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Gordon and Tracie came to visit Anne and me last weekend. There was plenty of porch-sitting, Norman-wandering, and hijinks aplenty. We had a lot of fun, but we’re too cool to show it.


I feel alarmingly wonderful! Basically I have been steadily improving since I left the hospital last week, which I expected to plateau at some point. But I keep feeling better and better! I have been trying to think of why this might be, and there are so many variables floating around that I can’t pin it down exactly. Let’s discuss. It could be:

a) The three blood transfusions I got last week. I don’t know what exactly was in that blood, but it must have included Magical Energy Potion.

b) I basically took a week-long break from classes and spent it with family instead. If that’s not good for mental health, I don’t know what is. Aunt Holly and Uncle Glen were in town, and I got to spend extra time with them.

c) Catching up on schoolwork has been less tricky than I anticipated. One minor hitch was that my Symbolic Logic professor assigned me extra homework to get me caught up (so mean! and not even logical!) BUT it ended up helping me understand the chapter. Surprise, surprise.

d) My tummy does not hurt anymore. (applause)

e) The weather has stopped being soul-witheringly hot. Instead it is delightful! I try to be outside as much as possible.

f) I’ve been reading a lot of C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton. It’s good for my brain and good for my heart.

g) Friends who are concerned about my iron deficiency keep offering to take me out for steak.

h) All of the above?

Well, well, well. It has been a while, has it not? Trust me, I have a good excuse.

As you are possibly aware, I had a brief stint in the hospital recently. I had been feeling sick to my stomach since around Labor Day, but it was intermittent enough that I kept thinking I was better. These vain delusions kept me from seeking medical attention. Finally, late Friday night (or early Saturday morning), it got bad enough that Anne drove me to the ER, and I stayed at the hospital until yesterday afternoon. I won’t get into all of my issues, but my weekend involved: anemia, an ovarian cyst, surgery to get rid of said cyst, an internal hernia that may or may not exist (please pray that it doesn’t), and getting lots of holes punched in me. If you want to hear more about these lovely things, you can call me and we’ll discuss it.

Even though all of that was pretty miserable, everyone was so nice to me! Anne stayed up with me all night at the ER and made subsequent visits whenever possible. Mom drove down early Saturday morning and stayed with me the whole time, talking to the doctors, sleeping in a chair next to me, keeping people updated on my condition, etc. I was visited by a lot of sweet people. My friends drew/painted me lovely pictures, and played me music on the banjo and mandolin.  Gordon and Dad even drove down on surgery day. Basically I feel very loved to have so many people looking out for me. And thanks so much for all your prayers! They seem to be working. God is good!

Now I am back in Kansas for the rest of the week, since my parents figured kidnapping me would be the most effective way to get me to chill out (definitely true). I am in moderate pain but getting better, and a bit woozy from the pain meds. I plan to do some serious napping this week before I have to start in on all my homework. One benefit of this unforeseen vacation is that I get to spend more time with Uncle Glen and Aunt Holly, who are coming to Wichita today.

I think you can now consider yourself updated. I hope all of this made sense–I’m afraid the Percocet has compromised my capacity for logic and chronology. One last thing: until further notice, please do not make me laugh. It really hurts.

  • Campfire marshmallows–they’re as big as your face!
  • “Striped” as a two-syllable word
  • Harmonica/melodica musical fun sessions with friends on campus (or in class)–once we almost got a trombonist to join us
  • The way my professor (who claims to be Russian) says “rrisky”
  • Knowing Labor Day weekend is just around the corner
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Having a sister in town who lives (literally) a hop, skip, and a jump away

It’s been a while.

Fall semester started TODAY, which is terribly exciting! Actually the really thrilling news is that Anne is here!! She is one of the new little Sooners, and we moved her into the dorms on Tuesday. I think she likes it here. Sometimes she tries to convince me she has no friends, but as far as I can tell, she has more of a social life than I do–she keeps hanging out with people and declining my invitations. And living in a building with over a thousand other freshmen puts you on the fast track for friend-making, so I would say she’s doing quite well.

My classes for this semester include Communication Theory, Risk and Crisis Communication, Symbolic Logic, and Freedom in Greece. So far I’ve only been to the first two of those, and they seem like they will be moderately interesting. Risk and Crisis Comm should come in handy, I suppose, since risks and crises are lurking around every corner. I shall be prepared! At one point though, the teacher expressed concern about cramming too many kids in the room and violating a fire code. So I guess we’re trying to avoid risk? I think I must not understand what this class is about.

