29 November 2009

There's no use crying...

...over spilt coffee!
So, I'm sure at least some of you are familiar with the phrase, "no use crying over spilt milk." Well, I would never do that because I don't really like milk to begin with. The only thing it's actually good for is coffee and cooking. Technically, I spilt the milk that was inside my coffee, yet I was beyond crying at that point because my list of mis-haps had gotten so long, that I laughed and headed for a camera instead.
(I'll explain the glass jar inside the coffee cup later)
Have you ever had a day like that? Where everything just seems to go wrong? Well, I've had a series of them and thought I would share some of them with you and a little of what I have learned thus far. Hopefully you will get a chuckle out of most of them. For those of you who really know me, know this is normal. Those of you who know me only through Poland have been somehow spared from my clumsiness so far. (until Thanksgiving, that was)

Happy Birthday: Joshua's birthday (my bro) was Nov 14 and I called to wish him a happy birthday only to get his voicemail. I started into the song and got through "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...." and totally blanked on the words. All I could remember after that was monkey and too...not gonna call him that. Who forgets the words to Happy Birthday!?

Pumpkin Pie Party: We were going to start at 4 and the first people showed up at 5. Lots said they would come and then a number of them ended up sick. Sad! We still had a lot of fun - just a lot later than expected! Just one thing on top of others that didn't go as planned.

The Rotten Egg: My first and hopefully last experience ever! It was my turn to make Sunday lunch - and I decided to make quiche. It's easy, right? Got to the 5th of 6 eggs and it was ROTTEN. It squirted and landed on my upper arm, running completely down it, while the rest ran through my fingers and the crushed shell ruining the other eggs already in the bowl. With the overwhelming smell, no more eggs and quite grossed out I threw it away, opened the window washed off, etc. and ran out the door down to the bazaar for fresh eggs and finished making the pie filling where we have home group.

No Walnuts, Soup or opening car doors for me: I went to the dentist to get fillings (that should be one in it's own - can we say ouch?) and decided eating solids might not be the best idea that evening. I headed to a store to get soup - nope - it didn't want to scan so no soup for me. The lady tried explaining and asking if I really wanted it and I couldn't respond because my tongue and mouth were still numb from Novocain. (Not that my Polish is good enough anyway) The following day, the same thing happened with a bag of walnuts at another store. Was already a little bummed and went to get in the car. I kindly waited as this lady was trying to park next to us and she pulled in soooo close. I figured she would back up and straighten out but NOPE. My friend actually had to pull the car out before I could get in it.

The Kicker:
All this happened in a matter of ONE day -
- I fell out of bed while trying to stand and turn off my alarm, hurting my wrist and foot because my entire left leg was asleep and I didn't know it.
- made coffee and tried to open a small jar of sugar and the whole thing, jar included, fell into the coffee cup, splashing everywhere. (yes, that's what is in the coffee cup above if you were wondering)
- went to get the pie crust dough to start making the pumpkin pies for our Thanksgiving meal only to find the birds had gotten into it while on my balcony the night before. (There was no room in my fridge and this usually works just fine for free refrigeration but not this time!)
- was on the 2nd to last spice for pumpkin pie and dropped the thing into the mix. That was fun fishing it out of egg, milk and spice goop! Thankfully everything including my hands were clean.

Then the phone rings and I ran some stuff down to a friend, came back up to finish the pie... only to realize the following day during our Thanksgiving celebration meal that I FORGOT THE SUGAR after over half the pie was gone!!! OOPSE. I felt terrible. We had some of our Polish friends with us who had never had a traditional Thanksgiving meal before. Most had never seen a turkey cooked whole. lol... Out of all the things I could have ruined, I ruined the pies. Hopefully another first and last.

After all these things happened, at least I understand that it's so much better to laugh than to cry. You get out just as much emotion but you don't feel half as bad. These were all minor instances and distractions...but even those - over time - can become very overwhelming.
When you feel like nothing is going right or will go right.
When you add up the time spent fixing them or cleaning it up and you have lost almost an entire day of ministry because of timing setbacks.
When you have to ask "why!? why me? why now?"
When it's embarrassing or frustrating.
When you want to crawl in a hole till better luck comes your way
When it's topped off by you inbox being flooded with more bad-news emails.
When it's out of your control...

