Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Still in England

I know I haven't checked in recently, but I'm still here. I left Bedford Saturday and travelled up to Sheffield, where I've connected with some old friends and my former college pastors. It's been great! I really like the city but I don't think I could ever drive here -- there are too many steep roads and sharp turns.

There was actually an American youth group on a mission trip here. They're from Calvary Community Church in Houston, of all places! The church is close to my house and some of the team members live literally down the street from me. Small world, huh? So I promised them I will check out their church when I get back into town. I've actually visited once and rather enjoyed it.

This afternoon my friend Kelley took me out to the Peaks District. It was beautiful! I had actually wanted to go to Chatsworth, the place where the most recent Pride and Prejudice movie was filmed, but The Peaks are closer and cheaper. I'll post pics once I get back to Bedford.

Well, just wanted to let you all know that I am alive and well. I head back to Bedford tomorrow and I'll visit London Thursday. Ciao for now!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Self Portrait

So this morning I woke up at 8:45, despite having gone to bed around 3. Yay me! I started making breakfast and was nearly done when Jez and Justyna came home from work at 9:20. My salsa was ok - I've made better - but they seemed to really like it. I forgot to take pics, though. Maybe next time.

At 1:15 I walked into town to visit my friend Sarah at work. She works in the awesome cafe called The Cheese Kitchen. She took her lunch break and we got to sit and chat for abt 45 min. It was so great seeing her! She's an American who married a Brit and has lived here for about 3 years, and she's starving for American companionship, so I was happy to be there for her.

Walking home from lunch with Sarah, it started raining. I popped into a shop to try to wait it out, but $20 later it was still raining! So I walked home. In the rain. And got wet. Hence the picture below.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day 2

Well, it's the end of my first full day in Bedford, my second day in England. I stayed up 'til 3:30 am reading and ended up sleeping 'til 1:30! But it's ok, cause Jez and Justyna are working night shifts at the Nightshelter; so I don't have to feel bad about sleeping while they're awake and waiting for me. Hopefully I'll go to bed a bit earlier tonight, but I dunno cause
I just bought the new Harry Potter book at Sainsbury's. My friend Greta ordered it for me from Amazon but it didn't arrive before I left. I saw so many people reading it on the airplane and realized I just couldn't wait two more weeks to read it! Besides, I would be starting back at work and staying up all hours of the night to read the book wouldn't help me get back on a normal sleep schedule. Anywho, I'm excited to read to British version of the book anyway.

When Justyna finally woke up, around 4:30, we made our way down the street to the fish and chips shop. Yum yum!

After we got home and I opened the package, I was a bit disgusted with all the grease (granted they did put vinegar, which doesn't help the appearace of grease, but makes it worse):

But I still ate some (but not all of it, you'd be happy to know):

Tomorrow morning I'm making juevos rancheros. Justyna thinks it's so strange to have salsa on eggs. So I need to educate the poor Polish woman. I'll let ya'll know what she thinks. So goodbye for now!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Safe & Sound

Well, I've arrived in Bedford safe and sound with no major problems. It was so much fun to see my friends waiting for me, holding a large banner that read Miss Deborah Heifer. I was laughing so hard!

It's around 3 and I just finished a lovely bacon on bagel sandwich. I was bursting w/ energy when I first arrived, but about an hour into the train ride I started fading. Now I'm ready for a nap but I'm afraid I'll end up sleeping all day and not be able to sleep tonight (I didn't get any sleep on the plane, so I'm extra sleepy).

Alright, just wanted to check in and let you all know I am alive and well in Bedford. Ciao!

Here's a lovely pic of me and Justyna holding the lovely sign she made for me. We were waiting for the train to arrive and had way too much time on our hands!

Now I'm in Bedford, in Justyna's garden, eating something I shouldn't be: chocolate!

I don't think I look half bad for having been on an airplane for 9 hours and the train for 2 and not sleeping in over 24 hours!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Peace Out!

Since it's already 11 minutes past my planned departure time, I figured I might as well write a quick post letting everyone know I'm leaving for England today! My flight's at 7:30. Thankfully it's direct and should last around 9 hours. And I'm excited because my friend Justyna is meeting me in London and we'll take the train together up to Bedford.

Even though I'm out of the country, I won't be out of the blogosphere. I plan to make a post or two while I'm over there. So I'll blog with you soon!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Doodling . . .

. . . is what kept me awake during my training this morning.

I shamelessly colored in my swirls and dots while sitting at the same table with two of the three presenters. Yeah, I so didn't care. I even passed notes to my friends.

It was a training geared more towards Special Ed Teachers/Administrators/Directors, so much of the jargon was over my head. But I did my best . . . when I wasn't doodling in an effort to fight off the sleep.

The training tomorrow should be much better. It's about helping children comprehend text, something I majorly need more help with.

But now, it's bedtime. Yay!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Prodigal Returns

But no slaughtering of a fatted calf, or whatever, for me. No sir e. More like 15 minutes on the spin bike (which inflicts pain upon areas that God never intended to receive pain apart from childbirth). 2 miles walking at 4.0 and 3.5 on an incline. I had to reduce the incline cause i was nearly falling off the treadmill! Plus 250 knee lifts. Then outside for 4 laps around the parking lot (which equals a mile). Then this weird kicking thing where u get a partner and, beginning w/ the right leg, alternate kicking at each other's waist at the same time. 2 sets of 40 and 2 sets of 50 kicks. Then another 2 laps around the parking lot. Then suicides -- where u run to the first line, touch it, run back to the starting line, touch it, run to the 2nd line, touch it, run back-- I think u get the idea. When I got home I made a beeline to the spa. Unfortunately it took 20 min to heat up, so I occupied my time w/ eating a nice South Beach dinner of halibut, brown rice, and roasted brussel sprouts. Mmmm . . .

