Wednesday, July 7, 2010

People... Places... Things

Nouns typically describe most of my favorite things! :)

On this First Friday, I was introduced to The Book Tavern. A supremely awesomely, quaintly cool *LOCALLY OWNED* book store. It is full of interesting people, books (a given) and ... get this, T-Shirts (Made Locally!!!).
They are sure to have something you'll fall madly deeply truly in love with and not be able to leave the store without! Check them out (click "the book tavern" above)!
>>>>The Book Tavern - Book Man

>>>>The Book Tavern - Cool Shirt

>>>> The Book Tavern - Fighting over the "PEACE" Shirt

Stickers to be exact! :) A challenge for you, see how many of our nineteen stickers you can find on/around Broad St! Admittedly, Morgan & I stole the idea from another evident weirdo like us. But, we think ours are much weirder (hmmmm is that a word???)!!! I've already given you a starting point in this blog! *HINT HINT*
>>>> A Sample (so you know what you're looking for)

The Wall! Morgan discovered an abandoned wall that provided the ever-illusive *INSPIRATION*!!! Cool pics to come. While I do so love being behind the lens, I must admit, I rather like being the subject as well. Either side of the lens provides a needed creative outlet though in very different ways. That's not to say I want to make a permanent move to the other side. For some reason reducing the world around me to what can be seen in the 1/2 inch square of a viewfinder makes things so much more simple... and yet much more grand! Am I alone in this?
>>>> The Wall (Photo Credit - Morgan Newman)

Until Next Time...
xoxo Blonde OUT!

Friday, June 18, 2010

So... its been a while

Inspiration... seems to be the topic of many conversations of late and yet something which I've been sorely lacking!!! I think I'm getting my Mojo back though because I've been wanting to jot down some little tidbits recently. Since I go through phases with my inspiration, we'll see how long this trip lasts! :)
Some recent ponderings that have sprouted inspiration...
PICS!!! - Thanks to "IBM" aka Isty Bitsy Morgie (who is a fah-tog-gwah-fuh) I've been re-inspried to focus on photos. Her genius sense of photog-y-ness has sparked a bit of creativity in me. And the new camera, that my hubby-pie got me for our anni, has opened my eyes to a whole new galaxy in the universe that is our life! Once you go DSLR... well I'm guessing you get the rest of the picture! (pun intended lol) So, stay tuned for select photos or you can go to: and request to join (since that is a private site, if I know you personally, I'll accept) and view all the photos that make up our life.

HOUSE!!!!! For my former "Bloggies", you will remember this: We are in the 11th month of living in our "tree-house". It has passed almost faster than the speed of light! Maybe its because I'm older, but it seems like time just evaporates right before my eyes lately!!! Moving along... (literally) at long last, we have a house!!! I'm SO excited to start decorating and preparing to *finally* have a place to entertain again! Its been almost a year since we've had people over to the house and its been killing me!!! (save the one time we had a couple over to watch a movie and all 4 of us had to crunch onto the couch... talk about getting to know your friends! lol) Some awesome friends (Rach & Meech, Tiffany & LeVar) have very kindly made their home available for us to invade with people in tow. Not to mention the use of their kitchens for cooking for congregation gatherings, etc. I can't wait to finally christen my own kitchen with speckles of red velvet cake batter! Getting there will be a somewhat arduous task since the house is not yet a home and the cleanliness of the previous owners... lets just say left much to be desired! I do NOT see how people could bathe in such filth and actually exit the shower feeling cleaner than when they entered! I'm guessing a good triple dousing of Clorox and rinse with the pressure washer should do the trick. What do you think? :-)
I've also considered a standing movie and/or game night once/month for the kids in our hall -they can, bring their parents, if they'd like. lol CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP entertainment!!! Feedback???

See, when I finally sit down and start typing the thoughts just flow... Till next time...
xoxo Blonde _Out

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Calant... Check Them Out

Hey Y'all! Look to the top of this site for an awesome new thing I found! This is a link to Dmetri Rouse's site. Contact him through this link and he can design T-Shirts, Coffee Mugs, and MUCH more. Check them out!!! He designed some things for Quincy's business and they turned out great!
Help out a pioneer, check him out! lol :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Wedding Madness... Where Are They Now?

