Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 45

Small Town Syndrome: when a town is so small that the walls have ears, everyone knows everything about everyone else, no room for individual growth/movement due to lack of personal freedom from other "townies"

Harrisonburg Saturday night: All you can bowl at Valley Lanes.

There's good and bad to living in a small 'townie' town...

Good: You have fewer friends, but they are good friends. You appreciate what a big city has to offer and it makes it a huge treat to travel to Charlottesville and DC. You can walk/bike to the store, the bank, the library, you name it. You start to recognize people/people walking past are friendlier/waiters remember you from last week :]. Makes it fun to go to community art show, etc... and feel like you are a member of society. Most if not all business is relationally based ("Tell 'em Earl sentchya" style)

Bad: Small towns are so boring! Besides the bars and the bowling alley, you gotta be pretty creative when you go out. Everyone stalks everyone and it's impossible to do anything and not have people talking about it, esPECially go on a date. gasp.

I have successfully avoided falling into spending multiple weekends at the bowling alley and the bar. Tonight was my first bowling experience. Depending on the crowd, it's fun. But, you do get a feeling of losing yourself in a bowling alley. Losing part of you that is able to find "cool" things to do even in a small town. It's like you're admitting "yeah, I tried to think of a fun way to spend my Saturday night, but I ended up at the bowling alley anyway." But really, once you get over yourself, bowling is fun. I just don't like that it may actually be one of the only things to do in Harrisonburg. Linds and I have to make a consciously committed effort to go to the "other" side of town where all the college apartments are once every couple of months or so, just to remember that there are crazy fun things happening somewhere nearby. Even if it's only because they involve beer pong and cigs. And damned if I don't ask a guy out for no other reason than to get to know him. One date. Let them chatter about it for weeks after. I have an agenda that won't be derailed by small town syndrome. In some ways, small towns force you to find out who you really are when the drizzle hits the fan and people might actually judge you outright for your decisions and lifestyle. In a huge city, people are so lenient. Believe what you want, live how you want, everyone is accomodated for in a large city. In small time college towns, where people who went to preschool with you are in your college science lab class, you live in a glass house built by the people around you and they make most of your life decisions for you. Of course I'm talking about extremes here, I really don't personally feel victimized by this in a big way, but I do catch the scent of it regularly and see the effects of it on other people. It's a real problem. Now's a great time to mention that Harrisonburg, VA is the meth capitol of the US. Yeahup. Wonder why. CUZ PEOPLE CAN'T ESCAPE THIS PLACE! People walk around like they're trapped. Trapped in a fishbowl. Tell me that's not scary. The devil has a hold on a lot of souls here and small town syndrome is the main form of control. Going to extremes again, but sometimes I get that feeling from this city and it's a heavy feeling that takes a while to pass through. I mean, I fall into small town syndrome all the time myself. It's hard not to. But, it helps to visit friends in Arlington/Charlottesville and get a good shaking and to re-realize how much bigger life is than Harrisonburg.

Life is bigger than Harrisonburg. Bigger than DC. Bigger than Virginia. Bigger than me. Typing "bigger" so many times makes me notice how weird a word it is... and how close it is to "booger."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 46

Tonight, sitting on my lovely couch, snuggled in a throw, listning to the crackle of my burning Jesus candle, admiring Alfie- my bedroom plant, mascot, life coach, friend-, I feel cozy. Comfy. Homey. My room is... homey. I never thought I would make it. My room has always been a jail cell type room. I don't have a lot of stuff (I have a condition known as tossitis [toss-it-is]) and I am OCD about things being pushed against walls to maximize space and traffic flow. So, my room is a blank green cell with a bed in the corner, a desk by the door and... Alfie. He was my first step in the right direction. Then came a real quilt with matching sheets (I used a sleeping bag for months) and a throw blanket. Things were looking up. But, I wasn't "there" yet. I would still walk into my room and feel... blank. Then Jodi moved into my room with me for a while and that's when the ball really started rolling. Suddenly, we had a theme, and my "book" shelf was filled with cute decorations... and then I bought a dresser... and ... next thing you know, there's a freakin' couch in my room! And I'm getting used to the smell/it's starting to die down. And thankfully my kitty-tongue syndrome from yesterday is gone. I thought I was never going to get all the cat hair out of my mouth. Praise the Lord.
So, yes, life is good. Earlier today I locked the keys in my car, but right now that doesn't matter, it's over. Earlier today, I had to change a poop diaper, but now it's just a distant memory.

