Saturday, August 23, 2008

I called YS

So, I called YS this afternoon to tell her about the dream (see post below). It turns out she IS really angry... Just not at me. YS is a pharmacy technician, and is VERY good at her job. Mama did a good job at instilling within all of us a good work ethic. YS is very capable and understands things that are lost on some people. Anyway, she works in the pharm. department of a hospital, and has for about a year or so. The only thing is, these two ladies were giving her all sorts of flak because she was assigned to the robot when they got it right around the time she started working. These ladies were not assigned to the robot because it is newer technology and they have proven to be a bit difficult to instruct because they apparently can't handle constructive criticism. So, YS knows all about this robot and is very efficient at it. But, the ladies were offended and have taken it out on her. So, YS got fed up with her attempts at being nice to ladies who would have none of it, and would talk smack about her, or ignore her completely, so she was going to quit and go back to her job as senior pharmacy tech at WalGreens. However, the hospital stepped in (despite the fact that YS is not a "tattle-tale." She didn't say these ladies were the problem until after much prodding by the boss) and they all had a meeting and gave her a substantial raise, and so now she is working both jobs.

Needless to say, she's stretched a little thin, in my book. YS is a wonderful, wonderful person, but she's not so good at realizing the need for self-care. In my opinion, she is becoming frazzled. Thankfully those two ladies are being nicer to her. The unfortunate thing is that there is a young man who works there, but "works" is used loosely. From what YS has said, he pretty much just scoots around in an office chair all day, asks YS to do his work, and draws chicken people on pretty much any piece of paper he can find. Strange, yes... So, YS is really fed up with his laziness, and says she wants to punch him in his face every time she sees him, which to me is slightly funny because she's not a violent person. But anyway, when she told me all this, she had prefaced it with, "You had that dream about me because I AM mad! Just not at you!"

I thought it was interesting that I would have a "YS is really angry" dream when she is in fact very angry. I've not talked to her in about a week and a half, and she'd not told me about this chicken people drawing guy. Dreams are weird. And with that, I'm going to go have dinner with some friends! Have a wonderful evening.

Crazy Dream

Last night, I had a bizarre dream. Since I enjoy posting the weird ones, I bring you, "Catfight!"

I was back at my home in Illinois and YS and Ma were there, too. YS and I were being animous toward each other though, especially as we started to go outside to get into the "family" car in the driveway, which was like my old Jeep Cherokee (not Grand Cherokee, just Cherokee). I hurried up and ran to the driver's side so I could drive, but YS was screaming at me because she wanted to drive. I said, "Tough." So, I got behind the wheel and she got in the back seat to pout. Then, Ma (with all her faculties) came out and sat in the passenger's seat. I could tell YS was really mad, but for some reason, I didn't care. So, we set out, and all of a sudden, we were at a restaurant. YS, Ma, and I got a seat, but then, YS started getting snarky with me, and so she tackled me in the middle of this restaurant. We were rolling around on the floor screaming at each other and hitting each other and everything.

Then I woke up, probably out of shock because YS and I haven't fought in years, and there is nothing on my mind to be angry with her about. The other thing is that YS is not a fighter. She can't handle the tension. She will most times, try to smooth things over, or bury her own feelings so as to not "make waves." When we were younger, we used to argue a lot, but that's because I was always doing the "big sister" thing and trying to protect her from herself. I realize in hindsight that I should have let her be more independent so maybe she wouldn't have made so many mistakes (considering I think that my trying to control her made her rebel against anything I said). I'm glad that I have backed off of her. I don't harp on her like I did when we were teenagers, and I'm glad that she's doing relatively well for herself. We are good friends, I think, my younger sister and me. All three of us girls are pretty close, so I'm very thankful for that.

Anyway, it was just an interesting dream, what with the time warp back to a time when some things were better and some things were worse. But, I guess it helps me see that nostalgia has a time and place, but I live in the present. Hmm.. Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I was slightly surprised!

I just got off the phone with Sis. I had called her because I was trying to call my bank about some stuff, but no one was answering. That's because the bank closes at noon on Wednesdays. But, anyway...

After Sis told me that the bank was closed, we got to talking (because they're allowed to talk on the phone at work), and she told me about the boys. They're at their new babysitter, and Sis says they are being stinkers about going in the morning. She says they bawl and when they get there, Howard grabs her arm and says, "READY TO GO!" And then, when she comes to pick them up, he does the exact same thing. However, the sitter says they are good during the day, so I don't know what the deal is. Probably the transition. They had the old babysitter for most of their lives, and then they had me, and now it's someone absolutelly new. I think it'll just take a little bit of time before they're excited about going there.

