29 February 2008

Strike One!

Here we go again....as you might have guessed we still have phone/internet for our last night in our "old" flat and we don't have phone at the "new" flat. I love BT (British Telecommunications) :) When I called today (the biggest consolation being I waited only maybe 1 minute and got a guy who actually cared about my problem!), after being suspicious this afternoon that nothing was going to be done about changing our phones over, I heard "Huh, the order was cancelled." Not something you want to hear when you've given the two week notice as they request. This is now the second time our order has been cancelled (once when we moved in here, once with the new flat now) and no one notified us to tell us. The good thing is the customer service rep really did seem to have things together and spent a good 45 minutes taking care of all this mess. So our new day for getting our new phone line is now Tuesday. Will you pray with us that it will actually happen? I think neither of us want another phone-hooking-up-nightmare :)

Well, it's off to bed for the last time in this flat!

28 February 2008

MO & RO on the GO....again!

There is a specific reason we named our blog what we did (other than being catchy)! As many of you are aware there was a lot of traveling and moving prior to even coming here to Scotland. And we figured there might be at least one move within our time here, then the move back to the US, not to mention trips to see family and other sights in the UK (and maybe Europe?). So our "one move" during our time here has come, and I for one am hoping it is THE one! This flat has had its blessings, but also it's challenges. We can't wait to receive the keys to our new flat tomorrow evening at 6pm! Saturday we have several friends who have graciously agreed to help us carry our belongings down the 4 flights of stairs (see photo--the two windows in the top middle are ours) and back up 3 to the new flat. (They are great friends, aren't they?!) We are all grateful that the only furniture carrying involved is one full-sized mattress and two dining room-type chairs. We still haven't quite figured out how to get the mattress to the new place in/on our Ford Escort, but "nay bother" the guys will "get is sorted" I'm sure (By the way, you rarely see pick-ups, trucks, SUV's, etc so we can't just borrow one)! It's a good thing we are only moving 3 streets away (less than 5 minute walk) because they may end up having to carry it there!

This blog is also a warning that we might be a little MIA for awhile (let's hope not months again!) while our phone is hooked up and internet re-established. We are supposedly getting the phone connection at the new place tomorrow, but I'll believe that when I see it! Once we get the phone line, it will be an additional 10-20 working days for wireless to work. AOL has promised, though, that in the meantime we'll have FREE dial-up (which, curiously isn't free because we are still paying for Broadband!) ....aren't they so generous?!

We are not too sad to see our street go either. Because you are allowed to park on both sides of the street (which, believe me, we are grateful for!) the street is essentially "One Way" both ways at the same time! It is also an incredible challenge parrallel parking with such a tight space (you have to be careful of your front end hitting the cars on the other side of the street). It has taught me to park so well that when I go other places with tons of room I feel like it is a piece of cake!

24 February 2008

More Signs of Spring

(This is from yesterday...wouldn't work then!)

I've just been a bloggin' fool this week! I guess I've just had the bug to blog. After starting some packing this morning, we thought we'd enjoy some time outside in the park. Mark was a trooper and tagged along as my assistant. It's been enjoyable afternoon of editing and creating, and I'm grateful again to Mark for his input. Thought we'd share :) Enjoy!

22 February 2008

We Want to go Back!

Tonight we had the joy and privilege of listening to the Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda. Wow! It was so full of life and smiles and dancing! (If only I had brought my camera...) We loved it! I think it made us both want to go back to Africa again. Next month it will be 3 years (that long already?) since we went to Kenya with our church in NC. There is just something contagious about those little African children. I wanted to take one home with us!

Watoto has an incredible ministry to children orphaned by AIDS. I'd encourage you to look at their website to learn more! And if you want a little taste of what we got to see, go here.

21 February 2008

Can It Be?!

Today I stumbled out of bed around 6:45am and noticed glimmers of light beginning. And I noticed daylight slipping away around 6pm! What an improvement! I don't think I realized until recently how much the dark days for the past few months have truly impacted me. I very much enjoy the sun and often have tons more energy when it shines. I feel that energy returning and it is oh so great! Here's a little chart from Weather Underground that we like to frequent to find out our weather (though it usually just has raindrops--like the week to come--when it probably won't end up raining half the days it says it will!)

