Monday, June 30, 2008

The Zoo

Today was the big trip to the zoo. Mom, Dad, and I set out close to 9, and caught up to Vicki and Steve close to I76, and ended up following them the rest of the way. Paul and Pam beat us by about 25 minutes or so.

It was a great day to go. It sprinkled on us a bit, so we went into the monkey building for the worst of it, the rest of the day was sunny and cool. The kids had a blast, even Nathan, the youngest. He was especially intrigued by the fish in the Aquarium. We got lots of good pictures, some close up of the animals, and some were hard to get close ups of. The elephants above were an easy close-up.

I got more up close and personal with a snake than I would have preferred. While the kids were riding some rides, Vicki talked me into going around to where a guy and girl were talking about animals they had. The girl had a Geicho gecko - well, it was a gecko :-) and she held it in her hand and told us all about it. Then the guy opened a cooler and took out a rather long king snake and let it curl all around his arm as he talked about it - I hate snakes by the way. Some people had questions, and unfortunately the kid behind me did, and he walked back and stood beside me - with the snake - to hear her better. I just stared straight ahead and tried not to think about it. Two of my nieces petted the crazy thing. (shudder!) Vicki said they weren't really her daughters. :-)

We all went across the swinging bridge, even my mom, to my surprise. We posed for a group photo and roped a kind passer by into taking a couple pictures. Turned out pretty good.

We went home a different way - we went my way - Mapquest, but had to pay tolls, so we came home a different way, and it took forever, and traffic was terrible in Pittsburgh. My way, we avoided the traffic. :-)

Later, we all, minus Vicki and her gang. went to Walgreens to get some pictures taken off, as they have had a 10-cent per picture deal going on that ends today, Unfortunately, we got behind a lady who was doing about 380 pictures, and it took forever. After we were done, we went to McDonalds and Dad treated everyone. The adults got ice cream, the boys got chicken nuggets.

I may be teaching Paul and Pam to play Rook this evening. Never played with 3, but it should be fun. :-)

Well, til next time!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Today was my first official Sunday back in my home church to stay, and I have to admit, it felt good. They are doing the Sunday School class a bit differently. Instead of having one teacher, they have someone in charge, and different people are given topics to speak on for one or more Sundays. My dad has Biblical Families for about 4 weeks later in the year.

Today was the VBS program, and what can I say, I was impressed. There seems to be a repeating message I needed to hear about answering God's call, and letting God use us, no matter how small our talent. It was even the topic of the message this evening. The young people were given charge of the service - teens and early 20's. They led the singing, chaired the service, took up the offering, played for the singing and offertory, did the special song, and preached. Very good service. Several people told me it was good to have me back home, and that was nice to hear. On the flip side, several people also asked me where I was working, and that isn't so good. :-)

Church is important, and though my time in Indiana was well spent and I think God used that time to teach me some things, I never felt at home in the church there. Don't get me wrong: it is a great church, Bro Sankey is a great preacher, and there are some great people there, but I never really got to know many of the people. I felt like a visitor most of the time, and part of the blame lies with me for not being more outgoing, but I feel I digressed spiritually, or maybe not so much digressed as retreated inside of myself. I never testified or really entered into the service, but more or less observed, and no one really got after me if I missed a service. I do appreciate the people there that did make an effort to make me feel welcome.

No church is perfect. Faith Mission could teach Salem church a few things, and vice versa. :-) I am still impressed with the emphasis given to their school at Faith Mission, whereas at Salem. it isn't talked about much - I think because there are so many people home schooling in the church they don't want to offend them or make them feel left out. Give me a break! So my hat is off to Faith Mission for their emphasis in that area, and a couple others they out do my church in, so my Faith Mission readers, I am not out to bash the church there at all. :-)

The zoo trip is still on for tomorrow, in spite of threatening rain showers. Right now it is 30 and 40% chance, depending on the time of day. It should be fun, no matter what.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Just Like The Amish

I slept in til 9:30 this morning after sleeping better than I have in ages - being exhausted can do that for you. Enjoyed a slow day with the nieces here til afternoon. Mom, Dad, and I went up to the pizza buffet for supper, which was awesome. They had my favorite soup on the bar: Cheddar and ham - good stuff! It started pouring down the rain while we were there, and was storming some when we got home, but to our surprise, when it wasn't really doing much at all, the power went out shortly after 6. The electric company said it might be til midnight til it comes back on - it is 11:10 at the moment, and still hasn't, to my knowledge.

