Sunday, November 30, 2008

You Should be Thankful Every Day

I usually always try to write what I am thankful for every year, but I never did on Thanksgiving day. Of course, each day I don't write what I am thankful for makes it harder for me to really make it look like I waited on purpose to prove a point: That there is never just one day to count what you are thankful for, there is never just one time of year to reflect and be grateful. Quite honestly, you should be thankful every day of every year. You should find time each day to say, "Thank you," and realize how grateful you are for something. Even when the world is crashing down around you, you should find time to realized what you are grateful for. So, here's my three days after Thanksgiving list (in no order in particular at all):

1. I'm thankful for my mother. I once told her that she didn't have a job, and clearly, she took great offense. I shouldn't even admit that I ever said that, because I really can't think of anything more rude that you could say. But me saying something so completely stupid made me realize that my mom is a hard worker than a lot of people I know. She did have a job a majority of her life, but now her job is raising me (which I am sure isn't easy). Really, though a job doesn't describe you at all. My mother loves me, my mother is always there for me. My mother will always be there for me.

2. My brother. Now that he is in college, I find more value in family time. Whenever he comes home, I usually try to be in the living room whenever I'm home, spending time with my family. One time Kyle and I were killing time in Wal-Mart while Mom and we found a poster with a list of text abbreviations and we got a total kick out of it. Even to the point where Mom said, "Let's do this," and Kyle and I responded by saying, "SLAP." Kyle is a good brother, and I'm not sure if he knows it yet, but he is going to be the one who will walk me down the aisle when I get married, because he has been there for me.

3. My friends. There are really there for me. They take my Lucky Charms and understand that I wouldn't give up my Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I use plural, but I usually will just mean one person but I will leave that up for debate. Even when times are good and talking is scarce, I know that they will always be there for me and will always be my friend. They can tell when things are going alright and ask if things are alright. They help put slips of paper in church mailboxes just to help out. They try to be a gentlemen even when I am perfectly okay holding my bible and putting on my coat. They make me laugh and understand my crazy Relient K references. They give me great advice that I save in my text message inbox on my phone. They correct me when I am talking ungrammarical. They are my friends.

4. I'm thankful that Thanksgiving hasn't been as commercialized as Christmas. Christmas decorations, sales and all the material stuff of Christmas would be out in July if stores would allow that. I'm glad that I can just enjoy Thanksgiving without people wanting me to sale me Turkey lights or something.

5. I'm thankful for the bowling alley. I haven't been there in a while, but I love the feel of that place. It's like my home away from my home away from home.

6. It may sound weird, but I am thankful for my singleness. This is the only time in my life where I can be single. Better than that, I am slowly learning that I need to wait on God's timing. I have made some mistakes, thought it might be okay to see how something go, and I'm sorry for everytime I was hurt and everytime I hurt somebody else. I am slowly becoming content with my singleness. I'm thankful for this. This is the time in my life where God can use me and I can just go where ever He leads.

7. I'm thankful that I have a youth pastor and his wife in my life. They are encouraging and Godly examples in my life.

8. I'm thankful for stuffing and pumpkin pie.

9. I'm also thankful that I have adorable pets. And one of the cats only jumped on the table once during dinner.

10. I'm thankful for how much I have grown in the past year. I'm thankful that I have learned more about myself, even if everything I have learned I didn't like. I'm thankful that I am who I am. I am thankful that I posess the talents that I do. Even though most of the time, I don't feel very talented and I don't feel all too special, I know that God created me and I should be grateful every day I wake up with life. I complain about certain things but I am so blessed that I have all my fingers and toes and I have air to breathe and life to live.

11. I'm thankful for my ability to be free. I'm thankful that I am an American. But way more importantly, I am thankful that I can have freedom. I'm really thankful that I belong to Christ and in Him I get all the freedom I could ever need. I'm thankful that I am a Christian and follow the best leader ever. My thankfulness could never be expressed in words. I could never even understand how much I should be thankful.

There's so much that I could write about and I could go on and on about just how many things I enjoy and how many things that make life happy and how many things I am thankful for.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. --Psalm 100:4-5

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This is Just Another Wednesday

Sometimes I am too busy reading other people's blogs that I forget to write my own. I suppose not many people run to my blog when they see I have a new post, but that really shouldn't stop me from posting. I don't really post to gain popularity and leave people in awe of my amazingness. I really just blog so I can keep in touch with people, let them know that I am still alive and hopefully practice being honest, so that someone might be encouraged. Most of the time I really just write about what's going on in my life, which is probably boring to most people. I am in the process of growing and so I hope you can see that as things change in my life.

