taxidermy in my temporary bedroom

I have arrived in Juneau. It is midnight and I'm exhausted but quite relieved. I finished reading The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong on this last flight. I feel like I've accomplished something during all of my airport time. I thought I'd update you with a few new chaos stories. I have this pen that is created out of the handle of a butter knife. I am smart enough to know that this is not the kind of item that an airport security terminal wants to see. Somehow, I have NO IDEA how, but this pen was stashed in the bottom of my cosmetic case. It has been the cause of alarm at every airport. I have to remember to pull it out of my bag and put it in the bin with my laptop and cell phone just so that the security people can see it right away. I have been having to describe this item every time and it is getting really annoying.

Secondly, I was starving and decided to eat some dinner since I was stuck at the airport of 9 hours. I found a Chili's and considered it comfort food and enjoyed a nice meal of southwest eggrolls and enchilada soup. Yes, I know, neither of those are vegetarian items but I just didn't care today. Anyways, I finished up my meal and went to get my wallet and I realized that I had left my wallet under the seat in Ruth's car. I panicked. I didn't know how I was going to explain to the restaurant that I had no way of paying for my meal. I wanted to cry. Ruth lives an hour away from the airport. There was no way that she would make it to the airport in time for me to retrieve my wallet, walk through security and be back to my terminal in time for boarding. I suddenly remembered that I had pulled out my license and debit card and stuffed them in my pocket. What a relief! I think I'll be okay with just those two things. Ruth is going to send my wallet back home to Milwaukee. My flight was delayed an extra 2 hours. But I am here. I am camped out in a lounge that is nice and quiet and should allow me to get some sleep so I can enjoy my day tomorrow. I am laughing a little at the fact that I am sleeping in a miniature taxidermy museum. I'm lying on the floor right next to big stuffed black bear. On the other side of me is a big green sturgeon fish. Across the room there is a stuffed snowy owl and a few stuff ducks. I hope I don't wake up in the middle of the night and freak out. Actually, I feel cozy and content.

I'm signing off. Goodnight.


delayed delayed delayed delayed...

Well Folks, this vacation has taken control of itself and I am subject to the adventures of inconvenience. Yes, it has been an adventure. When I was driving to the Milwaukee airport I had an unsettled feeling. I was exhausted, I was afraid I’d miss my flight, and I was nervous to make all of my connections. I noticed that I was driving with both hands tightly gripping the steering wheel, sitting stiffly upright and speeding 15 miles over the limit. At that point I reminded myself that nothing was in my control and I needed to enjoy every second of this time away from home, regardless of what happens. I arrived at the airport to find that my flight had been delayed 45 minutes.

This is where it all begins. With high hopes, fingers and toes crossed, and a good book to read, I boarded the plane. I made it to O’Hare with 14 minutes to run across 3 terminals to catch my connection to Seattle. I just about collapsed at the departure screen to realize that this flight had also been delayed 2 hours. “Delayed” is a word that I’m becoming quite familiar with. At this point I was pretty sure that my itinerary was void. Thanks to my sister who helped me with some over-the-phone research I gathered together the best alternatives.

I arrived in Seattle with no connection. The airlines booked me on a Sunday afternoon flight to Juneau and left me with 2 days to wait around in Seattle. I am thankful that I have so many good friends there. I called Ruth and said, “Wanna hang out?” That was a treat indeed. I arrived at the Salin’s home with a special note on the refrigerator “Welcome Home April!”

How blessed I am to have family in so many places on the globe! How wonderful it is to not only have a bed to sleep in, but a loving embrace, a kiss on the cheek, and inspiring hospitality! I am thankful for them. Rita, Joe, Ruth and Amy, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU!
Saturday morning I awoke to a pancake breakfast, coffee and a few hours of conversation with Mama Rita. It was meaningful and helpful. It is good for me to learn from other people and to take their words to heart. Later on Saturday Ruth and I went to church and I was able to see my good good friend Paul. It was fun to walk up to him and just stand there, waiting for the shock to appear on his face. It was quite a reaction. After church we spent time chatting about life, faith, hopes and how we desire to embody the things we think and feel. My friends are amazing. This network that lives on is only strengthening as we get older. It is hard to be separated by states and seas and country borders and visa rules but when we do connect, when we do embrace each other, it is the most vivid reminder that we are not alone in this world even when we feel like it. That night the sunset was beautiful!

This morning Ruth and I walked through Pikes Place Market, bought some coffee and pastries...

and I was left at the airport to catch my 2:10 flight to Juneau. Well...that’s what I thought anyways. At the ticket counter I was informed that I had mistakenly been booked on tomorrow’s flight. Here we go again…what should I do now? Delayed once again in the Seattle airport I called a few friends in the area but Sunday noon-time usually has people occupied with church or family affairs. I am booked for tonight’s flight to Juneau which is one step closer to being in Haines. I will sleep the night in the Juneau airport and catch a cab in the morning to the 7:00am ferry to Haines where I will finally be with Vanessa and Ryan. This is my hope. I’m hoping. I'm hoping. I'm hoping.
Meanwhile, here I sit in the airport waiting around and writing. A woman just walked through arrivals and was greeted by some people walking a small poodle dog. The dog was so happy to see her that he was jumping in place almost like he was on a trampoline. This morning while at the market there was a man playing guitar outside of the original Starbucks.

