Saturday, June 28, 2008

Serpent City, USA

Yesterday morning started out as any other work-day morning. I got up at 4:30 IL time to be ready to leave by 5:30am. No one else in the house was up yet. After I fixed myself a cup of coffee, I remembered that I need to put the garden hose in the pool, to add more water. It was low enough that it almost wasn't flowing into the skimmer.

No big deal, I thought, I get ready in the basement bathroom, I'll just go outside the door down there, we have a walk-out basement,-just in case you are trying to figure out how I'm going out a door in the basement. Anyway, I turn on the porchlight, still kinda dark out, and slide open the door. I quickly shut the door, don't want the "sweetness" to get outside, thats Mo our dog, who thinks she is my best friend in the mornings and follows me everywhere. Actually I hate her, but thats another post for another time.

I quickly (mind you I am still in only my undewear-remember its still dark!) put the hose in the pool and go back and turn on the water faucet, and head back inside.

After stepping over the threshold, I look down as I slide the door shut, and there lying, laying, or whatever the proper english term, on the threshold of the door, is a SNAKE. Mind you, it was only about a foot and a half long, but it might as well have been Four feet long at 4:30 am.

I don't think I have mentioned it yet, but I HATE SNAKES!! If I had been in the Garden of Eden and the snake/serpent had been trying to coax me into eating from the tree of the knowlege of good and evil, that conversation wouldn't have happened! I would have been a mile away when I encountered the snake.
Anyway, the first thing I remember was letting out what I am sure was an inhuman "girly"sounding scream, then I remember yelling "Get out, don't come in!", which of course caused the snake to immediately start slithering off the threshold and slide inside the door.
It was at that point, I remembered my mantra, about snakes--if I EVER have one get in the house that I can't find, WE ARE MOVING OUT! I was already calling U-Haul in my mind. The vision of me waking up with a snake curled up beside me in bed, also went quickly through my mind. Funny how many thoughts can fly through your head in a matter of milli-seconds.

After yelling a few OH SHOOTS! or some word similar to that :), it was all kind of a blur as I look back on it now, I decided some quick action must be taken.

That's when I saw this interesting apparatus lying to the right of the door:

OH YEAH!! I was finally gonna get some use out of these 10 pound paper weights!

So I quickly grabbed it. The snake was miraculously, still lying beside the inside frame of the door, whipping its tail around. When I picked up the weight, it instantly started opening its mouth wide and hissing at me, like it knew its time was running out. It had chosen the wrong MAN to mess with!! Funny how when you have a weapon in your hand, you get a whole new perspective on life.

Anyway, I precariously, held the weight by one end, in order to keep my hand as far away as possible from the snake, and quickly smashed the other end into the snake, about an inch or two, behind his head, pinning him up against the door frame. This caused him to hiss even louder, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood at full attention!

I quickly, let off the pressure and rammed him again and again. This was where it got a little messy, I'll just save you the gory details, but I just let the weight lay up against him for a while. I had to go and find something quickly to pick it up. I found a piece of cardboard, and even though the end of it was still twitching, I pulled the weight back, slid the cardboard under, and flipped him out onto the patio. After a quick, all over "heebee jeebee" body convulsion, I grabbed some cleaner and paper towels to clean the blood off the floor and the weight, and then it was back to getting ready for work as usual. Of course, then the dog comes back in the room. She must have been hiding. Can you imagine--What a chicken -afraid of a little snake.
Oh by the way, here's a picture of my "friend"AFTER he was resting on the patio.

And one more thing, I'm not sure what's going on around here,but this morning Missy, was in the basement, hooking up her sound system, when I heard a shriek, and her yell -"There is a LIZARD in here! Sure enough there was one, hiding against the base that our furnace sits on.
By now, I'm becoming good at finding things quickly, to take care of reptiles. This time, my weapon of choice, was alot less destructive. I used an empty VCR tape box, and trapped it. I did let it loose, by flinging it far away from our house into the woods. Little lizards, do not strike fear in me as snakes do, although this didn't look like the ordinary color striped lizards that run around outside, this one looked like it was all dark gray--kinda like a MUTANT SNAKE WITH LITTLE LEGS.
PS. We also have a mouse upstairs, that refuses to be caught with a trap. He likes to come out in the evenings and enjoys quiet time with Missy in the early morning hours. He runs like a lunatic back and forth, through our living room into our family room. We have become so accustomed to his antics, that we" affectionately" call him Stuart.
So anyone want to come over for a party? uh Michelle-you still out there?
If anyone was thinking about a trip to the zoo--don't waste your time in the reptile/rodent building. COME ON OVER. We are creating our own, right here at the Milbourn's!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Releasing Children From Poverty in Jesus' Name

Earlier this year, while reading two of my favorite blogs Shlog and Rocks In My Dryer,-yes I admit it , I'm a guy and I love reading Rocks in My Dryer. :) I learned more about an awesome organization, Compassion International. I had heard of them before and how they helped feed starving children in the world.

Compassion was about to embark on taking a group of bloggers , from around the US, on a mission trip to Uganda , to “live”blog on the conditions while they were there. Some of you may remember me blogging about it in February. Anyway, since that time, God has really continued placing this organization, and these children on my heart. Our family has sponsored a child from Uganda and I have recently signed on to blog monthly on behalf of Compassion International.

The blogging part is exciting for me, because since February,it has been my continual prayer, that God would somehow "use me” in whatever way-big or small-to help these children.

Compassion’s slogan is “Releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name”, and it is my hope and prayer now that God would use my blogging, to help reach these suffering kids, who are in such great need of basic things that you and I take for granted.


Currently we are in a Global Food Crisis, the World Food Programme, has called it a “silent tsunami”. This is affecting every family in every nation. Food prices for popular items like rice, wheat and beans have DOUBLED in last year. Though these prices have affected all budgets, it’s the poor who bear the brunt of the inflation. These higher prices are forcing people who normally survive on $1 per day, to spend approximately 80% of their budgets just on food.

As a result, many people, including millions of children, are going hungry. The higher the prices go, the more people will be plunged into poverty. In Bangladesh 95% of the 11,782 children Compassion serves are affected. Many are eating only at the church based center. In Haiti, inflation rates have risen by 40%, pushing up food prices as well. All 60,000 children, served by Compassion in Haiti, have been affected as well.

What is causing the crisis, you might be asking?
· Rising fuel costs-of course!
· Rising food demand from populous nations like India and China
· Natural disasters destroying crop yields, all over the world

Compassion International has launched the Global Food Crisis Fund to bring aid to those who are most adversely affected by the rising food costs. More information is available and donations can be made at

Donations to the fund will provide:
· Food vouchers to children
· Seed and Agricultural tools so that families can grow their own food as well as earn extra income
· Supplemental nutrition services offered at Compassion-assisted centers around the world.

Compassion International has set aside WEDNESDAY JUNE 25TH as a day of fasting and prayer to honor the victims of the global food crisis and to pray for them.