As for today, nothing is really special about today. I have no college classes today (or at least none that I am going to; Biology wasn't canceled but the holiday schedule makes it at the same time as a class that I have at the high school). I don't have any big tests today. Really the only things that will happen today are: School, lunch, school, work. I actually work on Thanksgiving, too. My next day off would be the first of December. Not that that's bad or anything, I need more hours or else my paycheck will be pathetic. As for school, there is nothing exciting ever about school.

Monday I was feeling pretty stressed and overwhelmed. Tests and everything seems to pill up and I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. I even got to the point where I was telling myself that I didn't have time for friends. However, you cannot do much without friends. Friends are the ones who help you out. If they aren't willing to help you out or at least listen while you want to vent, then they aren't good friends. Perhaps sometimes I am included in the "bad friend" category, but friends are necessary. So don't ever think you don't have time for them. Make time for them. For real, that's my lesson for you today.

Monday, November 24, 2008


This is an interview I had with my youth pastor, which I had to do for my Honors Comp. II class last semester (The due date was April 4, 2008). I thought I'd share it with you, actually, I wanted to share it a while ago, but I think I lost it on my computer and now I have found it again.

Jeremy J. is the youth pastor at the Ellendale Church of the Nazarene as well as janitor at Ellendale Public School. Originally from Jordan, Montana, he and his family have made Ellendale home. I was allowed the opportunity to sit down with him and ask him some questions about his life.