February 21, 2008 Rise: Set:
Actual Time 7:24 AM GMT 5:21 PM GMT
Civil Twilight 6:45 AM GMT 6:01 PM GMT
Nautical Twilight 6:00 AM GMT 6:45 PM GMT
Astronomical Twilight 5:16 AM GMT 7:30 PM GMT
Moon 6:07 PM GMT 7:27 AM GMT
Length Of Visible Light: 11h 15m
Length of Day
9h 56m
Tomorrow will be 4m 47s longer.

I am utterly amazed we are adding nearly 5 minutes of actual sunlight to our days right now. That's substantial! The flowers agree as they are popping up more and more.
Crocuses are everywhere around here!
And I learned this past weekend that these are Snowdrops! They are very photogenic, I think. They have Snowflakes too, but I don't have a picture of one of those yet.

18 February 2008

Ode to the Seagull

Okay, maybe not an actual ode because I cannot write poems (very much disliked that section in English class), but metaphorically and photographically it will be a tribute...maybe that's a better word!

Seagulls rule the sky here. There are other birds, like pigeons and large black crows, but the seagulls are monsters here. Being up high in the sky with our expansive view of the sky we get to observe the seagulls a lot from our couch. They love the chimneys; they sit on them often. After 5 months of watching this behavior I have concluded they each have a chimney group that is "theirs"and only one other seagull at a time is allowed over onto his set of chimneys. Honestly. There are never more than 2 seagulls sitting together at a time and there is usually just one. Some days they sit for a long time on their chimneys, other days they do take off and landing practice, not resting long on the chimneys. And other times (reasons are still unknown) they sit beside their chimneys.

The gulls are also VERY loud! I am hearing them earlier in the morning already. I wonder what it will be like when the sun is up long before we want to wake up (i.e. in the summer when the sun rises at 4:30am). It's part of the sounds we hear everyday so it would be weird to not hear them and be in Aberdeen since I am now used to that.

Today on my way out to work I noticed a huge mess by the trash bins outside on the street. I suspected the seagulls must have been responsible. Given the scene I photographed this afternoon on another street as I walked home from the park, I'd say I was right!
He finally stood and stared at me after this shot, saw I had proof of his destruction, and then flew off to glare at me from his perch. He looks pretty grumpy, doesn't he!?

One of my favorite things about the seagulls is when it is a windy day and they gather in the sky just over the rooftops looking out from our living room. They somehow catch a stream of air and soar/float in circles only flapping their wings occasionally. It is even more spectacular when the sun is shining from behind our flat onto their white bodies, so they look like they are glowing. Even though they are gliding, they have still been too fast for my camera to catch on film, except for this one shot that I enjoyed enhancing with Picasa's photo tools. Kinda gives you an idea of what it is like, with a slightly artistic touch!
Thinking still of Matthew 6:25-34, God has often used these birds out my window as a reminder of verse 25 & 26 "Do not be worried about your life...Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?"

15 February 2008

What a Faithful God Have I....

Do you know those days where you are just kinda discouraged? Today was one of them, at least initially. And it was one of the few days that I've been somewhat homesick. But, bottom line, I realized I wasn't being very content. Part of it is I am ready to get moved and resettled and we aren't sure when that is going to happen (long story involving a bank reference we were told on Monday may take 10 days). I have been looking often at the passage in Matthew 6 about worry. Specifically verse 34, "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." What a great comfort to me and a reminder to keep my thoughts on today.

So this afternoon I was checking up on the bank reference status only to be found out it was never even processed! That nearly put me over the top! But I already was planning to be near the bank so I was able to go in and talk to someone about it. Our bank is one thing that really does rock here! The customer service rep went to her manager with our problem and the manager wrote our reference on the spot and even waived the £10 fee! That was delightful!

Then it was on to my Gastroenteroligist (or however you spell it) appointment. Yeah, that's the one I have been waiting for since November. I got a postcard yesterday telling me to show up today at 4pm. Good thing my "diary"(calendar) was clear! Another thing that I can now say rocks here is my doctor! :) He was fantastic! It was worth the wait. He spent a whole hour just talking to me. He even stayed until 5:15pm on a Friday! (And some of his poor staff too!) He was very personable, empathetic, used great analogies that made things easy to understand, etc. He is essentially what would be nice to have in every doctor no matter what country you live in. He'd even been to Raleigh :) He seemed to even know what my throat tightening up response was (though I can't remember the technical term). While it's an uncomfortable feeling, he doesn't think it's life threatening (since from what he was saying it doesn't actually sound allergy related). There's not a whole lot we can do about it, other than trying to get that muscle to relax and "uncondition" itself from tightening at odd times. We'll see how that all does. We also discussed several other options for improving my health and eating. He is going to get me in to see a dietician which is something I've been wanting.