Dad has a generator, so he hooked it up, and we have electric! I feel so Amish right now! Well, other than the computer, light, and fan that is blowing on me. :-) I am hoping when I go to bed I can sleep with the generator running right outside the door by my bed.

I mentioned in my last post that I70 was shut down for a few miles due to high water, and I got detoured. I found pictures here - not of the town I went through, but the interstate itself:

Next week should be an interesting time. We are all meeting Paul, Pam, and the boys at Pittsburgh Zoo on Monday, possibly with the exception of my other brother-in-law, Steve - not sure if he is going yet - anyway, I knew Paul and Pam were coming here from the zoo, but what I didn't know was they were staying all week - at least through Sunday. Since the family isn't taking an official vacation this year, we are going to do some local stuff, and Paul and Pam are taking their vacation here to get away from the church for a week. Later in the week we are going to the Amish area of Ohio, about 1 1/2 hours from here. I can tell them about our generator!

It sure won't be quiet next week, but it will be fun having the boys around for so long. Mom may be glad for my being here to help watch them while she is working.

So far, I am missing one thing from the move. Right before I moved, I bought a new solo CD by one of the Booth Brothers, and I have no idea where it went to. Hopefully, if it isn't here, it is in the storage place and will surface at some point.

My bed is actually very comfortable this time. It is a sofa bed, which are not ideal, but Dad and/or Mom rounded up another sofa bed mattress to put on top of the one that is there, and it is very comfortable - can't feel that bar that goes across at all! :-)

I did a dummy, I am now realizing: I packed ALL my books. There were a few I have that I haven't read yet, and I am wishing I had kept those out to read here. I am trying to be frugal with my money, or I would buy a couple on CBD or Amazon that I want. Too bad my birthday is already past. :-)

This amused me, so I will pass it on: I changed my cell# today to an Ohio one, and the Sprint guy on the phone told me it could take a couple of hours til it was up and running again. Well, 8 hours later, it still wasn't. Every time I tried to call anyone, I would get a message saying the call could not be completed. So, I called Sprint and told the guy that answered my problem. He got my name, and then asked if I was calling on my cell phone. I wanted to say "duh"! I TOLD him I couldn't call ANYONE! Must have been a blond. :-)

I got a bit sunburned the other day while packing the truck. I wouldn't have thought that I would, but my head is a little red, and hurts when I touch it, so I'd say that is the case. Guess I need to bring out the sunblock, and yes, it is here. :-) Bro. Sankey, my Indiana pastor, was saying they don't know where they are, as they are moving also, just across town, and I can relate. Most of my stuff is in storage, and there are things I couldn't find in there if my life depended on it, which I don't think is the case with anything in there.

Well, I suppose I'd better quit rattling on and get to bed. Besides, there is a possibility that the generator will run out of gas and quit on its own before the power comes on, and I'd like to have my post submitted, and the computer shut down before that happens. Here is hoping I can sleep if it keeps running. :-)

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Big Move

In case anyone is wondering about my well-being, I am one exhausted guy. Yesterday, my day started around 8 with some last packing. Then at 10:30, Joe Mincer came over and helped me pick up my truck and get it backed in, and also helped me throw some of the bigger furniture items on the truck. Then I slowly worked at it with an occasional break til Steven got home - it was horrid packing in that heat.

We finally finished loading the truck around 9, got some last minute stuff done, then went to Wendy's. I was bummed out - they put mayonnaise on my chicken club after I asked them not to, and I didn't find out til I got home, so I discarded the top bun and the tomato - and I LOVE tomato.

