Saturday, November 22, 2014

Are All Cowboys This Hot?!

This has been a hard week for me...
Yes, work has been difficult....
But being surrounded by all these hats and boots has been so tempting - and then I saw this hottie and I'm head over heels and ready to move to Amarillo!

And such is a fine example of sarcasm:)
Can you believe the facial hair on this guy?!  And you can see underneath he was probably a really good looking guy!  I blame the woman who didn't say "Hank - shave that face or no more smoochin, dad nab it!"

As mentioned - work was not great.  We were once again foiled by my competitor - but we're not giving up and neither is my customer.  I've been scared of the director and all others at this site, but theyre being won over and I'm being as open and honest as possible so I'm  gaining their undying loyalty -I hope and pray!:)

By Friday afternoon we knew we couldn't do anything more so we had a meeting with Materials and then I treated my installer to fee admission at the American Quarter Horse Museum:). I know - now everyone wants to work with me!  
They actually have horses so he was semi interested.  I learned a very little bit and, as always, was impressed by the muscle tone on those horses!  It's unbelievable!  I wish I could get that muscle definition - but I wouldn't want to herd cows or wrangle of rope or whatever else you have to do as a Quarter Horse.  So never mind... 

And now it's Saturday and I'm on my way home via Denver...

And I'm hopefully returning to a little "warm" weather for a few days!  Back to the land of snow boots and knit hats!  No cowboy boots or ten gallon hats here!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Way Out Yonder

On my way to Amarillo, TX - passing through Denver.  And so begins a different world.

Denver is an airport full of cowboy boots and huge hats - little boys clad with western wear headed to "steer ridin" competitions in "Junction Springs".  Old men in plaid with worn out ball caps sitting behind you chatting in sauntering tones about stabbing things in the neck and the taste of certain meats as opposed to others....
Excuse me while I put my headphones on.

And so two delightful days in Amarillo commence.  Not much different down there except for that the only meat you really eat is cow ... And if you can eat 72 oz of it in one sitting - you get the meat and a t-shirt for free!
Hold me back!

We land and immediately outside the gate we're presented with a large JW table with two big haired ladies holding a sign that says "Is Satan Real?"

My bags come out on the luggage belt surrounded by rifle cases while various men in camouflage strap their backpacks on and grab their gear and discuss heading out for the hunting championships.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Going Home Again

Thank goodness this flight isn't as long what I had on Tuesday!  And I've definitely been warmer even though its been colder - heat on demand really warms even a cold country up!

Didn't get everything I had expected to done on this trip.  Disappointing but I suppose that's life.  I'm learning to pick my battles and be willing and ok to lose some!  Ah - sweet resignation!

Got back to the airport early enough to grab something to eat.  Julie had been taking about how when they fly out if Minneapolis they have to grab her beloved chick fil a one last time before returning to a sad, cold, chick fil a-less country.  Decided I was going to head that way just in her memory - well, she's still with us so it was not "in her memory".   It was a little hike and I passed a Pei Wei and a couple other places that looked good, but I continued on because I was missing the Julie's.... And then I got there and got my chick fil a and it just made me feel close to them so....
Julie - I ate my chicken sandwich just for you!  But don't tell Eli:)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I Can't Do Math...

But at least I can read:)

Are we in China?!

And is it sad that when the bag guy brought my plane side checked bag up - his comment to me as he looked at and handed me my bag was .... "A lot of travel...."  As in - get a life!

It's snowy and cold - but it's sunny here in the cities!

Deicing Season Is Upon Us!

I got back in from China Tuesday night.  Worked at home and caught up on laundry and life on Wednesday.  And now I'm back on a plane headed to Minneapolis on Thursday.

There was some light Chicago snow this morning so as they were closing the doors - that horrid word was spoken.  "We will be waiting as we deice the plane".  Wah!!!! Not already!  I'm not ready for another winter.

But I'm resigned that it will happen.  I need to steel myself and just buckle in and wait it out until next spring.  At least we have the holidays to look forward to - and then many more months of winter....

Consider voting for me?  Christmas - February 2015!  Makes it so much more tolerable when you've got that festive holiday to look forward to!  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


It's hour three of my 13 hour flight from Beijing and I'm already getting contemplative and introspective.

I've been sitting here - actually laying here as I have three empty seats to stretch out in - God is so good even to give us little things like 3 empty seats:). I've been laying here thinking about the "greenhouse of faith" that I'm leaving behind.  I've been thinking about the difference between growing your faith and giving your faith and I've come to the conclusion that - there is no difference.  