When I got in my car to go home I had tears in my eyes. God is so good and faithful. He didn't have to bless me with two encouraging events within an hour of each other, but He did. I am so grateful. I was thinking about the song that I have mentioned here before called "What a Faithful God Have I." And there was another beautiful sunset too which made everything even better! May you be encouraged by the words of the song too.

Lord, I come before Your throne of grace;
I find rest in Your presence, and fullness of joy.
In worship and wonder I behold Your face,
singing what a faithful God have I.
What a faithful God have I,
what a faithful God.
What a faithful God have I,
faithful in every way.

Lord of mercy, You have heard my cry;
through the storm You're the beacon,
my song in the night.
In the shelter of Your wings,
hear my heart's reply,
singing what a faithful God have I.
What a faithful God have I
what a faithful God.
What a faithful God have I
faithful in every way.

Lord all sovereign, granting peace from heaven,
let me comfort those who suffer
with the comfort You have given.
I will tell of Your great love for as long as I live,
singing what a faithful God have I.
What a faithful God have I
what a faithful God.
What a faithful God have I,
faithful in every way.

(Roberty & Dawn Critchley, Kingsway's Thankyou Music)

14 February 2008

What a Sweetie!

Mark and I don't typically do much for Valentine's Day as we are usually lacking in the fund-age department, but I guess Mark decided to splurge a little this year because when I came home from work there were flowers on the (slightly messy) table :) I actually didn't notice them at first so it was a quite a surprise, which is always fun! Other than the flowers and some inexpensive steaks we will attempt to cook with our "grill" (read "broiler") ,we don't have much planned for the night. I have been asked by several people if Valentine's Day is celebrated here. It is, but I am not sure to what extent. The few people I talked to at work about it didn't really care to celebrate it so it's probably like in the States, some do, some don't.
Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

12 February 2008

X-Ray Results

Today I was able to get an appointment with the doctor to go over my chest x-ray results. I am so grateful that the time of waiting is over :) He said that my lungs look normal, as do my lymph nodes below my sternum (I never even knew we had lymph nodes there until mine starting hurting off and on in the past 2 months). This is all good news because it means there is a huge probability I don't have one disesase we were trying to rule out as the source of my "issues." There is still a slight chance, but the doctor thinks it is rather slight so for now we will once again look into the asthama possibilities. I'll have some breathing tests done on March 12th (yep, just another month of waiting!) and then we'll reconvene to discuss these new tests. In the mean time I will hopefully have time to resume looking into homeopathic options. In the midst of "still no answers" I have a peace that God is in control and continue to be grateful for my supportive and helpful husband. God is good!

P.S. Thought I'd post a few pictures from last Sat. when we went to the Donmouth Nature Reserve (where the River Don flows into the North Sea). It was a gorgeous day!

09 February 2008

The Wonders of Freecycle!

Aren't gifts the best? Especially the kind where you have done absolutely nothing to receive it. Today was a reminder to me of God's greatest gift to us--Christ Jesus. Besides having absolutely amazing weather (warm-50's and sunny--a gift in itself!), I also was given a Nikon F80 film camera with one lense and two carrying cases! I have been wanting an SLR camera so that I can learn photography better. The digital camera that I have is a step below an SLR and while I've learned many things using it, I thought it would be fun to learn even more. But there is no way we could afford an SLR right now, so God in His goodness provided one for me through Aberdeen Freecycle! If you aren't familiar with Freecycle it is an on-line group that you join for your local area to help keep things out of landfills. Everything posted to the group has to be given away for free, which is a beautiful thing for those of us who are broke and looking for certain items! So I was thinking today about how this lady I don't know was willing to give me her beloved treasure that she learned photography on all for FREE...just because....and I did nothing. Then I was reminded of how God did that for me and all of us when He sent Christ. Although He did know us (even before we were born), we did not deserve the gift of His Son nor do we receive salvation based on anything we've done. God has blessed me with an unexpected gift in this camera, but so much more He has blessed me with His Son and Himself for all of eternity! What an overwhelming thought!

