Posts filed under 'Mike_Said'

Busy bee.

Mike_Said

It’s been a busy 7 days or so. Getting up early, not getting home until 10 or later. I’ve been really wanting to connect with people, but time and energy has been in short supply. Hopefully I’ll be able to make up for it soon.

We’ve had a few ups and downs while being here, literally and figuratively. This week the house we went to gut had a strange effect on me. Eddie from last week told us that he could barely get anything done on his house before we showed up, because he would start and then just get sad and slowed until he stopped. I kind of felt that way in the house this week. We had lots of things in our favor. Tempurature, breeze, shade, most items were removed from the house, a good team, very nice homeowner- but nevertheless, it was painstakingly slow. And hard. Not to mention that the house had the worst termite damage I’ve ever seen. I even fell through the floor up to my waist (one leg only, thank goodess). But don’t tell my mom that or she might get worried.

In other news, we are starting a small group made up of the mercy response people (5 total, including us). I am really looking forward to this, as God seems to be doing something already. I am already wishing I could take all these wonderful people back to my neighborhood to live in columbus.

I still intend to tweak and then eventually revamp the Mercy Response website, but it’s been a slow start because we’ve been so busy in other areas. Hopefully I’ll finally be able to get in contact with their web people soon and get that ball rolling.

And finally, we’ve got a new project to work on- and it needs to happen fast. We have been assigned to a community outreach, not in kenner, but a much more badly hit area of town. It will be a 4th of July BBQ. We’re going to have to canvas the neighborhood, put up fliers, cook the food, pray and hope for the best. Hopefully it will bless people. So if you’re the praying sort, we could use favor with them as we invite.

All right, all right- it’s getting to be dinner time and Phil’s cooking (my roomie) and HE IS THE BOMB on the grill – I’m not going to miss any of that!!!

1 comment June 28th, 2006

Cool people.

Mike_Said

We’ve been without teams so far this week, but we’re *really* looking forward to who is coming this week- people from our smallgroup Kinship X!!!!! Last week we had great fortune to work with this team from Indiana – Those people were great. They busted their butts (and we along with them). At the end of the week, another team from my church (Joshua House!) had come and even though I didn’t gut with them, it was great to talk with them about their experiences.

Lora and I are now just a day away from the big boss coming back from his vacation. Once he’s here some bigger picture things will begin to take shape, and that will be cool. We have some ideas that (we hope) are good ones. It will simultaneously be more interesting because we’re staying at this guys place until a trailer is secured for us. So that means we are now roomies with the very guy who is calling our shots.

2 comments June 20th, 2006

Little things.

Mike_Said

The south certainly does things a little bit different down here. There are a lot of simple, interesting things to take note of. People are somewhat more patient with other drivers. There have been some delays on the road, mistakes etc by folks, but in a city this big, I’ve heard maybe 1 or 2 honked horns, and to be honest, I think those were hey howya doin’ honks to people they recognized…

The people here are friendly too. Almost everybody says, hey howya doin’ instead of pretending people don’t exist. And what’s really weird is that everyone, when they hear what we are here for, is very intentional and sincerely deliberate to say Thank You, and that it means a lot to them. Blows my mind.

1 comment June 20th, 2006

Suckin’ heads and pinchin’ tails.

Mike_Said

Thats what we did last night. At the pastor’s house.

Earlier this week we were invited to a dinner at the pastor’s house. When we arrived, we knew which house it was because there was a helium balloon in the shape of a big lobster hanging on the mailbox. That was my first clue. We went out back where the party was and found a beautiful backyard with tables set up, coolers full of beverages and 3 rather large suspicious looking boxes next to other foods.

Yep, it was time to eat crawfish. Lots of crawfish.

Down here, the expression suckin’ heads and pinchin’ tails refers to the process of eating boiled crawfish in mass quantities. MASS quantities. I’d probably give my left pinky toe to have the look on Lora’s face preserved forever for all to see. The sheer look of horror and a 1000 seafood nightmares flashing across her face was priceless as people used big scoops to pile mound after mound of these significantly sized sea critters onto a huge carton.

Of course, there is a technique to get the savory, meaty goodness from this chicken of the sea. First, you twist the tail off. Colored gunk and other unmentionables seperate from the rest of the husk. Then you peel off the first large scale on the tail. Then, pinching the base of tail (which relieves some kind of tension), you may then grab hold of the meat and pull it out successfully. This part looks and tastes a lot like shrimp except they boil it with seasoning to make it have a mild spicy flavor. And is slighty more red in color.

Now for the slightly more daring, comes the part where you take the other top half of the crawfish, put the hole where the tail used to be to your mouth and suck the flavorful juices out and then quickly pop the tail meat into your mouth and eat.

Repeat and enjoy.

I (and many locals) are not up to the experience of “suckin’ heads” yet, and I doubt I ever will be. I did however pinch many tails and was having a rather fun time of it. Lora had her tails pinched for her, and was having a hard enough time keeping her jaw shut during the meal. Luckily there were other things there for us newbies to eat.