Sidenote: I get free raw cow's milk now! I drive out into the country once a week and pick it up. There's a little donation box inside the fridge in the garage where I get it, and I stick a $5 in there, and I'm golden. Every one in my house things I'm a weirdo, but they will all come around. And I'll be the one laughing when everyone gets the flu but me because of the enzymes I now get daily.

Ever since I started this goal-thing I have been sucking at anything "mental" I try to do each day. Crossword puzzles become algorithms, sodoku is like a cruel joke of the gods... But, I am muddling through, surprisingly. It is hard, though, to work out every day. Esp today when I babysat all morning till lunch and then locked the keys in my car and then HAD to watch twilight and new moon all in a row with my housemates and here I am blogging now and I'm trying to think of ways I got exercise today and actually, I did. I did if you count chasing two kids with poopy diapers (they are surprisingly motivated scurriers) for 3 hours and then walking 10 blocks from where my keys got locked in the car all the way home... yes, I don't feel guilty when I submit that I did get at least 45 minutes of solid exercise.

Today I read out of 'Jesus Calling'... "I am leading you, step by step, through your life... Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy- even precaurious. That is how it should be... When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine... I will show you the next step forward... trust Me to open up the way before you as you go."

Can do.

Day 47

Day 47- I got the couch! It's great! There's a story. There's alway a story. I bribed my next door neighbor (the one with a truck) to help me get this couch out in Grottoes, known to be "the Meth Capital of the US" by official people, nevermind specifics. Sketchtown. Armpit of VA. You get the drift. Anyway, roomate Linds came along and we were just hoppin' and boppin' to some Luda on Neil's iPod, rollin on to house number 702 (that's what I wrote down on my directions). I called "Wendy" the couch lady, as we pulled up just to make sure everything was straight. Suddenly a women emerges out of the house and we notice a "Salon" sign stapled to the porch rails. Hmm, a nail salon in the middle of a neighborhood... OK. Sure, why not. "Wendy?!" I yell from the road, as we make our way up the driveway she scurries to the edge of the porch to look at us. "I was just about to run some errands now, but did you all want manicures? I can do it real quick!"
"Uhh... um? I was supposed to pick up a couch today? You're Wendy, right?"
"Yes, I'm Wendy... umm"
"Ummm... couch?"
"Weird, I just talked to you on the phone..."
"Ohhhhh, honey, there are THREE Wendys on this block."
"Oh, OK, I must have accidently wrote 702 instead of 709"
"Well... feel free to come back and get a manicure"
Neil: "Oh yea, I'll be back!"
So, we drove a few feet further and out comes Wendy #2 from the house. MUCH younger. A cougar, in fact. Took one look at Neil and that was it.
"Oh HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!! Come on in!..."
And so the convo progressed, she was bouncily sharing about her divorce four years ago and how she's been alone ever since eyeing him, smiling.
Finally, she takes us to the couch and from the front view, I was impressed. She shampooed it and everything. But, as soon as we moved it away from the wall and I lifted one end with Neil on the other, I looked at the bottom-side of the couch -what was now inches away from my face- and literally got a mouthful of black fuzzy cat hair ON MY TONGUE. A mouthful. The back and sides of the couch were COVERED in cat hair. It was deeesgusting. It didn't help that she was a smoker-cougar, so the couch smelled like smoke. She failed to mention that in the ad... But, no matter. Thirty bucks? Totally worth it. I took it home and washed all the pillow covers, lint rolled the shizz out of the whole thing, and sprayed an ENTIRE bottle of extra strength febreze on the cushions, set them outside to air out last night and today. I just put everything back together tonight and I actually think I licked the cig smell (hmm, literally and figuratively)! And that cat hair is ancient history. But, you know even though it doesn't smell like a smoking cougar, it doesn't smell like me yet, ya know? It hasn't adapted to it's new home. So, it's smell (a fresh laundry meets air freshener meets shirt you smoked in that was left at the bottom of the laundry basket for a few weeks) is kind of still overpowering the whole room. I am confident it will turn from the dark side and surrender to my scent in due time. I want to be sensitive to the couches needs too. It was just ripped from it's home and put in a new surrounding. So, it's adjusting, I'll give it that time.
I prayed over it last night though, honestly, because I just got the feeling like that household was not a safe/holy place, if that makes sense... and I felt that lingering spirit from it's former home.
Long gone now though, thank ye Jesus :)