But, the thing I'm blogging about is that Sis and I were talking and she said, "We're moving." My reaction? A crescendo of, "you're moving? You're moving? You're Moving? YOU'RE MOVING!!!!" and then crazy maniacal laughing. Sis said, "That's an interesting reaction." I was just a little surprised, that's all. I mean, I knew they were talking about the POSSIBILITY of moving, but they're actually moving. They do have a room for me, though. It will be in the basement, but I'm cool with that. They have wanted to a smaller house for some time. The house they have now is huge, and is more than they can take care of. I'm slightly bummed because their current place has a hot tub and a pool, but they say they're going to take the hot tub with them unless it's a selling point. At this point, I'm slightly bummed I didn't get more landscaping done while I was there. It's hard to work hard when you have two little ones who require constant attention and supervision.

But, it's just weird to think that Sis and BiL and the boys are moving again. They have been at their current place for about four years, which is a record for Sis. I think I'm going to like the new house because I am all for not having more house than you can keep clean and tidy. Plus, living in the "country" will be a good experience for them, I think. BiL has issues sometimes with neighbors and all the junk that living in a small town entails.

That is the news I'm slightly surprised at. I wish you all could have heard my reaction when Sis told me about this. It was pretty classic. ha. Anyway, I need to go write my Endorsement Essay now. I'll probably post on that later. Peace out.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Take a Look! It's in a Book! It's Reading Rainbow!

Earlier this summer, some of you might remember that I posted about some books I had read. I read, "The Rapture of Canaan" and "Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal." They are both very good books, but in different ways.

Anyway, I kind of had to take a break from reading while I was in Illinois watching my nephews. They would wake me up far earlier than I would ever wake up if I were left to my own devices, and so I could not stay awake late into the night reading. But, now that I'm back at Seminary, I am reading a new book for fun. It is called, "Waiter Rant-Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter."

This book was written by the man who has maintained Waiter Rant for the past four years or so. His blog has been in my "favorites" list for quite some time now. He has blogged mostly about his experiences as a waiter in high end restaurants in New York City and the surrounding areas. Because his blog is wildly popular, and because it garnered much attention, he was given a book deal.

I am almost finished with the book, and for the most part I have enjoyed it. He tells good stories about the restaurant industry; stories that even I, who worked in a plain-jane restaurant (not a chain, but not a dump, either) can relate to. The stories The Waiter (as he goes by) tells do a nice job of linking his experiences to the outside world. He even tells a bit of history here and there and weaves analogies from waiting into these historical concepts. It brings his material alive and helps people realize that restaurants are not separate from society, but rather reflect the attitudes and behaviors of society.

However, there are some points in the book that I think could have been reworked to make it a notch better. For example, The Waiter talks about entitlement, which is a very real thing waiters and waitresses experience when dealing with the public. When people go out to eat, some of them think that the wait staff's sole purpose in life is to bring them their meals. Well, that may be their purpose while at work, many of the people who work in restaurants are also putting themselves through school, or waiting tables as a second job to save up because times are tough, or whatever. Entitlement is really out there. But the thing is, as much as The Waiter complains about it, it seemed to me, in certain places, that he exhibited these behaviors himself. At one point, he was talking about the chef making the staff some lunch before the shift started. He asked the chef to make tacos (the chef was from Mexico, I think), and then, when the tacos came out, he said, "Finally!" It just struck me as a bit odd that he would display that sort of behavior in the middle of his schpiel on the evils of acting entitled. Maybe I just took it wrong, but that's how it came across to me.

There are a few other examples in the book that seem to me to show how The Waiter does not speak to the situations of wait staff who do not work in high-end establishments, and is, in fact, much more off in his assumptions about them than he would probably like to admit. He seemed to imply that you have to work in a high-end place to make any kind of money. Granted, my time at Restaurant didn't garner me LOTS of money, but I had enough to cover what I needed, and even to save quite a bit every week. Maybe that's because I'm cheap, though. The point is, you don't have to work in a restaurant that charges thirty bucks an entree to get by.