What I really enjoyed about the whole thing was how casual and social it all was. It was somewhat surreal being an outsider doing this for the first time, because every once and awhile you step back an notice that there are GIGANTIC mounds of dead carcasses piled on tables as people are just having fun socializing. But really though, past that, it was a truly nice experience talking with people, being relaxed and having this great southern cultural experience. The people were really friendly. We spent most of time talking with the head of young adult ministry who is the pastor’s son. He is really great and among other things, said he’d take me out shooting guns with him sometime (a mutual hobby of ours).

All in all a wonderfull evening. My single greatest regret is that we forgot our camera at home. I was assured however that there would be more of these types of things before we leave. We will not forget again!

8 comments June 17th, 2006

Humble Pie.

Mike_Said

Well, Lora beat me to the logistical stuff. We’re here, and looks like a week of gutting houses is in store for us. Today was the first day, and let me say its very very rare that I’ve felt that nasty for that long. I’m pretty exhausted. One personal highlight for me today included finding a blender full of year old water with a dead baby rat inside floating around. So. Nasty. You guys are just lucky I didn’t have my camera…

As Lora said, the initial impression seems as though things are moving right along. If you go to the French Quarter, it all looks cool and such, and the suburbs are progressing. But on Sunday, our new boss Stacy took us around the city on a tour that I wish everyone could have seen. There is SO MUCH devastation. everywhere. We drove around for about 2 hours all over the city and didn’t leave wreckage areas. There are people living just in tents on the side of the road. So much still has to be done. I heard a story of one family (mother with kids) who was just living in their moldy house because they had nothing else and nowhere to go, and wouldn’t/couldn’t let people gut it because of the young kids.

There is a lot to tell, and hopefully I’ll get to it all. Right now, things are busy and we’re not in a routine (which may never happen with work like this), which means that until we figure some things out, I don’t know how often I’ll be able to post. I honestly can’t believe I’m still awake after my day today. :)

But its worth it. These people we’re helping are so appreciative.

But for now, I need to go to bed and spend as much quality time with my wife as I can. In the meantime, I hope everyone back home is doing well.

Bye for now!

5 comments June 13th, 2006

Getting Close.

Mike_Said

We’re a little over a week out. Last night, we purchased a money pit cell phone (pay as you go plan- we’re not ready to take the full plunge yet) from Verizon. I checked with consumer reports, and they have the highest rating. We mostly got it so if we’re out and there’s an emergency, we have a reliable phone to use. Plus, we get free minutes after 9 and on weekends to other Verizon customers. We went to the store yesterday and as luck would have it, we got a great deal on a phone and it ended up being cheaper than we thought. Yay for happy accidents.

For the first time since I can remember, I woke up from being freaked out from a nightmare last night. After that, I had a hard time falling back asleep, so I spent at least an hour or so pondering all the changes happening. Though this is a temporary trip, I get the feeling it will have a much longer impact on my life. I spent some time praying and then got up at 6 a.m. and went to the gym. This was a much needed thing, because my body felt like it was atrophied. So though it started out freaky (bad bad dream), it ended up being a good morning.

Pray for Lora today if you get the chance. She has taken the day off but has 1.5 million things to do, so either hopefully all will get done, or she’ll have the peace to accept the things she can’t change.

Shameless Plug: Our Memorial Day garage sale is coming up – it is going to be AWESOME. We are artists, remember, so there is going to be a bevy of interesting things to purchase at a cheap rate (many thanks to Luke and Melissa for helping price stuff and all the folks who’ve donated stuff!). If you’re the praying type- PRAY FOR AMAZING WEATHER. We need amazing weather mojo in the worst way.

Thank you!

Add comment May 26th, 2006

Still a lot to do.

Mike_Said

It’s hard to believe we’re only 2 weeks away from leaving! It’s exciting, scary, and a bunch of other feelings all rolled into one. So much has to be done still. There is a lot of planning and organizing involved in taking a 3 month hiatus from life as you know it (who knew). We are concerned about the bill situation, since we can’t really forward things to NOLA, so logistics need to be worked out there. But luckily people will be taking care of the house, mowing the yard and helping us with that. A lot of preliminary thanks goes to Kathy, Lora’s sister – I couldn’t feel more at ease knowing that she will take care of certain things for us back home.

I better stop myself for now, because the list of people I need to thank grows longer every day and this would turn into the mother of all posts. Truly, without the support and aid of our family and friends, this wouldn’t be happening. *Sigh* I’m going to miss all of you when I’m gone.

For those of you in Columbus (or nearby), we’re having a garage sale to raise money at our house on memorial day. We’re going to be selling LOTS of cool stuff- so tell your friends its for a good cause and swing by yourselves. We would LOVE to see you there!

Add comment May 22nd, 2006

Baby steps, get the site working.

Mike_Said

We have a lot we’re doing in preparation for our stay down in the Big Easy – one of which is getting this site up and running. Please stay tuned.

3 comments May 20th, 2006

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