The Beauty of the Great Outdoors

I got back from a wonderful outdoors service project Saturday evening. I was a facilitator for a group of ten excellent, eager college freshman.

We left the University of the Pacific at 9 am on Friday. We drove to the YMCA Point Bonita branch in Mill Valley above San Francisco. It was freezing when we arrived! We dropped all our stuff in the old military barracks we were sleeping in that night and then we met in our group. We played a few "get to know you" games and explored the area. We hiked up mountains and down to the beach. I definitely got my work out in for the day. We returned and ate dinner, delicious Mexican food that was so good, people were scrapping the guacamole bowl! We then had s'mores and enjoyed a warm but mercifully short campfire. We then dragged out tired selves to bed.

The next morning we were up and the very reasonable time of seven and got dressed for a day of service work. Groups were spread out and engaged in an array of volunteer work. Some groups cleaned sand dunes and up and around the housing units at Point Bonita. Other groups fixed up fire circles and built boxes to house fire logs. My group did awesome work. We sanded and cleaned the benches around the fire pit, we packed up and organized items in the Discovery Room (anywhere from sea shells to rocks to bones), and general clean up around the camp. I had the good fortune to do some fun work: trail maintenance.

A group of about twelve of us hiked a mountain, over the ridge, down the other side, down into a valley, through the valley and down a steep, loose-rock hill to a secluded rocky beach.
It was a beautiful hike and we were blessed with a clear day. We could see the whole city, the Golden Gate AND the Bay Bridge. Along the way, we took out invasive plants and cut back plants that were growing into the trail. We were huffing and puffing after climbing on our hands and feet up from the beach, but it was worth it. Another place that was worked in that I wish I had was the garden.

This place is amazing: they grow all their food and recycle it back into compost to grow more food! They are an inspiration and it is a great place to bring kids to to learn about their outside world and how important and connected it and we all are. The YMCA staff were excellent; all helpful and knowledgeable, and the food was delicious! There's nothing like hot soup on a cold day.


On Leave

My brothers are visiting on leave from the AirForce. They are two great guys with a lot of experience under their belts now. They are doing a great service to all of us and is doing my family very proud. One will be returning to Idaho and the other getting stationed in Japan. All I have to say is that they are doing a great and wonderful thing that I myself do not have courage to do. I am very proud of them both. Keep them in your prayers that they stay safe and can daily see the Lord's work in and around them.

Its a beautiful thing when people step up and help others out. We do not have a lot of that in this country. It probably has something to do with what our ideals are, which are along the lines of independence, every man for himself, me me me (which is very relevant with the narcissistic facebook and even these blogs)... Its just beautiful to see others helping others, just because, not because they are getting recognition or paid or whatever. Engaging in these actions, in my eyes, shows a love for people, even those that you do not know. Amazing.


And we won't come back till its over over there!

Well, he's not technically going over seas, but my little brother is off to boot camp tomorrow. He's enrolled in the U.S. Air Force and is going to serve our country good. I have another little brother who is already doing an awesome job and serving our country. He's been there for about, what, a year and a half already? Geez its been a long time since he left :( Anyways, the one that is leaving tomorrow, Denzel, he wanted to play games tonight. It was pretty fun: him, my mom and dad and myself played a few games. We started with Cribbage. It was Me and my mom against Denzel and my dad. They whooped us! Or, as you would say in the game, they snaked us! They beat us by over I think it was 15 points. Sad. But we followed up with dominoes, all of us against each other, and I won! Yup! :) It was fun, a good way to end the day. As we played we listened to Jamie Cullum. Lisa was under the table trying to get our attention and my other dog Ruby was in my room on my bed, trying to stay away from the dreaded force that is my dad. :) She terrified of him. Poor thing :( Before we played games tonight, my mom, Denzel and I went to church. The pastor called Denzel up and damn near the entire church went up and laid hands on my brother and asked God to guide him and keep him safe from harm. It was really touching. My mom cried. Normal. :) Anyways, it was good fun, and playing games was an awesome ending to a good, peaceful night. So all pray for my brother Denzel that he is safe, and pray for my other brother A.J. and my cousin who is also in the Air Force, Ryan. May God keep them all safe and let them do their duties to their country (haha, doodies... :) )


