Monday, February 17, 2014

Time

Almost every day there's some interesting story of something funny or crazy that I've been involved with. Normally this blog would be crammed full of all those stories.

 But this semester has proven to be way more busy than I thought.

That does not mean blog worthy things have ceased, I just haven't had the time to write about them.

 For example, I made a trip home to Oregon for Christmas, bought my parents a trip to Ireland, feasted on frog legs, went of a random joy ride and wound up in Arkansas where we found a safari where I pet a giraffe, joined a new church, started going to an aspiring authors group at that church, started my own writing group at my school, and started an internship at a mentally ill and homeless day center.


For the next few months I will probably be absent from this blog. But before I vanish I want to give insight into just how busy my schedule is.


Sunday: Leave for church at 8:30am. Get home 12pm. Go to work 2:30. Get home 11:30
Monday: Class 8 am to 12pm. Work 2:30. Home 11:30. Mandatory dorm meeting until 12pm.
Tuesday. Class 9am to 3pm. Church 6:30 to 8pm.
Wednesday Class 8am to 12pm. Internship 1pm to 6pm.
Thursday: Class 9am to 3pm. Writing group 7pm to 9pm.
Friday Class 8am to 12pm. Work 2:30. Home 11:30.
Saturday: Walking group 11am to 1pm. Work 2:30. Home 11:30.

So have I got some free time? Juggling social life, eating, sleeping, and studying.

So if you miss me during this Spring semester blogging sabbatical, then come back and get some more enjoyment out of this video of making my mom's life long dream come true.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Fly

I am joining with Lisa Jo Baker and a community of writers to write for 5 minutes on a given word. The word this week is "Fly"

 5 mins Go!

 Fly

I see myself and 400 other teens raising their hands in the air and cheering as the plane took off from the Miami airport headed to Ecuador.
Flying over the bright blue Atlantic on my first overseas trip to Spain.
Throwing up and being afraid of crashing as a 6 year old on my first flight. Hating Disneyland once I got there cause the rides were all as frightening as the airplane ride was.
Flying to Amsterdam, thinking how excited I was to be accomplishing my life long dream of going to Africa. Tearing up when we touched down in Rwanda.
Seeing the Prayer Tower from the sky when I went to visit Oral Roberts University for the first time.The excitement I felt in seeing what I had been dreaming of for a year, thinking I was just a few months away from going to school there, when I was actually 3 years away from going to school there.
 Flying to Maryland at 13 on my very first cross country trip. Never imagining the places I would fly to in just a few years. Seeing lightning bugs for the first time in Georgia, and catching them in a jar.
Stop!


Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Crazy is my stalker

Ok, it's official, crazy...just...follows me.My mom says I wear a freak magnet, and I always laughed at it as a joke, but I'm starting to see how right she is.

My job deals all day long with kids having bad behaviors. With that I have gazillions of war stories, none of which I can share on the internet due to confidentiality issues, but they are just totally wild.

After bedtime each night, my co-workers and I will sit there talking about the events of the day, and many times all we can do is sit there gasping for breath, laughing at how unbelievable some of the stuff is that happens in our work day.

All that to say, Monday was an especially wild day at work. When I went to take my break, I was ready for it. Again we were giddy with laughter at how bizarre some of the events were, and I kept laughing as I made my way to Taco Bell for my break.

Inside there was a Taco Bell worker tapping his hand rapidly on the cashier station. He looked very upset. I stared for a minute waiting to see if he would acknowledge me, then I spoke up, "Are you ok?"

He stayed in his blank irritated stare and another worker hurried to the front to take my order.

I ordered and paid, then watched quite the scene unfold.

The manager, (I assume anyway) approached the guy and said,"Let's go have a chat outside."
The worker went bizzurke and right there started shouting at the loudest decimal, cussing and nearly crying. He mumbled a lot, added in with a bit of emphasis on "Eff You!"

Right when it sounded like he was quieting and calming, he ran to the other side of the room where no one was at, and started throwing chairs and screaming with even greater emphasis on "Eff this place!"

