Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gratitude: August 2011

I started the month with doing continuous house work. I cleaned and repaired my gutters that surround the north and south side of my roof. This is one of the key areas that has been giving water damage inside my house. I'll see what the results of how effective this work was next Spring. I had a good first week of the month in batting in softball, which I'll share more down below.

I played tennis for the 1st time in three years on Sunday, August 7th of 2011. What too so long? I don't know, probably been busy doing other sports (e.g. softball). I like the variety. I played tennis with some of my ESL students from Brazil because they never played before. I had to take it really easy at first until one of the students (Danillo) up his playing a bit. It was another great way to spend time outside in these beautiful summer days.

I was able to finally upload a video of a theatre performance from this past winter. I thought it was such a great performance I had to share it with everybody...

"Genesis The Story of Creation to the Call of Abram of Ur" Part 1

"Genesis The Story of Creation to the Call of Abram of Ur" Part 1 from gooodnews everybodycom on Vimeo.

A cool thing happened at one of my work sites. We do some cleaning around the community and when we were doing our twice a week time at the local laundromat, it was a busy time because of the county fair in town. There were lots of "carnies" (carnival festival workers) doing their laundry. Well, the clients (developmentally challenged folks) love to talk and one of the workers seem to enjoy chatting with them (that's why I enjoy my job and been in this field since college graduation in 99')! This particular worker ended up giving my co-worker $40 dollar bill and specifically asked us to treat them. We thought this was so awesome that we ended up going to Dairy Queen after cleaning. Unfortunately, the DQ wasn't open early in the morning (not till 10:30am), so we ended up dividing the cash and gave it to the clients to spend whatever they freely want to. What a blessing! I tried to look for that guy when I went to the county fair, but never saw him to say THANK YOU again.

The big annual Stevens County Fair was during the 2nd week of the month, which I attended 3 of the 4 days it was going on. I was also involved with the 1st Annual Morris Soccer Invitational that occurred at the RFC Soccer Fields (by H20-Water Tower). I invited my 2 ESL students from Brazil, which they were only able to play 1 of the 3 days...

I ended-up playing the 3rd days because the team (UMM Team) didn't have enough players (Brazilian students chose to attend the Car Derby at the county fair). I tried to balance my time during the fun weekend by helping with my local church's fair booth. I had a great time meeting people there. I met this couple from Cannon Falls that was looking for a local church, which would be the same town our U.S. President Obama visited weeks later. I also had a great time meeting friends I haven't chatted for a long time despite we living in this same small rural town community. Also, I met several of the 80+ new international students from China that are attending the local university. The funny thing was that they asked if I was Chinese too? I had to laugh as I've never been speculated to be this particular nationality. I've been called all sorts of others (e.g. Italian, African-American, Indian, Native-American, and even a "terrorist" a couple of times). On the 2nd day I tabled, I spent some quality time with a young friend from church, which we haven't done for quite awhile. The second weekend of August was a fun-filled time!

This same weekend, I had to also share that I went to a co-worker's family's funeral. Like all funerals, I start reflecting what I've done all my life so far and want to "live it to the fullest". At this particular funeral service, they shared about how she positively impacted the people around her life until the age of 90 or so. Wow, that's long! This challenged me to live my fullest for my Heavenly Father and to make a "positive' impact as much as possible while He has me on earth as we have only 1 life!
*see Death- Grieving, Mourning, Reflection, etc..

I spent part of the mid-month cleaning and painting (special paint against mold) my basement. It was a very wet spring-summer, so I finally had a chance get my hasement dry for the first time since a long time. This was also due to some plumbing problems, which I finally got fixed by a local plumber. I thank God the amount was less than he estimated, which was a blessing financially when it came to some bills mid-month!

On Tuesday, August 16th I was able to play golf for the first time all summer. Geez, what took so long again for this too! Well, I'm not retired and old yet, so I don't play the 9 or 18-hole. I like going on the driving range. I did a small bucket ($5) at the local golf place here in Morris with a buddy of mine, which was a great time to chat one and one too in a nice summer afternoon after work.