The ISS office has been INSANELY busy these past few weeks with all the incoming internationals. It is simply flabbergasting. I am hoping with every fiber of my being that things calm down. This semester I will be working about twenty hours a week, splitting my time between the law library and the ISS office.

I’ve met a few new exchange students. They have different visas than the internationals, so they check in at a different office, which means I don’t meet them unless we cross paths in Kraettli. So far I have met friends of Lily and Milena (two French students from last year) and a friend of Yu-Chieh (a Taiwanese student from last year). Yu-Chieh sent a present for Rachel and me that consisted of an assortment of keychains and brochures from a Taiwanese museum, and posters he made from pictures around Taiwan. I don’t think I can fully capture the glory of these posters in words, so I hesitate to try. But let me tell you, they are hilarious. The captions on the back are informative, off-the-wall, and sweet (my favorite was “your smiles are sweeter than the sheeps”).

My friend Laura (a French exchange student from two years ago) was in town today with her family! She is writing her masters thesis on Route 66, which obviously necessitates an epic family journey for research purposes. It was reeeeaally good to see her. We went to Wendy’s and I had trouble explaining how a Frosty is different from a milkshake. …Is it?

In other news, I tried to make meatballs the other day. They turned out soupy, which was not unforeseen for a few reasons. I used a meatloaf recipe, didn’t measure anything, and substituted in some very incorrect ingredients. They taste edible though.

The OU marching band practices in my front yard! How obnoxious. They are good at what they do, but they are ever so LOUD and the theme this year seems to be Lady Gaga. (Rachel almost fell out of her chair with delight when she found out about this.)

Time to eat some watermelon.

Happy belated Fourth of July! I hope everyone’s fingers and eyeballs survived the festivities. I got to go up to Kansas for the weekend. It was a packed house – my roommate Rachel went with me, and Frances was in town from Chicago with her roommate Megan. There was an abundance of delicious food, and I got to spend a lot of time with old high school friends from the foggy past. There was a magnificent party on Sunday evening and some of the guests brought a cannon! It was amazing. Whenever I tell people this, a common concern is whether cannonballs were involved. Nope, just gunpowder. I got to light the fuse one time, and  sang the Indiana Jones theme song to myself.

I bought a big bag of cherries this afternoon and have eaten about half of it I believe. SO DELICIOUS. Other happenings include: dozing on a park bench in the rain (I meant to read, but ended up using my book as a pillow), going on long walks, investigating recipes for Bombe Alaska, watching bits of German movies with Rachel (Milena sent her a few in the mail), playing with Play-Doh (that spelling looks stupid, but I promise it’s how it’s spelled on the can), shopping for pepper grinders, listening to good banjo music, teasing a friend who has recently taken up shuffleboard (and secretly studying up on strategy in case I get challenged to a match), watching the World Cup, reading a lot, and giving some thought to Kiribati phonology. Oh yes, also going to work.

Currently I’m pining away for this hammock. It is made out of parachute material so it’s breezy and cool! PLUS it folds up to the size of a grapefruit. So I could take it with me everywhere I go and whip it out if I get tired of walking. I am mildly obsessed with the thought of this and intend to buy it the first second I don’t feel poor.

I would use that everyday. Look how happy he is! THE POWER OF LEVITATION CAN BE YOURS.

I started my new job working at the OU International Student Services office! I am enjoying it so far, but it’s quite a change from the lawbrary, where I was being paid to be a body sitting at a desk. It looks like this job won’t leave me much time for activities like creating library-wide scavenger hunts for law students in my downtime. Or leisurely perusing the statutes section. Or examining all the plants to see if they’re real/carnivorous. (Just kidding, I never did any of that.) At the ISS office, I do actual work. I do various officely duties and help internationals fill out various forms. I guess it’s a little bit similar to a thing called “the real world,” of which I have heard tell but never experienced.

Last week I took three good friends to the airport. On Saturday Christine (our former neighbor) headed home to Taiwan, where she will teach English to high schoolers. Our friend Geraldine, from Mauritius, left on Tuesday for Germany, where she will finish her masters degree in English literature and marry her German boyfriend. My good friend Deah also left on Tuesday for Wales, where she will care for young pregnant women and new mothers. Sigh. It was rough, and it’s hard for me to look past my selfish thoughts of how much I will miss them and HOW CAN THEY LEEEAAVE MEEE and instead be excited for the cool things they are doing with their lives.

