Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Five--Labor Day

1. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.
I'm thankful that I've never had a truly terrible job (a la Mike Row and Dirty Jobs), but the worst one was my 9 month stint as a receptionist and knowing that about 90% of the time answering the phone would result in someone yelling at me for something completely beyond my control. And having to use the paging system freaked me out for a ridiculously long time.
2. Tell us about the best job you ever had.
I'm supposed to say the one I have now, right? I'd have to go with the day care job I had after high school. The kiddos were 3 months and 2 1/2 years when I started. It was supposed to last a year before I went off to college, but I fell in love with the babies and stayed for 2 1/2. They're now 15 and almost 18 and that makes me feel OLD.
3. Tell us what you would do if you could do absolutely anything (employment related) with no financial or other restrictions.
I would write children's books. Bright, happy, silly, rhyming children's books.
4. Did you get a break from labor this summer? If so, what was it and if not, what are you gonna do about it?
I had some little breaks. Nothing big and formal. I hung out with friends and took a couple of small road trips. I have plans to go to CA in October and NJ in November, though, so that should be fun.
5. What will change regarding your work as summer morphs into fall? Are you anticipating or dreading?
We're gearing up for Fall now: Sunday School, Confirmation, Youth Group, etc. There will be a lot more juggling of roles for me once Fall officially hits. I'm both anticipating and dreading. I think we have a lot of good stuff happening and I'm excited about it. Also worried that I'm going to screw up monumentally.
Bonus question: For the gals who are mothers, do you have an interesting story about labor and delivery (LOL)? If you are a guy pal, not a mom, or you choose not to answer the above, is there a song, a book, a play, that says "workplace" to you?
Hmmm....I have a book shelf with nothing but Luther on it. That seems pretty work place-y to me. Either that or I'm a big nerd. Probably both.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


So yesterday was a little crazy, I was feeling more than a little overwhelmed, and there were moments when the crazy had me on the verge of full-on panic. A friend asked me if there was anything he could do to help and I jokingly said he could send me some fabulous chocolate. And so he did. Let me also mention that this particular friend happens to live in NC, and I haven't even seen him in 11 years, yet he hopped on the internet, found a place here in town and ordered me some fabulous chocolate. I just went and picked it up, and I think I'm in love. Wow. One option is chocolate covered nut clusters, the other a Brazilian coffee bar made with dark chocolate. I'm not usually a dark chocolate fan, but this may cause a conversion. All I can say is that it's a good thing there aren't any parishioners around to hear the happy sounds coming from my office. This week may be on the crazy side, but the grace has found me in the form of an amazing friend who managed to brighten my day (my whole week) from long-distance.

Mediocre Sermon, Hot Shoes

I preached on Sunday and wasn't exactly thrilled with my sermon. It wasn't bad, but it was one of those weeks where it took me too long to find the jumping off point of the sermon, and then the writing process was struggle. At least I got it done and while it wasn't great, I didn't think it was awful, either. As so often happens, though, I've had a couple of comments from people on how much they liked the sermon. What I found funny, though, was that on Sunday I had more comments on my shoes (red ones from ordination) and my tattoo than on the service and the sermon. At first I was slightly disturbed by this. Then I just thought, hey, in the future when I have what I think is a mediocre sermon I'll just balance it out with hot shoes!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school for the nieces, so Sunday after church I drove home to be there for the big day. It was a lot of fun. The brother's 3 girls are all in school, now: 6th, 3rd and Kindgergarten. We did our traditional first day of school pictures on Mom's porch, and then off they all went. They must have been excited, because usually you can't get them out of bed, but yesterday they were all ready by 7:30. They were SO cute. And I know I'm biased, but they really were all adorable with their new clothes and back packs. Mom does day care for another family who are about the same ages as our girls, but the youngest doesn't turn 5 until October, so she missed the deadline to start school this year. She's going to go to pre-school in a couple of weeks, but she was really bummed that 5 year old niece got to go to school and she had to stay home with the "babies" (my 2 year old niece was there as well as another little girl that mom babysits who is a year old). After a fun day of playing with the 3 youngest, I loaded the 2 and 1 year olds into the double stroller, grabbed the 4 year old by the hand and we all went to pick up the big kids. By the time we'd gathered them all it was me and 8 children under the age of 11 walking back to Mom's house. If that's not quality birth control right there, I don't know what is. They were actually all really good, and they all had great first days of school, but seriously, it was like herding cats to get them home. Now that I've taken this 10 minutes out of the morning to post about something fun, I have to get back to work. I'm seriously starting to panic. I'm possibly one of the worst pastors ever...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


