This has been a really good week ---- and I chalk that up to the fact that it seems Spring really is just around the corner. We did have one day when it rained all day, but other than that I can tell the weather is getting better and when I get to see the sun I am so much happier :)
I even have a little more energy to work on some projects for a bit after we arrive home from the office. This week I got my sewing machine set up in a tiny corner of the bedroom and decided to start making some "rag" quilts. One of them will be for mt 6th great grandchild that will be born in a few months.....the others I just thought the fabric was cute and couldn't help myself. Maybe I'll just put them in a drawer and hold on to them in case any more great grandchildren decide to make an appearance while we are out her ;-D
I think that should be enough to keep me busy for a few months at least :)
It was kind of exciting to go to the office every morning as we were usually greeted by our resident couple of geese.......just the two of them, no more. Sometimes they hung around quite awhile and others they didn't stay for much besides breakfast. One afternoon I caught them walking away from us as we came out of the office....the smaller one had quite the sway to the tail and the larger one seemed to be hanging back watching that sway. I have decided the smaller one is the girl of the couple and the larger one is the guy and not because the larger one was watching the sway :) I looked up Canadian Geese because I am quite taken with our resident couple and found that many times they mate for life with the male being somewhat larger than the female and that they share parenting duties (watching over the nest)
One day I saw that they were hanging around until almost lunch time and wondered what they were doing until I saw them close to the office door----I think they must have read the sign that indicated they were close to the Virginia Chesapeake Mission and they were hanging around waiting for us to give them the missionary lessons and convert them :)
Each day they came and hung out for awhile. When we arrived at the office on Friday morning, the smaller one was walking quickly away from the larger one and when he tried to come up close to her, she turned around and snapped at him. That made me giggle cause I thought it looked just like a couple I might know who were having a hard start to the morning :)
The geese don't seem to be the least intimidated by humans and when I saw them outside around lunchtime I thought of getting them some crackers I had in my desk drawer. Then I thought of how I would react if they tried to peck the cracker out of my hand - and got a mental image of me running from the geese and screaming so I decided to drop the idea of feeding the geese:)
I spent nearly 2 full days this week working on a spreadsheet to track all the information anyone could possible want to know about the 100+ apartments we have missionaries in......Apartment name, least period, when we need to notify or renewal or not, who owns the property, who collects the rent, who provides electric, gas, water and sewer service, when was it last inspected, did it pass inspection. Needless to say, I came home those two evenings feeling like my eyes were crossed and with my head aching! Only 14 more apartments to update in the spreadsheet tomorrow and that project will be done (for about 3 months as we are always opening and closing apartments)! And even with that, I must say that I love what I do--especially interacting with the other missionaries.
Friday it was raining almost all day and night. When we came out of the office, Elder Ashton noticed that the headlights on his truck were not working so decided he needed to run over to Auto Zone and get some replacements before we headed back to the Chili Cook-Off at the church. It was a fund raiser for the YM/YW and was well attended. Some "crazy" people were spending over $200 for a cake or cheesecake made by one fellow - I understand his desserts are to die for but it would have killed me to pay that much for a dessert so we stopped bidding at about $75. We did come away with a small cobbler type cake - it's waiting for us to eat it up :)
When we came home Thursday evening we noticed they had put a couple of patches of asphalt on the driveway into our apartment and there was an orange cone sitting out in the middle of the parking lot next to a hole. By the time we came home for lunch on Friday, the orange cone had been swallowed up and was sunken in the now larger sink hole. This is what it looks like now - hope I don't hit that with one of our vehicle tires!
Saturday morning it was still raining and we needed to get the weekly chores done but we also planned to go back over to Jamestown area and meet up with Barb, Jill, and Jill's kids. While I was getting the laundry going and working on cleaning the bathroom and dusting the furniture, Elder Ashton was outside in the rain trying to repair the headlights on the truck. The rain started to slow down so I put my shoes on and went out to see how the repair was coming and he told me he needed me to help him "for just a couple of seconds". So I was standing there holding the flashlight when I heard someone behind me say, "Do you know what time the office opens on Saturday?" I turned around to talk to her and we chatted for awhile. I introduced myself to her and told her we were having a bit of a hard time with the weather because we are from Arizona and are just here for 18 months serving a mission for our church. She said she had never heard of missionaries serving in the US so it gave me an opportunity to tell her which church we were serving for. She then said, "Oh, that must be why you are always so dressed up......I thought he (pointing to Elder Ashton) was a funeral director or something because he always has a suit and a badge on." Elder Ashton laughed and said he deals with cars that are sometime dead but he isn't a funeral director. I don't know.....do you think he could pass for one ;-) Made me laugh to think of him as a funeral director because he is always in such a hurry that he would be gunning the hearse and swinging his arms back and forth to indicate it is time to get that casket lowered!
Another sign that Spring is just around the corner....the trees outside the apartment are sprouting baby pine cones. I like this one with drops of rain on the pine needles.
I'm not sure what kind of bird it was but did a little research when we got home and I think it might have been a Scarlet Tanager as seen below......at least the size and description seemed to match.
Raining as we leave the restaurant.
We arrived home about 3:30 and Elder Ashton started putting together some chicken chili that he wanted to try. I went to lay down and read.......and woke up 2.5 hours later!!!!! Yikes!
Today we went to church, came home and had dinner and then met the missionaries at the home of an investigator named Ernest (interesting that his name is the same as Grandpa Ashton's and even spelled the same way). He was interesting to talk to and really wants to follow Jesus but has lots of questions. He had his cute 9 year old daughter with him - her name was Latasha and she had the cutest little round face with lots of braids around her face. Today while talking with this Ernest and his daughter, I had a strong feeling that although I miss everyone (family, friends, work associates) like crazy, I am making a difference in some lives here in Virginia. And the time is flying by! We will be home in less than 14 months.