Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Monday - I worked at Hunt Ave Boutique. Because it was a bit snowy, I figured it could be a slow day; however, I sold twice as much as I did last week! Plus, my new order of Ten Thousand Villages stuff came in. So, I had fun unpacking all of that - it is like my birthday when that stuff comes. I ordered a hammock chair that I love. I hope someone else loves it, too. :)
Tuesday - Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. We got quite a bit of snow over night and the wind was blowing it around viciously. Although we all were up and ready for work, we decided not to go in - SNOW DAY! I baked cinnamon rolls. They were the best I have ever made (almost equivelent to my mom's!). I was glad the altitude didn't ruin them.
Wednesday - I was at the office all day. Lots of people have mailed monetary donations come in the last few days, which is great, but it also means that my hand will be hurting from the hours of writing thank you notes. It was nice to catch up with Rhonda after our weekend and snow days. This evening we had Jason and Patricia (our pastor and his wife) over for supper. It was fun to talk with them. They are a fairly young couple (30s) with 4 kids and one on the way. They sent the kids to the grandparents' house, and came over for a night "alone."
I think that is it. We are counting down the days to coming home. We leave on our flight ONE WEEK from today. I am so excited.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Work has been good this week so far. Hunt Avenue Boutique was a little slow as far as customers, but better than last week. There were two women that came in to specifically look at Ten Thousand Villages (TTV) stuff. I thought that was exciting - it was also a first. I learned from TTV that I cannot put their logo outside the building, on ads, or use if for publicity because it is trademarked. Hopefully, putting their name in my blog will not get me in trouble. I guess that surprised me because I thought they would want their name out there as much as possible, but maybe our store doesn't meet their standards... who knows. I am just naive when it comes to this business stuff. I went to the college class on Marketing and Research who had done a project for Milagros. I thought they did a great job. I walked away well-informed. Lance (the director) walked away very enthusiastic and churning up new ideas. We'll see what happens with all our new information from the college classes (advertising and marketing/research).
Jeremy is working on some report to the board. He is also trying to come up with the best way to take samples and how to record the data effectively. I think it sounds pretty intimidating myself. I don't understand it completely either, which is why I just wrote two sentences!
This past weekend we house/pet sat for his boss. They have a beautiful southwest style house with a big TV and cable. They also have two dogs and three cats and a very specific routine for feeding them. It was a relaxing weekend, but also a learning experience. One of their cats had to be given a pill. Unfortunately, she wasn't a cat that would just eat anything. (She had had chemotherapy and food didn't appeal much.) So, we had to hold her, tightly wrapped in a towel, pry her mouth open, and toss the pill in, massaging her throat until it was swallowed. It took us almost a half hour the first night, but by the third night we had it down to under 5 minutes. It ws good to be around animals again and to have some time to ourselves. It was also fun to live in the "city" of Alamosa where things are easily accessible. Living in La Jara, you have to drive at least 25 minutes to get into town. This, I realized, probably saves us a lot of money spent on eating out, random shopping trips, and other miscellaneous spending. We are back in our unit house and doing great. We made french toast and bacon for supper last night - I love breakfast for supper. That is about because I am starting to ramble. Have a great Wednesday/rest of your week. Until next time...
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Jeremy and I went to the gym again this morning (temperature check at 6:40am = 1 above 0... brrrr). This going everyday is something new I wanted to try; Jeremy's along for the ride this week. I am trying to get in shape for the volleyball league that I joined. It is a 4-on-4 women's league at the local rec center on Thursday nights starting in January. I can't hardly do one sprint down the basketball court, so I figure I have my work cut out for me. I am really looking forward to the start of the league. I am hoping for some good volleyball; it probably will be decent since you have to be pretty good to play 4 man volleyball successfully. Today at Rainbow's End I sorted the men's shirts out. They were definitely neglected! I will probably work on the men's jeans tomorrow. I will only have the dresses, skirts, maternity, children's clothes, and coats left to sort and size.
I finished the book Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult. It is about a fictional school shooting. I was very intrigued at the way she had organized the book - introducing the shooter and other characters and then linking their lives together through past and present stories. It was a well written book. Jeremy, on the other hand, reads books that make him smarter (rather just entertain him briefly). He finished Jimmy Carter's book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid. Now he is reading a book by Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation. If you have book suggestions for either us, let us know. My grandpa J. recommended The Worst Hard Times, a book about the Great Depression. I happened to find it at Rainbow's End, so I'll get around to that one.