In 2008 every person I know (it seems) decided to get hitched in a 6 month time span. So around this time last year we were finally winding down and able to catch a breath. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE a party. I especially love a wedding! And I truly enjoy planning parties and most especially weddings!!! But WHEW! *dabs sweat over brow* 15 people in 6 months?!?!? Seriously? lol It was tons of fun and will make for good memories for us all from here on out. But what makes for really precious memories is not the weddings, beautiful tho they were. Its the fact that one year later, they are all beating the odds. I'll give you updates on the ones I'm acquainted with, if you all know any I leave out, please add updates in the comments section.

You might wonder what brought this on. . . We went to Dmetri & Rachel's house tonight to watch the "creation" video (outstanding!!! check if out if you have not already done so) and we came across this picture from their wedding:

and it made me start thinking back about all the couples that got married in 2008.

So, I'll start with Dmetri & Rachel. They seem to be doing great! They started pioneering together in May and I greatly admire Rachel for taking that leap! She is my idol now! She is in the process of finishing up nursing school (a full-time job within itself!!!), works and is an excellent PR 31 example for all of us wifey's. Dmetri does a great job of both taking the lead and supporting her so they can have the privilege of pioneering together!

CJ & Lindsay are doing really well and have baby # 1 due in just under 2 months! Josiah Prophet... They seem to really work well together and work well through various "things" that pop up. lol

Tim & Ray are happily serving in the Columbia ASL congregation.

The Magoos seem to be doing well too. I saw Kira last weekend and she seems very happy.

Anthony & Monica really appear to be best friends which is always an excellent start to a marriage. They are also pioneering together and what better way to draw ever closer???

I know there are a few that I'm forgetting... so, please remind me! :) Its late & I'm tired!!! lol I'll end by saying congratulations to you all and keep up the fine fight. As you know by now, putting Jehovah in 1st place is what has gotten you to where you are now and will continue to get you through to the 50 + anniversaries that are sure to come your way!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Secret Recipe

So, being raised around the truth and never really having gone "out", my exposure to the lame pick-up lines has been very limited... Thank God... Literally!!! I thank Jehovah for sparing me that "pleasure".
But they are out there! It seems,they all pretty much stick to the same script. So, most of you, like me, have gotten the typical: "So... are you married?" After my staunch "YES!" the scum usually retreats or the truly disgusting ones come back with the utterly repulsive "Happily?"... What?!? Did you really just ask that question??? Suppose I weren't, how exactly would that be any of your business? My typical response: *rolls eyes* *flips hair* *walks away*... Well, these humans of the male variety have really gotten bold & more revolting... yes, evidently that is possible!!! However, these moments of stupidity lead to quite humorous after-tales. All this lengthy lead-in for the simply absurd story below... enjoy.
So, I'm minding my own business Sunday night pumping gas when the guy across from me gives me this look around the pump that makes me think "lord have mercy, this crazy fool is going to say something stupid"... *SHOCKER* He does! He starts with the old line "so, you married?" Which of course led to my old stand-by reply "YES!" expecting that to shut him up... Not this one! He then said "Why?"... *shocked into total white chick mode* O-M-G!!! I thought to myself. He seriously just asked that didn't he?!?!?!? Aghast and laughing to myself I replied "because I already found my tall, dark & handsome brotha" *Pause* Now those of you that know me well, know full-well that I NEVER throw that information around or even tell, unless asked, that my hubby is black! But it seemed the appropriate humorous comeback to the nonsense just thrown my way. *Play* This, he was not expecting, and said "Oh, really? Well, how bout you let me be yo secret recipe?" *drops mouth wide open* You are seriously full of this mess, aren't you??? "secret recipe"??? Words can not begin... never mind. I just said "Nah. I don't get down like that" "For real? So, what about secret friends?" (does he ever give up???) "No. I don't do that either!" "Awww. Well, how bout just friends? I could meet yo man." "NO!!!" "So, I can't compete w/ your man?" "Uhhhh no! No comparison!!!" - as I'm closing the door on my car.
I must say, single brothers, take note. Obviously for you guys, all the "game" would end at the "yes, I'm married". However in cases where she is not married, I've seen the wreckage left after the multiple attempts to get a sister's number despite innumerable "NO's". Save yourself the pain and the funny stories about you that will become legend... After the 2nd no... Walk away! Just walk away!
I try not to be mean. We never know when we might meet them in service. However, as their propositions grow in severity and boldness, it will require more and more stern comebacks. So, to you sisters (single or married evidently) watch out, they (worldly guys) are learning new tricks... prepare yourselves and your responses!
I told my mother this story, and this will come as little surprise to those who know her... Her response: "That's awful! Well, what were you wearing?" lol!!! I explained that I was FULLY covered and that my clothes were not tight fitted. Also, that I'd been working & sweating moving all day, so cute was not even nearly an adjective that could be used to describe me. That's just how perverted and desperate these guys are! BLECH!...
But in Rachel's words, "this will NEVER not be funny!"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tree-House Living

