Thursday, July 29, 2010

We need a vehicle. There are no ifs ands or buts about it. I suppose it's time for us to do some serious praying(I thought we already were but maybe not sincere enough). It's hard for me to ask Heavenly Father for specific temporal blessings, like a car, but this is serious. We have a job, although for what ever reason, the alphabet soup non-profit that is administering this job along with the Nature Conservancy still has not signed the contract. The engineer assured Rick today, that this will happen we just have to be patient. But the minute they sign, he is ready to go to work but we need to get there. We have a borrowed truck until Monday, so it's serious now.

Today in the Cost U Less parking lot, I had a meltdown and real pity party for myself. I was sweating so badly that when Rick came back to the car he didn't even notice that I was crying. I really don't want to feel sorry for myself ( I know that is just the devil's playground) so I did pull myself together. We had to go the the Babcock's house to pick up some keys, so when we got there, I told Rick I'll just wait in the car you go get the keys. When we came out and called me to come in all I could think was, "leave me just sit here and sweat", but good manners got the best of me and I went. It was just what I needed, some good conversation with some good friends and focusing on the problems of others and not my own. Thank goodness for good manners and a good mother who taught them to me.

Not a bad day by any means, just got me in a weak moment and I was off and running. Did go to a Book of Mormon study group at the church and it was inspiring to hear some of the feelings about the scriptures from the sisters who have such pure and simple testimonies. I do need to get out more often.

Must keep praying. Must pray harder. Must pray for specifics.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Too tired to blog last night and then too tired again this morning. Not sure what hit me but I was exhausted. Feeling better this evening though.

Well r\Rick finally got the contract for the new job and hopefully he will be able to sign tomorrow. Then he can officially start. YEAH! Been working Kyani the last few days and have had an amazingly positive response. Going to get that up and running on St. Croix. Now if we can just get some wheels of our own. Here's what I know about that, it will come. I have recently been able to develop a whole new stradegy about these things and have a surety that they will work out. They don't always work out the way you think but the do always work out. Sometimes they work out better than you can imagine. We're seeing that first hand.

The last few days have been perfect. Back to sunny with a nice breeze. Supposed to have a "tropical wave" pass through tonight, so probably some rain (hopefully not too much lightening and thunder) but the forecast is for another beautiful day tomorrow. We keep praying for NO hurricanes.

Have a meeting tomorrow with my Relief Society President, really need to kick it into gear with my new calling and help her to organize. I know what I need to do, I just need to do it carefully. It's funny how the Lord works playing to our strengths and our weaknesses at the same time and with the same vehicle.

Your prayers for us are truly felt and heartfelt. Please keep it up. I promise to keep praying too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Looks kind of like I'm starting a new pattern here, of blogging in the morning instead of at night. It's probably safer to write at night and remember the important things of the day, but last night I was too tired and then I'm just filling up space with inane things. Anyway......

Nice day yesterday, beautiful weather, the tropical waves have abated for awhile, so it's clear and sunshine with a nice breeze and not too much humidity. Perfect, but then: paradise, remember. I'm starting to dread the thought of ever being cold again. Isn't that strange? I remember when we lived in Florida, over 20 years ago, I used to long to be cold, thinking that I could just add more layers and get warm. Maybe my dread of the cold has to do with the fact that last winter in Idaho, I couldn't seem to get warm, no matter what I did. Well I'm nice and warm now and I don't particularly want to give that up. Patterns.

Rick and I are finding ourselves falling into a routine that is pretty dependent upon each other. We are, for the most part, together all the time. I guess it's kind of like being retired, without any income. Like I said the other day, we are both anxious for him to start work, but then it will be another adjustment for both of us to not be as "close". We will have to set a different pattern.

Well time to get on with the day, it's almost 9:30am here. Hopefully this will be contract signing day. I need to finish cleaning my house and get working on Kyani. Rick has started working to get the Kyani business up and running here in the VI. There certainly is a need for both the products (I have never seen a place with such a high concentration of diabetes) and the ability to have another income stream without having to put in all the extra hours (many people here work upwards of 3 jobs to make ends meet). We know Kyani can help on both counts, just have to get out there and spread the word.

Keep praying for all.

Monday, July 26, 2010

In that previous post, I don't know what I did wrong but I was not able to get the caption to go along with the picture. This is the caption for those pictures here. There are two pictures of this amazing steel drum band. It was composed of all young people, teenagers, I don't know if was a community band or maybe from the High School, but they were awesome, played with no music and perfectly synchronized. The other picture, I believe it's actually the first one is of the "Mocko Jumbies", or stilt dancers. See the tall figures in black and white in the back of the picture. Jumbies are evil spirits. The Mocko (or fake) Jumbies are to scare the evil spirits away, of course, they keep their faces covered so the real Jumbies won't recognize them. They were really pretty cool, dancing and swaying up on those stilts.