Annie K.: Are there any interesting stories you have from your childhood?
Jeremy J.: One afternoon when I was younger, I was playing basketball outside my house. When my dad came home, I could tell he was drunk. He asked to play some basketball one-on-one with me. I didn’t really think he could play, but I agreed. We started to argue about who would get the ball first. I had the ball and faked him out, but since my dad was moving slowly, he fell and hit his chin on my shoulder. That caused my dad to bite his bottom lip so bad that it began to bleed. I felt horrible because I hurt my dad.
AK: What did you do when were going through rough times with your family?
JJ: [When I was young] I would build forts to get away. I would also play a lot of basketball and other physical activities. My friends joked that I was on steroids because I lifted weights at such a young age.
AK: How did you meet your friend [in the family you lived with for a while]?
JJ: I became friends with Barrett when he was a freshman in high school. I just starting hanging out with him and we became friends.
AK: His family went to church; did you do anything that related to church?
JJ: Yes, he and I went to church camps together.
AK: What was your first church camp experience like?
JJ: My mom didn’t want me to go, because she told me that I would get brainwashed. When I got back, I was worried about my parents because I knew that they were going to hell. My mom was upset; I had gotten “brainwashed.” That camp was actually the first time that I had a desire to become a youth pastor, which Barrett’s mom later reminded me.
AK: When you went to college, did you still know you wanted to be a youth pastor?
JJ: It was hard to pick my first major. I wanted to do everything. However, I always knew that I wanted to be a youth pastor. I worked at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch for a while, and I got that job because my boss knew I wanted to be a youth pastor.
AK: What brought you to Ellendale?
JJ: God is really the One who brought me to Ellendale. He told me to come to college here. I found out about Trinity Bible College because the family I was living with had a son who was already attending TBC.
AK: Did you always know you wanted to stay here?
JJ: I originally wanted to go back to Utah since my wife’s family is there. Before I left for Iraq, I was helping with the youth group in Ellendale. When I left, I felt like I was letting the youth down. There was a time in chapel when the speaker asked everyone who had a youth pastor while in high school to stand. Then he asked for everyone who had two youth pastors to stay standing, then three and so on. He got to seven and there were still people standing. At that time, the average stay for a youth pastor was 18 months. When I came back [from Iraq], I helped with the youth again. I knew that I wanted to be a youth pastor and was thinking about taking the youth pastor job in LaMoure. [The youth pastor in Ellendale] quit and the job opened up. I knew that if I was offered the job, I would take it and stay here.
AK: Have you enjoyed working here?
JJ: I feel it has been a great choice to stay here. I love the youth. God has blessed [my family and me]. I would love to be full time, but I am dedicated enough that if I have to keep working another job, I will.
AK: What are some things about being a youth pastor that most people don’t realize?
JJ: It is a lot more demanding than many people think. I keep trying to educate myself. It’s not all about fun and games; it’s about saving souls. I am just afraid the youth will graduate and fall away from the church.
AK: I understand you were in Iraq, what is something that experience taught you?
JJ: I was gone for 14 months and in Iraq for 11. It was literally a desert experience—I was surrounded by dirt and surrounded by hell. The temptations were right there with me in my tent. There was alcohol, swearing, mocking, pornography, and persecution everywhere. I had so many chances to drink, but I didn’t have any desire to. I learned that I needed to rely on God. I was able to read the Bible and spend time with God. I could tell it made a difference in my attitude; it changed my view on things.
AK: Did you ever get an opportunity to talk to others about God?
JJ: I would sit in watching stations for hours, so I would talk to other people. I wish I had known more about how to witness to other people. In college, I learned that Jesus loves you, but not about the law and the gospel. I talked with one girl who said that she didn’t want a God who sent people to hell. I only knew about God giving us a gift and we could either accept it or not. I wish I had known how to share the gospel with her and others in a way that they understood. After all, a doctor doesn’t offer a cure to someone before telling him or her what is wrong with him or her. I wish I had been able to pull at her conscience.
AK: What was the hardest thing about being away from your family?
JJ: Exactly that—being away from my family. There would be months at a time where I wouldn’t be able to talk to my family. My son was only four months old when I left. I really missed true [Christian] fellowship, because there wasn’t any real fellowship while I was there.
AK: What are some things that the whole experience taught you?
JJ: I was able to preach a sermon titled “Military or Missions,” in which I told those there that I thought everyone should either join the military or go on a mission trip in order to get a different perspective on things. When I was there, [the unit] would be sitting in the back of a Hummer and whenever we would stop, Iraqis would come running toward you. One time a little boy came up to me, he was holding a little medal and said, “For you.” I tried to tell him I didn’t want to buy it, but he said, “You take.” When I took it from him, the look in his eyes completely broke my heart. I gave him some money and wished that I could have given him more. People need to realize that there is so much pain in the world. We have so much more than we realize. That’s why I think everyone should do something so they can change their perspective.
AK: Do you regret going?
JJ: I don’t regret it at all. If I didn’t have a family, I would still be in the military.
AK: Do you have any advice for those thinking about going, whether they are married or single?
JJ: They should understand that it is a commitment. There was a company with 144 people working there and when we came back, half of the married people had gotten divorced. It’s hard, but it’s a calling and a conviction. You marry a person for good or bad. If you are joining, you better realize why you are doing it. It will affect you and your spouse.
AK: What was the biggest adjustment you had to make when you came back?
JJ: The adjustment period was horrible. My wife spent 1½ years doing things to keep busy—taking care of the baby, going to movies, spending time with friends and family. I spent those years building, fighting and sleeping on a cot. She was living in a house and driving a van. Coming back, we had nothing to talk about because we hadn’t experienced anything the other experienced. I was dealing with night fires and she was dealing with teething. The only thing we had holding us together was love. We had to start making memories together again. Other people noticed a change in me as well. People would even ask, “What happened to you?” I became a more serious person. I was completely changed.
AK: What was the biggest thing that God brought you through in your entire life?
JJ: Death. That sounds weird, but there were so many times that I had tried to kill myself when I was younger with drinking and pills. God brought me through pain and suffering. I made it out alive. Now I no longer worry about dying. It’s a lot like Paul was trying to say in Philippians 1:23-24, “I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” I believe that God has been keeping me safe because He is using me for a greater purpose.
AK: Is there anything else you would like to add?
JJ: I am worse than scum on the bottom of my shoe. God saved me and it’s the most incredible thing ever.
AK: Thank you for the interview.
JJ: Thank you for asking me to be a part of this.

Paint or Your Mission: What's More Important?

We are going to paint the room in the church that the church has let us use just as our youth group. However, choosing a paint color has not been something very easy. Finally, Jeremy made the final decision. Which is probably best, because I don't know if everyone was really happy. I mean, I really do feel that if it was a board decision, then the board should have been the one to decide. But, my mother said that I had to step away and not get stressed over it. It's just paint, I am trying to tell myself. Our mission is what really matters, not what is on our walls.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Getting Declawed Today

Here's a picture of my kitten so you can say how adorable she is and then feel bad for her.