Well... the old adage "time flies when you're having fun" once again proves itself true! Can you believe, we've been in GA for 6 months?!?!? Like I mentioned when we moved here, since our move was kind of swift (we thought we were selling our house) and we weren't too familiar with the area, we decided to rent instead of buying immediately. Since a purchase was our end-goal, we only signed a 6 month lease thinking it would be no problem whatsoever to find a home to purchase in that time. . . Here we sit 6 months later living in our tree-house as Lindsay calls it. Mom refers to it as our bassinet since it isn't even big enough to be called a crib! lol
One sister kindly reminded me that it is good training for the great tribulation as we never know what our living arrangements will be as the end draws nearer. I say... it better be! I better learn something from it because I see no other benefits... other than the ultra-cheap rent! But even Mr. Savings (Quincy) himself says that some things just aren't worth the money you save. There are things that just can't have a price tag placed on them. . . A few of these are:
1) Running Water in Your Home - This has GOT to be top of the list because risking you life (another story to be elaborated on...see # 3) every time you have to use the bathroom is so overrated! We have a very steep, very narrow, very dangerous flight of stairs that separate us from all modern conveniences other than electricity! Wanna brush your teeth? Grab a bottle of water and a spit cup! Your only other option is to *with great care* walk down the stairs, across the garage, over the dog fence, past the 2 bulldogs and a cat and search for and flip the switch on the hanging lamp because for some reason the light in the otherwise pitch-black 3/4 bathroom never wants to work! They did fix it before leaving (for 3 weeks) but it promptly changed it's mind & decided it didn't want to work again the day they left... Every time you have to "use the facilities", same deal... and being a woman that drinks a lot (its a well-known fact that women have smaller bladders to begin with) I have to ... *ahem* "use the facilities" ... Often! And lest we forget, other daily necessary procedures such as taking a shower. Now that is is a whole different undertaking! You can't exactly forget something, say a razor, and just reach out of the shower to grab it. You have to turn off the water (because the hot only lasts 5 minutes... really!), dry off, get dressed, run across the garage, slow down to walk cautiously up the treacherous steps, grab the razor, walk very carefully back down the steps, run across the garage, dodge the drooling dogs, undress, turn the water back on and hop back in the shower... OH SNAP! I forgot my shampoo!!!... Here we go again. No lie, this is speaking from experience!
2) Appliances- Do not underestimate the value of ice! Cold drink anyone? No problem... drive up the street about 2 miles to the store get a bag of ice and we'll put it in a cooler and hope it lasts a day. Or settle for room-temp soda, henn -for me , or other beverage of choice. Never finish your food at the restaurant? Me either. Ah well, the fridge isn't big enough to hold a to-go box and even if it were, you kinda need a microwave to re-heat it... which we are also lacking. Although, that shouldn't be too much longer. As soon as I drag my lazy butt to Grovetown and get the microwave Meech & Rach offered to let us borrow, that problem will be solved. Washer/Dryer... I know many friends must use a laundry mat for their clothes and I have done so in the past. But for the last 5 years or so, We've become accustomed to having a washer & dryer in house. Now, I'll have to dodge bullets to do laundry since most of the laundry mats near our bassinet home are in ... less than desirable areas. A stove/oven... While I, by no means, cook every night, I do cook and love it! Since my red velvet cakes have developed a small reputation for themselves (not to brag-seriously) I love to make them. Especially for those who really appreciate them. But now, the extent of my baking might have to be an Easy-Bake oven and my cooking on the 2 burner hot plate that sits on top of the dorm-room fridge... I might surprise myself with how much more creative I become in my cooking and improvising. But I'll have go to the grocery story EVERY time I cook since there's no fridge room for supplies...
3) NO STAIRS - This will humor some of you. I've already fallen twice! Like I mentioned before, these steps are not traditional. a) they are super steep b) the stairway is narrow, about 3 feet wide and c) the steps themselves are narrow + my super-human sized feet = only 1/2 my foot is in contact with the step at any given time unless I go up/down sideways. So, all of these factors lead to blonde moments! Stair blonde moment #1- rushing down the stairs because I woke up late and carrying my 2.5 ft x 2.5ft file box, purse and laptop bag. I get to near the bottom of the stairs an realize that I can't open the door holding the box because, remember, the stairway is only 3ft wide itself and I, alone am... well, we'll just continue in the story. So, I attempt to turn around and move the box around, and SLIP! I fell down 2 steps... Threw my back, knee and hip a little out of whack. But, what I didn't' know at the time, this would not be the worst one... Stair blonde moment #2 - This time not rushing. I was casually taking the trash out - wearing socks, first mistake - and on the 2nd to the top step- SLIP! Bump Bump Bump right on my behind... all the way to the bottom! I composed myself and checked for outstanding pain... Nothing broken... went ahead and took the trash out, very slowly proceeded back up the stairs to the bed and PLOP! There I laid for the remainder of the evening! Just in case any of you are wondering, the stairs are fine! That was Quincy's 1st question... isn't he just regular comedian??? But today is the 2nd day and for some reason, muscles always hurt worse the 2nd day, right? I don't know why, but my derriere is quite alright. Its my ribs (all the way up and down on both sides) and my abdomen that are so painful! Someone explain that one to me... ??? And don't make me laugh. It feels like I did 2,000 crunches!
All things considered, as Quincy told someone over the weekend, chances are we won't be here long! And he has yet to really get a feel for it since he hasn't had his first bump bump bump down the flight of stairs... Let's see how long we last there after he falls once. I'm not wishing that on him, but his feet are even longer than mine and he's always wearing socks, so its only a matter of time...
Now, roll the clock back about 6 years to the single Beff and this place and it would be THE spot, please believe!!! My people would be chillin in my "bassinet" every night! One positive: I'm able to brush up on my pool game since that is what occupies the majority of our living...area. It can't really even be referred to as a "room" as the whole apartment is one room!!! By brother & I used to be pretty good because we would spend our entire lunch at sports break shootin' pool. But that was years ago and just like a language... if you don't use it... I don't even remember what I did with my cue... I need to find that!
Back track slightly to say, don't get it twisted... we really appreciate having no lease and cheap rent! So Thank You to the friends who are providing a place to lay our heads at such an affordable rate!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Unassigned Territory Day 5