My nerves were reeling, but I guess I was rather calm about it all because I had just dealt with similar behavior at work. I heard a worker ask the manager, "Should I call the cops?" to which he replied, "Um...."

Then I called out to the guy, "Eh, bro! I know all about how effed up bad jobs can make you feel. But how about you go calm your self down with some fresh air outside, and don't let this crappy job make you wind up with a criminal record? I mean, a crappy job ain't worth ruining a clean record am I right?"

To my delight, the guy hushed almost instantly when I said this. His breathing slowed, and he started to cry as he calmly walked outside.

The other worker apologized profusely as she handed me my food. I tried my best to laugh it off and told her, "You have no idea how used to it I am. Is he gonna be ok?"

She responded, "He's got a lot going on."

When I walked out to my car, the guy was sitting on the curb crying, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" while the manager was patting his back.

I got back to my work and the first people I saw was a supervisor and nurse. I simply laughed and said to them, "I swear, crazy just follows me."

Monday, November 18, 2013

Treats, trips, and tricks

For Halloween I went with a group from ORU  door to door collecting canned food for a homeless ministry.
Most people also insisted on handing out candy as well to us. I announced half way through, "Guys, y'all are witnessing my first time ever trick or treating!" Another girl raised her hand in the air and gave me an excited high five and cheered, "Mine too!"

Then one girl said, "Anna, you better blog about it!" And she informed me that she reads my blog regularly and gets a good laugh at my common minor misfortunes. I told her I would give her a shout out in my next post. So.....Hi Emily!!!

This last week I drove with 4 others to Dallas, Texas. It's definitely one of my favorite places and I hope to live there someday.
We spent the night listening to the preaching of Joseph Prince. It was kinda cool to me because I knew my mom had just listened to him a few nights before in Long Beach, California.

The weather has been a typical Oklahoma November...completely unpredictable. Friday was nearly blizzard worthy, Saturday felt like summer, Sunday morning was hot, and Sunday night was freezing. This morning I am wearing two layers of pants, a t-shirt, a sweater, and a coat.

Last night I got back to campus from work, and my car heater was blowing full blast. I was not looking forward to getting out and making the long trek to my dorm building.So I delayed a long while. I turned the radio on to a slow jazz station, laid my chair down, and just enjoyed the heat and music.

About 20 minutes later I hear knocking on my window. It startled me.

A guy had a look of concern and asked, "Are you ok?"
Confused, I rubbed my eyes and rolled my window down a bit, "Hmm, yeah, just listening to music."
"Oh, ok," he said while looking a little embarrassed, "I thought you were having some kinda health issue. Your car was just idling for a long time, and you weren't moving."
I just giggled, "Nope, I'm fine, just enjoying the music, ha ha, thanks for looking out for me though."

It was a bit strange but also funny, and nice to know people are looking out for me.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Africa, I miss your skies





 ORU Missions season is back in session. New teams have formed, new meetings, new fundraisers, and new dreams. I am finding myself really dissapointed that I am unable to be a part of it again this year. Missions has always been a huge part of my life, and I always feel out of place when I am not a part of it.

Oklahoma has some of the best sunsets in the world in my opinion. But one place that has it beat, is Uganda. I miss those 30 days of waking up and going to sleep with the sun and stars all shining with a glorious glow.

That's what's been on my mind lately.




Friday, November 1, 2013

Five Minute Friday "Grace"

Cindy posted something interesting on her blog, part of a large group taking 5 minutes to blog on the chosen word of the day. It's something I want to try out.
This week is on Grace

Grace:
Grace, when I wake up realizing I completely forgot about a paper due today, only to come to class and have the teacher say he's postponed the due date.
Grace, when my car won't start, and I find out I have free roadside assistance with my insurance.
 Grace, when I talk a suicidal foster girl out of her state of hopelessness.
Grace, when a foster boy gets angry at me and pees allover the room to get me back.
Grace, when that boys comes crying in apology and admits he misses his home and I am honestly able to tell him I forgive.
Grace, when the elderly man keeps me at Walmart until 2 am, talking about how much he misses his deceased wife.
Grace, when I am able to convince him he needs Jesus to heal his hurt.
Grace, when I am dreading the cold outside, only to walk out and find it is warm.
Grace, right when I am feeling like I can't do anything good, and a girl comes and tells me how much I have helped her.
Grace, when a bill gets paid by someone else unexpectedly.

