Thursday, November 27, 2014
Beautiful, awesome, inspiring, gorgeous video photography. Made me get teary-eyed. 4 minutes. I'm going to watch it again, it was so good.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving to My SparkFriends
"Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name." Hebrews 13:15
Monday, November 24, 2014
"In terms of days and moments lived, you'll never again be as young as you are right now, so spend this day, the youth of your future, in a way that deflects regret. Invest in yourself. Have some fun. Do something important. Love somebody extra. In one sense, you're just a kid, but a kid with enough years on her to know that every day is priceless." - Victoria Mora
Sunday, November 23, 2014
On Friday at lunch at the Soup Kitchen, I saw extra scurrying around, unusual staging, & many distracted side conversations.
Also overheard through snatches of conversation that there was a volunteer crisis.
Since they are not open normally, on Friday afternoons, I asked what was going on? Once a year the Boy Scouts have this canned food drive that I didn't know about.
I guess this is a local tradition? I don't know if it's national or not. Here, local troops compete for the title of most pounds of food donated, and they do it every year just for the Soup Kitchen's benefit. All incoming is weighed and tracked per troop.
Like the fall fundraiser "Pumpkin Palooza", this is a MASSIVE Soup Kitchen event.
So I worked 5 hours, one of an army of volunteers, setting up to get ready for it. We moved furniture, stacked pallets of full boxes and empty boxes, and set up sorting stations with signs, and set up sorting tables with signs and labels. I also set up sorting stations with signs in a third location. There were endless other tasks, as well.
While this was going on, there were 5 incoming ad-hoc donations that had nothing to do with the next day's event. Some were known about in advance, and others just showed up. I processed 3 of the 5. Learning alot! I am definitely intrigued to see what assignment the Lord has in store for me in the future, where I will use all this hands-on experience. I've volunteered many times before in other states in connection with pantries before, but never at this depth or extent. And never while homeless myself.
I was working 9-3 at McD's on Saturday so I couldn't help on the day of the actual event; but just the set-up alone the day before, was massive. I enjoyed it. I'm sorry to have missed the event on Saturday. Here are some pictures, though I realize you can't really tell what is going on, at least it gives some perspective of what is normally the lunch dining room, transformed:
A job well done, by a small army of givers, Boy Scouts, and Soup Kitchen staff and volunteers, with thousands of pounds of food donated to the Soup Kitchen.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
I had an unexpected 2-day "vacation". Tuesday was my 3-week anniversary of a really bad head cold. It was also 15 degrees here for the overnight low, which is extremely cold (at least for here - I grew up in the North). Definitely cold sleeping in the car, that's for sure.
Because of the temperature, the Soup Kitchen put me up in hotel room for 2 nights. The Soup Kitchen has a fund from anonymous donors that they use to house people; they will call local hotels to find you a room and put you up for 2 or 3 nights, if you ask for it during bad weather. My friend who works there reminded me of the hotel stays available on Monday; I said ok, if the weather gets bad, I'll remember that. We have no snow here. She said indignantly, "It's going to be 15 degrees Wednesday night!!!!!!! How much more bad does it have to get???!!" Having grown up in the North, 15 degrees is not cold to me. And I hadn't been listening that closely to the news, so I hadn't heard about the 15 degrees. But on Tuesday morning when I got a few things out of the trunk and was surprised when my hands hurt from the cold, I remembered what she said, and on Wed when the forecast was still the same, I asked for a room.
This was a working vacation, but still very nice. Warm and wonderful. The swelling in my legs went down, courtesy of having a bed to sleep in (elevated legs). I was able to make up many packettes of tea for the car (green & black tea bags, and sweeteners like xylitol & stevia, in snack-size ziploc bags). I also made up many packettes of daily vitamins & supplements in snack size bags.
I made good use of the mini fridge and microwave and hot-cuppa-water-heater-machine in the room. I made chicken soup in the microwave from an unhealthy, not-instant, dried chicken noodle soup mix (freebie from a food pantry), a chicken breast diced up, organic chicken broth in a carton, and dried parsley and garlic. Not like REAL homemade, but good and still better than canned. Wish I'd had some fresh onion and organic celery to put in it, but I didn't. It was vegetable poor. I drank many cups of hot tea with fresh lemon slices, and ate a ton of organic veggie salads and perishable food I already had & had brought with me. I left everything very clean and made sure to check out on time.
The biggest thing is it was sooooo convenient to have internet access, a microwave, a bathroom, and a place to sleep all consolidated in one location. (I'll never take that for granted again!!) And being able to sleep and move around without a bunch of layers of clothes and jackets on. Usually I drive to a gas station to use a microwave and get hot water for tea, then go to a library or other place with wifi to use the internet, go to the gym for a shower, and drive somewhere else for parking the car to sleep at night.
When I get an apt after I find a job, I'll stop using a microwave for health reasons. I'll use the stovetop, crockpot, and oven instead.
I have made a "hotel list" of things like houseshoes, crockpot, and electric skillet to assemble from ministorage and have ready for the next hotel stay, since this winter is supposed to be so bad.
This hotel had a tub!!! (not just a shower).
But it didn't have good wifi, so after continuous internet computer struggles the first night, I was offline all day yesterday.
My cold is much better; I definitely believe this third week will be the last. I am on kleenex box #6. Guess Nov 2014 was my month to be sick. And to learn, yet again, NOT to let the devil steal my peace (stress makes me sick, literally, and this latest episode of stress from Subway that began Oct 31 was the last straw for my immune system already taxed after a stressful July, Aug, Sep, & Oct). So even though I worked, these 2 nights were a wonderful little respite or reprieve after a very bad start to the month; warm, wonderful, and convenient. I AM THANKFUL.
I packed up and reorganized all my stuff I'd taken to my room, and took it down to the car early this morning after 4am. 2 trips. SO GLAD to be able to put made-up-packettes of tea & vitamins in the car. Then I slept til 10a, showered, checked out, went to the Soup Kitchen for lunch at 11a; said thank you in person though I'll send another thank you; and got free organic lettuce & conventional bok choy and potatoes, in the grocery line after lunch. Now I'm at the library to use the internet after being offline for a whole day.
I printed new résumés and online apps earlier this week at the Christian Mission. Today I'm going back to the Christian Mission to print updated references, and to get the twice-a-month-food-pantry. Then I'm heading out to a couple places that are hiring, then I'm going back to the truck stop to drop off a care package to another homeless person, on the way to the other town where my ministorage is.
I'm going to make oriental chicken with more of the chicken I cooked and diced up in the room, a jar of sauce from Aldis, frozen stir fry veggies, and the fresh bokchoy. I'll use an electric skillet at ministorage.
I'm thanking God for many blessings. My "rainbow" from this cold weather was a very nice 2-night hotel stay. And I know sooooo many across the country have MUCH colder weather and deep snow - we are blessed that our "cold record" was 15 degrees with NO snow.
What blessings can you count in the midst of your situation?
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