Friday, September 22, 2017

Meet Tuck!!!

Meet the newest member of our family: Tuck!

We've been talking about getting a dog for a while, and before we knew we were moving to Germany, we did a little hunting at the animal shelter. We'd decided to table that discussion until after we returned. Toward the end of our time overseas, we made the decision to start looking again once we'd gotten settled a little bit. 

About a month ago, the local animal shelter ran a promo with a blood drive company and offered free pet adoptions (and a Tervis tumbler!) with any blood donation. Carson donated and we got our "golden ticket" for a future adoption. 

I had a recent Saturday off, so we headed out to look for a pet. I didn't really expect to find one, but after passing about 100 pit bulls at the shelter (why get a pit bull if  you aren't going to keep it???), we spotted a little black and white dog named "Elvis" in the second to last kennel. He didn't seem scared, but we couldn't get a read on his personality, so we found a volunteer and asked to meet him. He had a little snaggletooth that gave him a bit of a snarled look (hence the name Elvis), and seemed pretty mellow despite the super loud pit bulls barking at him as he walked to the meeting area. He was curious and sniffed around and seemed super sweet, but didn't jump on us, bark, or get aggressive at all. We liked him, but we were a little nervous since we weren't meeting him in a neutral environment. We decided to take the plunge anyway, and asked to sign paperwork. 

Ready to go home! He curled right up and fell asleep on my lap.

 We spent that afternoon running out to grab collars, leashes, dog food, and toys. We also spent some time deciding on a new name, since Elvis wasn't our favorite name choice. "Tuxedo", "Tux" for short was tossed around, but we liked the sound of "Tuck" better, and since he was more white than black, Tuxedo didn't make that much sense. I call him Tucker sometimes, but really it's just Tuck. He didn't respond to Elvis anyway, and immediately responded when we called him Tuck.

We walked him around our apartment complex

Let him explore the couch

And risked his opinion of us by giving him a bath. He sat there tolerantly, but didn't love it.

He'd been neutered the day before we got him, and had also just had surgery for a cherry eye on his left eye, which is why it looks red and swollen.

He seems to like us!

And we like him too.

After I went to the gym the next morning, I picked up Tuck and took him to Cascades Park for a walk. He did so well on a leash and around people. We'd been worried that he wouldn't be housebroken or trained at all, but he's really great! I have no idea how he ended up at the shelter because he is so great and it seems like someone really did care about him and trained him well!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Carson's Trip to Berlin (August)

Carson went to Berlin for the ISBL (International Society of Biblical Literature) conference at the beginning of August. The airline lost his bag on the way over, so he had to buy all new clothes right away, and ended up sporting dress clothes with Chacos. Thankfully, Germans dress pretty casually, so perhaps it wasn't their usual uniform of Adidas sneakers, but the sandals worked out okay, and the whole thing was better than shorts and a t-shirt.

He stayed near the Berliner Dom and got to explore that area, and to visit the Pergamon Museum which we hadn't seen when we were there in June. He had a great time, enjoyed presenting his paper, and made some good connections. Here are a few pictures he took and sent to me.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hurricane Irma

I grew up on the coast and was sort of used to "Hurricane Season", but I've never had to deal with the panic of a hurricane as an adult, until now. 

Last fall on Labor Day weekend, Tallahassee was hit by a Category 1 hurricane - Hermine. People lost power for weeks, and there was a ton of lasting damage. So when it came out that Hurricane Irma was in the Caribbean and Tallahassee was in the path, everyone FREAKED OUT. I was working at the bank on Tuesday and one of my first customers of the day informed me that Costco was out of water due to the panic. I didn't even know about it and said as much, but over the course of the day I started to hear more about people's frantic preparations for a hurricane that was due to hit over the weekend. 

Throughout the course of the week, the hurricane shifted from going way east of us, to having a path that would likely go straight through Tallahassee. Gas stations ran out of gas, grocery stores were scrapped of water and non-perishable foods as people collected things that would hopefully get them through the Apocalypse Hurricane. 

Schools were cancelled on Friday, FSU cancelled the football game for Saturday, and basically Friday seemed like the day before the world was going to end. Carson dropped me off at work that morning so that he could grab us some provisions and see if he could find gas somewhere in town. He wasn't successful on that last mission (he eventually went out super early Saturday and found some), but I think we are set on junk food until the end of time. 

When the bank decided to close at 1pm on a Friday, not to reopen until Tuesday, it seemed serious. So Carson grabbed me from work and we went in search of a gas can for just in case, and made a trip to Hobby Lobby (to grab the essentials, obviously). On Saturday, we went to look for a gas can, and stopped by Winn Dixie in search of hot dog buns for our "cook all the meat in your fridge just in case" get together that evening. We didn't have luck at Winn Dixie, and just look at all these empty shelves. 

No gas cans left at the Marine store.
Not a lot of soup left at the grocery store

The bread aisle. We found one seriously moldy loaf, but everything else here was stuff people had discarded.

Shuttered and ready for the storm.
 So we went to Walmart looking for hot dog buns
Candle aisle.

Gas station, completely out of gas and pumps wrapped up

The USPS taped up all the mailboxes - I guess so that mail wouldn't get wet??
 We walked across the street and joined the Ryans at the Kings house for a grill-all-the-meat-they-got-at-Costco party. We also laughed at the fact that this was obviously super last minute because seriously all we had was meat. No sides or anything until Jules remembered that she had leftover mac and cheese in her fridge and grabbed it so we had a side. 

The sky looked ominous as we walked home.

Many of the churches in town cancelled services for Sunday, since Leon County had moved to a voluntary evacuation overnight. Attendance was light, but we had some guests who'd joined us from other churches. We had a normal worship service but also joined in groups with people around us to pray for the victims of both Hurricane Harvey, which had hit Houston a week before, and Hurricane Irma, which was destroying South Florida as we met, and heading our way.

Driving around after church that day was weird. Everything was closed and some places were boarded up and it felt so weird. 

We decided to leave our apartment at the last minute because of our sliding doors. They were predicting Irma to make landfall in Tallahassee as a Category 1 or 2, and we weren't sure how these old glass doors would do. Carson put our tables in front of them to hopefully block glass from getting everywhere, we quickly packed up, and we headed out. 

We didn't "evacuate" far - just to Dodd Hall, where Carson's office is. We joined several others who are in his program and basically camped overnight at the offices. 

Someone got the 49ers game on the projector of the classroom we used as our main room. You can tell that we were really roughing it. 

After the kids went to sleep in a professor's office, the adults gathered to talk and laugh as we ate cheese, olives and proscuitto. We seriously had too much food. 

Carson and I slept in Dodd 112, where his desk is. Someone's cat was in there with us, and spending time overnight with a cat confirmed my suspicion that I'm allergic to cats!

We couldn't hear the storm outside, but it ended up hitting us not as badly as anticipated. Trees fell, and it was definitely a storm, but we could probably have all stayed at home without issue. It was still fun to be with everyone just in case we lost power or something. 

We packed up and walked over to the Sweet Shop for lunch. It's raining in this picture but you can't tell... Here we are: the survivors of Hurricane Irma 2k17. Some aren't pictured, but out of the religion department we had ten adults, four little kids, one two week old, one cat and one dog. What an adventure!

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