Tuesday, April 12, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Things I will eat in abundance after my braces are removed:

Apples (Biting into them!)
Corn on the cob
The hardest pita chips I can find
Crispy loaves of bread dipped in oil and herbs
Sushi w/o fear of ALL the rice stuck in my braces
Same goes for sandwiches, that bread gets into all the nooks and crannies
Strawberries - I mean, I eat them now but they get stuck everywhere. Same with oreos
Tortilla chips
Steak - I eat it now, but it gets stuck too, and when my teeth are sore, it is a pain in the butt to chew
Milk duds and all other chewy, caramel-y candies

To be continued...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Peace in Small Doses

I went hiking last week up north at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve. Turns out the trails there connect to both Lake Ramona and Lake Poway, so a lot of exploring can be done. I hiked along the creek bed and then took a trail that wound around the Lake Poway dam and then went around the lake itself. It connects to a trail to Mt. Woodson, which I'll be returning to do very soon!
It was very pretty. The wildfires are starting to bloom in abundance, and the clouds were a beautiful contrast in the blue sky. That's something that I've noticed about this area, when it is sunny out, the sky is BLUE. No haze of heat to make it seem almost white (although the marine layer does dim it sometimes). Most days, the sky is gorgeous!! The view from above Lake Poway was incredible, and I can only imagine what the view will be like from the top of Mt. Woodson.
Enough about that. While I was hiking, I was doing a lot of personal reflection. The topic of God's purpose in my life, and using God's gifts has come up a lot in conversations at life group lately, and in sermons in church, and it has been difficult for me to clarify these in my life. I've had a hard time coming to terms with/being ok with where I am in life, and knowing that God's plan for my life is what is happening NOW, and not where I will be down the road. I think I received a little peace, though. I did come to realize that all these great things in my life right now would not be if I were anywhere else doing something else. This awesome church family, living with my best friend, getting these braces done, new friends and experiences every day by living in new places...I'm enjoying all these things, and it's ok that I'm serving food at Olive Garden in the meantime. I've met so many people in professions who say "Oh, I did that for years after college before I got to where I am now. It was a great time, and I don't regret it." I don't think I'll regret it either, and it's all part of the plan, so I might as well enjoy it! I'll be back in school soon enough and on to another profession, but while I'm still unsure of what that is, I should be out in the world trying new things and learning what I like and dislike in my life and from others' lives as well.
As for spiritual gifts, I know to a certain extent what some are, but I should be putting more energy into discovering and understanding them so I can use them to their fullest extent. I know I am compassionate, and a good listener/confidant. I know also that I am a patient teacher (although I do not feel patient internally at times). I also have a strong sense of fairness/right vs wrong, and desire to help those causes that cannot help themselves (i.e. conservation, being stewards of the earth, plants and animals) But how to best put these to use? That is where I need to work on stamping out indecisiveness in some parts of my life, so I can say, "Yes, these are my strong points, and I am going to use them in this way" Ready, set, Go!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coffee Shop Days

I love to sit in coffee shops. I could chill in a coffee shop just about all day-every day for the people watching opportunities, smells, and atmosphere. I also actually feel like a get something accomplished when I sit down here. At home I will sit on my computer and end up thirty minutes later wondering what I have been doing on the internet all that time (facebooking and youtubing...). Here I have already read some news, started a new blog post, and looked up some new music. In a place where I should be more distracted, I tend to have more focus. *like*! I'm sitting in OB today because I really need to re-focus my energies on what my plan is for the next few years. When/where am I going back to school, and what program do I want to go back for? I think that it's going to have to do something with biology, conservation, ecology, teaching, invasive species, etc. But how will all these elements combine for my ideal place in life? The sermons in church and discussions in life group lately have had a lot of focus on what God's purpose for my life is, what my "vehicle" to do God's work will be. Well, I am still not certain of my purpose, and it stresses me out to be unsure and indecisive about what I want to do. Is God waiting until the right time to show me what is next, or is my fear keeping me from seeing what He wants me to see? I am not sure. And I also do not know if San Diego was a step in the forward direction, although it was a step, and that is definitely better than nothing. I have met great people here already who have challenged me, and every day brings something new.
Last night I finished The Alchemist, a book about a young man who goes on a quest for his "Personal Legend" and manages to succeed through his own determination and the help of a few particular people. The author brings up the fact that most people go through life ignoring the call of their personal legend or give up too easily and so always feel incomplete or bitter because their goal was not accomplished. Or they believe in the dream that someday they will accomplish that goal, and never actually do anything for fear that life will be less interesting without that dream always in their head. What am I putting on the back burner in my life that I should be doing now? To what am I saying, "oh, I'll have time to do that later." "One day I'll have more money and resources and will do it then." "I've achieved these goals, and so I can wait before I attempt this other goal that might be taxing or end up in failure." The fear of failure is definitely real and crippling. It is much easier to try for something small and succeed, than to try for something bigger/harder where failure is more possible. I want to break past any such fears so I can "go big or go home" in life. :). Why not? Life is short, and I may not be here as long as I'd like. No more excuses from me!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yo quiero libros!!

