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Can – Clinic in a, peeing in a

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Mission of Hope recently acquired 55 acres of land from the government in Bercy, which is about 30 minutes north of their main campus.  On this land, they are planning to build a school, a medical clinic, a church, an orphanage, and a conference center – a planned community.  Just like Florida!

In the meantime, Mission of Hope is occasionally sending teams to the property to run mobile medical clinics.  People in the community hear that there will be a chance to see a doctor for free, and they flock to what is currently the only building on the property – a cinder block hut – to line up and wait.

Once their paperwork is completed and their vital signs have been taken, they’re sent across the rock lot to have their private appointment in this:

This is a Clinic in a Can – an air-conditioned, single-wide trailer with two consultation rooms and a pharmacy.  After they have been seen by the doctor, they head to the pharmacy to pick up any meds they may have been prescribed, as well as a goody bag filled with soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and – if you’re between the ages of 15 and 60 – 6 condoms.  Along with very explicit “how-to” instructions.

I mean, doesn’t it ever cross your mind?  Sometimes don’t you wonder who the lucky illustrator of contraceptive clip-art is?

As for me, I snuggled with this chunker for awhile.

I tested for Bieber Fever by singing “Baby” – and ALL THE KIDS SANG ALONG.

And finally, I peed in a bucket.

I did it just so I could say “I peed in a bucket” on my blog.  Feel free to congratulate me on my moxie.

Earning my freckles

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

I’m back in the office this morning.

And apparently, in the 7 weeks since I’ve sat at this desk, the sun has shifted.

Nesting: a (sort of) photo essay

Monday, January 10th, 2011

I made it back to Denver on Saturday night, and when I walked into my apartment, I swear, it took everything in me to not drop to my knees and kiss the hardwood floors.  For all of the trips that I take, I am a bona fide homebody.

Yesterday, it started snowing.  It was pretty and white and wintery outside, so I looked out the window for awhile.

Then, while still in my pajamas, I made my best breakfast, and drank 3 cups of coffee in quick succession.

This is too much coffee, so after that, my hands were jittery.  But I managed to plug in my new Sonicare toothbrush, which I got for Christmas.  It’s changing my life.  I’ll never go back.  NEVERRRRRR.

I looked at my new wall-hanging, a gift from my sister-in-law.  And then my heart exploded with sprinkles.

At one point, I ventured out to buy myself some yellow roses – because according to L’Oreal, I’m worth it?

I opened all of my mail (6 weeks’ worth – Merry Christmas to ME), and loved all of the holiday cards that my friends sent.  I put them on my fridge.

Then, I pulled out my food processor and made almond butter.  I added a little bit of vanilla and cinnamon to make it taste like heaven, that’s what.  I didn’t want to put it in a Tupperware, because please, ugly – so I decided that a glass butter dish would work just fine.

I acknowledge that this totally doesn’t look as appetizing as it is.

I also made chocolate chip cookies.  I didn’t get a picture.  I promise it’s not because I ate all of them – it’s just that they’re now in a plastic bag in my cabinet, and who wants to see that?

I talked on the phone for awhile.  I didn’t get a picture of that, either.  But it happened.

I examined my current physical ailments – eczema on my hands, 5 swollen toes on my left foot (do I have the Gout? I’M SERIOUS), and yellowing bruises on both of my forearms.  All are a mystery.  And again, no picture – but let’s be honest, you’re totally okay with that.

I watched a documentary called “The Art of the Steal.”

Finally, I ventured to the gym and ran 5 miles on a treadmill, which did not bode well for the 5 swollen toes on my left foot, or, incidentally, my mood.  Then, I went to Target and bought graph paper, because how much do I love graph paper?  It’s so regimented and orderly, and when I write on it I can tell myself to “read between the lines” and totally mean it.

That was yesterday, but this is today – and today, it’s 3° outside and I am feeling positively unwell.  So it’s a sick day for me – back to bed to hopefully sleep off the crud (and the Gout).

The saddest day

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

I know.  You have been nervously refreshing the page every moment since last Friday, awaiting an update as to the Honda’s fate.

Well, people, I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that I’m alive.

The bad news is that if oil were blood, my engine would be the beaches of Normandy.

The burning rubber smell of last week was due to an oil leak on par with the BP debacle of 2010 – but I had that under control, and it wasn’t the Honda’s demise.  The unrelated, unexpected, and ultimate downfall came when the timing belt snapped, and there was internal damage to the engine.

The good news is that this happened Sunday morning 8 miles outside of Kansas City, and I’ve been able to stay with my brother and sister-in-law and nephews.

The bad news is that I will never drive the Honda again.

I will never drive the Honda again.

This isn’t how I imagined it would happen.  After all I’ve been through with and in this small-but-mighty car, I envisioned the end to be the engine catching on fire, or hitting a bighorn sheep or something.  I kind of hoped for a more spectacular blaze of glory.  Instead, death came quickly and silently, rolling the Honda to a quiet stop on the shoulder of I-70.

The nail in the coffin was the price quote for a full repair.  Dude, if I had that much money, I would buy Christian Bale to CARRY ME AROUND.

