Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Up on the rooftop click click click?

While at home this past week for Thanksgiving, Dad and I decided to put up all the outside Christmas lights together. He pulled everything out of the shed, we laid it all out, and began the process.

Dad set the ladder against the roof and went up with the first strand of lights. Once up there, he asked me to go grab the leaf blower, an extension cord, and to climb on up to clear off the roof. I got all the necessary things and plugged in the leaf blower. As I climbed up the ladder, I might mention that my dad needs a new ladder. The ladder I crawled up is the most warped, bent, and scary ladder EVER.

I climbed up and turned on the blower. Being careful with the cord I started in one corner. As I moved across the roof I saw something begin to happen that I could not stop. I started screaming and yelling in hopes that what I was witnessing would somehow not be true.

But no. The screaming did not make it stop. The cord of my leaf blower had snagged around the ladder and when I moved- the ladder did too. And I watched it fall to the ground.

I turned off the leaf blower and just sat on the roof. Dad came around the corner and said "what's wrong?"

I said "did you not hear me screaming?!?!"

"No....what happened?"

Knowing that this information will not make my dad happy I slowly tell him to look at the ladder. As he looks he realizes it's not there. I explained what happened.

His face was incredulous. He said "You're kidding."

No, dad, I was not kidding. He keeps staring at me as though this is a joke. And rightfully so. No one wants to think that they might  be stuck on a roof.

The expression on his face made me start to laugh. And I mean, LAUGH. And when I say "LAUGH" i mean- I almost wet  my pants I was laughing so hard.

Dad asks "do you have your phone with you?"

Nope.

We both realize that we are stuck. We don't have neighbors. We don't have phones. And we don't have a ladder.

As I'm laughing dad is still standing with this look on his face that has me rolling.

Finally I say "we COULD try going through the window." We do have 2 windows on our roof that lead to my old room and Caralyn's old room.

Dad is able to get the screen off, open the window- and tells me "well you've gotta crawl through there cause I'm not!!!"

I crawl through, drop to the floor, and come around and set the ladder back up.

Point of the story- we were both fine- we weren't stuck for long- but after talking with dad later about it- he says the things going through HIS mind were ways he could lasso the cord from the leaf blower around the tree and drop down, using the cord to lasso the ladder back up....you know. He was trying to go all MacGyver on me. I'm so glad I was up there to just offer the most practical option of opening a window. :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

No place like....

I have thoroughly enjoyed living in Florida. REALLY. The town is quaint, my job is fabulous, and my apartment finally feels settled. The beach is close, the weather has been perfect, and overall, living in Florida has been great.


But can I please say I’m so glad to be at home in Paris, TX for this Thanksgiving break. After I’d already accepted the job and had started work, I found out that we were given the entire week of Thanksgiving off!!! Once I learned that- I knew for sure I’d be coming home. Mom and dad made sure of that!!

I know, I’ve only been away from Texas for 35 days and it’s probably too soon for a trip home, but after 35 days like my first 35 days in Tallahassee were, home was a great option.

But let’s back up a little bit.

63 days ago I was offered a job in Tallahassee.

59 days ago I accepted the job and turned in my two weeks notice.

51 days ago mom and I drove out for the first time.

41 days ago I started my new job (In San Fran, no less!)

And 35 days ago I moved to Tallahassee.

Well, let’s add one more in for good measure: 15 days ago- the movers arrived with all my stuff.

That has been a CUH-RAZY past 63 days. I think after all THAT craziness, a trip home was in order.

On my way to the airport yesterday I was thinking about the fact that in a few short hours I’d be getting hugs. Yes, hugs. I’m a hug person. I may or may not judge you on your ability to give a good hug! ;-) But that’s one thing that’s been lacking in Tallahassee. So while driving and thinking about the hugs I’d soon be giving/receiving- I couldn’t help but start to cry. I know that sounds overemotional but really. Living by myself is ok. But you just don’t realize how much you need physical touch until you move away and there is not many people around that you can just give a hug to without them thinking you’re a crazy.

I flew in last night to Dallas where dad picked me up and we made the drive back to Paris.

Excited to spend this Thanksgiving week with the parents and grateful I have the time off. I know good things are in store in this next season.

Oh yeah. And give someone a hug today. Even if THEY don’t need it…you probably do! ;-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

To the crooked...wait, what?!

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for a while, but just hadn’t felt it was completely formulated in my brain until this past weekend.


The night of my going away party, I had SO many friends share things with me that left me speechless, encouraged, honored, etc. I mean, really. I was blessed.

After the group prayed for me, my friend Benjamin came and shared a verse with me, shedding light on this particular verse that I’d never noticed before.

He read the verse to me, “To the faithful, you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked, you show yourself shrewd.”

During the time in which people were standing up and sharing words about me, the word ‘faithful’ came up almost every time. So I assumed Benjamin was going to highlight that portion of the verse. HA! Was I wrong. He then says “the part that stuck out to me was “but to the crooked, you show yourself shrewd.” Oooh dear Benjamin. You sure got me on that one! Haha :-) I was like “um, ok, explain?”