If laughter doesn't feed your soul, this knowledge will:
God is bigger than all of it and in complete control.
What is above our heads is under his feet and well within His capability to handle it.
That through everything, my needs are still met.

Forgetting the words to Happy Birthday and stumbling through the message actually caused a good laugh followed by a reminder of "yep, that's my sister". Family ties span oceans.

It's ultimately not my timing, but His. It's not my will but His. That because fewer showed up, I could spend more time talking with each person than feeling too stretched. (pumpkin night)

That when we run across a rotten egg in life, the smell doesn't last forever. And, that sometimes it creates a good reason to start fresh.

Although Novocain may numb the immediate pain, sometimes the pain is deeper than a quick-fix. Also, things don't always go my way, or the way I think they should. Accept it and find another way.

It can be one heck of a wake up call, but at least I'll be more aware, more cautious, and won't do that again. (falling out of bed)
As for the coffee - When my attitude is a little too bitter, add some sugar and everything smoothes out nicely.
And the pumpkin - sometimes we need to be humbled. We all make mistakes...I'm not perfect but as soon as I start acting perfect, I'm bound to screw up somewhere because you can only go so long without making a mistake - innocently or intentionally.

Some things have disaster written all over it from the beginning...do you take the challenge and learn through the process? or do you give up before you start and never find out what you can accomplish?

I still ask "WHY?" a lot...there's nothing wrong with that. Just know that you may not always get an answer...there may be no apparent reason that is revealed to you at that moment, or it may come years later. We may never know why things happen, but there is a reason.
I know who knows the reason, who can explain the why.
I know the Lord my God is in control - and in that, I find peace.

24 November 2009

Pumpkins and Photos!

So as you all probably remember, last year I decided I wanted to learn how to make a pumpkin pie from scratch. Everyone enjoyed it and I just couldn't help myself so we did it again this year!

We combined photo club with the event. Those who were interested in learning how to tell a story through pictures, had an opportunity to document what went on as well as participate in the process. The following Tuesday during our English Club/Photo Club, we gathered all the images and put them together in a series to tell the story.

We did have our minor glitches as a number of people were unable to come because they got sick. The others ended up showing up almost an hour later than expected although it all turned out fine...we just started later!

I wanted to share a short slideshow of clips I put together from the evening. I hope you enjoy it!

And, as a little humor clip... someone sent this to me in an email. I can't find the original source, but it was titled "how the pumpkin pie was born". I got a kick out of it!
If you are interested in knowing how we did it, there is a great website that we used both years. Click here or go to http://www.pickyourown.org/pumpkinpie.php to check it out and see all the other awesome cooking and canning information she has!

09 November 2009

Random adventures

Here's some of my recent stuff. Life is good, hectic and I've traveled a lot lately. Here's some of my favorites over the past few months... since my last update anyway. More explanations later.All Saints Day in Poland. Every cemetery is lit with candles and decorated with flowers. Its one of the major Catholic holidays, and always a big to-do in Poland.
Night shots right before All Saints Day in Poland.
All Saints Day in Poland.
View of Heidelberg, Germany from the castle. I had a chance to spend the day in this quaint, fairy-tale like town! It's gorgeous and this was about all the fall colors I get this year.
Watching the sun go down while hanging out at a castle on a hill in Heidelberg, Germany.
Frankfurt skyline - I like this city.
a sticker stuck on a pole in Frankfurt Germany...how pleasant.

Feeding the gulls at the Baltic Sea in Gdansk, Poland. Although quite windy, the weekend was good and relaxing. I enjoyed seeing another part of Poland!
sunset in Ursynow - a district in Warsaw after a nice bike ride. Always gotta put up my sunsets...
One of my favorite works of graffiti art on Pulawska Street. There's a street that has this long section of wall that people can graffiti. It has some of the coolest images.
A day out of Warsaw at a polish actor's home. He's got all kinds of cool and crazy old-timey things on his property.

Hope you at least enjoy the photos! Sorry I haven't updated in some time...