It seems that we, as Christians, always feel like we have to be so intentional with our faith - always giving, always doing, always reaching out.  However, when I consider what faith is and what active, growing faith is... It's imploding!  

Imploding is a word I use often in my line of work.  So let me explain my thought process via example.

In a hospital CS, most departments will have a machine called an ultrasonic.  An ultrasonic is a kind of bath of water, usually about 12-15 gallons.  You take a set of dirty instruments and immerse it down into this bath, push the "on" button and its starts sending out high frequency waves through this bath of water which subsequently creates these tiny little bubbles that start churning out through the water and land on the dirty surgical instruments and then IMPLODE!  This is the most amazing way to clean!  When you blow a bubble and it EXPLODES, it merely pops and makes a big noise and just spatters everywhere being nothing more than a nuisance rather than something amazing.  But the amazing act of IMPLOSION is that when those tiny bubbles hit the instrument and a chunk of debris, the bubbles implode and creates this amazing vacuum that just sucks everything in with it on the way out.

Imploding faith is this faith that is so deep and so spontaneous that it goes out in everyday life and just implodes because its so full of God.  And when it does so, instead of just making noise and mess -it actually just spontaneously draws in the mess and the yuck and when faith pulls mess and yuck in, it hands it to God who makes more amazing implosions.

Faith is the thing scripture calls unseen but it is seen because we experience it daily and when we experience those small bursts of faith, it can't help but affect others.

What I think God has taught me these past weeks is -don't worry about giving your faith - it's not yours to give anyways... Be more concerned with growing your faith because through growing it you can help but start living it and by living it, it just naturally implodes it and then God can take those people that your implosions pull in and God can touch a heart and can cause an implosion there.

I've been imploded on these past few weeks.  It's an amazing experience and it makes me want to go home and start looking to God more to grow my faith so that my sharing comes through those same natural implosions that I've witnessed in China. 

Thank you for your imploding faith - Zach, Julie, Phyllis, Garry, Elaine, JJ - and others that I indirectly/directly experienced through being involved in a conversation or witnessing your faith in action while you were showing hospitality.  Thanks to the implosions that you created with Zach and Julie!  

This post is dedicated to all those great greenhouse Christians that I've left behind who are working through their faith - keep on working and doing great things for God through that working through!  We'll be praying for you!

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Long And Short Of It

Im sitting at the airport getting ready to leave China.  And as I sit, I'm considering some things...

Things Ill Miss
-Seeing the sun (which I actually SAW more these past two weeks than Ill probably see at home starting Chicagi winter!)
-Pretzel rolls from Jenny's
-Red bean scones.... My last one at the airport:(

-Cheap name brand shoes, purses and clothes from little shops that try to act like they're not there.
-Feeling like I'm some kind of movie star when I go out and random people point and take my picture because I look different (and to my friends and family - no smart comments about my looking "different"..:) 
-Chinese Starbucks chats with my friend:)!  This should actually be number one!
-Appreciating the ability - no - expectation to have and exhibit emotions when you're driving or being pushed around in a line or on a train
-The danger of just crossing a street
-Feeling this amazing community of growing, thriving, stumbling, breathing, hurting, loving, forgiving, messing up and trying it again believers that I sometimes wonder if Ill ever feel in the states because this atmosphere creates this greenhouse of faith that spills out the windows and doors and affects others in a way you can't help but notice.  I'm especially sad about leaving these people!  Zach and Julie being prime example number one!

-Crowded subway trains with people leaning on your back and stepping on your toes and shoving in the minute the doors open 
-Playing "I'm it" when standing at a checkout and fighting for your place in line!
-People who are unaware of the concept of a schedule or time
-Breathing chunky, black air
-Not seeing the sun because of the black, chunky air 
-Squatty potties
-Throwing your used toilet paper in a trash can instead of said toilet 
-Trying to figure out how much money you're getting every time you go to an ATM
-Spotty speedy Internet
-Feeling like you're in a game of Frogger when you're in a car
-Not being the one having fun playing Frogger while you're in a car - you just can't get as angry or frustrated if you're not behind the wheel!:)
-An entire country that doesn't have the ability to even comprehend basic good manners and the act of thinking of someone else that you may not even know.
-Ordering a coffee from Starbucks and just having to keep it to the pictures and the actual list of drinks - no special orders like 3 pumps or 3 shots or hazelnut latte.  Just point and say the words they know
-Exceedingly dirty cars you accidentally brush up against and get the dirt from 1000 factories on you
-Putting things in your mouth that you literally don't know where they've been- all while a group of eager Chinese watch you with great expectation
-Doing laundry and not having a dryer:)