KAG, one of my dear friends from seminary is here visiting from CA this week. She flew into Spokane Sunday afternoon, and then we drove to DMK's house to spend the night. DMK had, ironically, flown to CA that same afternoon, but she was kind enough to let us stay at her house even though she wasn't there. Monday morning we got up and headed to Glaicer National Park for the day. The day was gorgeous, and the weather was just about perfect. We decided to try out the park's shuttle service instead of driving the Going to the Sun road, which is under construction. Not having to drive was great, but the shuttle system could definitely use some organization. After wandering around the Logan Pass visitor center for awhile (see the first picture), we caught another shuttle down and then drove home. I had to be back by 6:30 as I was leading our monthly movie night. Monday's are usually my day off, but SP is on vacation, so I was up. We watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (yay!) and had a short, but decent discussion after. Yesterday after I went in to work for a few hours we drove to Garnet Ghost Town. The signs say it's the "best preserved ghost town in MT." I don't know about that, but it was definitely interesting. Garnet was a mining town that had about 1,000 people in 1898, about 15 in 1905, and was pretty much a ghost town by the 20's, although it did have a brief revival in the 30's before a fire wiped out about half of the town. The 2nd picture is from our excursion to the ghost town. Sadly, though, we encountered no actual ghosts, just lots of old buildings. It was a great road trip with lots of giggling. My favorite sign said "WHO WAS FRANK HAMILTON?" as the caption. The first line was also "who was Frank Hamilton?" followed up by "no one really knows." Well, gee, that's helpful. All I can tell you is where he's buried. I still have no idea who he was. Probably a miner. Definitely dead. Today involved no adventures. It's raining, which is lovely, so we're mostly just hanging out. We wandered around the University earlier, but other than that I went to work and the church where I supply and KAG has enjoyed a lovely day of reading and watching the Olympics.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I get that transitions take time, but apparently I have little to no patience. People ask me how things are going and I always say they are "fine" or "going well," which is technically true, but I also feel like there is frequently an underlying sense of frustration. It seems like no matter how much I learn, how many questions I ask, or how many things I get accomplished I am still behind the curve. I realize part of this is just the nature of ministry. There are always too many things to do and not enough time in the day to accomplish them. There also a few people in the congregation who always make me feel judged, like I'm definitely behind the curve, and I'm simply not measuring up. Again, all part of ministry. I guess I'm just feeling a bit whiny. In a few minutes I will do my first pre-marriage counseling with a couple, and again, I only sort of know what I'm doing. The grace in this particular chaos? Um...I'll get back to you on that one.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fun Weekend

This past weekend was busy and a lot of fun. Friday night I left the church and drove 2 hours north to a friend's house for an Olympics opening ceremonies party. I grew up in a family that didn't really watch the opening ceremonies much, so it was fun to hang out with a bunch of people and watch some amazing pageantry. I spent that night at another friend's house, and then on Saturday drove 4 hours east to RAZS's. I even took Sunday off. First Sunday I've had off since February, if I remember correctly. It was lovely to sleep in and not worry about being up for the 8:00 service. Of course, I'm now completely confused as to what day it is, but I figure that's an OK price. Sunday afternoon we hiked up to Memorial Falls, which is the picture above. The hike was great, and then we hung out and watched the Olympics. Good times. Yesterday was RAZS's 30th birthday. Happy Birthday! So, after driving over 500 miles I came home and got to go to always fun and exciting meetings at the church last night. Today my parents were in town, so between more meetings I hung out with them and got spoiled a little bit. Mom enabled my shoe habit and bought me the cutest part of taupe, heeled, mary janes. Sigh.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Five--Summer

1. What is your sweetest summer memory from childhood? Did it involve watermelon or hand cranked ice cream? Or perhaps a teen summer romance. Which stands out for you?
My great-aunt owned an island on Flathead Lake where we had family reunions every summer on the 4th of July. It was one my favorite things to do ever summer even though the water was always freezing. We used to sit on the point eating watermelon and spitting the seeds into the lake. I was always convinced that one summer I would come back and there would be watermelon growing in the swimming area.

