Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spiritual Gifts?

Found this hokey test at my friend Identity Mixed's blog....check it out here

I had theological issues with 1/2 the questions, I clicked "strongly disagree" so many times that I'm surprised it didn't come back saying I was Jewish! :) HA!

Here are my scores....doesn't appear that I'm "spiritually gifted" - oh well. There are worse things!

Following are the top three results of your Spiritual Gifts Test:

Score Spiritual Gifts Scripture Reference

67% Servant/Helps Acts 6:2-4
67% Leadership Hebrews 13:7
67% Hospitality Acts 16:14-15

This test reminded me of a conversation I had with a pastor of church in OK. We were both serving for a week as chaplains at Dwight Mission, a PCUSA Camp and Confrence Center in Sallisaw, OK. This was my 3rd summer at Dwight and it was his first. He was an oldish guy - prob in his 50s. A few weeks after camp I was moving to Northern VA to go to grad school to get my masters in Education. We were discussing this move and he said "I really think you need to stay open, I think God is going to call you to the ordianed ministry" I replied "God is calling me loud and clear, he wants me to teach in America's public schools. God calls people to things other than ordained ministry." I don't recall his comment after that, I think he just shut up. I mean really, who the h*ll is he to tell me what God wants? I know he's a pastor and all but really?

Maybe my "spriutal gift" is pissing off people with spiritual gifts?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Theses are the Cars of our Lives

My blog buddy Tal
wrote a post all about his history in cars so, since he asked about his readers cars and my comment got out of control so I decided to make it's own post...

When I was a kid we had a 1974 (I think...might have been a different year) Navy Blue Volvo Station Wagon then when it was worn out (I believe it had 100,000 miles on it, or close to it) we bought a 1986 Navy Blue Volvo Station Wagon - nearly identical to the old one except that the new one had AC and a tape deck. We were so excited when we got it my grandparents came up and we drove it Maine (from NYC area)! So my grandpa could make a religious pilgimage to the LL Bean store in Freeport.

When I turned 16 (1992)my mom bought a Lexus - and I got the Volvo tank which I drove until it got totally in an accident in 1996 - just a couple hundred miles shy of 100,000! It was a chain of event accident - there were 3 cars traveling to an Alpha Phi Omega service project. I was in the middle and the guy behind me hit me with his Jeep Wrangler at 45 mph, hurling me (I was stopped or close to it) into the Ford Taurus sedan driven by another of our friends. Thankfully, no one was injured. I attribute that to the fact that the Volvo tank was in the middle. Both my Volvo and the Ford Taurus were totalled.

For my replacement car I got a green volvo station wagon that I was never a big fan of....I wanted a Saturn (they were new at the time)but didn't feel like doing the research my parents would have required, I wanted a new car more so went with a Volvo because the purchase process would be faster. While we were shopping for my car, my mom found a purple Volvo sedan, it was too expensive for me, but she traded in her Lexus for it, this car is still in the family, it lived with me for almost a year when my parents were motorhoming and now my grandma owns it, but it lives at my uncles house.

I moved to OK in 1998 and decided I needed an American car because there were no places I could go to get the Volvo fixed. I couldn't afford a Saturn on my own and I ended up having an unfortuente encounter with a Chevy Cavalier which I sold after about a year and got finally got my Saturn.

My 1st Saturn was a 1999 Navy Blue sedan. In fact it was the last of a "dye lot" and the next set of "blue" saturns was a swimming pool blue - not pretty. I dubbed my car "Old Blue" after my Grandpa's Cadillac - it was a 1960 something blue boat, when he wasn't able to get parts for it anymore he bought an identical car to keep in the yard for part (Old Blue 2). He lived in KY and grew up in West VA.

I drove that Saturn for about 6 years and had over 90,000 miles on it. Right after I bought my Saturn the company came out with the Vue and I wanted one so in 2005 Saturn was running some good deals on trade ins with incentives and things so I traded in my sedan for guessed it...Blue Vue. Pacific Blue to be exact. Very bright, in your face blue, but I like it. I have loved this car from day 1! I have had it about 2 and 1/2 years and already have close to 50,000 miles on it, and frightenling enough I have only driven it in 4 states!

As you can see I like my blue cars. I'm also one of those people who finds what she likes and sticks with it.

Good Morning!