And lastly, the thing that probably bothers me the most (because the other things aren't THAT bad; simply observations I have made), is that there are LOTS of typographical and grammatical errors all throughout the book. I think I found nine errors by the time I reached page 102. And I've found a couple more since then. I'm a bit of a neurotic when it comes to proper spelling and grammar, and it just frustrates me knowing that people make GOOD money to EDIT these things, and yet, so many errors slip by. This is the first book I have ever read with SO many blatantly obvious errors.

With all this talk about the shortfalls of the book, though, I want to put it out there that I am indeed enjoying the read. It gives me a glimpse of what the wait staff in high-end establishments have to deal with. Additionally, The Waiter has some really interesting reflections and observations because of his background of working in the mental health field, and of having been a Catholic seminarian. I would recommend the book to those who aren't fanatics about spelling and grammar. I would especially recommend the book to people who eat out at restaurants often. I was very fortunate during my time as a waitress because about 90% of my customers were quite tolerable. Many of them were actually a delight for me to serve. Very few customers prompted my inward groaning. What's nice is that The Waiter talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly; it's not just a complain-fest about the dining public. So, if you're interested in finding a good read, I recommend, "Waiter Rant-Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Special Day!

Today is a special day! Today, my one and only, J, was ordained into the ministry of Word and Sacrament! J's birthday is also today, which makes it even more special. Worship this morning was quite lovely. J chose good music, good leaders, and he looks mighty fine in his stole. :) I read one of the lessons he had chosen, and I also helped serve communion, so I felt honored to be a part of the day. Thank you! I'm so proud of him, that he's come so far, and that he's got an interesting road ahead of him that I am confident he will maneuver with grace and love. Congratulations, J, and I love you!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Catching Up

Because I was in Illinois for the past month and a half (basically), and because my computer with all my favorites was not able to be connected to the Internet, I was not able to read some of the blogs I frequent. Tonight, I was doing the rounds, and I saw a plea from a man who blogs over at He is walking in his area's Memory Walk to raise money to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease, and so he is asking for donations to help him meet his goal of raising $2000. He's already at over $1700, which is very laudable. I know that most of the people who read my blog are cash-strapped seminarians, but I thought, what the hey? I could throw the opportunity to support this very worthy cause out there. To donate to Matt's team, go to this page. You can donate online, or print out a donation form, write a check, and send it via snail mail.

Dementia is a horrible, horrible disease, and Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia. Unfortunately, it is also incredibly destructive. Memory Walks are organized in many communities. If I'da been on the ball, I could have scouted out the possibility of making a team to walk from the Seminary community. Thankfully, there are people who do the walking. Here's to finding a cure in our lifetime!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

East and West

Psalm 103:8-14

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.

On my recent trip through several states, while driving through the night and trying to stay awake and alert to watch for critters, which I inevitably would hit anyway, I got to thinking about how far our sins are removed from us by God's gracious work in Christ Jesus. They're removed as far as the East is from the West, but how far is that, really? I mean, really, if you think about it, where East ends, West could be thought to begin. That would mean they're not very far apart at all. However, this drive took me from Interstate to Interstate, and I thought about Eastbound and Westbound traffic. They're only a median apart, and yet they never meet. East goes its way and west goes its, all the while, but they never meet.

What does all this talk about Interstates have anything to do with how far our transgressions are removed from us? Good question. The way I see it, when our transgressions are taken away, it's like they never happened. It's not like God keeps a ledger of who does what wrong and when. In Christ, the richness of grace is showered upon us. Maybe, in baptism, when we are baptized into Christ's death, the old person who has been drowned in the waters of baptism can no longer meet the new person who is made alive in Christ. The forgiveness we are freely given keeps us going along those Interstates, still ourselves seeing what we have done and what we continue to do, and yet trusting in God's grace in Jesus to bring us ever closer to Christ.

Hmm. Well, it's late, and this idea is still pretty new to me. Maybe I'm not making any sense, but I thought, what the hay? I am only awake right now because I'm doing laundry so I can go back to the Castle later today. I'ma go visit Grandma at her nursing home, which I would have done on Sunday, but I can only handle one nursing home a day, and maybe stop by my church if Pastor is there, and then head on out. It's time to return to the land of adult interaction every day. Have a good one.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Counting Down the Days

To what, you may ask? I am counting down the days until I go back to Seminary. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my family, but like I've said before, I need adult interaction every single day. Sis and BiL and I do chat, but they're usually tired by the time they get home from their work, and then they want to play with their kids, (obviously! Who wouldn't want to play with them. They're adorable!) watch a little t.v. and go to bed by about 9:30. Me, on the other hand; well... I'm re-energized when they get home. Tonight, I walked my bike uptown to put air in the tires so I could go on a bike ride. Unfortunately, after I aired up the tires, I realized I couldn't pedal because the chain had rusted a bit and fallen off. I managed to get it back on so that it wouldn't click, click, click as I pedaled, and it goes along just fine. I just can't change gears. Oh well. It's not in the toughest gear and it's not in the wimpiest gear, so I'm okay with that. Sis didn't want to take the kids for a walk today, so I had to get out, and bike riding is what I did.