But what Benjamin was about to explain was nothing short of a sweet revelation from the Lord that I needed to hear.

He went on to eloquently explain that another term that could be used in place of the word ‘shrewd’ would be to ‘one up’ someone. Someone who is shrewd will be sharp and clever. So where the verse says ‘to the crooked, you show yourself shrewd’ could be read as “you wanna be crooked? He will “one-up” you. You will not get it past Him. He can’t be beat.”

Benjamin said (and I paraphrase) “with that in mind….Minda, if you think YOU are faithful (and you are!), know that He can…and WILL- ‘one-up’ you. He is more faithful. He will prove himself even more faithful that YOU could ever be.”

I LOVE that. I really do. LOVE that.

Such a sweet reminder (and reality check!) that my Jesus is not only Faithful, but He will far surpass the faithfulness of anyone. If I think I’M faithful- it’s GOOD news to know that He will always one-up me.

In addition, Benjamin, if I messed up relaying this message the way you meant for it to be relayed- please correct me... :-) But this is what I gleaned from your insight! :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

STAMP!

Yes, it's way past time for a new STAMP! edition. So here you go!

I have a new favorite fall/winter scent from Bath and Body Works. For the past 2 years, I've LOVED making my home smell like Bath and Body Works "Leaves" scent. Seriously. SOOOO good. But. This year. I've found a new favorite. My friends Ashley, Austen, and Shelby got a candle for me for my going away part and I've not only been burning this candle, but I've gone to get another one, purchased the wall flowers in this scent, and also the car scent.  I present to you "Marshmallow Fireside."

Item number two that gets my STAMP! of approval is a brand of shoes. I own 5 pairs of heels that are this particular brand. They are the most comfortable heels I own and can wear them all day without dying! :-) They not only are comfortable but I KNOW this brand. I know that I can always get the exact same size and not worry about if they will fit or not. LOVE them! I present to you: Madden Girl shoes. :-) They will always be found in a purple box. Enjoy!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekend at Party Pier

This weekend will mark 4 weeks of Florida living and I'd yet to see a beach. Figured I'd check that off my list this weekend as I had Friday off. Drove out to Saint George Island which is about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Tallahassee. This morning I woke up, made pumpkin pancakes and coffee- then packed my bags. As I was driving- I had a serious "OH MY GOODNESS, Is this REALLLY my life?" moment. :-) The drive was spectacular. Stunning really. And then. I saw the water. I about had a heart attack. This was real. I DO officially live in Florida if I can drive an hour to go hang out at a beach for the day.

I do apologize for the quality of these pictures. But yeah. I got to the turn off which would take me on a bridge about 7 miles long which connected us to the island. Um. Let's read that sentence again. Yeah. I went to an island today! :-) It was pretty chilly this morning (low 40's) but knew it was to warm up. I went in my suit, shorts, and a t-shirt- and took along a fleece jacket. I kept the jacket on most of the morning but took it off later this afternoon when it warmed up a bit more. I spent about 6 hours today- by myself- on a beach. The beach was practically mine. NO ONE was on the beach. I read for a bit. I walked quite a ways. I just sat, staring at the water.

Oh yeah. And here's the jellyfish I saw. I wanted to touch it so bad but didn't know what side was 'safe' to touch. Didn't want to have a "Joey, Monica, Chandler" situation if you know what i mean. :-)

And this. This is where I was when the sun set over the water. I met up with Jaryn & Rynelle, along with their family for the remainder of the evening where we had dinner and watch episodes of Friends :-)
A good day, indeed.

I think I like Florida :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Settling In

Well I guess it's time for an update.

My stuff arrived Friday morning and my boss was gracious enough to give me the day off so I could start unpacking/settling in.

Where as in the past I tend to drag out the unpacking phase for as long as possible- this time I was ready to have it over and done with! I worked all day from 8am-10pm unpacking and moving furniture around.

Around 5:30ish- several guys from the church I've been visiting stopped by to help get a huge load of boxes/trash out to the dumpster for me. They live right around the corner from my place and one of them has a truck so I didn't feel TOO awful by asking! :-) Grateful for their help!!!

At around 7pm, Carl, Jennifer, and Ashley stopped by to hook up my washer/dryer. Their visit was MUCH appreciated as not only did they show up with drinks in hand, they helped me figure out the best way to arrange the furniture in the living room! After we moved furniture around pretty much every way imaginable- we settled on what we thought would be best. Carl was SO amazing to not only hook up the washer and dryer but to take care of other things around the apartment such as securing my locks on the doors, adjusting the laundry room doors, mounting the dustbuster on the wall in the laundry area, etc.