So it's about 4:50 am and I'm sleeping away, having a lovely dream, and suddenly I'm woken up by a horrible loud "aggghhhh" noise from somewhere in the house. By the time I'm awake there is no sound anymore, so I get up to investigate....nothing out of the ordinary upstairs, nothing strange downstairs, nothing strange in the basement....then I hear it's clearly the upstairs hardwired (ie wired into the electrical system of the whole house) smoke detector!!!!!! And it's clearly malfunctioning - the house ain't on fire and it's only going off 1st thought was "crap, I can't call the FD at 5 in the morning!!!!! They will come in a fire truck and wake the whole neighborhood!". It went off again for about a sec - then I remembered what the FD does for this problem* - shoots compressed air into the offending sensor, sometimes they get dusty - so a whole house search for the canned air I bought just for this purpose ensues. I finally find the canned air - having not heard the alarm for a good 15 mins - I spray the air into the sensor on all sides, get it good and "airy". Then I read the not spray in enclosed spaces as vapors may ignite. Great. How will I know, I just sprayed it into the smoke detector!

I guess the good news is that I know the smoke alarm will wake me up!
Here's hoping it won't go off again, only thing is that now, I'm up for good.

*About 5 years ago, on the 4th of July, I was polyurthaning a rocking chair I was painting for my classroom, and the same thing happened, only it was the one in the basement, I was pretty sure it was the fumes from the spray on poly but it kept going off after I stopped the painting. Finally, about 8:30 in the evening, just as it was getting dark, I called the FD, what else are you going to do? I can't just take the batteries out! Every townhouse in this area has the same system so I knew they must know what to do. They came, with their truck and full gear, and took their big FD fire extinguishers, and shot air into it and whala silence.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I Fought the Billy Goat and....

The Billy Goat won! The Billy Goat Trail that is, at Great Falls NP in MD.
I'm running out the door now, no time for comments, will add later...

It's later....We have had a rare stretch of cooler/lower humidity days here in Northern VA and since the pollen is finally gone so yesterday I went out to Great Falls NP. I have veen out there a few times but mostly on the VA side and I'd never done much hiking there. There's a very popular trail called The Billy Goat Trail. It boast fabulous views of Mather Gorge on the Potomac River, however those views come at a price - lots and lots of rock scrambling. I'm not big on rock scrambling but I thought, it's only 1.7 miles, how bad can it be?

After I left the visitor center I headed down the C&O Canal towpath to the trail head and I saw another side trail/boardwalk so I headed out there to see what was there....plenty of photo ops...

This is the view from the 1st bridge. There was a barrier and when I leaned on it gently it swayed!!!! yikes! Luckily it only moved a fraction of an inch!

Another view from the bridge.

At the end of the boardwalk you could see the falls - an into VA! This heron was posing right by the water - I took many pictures but these were the best.

Another shot of the heron.

This is the "offical" Great Falls. Imagine the early settlers coming up the river thinking they could take a boat all the way in and then "wham!" they hit this!

On the way back to the toepath there was a bush of these cool white ball things...they must be flowers. I was trying to photograph the flowers when the cool butterfly showed up. I had to "stalk" the butterfly for about 10 mins in order to get these shots. It kept moving and then the wind would blow, but I think you'll agree, it was worth it! :)

This is one of my fav pictures, I think it's got a future on my wall! I't going to look pretty cool against the purple!

Once on the Billy Goat trail I stopped for lunch at the 1st overlook I saw, which I dubbed "picnic rock". From my lunch spot I could see a kayaker on the river and....

Rock climbers on the VA side of the river!

As I went along the "easy" part of the trail I saw a lizard! Again, a little "stalking" yielded a cool shot, I actually have a few cool shots of him, he prob won't make it to the wall, but the pics are still cool!

This is where the rock scrambling started! You can see the blue blaze on the rock in the middle of the picture. This part wasn't so hard.

The rocks opened up and this was the view! Pretty cool.

Then we got to this part. Yes, that is the trail heading up that steep rock face. Yes, those are people on the rocks "hiking". It was here that I realized why I'd never hiked this trail before. You can't see it in the picture but the 1st person at the top has a baby in a backpack!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it. I could barely hike the trail myself and there was a woman with a baby.

It wasn't long after I made it up the steep rock face when I saw this sign! I was thrilled! No more rock climbing! I could get back to the nice, flat toepath!

I was so giddy, I had to try a self-portriat!

As I was walking by the sign I heard a huge rustle in the leaves and looked over and there was this black snake slithering his way through the leaves! Again a little "stalking" and I got some cool pics!

Back on the nice tame toepath there was still lots to see - big flowers....

little flowers (those white dots weren't visible with the naked eye! Go digital zoom!).......

dragonflies (or is it a damselfly?)........

