1 year later

I am currently sitting in the same spot, in the same Starbucks, that I sat over a year ago now, hearing about the possibility of moving to Georgia and working at Grace Fellowship Church. It is a weird feeling. This place, that at that time felt strange and unfamiliar, now feels familiar. I was living in Houston at the time, unemployed, with no direction and no idea what was going to happen. As I met with these people they told me about job possibilities that I had no interest in...Women's ministry? I don't want to do women's ministry. I want to work with students. That is what I have always done. That is what I just finished going to seminary for. I have now been here, working at Grace, for more than a year in this job that I didn't really want, but felt I was supposed to take. And though I have never felt that the Lord really brought me here for this specific "job" the Lord has been faithful to open up a door for me to transition into the job that I want. I am on the cusp of moving into a position with the student ministry department.
It has been a long hard year in some regards. I am sure that I will begin looking back and processing all that happened and hopefully begin to realize all that I have learned. It is in seasons of trial and winter that we learn more than in seasons of blessing and fruitfulness. Right now, I am just thankful that this opportunity has come and that it has come so quickly. Though a year can seem like a long time, it really isn't in the grand scheme of things. I certainly didn't imagine getting this chance this quickly. Over a year ago, when I sat in this spot in Starbucks I would not have imagined that I would be sitting her now, saying these things, nor can I imagine now what the next year will look like. I could be sitting in this same spot a year from now, saying the same things. I guess we will see.


February 27th

It is February 27th and the afternoon temperature has been above 65 for the last week and a half!
It is February 27th and the Dogwood trees are in FULL bloom....fully pink or white trees!

It is February 27th and I just went for a run at Tribble Mill park in shorts and a tank top!

It is February 27th and SPRING IS HERE!!!!

It is February 27th and all of the above things make me very happy.

(Note: I have spelled the word "February" wrong in this post every single time, including the title)


dog owner "why?" moments

There are certain moments as a dog owner where I have to ask myself, "Why? Why do people own dogs again? Why do we love them so much?" A prime example is when my dog is busy gobbling up cat poop as if it's a long lost delicacy. I swear she can smell it for miles because some times she runs right to it and before I know what is happening she has consumed every bite. It makes me feel sick and I often tell her, post cat poop snack, that if she licks me I'll kill her. Now I would never kill her, but I would consider a serious smack down.

I had another moment recently where I really pondered the above questions. My roommate and I had taken Cali to the park to play frisbee. We were walking back to the car by a pond and she was off leash. She stopped to smell something so I looked back to see what it was and then suddenly she was on her back flailing herself in the white gooey substance with this look of grand pleasure. I yelled and ran over and yanked her up to find the substance caked on her neck. It looked like caulk, but it smelled like death. I am not kidding, it is the worst smell I have ever smelled. It smelled worse than any type of poop I have ever smelled. I have a strong gag relux and I almost threw up on the spot. Amy could smell it from 10 feet away. I dragged Cali to the water and tried to soak it down. I found leaves and tried to pull some of it off, but it was sticky and I was not about to touch it. We dragged her to the car and rolled down the windows before we got in, but as soon as we shut the doors the entire car filled with the stankness. We both gagged and stuck our heads out of the window. I am sure we looked crazy. We could barely breath it was so bad. What is really unfortunate is that is at least 10 mintues to our house if now more. Because I was in the passenger seat I was able to stick my entire head out of the window and though that was helpful I COULD STILL SMELL IT. Poor Amy was driving so her only relief was a tube of peppermint lip gloss that she kept shoved under her nose the whole way home. It took my scrubbing her neck 4 times to remove that smell. I still have no idea what that was or what possessed my dog to cover herself in it. I mean really, what are dogs thinking? "That smells rancid...I think i'll cover myself in it." Yuck.

Today, I was at the same park with a friend and Cali stopped to roll herself in something. I screamed because my nose instantly filled with the memory of that smell and I thought that if she had done it again I might just leave her there. Fortunately, it was not the same goo, unfortuantely my dog is still an idiot because this time she decided to roll herself on top of a dead bird. I repeat, "Why do people own dogs?"


sorry Cali.