My door is shut and my kitten is outside my door, meowing. I am not mean, but she is getting declawed today and so she can't eat anything. She's meowing because she always seems like she is starving. I feel mean for making her go through pain, but my mother says we can't afford to have her wreck anything. I just don't want her to be pain ever. It's also not very easy to not feed her, and somehow get the other pets fed. We were planning on taking her at about 2:00, but now I think my mom and I are going to take her down this morning. Hopefully they don't need to keep her for too long and hopefully the surgery goes smoothly. Having a kitten isn't easy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

These are the Kind of Conversations I Have

This morning...
Me: It feels like Tuesday.
My mom just kind of looks at me like I am crazy: It is Tuesday.
Me: Oh, I thought it was Wednesday. Then it feels like Wednesday.

On Saturday, at the nursing home:
Nursing Home Resident Lady: Do you have a boyfriend?
I laugh, and say: No, I don't.
Nursing Home Resident Lady: Good. You don't need one. They take up too much time and we need you here.

Seven Days in Sweats

Why Clothes Matter
From the Blog of: Christa Taylor
Writer and guest blogger Margaret Everton conducts a week-long experiment on why we really are what we wear.

I will never forget my middle school tennis partner who, before one morning bell, professed, “The clothes don’t make the person; the person makes the clothes.” The aloofness was cool, the adage wise. But she didn’t believe herself. I knew how many outfits she had tried on that morning.

I didn’t believe her either, and scoffed for years at such trivialization of the role that attire plays—yet I wonder. Am I putting too much emphasis on the impact that clothes can have? As long as I look clean and covered, how can clothes determine how I navigate through this world? As a freelance writer, I can wear whatever I want. So I will. I will document one week of my life wearing only my black track suit to determine if what I wear matters.

Track suits are underrated. Slimming, collar up: I’m Jackie Kennedy ready for tennis. Refreshing to put no effort into myself. This could become my uniform. I feel fine. I think I’ll get tea.

Husband: Do you have a cold? [Glancing at my outfit]
Me: No. This might be my new uniform. Might be the new me. It’s function-meets-comfort.
Husband: Meets pajamas.

Slouch clothes. Fun for the ol’ college slouch day. Not so fun when I’m trying to feel professional and serious on a phone interview I’m conducting.

What are the odds that this week I run into a girl from high school? Former rival dancer now guest lecturer at the local university. And I had wanted to appear so on top of the world if ever we reunited. Did I detect smugness in her smile? Seriously, what are the odds?

I’ve been in this clothing store for ten minutes and no employee has approached me. I’m invisible, unkempt. A woman with poise (and a killer pink scarf) just entered—she owns the room. Like moths to a flame, the three employees approach her. I slink away between two racks of sweaters and leave the store.

Groceries. Tea and—nooooooo. The wife of my husband’s colleague. She can’t see me like this: sloppy, not on top of my game enough to match her lawyer-turned-stay-at-home-mom intelligence and verbal wit. Jeans, boots, cream sweater—her simplicity approaches brilliance. Turn away. I can hang at the back of the store until she leaves. Drop the tea and walk slowly away. No, drop the tea and run.

The end of the day and the experiment is finally over. Jeans, blouse, vintage satin clutch for dinner with my husband. Wow, he says, you look amazing. Confidently I enter the restaurant. A woman taken seriously. I admit that I expected to determine that clothes do matter, but I didn’t anticipate to discover why. Conscious dressing can get bad press as materialism exemplified, but clothes that reflect our identity boost our confidence. Whether we’re most at home in a wool gabardine suit and heels or yoga pants and a tank, we should represent our most authentic self. To any onlooker, I’m just a girl in a shirt, but I sip my Pellegrino and feel like a supermodel. Nobody in the room cares about what I have on; it wouldn’t alter their evening if I still had on my track suit. But it matters. It matters to me.

