Monday, April 27, 2009


What? You mean I haven't been on here in forever?

You mean I have gone into radio silence for days and days?

What is up with that??

Hmmm ... well, nothing really. My problem is that I have a great idea for a blog when I am at a time where I can't blog. Then, I forget all about my idea when I do have time and so I don't take the time to sit down and blog. Silly Rachel!

Instead, I spend lots of time watching "The Office" and falling for a fictional character.

Oh well. It's just what I do! But now that I have finished Seasons 1-4 and they no longer have the earliest episodes of Season 5 online, I guess I will have a lot more free time on my hands.

Or just more time to get sucked into something else.

For example, I have Twilight sitting on my shelf, just waiting to be cracked open. We'll see. Soon perhaps. I have seen the movie and was not impressed and I don't necessarily see the need to fill my life with vampire love stories.

Or perhaps I can concentrate more on my work.

For example, I have about 15 books for little kiddos (just like the precious gem in the picture) that need to be wrapped before Wednesday for their end of Cubbies party. I have a whole computer system to switch over. I have a bunch of camp registrations to deal with. I have one more church to line up in my speaking schedule. I have cleaning and painting to do. I have one more test to take before I'm done with school. I have four more Beth Moore lessons to do before Friday.

Yes, I think I have plenty to do without spending my life sucked into TV/Books/Facebook/Google Reader/whatever else I choose to spend my life on.

So, what am I waiting for??

Thursday, April 16, 2009

my friend

My apologies for the smallness of the pictures.
I stole them from my friend's Facebook page and apparently that does not translate well.

This is someone who I am proud to call my friend. He is not afraid to answer the call of duty and go places.

Where is he going you ask?

Well, he is going to war. He is a proud member of the Minnesota National Guard and is soon going over to Kuwait for a year. This is his second tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a medic and is looking forward to being able to take care of his fellow soldiers and keep them well hydrated.

That's my mom. She went roadtripping with me to his going away party. We had a great time!
Isn't she pretty? She just got her haircut and I love it!!

Best of luck Elisha! I am going to miss talking to you and knowing that you stalk my blog. I can't wait to hear all of your stories and read your photo journal. And take a cut of your book! My prayers are with you!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

hello road! it's nice to see you again.

See that?

No, no, past the weird frog looking thing that is attached my window.

That, my friend, is the open road. The open road and I are tight. Close even. We've definitely made it past casual acquaintance and moved more to buddies. Especially this road. This road and I are even reaching the point of true friendship. After all, what do you need to build a good friendship? Time and commonalities? Check and check!

(the weird frog looking thing is pretty cool looking though, isn't he? he is why i took the picture. oh the wonders of mud! sadly, he met his maker soon after and was washed down the drain with all the rest of my carter county dirt)

This is me driving. Yes, I take pictures of myself while I drive. Yes, it's weird. Perhaps even a little dangerous. And, oddly enough, I look strangely mad in most pictures that I take. I went with a more friendly tone to share with ya'll.

How sweet is this?? I mean, seriously, how many side cars are out on the road these days? I considered asking for a ride, but then thought that could get a little weird. So, instead, I just took pictures (trying to be all sneaky so I wouldn't be caught).

I like partaking in a meal that isn't just a meal, but an event.

This boy loves his spaghetti. LOVES. HIS. SPAGHETTI.

This boy isn't too interested in spaghetti yet. But he and his chubby cheeks are still welcome to hang out with me anytime!

Have you ever been to wedding land? Wedding land it that magical place where you are inundated with tulle and lace and chiffon and shoes and tiaras and ribbons.

(just to clarify ... I did not visit wedding land for me. I visited wedding land for the glowing girl sitting beside me)

Please take note of this picture. This is me and my Bethany. The following pictures are also me and Bethany. But, well, ummm ... I guess I just wanted to give you the heads up on that. So there wouldn't be any question. Cause, well, umm ... we don't really look like that. Well, mostly like that. But not completely.

See what I mean?