OK, sucks. I don't understand how to move pictures around! Dumb dumb dumb I am so frustrated I can't think! I hate these moment-ruiners! Whatevs. Here is my bookshelf that I don't have books for, so... here is my fan/luggage/glass bottle shelf:

And here is the actual Jesus candle I got at Food Lion. Which I also prayed over. (I don't have a camera these days, so I have to borrow a roomates and so when I do get around to asking I have to take pics of all the things I've been making mental notes to post pics of haha)

And... another view :) with the flash.
And... my body is aching from Crossfit. Does any one else out there do crossfit? It's amazing. It's right up my alley. I can do crossfit. But, I didn't stretch enough and that's a killer.
Had Financial Peace University class.... was about debt collectors and how to deal with them and how to legally get them off your back. It was so spiritual... so ... scary? I don't know if it's OK to say that, but I felt so sick inside for people who are attacked by these monsters every day, manipulating and illegally bothering/threatening people. It's sick. It's a sick thing and it's of the devil and that's the feeling I got. Chills. I hate that people are being attacked in that way.
Well, there's so much to blog about and not enough time. But, today was about the couch, and I'm OK with that. We will discuss other things another time. My fingers are about to fall off. Peace.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 48888888888888...

I'm hesitant to write because I feel nothing coming out naturally through typing... So, I'll just share this...
When geeks have twins:

Sometimes it's OK to look at the past day, feel crappy, but turn around and laugh at something like this and feel good again :] Am I right? Am I right??

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 49

Woke up at eleven, felt like heaven
thank the Lord for
PM yoga the night before
I adore You more
this morning because
You saw through the blue and gave a warning
to me You said "hey don't have a pity party
your life is complete in me that's the story
morning glory" I felt loved for the sign
because today was a horrible reminder
that in a moment everything can change
your life your finances your food your rent and more
but take heart "your hard work will be rewarded
so please keep your eyes on Me
I'll see you through from blue to more blue"

If that didn't make sense... it's OK. It's my first rap ever and I didn't really read through it after I wrote it sooo... But yea, today was a good day all in all. Hard but that's life sometimes. I guess I could list all the crap, but I don't even want to. I want to keep my eyes on Jesus and I'm pretty sure if I do then everything will magically fall into place. Yay God!

I read a sweet Proverb this morning, "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity." It made me think of how when I'm at a store and the cashier doesn't scan all my items and I think "sweet dude, free stuff"... that's duplicity. Even though no one knows, and definitely no one cares, especially not the cashier. My sister once had this happen and went back in the store to pay for the missed item, it was $50. She said, "it's not worth sacrificing my integrity over." At that moment I didn't understand. As soon as I read that verse this morning, I thought back to that moment, and I did understand. And I think I'm going to remember that/this for as long as I live.