In between songs he was protesting that this in fact is NOT the original Starbucks and that we are only told that because of a legal loop hole. Apparently the real original Starbucks was torn/burned down and the company transferred the original business agreement to this location and that this gave Starbucks the legal ability to say it was the original one. He was quite angry about this and I laughed when he was trying to share his bitterness with a sweet 5 year old girl who stood listening to him with a confused look on her face. Also while in the city this morning I saw an older homeless woman standing with a big fluffy poufy silver wig on and she was carrying a large stuffed teddy bear and pulling a rolling suitcase. She walked past people saying “That’s right! That’s right! That’s right!”
Gosh, I miss living here!

Thanks for reading Part 1 of my trip. Those are the only pictures I have taken so far but hopefully Haines will provide an endless landscape of beauty. You wouldn't want to see any pictures of me right now anyways. I look pretty scrubby sitting here with my Nalgene bottle and a bag of soy nuts.
Love to you!


my dream last night

I had a dream last night that my dad had a flying motorcycle and he wanted to take Stacey and I on a road trip (or sky trip)...or a trip of some sort :-) Maybe I was just tripping...if you know what I mean.

Anyways, he had this really cool Harley Davidson motorcycle that had super jet powers and Dad planned an adventurous camping trip. He packed this cooler full of really hearty food, including big juicy steaks and a whole case of beer. Talk about a feast! We got all packed and jumped on the bike and took off. It was amazing! We flew between buildings and around in circles and through clouds and it such an awesome feeling.

At one point we had to take a bathroom break. I'm pretty sure that it was Stacey who needed to use the bathroom...as usual with family road trips. So anyways, we stopped for a while in some random town and we ended up walking around and browsing through some little shops. Dad disappeared in the antique shop and when we finally found him he was carrying 3 paper grocery bags full of "treasures" he found and purchased. Stacey and I rolled our eyes.

When it was time to take off again, we had a difficult time getting everything including our bodies onto the bike. Dad said, "We have to get rid of some things!" We got into an argument because dad was trying to convince Stacey and I that we should just leave our bags behind. But we had all of the important things! He wanted us to leave our clothes and supplies behind so that we could keep the steaks, beer, and antique treasures. No one would give in. There we stood in big grassy field, standing around this awesome flying motorcycle, yelling at each other. Then I woke up.

In my dream, the motorcycle looked really freakin sweet, it was red, and it was like a rocket with wheels. When I googled "flying motorcycle" to find a good illustration the picture below is what came up. It made me laugh.


just a usual day of unusual activities

Today I put hot rollers in my hair. I haven't done that since...well...the days when mom used to poof it out for baton contests.

I went home on my lunch break to change clothes. I wasn't really digging my first choice of attire. Then after I changed clothes I decided that it was a stupid idea and I changed back into outfit #1.

I ate a Nestle' Crunch Crisp bar today and I'm really impressed.

I sat for an hour and studied rules for capitalization. I didn't learn anything and I am still confused but I actually enjoyed reading the resource books...which is something I probably should not admit.


bugs. clean laundry. tea. rain.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. For my lunch break I decided to sit out on the grass, eat my peanut butter and strawberry sandwich, and read a little of Harry Potter book 2. While relaxing, I was annoyed because I had this irritating itch on my leg, right above my knee. I would scratch it and then a few seconds later it would tickle again. So annoying! A while later I decided to go into Starbucks to get an iced coffee. First I went to use the bathroom. I pulled down my pants and was just sitting down and I looked and there was this HUGE GROSS SPIDER just sitting there on my leg. I screamed!!!! It was one of those spiders that would crunch if you smashed it. In my panic was able to brush it into the toilet and I flushed right away. Oh gross!!!!!!!

On another note, I finally did my laundry and I'm telling you, I feel like I have a whole new wardrobe! When I was sorting through the hamper I pulled out things I forgot I owned. Next time I feel like shopping I should do my laundry first. This morning I had so many options it took me forever to get dressed. I'm thinking that I smell a lot better now. I hope I didn't lose any friends in that stretch of time. :-)

I'm sitting at Mocha's right now. I ordered Jasmine Pearl tea and it was delightful. You know, tea is cool because it tastes good when it's hot and it still tastes yummy after it turns cold. It's like you get two different beverages!

It's raining today and I find it extremely cozy. Speaking of cozy, I should probably go home and get some sleep. Bye for now!


how is this okay??? tell me!!!!