That's what comes to my mind in 5 minutes of talking about the word grace.

<a href="http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/" title="Five Minute Friday"><img src="http://lisajobaker.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/5minutefriday.jpg" alt="Five Minute Friday" title="Five Minute Friday" style="border:none;" /></a>

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree


Since I got hired at a full time job in August, I have been telling my family I most likely will not be home for Christmas. As the season has drawn closer, my heart has ached more, thinking that it has been almost a year since I have visited, at it has looked like it would be more like 2 years until I would get to see my homeland.

To my surprise and joy, this week my work told me I was good to leave for 3 weeks for Christmas!
 This of course, has had Christmas on my mind all week.

One thing I never imagined when I moved to Oklahoma, was how many times I would be accused of lying when I showed people pictures of my home and told them that the giant fir trees that surrounded me were grown up Christmas trees.


So many people here have insisted that Christmas trees are used as such, because they do not grow any bigger than they are at Christmas.

One thing I very much miss about Oregon is the never ending green all around me.  Most of my life I spent every free moment I had in the outdoors, admiring the splendorous plants and animals all around me. Country life in Oregon is very different from country life in Oklahoma. In Oklhoma country is a trailer, junky cars piled up in the yard, and flat wheat fields as far as the eye can see. Don't get me wrong, I love the scenery of Oklahoma....it's just very different.

Oregon country life still has the junky cars  piled up, but it also entails rolling hills as steep as Oklahomans would call mountains. Trees taller than buildings, deer, birds, and bodies of fresh water.

Most times when I write on this blog, it's to share Oklahoma with my family and friends in Oregon. But I want to take this time to share Oregon with my Oklahoma friends.










All these pictures were taken at my home, at which I lived from age 5 to 21. This is the country life I loved...and here's the grown up Christmas trees, for all who don't believe.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Freaky Fall

Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been 12 days since my last confession...ehem...I mean blog update.
Fall has come to Tulsa and with it every day has been different. One day I want to wear an eskimo jacket, the next day is shorts weather.
Today has been a denim jeans and t-shirt kind of day.

The fall weather has brought with it some crazy encounters for me.

Last week I went into Hobby Lobby for some new decorations for my dorm. I was in there for about 20 minutes. When I came out I found I left my headlights on. My car would not start. I was a little worried because I had just filled up my tank with gas that was 39 cents cheaper than anywhere else, so I thought I had bought bad gas that killed my engine.

A homeless looking man approached me when he heard my car not starting. He said, "Your starter has gone out. You'll need a new one. I am a mechanic, I can have your car up and running in 20 minutes. Normal price is $2000, I'll only charge you $700.

The guy must have thought I was a car illiterate woman, but I knew better, that it was just my battery died, because I could hear the starter turning, and I know starters don't cost $2000

I kindly smiled and said, thanks but no thanks. Then I got on the phone with my insurance. Sure enough, roadside assistance is covered! Woohoo! Help arrived 15 minutes later, and all I needed was a jump.

The next evening I stopped at walgreens on my way home from work. Drunk guy walks in right behind me. Starts getting mouthy with the staff because they tell him he can't order pizza here. Then he stumbles towards me, and asks me if I work there too. I love drunk people cause they're so fun to mess with...
I give staff a thumbs up that, "I've got this." I say, "No, I'm just another zoo goer looking for the zebras." He asks me if I know where he can get pizza. I say, "I think there's a vendor two doors down at the shoe shop. But good luck getting past the elephants blocking the entrance. You'll wanna buy some of this alligator repellant first." I reach for the nearest object and hand him a hearing aid.
Guy kindly thanks me then stumbles over and pays $30 for a hearing aid, nods his head and walks down the street.
Me and the 2 staff just stood there busting up. Guy is gonna be very curious when he wakes up with his new hearing aid.


