Thursday, September 27, 2007

So ends the illustrious career of...

Yes, I quit the Marketplace. I was not cut out to work in a meat market. It was cold, wet and particularly nasty. For my own well being and mental health, I had to quit. Plus I wasn't going to be able to go to church for the next two Sundays at least because of my schedule. My time with God is just too important. I know I need the money, but God will take care of me. He always has and always will. I did start the process of becoming a substitute teacher so all is not lost.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's all in your state of mind...

After living here for seven weeks, I have come to realize I am no longer in the state of Texas. I know, it took me a while but hey, I'm a Texan. I always thought I was a Southerner but I am learning I am really just a Texan. On more than one occasion conversations with friends have ended, "You can tell you're not a Southerner."

Tea is a big deal here. It has to be sweet, but not like the sweet tea in Texas. Sweet tea in Texas is tea sweetened so it has a hint of sweetness. Sweet tea in Alabama isn't sweet enough unless it has the consistancy of syrup. Some are also picky about how fresh it is. I have a friend who won't drink it unless it was made that day. You will also find it at every restaurant in the state. I got sweet tea at a Wendy's. You can't do that in Texas.

They also pepper everything here. I like pepper, in moderation. Here "in moderation" means if you can't see it, it ain't got enough.

Food is not the only thing that is different. If you read my blog regularly, you already know about some of the critters I have encountered here in the wilds of Alabama. Well, I saw another one today at the post office, of all places. It was a walking stick. It was about five inches long. I thought it was just a twig leaning on the curb until I saw it move and realized it had legs.

Sunny and I had a little excitement yesterday. I was walking back from the coffee shop when I heard someone call my name. I realized it was Sunny. When she saw she had my attention she asked me to go get a broom and to be quick about it. She said this in a kind of voice one uses when a dangerous animal is around and you don't want to make it mad by yelling.

I got the broom and took it to her as quickly as a could. She had been checking the mail when she stumbled on to a snake. She didn't recognize what kind it was and she didn't know if it was poisonous. So she beat it to death with a broom. In Texas, we would have used a shovel.

After it was good and dead, we got out Kevin's snake book and identified it. It was a Southern Hognosed Snake. It was not poisonous and it ate fire ants. We also learned the babies hatch in late September and early October. So that's why it was only 5 inches long and it was the third one we had seen. Well, at least now we know.

The weather is also a different story here. The other day the weathermen were watching a tropical storm out in the gulf. They kept mentioning the high winds of 35 mph. I actually chuckled when I saw that because 35 mph in Amarillo is a normal day. We don't become concerned about the wind until it reaches at least 70 mph.

I still like it here and hope to have better news for you in the coming months. I am not sure what is going to happen with all the changes that are going to be taking place around here. Please keep praying for me. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

That's a bug?!?

Before I moved here, I was not skittish about bugs. We have bugs in Texas. You know, the normal kinds: tarantulas, grasshopppers, wasps, ect. Here in Alabama, they have some weird critters who have tested my "bug" nerves to the limit.

The first one I was introduced to is a cow ant which is an appropiate name for the beast. It is actually a wasp and not an ant. A cow ant, or at least the one I saw, is about an inch long and red and black. Not the dark red you normally associate with ants but a neon red that you would find on jewelery that went out of style in the '80s. I am told they are very hard to kill. You can't just step on them. You have to make sure the body is seperated from the head, kind of like an insect version of "Highlander." I am also told their bite is very painful. One friend told me he would have rather had someone burn his thumb off than endure the pain when recounting a childhood incedent.

The second critters are called lovebugs. They are these little black and red bugs who fly around in pairs. Apparently it is mating season for them, hence the name. They are everywhere. They are extremely attracted to the color white which is bad for me because my door is white. I have to fight my way through a cloud of them to get in my door and make sure all cling-ons are dealt with appropriately. I am also told they will take the paint off your car if you don't wash them off quickly. Unfortunately, lovebug season is only beginning.

The third critter is the giant cockroach. They say everything is bigger in Texas but not so with these. The smallest one I have seen was about an inch and half long. These, too, are everywhere. That's all you need to know about them.

The most recent addition to my "The Weirdest Bugs I Have Ever Seen" collection is a flying beetle. I have no idea what they are called. I have had one in my room the past two nights. In fact, I had to go kill one as I was writing this. These are the most disturbing because I don't know where they come from. They make this awful buzzing noise when they fly. They are also very clumsy when they fly so you never know where they are going to land. I could go on and tell you of other creatures, but just writing about them gives me the heebie jeebies. And now on to other news...