This was at a celebration called "Jump Up". They have them 4 times a year down here. This one was to celebrate Alexander Hamilton Day, yeah, that's right, the guy on the $10 bill. He was born on Nevis and raised on St. Croix and here he has his own day. We went to the Jump Up and wandered around the streets where they had all sorts of vendors and incredible smelling food, we had eaten at home (trying to watch the $$$), next time I intend on sampling some.

Hey, I'm back already. I keep saying that I have pictures to add and I keep forgetting to do so. The moment I signed off, I realized that I did not download my recent pictures from my camera and upload them to the blog, so here goes, be sure to look for multiple posts for Monday, 26 July 2010. These two pictures are of Elder Radford and Elder Crawley, the two Missionaries who were here on St Croix for a time. They have been reassigned to San Juan, PR and we currently do not have Elder's here. We really miss them. Elder Radford said he was going to send his mother to my website to see pictures of the ocean, so if she is listening, I want to tell her what a fine young man she has raised. So strong in the Gospel, with such a positive personality. Elder Crawley we didn't know for a very long time but a fine young man as well. I know they will do marvelous things where ever they are sent. They old guy without the tie is Rick, for those of you who didn't recognize him.
Sorry, didn't post last night. Sunday's are such nice relaxing days for us. Basically, we go to church and come home and ponder what we learned there and just try hard to recharge our batteries for the week ahead. Naps are essential. Really feeling grateful this particular Sunday, when we think of the week that has passed.

Did have a real interesting lesson on Patience yesterday. I learned some valuable lessons. I want to leave a quote here from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk in the April General Conference: "patience is far more than simply waiting for something to happen - patience requires actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results don't appear instantly or without effort.

There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can - working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring, it is enduring well."

I really hope I can remember that. Patience is a quality that I find myself constantly being test with. When I think that I have learned to be more patient, I find that even more patience is required. Yesterday, during the this lesson on patience at church, I made a comment about how hard I found it to have patience as we worked and waited here in St. Croix to find a job. One of the sisters said to me, just so matter of fact like; "well you know that Heavenly Father brought you here, you had to know that a job would be out there." I did know that, but at times I lost sight of it, I because afraid and impatient. In other words at times I did not endure it well.

This has brought me to reflect on things of much greater importance that I must exercise patience in. Things that I have already waited years to see fulfilled. Things that have eternal importance. Maybe in the grand scope of things, I have more patience than I think. I do know that I have to pray harder to keep fear, dread and anxiety far from my thoughts.

Well, it's 7:30 AM here and I'm ready for another week. Hopefully Rick will be able to sign the contract for his job in the next day or two(instead of the next week or two) and hopefully we can buy a car. These two things will help us to move out of waiting and preparing mode into doing mode and we will be able to settle into some sort of routine around here. At times I wish Rick would get to work and not be so "under foot" but faced with the reality of it, I'm not so sure what I will do without him around all the time. Another adjustment.

We're starting to make plans for Rachel, Macy and Don's visit. It's less than three weeks now. Both Rick and I are so excited to show them our new home and all that the island has to offer. Hope the trip down won't be too grueling for them. Don will have the worst of it as he is only staying for a week. Rachel and Macy should have enough time to recover before they have to climb back in a plane.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I was actually going to post again last night (just cause I said I wouldn't) and I couldn't get onto the net, sometimes it just doesn't want to work. Oh well maybe I wasn't supposed to be on anyway, or maybe I just wasn't supposed to be so contrary, by posting just cause I said I wasn't going to.

Friday afternoon turned out to be a really good day. I was moving kind of slow of most of the day, but felt better and better as the day went on. Rick got a call from the guy with the job and they might be signing the contract as soon as the first of next week. We really have a job, it is so exciting. Probably won't see a paycheck for two or three weeks, but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel. If we can sell our freezer and piano, back in Idaho, we'll be OK. If we don't sell them we'll probably squeal by anyway. But the good news is we have a job.

Spent most of the day Saturday cleaning. I'm still moving a little slow, primarily because today my lower back really hurts and also in this climate you just don't rush through any physical activity. It's all in knowing how to pace yourself. Of course I was dripping wet before I took a break. Then we had a nice dip in the pool and went grocery shopping, one of my least favorite things to do. Unfortunately, I still like to eat, so grocery shopping is a necessary evil.

During one of my many cleaning breaks, I read a talk in the Ensign on Patience. It was really good and put a lot of things in perspective for me. I know that I need to develop more patience but I never though of patience as a righteous endeavour. I know that so much of what we are impatient for is really trivial in the grand scoop of things and that when things that we are impatient about finally do come to pass, it is so easy to see the importance of waiting or the importance of not having what we thought we wanted right away. It's just a different perspective. I really need to look at things with an "eternal perspective" and realize that sometimes things are just not ready to work out or maybe I'm not as ready for them to work out, as I think I am. I have to develop more faith and trust that Heavenly Father knows me and he knows my needs and He wants me to succeed in and attain my righteous desires. It is interesting to think of impatience as a lack of Faith.

