Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 21

It rained rain today. It also rained yellow pine needles, turning the roads to gold.

Today was my last day with the perfect class. I got one goodbye dance and a goodbye hug and a bunch of long faces. I am going to miss those kids. And their teacher? She is the most fantastic 4th grade teacher I have ever encountered.

I'm going to Institute tonight! I know I only have 3 weeks left, but I'm gonna go ahead and go when I can.

Speaking of only 3 weeks.

I have only 3 weeks left.

Only. 3. Weeks.

That's right. 3 weeks.

The home stretch.

21 days.

Three Weekends.

One more Mom and Dad cookie package.

One and 1/2 weeks of programs.

One Foliage festival (ps I hate to admit it but I have been pronouncing it foil-age all these years. Yikes).

One Canoe trip down the Merimack river (If I can figure out where this place is, how much it costs, and if it's worth it).

137 hours left (that is 137 hours I still need to work to complete this Americorps program).

12 more days until I know for sure about the Maine Conservation Corps. Marlee said today that the she really hopes that the MCC hires me because my presenting and facilitating skills would be an asset to their environmental education cause. That made me smile (*ding*!).

I'm not going to go into how much I will miss New Hampshire and the people I have met. It's too soon for that. There is still much left to. "And miles to go before I sleep".

Have I told you all about my New Age stint I have been going on? I am a little shamed, but I mostly blame Mom and Dad.

I know I've been posting a lot. I know it's not interesting. But once I start something I feel I have to finish it. So going along with my listing theme...

...20 posts still to go.

Oh, did I mention I only have 3 weeks left?

Just wondering.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 22

You don't want to know where this idea came from because it's pretty laughable. So I'm not going to tell you. So there.


Mary was blind, and had been for a little while. Long enough to have gotten used to it. In fact, she was pretty close to normal. Of course it helped that even though her eyes were blind, her mind was not. On a good day she could see the blurry outlines of everything around her.

There were other things too. Sometimes she had nightmares. Sometimes they came true. Other times, when she least expected it, thoughts that weren't hers would phase in and out of her mind. Like the time she shook hands with the man who was going to sell Mary her first car. All of a sudden she knew that he was going to try and cheat her out of a lot of money. She called him out on it and then got the best deal the man had ever offered anyone on that 1969 Ford Mustang.

Her father, a sucker for classic cars, had given her crap for buying a ford. His Chevy was "the love of his life (don't tell your mom)". That was when she was 16.

1 year later she was in a freak accident, he mother lost her legs, and she lost her sight. Now the Mustang sat under a tarp in their garage.

Sometimes she would go into the garage, rip the tarp off, and run her hand along the polished surface. Remembering how it felt to be behind the wheel. Understanding that she would probably never know that feeling ever again.

She was having one of these moments, as a matter of fact,(she was picturing herself speeding down highway 127 in the autumn with the windows down, her hair whipping around her face), when a loud exclamation came from the house.
It was another good day for me. I did my second senior citizen program and got another glittering review from my contact. It was great even though I was afraid that it wouldn't be long enough and worried because I didn't have a projector to show my slideshow on. It turned out that not having a projector was a blessing. I collected more samples that I ever have for other age groups. I even dug up Indian Cucumber Root roots (it's a root that the Native Americans used to eat and tastes exactly like cucumber-hence the fitting name). I had 5 teas, wintergreen berries, maple leaves, sweet fern, oak fern, bunch berry leaves, wintergreen leaves and whole plants, partridge berry, it was great! It went really well. Then me and Jess drove through beautiful New Hampshire and all it's cute towns (made cuter because of the autumn colors) and went to the most perfect library I have ever seen. I wish I could find a good picture of it. I plan on visiting it again anyway, so I will get a picture then. But it was almost a magical place. Anyway. There is day 22 in a nutshell for you ("did I ask for nutshelling?").

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 23

Another day, another 4th grade class.

I can't say much else.

It's hard writing an entry every day, but I am sticking with this countdown.

I think the rain is turning my brain to mush.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 24

"Cawn on then cab"-That's corn on the cob for those of you who don't speak random Sarah Lambson

"Corridor of color"-Said in a lofty voice as a description of the roads in New Hampshire right now

"Feta makes everything bettah"-You find a word that rhymes with feta. And it does make everything bettah.

"I am a Jedi, you cannot defeat me."-Said while pulling my hood menacingly over my head.

Canvas bag basketball-We were bored.

Hot dance-The flapping of ones arms believing that the action will cool the scalding food in ones mouth.

"Slow down!"-In reference to me trying to eat really hot food and then preforming the aforementioned "Hot dance". It was eggplant! It was really good! I really wanted to eat it.

I have also told everyone that the topics of what I am doing after this and my plans for getting home are strictly taboo. I already think about the Maine Conservation Corps and the St. Louis Zoo far too much as it is without people asking me and me repeating it over and over again and getting more and more anxious about it.

Actually, I'm not stressed or all that anxious. I just hate not having an answer. Jeremy said that waiting is better than getting a solid "no". I couldn't disagree more. At least with a no on either party, I can have some sort of plan with what I am doing. Oh! And the position I was applying for with the St. Louis Zoo is no longer on the site. So it's not really an option, methinks. C'mon Maine Conservation Corps!