And finally turtles....lots of turtles but I only posted the one picture!

Next time I think I'll hike on the VA side, I think there is a trail that also has great views of the gorge, but no rock climbing! Or maybe I'll try one of the "tamer" sections of the Billy Goat Trail.

All in all though, a nice day! :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

Susan tagged me a few days ago and I'm finally getting to this....enjoy!

What was I doing ten years ago?
June 1998 - I'd just moved to Norman OK a few months earlier and was navigating my 1st summer as a Christan Ed director for a smallish church. That was one of the hottest summers on record in OK - lucky for me I got to go on a 2 week mission trip with the youth to Mendocino CA where it got to 60 degrees on a hot day!

What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:
"Work" is so pervasive these days - only 2 more days with kids - that it's hard to come up with anything "not work"....I'm scraping bottom, but I will be doing work stuff all day....
1. get my allergy shots
2. pay the bills
3. read for my summer class (that's close to "work" related, but not quite)
4. Feed the dog
5. take a shower

5 Snacks I enjoy:
* The Wegman's Bakery - pretty much anything, cookies, lemon squares, elcairs, carrot cake....
* Chocolate - any candy bars like butterfinger and Nestle Crunch
* Ice cream - to counteract all the other stuff I get light ice cream!
* Kashi Dark Chocolate and Cherry granola bars
* Jello with light cool whip (for when I'm feeling guilty about all the other stuff!)

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
I'd move in to Susan's development so I could be around my friends and have the support of a great community!

I'd apply to all the foster care agency's and get my name on the list to take every baby and toddler that the state needed a temporary home for.

Foster Care alone should suck up a billion dollars pretty quick, but if there's money left over, I'd start my own school and only hire teachers who will teach within my philosophy...

Places I have lived:
In chronological order,
Alexandria, VA 1975-1979 (Waynewood area, new Mt. Vernon)
North Tarrytown, NY 1979-1987(home of WAshington Irving and the Headless Horseman)
Cincinnati, OH 1987-1993 (Indian Hill area)
Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA 1993-1997
Greenville, PA 1997-1998
Norman, OK 1998-2000
Alexandria, VA 2000-2002 (Rose Hill/Springfield Area)
Woodbridge, VA 2002- present (Lake Ridge area)

Jobs I have had:
Camp counselor
Arts and Crafts Director
Resident Assistant
Head Start Volunteer
Children's Colthing Expert (aka Customer Service at the Osh Gosh Bgosh factory store)
Substitute teacher
Christian Education Director
Day Care teacher - all ages
Filing person for a lawyer (lasted 3 days)
Kindergarten Teacher
1st grade teacher

Only a few folks left to tag....Identity Mixed, Drew, and anyone else who might be reading this!

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Today was the big day! Our brand new Wegman's opened! :)

I'd been looking forward to this for almost a year!
My friend Susan and I met each other over there - we were going to get stuff for book club, only I'd decided to skip out on book club (yesterday I was at a friends cook out and twisted my ankle and while it's not bad, I didn't want to overdo things, also it was a tough week at school and I wanted a low key day anyway so I was glad for the excuse for book club!) and she decided to bring left overs for book club so we just browsed.

Just getting in was an experience - it was like Disney World - there were SOOOOO many people. Traffic was backed up on the road in! This is DC after all so of course anything worth doing involved sitting in bumper to bumper traffic! The parking lot resembled Tyson's Corner on Christmas Eve, but I managed to get lucky and quickly scored a parking spot, a close one no less, and a shopping cart! Woo-hoo!

Upon walking in I realized that our Wegmans is much nicer than the one in Fairfax! We have 2 hot food bars, a salad bar, a whole section od pre-packaged prepared food! The whole story was wall to wall people though. I picked up some lemon squares, an eclair, some bagels - they didn't have the veggie cream cheese that I like, :( but I found some that might be good, they also didn't have the hummus I like on the Mediterrian Bar.

As we were checking out we learned that the Woodbridge Wegmans is the largest store to date!!!!! :) I'm so thrilled that I finally have an AWESOME grocery store right in my backyard! I can't wait to go back one day next week when school's out and everyone else is at work!


More Eat-n-Park Blasts from the Past

A few years ago Christine sent me this picture of some of my friends at Eat-n-Park with our favorite waitress Pixie!

I thought it would have been a great addition to my post below about Smiley Cookies, however at the time it was stuck on my broken computer! I since was able to rescue it!

Bottom Row (l-r): Chrstine, :?
Top (l-r): Drew, Pixie, Sean, Amy(?), Andy