Clothes Matter, Simplified:
*Well-fitting tailored jeans cover a multitude of sartorial sins.
*Sunglasses and a scarf or hat transform Bad Hair No Makeup Girl into Jackie Kennedy look-alike.
*Voguish purses or shoes exhibit attention to detail and respect for self.
*Vintage costume jewelry creates a uniqueness to an average ensemble.
*A wrap can be a signature piece that serves as a shawl or scarf (and ups the ante) for several
*Yes, track suits give grace to those quick errands, that early brunch, or those “off days.”
Just do yourself a favor and don’t wear it seven days in a row.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Give a Pair of Shoes

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge

Why give?
It's incredibly easy.
It's not hard to find an extra five dollars in your budget.
It's only a one time purchase.
You can give as much as you want.
It's doing something outside of yourself.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Small Things Can Make a Big Difference

"So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." -Galatians 6:10 ESV

Here are some small things you can do today:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Am Nothing Challenge

There are so many causes around the world and throughout America. Too often I sit back and do nothing because I feel that I am too small to make a difference. I feel that nothing that I do will really matter. I don't really feel that my voice will be heard. I don't really feel that my $5 will help anyone. I don't really feel that there is anything I can do or say to make a real impact or difference in the world.

Then I realized something.

I am totally right. I am nothing. I am nothing without God.

I can't make a difference. God can. Here's the thing... here's the blockade that I was still hanging out in front of being all like, "This is fun." I was standing still, afraid to move.

I challenge you to get up.

I challenge you to stop limiting God. I challenge you to try to do something big and great and if you fail, that's alright. However, if you succeed or have any sort of success, know that it is only because of God and without Him, you are nothing.

I challenge you to do something great. I challenge you to be the change you want to see. I challenge you to make a difference. I challenge you to start small or start big, but just to start something.

I challenge you to embrace your nothingness. I challenge you to say, "I am nothing. God is everything." I challenge you to embrace God's power and give Him full control.

So, while we are nothing, God can be everything.

This Reminds Me, IHOP Opened in Aberdeen

Guy eating pancakes: Everything's funny in retrospect, like the time I got that screwdriver stuck in my eye.

[source, warning: not everything is appropriate]

I can relate. Well, sort of. (In the sense that I really can't relate at all. But ultimately everything's funny in retrospect is a universal truth.)

I Should Just Close My Mouth

I suppose I haven't post in a while, which means, I have some catching up to do. For instance, my youth group ended up not being able to go to Watertown, because the weather would have been too bad and it was decided that it was just safer not to risk the roads not being good. So, that does indeed mean that I have a sermon burning a hole in my pocket. Or rather, my purse, but I haven't taken it out of my purse yet, but you get the idea. Jeremy says he will make sure I preach it sometime soon. Quite honestly, I was looking forward to preaching again just to see if I have totally lost my touch. You see, the last sermon I preached in my home church didn't go so well. (Good thing my mother doesn't read this, or else she'd be like, "Andra, don't say that!") It sort of resembled a train wreck with someone laughing through it the entire time. But anyway, I wanted to see if I somehow took a wrong turn in the "road of life" and it somehow isn't my calling.

When I look back, I really only see all the times that I have totally failed after I opened my mouth. For instance, the End of the School Year Bash my freshman year, when for some reason I thought that everyone was expecting me to speak, but I didn't have anything prepared, so I just got up there and rambled on for way too long. All the while people just looked and tried to pay attention, but I was really just going on for far too long. And then, I hadn't turned my cell phone off, so it went off while I was going on for too long.

Then there was one time I preached in church and it went for way too short. I probably set the record for quickest a church service has ever gotten out. You know you haven't spoken for long enough when afterward people tell you, "At least I didn't fall asleep," meaning that I didn't give them enough time to fall asleep.

Then there was the NYC presentation that Krista and I gave after we got back. The lesson I learned from that is even though you say stupid things, don't tell your entire church that you ever said, "I looked at the pamphlet and it said 50 states were represented and I said, 'Which ones are missing?'" That's not something you say when you have a mike in a church.

There are many times where I have not done a good job speaking. That's really my point here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nursing Home Stories and Watertown

I should be going to bed. In fact, I have no idea why I am even awake. Maybe I am hoping school will be canceled and then I will get a break and can at least take a nap. I don't really want school to be canceled, but at any rate, I should be going to bed right now.