I now have a job. It is not a job I would have normally have taken, but I need the money. I have been made aware by God and others around me that I have a problem with pride. I didn't even realize it until now. So here I am about to start working in a meat department at a local grocery store. I don't start work until Sunday and I am not really looking forward to it. I know, I know, I have to start somewhere. I am thankful I will now be able to buy food and gas. I know God has a reason for it and I firmly believe it is to make me aware of a pride issue I need to deal with. But things could be looking up in the near future. I will give you details at a later date.

Other than the creepy crawlies and a new job, there isn't anything else to report. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm still pressing on...

I have been busy the last two weeks volunteering at the camp. It is hard work, but I enjoy being able to spend time with friends to do it. Although , I haven’t been able to mud the last couple of days. I hurt my thumb somehow and I can’t hold the bucket that holds the mud. I have taken it easy with it this weekend and hope by Monday it will be alright. The worst part about it is I haven’t been able to play my guitar.

I am still looking for a job. I know God has one out there for me and in His perfect time, I will find it. I hope it is soon, because the last thing I want to do is admit defeat and head back to Texas. I love Alabama and hope to be here for a long time. But don’t get me wrong, I will be Texan until the day I die. Some of you may be saying, "Didn't you say a job might be opening up at the camp?" Well it did and they gave it to someone else. I know the fella who got it and he will do an excellent job. I guess that is just not where God wants me right now.

Here’s some exciting news. I have applied to Liberty University to finish up my Bachelor degree online. They don’t offer one in English so I am going with a Bachelor of Science in Religion. Since I feel I may be in the mission field someday, it is a wise choice. I applied for Federal Aid, but I’m not getting much so I will have to take out some student loans. I’m not worried about it though. I feel this is what God wants me to do so He will take care of me. I will actually be able to start classes on October 22nd. I am so excited. Yea! I get to go to school again. According to my New Student Specialist, I should be able to finish in a year and half or two.

I would also like to thank everyone who has been praying for me. I have had a rough last couple of days. I had it out with God this morning and, of course, He won. I am doing much better now after He revealed some pet sins to me and I have taken steps to resolve them. I still need your prayer though. The director at the camp I live at has resigned to take another job. I am not sure where this leaves me since I am here only because he lets me stay. I have been reassured by a friend that he and his wife have a place for me should it come down to it, but they are about to move and I don’t know if they really could. As I keep having to remind myself, God will take care of me.

Well, I think that is about all the news I have. Unless you are interested in knowing I have lost 7 pounds!! When I actually tried to lose weight I couldn’t. Now that I am not trying, it is coming off fast!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Finally...another post.

Sorry it has been so long since I posted. My internet access has been somewhat limited. The wireless was turned off, but Kevin has been kind enough to turn it on for me in the evenings. Yeah!!!

I still don’t have a job. I have turned in a couple more applications at some local stores. I am getting to the point where if I can find a job that will feed me and put gas in my car, I will be happy. I’m not starving yet, but I have lost 4.5 pounds and it isn’t from exercising. In fact, the other day I was ready to pack up my car and go back to Texas. I was lonely, discouraged, frustrated and bored. I know God has brought me here. I saw the way the doors just opened up for me to be here. In fact, this is the first time I have been absolutely sure I was in God’s will. I would just like to let in on the reason why.

I am also still on the hunt for a church home. I went to Celeste Road Church this past Sunday. It is an interdenominational church. I didn’t agree with the preacher on some of the points he made in his sermon. It also didn’t help that no one tried to talk to me besides the deacons. I guess they were deacons. I don’t really know if this church had deacons. It was interesting, but I think I am going to try Alex’s church this coming Sunday.

I have started volunteering at the camp. They are building a hotel and it is still in the stage where it is just sheetrock and needs to be mudded. The problem lies in the fact that it has been booked by a group that is going to be here in November. Since they have to rely on volunteer help to build it, the going has been slow. I have started helping them do some mudding. It is hot, sweaty work, but I get to hang out with the staff and see people during the day. I would much rather be sweaty and talk to people than sit in The Island watching movies by myself all day. That gets rather lonely. Believe me, I know.

I went to the river with Sunny and Kenneth on Labor Day. In Amarillo, when someone says they are going to the river, they are going 4-wheeling. Not the case in Alabama. They actually have water in their river bed! Sunny and Kenneth have a speed boat and so we went tubing. I had never been tubing before. Kenneth was impressed I was able to stay as long as I did. In fact when he was finally able to fling me off, I rolled across the water four times before I sank. It would have been cool if someone had been taping it. Sunny assures me it was fun to watch. I was a little put out with myself because I had taken my camera so I could take some pictures to share, but I left it in the Jeep at the boat ramp. It was so much fun. I hope I am able to go with them again sometime soon.

Well, that is it for this post. I will try to post more often so they are not this long. Thanks for taking the time to read it.