving alone is exhausting. I don’t know if I can just leave my car open…I don’t mind leaving the outside doors propped to the building, let alone the inside, but only 1 out of the 4 doors I have to go through just to get to my hallway is able to prop…a brick or shoe would remedy that, but when you’re by yourself it’s awkward.

As I’m saying good-bye to this humble abode, I am excited for the season to come. I have no doubt it will take adjustment as it always does to move into a new place and with a new person, but I am hopeful that I can settle there a bit. My heart is longing for a house home, and all the more as I find myself even liking this town a little more. But I cannot help but be thankful for the plans that God has for me right now. A season of making decisions. I tell you what, even though I have lots of things (I’ve been a very successful saver of things), I am pleased to report a certain assertion to “delete” things from my sentimental attachment tendencies. I know, delete is an unfit word choice, but that’s really what it feels like, as though I am erasing a file on my computer that I could use again, but decide that I will not.

I have a moving crew coming from Ames, Iowa. No joke, these awesome servants are willing to serve even an hour away from where they live. Is this evidence of my failure to connect here or my prolonged attachment to my former community? Perhaps, but my involvement this summer assures me that it’s not overly out of place. And it allows me to be moved and very grateful.

I should keep working. I have successfully changed my address, transferred utility services, and paid some bills, but I’ll have to take care of insurance tomorrow. Next week: the DMV :P.

Peace to you!!