And yet, here I am. You see, my youth group is putting on a service in Watertown on Saturday. I am really hoping that it turns out to be more organized than we were in Africa. (Let's overlook that I got to church to practice late on Wednesday so I ended up not practicing with them.) I am hoping that is God moving and that even though, I don't really think anyone has a clue what we will be doing, that we are still able to stir up that church and get them excited to get their youth ministries fired up. That might be a lot to ask coming from my group though (no offense). Of course, I am just as much to blame, considering I have no ideas for a sermon. So, obviously, I haven't started writing it yet. So, hopefully things fall into place. Hopefully things are driven by God and not us. Because if it were just us, we would crash and burn. For sure.

At the nursing home, one resident asked me to take care of her because she loves me. And this resident doesn't always seem to have it all together (for example, every day I set out a plate to place the pitcher on and she asks if she can have a plate to or why do they only get one plate), she is nice to me and for some odd reason, she seems to like me (according to her, she loves me). Yes, she is the one I forced to take a toothpick. I am finding that most of my stories are about the nursing home.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After "History was Made"

Now here's the real challenge. After the election yesterday, there is only one thing left to do. (Actually, I suppose you come up with a lot of things left to do, but just go with it.) We have to not only trust Jesus, but we have to praise Jesus.

Psalm 42:6-8
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Hebrews 13:15
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.

I had a feeling the outcome of the election would be this way and I'm struggling to see the importance of just one vote (even though I was six months off of being able to vote anyway), but God is in control. God is in control of my life, this country and all governments. God is in control and we should praise Him.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One Vote


[photo source]
I want to encourage everyone out there to VOTE.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm Too Young to Vote, but I'm Old Enough to Care

I'm too young to vote.

But, I'm old enough to care about who gets elected.

I'm old enough to care about the issues.

I'm old enough to realize that government affects me.

I'm old enough to know that just because I don't get to write on a ballot, I still need to voice my opinion.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Work at a Nursing Home

If you talk to me a lot (or I suppose, listen to me talk a lot) you probably know most of my nursing home stories. However, if you are just as bad at keeping in touch as I am, you don't know most of my stories. So, I thought perhaps, since I haven't posted in forever and a day, I should take some time and write down some of my nursing home stories.

Soda can be ambiguous. So, I was washing dishes in the back room. The phone was ringing for the kitchen (you can tell because the ring ends with a deep whenever it is for dietary) and it rang like at least twelve times before I answered. Normally, it doesn't ring for that long, but Stacy was charting and Gloria was getting the water pitchers. So, I answered the phone and Subiaco asked for about a half a cup of soda. So, I said, "I'll make sure we have some." (Since after working for almost three months, I don't really know all of what we have and don't have.) So I ask Gloria if we have soda and she says that we do in the back of the walk-in cooler. On the phone they didn't ask for a certain kind, so Gloria said to get some Sprite or 7Up. I find some store-brand lemon lime soda in one of those cute little half of a can and take it down to Subiaco. The nurse looks at me and starts laughing. I ask if this works and she laughs some more. Finally she says, "I know the lady on the phone didn't say baking soda, but that's what we need."

We cover our plates with "hats" apparently. Kyle is a CNA there and I was the only one in the kitchen at the time. So he asked me for something, but clearly he didn't know quite what it was called. He kind of motioned with his hands that he wanted something to cover the plates and said, "Do you have like...a hat?" I look at him and sort of laugh and say, "You mean a lid?" He said, "Yeah." (I must have been looking at him like I thought this was hilarioius, which I did, but he must have thought that he needed to explain himself.) "Well," he said, "I thought they had a special name." I laugh and say, "And you thought that special name was hat?" I really wasn't trying to make fun of him, but it was funny.

Then there's toothpicks. One of the newer residents is usually the last one at her table when I am clearing the tables, so she's usually sitting there when I am there. (Did you get that? She's sitting there when I'm there, I thought I'd like you know like three times, so you get it.) Anyway, she asked for a toothpick for two days in a row, so I assumed she liked using toothpicks. The third day, she was sitting there and I asked her if she wanted a toothpick. She just kind of looked at me, confused. I say, "You've wanted one before." She looks at me and is still confused, "Sure, I guess." So I bring her a toothpick, but I really felt like I was forcing this toothpick on her. And Gloria was there, but she hadn't been there either day the resident actually asked for a toothpick, so she must have really thought I was forcing a toothpick on her. I really wasn't. The best part of the story is that to use a toothpick... she takes out her teeth, right there at the table.