Our last day in Florida... It was a bitter sweet day. We woke up so late this morning! Since it takes about 15 minutes to get out of the driveway and another 15 to the kingdom hall, we really needed to leave the house no later than 9:15 to have an opportunity to associate with the friends a little. All of us in our house didn't wake up until 8:45!!! And I had to wash my hair! I let it go the last 3 days because what's the point? I'm only going to put it either in a pony or a bun... and sweat through it all day... washing would be a waste of my time. But today, we have to go to the kingdom hall. We have to make a somewhat decent impression. So, I jumped out of bed and tried to run to the bathroom, but it was occupied! One bathroom + 4 people running late, you do the math. We finally left the house at 9:30 and made it just in time for the talk. But we got to associate after the meeting. One little girl, appeared to be about 10 years old, raised her hand on every other paragraph and with darn good reason! Lil mama had her stuff together!!! She gave one comment and said something to the effect of: "Well, I recall a talk given where the brother used the illustration of Jesus being the head of the congregation and we are the body. Usually your head goes first and your body follows behind the head. So we should follow Jesus wherever he leads us." We all sat there, jaws on the floor, looking at each other thinking... wish I'd thought of that comment! lol

So, we went back to the house to finish packing up and loading the cars. A brother from our congregation gave his first talk yesterday (and blew it out the box, I might add) and we tied in over the phone to listen to him. Then, we went to Ed & Susan's for an incredible lunch! Home-grown roast (Yes, I ate beef. Just a tiny piece), and veggies grown in their garden! Creamed corn, fried okra, fresh sliced tomatoes, onions and okra pickled by them. They also had some fresh fried oysters. They topped this all off with some homemade fig & blackberry preserves for the yummy yeast rolls. OMG! It was all SO good! She also sent us home with a jar of fig & blackberry preserves, honey harvested on the plantation (and its the only honey in the world that never goes to sugar), and (my fave!!!) homemade dill pickles! That jar is all mine! Quincy can share the rest, but the pickles are just mine!