Later I went for a run and ouch running sucks people I don't enjoy it at ALL! You have to spit every 5 seconds, you have to be in public, you have to hurt all over, you have to... spit... n stuff. Anyways it's just one of those things I don't want to pursue, like snowboarding. I know, I know, that's not cool, but whatevs I'm just tryna be transparent whichyall...

For some reason my crossword/sudoku skills were off today. It's Tuesday, the second easiest day in the week for that stuff and I couldn't finish either one. No matter, I threw the paper away quickly to avoid people noticing. And by people I mean the Elks Lodge members I bartend for. They really don't care. Some day I'm going to have a whole separate blog about the Elks Lodge. It's a treasure chest of wealth and knowledge that needs to be passed on to the blogging world. One day...

I met some friends for drinks downtown at one of my fav places, Clemetine. Then we all played Mario Kart for entirely too long. And that's why I'm blogging for Day 49 so late. And that was my day.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 50, Part 2

Welp, that's one day down. Today was the WEIRDEST day I have had in SO long.

The woman whose kids I babysit for on Monday mornings blew up at me for leaving a "can't babysit" message on her phone 5 hours before she needed me to babysit. Sorry, I live in a world of people who if they had to choose between their best friend and their cell phone for who to save from falling off a cliff, would save their phones, so I don't understand people who don't check their missed calls like every 5 seconds. That said, it was irresponsible and I felt like a dumb jerk.

Then, I had to chase down my car keys at a four seasons resort 30 minutes outside of the city so I could take my car at LEAST 30 minutes outside of the OTHER side of town to get the oil changed by a guy named Rick who laughed in my face for not having a registration sticker on my MINI -FREAKIN'- VAN that I drive every day. And I just sat there and smiled, crossword puzzle in hand. I could have punched him, I thought about it, weighed my options, but decided I wasn't that kind of person, at least not today. This is MY LIFE people, this is not a drill. What the hell are we living for. Talk about a reality check. All I can say is I am so glad God has a purpose for me here and that I am doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, dodge caravan and all. (and that's a dodge caravan sport just so every one knows, I am proud of her, our little Sylvie).

Needless to say, it was a full day. whiney kids, offended mothers, chuckling auto shop men, and goal-oriented Amelie... just tryna fulfill my goals man! Get off my back! Just tryna fulfill my goals.

I also made plans today to pick up a used couch off of craiglist (it's not the devil, people, craigslist is our friend). I can and quite possibly will post a pic of it at the end of this post. And I've been meaning to post a pic of my Jesus candle, because it's the one and only candle in this world that I love the way many people love many candles. I don't understand buying candles, but I saw it in the Food Lion and I had $7 to spend on food, and I bought it, prayed over it, and say what you will it is holy. I lit it and did some yoga today, actually. Anyway, the couch is adorable. I'm going to ask a guy neighbor (nicely, and with cookies) if I can borrow his truck for Thursday afternoon. Yay, I can't wait!

The food goal of this 50 days is going to be tricky. I don't eat bad, but I do eat cheap. So, while I will avoid cookies and fast food and things of that nature, I do eat PB&J's and ramen noodles. Literally my diet consists of french press and egg/ham/cheese/jelly sandwiches for breakfast; PB&J for lunch, and ramen for dinner. Period. But, I will jot down some more specific guidelines tonight, thought. For no other reason than to use another piece of paper. P.S. one of my favorite things to do in life and something I get 100% pleasure from is writing things down on blank sheets of paper. Anything. Anything and everything. 'Nuff said. Moving on...

Day 50, because counting down is so much more dramatic

Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooodmorning! Today I read Proverbs 10 which is all about the connection between your tongue and being righteous or wicked. Solomon said the Lord will grant the desires of the righteous. So, I said, "Jesus, would you give me wealth?" Jesus said "I want to give you more, but first be faithful with the little I have given you." And I said "man I can hardly do that. OK, I'll be checking in with You about this again later... like next year."

