October 25, 2010

Finally obeying Ramsey:  I mailed a check for $1,039.85 to my University's Student Loan department today. 
Boy o boy that feels good!  (I still have a long way to go.  But at least I'm accruing less interest!)

October 19, 2010

Summer bliss in Oregon

The Hess farm.  Burns, Oregon.
Camp Alamo.  Little North Fork, Oregon.
Let's count my blessings in the most recent week.

8  Days of my most recent adventure*
4  Days with my good friend Courtney ranching in the highlands of Oregon 
4  Days with CouchSurfers Travis, Loren, and Eric at Camp Alamo living in a tent on the Little North Fork River
Courtney and Molly
Travis, Eric, & Loren

7  Times Courtney allowed me to drive the ATV to check on cattle, operate the irrigation for the alfalfa field, and dork around
6  Mornings I did not set my alarm clock
5  Nights I consumed alcohol  (I typically have a drink once every month or two)

4  Fresh eggs eaten from the hens at Camp Alamo
4  Days without electricity
4  Days drinking only river water.

4  Days spent reading about my recent medical diagnosis.  Camp Alamo gave me time to be alone during the daytime and focus on learning and healing.

ATV drivin' at dusk - it's time to move the linear!
When I wake up at Camp Alamo, I see...

3  Barbed wire slices on my legs
3  Times the fishies in the river tried to eat me  (Little fishies.  Big nibbles.  It scared me.)

2  Mornings woken up by the obnoxiously noisy chicken
2  Baths under the stars in the Little North Fork (With Dr. Bronner's soap so as to not kill the fishies)
2  Times I washed camp dishes in the river
2  Times I picked wild blackberries
2  Bullets I shot at rabbits

Rabbit hunting via headlights.

What a gorgeous fence!

1  Barbed wire gate Courtney and I mended
1  Shower taken (at a friend's house)
1  Bottle of Ron Soleris gifted to me by Ed, a man with more life experience than I will ever achieve
1  Meal not prepared at home.  And I'm proud to say it.
1  Chicken coup I mended
1  Cow I herded
1  Gate Courtney and I built
1  Dog infatuated with licking my elbow.  Thanks, Molly!  (Yuck.)

The "before" picture of a very sad fence
Closing the pipe

0  Rabbits I caught when I went night hunting.  Courtney said there must have been a coyote that scared them away before I arrived.  I still had a lot of fun.  But it's still too bad I missed - The BBQ was ready to go!
0  Times I washed my hair  (Yuck again.)
0  Days with running potable water

0  Times I wished I were back at my cozy cute home in Salem.

Ed's prize horses

$50 in gas
$20 purchasing lunch for Courtney and I
$0 spent on everything else.

Santiam Forest - elegantly displayed years after a fire.
AMAZING dinner at Camp Alamo
The center of much debate

The alfalfa linear water irrigation

High desert flowers

A farmer's sunset

Jessica Akers, formerly Adaria Fashion.  A great friend from the past.
I love Oregon :)  Only here do you find such a hat in a convenience store!

October 12, 2010

Chilean miners: Rescue and Salvation

I am overwhelmed.  I am overwhelmed by the spiritual and national unity of the Chileans.

As I write this, I watch live video feed of the rescue of 33 Chilean miners. 
They have been underground for 69 days.  The first 17 days were spent with no food or contact with the outside world, except two days' emergency food rations.

Look at the Chilean Ministry of Mining's Flickr photo stream here.

I, with the world, tear up while I watch the first decent of the pod with Manuel González, a paramedic, be lowered thousands of feet to reach the miners.  The engineers and political figures gather around the mine shaft, singing the Chilean national anthem with gusto.

The families have gathered under a huge tent.  They pray with all their might, and a man stands and preaches the salvation of Jesus Christ, Bible in hand.  They fervently desperately seek God as the provider of their family member's safety.

While he is lowered, President Piñera gives a loud thanks to the workers and family men, and then says that all the credit really goes to the miners and, ultimately, God.  I am grateful to speak Spanish - I would be completely unaware of the entire situation and incapable of experiencing the true complexity of the ongoing actions.

Such powerful irony.  The national anthem translates to:
Sweet fatherland, accept the vows
With which Chile swore at your altars:
Either the tomb will be of the free
Or the refuge against oppression

And it is precisely this tomb that the miners sit in of which is named el refugio, "the refuge."

7:36 PST:  The rescue worker reaches the bottom of the shaft.

The President watches the live video feed of González as the men hug and cheer.   Most of the men are shirtless, which is justified in the 90+ degree heat and high humidity. The President quietly focuses inward and prays, then crossing himself (Catholic.)  This private moment touches me.  I watch a man who is so focused, who is at peace, who is comfortable with himself and his position of leadership, and I must respect him.

7:54:  The President asks, "How are we doing?"  González replies, "Excelente!"
The Chilean flag is hung next to the pod at the bottom of the shaft.  Finally, the pod lifts with its first miner cramped inside.

8:10: A police alarm sounds.  The pod is seconds from the surface.  I tear up as his son Byron explodes into weeping and hysterics as the pod surfaces.  Florencio Avalos is the first miner to arrive, safe, happy, and surprisingly functional. 

October 11, 2010

Fall 2010: Back to School*

(Note: I took my first exam on 10/19.  I earned 97.5%, best in class!)

I have a zit on my chin.

I have dishes from five separate meals in my room.  I ate three of the meals while studying today.

I spent four and one-half hours studying today - filling out my workbook, listening to recorded conversations, re-writing four pages of daily writing assignments, watching pseudo-lame, outdated short videos, and loving,, and results of web searches for "ser estar exercises."

I purchased a student parking permit.

I am trying to preserve the integrity of my text books by making copies of the workbook pages so I can sell them back to the bookstore as "new" if I decide they are not ultimately useful.

I dreamed I did not finish my homework on time.

I did not finish my homework on time.

I text a classmate, Joaquin Aguilar, to ask if class is canceled because it's Columbus Day.

I pick at my pimple while I study.  (Today I put burn jell on it to numb it so I would stop picking at it.  It worked.)

I think too much about what I wear to school.**

I still need to affix my parking permit on my rear window.

I am a student.

*  I attend Chemeketa Community College, a local junior college on Lancaster in Salem, Oregon.  It is precisely 1.1 miles from my home.  (What a blessing!)

**  I attend every class in black slacks, nice shoes, a dressy shirt, lipstick, and hair in good order.  The other students are either a bit trendy in skinny jeans and crisp white shirts with scarves, or, the majority, wear frumpy clothes that emanate one of the "I don't care / I'm broke / I have no personality / I am still hung over" attitudes.  I dress the way I do because I believe my effort put forth and my attitude in class are reflected in my appearance.  I immediately dress down when I return home :)

October 10, 2010

Hokku at my desk

I choose quiet life
Rhythm, spontaneity
I love my lifestyle.

A silent bedroom
Life needing my attention
My heart feels alone.

Yet all said and done
Unaccompanied moments
to share with a man.