Most Amazing Experience Ever!

Author: Dutchess of Yum // Category:

I was given the opportunity to take a train ride. For free...kinda. I was asked to head up about 44 or so students . Two weekends in a row, I would assist the Head Chef prepare and deliver the food for 9 cars. There were about 300 passengers that ate on the train. The actual dining car fed 3 sets of 36 people. The total day would consist of about 15 hours. At the train by 5:30am and home by 9pm-ish. IT WAS AWESOME! When I got to the train, I had to organize the breakfast, get the students ready to plate their food. Baskets of fruit, orange juice, and danishes sent to the individual cars. Once breakfast was served, it was time to clean up and prepare for dinner service. In our down time, we were able to take in some of the scenery. This was the leave peeping tour, at the end of October when the leaves are at their peak. It was so gorgeous! God really knows how to paint a masterpiece!!

Throughout the day, I was able to run from car to car making sure that everyone had what they needed. When we were finished we would all go into a car and just sit, talk, watch out the windows, wander the cars aimlessly, stand on the platform between cars....etc.

Our Goal of the whole trip was to get to Hinton, WV. A very small, but beautiful town. A train town. As we pulled into the "station" (an old train station building with empty rooms), we had to hike up a steep hill to a Train Festival in the middle of this town. Let me put it this way, we were on one road and could walk the entire length of the town. Adorable though. Beautiful buildings, lots of really nice people. THE BEST PULLED PORK EVER! I was able to buy a few souvenirs (had no where to store it on the train), eat some great pastries, and just enjoy the weather with friends and fellow students.

We were given a specific time to be back on the train, so I made my way back down the steep hill. Got aboard the train and continued preparing for dinner. We sent out the food for the cars that were serving dinner in their individual car and also prepared the food for the diner. Yes, there was a diner on the train. Right next to the kitchen, the isles were only large enough for one person to walk through but the waitstaff had figured out how to carry and serve food on trays without dumping them into the unsuspecting passengers lap. And how they didn't spill or dump food on themselves I'll never know. Although, its a pretty smooth ride considering its a train, moving at times upwards of 80 miles an hour! It definitely felt faster than that though. When dinner service was over, we cleaned up and managed to get the kitchen looking clean again, we were allowed to relax. I would frequently hide between the cars on the platforms. It was so peaceful there. The sound of the train on the track is loud, so it was a constant hum. But to look out those doors and see total darkness except for the lights from the towns we would pass or the passing train that would be only about 2 feet, even less at times, away from us. The cool air on my was so incredible. Once we reached home, we would unload trash, say goodbye, go home, go to sleep, and get up to do it again the next morning.

I felt as if I was still moving for the first hour I was at home, but I would do it a hundred times over!

I have a bizillion thoughts going through my head, so to make's one...