04 February 2008

Time Warp

Since being sick I feel like we've been a time warp. I was talking with my parents tonight and kept thinking it was Sunday. Guess Sunday was sort of lost feeling yucky.

I did decide to go ahead and go to my x-ray appointment since I was overall feeling better, just a little tired. I felt like I was in a time warp in the hospital. Trying to place exactly what era I felt like I was in--maybe the 50's? Not all of it was that way, but there was this one specific hallway that made me feel like I was in an old movie. I'm glad I was only there for a quick and painless x-ray :) I really wish I had my camera with me because I saw multiple good photo ops. The first was the wheelchairs. They were right before the time warp hallway. They were unusual and old-style looking. Very hard to describe without seeing them (I tried searching Google briefly to give you a visual aide, but nothing has turned up, sorry! Probably because they are that old!!).

When I came out of the hospital I noticed the parking situation had gotten worse (I drove around for quite awhile trying to find parking making me late for my appointment. I think we might need to suggest a parking deck as it was apparent they need one!). There were now cars parked all along the sign that said "No Parking, Fire Lane" or something like that. You know, the part with all the crisscrosses where you never park. Yeah, well, that's just suggestive here I guess, like other parking line markings. Most days I could run out of fingers counting how many times I see people parked illegally. Someday I'll take a picture of the university's parking lot where cars are parked in the most unique places just to fit one more car in!

I had never been to the side of town where my appointment was, so imagine my excitement when I discovered the Curl Aberdeen center (3rd photo op). I still am not quite sure how curling has been deemed a real sport (sorry if we have any curling people out there), but since watching it in winter olympics two winters ago it kind of grew on me. I think it would be fun to curl for an afternoon, don't you?! Or, maybe we can go see some of the European Curling Championship games/matches (what are they called?) in 2009 since Aberdeen is hosting them! Anyone a big curling fan want to come with me?

03 February 2008

Celebrations No More...

Unfortunately our celebrating stopped around 10pm last night when Mark first started showing sings of the "Winter Vomiting Disease." Frankly, I think the term "stomach flu" is a little less gruesome, then again, Mark would probably say it was gruesome. Neither of us slept much until after 5am when he finally was able to get some rest. Of course, it was around that time that I first started feeling the pangs of "uh-oh." Thankfully, thus far mine has just been the Big D, with aches and pains...hope we can keep the vomiting part out of this round. We have also found out that 2 of our other friends who we hung out with Friday night are sick. Guess someone had this and didn't realize....

Really we have been fortunate because in 5 and a half (plus) years of marriage, neither of us has had this mess before. I'm so glad! I hope we can go another 5 and a half! Mark said at least we are going through this together. I told him this is one thing I could have gone through with him without actually going through it with him!

Anyways, we won't be going anywhere tomorrow, unless I am feeling quite a bit better and decide to keep my x-ray appointment. I'd really hate to miss that, though I'd also hate to spread this nastiness.

02 February 2008


Friday, Feb. 1st brought with it many celebrations, so I thought I should share! (I'm a big fan of lists, so let's do the numbering thing again!) :)

The resolution of our drain "issue!" Finally, we found someone to come unclog the drain. This was the sink before the operation was performed....it was very disgusting. We are now in the process of getting the kitchen back in order and catching up on laundry. All causes for celebration!

2. Mark proposed 6 years ago yesterday :) We enjoyed briefly reminiscing this event.

3. On Wednesday we found a new flat to live in! This is a huge answer to prayer! Because our current lease doesn't end until March 13th we asked if the new landlords would "hold" the new place for a month (without having to actually pay for a whole months rent), and they miraculously agreed! We will move around March 1st unless our current landlord is able to find someone else who wants to move into this flat sooner. More to come in future posts on our new place.

4. My brother turned 27 years old yesterday! I can't believe my little brother is that old....until I remember I am almost 30 and then I figure it could be possible.

5. Our friends, Brannan and Kate's little girl, Lily, turned one! We went over there to help them celebrate. I have decided I like being a surrogate aunt to little Lily :) Here is Lily eating her birthday cupcake and showing she is "1."

6. We got snow! Okay, not much (less than an inch) but it's the most we had and the longest it stayed. It was so pretty to see. But it was so sunny today so most of it has melted now, oh well, at least this native northeast Ohio girl got to have a little snow in her winter.