We had worker appreciation week at work. They've fed me pizza and cake everyday. I got a good laugh out of one of the cakes made. Old man baby cake.

I put a request in to get christmas break off from work, but still waiting to find out if I will get to be home for the holidays or not.

Then the madness continued today with more crazy frustrating yet crazy good events. Dropped my laptop, thought I broke it. Relieved when I found it still works. Lost my keys. Set my backpack in a puddle of liquid in the bathroom. Slipped and fell because of an acorn. Bird pooped on my shoulder, spilled coffee in class................................... Found $16 in my pocket that I have no clue where it came from. 


This day just got a whole lot better.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My reason

I have been at my job for a little over a month now. In that time I have been in wrestling matches, been hit, been spit on, had water poured on me, bleach spray sprayed at me, and had hand sanitizer flung at my eyes.
The other day it was supposed to be quiet time, and one person kept being talkative and disruptive. I told him that if he wouldn't be quiet, then I would take everything from his room until bedtime. He hollered back in a snooty tone, "You're so mean, why do you even want to work here?!"

I answered him in his same tone, "For the money!" I of course laughed to let him know I was joking.

I approached him and said, "I am going to be a DHS social worker in two years. I am here for the experience. I am learning from you guys. I am spending the next two years working here, learning how to help you kids, so that when I'm a social worker, I will know better how to train parents, so that other kids like you don't have to end up being sent to a place like this."

His entire mannerism changed in an instant. He replied after a few seconds of silence, "Woah, I've never heard anyone say that before. That's so cool. So I am helping you help other kids?"

I smiled, "Exactly, and that's why I need you to do your best to work with me. Help me help you, instead of always fighting with me. If you could focus on getting better, I can help figure out ways for you to improve. Then you will get to go home, and I will know more how to help other kids get better while never having to leave home."

He answered me, "I like you....I'll do that."

His behavior the past week has been amazing. It turns out all he needed was for someone to say they cared. It was also an eye opener for me. I hadn't really stopped to think about it, until that conversation. I thought the job sounded so cool. An awesome experience is what I kept telling people. But it's so much more than that. It's a life changing experience. I am learning what school could never teach me, how to heal hurt.

Every kid helped today, is a lesson for how to help another kid tomorrow. Helping abused kids is no longer a dream of mine, it's a reality.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book Ventures!

In March 2010 I turned on my laptop, opened up a new Word document, and typed the first words, "Glenn Jackson stared at the red November sunset. Curiosity glowed in three year old Annie Copeland’s eyes. Cuddling her in his arms, Glenn squeezed his goddaughter tight and smiled as he rocked the porch swing."

Since that first paragraph, the story, "Visionary" has greatly consumed my life. I finished writing it as I drove through Utah, while moving to Oklahoma in July 2012.  For a year I worked on fine tuning and editing it.

Then in July of this year, I took the advice of several literacy agents, and contacted a very welly known professional editor to see if she was interested in working on my story. 

The editor said she loved the sample I sent her, and she put me on her calendar for October 7 to November 4. 

When that is finished, I will be set to start getting some one to publish my book. 

Since I picked up a pencil and started telling stories in 2nd grade, it has been a dream of mine to publish books. Now, I am looking at being a published author hopefully by next year!



Visionary
      How one simple life became a legend


Monday, September 30, 2013

The Dark Before the Dawn

Saturday morning I watched the blue sky turn grey then black with ugly storm clouds. By midday the rain started pouring down.

In Oklahoma, it doesn't rain often, but when it does rain, it rains! It pours down like someone standing above my head with a hose.

As the rain was pouring down, the wind began to pick up. Shortly after that, the lightning and thunder started.

It was an all out, big, nasty storm.

The storm lasted all day. It seemed to get worse and worse. The power went off for about 10 seconds. If that was not surprising enough, it went off right as there was a lightning strike, startling me into thinking lightning must have struck the building.