Saturday was spent unpacking more boxes as well and then I got out of my apartment for about 45 minutes to attend the Greek Food Festival that was taking place. Later that evening was the LSU/Bama football game. The church I've been visiting (Emerge Church) is being launched by a team of people from Louisiana who are all HUGE LSU fans. I went over to the pastors house to watch the game with a slew of people wearing purple! :-)

This coming weekend I have a long weekend (Friday I have off for Veteran's Day) and I'm planning to head to a Florida beach to celebrate my first month of Florida living. Colder temps are expected for the weekend so I'm planning to take a blanket, a hoodie, and lots of coffee with me as I sit on the beach. Desperately wishing I could call up a few people from Dallas (or Arizona for that matter) and say "come with me!"

But. Such is life.


Here's a pic of my mantle all dressed and ready for Fall!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Moving Fiasco

The movers are scheduled to be at my apartment today with all of my belongings. I plan to have my camera ready to take pictures of anything that looks damaged or broken.
For those who’ve followed me on Facebook/twitter, you know I’ve been waiting. They picked up my stuff on the 10th of October telling me it would be 7-10 business days before arrival. I was aware of that and totally ok! After they’d had my stuff in their possession 7 days, I thought I’d just give them a quick call to say “Hey, just checking in…Making sure everything is ok…and getting an update on where everything might be.

In no way was I pushy, aggressive, or demanding. Just wanted to check in.

I called the main number where I was prompted with either 4 options.

1. Customer Service

2. Sales

3. Billing

4. Dispatch

I selected option 1….I was given an answering machine. I didn’t leave a message at this point- tried the dispatch option next. Upon selecting #4 I was told “this number is not a working number.”

So at this point, I called the guy I’d originally talked to, Robert. He was in sales.

The response I got was “Ma’am, I don’ know where your stuff is. I’m in the sales department. You need to call dispatch.” I explained to him that particular option was not working on their phone system. He said “Well I cant do anything about that. You have to talk to dispatch.”

Ummm. Confusion.

So I just called the customer service line again and left a message.

24 hours passed and I’d not heard from them. Again. I was not worried about my stuff at this point. I knew it would take a bit of time. I just was trying to get ahold of someone.

So I called back the following day and spoke to Robert again and said (very respectfully) “Can you give me another number? I know you don’t have any information for me- and I’m ok with that, but could you give me another number to reach someone?” Exasperated, he replied “I Don’ know what to tell you! Call dispatch!”

I hung up and called my parents. This was unacceptable.

Mom and dad both tried to get information. My mom left a message on the Customer Service line and got a phone call at 9pm that night.

Robert proceeded to tell my mom “You Americans just want everything so fast and can’ wait for anything!”

Well, sir. If you don’t like serving Americans, you should probably not be working in America. In addition, I PAID you for the services.

Anywho. My mom explained that she was not expecting information from him! We don’t want to talk to him- we want to talk to dispatch, like he explained to us! But we needed to know how to get ahold of dispatch!

Robert continued to talk on and on…and ON to my mom.

Mom could tell Robert was getting a bit irritated with her and so she calmly suggested that she was going to get off the phone so as not to cause any more friction. At which point she concluded the call and hung up.

Robert called back IMMEDIATELY and DEMANDED that my mother apologize to him for hanging up on him.

People. This guy went crazy.

He also said to my mom “ I can make things bad for your daughter.”

Alarm bells and ringing LOUD AND CLEAR at this point.

We stop calling. We don’t want to do anything that would frustrate them.

In the meantime, I’m sleeping on an air mattress. I’m eating turkey sandwiches for lunch and dinner. I’m eating cereal for breakfast. I’m sitting on the floor drinking coffee in the morning. Just waiting for my stuff.

Saturday the 29th was the day they officially broke their own contract.

On Tuesday I finally talked to Tommy who said he’s a co-owner of the company. He said “your stuff left Texas on Sunday.”

If he’d informed me it was still in Texas- I’d started making plans to fly back to Texas and just drive my stuff out in a U-Haul.

Then later that day I get a phone call from the driver, Horacio, who told me he had my stuff in his possession and would be driving out soon. I said “Where are you at?” He said he was still in Dallas. I told Horacio that was a problem considering Tommy had told me my stuff left Texas on Sunday. I also informed him that he better do whatever he could do to get my stuff to me fast considering that everything on that truck is now considered ‘stolen goods’ considering they’d broken contract.

Upon hearing this, Horacio had one comment “Oh shit.”
Yes, sir, that is right.

So. Anyways. Horacio said to expect my stuff either Wednesday or Thursday. Today is Thursday and he said he will be at my place close to 4pm.
We’ll see.
BUT. So far. That is the moving fiasco.

Also on a sidenote- here are my thoughts regarding it all:

I am at the point where i know the devil is SO angry he couldn't sabotage God's plans to get me to Florida- so now- since he couldn't take that victory- he's trying to take the celebration of that victory away from me by causing this drama. But. I still, every morning, recount all that He has done to get me to where I am. There's no way in heck i'm allowing satan to take the celebration away from me. He may be trying- but still, I will celebrate and be glad.  My Jesus is faithful.

Now let's just pray all the stuff arrives with little or no damage. :-)