I must keep praying for an increase of faith and therefore an inexhaustible amount of patience.

I keep forgetting that I have some pictures to post, but I have to download them into the computer first. I promise I'll do it tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's only Friday morning, so maybe I'll have to post twice today (wanna bet that doesn't happen) but I have so many exciting things to report that I don't want to wait. First, the non-exciting news, I was really sick yesterday. I woke up at about 3 in the morning with an incredible gut ache, started vomiting and that continued about ever 2 hours until around 11, then I had the worst headache. So bad that I could barely pick my head up off the pillow. The gut ache continued, but no more vomiting. I was miserable. Rick was beside himself and making me nuts trying to help. When I'm that sick either shoot me or leave me alone. I am not a good patient. The missionary couple came over in the afternoon because they left their keys here the day before and Elder Babcock and Rick gave me a blessing. From that point on I did start to feel a little better, but the gut ache wasn't completely gone until about 9 that night and the headache, although lessening was there until this morning. Today I feel weak and sluggish but much better. Aren't you glad you asked.

Now the good news. Yesterday Rick talked to the engineer from St Thomas about the job (temporary for about 2 - 3 months) and he basically told him that he got it. They won't sign a contract for another week or two (the standard time frame around here "another week or two) but he can start getting paid from that point on. This job is contract and only temporary but it really pays quite a bit of money. Also, if the job with the Landmark Society comes through they will work with this and Rick could do both. This is the option we are really hoping for. It will be a little crazy for a few months but it will help us to catch up. At least we have a job ( in a week or two that is).

Next item on the agenda is a car. The fellow who owns the Durango has vaporized(in other words he is not calling us back, which gives us no confidence that he intends to fix the car). We will have to get it moved out of here as the condo only has one slot per unit for parking. We have loan of a truck for the next week, from another Branch member who will be off island, but with this job and all, we really have to do something more permanent. We have faced the fact that we have to buy a car and we have actually a very good prospect of a nice a car that has been well maintained but the $$$ are still a problem. We are unable to procure a bank loan, primarily because we have not started work yet and we still have a loan on the Honda in the states that has not sold yet. When the Honda sells we don't expect any money to speak of, but we will be out from under the loan. Rick has started talking to some friends stateside who might have the means to give us a personal loan for a car. We would pay interest and make monthly payments and all, it just needs to be someone who knows and trusts us.

Also, trying to sell our piano and freezer. Hopefully we can get our asking price for these two items as this money will tide us over until we can start collecting a paycheck. It's amazing how the intricate pieces of the puzzle need to fit together here. I was wondering why we couldn't sell that piano before we left, but maybe the reason is that we would have already spent that money and we really need it now.

Can't help but feel, even in the midst of all of this, that we are being extremely blessed. Every morning when I wake up, roll over and look out the window, I am astounded as the beauty. Every time some one offers to help us (and these are people who have know us for less than 2 months) I am humbled. I truly hope I can remember all of this and pay it forward.

Must keep praying. Praying for that which we need, praying for others who have been so kind and helpful to us and praying for all the afflicted, especially those in our circle of friends and family.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Finally, it stopped raining long enough to get down to the pool to work out. It really felt good, I was getting kind of stiff. At the pool we met a nice man from Denver, CO, who is here with a company who are building a large sports complex on the island. He gave Rick his number and told him to stay in touch for some possible work. An added bonus of getting to the pool to work out.

It did rain later on in the day, but just normal showers, not the incredible deluge that we had yesterday. It has cleared off late this afternoon but now for the evening there is lightening off in the distance so I'm sure something else is moving in. We are experiencing "tropical wave" after "tropical wave". The weather channel seems disappointed that these waves are not organizing into "tropical depressions" and then "tropical storms" and then onto the grand finale "hurricanes". The nerve of them, just so they can have something exciting to report they would wish that on us.

Depression, tropical or not is starting to settle in on Rick about this car situation. Unfortunately, today I had to tell him like it is and get kind of tough. He gets so down about these type of things and then he does nothing but brood. He seems immobilized by his "I don't know what", but it starts to make me kind of crazy. We had an incredible offer of help from an unexpected source today. We will try to take them up on at least half of it. Hopefully this is something that will work. Tender mercies.