BiL and I also replaced the gauge/instrument cluster in my car, Neno. The speedometer has been messing up for a few months now. I would be driving along and the speedometer needle would start dancing all over the place. It didn't do it too terribly often; just enough to annoy me. It didn't even really give me much trouble on my trip last weekend. But, one of the last times it started not working, the tripometer/odometer didn't work either. Thankfully, I gave the underside of the wheel a good whack and it all corrected itself. But, I wanted to get it fixed, all the same, so Sis, BiL, and I ordered the part off of EBay, and we put it in tonight. I had no idea the top part of the dash just snaps off. It's really cool. It was only a 20 minute job, but if I'd taken it to a car repair shop, it probably would have cost me a couple hundred dollars. We got the gauge cluster (used) for less than 50 bucks, and I didn't have to pay for labor. Good work! Yeehaw. I can go back to the seminary with a fully functioning car (knock on wood).

As I prepare to go back, I also am thinking about things I have yet to do. I am leading worship/preaching on Sunday. I finished my sermon yesterday, I think, but I'm going to go over it to make sure it isn't ridiculously boring. I hate being boring when I preach. This sermon is a tad bit more academic than I'm used to preaching, but I don't think it'll be over the congregations heads at all. I'm kind of excited to preach it. Hopefully they hear a word of grace in the message.

I also plan on calling my good friend who was the cook at Restaurant while I was there. She's still there, despite the fact that she is 78 years old. She was disappointed back in the Spring when she couldn't come see my presentation from Israel/Palestine. So, I told her that if I ever got a laptop, I would bring it by and show her. So, now that I have a laptop, I can. I wanted to show her a couple of weeks ago, but I got sick, and then she had family come in from California, and then she went with them. I think she's back now, but that is why I need to call. I don't just want to pop in on her, although I'm confident she wouldn't mind. I love that woman, and she loves me. It's a good feeling.

I also need to go to the Supermax and visit Ma one more time before I head back to school. The home where she stays just sent Sis, who is the Power of Attorney, her Care Plan Guide. I read through it, and found most of the information pretty obvious to anyone who has seen her lately. However, there were some disheartening things in there regarding her mental status and another physical thing that we were told could be a potentiality back in December. It's still "only" a potentiality, but the fact it looms over her and us is just a bit saddening. I guess you never know when the end will come, and so I don't want to have regrets. I have had experiences where I have "lucked out" and gotten to see someone I loved right before they died unexpectedly, but I have also had experiences where I have not seen a person and so have lived with regrets. Since I don't know when the end will be for Ma, I want to make sure to visit her reasonably frequently so that I don't have those regrets.

And lastly, Sis and BiL are having a "send-off" dinner for me on Tuesday night. YS and YSB are coming, as well as BiL's sister and her boyfriend. My little ol' heart was warmed the other day when BiL's sister told me that she refers to me as her sister in law, because we're just like family, anyway. It's nice knowing they don't just consider me to be a person they have to put up with to see Sis, BiL, Howard, and Sunscreen. They like me, they really like me! Anyway, for dinner, BiL is going to make my absolute favorite meal ever, which is roast done medium rare, homemade mashed taters, and dark brown gravy. He's going to put the roast on the rotisserie in the grill, which is AWESOME. He offered to make me one of his famous prime ribs, but I would much rather have the roast. And, better yet, he's sending me along with the leftovers. Weehaw!

Anyway, so that's what I'm doing these next few days. I'm going back to Seminary on Wednesday. That is the day the new babysitter starts. The ex-babysitter is back from vacation in Florida, and they came to visit the boys. She said she misses them, which is a natural thing. But, she made her decision about not watching them anymore. Hopefully, Howard and Sunscreen grow to love the new babysitter like they did the old one. I want them to be happy. I love my boys so darn much.