I guess this one would have been pretty obvious as to who we are. However, I did want to provide you with a normal picture (see above. no, not that above. the above above) of us so that you wouldn't think this is just how we walk around. You know, all tulled and cowboyed up. It might be common ... it's just not ALWAYS.

And finally ... a little erkins (Perkins to the unintiated), a little breakfast, a little coffee (for her, not me) and a little girl talk ... great way to get me ready to head back out on the road!

(just for the record ... I am not entirely comfortable starting my sentences with "and". but it just works out so well a lot of times. I'm sorry Mr. Undseth!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

thursday night in a small town

Tonight a dog ran into the diner I was eating in. And I sat there and watched while people ran around chasing it, shooing it away from the kitchen towards the door and then repeat that sequence a couple of times. Then the girl I was eating with sprayed Dr. Pepper out of her nose.

Hows that for a hook? Specially when it's all true? Welcome to small town living!

One of the local ladies decided to do something different with her Sunday school girls this year and get the Christian ladies of the town involved. During the summer/early fall she passed around a list of Biblical women and asked us all to pick the person that we identify the most with.

After thinking about it and getting her input, I went with the Widow who gave her mite. Granted I did not give up all THAT much to come to Montana, but I was still willing to take what little I had and give it over to God. I had never really thought of my story in relation to sacrifice, but it was cool to think about it.

Anyways. As Debbie worked through the Bible, she would ask each lady to come and have supper with her girls on the Thursday night after they talked about that specific story. That way that girls would get a chance to get to know some of the local ladies better and the ladies could spend time with some of the younger generation.

Tonight was my night. I had been waiting and waiting and waiting for months and finally got the call. So, I excitedly headed over to the Wagon Wheel at 5:30, ready to impact these young minds and impress them with my wonderful self.

Of course, of her class of four girls, I know three of them fairly well and recognize the other one. But still. You never know what God has for you!

Turns out one girl was sick. Bummer. Another girl had to go home cause it wasn't very nice out today and she lives on a ranch, so they just headed out of town after school. Well, that left two girls. Not bad.

Except these are the girls that I have worked with in AWANA. One of them for two years (she stopped coming this year) and the other one for three years. So, I'm nothing too exciting to them. But they still seemed willing to hang out with me so we sat down and ordered (Thursday = breakfast night at the Wheel!) and waited for the food to come.

Soon the girls are regaling me with stories from school of being hit on the head by the door and getting kicked for accidentally hitting someone else. They slurp down their shakes and Dr. Pepper and gradually get more and more animated and excited. Soon they are laughing and choking and falling out of their chairs.

Occasionally they ask me questions about myself but do not really have a long enough attention span to pay attention to the answer. The only time they focus on me all night is when they ask me if I am dating a certain guy because they always see me with him (I am not, just for the record). Then they want to see the pictures on my phone and found videos that were taken by my friend when the phone belonged to him.

People we know walk by and come in and we smile and wave and say hi. Then in trots a dog. Just like that. Walks in and starts for the kitchen. Soon everyone in the place is yelling the dog's name (cause obviously everyone knows this dog) and chase it around and around the room. One of my girls gets up to help block the kitchen. Just when they think they have the situation under control, the dog makes a break for it and goes back to the food. Finally the owner figures our where she disappeared to and comes in to get her out.

After the girls got calmed down from that, they finish up their meals and start wandering around. They pick up a lot of the different "Made in Montana" products and start oohing and aahing over the lotions and the huckleberry taffy. After awhile, they come back to the table and suck down the rest of their beverages. I was making fun of them for being so hyper and while one girl claimed she was going to go home and calm down, the other girl said she was going to go home and eat sugar cubes all night. Apparently this was the funniest thing she could have said, as the other girl shot Dr. Pepper out of her nose in appreciation.

I gracefully extracted myself from the situation (read : ran away as fast as I could) and came home, grateful to not be in 5th grade anymore.

However, there must be bliss in just being yourself. Enjoying the moment and everything in it to the fullest. Every joke is the funniest, every story is the best. Remember those days?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

my reality

Today I had to go to town to buy tires. Well, actually I wanted to go last week, but this was the first day that my schedule and the weather meshed.