THIS makes me really sad and frustrated. I think it is wrong. That's all I have to say.



After a month of pain...and gosh has it been a real pain!...I finally had my doctor's appointment for my feet. I was looking for some hopeful news like "Oh...it's just a bruise" or "Here, take this medicine and all your pain will go away!" or even "Let's just cut the damn things off!!!" Haha, I'm TOTALLY kidding!
I'll spare you the boring details of my appointment. The results are in. I have Planter Fasciatus, Tendonitis, and I'm-really-annoyed-itis.
The good news is that hopefully in a week or two I'll be pain free, at least until the next time they decide to bother me again.


life in shorewood

3 Months ago I promised to post pictures of my new apartment. I'm finally doing that. Because there are so many pictures, I made them smaller. Click on the photos if you want to seem them enlarged. Enjoy!

This is our living room space. We really enjoy the big windows. Please notice the $2 lamp I just got at a yard sale, the yellow chair that my mom was throwing away, and the awesome couch that Katie found for an amazing deal at a thrift shop.

This photo looks down the hallway towards the rest of the apartment.

Here is our kitchen. We love it! Below you can see the spice rack that I made last autumn. Other things we love include the old ceramic sink and the floor tiles.

I've really enjoyed putting together the bathroom. Shh...Katie and I stole the lavendar from someone's garden.

The Picasso poster below was one of my first projects. You can't tell from this picture but I took the plain poster and stretched it onto a canvas. Then I painted a bazillion coats of mod podge over it with brush stokes. It looks like a thick oil painting. I love it!

Welcome to my bedroom. I feel exposed now.
Anyway, the colors on the wall are Harvest Wheat and Dark Eggplant. The eggplant looks kinda black in this picture, but it's actually quite nice. It's dark, but I enjoy it.


something related to my previous post...

Today I read this post on One for the Road. I think it's worth some attention.

I especially appreciated this statement: There is no substitute for spiritual practices of prayer, reading the bible, worship, giving, fasting, or serving, but no prescribed way that works for everyone. However it is far easier to do these things communally/as part of a community rather than as a lone spiritual ranger.


i'd like to hear your thoughts.

For the past few years I have been fighting with this unsettled frustration about the way we celebrate church. I suppose it's a love/hate relationship. Some days I'm very thankful and excited about being involved within a church community. Some days I feel like I'd rather be flossing my teeth. I've learned through many different conversations and blogs that I am not alone in these feelings. Should this encourage me? I am discouraged.

I feel stuck. I don't feel liberated to leave, but I also don't feel content with the way things are. I don't know how to change things, and I don't know that I even care. I believe in the church, I support the church, I even consider it to be my family, but I don't feel at peace when I'm attending and I don't feel like the church always represents what I feel to be the true heart of Christ.

When I pull aside some respected pastors and share these thoughts I'm usually left with convincing arguments that inspire me to stick around and to be faithful. Then I listen to other respected people and I realize that their words better represent who I am becoming. I cannot seem to find the peace I am looking for and it is running me ragged.

I have concluded a few things, things which strengthen me.

-I believe in God, Jesus, and Spirit.
-I believe that God loves me.
-I love God and I have committed my life to his service and that makes me excited and inspired.
-I want all people to know God.
-I love and need community.
-I think Christianity should be more simple than it seems to be becoming.
-I think actions speak so much louder than traditions, sermons, or cheesy salvation handouts.
-My life has no meaning without my faith.
-I love creation.

This is a difficult article for me to write. My church family is part of my closest family. I feel like I am insulting the people that I love.

I want to be free and to feel free to live out Christianity in a way that best represents my convictions. I'm so tired of feeling like a heretic, or a weakling, or a rebel. I'm tired of feeling like I'm the odd one out because everyone else is really enjoying the worship service. I'm tired of being the one who would rather be entertaining guests than sitting through another church event. I'm exhausted by the programs and the forced relationships and the expectations. I'm exhausted.

I want to gather in homes and share meals. I want to sit around a table and read scripture and literature and speeches and dialogue and learn from other people. I want to sit and pray with people, doubt with people, rage with people, laugh with people. I want to volunteer in my community. I want to help the elderly. I want to save money and go on service trips. I want to take care of my family. I want to have fun and go hiking and camping and meet people for coffee and have people in my home. I want to build relationships. I want to build relationships with people who don't know or don't care about God, I don't want to just have encounters with them.

Why can't I do all of these things that I listed? Maybe it's because so many of my nights and days are already filled up with services and small groups and worship events and planning meetings and the list goes on.... and I'm not even the pastor!!! I can't even imagine how stressed how they can feel!

My point is, I am constantly asking these same questions: What is Church? What are we doing? What are we trying to do? Why am I feeling this way? Why are SO MANY other people feeling this way?

This is the point where I ask for feedback from you. Please share your thoughts.

Thank you.