Author: Dutchess of Yum // Category:
As I sit here at 1am, I am caught up in the thought that I am a selfish person. Or am I? Personally, I don't think I am. I actually never really thought I was until I was told twice this week that I was a VERY selfish person. Very is the word that clued me in to search myself. And if there are two different people calling me selfish, and they aren't aquaintences with one another, then something is making a bell go off in my head.
I honestly feel that I am one of the most giving people. Due to circumstances a lot of the time though I guess I can see why someone would call me selfish.
To stay on topic, a few reasons I don't think I'm selfish are: One, I don't know how to say no, if someone asks me to do something or needs my help, I always help. Two, I give and give of myself in every aspect of my life. My family, if they ever need anything, I am always right there to listen or help in anyway I can. My friends, I play the middle man, to help one through a tough time or to just be the shoulder to cry on. My job, I finally have a "Big Girl" job, as my dear sister, Orchid would say. I am asked to basically maintain a kitchen in an academic environment. I clean up after and prepare for classes. I run and get the Chef lunch, I type papers, grade papers, input data in the computer, clean the class room, keep a running list of product we may need for the next week, clean and straighten the classroom. I also make sure that the students have what they need at all times. If someone doesn't have a hat on or makes a minor infraction to our safety and sanitation rules, I quietly tell them so they don't loose points in the class. Im there before anyone gets there and usually there after they have all gone to finalize tasks for the next days agenda. My job title is not just a one paragraph requirement.
At home, I try to keep the house clean, aside from the lazy saturday now and then, no help from Dynamo, of course. Thinking that every toy in the play room should be allowed out to play on the living room floor or anywhere else besides the play room. The dog is just as distructive as Dynamo, as she decides to empty trash cans, play tug of war with Dynamo on any extremity she can get (ie. pant legs, shirt sleeves, shoes, toys he may be holding). The cat who thinks he is KING OF THE HOUSE! Walks around with his nose in the air until your doing something very important or time consumming and then and only then does he decide that you HAVE to pet him. But it doesn't stop there, no one stroke isn't enough, he wants to roll and cuddle me til my project in front of me is in a mess.
I am a culinary student and I never have time to actually cook a good meal, so my menu consistes of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a soup of choice, and of course we can't forget frozen foods. My refrigerator looks like one you would see in a dorm room. Pop, milk, every kind of salad dressing you can imagine-yet barely any salad to be found, 20 pieces of cheese cake, orange juice, toaster get the point.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that I really try not to be a selfish person. I try to help those in need, try but mostly fail at not dissappointing my parents, keep my dear Dynamo from screaming and destroying our house while keeping him fed, clean, safe, and happy. The animals, well, they get to live in my house, with an abundant supply of food. I even ran out of actual pet food and made them something-yeah, time to make the dog food, but tv dinners for the humans. Anyway, I still fail to see where I am selfish. But if that's the way people see me, then I guess I must try harder to change that opinion.
Now does that mean my house has to look like a model home, no. My kid sitting on the couch without making a mess, or crying about what toy he should have gotten instead, no. My dog actually laying on the floor until I call her to me, no. My laundry always being hung up and washed in a timely manner, no. Answering every text message with a cheery response, no. Having ice in the trays every time I use the last one, no.
I am not perfect. But with everything going on in my life such as being a Single mom, Full time college student, Full time employee, attending church very regularly, actually finding time to do homework, or shower for that matter, I would just say I am extremely busy and might be human from time to time and forget to take out the trash, be too tired to sweep the floor or pick up the toys or do the small load of dishes.
Just give me a break. I'm really honestly doing the best I can without falling apart from the inside out due to all the stress of school and work. The demands of a wild child 3 year old. A puppy. The piling dishes, unmade beds, shower curtain open, missed phone calls, and laundry up to my eye balls. Believe me, when its down to granny panties, I'm feeling the stress. LOL. Only 2 more pair...yes!
Anyway. Enough venting. I'm doing the best that I can. If not, I'll try harder.

Author: Dutchess of Yum // Category:
Why is it that I feel lazy and restless at the same time? I feel like running from whatever bothers me or stresses me out and then I have this little voice in my head that screams "QUITTER!!" Which then makes me angry and wants me to run back to the troubles and face them full on. I hate that when I feel like I'm all alone, I have the tendency to ignore the outstretched arm of God. There to comfort me. I know the right answers but my human self tries to take control and solve the problem for me without me even thinking twice about it and its not until I have been cornered that I then reach my arms up to Him and beg for His help and guidance. Shame on me for thinking I can handle it all on my own. Because you know when I think about it, when I am cornered and God is the only one to help me out, I still try to make it all better on my own. My prayer is that I can dive into the safety net of God and His words and His comforting mercy.
Thank you God for allowing me to realize when I try to take over. Thank you for putting it into the front of my mind when I'm out of line or not walking the path I should. When I get distracted from you!

When it all feels like its gonna fall apart....

Author: Dutchess of Yum // Category:
How is it that when you feel like you are fallin apart, your mom is the one that is inspired by God to give you words of wisdom and comfort??

Its so funny how the one person that you don't want to hear "I told you so" from is the one God chooses to say it!

I guess what I'm trying to say is "Thank you mom, for all your words of kindness and encouragement! You always know exactly what to say when I need it the most. God chose you to be my mother because He knew that no other woman would have the strength or patience to put up with me!! I love you!!"

God has a way of using people in your life to minister to you, even when its the smallest voice such as my son, Dynamo (coined by my mom). One day I was having some troubles and in the car heading to my parents house (30 minutes from my house), this small voice begins to sing " Oh no, you never let go, through the calm and through the storm, oh no you never let, Lord, you never let go of me". A song that we sing in church often by Matt Redman. Such a sweet reminder that God is holding us close!! Thank you God for your sweet little reminders when we need it the most!!!