So just after it’s 21st birthday, I am selling my beloved Honda for salvage.  The money I’ll get isn’t enough to cover what I’ve spent in the last 24 hours.  I know, it’s just money.  But still – lame, right?

As for me, I am stranded in Kansas City.

And I haven’t been home for 6 weeks.

I’ll let you figure out how I’m doing.

Rest in peace, old Honda friend.  Here’s to the good times.

“Thirty-five boxes can’t be wasted”

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Just when you were starting to forget it, I’m bringing up the song again.

In response to my video, Lärabar sent me the most wonderful package containing, among other goodies, 4 boxes of Cocoa Môlé.  That’s 64 bars – I’LL NEVER GO MÔLÉ-LESS AGAIN!

I love Lärabar.

When words won’t do, post pictures

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Mankind, sit up and take note.

With one seamless effort, I have – once again – proven myself the best parallel parker in the universe.  Gold medal, AP.

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Here are Julie and Mel, my former roommates who were bridesmaids in a friend’s wedding last weekend.  They are stunners.  I miss them so much I can hardly breathe.

(Also, check out Mel’s ring – bow chicka WOW.  Guess who’ll be a bridesmaid in Nashville come New Years Eve?)

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Speaking of weddings and photos, my brother and sister-in-law are blowing the house up (is that a term? Can we make it a term?).  I was at back-to-back weddings with them in September, and I think you should check out the pictures from Josh & Meg‘s and Kyle & Emily‘s weddings.

West Nasty

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Nashville Miranda has been visiting this weekend, and on Saturday, we climbed Quandary Peak in our East Nasty shirts.  Miranda did awesome, because she is a hoss, and this brings my 14er total to 13.

Depending on weather, I might climb yet another this coming weekend.  It’s still in the 80s in Denver.  I’m still waiting for fall.

On Saturday night, we saw the movie “Catfish.”  Because the marketing scheme for the movie is “don’t tell anyone what it’s about,” far be it from me to spoil the plot.  But I will contribute to the frenzy and tell you that it’s worth seeing.  The internet is weird – so, so weird.

Same difference

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

One of the very embarrassing ways that I spend my free time (and oh, I have a lot of free time) is making photo collages of things that are similar.

I know: BORING.  But I’m a connector, okay?  It’s just what I do.  I see things, and make connections in my brain, and then introduce otherwise unconnected people or things to each other.

Remember my vast amounts of free time.

So, here is Sam trying to be as cool as I am.

And here are me and my new friend Mike just HAPPY TO BE ALIVE – smiley and squinty in nature.

And here is a lizard in Becca‘s light, and then a scorpion in Ginger‘s.

And here I am at my desk at precisely 2:30pm 4 days in a row.  Too sunny.  Denver is just too sunny.

And… well, that’s all I have today.

Home is wherever I’m with you

Monday, September 20th, 2010

I spent the weekend in Southern Colorado, just a stone’s throw away from New Mexico, at a cabin with family and friends and dogs and sangria.  The aspens were turning, giving the mountains blond patches in their otherwise dark beards.  We celebrated the wedding of Kyle and Emily amid golden leaves and vivid blue sky, and the entire event was magical.

This was Kyle and Emily skipping down the aisle while we (the band and the bridal party) played this song on guitars, banjos, tambourines, and kazoos.

Are they not the cutest?  I love them.  They are playful and joyful and uninhibited, full of love and life.  I am lucky to count Emily and her sister Hannah as the closest thing I have to sisters – you know, besides my own sisters.

The entire weekend was a joy.  I can’t wait to point you toward the official pictures, courtesy of (who else?) The Parsons Photographers… coming soon.

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Speaking of joy and magic and love, this was a conversation I had with my 6-year old nephew at the campfire on Friday night.

Annie: What are some animals that lay eggs?
Micah: Crocodiles, fish, turtles, stars…
Annie: Stars?
Micah: Yeah, stars.  All of the stars we see are star eggs – and when they hatch, it’s daylight.

I love this little boy more than life itself.

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After a long, long, many-months-long stretch of vagrant, vagabond living, I will now experience an unprecedented 27 nights in my own bed before it’s time to leave town again.

No one invite me anywhere.  No one get married.  This chicky needs to nest.

Tug

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Well, what can I say. There you are, chugging up the hill, successfully pulling the heavy load – and then in one brief moment, the balance shifts, and the load is pulling you.

Life is a cosmic tug of war.

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So, tug.

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Laughing Cow now makes blue cheese wedges.

If you don’t like blue cheese, you won’t like them. Then again, if you don’t like blue cheese, it’s time to accept the fact that you just don’t have good taste. Then AGAIN again, Laughing Cow is made of “cheese product” – so why do I admit to loving it anyway?

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Tug.

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Do you know Holly and Meagan? If you don’t, you should. I (finally) met them in person on Sunday night, and they are the deep sigh of relief you breathe when you realize your soul is safe.

It’s a rare thing for me to fall head-over-heels in love with people so instantly. We’re already scheming ways to see each other again.

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Tug.

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I am not in control – even when I think I am, I’m not.  I cannot force the world to spin a certain way, nor can I force anyone else to act or think or feel any way other than the way they are going to act or think or feel.

But I always have a choice for me.

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Tug.

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“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

- Christopher Robin to Pooh