Thursday, October 21, 2010

Week 1 at the Kilns

Well, my first week was mostly spent trying desperately to get on the correct time zone for sleeping, and handling tech issues with email access for the Kilns site. The time zone was critical due to the fact that others expected to see me at other times than three in the morning when I happened to be most awake, and the emails were critical due to the fact that people wanted to schedule tours and that particular site combined with my not being in a zombie-like state was what hinged on their being able to pay the place a visit . . .
Lots of things happened during week one: one of the 3 students left for the week for New York for a conference, the AGA quit working (see google for AGA: it is a type of cook stove that stays on all the time--without it we could not cook, nor would the kitchen stay warm), the temps began to drop into the 50s and damp, I gave my first tea to Christopher Mitchell and his guests from Ireland (try making a full tea without a stove . . .), I attended my first Oxford C.S. Lewis Society meeting where Walter Hooper was in attendance (and he and I chatted about enjoying the small things in life [profound] and electric blankets [practical]), I met the AGA repairman and the gardener (you fix tea for the workmen over here--it is expected), I scheduled lots of tours, sorted out tons of emails, and unpacked in between it all (and did I tell you that my rooms are always in "showable" mode for the tours?).
Take a deep breath--I also walked everywhere as I had (and still have) no vehicle--but made it by bus to get groceries, hit the charity shops (2nd hand shops are a big thing over here as they help heart and cancer patients and have very nice things in them--I was able to pick up a very-much needed wool coat for 8 pounds/12 dollars).
There's a lot more, but here's one story to get the feel of things: One person phoned the Kilns from outside the gate (where the number is posted) and wanted a tour right then and there--I had just gotten out of the shower and said we have tour days (not right then, of course)--"Could I please show them the house now?" as they were only in the area for a short time--I sent them to look at the pond outside the house, dried my hair, and then showed them inside--only to have them be very rude . . . go figure . . . but that's just one person (actually two, but only one was rude); the typical groups who schedule to come through here are absolutely wonderful and have lots of questions and are very grateful for a chance to come and visit. We've had people from the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Russia, and more. This place remains a witness both to those who live here as well as to those who visit--I hope I am as much of a blessing as I feel that I am blessed already!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I've Arrived at the Kilns!

I "thought" I would leave that Monday when I wrote my last blog; however, the visa still did not arrive--so we had to reschedule one more time. I arrived last Thursday afternoon into the UK. The reason you have not heard from me for a week is that I was having difficulty logging onto my blogsite. Well, the arrival was interesting. I was only detained for 30 minutes in customs this time (instead of 7.5 hours)--and I was thoroughly grilled on what I was doing with my personal research--I even had to recite some of the Lord's Prayer in Old English for the customs man--then he believed me! Fortunately, I had a bit of OE memorized . . .
I was treated royally upon my arrival. One of the scholars gave me flowers and fixed me supper so I didn't have to go shopping the first night and then a friend asked me to supper the second night. I even had an invite for the third night but I needed to rest up a bit from all the jet lag and jet setting! I appreciate all the prayers and support from everybody! More to come . . .

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Visa Is In!

Good news! The visa has been approved and my ticket has been rescheduled for Monday at 9:20 pm. I have spent my last weekend in the US with my daughter who now lives in the San Diego area. We celebrated my visa arrival and her new business venture with a trip to the San Diego Zoo--simply awesome!

A Journey of Restoration

Once again, the journey of "waiting" for the visa has turned into a blessing--this time in the physical realm. I was told that if the visa waited just "one more week" then I would be able to use a gift (from some awesome friends) of attending the wonderful Restoration Ranch with Dr. Mike Casey for a health cleansing ( The visa indeed did wait so off I trekked to Yucca Valley, CA, home of the Joshua Tree National Forest. The high desert flora was beautiful, the sunsets awesome, the hospitality and gorgeous ranch incredible. The health lectures alone were worth the stay, but alongside the cleansing smoothies, and healthy eating and exercising, I couldn't have asked for a better preparation for my soon-to-come adventure [and no, you don't fast for days without eating . . . in fact, you never feel hungry at all]! I left with new friends, new knowledge, a clearer mind, a healthier body, and many spiritual lessons from the Bible! Plus, I gained an appreciation for the beauty of the desert--it is truly breathtaking. The entire experience was so invigorating a retreat that I recommend it to everybody hands down! So, now that I'm all physically, spiritually, and mentally renewed, I'm ready for the door to open into the Kilns! "Further up and further in!" (The Last Battle).