I think that's all have to say today. Jeremy would probably say that I said plenty. I hope you are all recovering from the Thanksgiving weekend. I look forward to seeing many of you at Christmas!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
We came home and went to Alice and Andy's house for our second feast of the day. The current MVSers were there, along with David and Emmy's friends from Indiana, a former MVSer and his wife, and Isabel. It was fun to laugh and talk. There is something about being in the presence of many people that makes a holiday feel like a holiday to me. I missed my family, but not nearly to the extent as if it would have just been me and Jeremy sitting around all day. When I called home in the morning, they were eating lunch and it sounded CRAZY!!! I will get to enjoy that at Christmas and am definitely looking forward to it. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
1. The day was beautiful - 60F and sunshine! The drive home provided a gorgeous sunset. We tried to capture it with a camera, but it is nearly impossible to do. Here are the two shots we took - one looking over the western mountain range (the San Juan), and one at Mt. Blanca. Enjoy!
2. I have to confess that ... we watch The Bachelor at the MVS house. Yes, I know it is not high quality television or even good reality TV, but nothing else to do on Monday night and it is a strange ritual we had for this season. (For those of you who know the Monday night line-up, we do watch most of Dancing with the Stars as well - can't believe Marie Osmond is still in!) Anyway, the final rose ceremony was Monday night with huge drama - it was unprecedented! The Bachelor picked - no one! I know, don' t fall off your chair! It was, actually, terribly sad. Two women had told him that they loved him opened their hearts up to him. (I do realize they chose to be on national television doing it, but still) He told both of them good-bye because he couldn't say he loved either one. I give him credit for being honest in the end, but he did a great job of leading them on throughout the show. I'll stop on my tirade. I realize that this has nothing really to do with what we do out here, but sometimes, that's okay.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Jeremy went to see the Grizzly Bear exhibit. Some of you may know of the cows that were placed around Chicago (I think) to encourage art and improve scenery. (Well, I don't really know why they were there, but this is my best guess.) Anyway, these Grizzly Bears were created out of fiberglass and given to local artist to decorate. They will be auctioned off at the Charity Ball in early December put on by Valley Wide Health Center in Alamosa. All proceeds of the charity ball and the auction of the bears goes to support La Puente. They expect to raise $10,000 per bear; there are 8 bears total. Jeremy said the bears were pretty cool. Hopefully, the exhibit will be open tomorrow and I can get out to go see them. If I do, I will take my camera and post some pics.
Have a great Thanksgiving week - and don't forget to RELAX during the week, too!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
My incident with Bill at Hunt Ave Boutique (rearranging his stuff) turned out fine. He was not mad at me; so that's good. I rearranged the women's jeans - two day project - for the rest of the week. The store is looking much better. They are trying to clean it up and keep things that way. There have been many compliments from customers, and that feels good to the staff.
Friday night, Andy, Alice, and Isabel (their daughter) came over for supper. Jeremy and I were in charge of the cooking for this one. We made soft tacos and salsa black bean soup with bread pudding and chocolate sauce for dessert. It has been fun to cook with Jeremy. We didn't have that opportunity much in Columbus because we would get home from work at different hours. This - assigned cooking nights - has forced us to do it. Jeremy worked on all the taco stuff - browning meat, chopping, grating, etc. I worked on the salsa bean soup (a new recipe for me), bread pudding, and chocolate sauce. The meal turned out well; the bread pudding was tasty as well, but had deflated when I removed it from the oven - a hazard of the high altitude.
Saturday, Jeremy and I woke up "early" to go watch the Ohio State v. Michigan game at the home of some church friends, Eric and Tessa. He grew up in Ohio and is, therefore, a Buckeye fan. The game, as you may recall was a nice noon start time - great time for you eastern folks. 10am seems a little early to begin the festivities for a big game day, but nonetheless off we went to enjoy it with fellow Buckeye fans. It was a good time to hang out with new people and try to form some friendships outside of the unit house. They have a 75-lb German short-haired named Blue that sheds horribly! I couldn't believe how much hair a dog with such short hair could lose with one pat of the hand. He is a sweetheart, however. We offered to pet sit when they need one.
