Musings from a promise-collector

Archive for the ‘Adventures of Nicole’ Category

Six Rounds With a Centipede

If you know me, mornings are not especially my favorite part of the day. It takes me a while to really get going. And since I’m not a coffee drinker, I rely on my showers to wake me up. But the other morning, my adrenaline got so ramped up that I went from hazy to alert in under 2.3 seconds.

Dozily I stepped into the warm shower and pulled the curtain. In my shampoo-lathered stupor, something caught my eye through the opaque shower curtain lining. I tried to tell my brain that it was part of the design of the decorative shower curtain. My brain wasn’t falling for that trick though… it knew something was wrong, and sent the message to my adrenal glands and I was wide awake.

The biggest centipede I have ever seen. It was at least 5 or 6 inches long and fatter than an earthworm. I would have commenced the ‘freak out’ dance if I wasn’t worried about slipping and falling in the shower. Yep… here he is:


I’m All Shook Up

Yesterday I was relaxing on my bed and perusing Facebook. It was a lazy morning… well, it was sorta still morning. It was actually 12:20pm. But hey, I had only been awake for an hour, so it still felt like morning to me.

As I was reading about my friends’ latest news, my world got rocked. Literally.

Surely the door to the garage had been slammed. No… the shaking lasted too long, and was much more intense. The bed and the wall trembled for at least 15 seconds and it sounded like a fleet of semi trucks were rolling by.  (more…)

How To Survive Really Long Flights

I’ve flown quite a bit… most recently to India and Israel. Those are no short trips, either! Flying to India (from Tennessee) usually involves 4 airports, 3 flights, 10.5 time zones, and just under 30 hours of travel time from start to finish. Those trips make me really appreciate in-country flights!

From the traveling I’ve done, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks that help out on those overseas flights. Obviously, you will probably end up talking to someone sitting near you for a while, but you can only talk for so much of an 8+ hour flight. So here is what I do to keep my sanity on those lengthy flights:

1. Happy Snacks. Never underestimate the power of a little snack on a long trip. Sure, they feed you some on the planes, but the food doesn’t always smell good (or taste good!), or you’re stuck in an airport for 5 hours… or let’s face it, you can feel your blood sugar dropping and your mood right along with it. I find if I am starting to feel crabby for no reason whatsoever, a Happy Snack fixes that quickly. This is also great when you are in a foreign country and just need something familiar in your tummy. Some of my favorite things to take in my Happy Snack stash include:

  • Fruit Leathers
  • Trail Mix
  • Granola Bars
  • Licorice or some other type of candy

(Hint: Target has some really great fruit leathers and trail mix – lots of great flavors and variety. That’s where I go to get mine… like this bag of trail mix.)  (more…)

Day 14, India Summer 2012 – The Last Day & Mehndi

The following is excerpts from my journal from my most recent trip to see the girls of STEPS Home in India. 

August 5 –

Sunday, our last day. How time flew by! We went to church and I wore my new sari from Faith. Church was two hours long today, per the norm. When the started serving communion at the end, we had to sneak out since Isaac had to at a memorial service.

On the way home, we drove through a cemetery because Tarun wanted to see the grave marker for their cousin (the one we were going to the one-year memorial service for). Cemeteries are an odd thing to see in India, since Hindus burn the deceased on a funeral pyre. We saw where Isaac’s cousin was buried, not far from where his parents were buried.

We stopped by the house to pick up everyone else, then headed to the memorial service. I thought the concept was a really neat one. A year after a loved one has passed away, a service is held where the family members come together to honor their loved one. After sharing some memories and a short message from the Bible, the family gathered for a meal.   (more…)

Day 13, India Summer 2012 – Chameleon, Sketchy Food, & Shopping

The following is excerpts from my journal from my most recent trip to see the girls of STEPS Home in India. 

August 4 –

The girls had school today (Saturday), but we got a little hang-time with Vanija and Angel this morning!