This past week I scheduled Cali a vet appointment. She went to the vet in Houston right before I moved here, so it had been a year since she had gone. I called around to all these vets and got different prices. Most of the vets were well over $100 just for the one year visit and shots. There was one that was right around $90 and then there was one, Loganville vet that quoted their price at $50. I stopped for a second and thought, "Huh....$50? That is close to $100 less than most other vets. Is this a vet in a box? Some kind of vet service out of the trunk of a car in a back alley?" I read some reviews and as reviews go there were some good and some bad on each one. There was no website for this cheap vet and now I know why. I decided to try it out. I mean it is hard to beat $50 and if it was terrible I would never have to go back. Well, I will say that this vet was the most ghetto vet I have ever been to and I have a few pictures to document my experience.

Here is the building. First, you have to follow these little plastic signs stuck on the corners of several streets with arrows pointing to the office. It was as if nobody really wanted you to be able to see what it looked like from a distance. There was not a soul in the parking lot. The shrubs and flower beds were filled with dead things. It looked like an abandoned building.

The inside also left something to be desired. There was nobody inside except for the one receptionist and apparently the one vet. This was on the front desk and I thought it was a microwave, but upon further inspection I realized it was an ancient radio with dials.
There was no computer system and actually, no computer in the entire building. They do the old school paper folder file system, which is pictured below.

To put the labels on these files they use a typewriter....that is right....an actual click, click, click, ding....typewriter.

And if first impressions in the waiting room were not enough, the Dr. came around the corner and I thought, "Oh my, where have I come?" This guy looked like Dr. Frankenstein for dogs. He was a VERY large middle aged man, with raggedy scrubs on. When we got back to the exam room I saw his face closer and the guy had a BLACK EYE! A black eye! The whole left side of his face was yellow and blue.

This is a picture of the shelves in the room. They were extremely junky with crap all over them. Note the dirty spray bottle with the word "Roccal" written on it in the bottom left corner of the picture. What in the world is in that nasty bottle?

When I came out to pay the receptionist was on the phone. She was quoting the visit price for the person she was talking to and I heard her say, "Yes, most vets are more expensive, but we are kind of a no frills office." I wanted to say..."No frills is an understatement!" She put this guy on hold so she could check me out and when I handed her my card she said, "Oh, well I actually have to clear the line to run your card." Seriously? Dial up? Unbelievable.

The man was nice and he was sweet with Cali. We got out of there alive and only paid $50 to do it. I appreciate the price, but I am just not sure whether it was worth it.


I had no idea.

Groundhog day...a holiday I have never given any thought to...until recently. I was around a group of people at work recently who were talking about Groundhog day and whether or not he would see his shadow. As I was listening, I began to realize how truly bizarre this idea was and I started asking more questions. Quickly, I realized that there were a lot of things about Groundhog day that I didn't know. For instance, I had no idea there was actually "A" groundhog that yearly we all eagerly await a shadow sighting from. Not only that, but there are 2 of them and they have names. Punxsatawney Phil and General Lee. Another thing I was unaware of is that I live in the backyard of one of these said Groundhog super stars. General Lee lives at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn, GA, which I have passed driving maybe 50 times and had no idea that it existed. Their slogan is something about being like a zoo but better. I am not really sure how I made it 27 years without knowing any of these things. I still don't really understand this holiday at all, but I feel a little more informed than I was before. Regardless, I am glad that he "didn't see his shadow" and I really do hope that spring is right around the corner. I am weary of the winter cold and if it lingers much longer and I am still unable to run outside I may need a new wardrobe.


"our booth"

Every Wednesday morning at 8am for a long while now I have been meeting with some girls at Panera. Sometimes it is just me and one girl, sometimes it is 5 or 6 and sometimes it is just me. Regardless of who shows, there are some things that never change: First, what I order. I order a cinnamon crunch bagel, sliced and toasted with honey walnut cream cheese and a coffee in a mug. I have ordered this so much that the staff knows what I get and they start fixing it when I walk in. The second thing that never changes is where we sit. There is this one half sided booth with an outlet near it and that is where we always sit. Now this morning I walk in and go to set my stuff in "our booth" and low and behold there is a bag and jacket there. It belongs to a man who just walked in seconds before me and apparently doesn't know how things work at this Panera on Wednesday mornings...he must be unaware that that is "our booth."

What is funny about this is that I would probably say I am just kidding, but in all honesty I did feel a little bit like that when I first saw his stuff. I had that feeling you have when you are a kid when someone has taken your desk, your seat at lunch or your place in the car and you really do believe in your heart of hearts that it is your possession and that everyone should be aware of that and act accordingly.

So, I am in another (less comfortable) spot facing they guy is intruding on my morning and giving him a look of disaproval every now and again in hopes that he will pick up on the hint and in the future plop himself elsewhere.