Anyway, that's what happens when you don't see your trainer for nearly a week. He tries to kill you.

So I'm still amazed that summer is SPEEDING BY. It's crazy! I've had trainings this week and last. They've been very informative. But the best part (besides that they were free cause my school actually paid for them) is all the free stuff I've received. Literally hundreds of dollars worth of materials. It's awesome! Today's seminar I had to pay - a whole $20 - but I won a door prize AND got 3 reference books. I love this teacher training stuff! Esp since I get to see at least 3 or 4 friends at each session!

So that's how I've been spending my time. What about you?

Oh, and did I mention I'm going to England next week? Very excited! I'll be there for 17 days! Mostly in Bedford but I'll go up to Sheffield to visit some friends and down to London to visit another friend and I hope to see more of the country; something that didn't happen on my previous visits cause I was working or visiting w/ people. So far my friend Justyna and I have trips planned for Brighton (which I always read about in Jane Austen books) and Cambridge (which I know will make me want to go to grad school -- at Cambridge. Keep dreaming, Deb). I'd love to visit Ireland or Scotland, but Justyna's Polish passport has expired and she may get deported if she gets caught. Something I don't think her hubby would appreciate . . .

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

No, I'm not dating, I'm back at the gym. And I'm a bit sore today.

I fully intended to type up this post last night but I had a migraine that would NOT go away. It finally did around 2 am, thankfully.

Anywho, yesterday I was a big girl and made my way across town to meet my trainer. He was very gracious and didn't work me as hard as I feared he would. Nevertheless, I was DYING at the end of it.

Normally I would go and he'd work me for well over an hour; closer to an hour and a half. I'd be exhausted at the end of it all but feel well. Yesterday, I was about ready to throw up and I couldn't believe I was having such a hard time. I didn't realize how much my strength and endurance had drop after many months of inactivity. So sad.

Here's what he had me do:
-Warm up on the bike; 12 min on level 5
-250 leg lifts (I did 300 cause I was waiting for him to come back from talking to someone else)
-200 jumping jacks (who knew that fun childhood exercise could be a form of torture 20 yrs later?)
-15 stairs (going up and down 15 times; this is the one that surprised me -- thought he would give me more, then happy he didn't cause that's around the time I was ready to puke)
-1 mile on the treadmill (this also surprised me; used to do 2 or 3. but again, I was ready to lose the contents of my stomach)

For John the Trainer, this is an easy workout. As I was finishing my mile he was calling people outside for a torture camp. I was so paranoid he would call me out there I kept my head down and kept walking/jogging. When I finished my mile (which took a good 14 minutes, sadly) I went over to him and said I was about to throw up. He said those three beautiful words, "You're finished, sweetie." He didn't have to tell me twice; I got the heck up outta there!

I'm supposed to go back in a couple hours. I'll let you know if I make it out of there alive again.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Why am I still awake???

Take this test at Tickle

Your true color is Green!
You're green, the color of growth and vigor. Good-hearted and giving, you have a knack for finding and bringing out the best in people. Green is the most down-to-earth color in the spectrum — reliable and trustworthy. People know they can count on you to be around in times of need, since your concern for people is genuine and sincere. You take pride in being a good friend. For you, success is measured in terms of personal achievement and growth, not by status or position. Rare as emeralds, greens are wonderful, natural people. It truly is your color!

What's Your True Color?

Brought to you by Tickle

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

It didn't feel much like a holiday today. I guess all the rain we've been having dampened the spirit for me. Besides, I've been on holiday from work for four weeks now, so it's not like I'm getting a break from anything. But I got more into it as the day went on and I kept seeing and hearing about the different celebrations going on around town. Hearing mention of honoring the troops and veterans made me a bit sad cause it reminded me that my grandpa's not with us anymore.
My Uncle Mark (Blo, for you Thinklings peeps) called in the afternoon and invited me over to his house. I took my niece and we had fun popping fireworks and seeing all the neighbors' fireworks. It was hilarious watching my Uncle Larry light a fuse and then run across the street as soon as it burst into flames. It was also funny how Mark kept laughing and jumping after each firework we set off; as if it was the first one and we hadn't done a dozen right before that. My niece was a bit freaked out at first by all the loud noise and bursts of light. I think that's cause she was running around with our cousins when we first went outside and they kept saying, "Oh no, they're gonna get us! They're gonna get us!" That stuck in her head cause for the first 15 minutes of fireworks she'd say, "Oh no!" everytime she heard a pop; which was quite often, I might add. But by the end of the night she was sitting back and taking it all in . . . or she could have just been paralized w/ fear . . . :o) Just kidding, Brandi! She enjoyed it. She was braver than Caleb in that she wanted to do the extra long sparklers all by herself. So, there was fun to be had by all!
I hope you guys enjoyed your holiday. I'm rather tired, myself. Time for bed!

Monday, July 02, 2007


I shamelessly posted this so that you all have a lovely place to bestow 27th birthday greetings and well-wishes upon me! So, comment away, people! It doesn't matter whether you know me or not; just leave me some comments! You don't even have to buy me a pressie (although, I do have an amazon wish list . . . hint . . . hint . . .)
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