Why am I blogging at 8:09am, you ask? Because, I had my day perfectly timed out last night. Wake up at 7am (check), make coffee and spend time with God (check), jump in the shower at 8am----halt. Some one beat me to the shower by 30 seconds. Blast! The day is ruined! A flash of Proverbs 10 comes to mind (which is literally ALL about how the tongue brings ruin, blah blah blah-oops. hehe) and I'm like "Oh man, I hope this isn't a sign. I don't want to blab about this too much, though, in all honesty. So, I'm not telling any of my roomates about this. Actually the only person who knows or cares (is forced to care, but she cares :) is (get ready for your name drop!) my sister Betsy!!!

!!!!The shower is open!!!!!! Off I go to quickly sanitize myself so I will be presentable at my next babysitting gig. I have... ack, 30 minutes! Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The New Year! ... February 21st...

Call me a Julia and Julia wannabe (or whatever the movie was called), but that girl was on to something when she set out to publicly accomplish cooking an entire cookbooks worth of recipes with a certain end-date in mind, while using blogging as an accountability/experience tracker. Don't think me presumptious but I intend to do the same thing... with my life. For the next 50 days. On this blog. Oh God, I hope this isn't as bad of an idea as it looks when I'm typing it.

The thing is, my birthday is in 50 days as of tomorrow morning (April 12th), and as I sit in my room mapping out goals for this time and season of my life, I realized I have never stuck to anything for my mind or body consistently for longer than 2 weeks. Whether it was time with the Lord, time at the gym, or even brushing my teeth every day, there always seems to be something trumping my will to be consistent. I want to get to the bottom of this, if it means being publicly humiliated by exposing and proving this weakness online, then SO BE IT!

I'm not gonna lie, I start out so confidently, but what about spring break? What about Sunday? What about a friend in town for the weekend? What about the fact that if I can't stick to anything I set out to do on my own, I will be missing out on a side of me that never gets to see the light of day. I want to see that... I am on a mission to see that side of me that feels victorious in accomplishing the goals I set out for myself. So, without further ado, here is the lineup of my 50-day goals... my DAILY goals for the next 50 days... the 2 1/2 (+) hours/day I am commiting to specific activities starting tomorrow until April 12, 2010. After April 12th, if all goes well as it should, I will lay out NEW goals. They will be different. They will be awesomer. NOW without further ado...

Goal 1. I will spend 1 hour/day towards time with the Lord (if He will have me, and I have a feeling he will) and prayer for family and friends.

Goal 2. I will dedicate 45 minutes/day towards physical activities like strength-training, toning, yoga/pilates, etc... (sweating in general) *I WILL fit into my fav. jeans like no other on my b-day*

Goal 3. I will dedicate my money to the Lord, saving and budgeting according to the Financial Peace University guidelines. I will stick to the envelope system and go to class on Thursday nights.

Goal 4. I will spend 30 minutes/day toward mental strengthening in crossword puzzles, sudoku, etc..., or in reading a book.

Goal 5. I will commit my body to the Lord and eat nourishing, healthy foods that honor my body and the Holy Spirit inside of me. (No fast food, no excessively sugary/fattning foods)

There's my 5 goals. I hope they aren't too lofty. I hope no one thinks I'm crazy. I hope people want me to succeed. My hope is that I will blog about what the Lord is telling me every day (supposing it is shareable). I will at least share from my "thought of the day" book 'Jesus Calling' by Sarah Young. I want to share what each day has brought into my awareness with who ever cares to find out. And if no one cares, this will be a good exercise for me anyway. But, I think there are people who care... maybe even a creeper or two?

My highs and lows of the day I will post on twitter (see link above). We'll see how practical that is in the coming days.

I just want to update this baby every day so that every day is present and accounted for. It may or may not happen depending on our internet. Let's be honest there's no excuse. Even Dairy Queen has free wireless. OK glad we cleared that up. Glad I don't work at Dairy Queen anymore. Glad I did at one point in my life. But, that's another blog.