We played “spot the chameleon on the post”. Can you see him?  (more…)

When the Water is Safer

The ocean and I are not exactly simpatico. Bodies of water and I have always had a love-hate relationship… but mostly hate. But this morning I came across an article on Yahoo! news where I think water would be the safer option than land. In the article was a video of millions of migrating hermit crabs on the beach.

Here, just watch….  (more…)

Day 12, India Summer 2012 – Lunch & Romans

The following is excerpts from my journal from my most recent trip to see the girls of STEPS Home in India. 

August 3 –

Mike left for Bangalore early in the morning to help with the basketball camps. Theresa and I spent time at STEPS with Isaac, Tara, and Dr. Nisha. They had a meeting with the STEPS staff, and we (along with Ben and Rohan) hung out with little Angel. She was the only girl who hadn’t met little Buster, so we introduced her to the cute little guy.

She thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet Buster!

After their meeting, Isaac told us of his new small group Bible study he would be taking us to that night. He, Tara, and another couple were the leaders of a new 20-something group from church. He told me that they were going to be starting their study of Romans, but since he hadn’t had time to prepare, he was going to “Indian Outsource” the introduction of the book of Romans to me! Oh dear! Good thing the Lord has had me reading through Romans while I’ve been here!


Day 11, India Summer 2012 – Building Plans

The following is excerpts from my journal from my most recent trip to see the girls of STEPS Home in India. 

August 2 –

Today at the office, I worked on some letters and a newsletter. Then we corroborated with Ben to help him edit down a longer video into shorter segments. We got a lot accomplished in the office this morning. And we had Italian for lunch. Italian in India… Ha.

After lunch we met with Dr. Nisha, Sunja (who works in the office), and two architects to talk about the floor plans of the new home. The original plans had to be revamped, so we talked about it should look like. We talked about the needs, and what kind of plan would best fit those needs. I was glad to be a part of that. The house will still have a similar exterior, like the model we saw last December:  (more…)

Day 10, India Summer 2012 – Homework

The following is excerpts from my journal from my most recent trip to see the girls of STEPS Home in India. 

August 1 –

We woke up this morning to very little water pressure… it made showering interesting, to say the least.

At this morning’s meeting, Isaac had Theresa and I both share our stories with his staff. When we got done sharing, Isaac said, “They (meaning all three of us) come from America, the land of milk and honey, but they have struggles and pain too… God is writing all of our stories to make us look more like himself.”

Isaac then showed us and his staff a movie in Tamil that was just released. It tells the story of a family and how the patriarch of the family uses the Vedas (the Hindu scriptures) to tell Hindus about Jesus. Even though we didn’t understand most of what was being said (a few things here and there were in English), it was still a powerful story. It was very interesting.  (more…)

Day 9, India Summer 2012 – Saris and Roaches

The following is excerpts from my journal from my most recent trip to see the girls of STEPS Home in India. 

July 31 –

Theresa and I worked on sponsorship cards for Isaac today. I also worked on updating some of the STEPS facebook stuff. Overall it was a productive day at the office.

Eventually we went back to the house so Mike could rest since he wasn’t feeling well. Faith (Tara’s mom) gave me a sari she said I could have. She had never worn it, and thought the colors would look good on me. It is beautiful – a purple and teal blue color with shimmery, sparkly designs on it. (Unfortunately, I realized I never got a picture of me in it.) All I have to do is get a blouse made and buy the petticoat.  (more…)

Day 8, India Summer 2012 – Buster the Wonder Pup

The following is excerpts from my journal from my most recent trip to see the girls of STEPS Home in India. 

July 30 –

We got to sleep in a little this morning, then headed to the office. Isaac asked Mike to share a little of his story with the staff. Then we planned out everything that needed to be accomplished during the week. Theresa & I got to work on some letters, and Mike went off with Ben and Rohan.

Around lunchtime, Rohan came back to the office with a surprise… Sitara’s birthday present from her parents. A very adorable, rollie-pollie Golden Retriever puppy!


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