Earlier this same week when I was playing soccer, I was playing defense (left) and tried to "head" a flying soccer ball. Well, I ended up getting my nose hit too, which hurt. This left a bruise in the upper part. Well, I would end-up getting hit in this area again playing softball..


..which caused a fracture after a homeplate "football-style" collision at home plate in attempting to just tag my opponent as I was playing catcher. Well, I'm still suffering the effects as I'm still getting over some occasional headaches. I'm praying there is no long-term damage. The best part of this is that I was able to hold on to the ball for the out and our team won to continue to advance in the playoffs. We would lose the 2nd game the following week, but it was our best finish as a softball team!

The third Sunday of the month, my local church celebrated the oldest and longest marriage (50 years) couple's Wedding Anniversary. I'm hoping to interview them and get some notes on how they've reach this successful feat sometime in the future.

My Heavenly Father answered one of my prayers right before I took a week vacation (my workplace takes 2 weeks off during the summer months-1st during July 4th-Independence Day and last week of August before Labor Day) to end the summer. My former housemate moved out mid-June and never advertised of the need of another housemate, except by word of mouth. My local church pastor even referred this guy from Alexandria, but that never worked out. I got a call from this UMM international student in a need of a place to stay. I don't even remember telling him of my rental basement as it hasn't been finished yet. However, he was open to move to the spare 2nd bedroom and "decided" to come move in (physically moved the following day) the same day he looked at it. I felt it was great timing as I was already planning to head to the cities several days later.

I spent the last week of the month in the Twin Cities. I was supposed to take my mom to the UofM-Twin Cities Campus' Dental Clinic for mouth surgery, but my mom wasn't able to get an appointment the week before the break. My younger brother invited me to go on a road-trip with his family to the East Coast (e.g. Washington D.C., North Carolina, etc..), so I was about to look up flights for a one-way back to Minnesota because I didn't want to be in North Carolina that whole last weekend. I wanted to spend some time in St. Paul before my week plus vacation ended before going back to Morris. Well, on my way to St. Paul from Morris, my mom calls and tells me "good news".."I was able to get a dental appointment on Monday". This was the original plan, so I decided to not for go the East Coast road trip as I thought was the "sign" to stay in St. Paul. I was hesitant going with the forecast hurricane (Irene->see weather) coming and recent rare earthquake. I was a little disappointed, but saw it was God's plan for me to spend quality time with my parents (e.g. River Boat Ride along the Mississippi River, State Fair, etc..) and sister (e.g. tennis). I would later find out it was a good reason to stay in St. Paul with my car problems (spent $500 on new tires because of poor brakes that I should've gotten fix long time ago. Then additional $400+ for wheel bearings. Could've spent $200 extra to fix the brakes and rotors, but watched a video online and had my friend oversee my work to fix it ourselves!=> see Financial: Automobiles, Auto, Cars, Trucks, Vehicles, etc...)). Isn't God good? We sometimes wonder why our plans don't work the way we planned or desire, but it's for our own good. During my last day of my vacation, I was driving to church and was running late. I love the praise and worship (music) part and it was in the beginning of the service. As I was just 2 blocks away, I got caught speeding..doh! :)...I was going 44 on a 30 when the police officer asked me if I knew how fast I was going. Well, he told me I was going 41..wew, I'll take that! Well, I had my mom with me and she was praying during the whole traffic stop (e.g. showing my license, registration, etc..). It seem the prayer worked as the police officer decided to just give me a warning because I had a "good' record (haven't been stopped or anything since 97'). Thank God! I told the officer then that I was in hurry to get to church and he lectured back to me-"Well, don't rush to God as God will wait for you". My mom then told the officer-"God bless you sir"-as we drove off to church "later". I arrived at church praising Him more! As I was heading back to Morris the day before Labor Day (Holiday), I had an opportunity to "share" with a "homeless guy" on the streets along an entry ramp to Interstate 94 (see "Another "Street Sign"- Homeless Guy Story: What can we do to help them?", Goodnewseverybodycom's Weblog)...