A Christmas Carol

I know it's a lil' early, but I just watched the new A Christmas Carol! Me and my mom and my littlest brother went last night. It was pretty good. I've seen (just as I'm sure you have) many different versions. I really liked the Mickey Mouse version (haha with Scrooge McDuck!) and the Muppets version. But this was good. Jim Carrey was really good. There was also a few other stars in it as well: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and Bob Hoskins, to name a few. Even if you didn't know who they were, you can see it in their character's faces! They look just like them! (And all you have to do is listen to Bob Hoskin's character and know who it was, maybe not his name, but his voice is unmistakable.) But all in all, it was a good movie. It was 3D, so there was a lot of pointing and shooting at the audience, but it was memerable. The animation was top notch too, Scrooge's nephew has movements that were really life like (thas the one I noticed first, when he is in Scrooge's office, walking toward the fire place. You'll understand once you see it). You shoulg go and see it for a jolt of holiday fun. It really puts you in the mood to decorate for Chrsitmas, even if it is too early....


What I've been up to lately...

Well, I'm back. I know I haven't really been keeping up with this blog, but life gets in the way. But, its not like I have been busy! It just all me and my laziness. I have been taking a few online classes and studying for my GREs (wish me luck!). I have no job and am constantly looking for one. I do recieve unemployment. There are a few things our government does right, and unemployment is pretty spot on. Its nice having all this time. I have been doing a lot of baking and cleaning and sewing (wow, domestic I know). I have tried a few recipes that have turned out pretty great. I have a chocolate chip cook recipe, curtosy of Alton Brown (no I don't do all that fancy stuff. I just use margorine and microwave it, and just use regualr 'ol spoons to put it on the cookie sheet, yadda yadda yadda....) that turn out splendid. I also have a focaccia bread recipe from King Arthur Flour that turns out marvelous. (Yes, it does take the 18-19 hours quoted on the website. Like I said, I have a lot of time on my hands. But, most of the time is just spend waiting for the dough to rise, a few times. Its really quite easy). This time off has lead me to think about what I want to do in the near future. I have decided (well, almost decided) to take a cooking class next semester at the local jr. college here. Its a long class (7 hours to be exact), twice a week. I also want to take a sewing class too. I really like to cook, and I figure, if this whole forensic anthropology thing doesn't work out, I'm gonna try cooking. But, we'll see how the class goes next semester.

I've also been enjoying my brother home on leave. He is in the Air Force, now stationed in Idaho. He makes his whole family proud and I swear, everytime I see him, he has grown like 3 inches. My other little brother is headed off to the Air Force in January. Wow, they grow up fast.
Anyways, that all I have to write right now. My dryer is screamin at me that my clothes are done.
Peace out ya'll!


Melodical Exposure

Welcome to the latest edition of Melodical Exposure. I'm still not diggin the name of this post, but it'll have to do for now. Anyways, I ran across this guy a while ago, but I thought it would be great to share his talent with the few readers I have :) They can pass it on too *hint hint* :)

Anyways, his name is Sam Sparro and he's from London. He's so adorable, he has his own sound and style and he is TALENTED. He mixes funk with electronica type music, and his clothing style is an amped up 80s theme (the best I can desribe it). His voice it amazing too. He even does a pretty boss cover (but turn this up, its recorded pretty low for some reason). He seems pretty goofy too, as you will see in his parody of a music video. :)

Anyways, with out further ado, here is the song that got me hooked on him, Cottonmouth:

trivia: he writes, performs, produces and arranges all of his own material! TALENT! :)

Here are (3) more of his tunes for your listening pleasure, just push play!:


FW: I haven't written in a while I know

I haven't written in a while I know it weakly sucks. But life gets in the way. This post is about a cheaper way to travel: by train. Being on a train for 18 hours is not as bad as it sounds. The seats are pretty large and comfy. They are clean and it gently rocks you to sleep as it speeds across the glimmering tracks. There's a dining cart and an observation cart with large windows so you can take in the glorious sites of you venture. A round trip ticket from sacramento to salt lake is about $130. Not bad at all. If you travel with someone, its a great way to get in some quality time. Or, if you are an outgoing person, you bannedu someone new.