2. Describe your all time favorite piece of summer clothing. The one thing you could put on in the summer that would seem to insure a cooler, more excellent day.
In high school I had a green sun dress that I loved. It was cute, it was comfortable, it made me feel attractive. It hasn't fit in years...

3. What summer food fills your mouth with delight and whose flavor stays happily with you long after eaten?
I love love love cherries.

4. Tell us about the summer vacation or holiday that holds your dearest memory.
The 4th of July reunions come to mind, of course. One summer when I lived in TX my aunt and I spent a few days in Austin. It was 113 and muggy as heck, but road trips with her were always fun, and she can make me laugh like crazy.

5. Have you had any experience(s) this summer that has drawn you closer to God or perhaps shown you God's wonder in a new way?
I wish I had a really deep and profound answer to this one. I've been walking a lot this summer, and some of the views of the valley that I see in my neighborhood are pretty incredible.

Bonus question: When it is really hot, humid and uncomfortable, what do you do to refresh and renew body and spirit?
Hot and humid usually makes me cranky. I'm happy to be living in a place that is less humid than places I've lived before. But when I can't avoid it, finding some place to go swimming is always a nice option. If not, I like to lay in front of a fan with a big glass of ice water, read, and try to forget that it's sweltering.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Random Reflections

Some thoughts from the past week:

The Hell's Angels have been in town. I really haven't seen much of them as I've driven around, but I had someone come into my office to comment on the article in the local newspaper. It said that the group only accepts whites and she was quite upset about the lack of inclusivity. I wasn't sure what to tell her about that.

The graffiti has been painted over and so far no new incidents (knock on wood).

I've been having weird dreams. One night I dreamt that I had babies: Patrick and Zoe. They were very cute. The next night I had a HUGE black widow spider descending from my hair. It was not cute. Huh.

I got to watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone today. For work. With the rest of the staff. Some days I love my job. We were previewing it for a movie night we have once a month. Hopefully no one will yell at me over the choice, but if they do I guess it will be a chance for some dialog.

I'm taking Sunday off! First Sunday off in months, so I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Five--Locked Out

From RevGalBlogPals:

For some reason, Blogger declared this blog possible SPAM and locked us down yesterday. This morning, we're free to post again, but there was a fair amount of excitement last night among our contributors, who found a dire notice on their Blogger dashboards threatening that this blog might be deleted in 20 days! We requested a blog review, and I posted a request at the Blogger Help group, where I found we were not alone. Many other perfectly nourishing and cromulent blogs got the same notice last night. This turned out to be a very small barricade in our blogging community life, but it seemed appropriate to explore locks and blocks and other barriers this week. Also, I liked the picture of the security team above! Could they be Blogger's Spam Prevention Robots, working overtime? In honor of their efforts, I bring you the "Lock Me Out, Lock Me In" Friday Five.

1) How do you amuse yourself when road construction blocks your travel? Music is always good. And people watching. Who's annoyed and who's not? Who's annoyed but handling it well? Will anyone yell at the flag person? Are there any cute construction workers? How about scary ones? If I have a good, though, and it's going to be a long wait, that's usually the option I'll take.

2) Have you ever locked yourself out of your house? (And do you keep an extra key somewhere, just in case?) I seem to be notorious for locking myself out. House, car, church. The latest was just a couple of weeks ago. So far with the new apartment I've been really careful about always having my house key in my purse, and this day was no different. I'd double checked, and the key was in my purse. Unfortunately I was packing the car to go to bible camp for the week and in my capacity as pack horse I thought my purse was one of the bags I was carrying. No such luck. The locksmith was nice, though. And I now have a key secreted away in case of further lock outs.

3) Have you ever cleared a hurdle? (And if you haven't flown over a material hurdle, feel free to take this one metaphorically.) I suppose I could come up with an answer for this one, but I'd rather just post one of my favorite pictures of one of my favorite people: 4) What's your approach to a mental block? Generally I get cranky or panicky, depending on how much time I have. Sometimes I use it as an excuse to procrastinate, but that often makes things worse later. I'm also fortunate that when I do have a mental block ideas will frequently come to me in the shower. Now if I just had a waterproof laptop...

5) Suggest a caption for the picture above; there will be a prize for the funniest answer! I don't have a good suggestion for the picture above, but I think the little construction guys are cute. Captions aren't my strong suit, but I left the question, b/c otherwise this would only be the Friday Four!