Faith, it's a wonderful thing but then a big responsibility. Once you declare your faith by either your actions or just your words, you really have to put your money where your mouth is lately that is quite literal. I find that I need to be reminded of this often. I really didn't think it would be easy, just easier. Funny though, a few days ago I was whining and complaining that I was scared and as I have really examined my faith I find that I am no longer scared, I know things will work out the way that they should, probably not the way I envisioned, but they way that they should. On the flip side, you can't give another person your faith, it is something that they have to find for them self, that can be frustrating.

Must keep praying. Praying to have and hold onto Faith and praying for others to have as much or more Faith. After all I may need their help to boost mine.

I just love spell check, don't you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More rain all day today. At least yesterday there were several times when the rain completely stopped, then last night the sky cleared off and the moon and stars were out. You could still see the lightening out over the ocean but pretty far out. This morning we woke up to rain and it rained all day. There were periods when it was just a drizzle but then there were times when is was an outright deluge. Apparently we are sitting on the edge of a "tropical wave" that the weather guys are watching and thinking might turn into something more. For the most part it is past us, we are just on the trailing edge. Hopefully if something more serious does form it will be far from us and other islands and heading out to sea.

One of the brothers from our church took Rick to his interview at the Good Hope School today. The administrator assured him that they would make a selection shortly. He felt that the interview went well, but not a strongly positive as the last two. She still could not tell him much about the money. She did tell him where they would start out a new teacher fresh out of college, and we really couldn't live on that. She also said that after six years as a college professor they would, of course, pay him more, but she wasn't sure how much. I guess we won't know until they actually offer him the job, if they do.

Rick did apply for yet another job today and this one was with Hovensa, the big oil refinery here on the island. According to everyone the best place to work for stability and dollars. It's a job he's well qualified for but who knows, we'll just have to wait and see.

A rainy day with no car means that I was stuck at home, not such a bad thing. It did afford me the opportunity to get caught up on some paper work and try to get our finances in order, not such a pleasant task, but none the less, one that has to be done. Also, a good day for a lot of meditation and prayer. It seems that we are just going to have to let the Holy Spirit guide us here on St. Croix. I know that is what we should be doing daily anyway, but in the normal course of things it's just too easy to take control and think that I know what I am doing. Maybe the whole purpose of our being here and so out of our element is to learn to completely give over control to the Spirit and fully allow Him to direct our lives. This is not going to be easy for me. I try hard not to try to control every situation and I really don't want to control others, but I DO want to have complete control of my own life. I pray continually for guidance from the Spirit and know that this is only guidance from my Heavenly Father, but to give over completely is another matter entirely.
Agency being one of the greatest gifts from our Father in Heaven has to be used wisely and most times the wisest way to use our agency is to give it back and allow the Spirit to guide us. This is a real case of the spirit being willing and the flesh being weak, for me. I know that this is true and I want to live this way but it's a struggle. I suppose that's the struggle between the "natural man" and "our spiritual selves". I really need to pray for more faith to let go and let God. I truly believe that will be the only way.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Today we had rain and more rain. The driveway at the condo was running like a river. The ocean at the beach was brown and murky from all the run off. The thunder and lightening was tremendous. Some of the cracks made the fillings in my teeth rattle. The rolling thunder was kind of cool. Once the rain stopped and it was dead calm the humidity really settled in. Even though it wasn't very hot(actually kind of cool today) that humidity really made it oppressive. But as the sun went down, the breeze picked up and the thick humid air seemed to move out.

Rick has his third interview with the Good Hope School tomorrow. Still no car, so one of the brothers from church is going to pick him up and take him. He got an email from the engineer regarding the Nature Conservancy job and they want an assurance that he will stay with the job through to the end, if he takes it. Rick sent a letter telling him that he would in fact finish out the job, but if he gets something else first that is in conflict he will need to take that. Everyone seems to want assurances and guarantees from us without offering anything in return. Just have to be patient.

Heard from Kelly Titus (Panama's new mother). It sounds like he is doing good and is happy in his new home. I'm so happy. From time to time I miss him terribly, but I know he would hate it here. It's way too hot for him and he would never be able to do his business on a leash(he doesn't like to be seen). So all around it's a good thing.

Trying real hard to have more faith. I feel really bad when I get so scared about our finances, after all it's only money. I know we will be OK and that things will work out, I just can't see how. I know that our Heavenly Father know us personally and has a plan for us, I just can't see it all yet. Must keep praying.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's Sunday morning, I tried to get onto the blog last night and either it wouldn't let me or it was just incredibly slow(don't know which because I didn't have the patience to wait). Spent Saturday on the couch, I think the stress is getting to me a little bit, my stomach(the major receptacle of my stress) was really out of sorts. It was a rainy cloudy day, so it really was a good day to spend on the couch, did a lot of reading and sleeping.