Susan decided it was the appropriate time to let me know that there used to be a snake that resided in the cottage we occupied this weekend. They reasoned it was only a rat snake (not poisonous) and they hadn't seen it in a few years any way. It was originally placed in the cottage by Ed, without telling Susan I might add, to take care of the rat problem.Susan says that they hates rats more than she hates snakes... I cannot say I concur. She was clearing out some boxes one day, moved one and saw the snake shed behind one. She promptly called Ed, and he said "oh yeah. I didn't tell you? I put him in there to take care of the mice for you." Susan said "oh, I feel loved!" lol Then she was in there cleaning one day and saw something out of the corner of her eye. She turned to look and saw him and at first thought oh, he's only about a 4 footer (only?!?!?) but he started slithering across the floor and kept going and going and going... in all he was about 7 feet. Guess mice does a body good! I'm just glad he didn't decide to show his face while we were there. This country-raised chick would have found a hotel faster than you could yell SNAKE!

After lunch we wanted to see the "big house" so Ed and Susan took us on a "short" tour of the plantation and included a gander at the big house. This "short" tour took almost 3 hours and was incredible! It was like a safari... literally! Our tour also included driving around one of the mid-size ponds that is 72 (+/-) acres in size, some of the hunting areas, and the swampy areas. I think I mentioned this before, but just in case, the plantation is 11 THOUSAND acres total. One part of it has over 4 miles of lake-front. We did see one *small* alligator that was 7 feet long. We tried to find another that was much larger, but never spotted him. We looked at some of the 20 horses, 6 belgium mules and the 52 hunting dogs. Correction from a statement in an earlier blog: the owners actually do come for hunting trips almost every weekend from Thanksgiving through March. They fly in on their private jets into a private airport and usually stay Thursday-Sunday. Occasionally throughout the year, because the plantation owner loves the frog legs from here so much, he will have someone flown into Tallahassee by private jet to pick up some legs to take back to him. . . So THAT is how the other side lives. lol

All this being said, we really appreciate everything Ed & Susan did for us! We really felt at home and can't wait to come back for a visit!... If the opportunity to do unassigned or seldom-worked territory... without question, Carpe Diem!!!! Seize the opportunity! Even if you just go for a weekend, do it! The experience and the memories are so worth it!

That's all for now. More things may come back to me as reflect on the time spent there. If so, I'll add them later. Good news! Photos are all uploaded, with the exception of some Saturday and all of Sunday's pics. I forgot to mention of Saturday evening I dropped my camera! and it will not even turn on now. So, I'll have to wait to get the rest of Saturday's off of my camera later and we used Rachel & Dmetri's camera for all of Sunday but I forgot to upload those last night. I'm also going to try to get back to update the blogs to include photos of the things discussed.

Thank you all for "following" us on our trip... TTFN

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Unassigned Territory Day 4

Our last day in the ministry and ... We finished an entire assigned territory! We were so excited come 6 ish tonight when we realized: at last! We just completed the final road! We were also blessed to go out with a bang both in spiritual and comical experiences.

All morning it was threatening to rain down on us, but as Rachel said we had a "happy cloud" follow us. There were grey skies literally all around us, but the break in the clouds seemed to follow us wherever we went all morning. Come lunch time, we parked near a lake to eat and since it was so hot and muggy, I turned the car to "on" (not starting it) and let the fan blow. We were quietly sitting eating and chatting when, out of nowhere, it seemed the second coming of the flood began. We frantically tried rolling up the windows (its times like these you appreciate the old school manual winding window handles) and they moved slower than a snail. . . The battery died on us. So here we are rain POURING down windows open, literature and food getting soaked. I hopped out and tried to get the jumper cables from the trunk. Then, common sense returned to me *Beth, rain + electric current=blonde -dead- moment waiting to happen*. Drenched, I jumped back in the car and suggested we hold our umbrellas out the windows to ward of any further moisture until the storm passed. This is, after all, a Florida storm. It should just last a few minutes. Well, despite my pleas to wait it out, the boys (Quincy and Dmetri) thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and try to jump the car off. While, it went off without a hitch - this time - they got wet to the bones. It was awful at the time, but now dry and looking back, its funny!