I rode a bike tonight for the first time in almost a year, since this hellacious experience. And it didn’t kill me and I enjoyed it. Many many thanks to DAD for helping me fixing up my bike with no help from me and on very short notice!

One of the Google searches that has brought someone to my blog was the phrase “how to spell potluck in japanese.” I hope they were able to find something helpful.

Anne is coming down to Norman tomorrow to enroll at OU! Boomer sooner! Anne – once you enroll, there is no turning back. I hope you’re sure about this.

Last weekend I got to go up to Kansas for Anne’s graduation! She’s officially the last MacLeod to successfully make it through AHS (unless we can get Fritze or Gracie enrolled, and I would definitely question the wisdom of that move). Nate and Jenn Appleton and Grandma MacLeod came down from Wisconsin for the joyous occasion, and it was SO GOOD to get to spend time with them. It was a busy weekend, full of quality family time, good food, dogs biting each other’s heads, Witchitä sight-seeing, and deck-sitting.

God has been taking really good care of me lately, especially on the summer-job front. Last week I got a job at the International Student Services office on campus, which is AWESOME because I’m hoping to someday have a  career working with international students. So this should be pretty good experience. Since I’m a student assistant, my job will include answering phones, filing, greeting people, and other super-important stuff like that. The timing and hours are pretty much perfect, and the people who work there seem nice. I’m starting in two weeks, so I’ll update you then.

Meanwhile, people keep leaving. Milena is leaving tomorrow morning! Nooo. Another friend, Geraldine (from Mauritius), is heading to Germany soon to get married. Since she’s always wanted to go camping, Rachel is taking her this weekend. Geraldine has expressed a hope that there won’t be any “any bugs, insects, grass, dirt, mud, or water.” Ha! She’s in for a treat.

In two weeks, my dear dear friend Deah is leaving for Wales to be a “House Mum” in a charity that takes care of young pregnant women. I’m going to miss her A LOT – she has been one of my closest friends here since we met freshman year in the dorms. She is a huge encouragement to my faith – she’s like my Yoda. Or my Ruth, if you want a more biblical analogy. The ministry she’s getting involved in sounds like a pretty good one. Here’s the website for that, and here’s Deah’s blog, where you can read her support letter and donate something to help her out if you feel so called.

In other news, those little black dots inside bananas are tarantula eggs.

Happy happy Mother’s Day!

Last week of the school year! It should be survivable. By a happy twist of fate, I only have two finals this week, and only one that is seriously alarming. That would be Morphology. My capstone essay is due Thursday, and after that I am freeee!

We finally had our Korean cookout last Thursday. There was some kind of delicious beef/onion/mushroom concoction, Korean roasted chestnuts, dumplings, kimchi (here’s a recipe), and LOTS of rice. It was a little terrifying to watch my Korean friends cook – they were flinging raw meat around my kitchen and using magazine pages to cover the dumplings frying on the stove. Kraettli could have burned down! Happily, we all survived, and the meal was completely delicious.

On Saturday, my Chinese friend Ivory invited me over for dinner with her and her daughter Alice (they both became Christians over the break, I think I’ve mentioned them before). Let me tell you about the food she cooked. There was 1) fried chicken with some kind of strange and wonderful seasoning, 2) pink potatoes and pork, 3) red peppers and shrimp, 4) pork with “tree ear” (it’s a type of fungi, and the Wikipedia page freaks me out and I can’t believe I ate so much of it), 5) LOTS of rice, and 6) seaweed soup. 95% of the meal was waaayy outside my comfort zone, but I ate some of everything and had much fun. They are a sweet family and it was so nice of them to have me over.

All these people who are leaving keep giving us things, and Rachel and I are noticing that our apartment is beginning to look like Asians live here. We have little Chinese charms hanging everywhere, Korean ingredients in the fridge, a jar of chopsticks on the counter, and office supplies with cute pastel animals on them.

I am looking forward to a trip to Kansas next weekend for Anne’s graduation party, and another one the weekend after that for her actual graduation. So excited! On that note, here’s a fun vest. I wish I had had one to carry Oscar around in, back when he was skinny.

I don't understand why the foliage is necessary.

"How did this HAPPEN?"

These USED to be my favorite pair of shoes. As you can see, they are riddled with gaping holes, which my toes keep trying to fall out of. Also this particular shoe is now in two pieces.

I don’t know what to call a pair of shoes that is made of three components. My mind is blown.

Thanks for sending me new shoes, Mom!