Today we had a Thanksgiving feast after church. It was an organized Thanksgiving Day potluck - a delicious head start to the real deal on Thursday. It led to an afternoon nap for me :) Tonight we have Bible study together. Then we return to our positions of service tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday was a difficult day to get up, probably because I had been so lazy all weekend. I worked at Hunt Ave Boutique, so that Bill could have a day off of work. Do you ever do something that you know you'll regret, but you have no choice except to do it? Monday was one of those days. Steve (my boss) said, "Erin, I want you to clean out behind Bill's counter and get this counter cleaned off." (Bill tends to work in piles.) I said, "Steve, Bill will be so mad!" He had me go ahead and do it anyway. I worked on putting piles into labeled boxes, vacuuming, throwing away the trash that cluttered his area, and just tidying up. I thought it looked pretty nice - after spending 5 hours on it!
Fast Forward to today - Vernon (manager at the Boutique) calls to give me the "heads up" that Bill is not just mad, he is furious! Bill, even when furious, doesn't look angry, but then again, he hardly gets mad. I feel horrible. I know that it was not my fault because I had to do what Steve told me to. Bill said he worked for two hours trying to find where everything was. He said it is like when you have company over and they do the dishes and put everything away in the wrong place. I can imagine what it felt like, but at the same time I don't think that I put things in to many wrong places. I tried to keep his inventory books where they were visible, as well as all his pricing supplies. I threw nothing away except old receipts and actual trash. I labeled all the boxes by category and then stacked them by category as well - all the jewelry in one pile, clothes in another, collectibles in another. But maybe it wasn't so clear to Bill. I am see-sawing between feeling bad and feeling annoyed that he couldn't figure out the system. I am sure (if I would have gone there today) he would have everything all over the counter, on the floor, and in his special piles. Well, I tried and I am a good listener. :)
Otherwise, nothing much happening at work. On Friday (sorry, I am skipping around a bit), Jeremy went out to do some sampling on the Rio Grande. They had to do cross-sections at different points of the river. When I climbed in the car after work and asked how his day was he said, "I almost got swept away." I asked if he was serious. He said that the river was powerful in some areas and quite deep. Luckily, he is still with us today. In reality, he said if he was swept away, he would have only traveled about 10 yards or so before hitting shallower water. Good thing; he had me scared for awhile.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Last night we ate supper with Alice and Andy (our MVS leaders). We exchange a meal with them each week - one week they cook, the next week we cook. It is a good system we have. Last night, we went to their house and added a movie to our evening activities. David and Emmy had just bought the newly released Pixar film, Ratatouille. (I am pretty sure I spelled that wrong, but I don't feel like looking it up to change it.) If you have not seen this movie, I recommend it. I am not always really into renting (or paying for a ticket) an animated movie, but I did really enjoy this one. It makes you laugh, and you actually feel a bond with a rat! Anyway, that's about it for what I have to say. I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend. We have no plans this weekend, and that is fine with me! Have a great Friday, Everyone.
Monday, November 5, 2007
I was at Hunt Ave. Boutique alllllll daaaaaay. It was not incredibly busy, but no Monday really is. I sold very few products from TTV big sale. It was only the first day, but still. It is a little deflating. One couple though was telling me how cool the stuff was; that helped me feel a little better.
Jeremy had some meeting at work. Tomorrow he is going to go to a gathering in Gunnison with - as far as he knows - only 2 other people. They are sharing data and learning from each other about their research on the Arkansas River. He is going as a learning experience because his organization is going to do a similar thing in the spring. Jeremy won the National Championship game with the Titans going undefeated in the Big 10 to get there. This is all, of course, on the PS2. It is his new challenge. I didn't realize there were so many possibilities. I thought since he won the National Championship his PS2 days were over, but I was wrong. He now is the ONU team playing in the MAC. However, he made his skill level a little lower, so he may have to work a bit to win.
I made English Muffin Bread for supper tonight (scrambled eggs, bacon, and English Muffin Bread). I love English Muffin Bread, and it actually baked well even though it was a yeast bread. Those who know what English Muffin Bread is, are probably a bit jealous; those who don't know the goodness of English Muffin Bread have no idea what I am talking about - I am sorry. Remind me when I get home, and I may make you some! Have a great Tuesday everyone!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I have been continuing to unpack and arrange our small area for Ten Thousand Villages (TTV). This picture shows almost all of the store area TTV takes up. About the only thing you can't see is the jewelry case. Steve (my boss) keeps saying, "Order more stuff for TTV." I keep saying, "I want to know what will sell before I keep spending more money." I suppose I should get a preliminary order ready. It would be bad if the store was empty after the first week. We are selling the new items at 20% off to get people in to buy them. I think that is a good deal. The cookbooks will only be around $16 with the discount. I opened the package to the Simply in Season cookbook (great cookbook by the way; if you don't have it, go get one!) and noticed the new hardback cover with the spiral enclosed. I liked it.
