Monday, September 21, 2009

Hmmm, what now?

Salmon Party and hiking with mom...this is my sassy face. Art opening in Vermillion at a revamped movie theatre, super cool space!
That fabulous, wonderful enviro-campaigning job I was so stoked about? Yeah, SO done. My first day was great and the people I worked with are a blast. There is something about walking for 5 hours a day and asking for money that I just can not wrap my head around. Talking to people about the issues, seeing community support, and supplying resources for them to find more information was so much fun for me! That transition into the dig for cash? Nope. I think there are better ways to go about funding, though what I did learn about communication in that week is astounding. Glad I did it, will never do it again.
The pics posted are what's been going on since I've been home...a whopping 18 days. Mom is back on the ceramics scene with gusto, friends have come to happy acres to enjoy the delicacy of fresh wild caught alaskan salmon, hauled in by ME, fall has hit NE Ohio and I couldn't be happier. That walking on crunchy leaves thing is still quite an enchanting sound.
The fishing boat is back on for January so I'll be filling time until then with grad school apps, GREs, seeing friends, and actually being home to help with some projects. Extremely excited to catch up on some reading and cooking from our garden. And just in case anyone needs a chuckle, I've joined a spinning class at the Y to keep my girlish figure in check. Don't you wish we had a youtube of that???
I'm off to Georgia, Mississipi, New Orleans, and Milwaukee next week on a pottery run, followed by a bday party and grad school visit. I'm up for passengers!

Friday, September 11, 2009

please sir, can i have some more?

I would LOVE to hear some words from people who have canvassed neighborhoods. This is by far one of the most interesting jobs I've had.

I've been employed for exactly one day. Campaigning and fundraising against building yet another coal plant in Meigs county. We touched the whole spectrum yesterday, from people who are fired up, have kids working for energy companies and understand that old technology coal plants fueled by mountain top removal ( are NOT the best way to power our communities. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad...well not bad. That is a totally subjective term. However, when I meet a father whose kid just got over leukemia, doesn't think a coal plant has any effect on others lives, I'm baffled at this point. Verbatim: "I don't really care either way, it's not here and I gotta pay my utilities anyways." Sir, you already have coal plant in your neighborhood where there is an unusually high rate of childhood cancer...really? There's no connection? And if we do agree there is a connection, as long as it doesn't directly affect you, it's perfectly acceptable to allow this to happen to other communities? What is going on???? (of course I didn't say that but wow, my inner monologue was on fire!)

I'm off today to speak out against mountain top removal. We're trying to get letters written to John Boccieri, US House rep. to ban this invasive tactic. The bill is ready, we just need maximum support. Get ready doors, here we come!

I realize in the past few days I've sounded more and more like a flaming liberal. All cards on the table, I'm right down the middle. There can't be a little blue without the red. Hell, I'm all for purple! This job will more than likely burn me out. Constant passionate conviction about anything will make a person loose it. Until then I'll take the emphatic yes-es, along with the equally emphatic no-s, and continue to help swing the pendulum of indecisiveness. Without a cause we're complacent. A fate, to me, worse than burn-out. Onward and upward everyone!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

after that short intermission...

wow, September 10 eh? where was I???? August saw me guiding two more Explorer trips in Alaska, with stellar co-guide Randy. We had a blast and ended on a great note. Pretty sure we've got that trip down to a science, so much that we didn't even have to speak while setting up breakfast; grunting and pointing sufficed. I've posted many more pics, you just have to go to the site and select an album, though I'll change the sidebar slideshow. Facebook has its fair share too.
Alaska has 100% stolen my heart. It is truly the land of bigger and bolder. Everyone is doing something huge, be it heli-skiing, dog-mushing or just going white-water rafting for the day. An average day hike took me 1,500 feet above tree-line to gawk at the ridiculous landscape surrounding the oasis of Cooper Landing. If there is one constant underlying thought in my life right now, it's that I have to get back there next year. I love guiding and helping people get to know Alaska a little better. Every time a guest would learn something I usually would too. The evolution throughout the summer was really interesting to me and I was surprised at how quickly people can assimilate to the area.

As some of you know, I was scheduled to be in Vegas at the end of this month to start a year-long position with Ameri-Corps, building trails. I felt uneasy about it all summer and in the final weeks sent out a zillion resumes and decided I needed to circle the wagons for a bit and retreat to the homestead to re-evaluate some decisions.

A nomadic lifestyle is interesting. Every day things change and you really have to be on your game to make it work. Since leaving Peace Corps almost a year ago, I have visited different countries, friends, family, and explored endless options about the next step in my life. My favorite opportunity of traveling is the experience of meeting countless people and learning what they're doing. I've made some great new friends, kept up with the old, and thrown a little romance in there to ice the cake. The worst part? Leaving. It just doesn't get any easier. I really thought I'd be slightly jaded by now and be able to smile, give a little wave and say "see you when I see you". Not so, and I feel good about that, maybe it shows a bit of compassion or a chink in the armor so many of us put on to deal with the outside world.

My folks welcomed me with open arms...literally. Dad gives the best bear hugs! Canning season is upon us and our garden (that I helped plant back in May) is in full swing. Bring on the salsa and chutney! In other news, I took a position as a full time campaigner for Ohio Citizen Action (, an established environmental non-profit based in Cleveland. Yesterday was my first day and call us a public nuisance if you will but I love it. Fundraising gives a sense of accomplishment but what I really like is the door-to-door relationships we get to build with people. It's not just about signatures and pennies, it's really about spreading the word on issues these communities may not have even known about.

I'll be applying to grad school this fall for next year, and thus begins the next chapter. Looking forward to the holidays and experiencing an actual autumn! Walking on crunchy leaves yesterday, I exclaimed "It sounds like fall!!!!" How quickly our senses remind us of things we didn't even know we missed.

I hope everyone is well and eating as much sweet corn as they can (missed that too!!!)