I could do nothing all day but read a book, every single day for the rest of my life, and probably be content. Mind you, I would need breaks to eat and sleep and have a social life, but who needs a job when a book is calling?? Sigh. I am in the middle of Gone With The Wind, and having never read it in the past, I am impressed. It is a great read. Although the so-called love story is taking a while to come to the forefront of the plot! I have also read A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kiterunner, and Into The Wild recently. All VERY good. Ooh and the Hunger Games series. Those were some doozies, and had extremely mature plots for the reading level for which they were written!

Next on the list:

Stephen King thrillers
The Jungle, for a second time
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest
Water For Elephants

Monday, June 7, 2010

My next read...

I just started Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon today. I really admire her and love her novels, especially the Outlander series, of which this book is the last. AHHH! I hope it is as good as the rest of the series. I was telling my mom a few weeks ago that although I love the characters in these books and the story, I am ready for the series to complete itself because at some point the story becomes diluted and stretched too thin. It is not quite to that point but will be soon. The characters began at 23 years old and now they're in their upper 50's...after you turn 60, there is only so much adventure, craziness, intrigue, fighting, and bad luck your body can take, and they've already taken A LOT of that in the past 8 books...I'll be sad to see my favorite series go, but glad to see the protagonists actually get some rest. :).

My first summer read

I just finished an amazing book. It is a collection of stories, essays, and reflections by David James Duncan called My Story as Told by Water: Confessions, druidic rants, reflections, bird-watchings, fish-stalkings, visions, songs, and prayers refracting light, from living rivers, in the age of the industrial dark. Long title, I know. This man speaks right to my heart, although sometimes he is really out there. His essay on the 4 dams on the Snake River slowly driving the native fish to extinction makes me want to go there and call a strike on the dams until they are brought down. The truths he tells about mine projects and the toxins that are leached into waters where wildlife drink and children swim downstream makes my heart ache. The river I rafted on, The Animas, has been cleaned up a lot from the mine tailings dumped into it at one point, but even that amount does not compare to the waste and toxic materials in some rivers both in the US and around the world. It scares me to think about what our industrial world is doing both to us and to the natural world. We really are slowly killing ourselves and all other life around us.

This man is a ridiculously good writer and tells his point WELL. You can FEEL just how much he loves water and all the life it sustains. One of my favorite quotes is when he starts talking about home and what it can mean:

"One of the harsh but deep consolations of watching a loved home place slip away from you is that, without the loved home, you're suddenly naked enough to feel the blood, begging direction. To feel that inner begging: to me, that's being home. Who hasn't noticed, in their world wanderings, the way we sometimes slip into a mysterious niche, even in the most foreign of places, and find things so suddenly familiar that we feel inexplicably yet completely at home? The cause of this at-home-ness is a mystery. The sensation is no less certain for that." That sense of home, of place, that he talks about is something I have felt. I felt it when I was in Bozeman. I even felt it when I was in Durango to an extent. I got the feeling that I belonged to that place and felt completely content in my surroundings. Walking down the street felt right. I call Montana my heart's home for a reason. I even felt it at some points when I lived in Barcelona, because the streets and people began to feel like home, even though the city became too much for me as my time there ended. To summarize, I LOVE this book.

I already loved his novels that I read a few years ago, and after reading this book I am going to have to find everything else he has written and sample them all! I think I'll have to re-read The Brothers K and The River Why as well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Don't let your dreams be dreams" - brilliant

I really like Sarah's blog title "Don't let your dreams be dreams". It's really true, and that is what I am going to try to live out in my life from now on. If I want something to happen, I am going to make it happen, not sit around and think about it and wish it might happen!