Later in the afternoon Rick decided that we needed to do something to find a ride to church on Sunday. I called a sister that I met briefly at the 4th of July picnic, primarily because she lives near us, but secondly because she doesn't come out to church; to see if I could encourage her to come and give us a ride. I found out that on Saturday she works the 10pm to 6 am shift at the casino, and that's why she doesn't come to church, but she offered to come by when she got off work and if we could take her home we could have her car for the day. She will call when she get up later in the day and we can take the car back then. Another tender mercy from the Lord. These people have been so good to us.

We did get some more good news yesterday. Rachel called and she bought plane tickets to come for a visit. So far they only have tickets to come and not to go home, hope that's a good thing for all(just kidding). We really are excited to see them and have them see where we live and enjoy the island. Hope the weather is good for their stay. The plan is for Don to stay a week and Rachel and Macy will stay for two. They will be here the evening of August 13th.

Also, we did finally speak to Rachel on Friday night, it seems that Rick never put the phone back on call forward, so she had been calling and couldn't get through. Anyway, the new baby is a girl. Macy is real excited because she really wanted a sister, Rachel was a little disappointed, she feels that they probably won't have more than the two children and she really wanted the opportunity to raise a boy. When I talked to her on Saturday she seemed to be over her disappointment and is working on girls names. Rick and I are just glad that Rachel is healthy and the baby is doing well also.

Need to go get ready for church. Seriously need to get the spiritual batteries charged for the week ahead. Keep praying for a job and a vehicle.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Well this is the end of week 6 here on St. Croix, still paradise, still love it, still no job and now no car. The verdict on the car is not good. Told not to drive it. Contacted the owner and he is sending someone over to look at it(who knows when that will be) but since he told Rick today that he is out of work also, it doesn't look too promising that a quick fix is in the Durango's future. Anyway, that puts us back to square one on transportation, we have none.

Rick did have a very positive job interview today with the St. Croix Landmark Society, I mentioned this way back about 4 or 5 weeks ago when he first applied. I have probably referred to it as the museum job, with the Whim museum, he thought that the interview went really well. It seemed that the people liked him. They never talked about money. They told him they had a few more people to interview and they would make a decision in about 10 days. That's the third positive interview this week and all three of these jobs have a potential start date of 1 August. Got an email from the administrator of the secondary school today and she is still pushing the school to hire him for the teaching position(that starts 15 August). I guess we just have to be patient. Our Branch President was good enough to come over and take Rick to this interview and wait for him and bring him home again. What a great guy.

The missionaries came over for dinner tonight. They are two incredible young men. Unfortunately, they told us that they will be leaving St. Croix on Monday and we will not have Elders here on the island for a while. The Senior couple missionaries are staying, but the Elders will be gone. It's kind of sad, but I guess it's just motivation that the members need to do more missionary work ourselves.

Rachel was supposed to learn the sex of her baby today and she promised to call right away, we are anxiously waiting to hear. Hope she calls yet tonight.

We will keep praying for all good things, especially for our family.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Today was one of those bad news/good news days. The bad news first. Looks like our car is toast. It appears to have a blown head gasket, whatever that is, it means it's expensive to fix and maybe not even worth it. Since this is only a rental car and we only agreed to do very minor repairs, it's not really our problem to fix, but it will leave us without a car and no visible way to procure one soon. So far this is only a general diagnosis, but it doesn't look good. This seemed like a great answer to our vehicle problem, I can't help but believe that there is something even better in store.

Now the good news. Rick had an interview with the Nature Conservancy today for a job that is only a short term thing (about 2 months) but it pays a lot of money in that short time and it looks like they might offer him the job. We should know Monday or Tuesday for sure. Start date about 1 August. Then this evening the director from the Estate Whim Museum called and he has an interview with their committee tomorrow at 1:00, could be a little problematic with the car trouble and all, but he will find some way to get there. Finally, he got an email from the director of the secondary school where he interviewed for a job teaching math and science and she has highly recommended him for the job and is talking to the general director this evening, we may know more tomorrow. Still haven't been able to find out what this job pays, and unfortunately that is a factor, but we are really hopeful that something will break soon on the job horizon.

I'm hoping that the job Rick wants most, will come through, and that there will be enough money that he can accept it. I'm not exactly sure which one that is, but I hope that I have been supportive enough that he knows that I want him to be happy in his work. This past year has been really hard on him with the survey business coming to and end and then, although he was real excited to come to St Croix, it was really hard for him to leave the teaching position at BYUI.

On Tuesday Sister Dye gave us a breadfruit and told me how to cook it. I followed her instructions and we had it for dinner tonight. It was interesting, I will need to use more spices and probably some onion and garlic in the future, as it's kind of bland(like potatoes) but it was interesting. Trying hard to do some things different with our diet and learning to eat a little more economically. Back in Idaho we had so much food in storage and a freezer full of beef, we really weren't spending that much on groceries on a monthly basis, but since we couldn't bring any of that with us,it's a whole different ball game here and some things, like beef, are really expensive. Also, once we start working and have a regular income need to find a way to get some our food storage here.