Jeremy is still working. I think he is a little bored - not given enough projects at this point. He has been trying to train on this ARC mapping software at the NRCS (National Resource Conservation Service). Unfortunately, there has been some sort of computer glich that has held him up - the joys of technology.
We got our first package in the mail on Monday. It felt like when you are at college and get a care package at exam time. It was just a great surprise because we weren't expecting it. (I am not writing this so you all go and send a package; we definitely don't expect that!) It is great to see comments on the blog, to hear from our parents that people have talked to them about our blog, to know people are continuing to pray for us, and to have phone calls from home. We have definitely felt the support of friends and family both while we prepared to come and now that we are here. Thank you for not forgetting us! You are not forgotten either. (Yes, I know that "you" is a pretty general pronoun, but no one wants to read the list of all the people we remember!)
People have asked us if we are enjoying our time here, if it is all we hoped it would be, if we miss home, etc. I have a hard time answering questions like those. We are enjoying the time we have in Colorado with MVS. I think having an opportunity to serve is never a bad thing. I am learning that each time I serve, I learn something about myself - in Mozambique, I learned that I need at least one other person to energize me; here, I am learning that I need a work environment with a variety of people that I relate with daily. I don't necessarily work with a lot of people. I do a lot of behind the scenes work, and I miss that people interaction. I think I would say that I don't miss Ohio - the state. There isn't a huge spot in my heart that feels Ohio is the best place in the world. I like it - the hills, the colors, the Amish :) But I don't know if there is any one place/state/country that I would feel a deep longing to live in forever. That being said, I miss the people. I miss friendships that were beginning in Columbus, my family, longtime friends spread out around the state and neighboring states. I just miss the people. If we could just convince everyone to move here, I would be perfectly happy to stay here. :) I have not formed deep relationships here yet - but I've only been here a couple months. We'll see what happens as the year progresses. I look forward to Christmas time to visit with the part of Ohio we do miss - the people. Did I say I miss all of you people??? :)
Anyway, this has gotten long winded. Congratulations to those who made it to the end with only one picture to spur you on! We are headed to Taos this weekend to help build a horno - Mexican oven - for Jeff's boss. We will also do a little exploring around the town. I am sure I will come back with some pictures. Until then, have a great Friday and weekend.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
On Tuesday, we had our staff training from 8 - 11am. Just like trainings at school, sometimes I wonder the value of these things. We sat for 3 hours and learned about drugs and gangs in the Valley. I am not really sure what I walked away with, but I only had to go to the office for an hour before lunch!
On Wednesday, I was given the privelege (note sarcasm) of entering all the data into the computer at REA - the same daily summary info I enter here at the office in journal form. Really, it's not bad; it is just that I enter the exact same thing two times, but one onto an excel spreadsheet and one into the accounting program here at the office. It went pretty quickly. I am all caught up except for this past week, which I need to get from Jason (asst. manager).
On Thursday, I took a group of three people from Raton, New Mexico on a tour of the programs. They have a small hunger pantry started with support of the ministerial alliance (various denominations working together) and wanted to possibly expand their services. They were basically on a learning tour. That lasted from 10 - 1:30pm with lunch at Milagros at the end. It was nice to get out of the office and talk with people.
Today, my merchandise from TTV (Ten Thousand Villages) arrived. I was not expecting this to come until next week. So, my huge advertising campaign (with one poster created) has not begun. I guess I will change date and try to get it started by next week. Steve is leaving everything up to me - ordering, advertising, running sales, changing prices, etc - hopefully, this won't flop! I could use prayer with this because it really kinda stresses me out when I think about it. I have not yet been over to look at the products or to try to arrange any type of display, so I'll let you know how that goes!
In other news, we have started watching the Red Sox v Rockies games. I'll be glad when the World Series is finished just so we can see something else/do something else. I will admit that I am more knowledgeable about baseball than I have ever been in my life. The Rockies lost 12-1 the first night (at least I think that was the score - it became a little boring and I didn't pay much attention at the end). Last night, they did better, but still lost 2-1. They are headed to Denver for the next game and hopefully that will bring them more luck. Go Rockies! - you should always cheer for the underdogs, even if they are not in the American League.