We all had some awesome experiences! We tallied up our time and placements and in only 3 days in the territory (this is from memory so allow a margin for error, please) we spent a total of 126 hours in the ministry. We placed over 35 bible teach books and numerous other publications. One calendar was even placed! Yep! A calendar. I'm not quote sure how that will be counted, but an older woman said she would like to have a calendar and Dmetri actually had an extra one in the car.

Quincy placed 6 books today. I was in a different car group than him all day, so I'll have to update you all on his great experiences later.

I met two very nice women who accepted the BT book. One said that we could have someone come back to visit and one said that she would like to read it over on her own first, but she agreed to allow someone to write her a letter first and see if she is ready to discuss it more. I was going to let someone here follow up, but I believe I want to write her a few times first, then turn it over... selfish? I don't know. I think its just me wanting to be thorough.

Dmetri met a very nice man who was working on a tractor in his garden a few miles from his house. He was very receptive and accepted the BT book. Then, towards the end of the conversation said 'well, I came down here for something good after all!' He also agreed to have someone from the local congregation come back to speak with him.

On the way into the territory this morning, we came up on an accident clean-up and the police officer came down to let us know what was going on, but stood there a talked some more. He said "well, y'all are mighty dressed up for a Saturday morning!" Dmetri explained that we were involved in a christian ministry. He said "Oh okay, well if I get any calls today, i'll just ignore them and tell them I already know about you and you all are okay." He then proceeded to explain that if we see any "no soliciting" signs, that does also apply to us. One area of our assigned territory is majority, in his words, "staunch atheists." He said, "you are just tyring to bring them a book with some good news in it, but they don't want to hear it." In the end, we did encounter one "staunch atheist" who was very ... unkind... and one other who labeled himself a "pagan." - His words, not ours. When curiosity prompted further questions, he said "most people think we are wiccan, but we're not." He did not, however, desire to elaborate on what his specific beliefs are beyond the fact that he is "not a christian".

Rachel & Dmerti had an interesting experience with some dogs (it seems we have at least 2 dog stories per day). Two cute little guys came running to greet them from 4 houses down and continued to follow them from house to house. I say 'them' because, as you well know, I was not present outside the comfort the confines of the car provides. At the first house the two little guys followed them right onto the porch and one sat expectantly at the door awaiting its opening. When the lady of the house opened it, she seem startled to see the dogs at the door with them. Rachel & Dmetri explained that they thought it must have been her dogs the way they were sitting at the door. About that time, she opened the door a little further and one of the little guys dashed inside and her little pooch inside saw and opportunity for freedom and made a run for it. The householder started saying "oh no! he's 14 and never been outside before!" So, Rachel promptly went chasing after him through the yard. She finally got to him and as she grabbed him, her hands were met with snarls. She put him back down and asked the lady if he would bite. Her reply: "Hunny, he is 14. He doesn't even have any teeth." So, Rachel got him back inside. Meanwhile, I was taking notes and missed all of this hilarious action!... I could have gotten that on video had I been watching... Ah well.

I do believe that is all that there is to be said for now.

P.S. As June ever so subtly requested, pictures are on their way! I will say, they are in the process of being uploaded. I've been trying for days, but since I'm obligated to use my BB as a modem and the signal out here is very unreliable, uploads are a monumental task within themselves. I'm excited to show them to you all and think *hope* you will enjoy going on our journey with us through from our viewpoint.