Spent a lot of time this morning thinking about ways to reach out to people here on the island and especially in the Branch. Was hoping that once Rick had regular work, it would free up the vehicle for me to be able to get around more. Looks like that will have to wait but I know that there are other ways to help people and be helpful without having to travel. Have to work harder on this.

I appreciate so many people praying for us. I can feel your prayers. I know we are being blessed. I pray that each and every one of you will be blessed for your efforts in our behalf. See right there is a way to reach out and help people without ever leaving your home. Must keep praying and keep praying for others!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Had my first job interview in about 30 years today. I think it went fairly well. It was a real preliminary interview to sort out people who might be qualified for a list of positions at a local resort that has been bought out by Marriott Renaissance. They told us that those who are qualified will be called back for another interview with the department heads next week and if you make that cut, the final interview will be with the General Manager. It will be interesting to see if I make the first cut. The only bad thing is that this resort is on the other end of the island from where we live. But then a job is a job. I would really only like to work part time, but we'll see what happens.

On our way home we had several lovely experiences with our "island car". It over heated and caused a hose to pop off the radiator connection. Rick didn't have any tools to fix it, so he called our Branch President and he was kind enough to come out and help us get it back together. Fortunately we had bought 2 gallon jugs of water at K-Mart(part of our hurricane preparations)so we had some water to put into the radiator(even if I had not planned on using the fancy store bought water in that way). Evidently not enough, because we only made it a little way down the road and the hose came off again. We were able to make it into a gas station/convenience store. Rick spent about an hour trying to get it fixed, many people came over to offer assistance and advice. The concierge at the convenience store (don't even ask) came over several times and gave great moral support. Rick as having a real "island moment" but he never did lose his temper too badly. He did accuse me of losing it once and yelling at him(never happened) but other than that he was pretty cool about the whole thing(not literally cool, because he was dripping wet, working out in the sun, under the hood of the car). I was sitting in the car with the windows open and it really wasn't too bad. The up side to all of this is that Rick will make every effort to look for another car as soon as we possible can.

After the whole car experience we had to stop and do some grocery shopping. I was hot and tired and would have rather chewed cardboard for dinner but we had to stop and buy some "engine coolant" (anti-freeze, to those of you in the states, but it would be pretty absurd to call it anti-freeze down here) anyway... the best place to buy anything is in the grocery store, Plaza Extra, cause "day have all u need". They had it and a whole lot more and at check out we were treated to our next "island moment" when our brand new check, on our brand new checking account was "no good". I was still laughing, and grateful for a debit card on my Kyani account back in the states.

When we got out to the car we said a prayer that we would make it home safely and the car would have no further problems. We did. I believe in the power of prayer. Got home and I told Rick, imagine that after a day like today, I still love it here.

Yesterday, I decided, no more discouragement. I really need to get busy and be in service to others, so I stop worrying about my problems. After all in the grand scheme of things they are pretty insignificant.

Got home and had a packet of mail from our Swan Valley box, that is always exciting. In that packet was a phone bill from our old phone company in Idaho. That would be from the phone that was turned off on 15 May, well the phone was turned off, but apparently the bill wasn't, because I got a bill for the last 2 months. And to think I was all excited because when I had the phone turned off, they told me that I would probably have a refund, because after all you pay your bill in advance. Can't wait to try and straighten this one out tomorrow. Just another island experience, only this one is from Idaho. Are you seeing the common thread here.

Oh well, going to bed, but you better believe that I will keep praying.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Feeling better today. I don't know why I let myself get so discouraged. Spent a lot of the day making a menu and shopping list, it's hard when you are starting from scratch. It's hard to think about all the things in storage or that I left behind. But it's probably better not to think of those things and just start accumulating the things necessary to put meals together.

The missionaries had an open house at the church tonight. We went and I was once again reminded that "I know what I know, and this is where we are supposed to be". I know that my faith is being tested and I don't want to fall short. I can do this. I will keep praying. I know that the job is out there.
We must be patient

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rick had an early morning kind of appointment to meet with someone who is a potential job contact. He got up early and got ready and went out and the new car wouldn't start. Can you believe it? Yeah, I could! We knew that it had intermittent battery problems but on the first day, anyway he got the car jumped, looked for the problem, but couldn't find it Then he took the car over to the gentlemen from church who said he would help with the air conditioning. The good news... we did get the air conditioning fixed and at a minimal cost. So we have a really cool car that might or might not start. Actually, that's not completely true, because then Rick went out and bought a part for the broken battery charger that was in the car, so he can get it started where ever he is, unfortunately that was a tad bit expensive.