The storm was brutal. Trees swayed in the strong wind, the rain poured so hard that I could barely see beyond 20 feet outside my window, and lightning and thunder roared for hours.

I fell asleep late that night, still hearing wind, rain, and loud thunder.

I was really expecting to wake up to more ugly clouds and gloomy weather. But instead I woke with a big smile as the sky greeted me with absolute beauty.

I then remembered that, that's how Oklahoma weather tends to be. Storms are bad, really bad, but the weather that follows is phenomenal. I am still used to Oregon weather where all I'd see for days, or even weeks, was cold rain and clouds.

When I fell asleep to terrible, and woke to beautiful, I was filled with awe, and reminded of how there is always good just around the corner of every trial.

Sunday morning I began to think about how everyday is truly a new beginning. While Saturday was dark and stormy, the next day the storm was out of sight, and the area was even more beautiful than before.

It reminded me of some of the hardest times in my life, and how even though some very ugly, very stormy events occurred, once it was all over, I could see God's beautiful saving grace through the hard times.

When I became a Christian, I was deep into some terrible addictions and actions. But when I cried out for God to save me, he did not leave me in that dark despair. Instead, he answered my cries, forgot my past, and gave me a bright tomorrow.

Monday, September 16, 2013

30 Days 30 Random Facts About Me

Day 10: Purse finder extraordinaire
One funny fact about me, is that if your purse or credit card goes missing, there's a chance I may be the one to find it. I am always finding missing things; dogs, cats, keys, credit cards, but most of all, purses.

It started about 6 years ago. I was headed to a weekend event in rural Washington. It was a warm summer day, and I was driving down a windy country road alongside a river. I glanced to my right and saw a purse on the side of the road. I hit my brakes, and then reversed. I thought, "Oh no, some one out enjoying the river forgot their purse."

I got out of my truck, planning to look in the purse for contact info, to return it to its' owner. But I was very surprised when I picked it up off the street, and it was completely empty. It was a nice black leather Mary Kay purse. I searched every corner and pocket, there wasn't even a crumb or speck of lint. It looked brand new and totally spotless.

I shrugged and took it to my truck and thought, "Guess it's mine now." 6 years later, I still have it.

Another time I was picking up a friend to take to church. She lived way, way far out in the country. Again, by a river. I picked her up and we were about a mile away from her home when I noticed a bright yellow sticking out from some bushes.

I stared at it as I passed, wondering what it was, when  I realized, it was a purse. I got out and pulled it out of the bushes. This time, it was packed with valuables; credit cards, social security card, student id, and driver's license.
 I called the contact info and got the girl's mom. She told me her daughter and friend had been at the river swimming, when someone broke into their car and stole their purses. The mom was very worried her daughter's identity would be stolen, but she was so excited when we discussed the items, and the only thing missing was cash and an iPod.

I met the girl at the church later that day. She even gave me $50 as a thank you.

The most recent find was this summer. I was out exercising with a friend, when I spotted something on the ground. I turned back around and looked closer to find it was a credit card.

I picked it up and finished my route. When we got back to campus, I tried calling the customer service line to report I had found it. But the automated calling center did not have an option for that, and it would not let me talk to a representative without entering the card's social security number.

I got on facebook and tried to look the person up. There was no profile for them, but I did notice some interesting facebook pages dedicated to a judge with that name, that were made to show hate for the judge.
I looked the name up on Google, and found out the card belonged to an Oklahoma state judge.

I ended up taking the card to the police station, because I could not figure out a safer way of getting it to its owner.


One of the most hilarious experiences though, was when I found a purse in the CCC parking lot. It had a cell phone in it, so I decided to recall the last number dialed.
A man answered in a sexy tone, "Are you ready to change your mind, my luscious lesbian lover?"

My faced burned red, and I struggled to speak, "Um, hi, I just found this phone."

The guy was so embarrassed that his voiced cracked like a 13 year old boy, "Oh! Oh....my....oh, oh God, I'm uh, I'm sorry."

I told him I was going to leave the purse at lost and found, and he said he would let his girlfriend know. He thanked me and ended the call with another, "I'm so sorry."