We leave tomorrow after visiting the congregation for the public talk and WT study and taking a quick tour of the "big" house here on the plantation. The house was built in the shape of a horseshoe, as it is "Horseshoe Plantation". Our time has gone by much to quickly! I can't wait for our next unassigned territory trip!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Unassigned Territory Day 3

Despite the torrential afternoon down pour, today was a very productive day!
I forgot one good experience from yesterday. One sister from the congregation that joined us yesterday for afternoon service met a gentleman at the door who said that the day before a friend of his asked him if he'd ever talked to Jehovah's Witnesses and what he thought about them. Since, up to that point, he'd never met one he had to tell his friend that he didn't know anything about them. She was able to give a witness and, if I remember correctly, place a bible teach book.
Today we started the day a little earlier. After meeting the group at the kingdom hall we took some pictures with everyone (Side note: Rachel is sitting next to me and says to tell everyone hi ) and swiftly made our way to the territory. Our service began pretty typical. Nothing really outstanding this morning. A lot of not at homes. One drive way was pretty bad and a huge tree limb was blocking the drive. I, one of obviously little faith, said it looked like no one had come through in a while since it was covering the whole drive as well as a wire down from a nearby pole. Quincy & Rachel, evidently having more faith than me , decided we should just move it from the drive and continue on. Well, aren't we glad we did! We met an amazing woman who was very receptive (even after finding out we were Witnesses). She even told us that she has recently gone through a divorce at the request of her husband after 43 years of marriage! She was on her way to leave for a trip, but said that someone could certainly come back after she returned. She also said she was surprised we were able to make it down because she usually has the gate closed. Also, I went to the door despite the big dog jumping almost over the fence at us. This is no typical "Beff" dramatic story. Rachel actually said when we got back to the car that she didn't want to tell me that she saw the dog jumping almost over so that I wouldn't freak. You'd have been proud... I was more adjusted that you might have imagined!
Ok, other excerpts from our day:
-Most people are from one of two churches around here. They either attend a Pentecostal or baptist church. Evidently the baptist church is enormous! It even has its own grocery story inside.
-One lady we met today immediately gave me the common local objection: "We attend ______ (the baptist church which shall remain nameless) church and we're good" Don't you just love that? "We're good" Nothing in the reasoning book for that one! Although towards the end of the day today we were talking about possible ways to over come it and I thought, why not say "oh! That is awesome! We love to meet people like you who are truly spiritual people. I'm sure then you have heard of _________ (fill in the blank with a teaching of Jesus)." Well, I tried saying something to that effect and she said "this is my daughter's house and today is her due date and we just got back from shopping and we're in the house" I tried to utter OH my goodness! Congr....." at that point she had already turned and started walking towards the house. We took that as our clue that it was time for us to leave. lol
-Quincy reminded us that a C.O. once said that on some doors, the angels already left us at the door and we're still trying to talk to the person. So, sometimes we just have to take the clue that its time to go.
-Janessa made a return visit today on an older lady we met yesterday. She was very nice and while yesterday seems somewhat apathetic and let us know that she'd been a devout Lutheran since the age of 4, today she was very nice and even accepted the Bible Teach book!
-We all had "interesting" dog experiences today. After telling Quincy and Rachel that I had a bad feeling about a particular door, I tried to overcome that apprehension and go to the door. I saw the dog toy on the porch as I approached. That was my first clue, then Quincy just barely hesitated and I started backing off. In the next split second, a huge snarl, grown and full-on bark came from under the table on the porch. But before he uttered his full-on bark, I was already at the door of the car and opening it. Turns out, we just seemed to have startled him and Quincy was even able to pet him a little. That was besides the fact, and I was not interested in that. Dmetri & Vaughn went to a door where Dmetri was trying to shoo one dog from the porch when 2 more big guys came from under to porch and made a bee line for Vaughn. No harm done, but why is it that the animals always are drawn to the very people who would prefer they stay a mile away? The things we ponder...
-One lady told the other car group "we all have guns and dogs. So, y'all need to be careful!" It was not a kindly "hey, you may want to be a little cautious". It was more of a "watch yo back".
-In a desperate need to use the restroom Rachel and I found an out house in a state park. On the way through the deep woods to get to the out house, we almost ran into a spider about as big as my palm. We cautiously opened the door (Rachel was standing behind me hoping to be protected by me. She placed her hand on my back and made me jump and scream like a girl thinking it was some kind of creature) and after spotting the three frogs directly above the toilet, we decided to block each other from the sight of the (empty) parking lot and make use of the leafy floor of the forest. She successfully completed the task and we then saw a 3rd Jurassic size spider (Rachel's words and I must agree! that thing must be a descendant of T-Rex!) and instantly, all the urge to go mysteriously "evaporated"! We ran for the car like maniacs and continued wiping off the non-existent spiders crawling through our imaginations. Good Times! Good Times!
-A sister from the local congregation invited us to eat our lunches at her house. After lunch, she gave us a tour of their spiritual library. This included an actual phonograph used in the ministry and an original copy of the 1st Watchtower bound volume. We might try to go back tomorrow to listen to an original sermon of Brother Russell on the phonograph. How exciting will that be??? Also, it turns out a good friends of theirs served in Columbia, South America with my uncle Bob for years! Small world, this organization, isn't it???
Well, I think that pretty much sums it up for today. One more full day of the ministry tomorrow. We're going to try our best to finish up the territory we were assigned. More rain is forecast for tomorrow (60%) so, we'll see how well that works out for us. I'll keep you all posted as always.