He did send off another resume today and he will try to make his early morning meeting again tomorrow. We keep at it, but I have to admit I really feel discouraged. I don't know what we are doing wrong, or even if we are doing something wrong but we are running out of money and there is still no job.

I do know better than to give in to discouragement. Must keep praying. Maybe pray harder. Maybe ask for more.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I had to speak in church today, now that it's over it wasn't so bad, but I sure do get nervous leading up to the actual event. There were about 35 people in church today and for the St Croix Branch that's quite a crowd.

On Friday we were able to finalize the paperwork for our car. Rick had to pick Brother Octiavanni( the man good enough to lend us his car) up at the airport this afternoon, so he went and got our car. Still have to clean it out and see if we can get the air conditioner up and running. A good brother whom we give a ride home from church some Sundays, works on air conditioning, so he's going to look at it for us. Hope this turns out to be an easy fix.

That's it. I love Sundays because it truly is a day of rest. I also try to leave my troubles and worries on Saturday night and not pick them up again until Monday morning. Maybe what I need to do is not pick them up again at all. I'll have to try that.

Keep praying!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Just another lazy day in paradise. The condo we're renting is for sale and the property manager called yesterday to say she wanted to show it today at 10:30. We got up had breakfast, straightened up the place and went to the pool. We had a nice time and made a few phone calls but didn't come back until almost 1:00, needless to say I'm a little more than pink tonight. Not too much pain and I have my "Burn Free".

Tomorrow we get "our car", then hopefully on Monday we get the air conditioning fixed in "our car". finally got all the paperwork settled. Hope this turns out to be the good thing it looks like.

Really hoping that this week will bring a job. Feeling a little scared and down about not having a job wondering just how much faith I have. Then this morning while at the pool, I called and talked to my friend, Carol Gallup, she is the one who has the 3 year old grandson with cancer. Talked a lot about faith and the things that get us through. It really put my problems in perspective. I know this job and money thing will work out. I'm so grateful for good health and especially the health of my family and all the things I do have.

Need to keep praying, for that job and especially for the Gallup family.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Had an interesting realization today, I really love this place. It's different, some days it's downright hot and muggy, getting things done here can be frustrating and there are instances of total confusion but I don't know exactly what it is but each day I like it more and more. I suppose that's a good thing.

Tonight we went to "Jump Up" and local Carnival Like celebration. They do Jump Up 4 times a year here on St. Croix this one was in celebration of Alexander Hamilton Day (I told you, any excuse for a party). Actually Alexander Hamilton was born on Nevis and grew up here on St. Croix. It was really fun, a State Fair like atmosphere, street vendors selling all kinds of food and trinkets, music of all types with live bands, dancers and Mocko Jumbies(stilt dancers). It was great and a lot of fun. I actually did take a few pictures before the battery in camera died, it's charging now, so I'll post those pictures tomorrow.

Another week no job, Everyone is still positive, but no firm offers yet. I guess our faith needs to be tested. Must keep praying.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Had an interesting revelation about the job hunting today. Really feel that the job is out there, just like our car was, we just have to be in the right frame of mind to accept it and be willing to "think outside the box". I think Rick is finally ready to do this, I know he knows that this is where we are supposed to be, but he is really struggling with the fact that he has not been offered a job yet. The school thing is still positive and there were a few new leads today, but we are almost through 5 weeks here o St. Croix, and it is almost a year since the real flow of work for him ran out in surveying. I do understand his frustration and impatience. I also do believe that you have to hold onto to what you know to be true, just about 20 minutes longer than you think you can. I also think Rick has finally realized that he really needs to work at getting our Kyani business up and running in on St. Croix.

We did get the car paperwork all straightened out and we should be able to pick it up tomorrow. Of course, now we have to work on getting the air conditioning fixed. Money could be a problem. I hope not because if we don't have air conditioning in the car, I won't want to go anywhere.

Have to keep the faith and keep praying. I know what I know and no one can take that from me.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Spent another day just hangin' out. Rick had his second interview yesterday with the Good Hope School, a private prep school here on the island. He has applied for a job teaching math and science. This second interview was with the secondary administrator and the two other teachers in the department. They seem to be pleased with him and his abilities. The administrator said she was going to recommend him for the job to the overall school administrator and that she, the over all administrator would be calling him. They also gave him the web address of the accounts administrator, so he could check on salary and benefits, which he did today. Now we are praying that the job will pay enough, and that they will actually offer it to him. This is what he really wants to do, and I want it for him, just hope it's enough money to live on.

We went to an activity at church last night, a good deep cleaning of the building. It was actually fun to get together with some of the people from the Branch. We were late of course, but still had something left to do when we got there. Of course, I was dripping wet within 10 minutes, this weather is just not made for cleaning, it's more for going to the pool or the beach. Anyway...did a little grocery shopping afterwards and came home an fell into bed. I was tired.