Oh, and a quick aside. Tonight, I got Howard to say, "How YOU doin'?" It's so cute. It comes out more like, "How doin'?" but it's so cute. Sunscreen still isn't walking. He's about 14 1/2 months old, and Howard didn't start walking til he was 15months old. They're both smart; just slow to get going. Anyway, that is enough blubbering for me. Have a wonderful evening, and stay safe. 4 more days til I go back and see J, my room, and all that being back at school entails! I miss everyone! Peace out.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Reflection

This past Saturday, as I was chatting with some seminary friends at another seminary friend's wedding reception, we got to chatting about the peculiarity of life. Basically, we were just remarking about how we got to meet/see all kinds of new people we would otherwise not have met because they live 1000 miles away from us, but because we went to this wedding, we "met" them. We also talked a little about how people's lives are so deep and rich and there is no way we could ever know all about them. For instance, one of the guests just got engaged last week, but didn't want to say anything for fear it would steal away from celebrating Bride and Groom's day.

As I reflected on that, I got to thinking about how EVERYONE has things that even good friends don't know about. There are milestones, happy and sad, that are faced all the time. There are personal struggles that are either painful or embarassing or whatever that they don't want to share. But there are also joys and happiness that sometimes people don't share for fear of minimalizing a friend's emotions.

It dovetails nicely with the saying, "Be kind to everyone you meet because they are all facing some sort of battle."

Every day is a new day. But, every new day comes after an old day that has affected how we live. Each day is not lived out in a vacuum, unless, of course, you are Drew Barrymore in "50 First Dates." Days have symbolic meaning in our culture. We measure the passage of time in days. We celebrate days: Christmas Day, New Year's Day, birthdays, Independence Day, etc. And we also reminisce about days that bring forth memories; some painful, some joyful, and some a mixture of many things.

On this day in 2002, I went to the movies and watched "Austin Powers: Goldmember" with my two step-nieces. When I returned from an early showing, Ma told me that her biopsy had come back with news of breast cancer. From that day forward, she dealt with surgery, chemo, radiation, the loss of all her hair, illness, pain, and a host of other effects of cancer.

And yet, as I look back on my own experience with this particular day in history, I know that others have far more painful memories associated with it. Conversely, I know that this is the birthday for many, many people, as well as the wedding anniversary, or any other celebration that we have under the sun.

We can live out each day, even days that bring us painful memories without shame because pain is just as valid an emotion as any other one. It's too bad that our culture tells us to shut up and get over it already. To all who remember "anniversaries," good or bad, I say, "Embrace your feelings. They are valid, and you are valid."

Mastercard Post

7 stops for gas:mucho deniro
denting the car by running over a HUGE racoon:$0 because I'm not having it fixed
Room for the night:$40
Getting to traverse through five states on the 17 hour drive in order to see a good friend's wedding:Priceless!

I was super busy this last weekend, to say the least. On Friday, YS came to Sis and BiL's house so that she could watch the boys and I could get ready to leave for my mini-date with J, and go to seminary friend's wedding 4 states away. When I got back to Seminary, I found J at the party that was being held on the quad. A couple of students (and one recent grad), a professor, and the president of our seminary are in a musical group. They were playing music and a whole mess of people were out there listening. It was fun. J was doing some paperwork things, so I talked with some friends I had not seen in a while. Thankfully, we did get to spend a little time together before I had to go. It was good to see him, and good to see some of my friends. I can't wait to go back next week. I love the nephews, and I'm sure I'll have a little bit of sadness when it's time to go, but I need adult time, each and every day.

Anyway, about 10:00 p.m. I left the seminary for my friend's wedding. Google maps said it takes 13.5 hours to go from Seminary to the place where the wedding was. However, I figured it'd be a bit longer than that with gas stops. When I got on my way, I thought at one point I was off the plotted course, and it turns out I was. Google told me to stay on a particular road, and I did, but it turns out, I should have stayed left at the fork. I only tacked on about an extra hour to the trip, though, so it wasn't that bad. I drove all through the night, watched the sun come up over the prairies, and arrived safely to the place of the wedding at around 1:00 p.m, despite hitting a racoon somewhere in Minnesota (I think) in the middle of the night. I'm a little bit neurotic about watching for deer, cops, and critters, but this thing just darted right under my wheel. Maybe the thing was suicidal, I don't know. And it was a HUGE racoon. I saw it dart out from the grass on the side of the road, realized I had no time to do anything to avoid it safely, and tensed up as I went "kaplump, kaplump" right over it. When it got light out, I stopped for gas and surveyed the damage. The thing dented my front bumper up pretty good, but I think I might be able to fix it myself. It looks like if I give it a strategically placed whack from the back side like it could pop back into place. When I got to the camp where the wedding was being held, another seminary friend who also used to work at the place told me to take a nap, so I did for about 35 minutes or so. It was good enough to refresh me a bit.