Finally got to bed around 11:30, got up at 3:30, said my last good-bye, a tough one, not that any were easy - and was on the rad about 4:20 am. It took me awhile to gain confidence driving, but eventually worked my way up to 70, and even 75 for a bit.

I must confess a blond moment, or a couple, as it happened twice. I forgot I was towing my car - you can't see it, just the trailer in the mirrors. When I was turning in to get gas. I saw it in my mirror and thought someone was following me closely, and just started to think "that idiotic moron is tailgating.......oh, that's my car! I felt foolish, but not foolish enough to stop me from doing the same thing later. :-)

I got detoured after Columbus, OH. They had a few miles of I70 shut down due to high water. I got detoured through a small town called Buckye Lake - it was hard to tell where the lake was. Man, they had the water, everywhere. There was a trailer park still flooded- water up to halfway on the car tires, and pretty far up on some of the trailers. I am sure glad I haven't been flooded anywhere.

Arrived in Lisbon at about 12:05 pm. I had no idea what to do with the truck and trailer, and Dad wasn't home - there was no way I was going to try to get the whole contraption down in their driveway. Mom came to meet me, and we found a place to park it all while we ate lunch, which Dad arrived in time for.

After lunch, we did bring the truck and trailer here. I parked it in the front yard long enough to get the car off, and unhook the trailer, then came down the driveway so we could unload the stuff for here, which seems to be a lot now that it is in the house. Dad partitioned off the one part of the basement so I have some privacy, and even put a table up and ran a Internet cable so I can set up my own computer.

Then the fun part: we headed up to the storage place. Mom (and I) didn't think everything was going to fit into that small 10' by 10" area, but Dad managed to do it. Finally, we got the empty truck to the closest UHaul place, and came home. Mom had to go to the church for VBS, so I tagged along and got to see some people. The VBS was done by Frances Stetler, and though I just sat in on the last night of it, I was impressed.

We brought my 3 nieces home for overnight, and as I type, they are on another computer giggling up a storm. :-)

Total gas cost for the trip: $205, not good, but not as bad as I feared. The cheapest I saw was $3.66 in North Canton, OH, but that was if you had some card for the place, whatever that entails.

It is kind of scary, having most of what I own in storage, sleeping on my parents' sofa bed in the basement, having no idea what the future holds - where I will work, where I will live. I am hoping and praying God works it out. Oddly enough, I received some encouragement along that line tonight at VBS. She said some things she said she didn't know why she felt she should, and who knows, maybe I was the reason. Anyway, for better or worse, I am home, and hopefully God will work out the rest.

Thanks to my Indiana friends, Kim, Cindy, and Steven, for being my friends for the 2 years I lived in your state, and for making me feel welcome and part of your family. You gave me a great gift: the knowledge how to play Rook, and a love for the game. Here is hoping I get the chance to beat Cindy again the game we so love. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers, and here is wishing God's best for you. Keep in touch. (I made other friends too, but not that read my blog) :-)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Jobless and One Dresser

It is official, as of today, I am jobless. Last night was my last night to work at Hobby Lobby. I had mixed emotions. Some things have driven me up a wall about the job, but I got along great with everyone I worked with, and will miss some of them a lot. They got me a chocolate cake with lizards on it that said "Good Luck". My assistant manager gave me a long hug and cried, and said she would miss me. It was sad, for though I intend to visit in the future, who knows if I will make it there, and would see the people I want to see. My co-manager told me it has been a privelge to work with me, and he would be happy to give me any references I needed, so that made me feel good. The main manager is taking me out to lunch Wednesday - he isn't allowed to fraternize with employees, but now that I am not an employee, he wants to take me out to eat.

It's kind of scary, moving and not having a job to go to, nor a place of my own to live at. I am hoping and praying that I will quickly find work and a reasonably priced place to live. I don't want to crash on Mom and Dad's sofa bed any longer than I need to.