Rick is out today, still pounding the pavement, looking for work. At the very least, even if the school offers him the job and the money is good, it won't start until August 15th, don't think we can comfortably hang on until then or two week after that or whenever the first paycheck would be, so.....he looking for something in the interim.

Me I'm going to the pool. I'm going to work out and not just be a lazy bum, but work out in the pool none the less. We might be able to go see Eclipse tonight. Movies in the islands another new experience.

Once Rick has a permanent job and we know what the hours are and what his commitment will be, I'm pretty sure I will look for some employment, at lest part-time. The extra income would be nice, even if it only goes into our airline fund and I really do need something to do. Since we only plan on having one car, I need to stay out of Rick's way until he has a job and see what I can do to work around that. Haven't heard from the car rental place, but if that comes through sooner, maybe I'll try to fit it in. we'll just have to see.

Keep praying that thing will work out for us on the job hunting front and that our Honda will see back in the states.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What a great day! We went to the Branch 4th of July picnic at the beach in Fredricksted. Imagine hamburgers, hot dogs, goat water and johnnycake. Yep, I ate goat water(this was not the first time either, a friend of ours in Florida, who was from Antigua, had made it for us). We had a great time. Even got to see our Branch President do the Electric Slide. These people know how to have a good time. Swam in the Caribbean, that is so cool. Unfortunately, uncoordinated geek, that I am, I fell on the rocks getting into the water, now I'm all scratched up and sore. Oh well this will pass. Hangin' out this evening waiting to SKYPE with Rachel and Macy. Tomorrow's the big day, Rick's second interview for a job he rally wants. Keep praying!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Church was interesting today, we sang My Country Tis of Thee and The Star Spangled Banner, as usual, but in a foreign country. I was called and sustained as the 1st Counsellor in the Relief Society today and I taught the lesson in R.S.. Also, I have been asked to speak in church next Sunday along with the Relief Society President. Life in a small Branch. I do sincerely pray that I can relate to the sisters and that they can relate to me. I know the Gospel is the same no matter where you are, but the circumstances of the people are very different here.

We went to the fireworks at the west end of the island(Fredricksted) tonight. It was fun. We sat on the beach looking out over the Caribbean with nothing but water between us and Honduras(the Spanish Main, as Rick informed me). There was a Steel drum bank playing in the park behind us, more than calypso type music(which is what I normally associate with steel drums) it was African type music. It was a real party at the beach and a mob scene. We watched a Mom and her 3 or 4 year old daughter swimming in the night surf, really made me miss Rachel and Macy, they would have loved it. After the fireworks, when we were walking back to our car, I kept looking behind for Rick, not wanting to lose him in the mob of people, he was easy to spot, the only white face in the crowd. There are other white people here and we saw many at the fireworks, but we are definitely the minority.

It's late and I am tired, tomorrow is the Branch beach party, so another day of festivities, fun at the beach and eating. Happy 4th of July to all of you stateside!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Just a plain old normal Saturday. Didn't do much of anything. It seemed real hot and humid today, so we went down and hung out at the pool, spent a couple of hours cooling off, making phone calls and Rick even took a nap down there. Did watch, Twilight and New Moon in preparation to go to see Eclipse next Tuesday. The missionaries stopped by to ask Rick to make some calls and invite some folks out to church tomorrow. At 6:45 on a Saturday evening we got a pleasant surprise, Rick was called back for a second interview on a job he really wants, we were hoping to hear something as early as Tuesday but did not expect to hear anything over the weekend. This is exciting and encouraging. Must keep praying.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Returned the rental car today and had one of those "just shoot me" experiences. Don't you love those. Anyway, I firmly but politely stood my ground and we finally got it worked out to my satisfaction. The up side is that I asked them if they needed any help. Told them I was looking for some part-time work and would love to help them out. The woman I was talking to was the office manager, and she seemed interested and said she would talk to the owner. I guess they decided they wanted me on their side.

Some real positive job interviews for Rick yesterday. Unfortunately with the Holiday weekend, he won't know anything until Tuesday, but some things that look really good. Just have to be patient and keep praying.

Although we are out from under the rental, we still don't have "our" car yet. Their was some glitch regarding the owner's insurance. Trying to get the insurance settled was truly and "island moment". It too will have to wait until Tuesday. One of the Branch members, who will be in the states for a week, is lending us his car until we can get it all worked out. Doing that type of business down here is like herding cats. Rick is getting good at it and that's kind of scary.

I did drive, on the left, today, for the first time and it wasn't too bad. No trail of bloodied bodies left behind and I wasn't hauled off to jail for any misdemeanors. All you have to remember is that the driver should be hugging the curb. I think I can get the handle of this.