Unassigned Territory Day 2

Let the games begin! Our first day was very productive! From our group of 6 we were able to place quite a few "Bible Teach" books and set up for some returns. Quincy's first call today was a great one. He started out with the "I'm sure you love Jesus...If he were here right now, what do you think his message for you would be?" The man replied "Honestly, I don't know because I just feel like my prayers have been answered lately. I don't know how he can put so much on one person"... What a great lead in! Quincy read Luke 4:43 and placed the BT book. I think we'll try to come back tomorrow. On a side note: there was a HUGE, gorgeous but HUGE, blue pit inside when we first walked up to this door and he was barking and growling. I noticed that the screen door was not fully shut, so I tried quietly asking Quincy to shut the door... he wasn't getting it, so after the 4th time, he finally shut the door and my heart slowly returned to normal pace. This was not our only dog incident today. Poor Quincy & Vaughn survived an attempted assassination by a 4 inch tall ferocious monster who in his attempts to chase him off his porch got his little runner wrapped around a post... po critta... NOT!
We stayed out until about 7:15 and started making our way back to the plantation for dinner. To make a 30 min long story short, we got lost in the driveway. Before you laugh hysterically, remember this is the 2 mile long twisting and turning "driveway". We finally made it back to the house and met at the "big house" for a very nice dinner with Ed & Susan, their son, and some friends from their hall. We had homemade deer sausage-dogs with fries and cole slaw. Towards the end of dinner Wyatt, their son, came over and quietly told his dad that they were about to go out "reptilin'". Another brother mentioned that they were going out on the boat. Of course we were curious. As the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat... They were going gator searchin' in preparation for gator huntin'. The Florida gator season starts August 15th or 16th... OOOOOOHHHHHHHH Can I go? please please pretty please.... NOT! You may safely count me out of that adventure! But that lead them to tell us about Ed's many outdoor adventures. One was of him killing a rattlesnake with a shotgun only to realize there were two rattlers in that spot and the other goes running into the hole. Ed grabs it by the tail, pulls it out of the hole and with the other hand shoots into the hole and kills it! I believe "WOW" would be a grave understatement for the look on all our faces. Then they tell us about a gator in one of the ponds that got one of their labs... Vengeance is mine, says Ed! So, at 2 am they go out doing the "gator shuffle". Shuffling their feet along the bottom of the pond trying to get the gator to come to the top. It worked! 12ft 3in, 750 pounds and he and another brother, long story short, got em! After he finishes telling this story and a couple others, without skipping a beat and impeccable timing, Vaughn says "Yeah, you know I was hunting for a firefly and (demonstrating with and imaginary cup) Wham! I got em!" We all absolutely DIED laughing!
Ed & Susan have lived here, managing this 11 THOUSAND acre plantation for the billionaire owners, for the last 23 years. FYI: The owners sold their oil rig concept to BP years ago for 5 billion dollars! I can not even begin to imagine what it would be like to check my online bank account and see that many zeros! But, it seems despite that level of wealth and one son married to British royalty, they are surprisingly down to earth and kind, according to Ed and Susan. And evidently, the whole purpose of this plantation is for their once or twice per year VIP quail-hunting parties! In addition to Ed and Susan, the plantation managers, there are 12 more employees. They also house and train 50 + hunting dogs, 20 horses and (I believe) 5 mules all for the sole purpose of their annual hunting outings.
So, the night wound down and we continued sharing stories, mostly listening intently to their many many wonderful experiences! I'm looking forward to hearing more!
Tomorrow promises to be another exciting day in the ministry! I can't wait! Stay tuned!