We had the first broken bone in the family. My "middle" niece, Allie, fell off the sliding board and broke her arm, but it wasn't broke clear through, so she just has to wear a sling and try not to move it. We all figured it would be one of the boys that would break something first.

I have been doing a lot of packing - such fun! What makes it all the more interesting, is I need to pack for two places: storage, and things I need to keep at Mom and Dad's. She suggested I keep one dresser to put there, so I don't have to live out of a suitcase, so today I was cleaning out dressers and transferring things to the one I am keeping there. I am ashamed to find out how many shoes I have. I packed a pretty good sized box full, and still have 5 pairs that didn't fit, plus one beat up pair that is getting trashed. I am as bad as a woman. OK, not THAT bad, but pretty bad. :-)

New on the blame the president for everything fad: some moronic liberal idiot on TV is blaming Bush for the salmonella outbreak with the tomatoes. Good grief! They would never blame a Democrat for stuff like that and Katrina. Why can't they get a life!?

Went out this morning for a celebratory breakfast to celebrate no more Hobby Lobby. We went to Golden Corral, and man, did they have a ton of food on their breakfast bar. With a drink, it was over $10 per person, but I think it was worth it. They had 3 kinds of sausage, bacon, pancakes, french toast, sausage gravy and biscuits, grits, hashbrown cassserole, fruits, and lots of other stuff. I even had a piece of peanut butter pie for dessert. :-)

I get my truck Thursday, so Monday-Wednesday will be major packing, though I don't think there is tons left. Most everything in my bedroom is packed, maybe a couple more boxes worth, the kitchen and bathroom, and still some stuff in the living room. Packing is such fun!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Out On Top

Last night was the last time for Rook with our four regulars. We went to Texas Roadhouse and enjoyed a terrific meal - I had pork chops, and they were second only to my mom's breaded pork chops. Poor Kristin had steak problems. Her medium well steak was about burnt on the outside, and raw inside. Another trip to the grill only made it worse, so they gave her a new one. Cindy surprised me by paying for it all. Had I known that, I would have ordered lighter. We also had a cactus blossom for an appetizer, which are awesome. :-)

Not sure how many games were played, but Kristin and I won most of them, and we came out on top as the all time Rook champions. We deserve a trophy or plaque. :-) It was a sad parting, as the four of us have had a lot of fun and good times, especially once Kristin and I started winning. :-)

The night didn't end overly well. After the girls left, we had a knock on the door. It was the chick who dates or whatever, the dude in the apartment under us. Steven answered the door, as I was in the bathroom. She informed him that they were getting up at 5, and we were being too noisy moving our chairs around on the floor. Thankfully, he is away a lot, but when he is home, he plays loud music with a lot of bass til 1 and 2 in the morning, and we have never complained. So stupid or not, I went down and knocked on their door. I apologized for the noise, and said we would be more careful, then asked if they could play their music lower as it keeps us awake a lot. The guy denied it was him and claimed he had no stereo, and then started yelling about how our toilet seat makes noise, our washer, dryer, etc. I said I was sorry for even bringing it up, and left. He followed me yelling nasty comments the whole time til I got in the house. Rather freaky experience! I am glad I never complained before!

I have 6 more days of work. I will miss a lot of the people, even though I am not happy with the place over all. My boss claimed if I stayed, he could get me a $1 raise. He also went on to tell me what a great job I have done with the craft department, and that I could run any department in the store, which made me feel pretty good.

Two weeks from today, God willing, I will pull out and head for Ohio. I still have some fears and worries. Not sure how I am going to get the truck and trailer in here, and now Steven has a job and won't be around til Thursday evening to help load the truck, then the long 400 mile trip to Ohio by myself pulling my car behind me.

I still feel it is best to move earlier than I intended, and hope I can quickly find a place to work and live, so I won't have to rough it on Mom and Dad's sofa bed too long. :-)

Well, may as well draw to a close. Til next time