I stopped in to get gas at Fruits and asked about the condition of the road. You see, the road that I need to travel in order to get where I was going has about 13 miles of gravel. Pavement on two sides, gravel in the middle. The report to be had was that it was rough, very rough.

So, I did the sensible thing and went around. Which means in order to go south, I go north. And west. Then south. But hey, at least I got to be in three states!

(add the one other one I went through to get home and I hit a grand total of four states to go to a town two hours away)

Went to town, sat at the tire place, became the proud owner of four brand new tires, went to Maurices, tried on pretty much everything in their store, bought barely anything, went to Walmart, tried on nothing, bought lots of things and then it was time to head home.

With the mood I was in, I definitely definitely definitely was no the least bit excited to go around the way I came. It adds an extra hour to the trip and it is also in the middle of nowhere.

Yes, I am also from the middle of nowhere, so it is nothing new to me. But at least in my normal middle of nowhere I know people who live nearby who would gladly help me out.

Not that the SoDak and NoDak people wouldn't help me out too. It's just that I don't know them. And that makes it just a bit more creepy when you're a single girl, traveling a lonely road with no cell phone coverage in the dark.

I tried calling one of my sources to ask about the road conditions (I know it was rough this morning, but I figured with a full day of sun, the situation had to have gotten better). I couldn't get through to them, but I was willing to go for it.

Even the negative report from the convenience store lady couldn't discourage me (so what if yesterday all that could get through was 4 wheel drive pick-ups??) After all, I had brand new tires that were super-ply and picked especially because I drive the Alzada and Hammond roads (which means nothing to you non-Carter countians, but thats ok!). So, no problem right?

And, this time I was right. (there have been other times when I haven't been so right ... but that was when I was new here and not quite so Carter county savvy. all that has changed now) There were a couple of tricky spots and it was pretty rutted which swung my car around a bit, but nothing at all like camp where I drive everyday. So, no worries.

Of course, in addition to having to be careful not to get pushed around by the road, I had to keep the usual eye out for deer, cows and sheep. The rabbits ... well they're on their own. They don't damage the car as much and they are just plain suicidal.

However, the Lord placed a battallion of angels around my car and I made it home quite intact. The new tires are beauts and performed way above expectation. The animals all behaved and avoided my car like the plague (well, come to think of it, we did have one who thought its immunity was up to the challenge, but I was able to persuade it otherwise). Now I am home all safe and sound.

The whole way home I kept thinking about what was not normal and never thought of by me when I first moved here has now become commonplace to me. What do I mean by that? Well, since you asked, let me summarize:

Everytime I want to go to "town", I have to watch the weather like a hawk. Blizzards and snow storms and extended periods of rain are all bad. That makes the gravel gooey and ooey and generally undrivable. Once I have a good weather day, I have to plan to be gone for a whole day or at least a majority of it. With a minimum of four hours of travel, plus doing whatever needs doing, time flits quickly away! Which means Millie needs a babysitter and I need to take time off from work (unless the places I need to go are open on the weekends). When I do my shopping I have to keep in mind my niece's friend's sister's daughter's birthday coming up in two months so I will have a gift. I have to remember to get that toothpaste and shampoo, because there is no running out to the store to get it (well, I could, but I would pay about double of what WalMart charges). I have to keep my eyes peeled for deer and cows and sheep (yes, all of the above. yes, I know people who have hit any or all of the above list of animals, plus some others). All that and much more is part of my reality here in Montanaland.

So, what's your reality? Planning for rush hour and lack of downtown parking? Planning around the kids' soccer practice and when the busiest time at the grocery store is? Planning around work and church and small group and Bible study? What has become commonplace and not consciously thought of in your life?

Monday, April 6, 2009

the bathroom ... an update

Because my bathroom now looks like this ......

and this ....

I was able to do this ....

and move back home! It is not 100 % completed but who needs a sink anyways? Or completely painted trim? Or the actual floor?Not this girl! She just needs her bed. And her dressers. And her comfy chair. And a shower and a toilet.

However, it would be nice if it came with a Janica. Yeah. That would definitely make it better.