The wedding was at 4:00 p.m, so I changed clothes and woke up a little bit by talking to some people. After a little while, we went down to the lake where the wedding would be held. People were starting to be seated and so I saw one of Bride's friends who I had met when the friend visited at the seminary. I sat with her and her husband for a few minutes before the wedding was to start. Unfortunately, I had a MONSTROUS headache, and sitting in the sun was making me feel weird and gross, so I had to go to the back and sit in the shade. But, I got a good view of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearer, flower girls, and the bride and her dad as they walked down the aisle. The bridesmaids wore deep blue dresses, while the groom and the groomsmen wore tannish colored suits, perfectly colored for such a warm day. Bride looked absolutely beautiful in her white dress, that wasn't Plain Jane, but wasn't over the top, either. She was gorgeous!

The ceremony was beautiful, as well. It was like a worship service, but with vows in it. We sang, as well as listened to readings and a sermon. There was even communion, which I am a fan of at weddings.

The reception was also quite nice. The food was good, the company was good, and I had been given some ibuprofen to get rid of my headache. I also saw a couple of other seminary friends who were there. We sat together at the reception. It was fun. Those friends are getting married (to each other) on the 16th in Arizona. I wish I would have felt up to dancing, because I can bust a groove (although with little to no coordination). But, by the time I got back to the camp (the soon to be married couple drove me back around 11:00), I had been up for 39 hours, with about 45minutes of sleep in there. But, I am so glad I went. I wouldn't have missed it.

The next day, I slept in and missed church (I know, I know... My bad. But I figured God would prefer me to get a good night's sleep in order to make it safely back to Illinois so that I could attend faithfully in years to come than go that morning and get into a wreck or something on the way home!). I woke up around 10:00 or so, settled up with the payment part of it all, said goodbye to my seminary friend who was not the bride, and left around 11:30 or so. I drove and drove and drove. For some reason, the drive toward home through the first two states seemed to take longer. They're beautiful states, just kinda boring to drive through. I stopped at the first rest stop over the border at the second state though, and refilled my water bottles. There were two ladies who serve as information givers or something. We struck up a short conversation. They asked me if I was a teacher and I said, "No. I am a graduate student at MySeminary." They said, "Oh really!? That's really neat." I said, "You've heard of us?" They both replied that they had, and I was impressed. Maybe they are Lutherans! :) But, we talked for a few minutes, they gave me some information about their lovely state, and we said goodbye. They wished me luck on my schooling and my ministry, and I went on my merry little way. They were quite nice. It was a good place to have stopped.

The drive back took me about 17 hours or so, but I was well rested, so it wasn't too bad. I even drove past one of the churches to which J has been called. I took a couple of pictures on my new camera phone (YS and I are on the same plan because that was her gift to me for my birthday a couple of years ago. Because the contract was up, we got new phones for renewing it). There were several folks who looked to be going there, and I was impressed because they waved when I waved. Good sign.

When I got home, I brought in the essential things that I had gotten out of my suitcase, came inside, put my pjs on, and went to bed. I was beat. It was a great weekend of fun and friends, which I wouldn't have missed for the world. I'm thankful for making it home safely, and with no big occurences. One of my high school friends, who is one of the group with whom I get together multiple times a year, lives in one of the cities I had to go through. I wish I'd not gone through the city in the dead of night, or I would've stopped to visit. But, I did get to talk to her to make sure my roads weren't hindered due to the flood and the damage it did. I was all set. Thanks for helping me out, homegirl! You're the bomb!

Anyway, that was my weekend. Now I'm back here in Illinois, watching the boys. They're being naughty little dudes today, but I think it's because they're not feeling well. Oh, and I'm no longer "homeless." I've come to think of Seminary as home, in a way, but I still have Illinois license plates and what not, and I want to vote in Illinois and all that stuff, so I didn't want to make SeminaryState my home. But, I changed the address of my license online to Sis and BiL's house, so I have a house again. I also updated my voter registration. So, that's kinda nice that I have an official home. And now, I need to go because I hear a little boy who wants up from his nap and is telling me so by kicking the wall by his crib. Have a delightful day.