Okay, everyone. Happy Monday.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 25-A religious analogy

I was lost. Well, kind of.

I had spent the last 40 minutes walking along a trail. A trail unmarked on any map. All I had to go by was a rough hand drawn squiggle of a line on a map of the park. This indicated a vague rendition of where the park manager believed the trail to be in reference to the other trails. It wasn't much. I also had the white painted lines every 40 feet or so on the trees, marking the trail.

The trouble was, these we not always easy to spot and the path through the woods itself was hardly distinguishable from the rest of the forest floor. There were times that it was as clear as day which direction it went. Mostly I had to depend on those white painted stripes, when I could spot them. Several times I had been in a position just like the one I was in now.

I stared at the purple ink line on the map a little harder, willing it to tell me where to go. I was surrounded by trees and two possible trails. One went straight the way I had been going, the other turned to the right. Neither of them looked to be little more than slightly more clear patches of leafy ground surrounded by slightly less clear patches of leafy ground. I had been standing here for the past 5 minutes looking from the useless map to the trees, searching for the marker.

I folded the map and tucked it away. It might as well have been a blank piece of paper for all the good it did me. I turned in a circle, squinting to find that white stripe that told me which way was the trail and which way would surely get me lost. There was nothing. Just brown bark.

So I sat down. I guess now was as good a time as any for a break. I drank from my sticker studded water bottle and wiped my brow with my blue bandanna, wondering which way I should take. The trail to the right led into deeper, slightly darker woods. The path right in front of me led to forest that was more open and let in more light. That could be a sign that some trees had been cleared away years ago to make way for a trail.

I didn't sit long. I wouldn't get anywhere if I didn't pick a direction and go with it. I could go down one trail and see if some white stripes cropped up later. With the slightest hesitation I started through the more open trees. It was more open, more inviting, easier looking. I followed what I tried to convince myself was a trail. I walked for about 100 steps before thinking to myself "this can't be right. I'm not picking up any real trail. There should be another marker by now. I have no idea where I am going." So I stopped and turned back around, deciding to try the other, darker trail. When I got back to where I started, I took the map back out. I don't know why I thought it would help. I looked at the purple line again and saw that it made a sharp turn about halfway along the map. I had seen the turn on the map every time I looked at it. I had been there when the park manager drew it. I had known it was there, but assumed that I hadn't reached it yet. It had to be too soon. But this right turn into darker woods that the trail seemed to make could be the start of this sharp turn on the map.

I turned slowly on the spot again and there it was, a couple feet away from me into the dark trees. A white stripe. How had I not seen it before? I sighed with relief, put the map away, and headed down the path with new determination now following the clear white markings on the trees that had been so hard for me to see before. I eventually made it to my destination-the end of the trail (which made a loop and took me to the old bathhouse where I had started)-and was glad knowing that I could tell the park manager that I had made it through the whole trail and that, though it was tough at times, it was passable.


This really happened to me during the summer when I was trying to walk the trails around the old bathhouse that is going to be a nature center in two years. Tara had drawn me the trails in purple pen on the park map. They were rough, but surprisingly accurate. It wasn't until recently that I realized just how perfectly this fits all out lives (especially my life lately). Let me introduce you to the players.

The Hiker-Everyone of us
The Trail-Our lives
The Park Manager-Father in Heaven
The Map-The scriptures
The White Markings-The promptings of the spirit

We all start down the trail confident enough. We believe we can take on anything. The way is clear and we have a fresh start. But this trial, it's not always clear. We were there when Father in Heaven made the map, we were there when he told us about how it would be tough sometimes. We even know now, as we walk in the trees, that it's not always going to be easy. So we refer to the map every now and then. Look at it passively, believing that this trail is going to stay clear enough for us to find our own way. But the less we refer to the map, the less we remember about which way we need to go and what turns may lie ahead. The trail was so clear to us on the map we were shown in the pre-mortal life. But we passed through the veil and things became less clear. We might have a tendency to trust less in those directions that we are given. The trail may now be in purple ink rather than black print but it's still accurate.

And so we come to a hazy patch of trail. It's not clear which way we should go. We might glance at the map, thinking that it won't tell us anything we don't already know. We might give the trail a once over watching for a glimpse of white. But maybe we aren't looking hard enough. Maybe we don't try very hard to see the white stripe down that darker trail because we like the looks of the brighter trail better. We can either decide to go down the wrong trail, believing it to be right for a time and have to back track, or we can pull out that map and really consider it. Look it over. And then look hard for that white stripe on the trees. It's there. If we look hard enough we can find it.

I have done a lot of backtracking in my life. I've gone down many trails knowing that they are the wrong way. They were all down hill. Easy at first. But the further I went, the darker it got. Eventually I realized that I had gone so far that I was in danger of becoming truly lost. So I turned around. Trouble is, now it's a steep uphill climb back to that intersection where I first went the wrong way. Once I get back to that intersection I see that the path I should have taken all along is a steep mountain. Trees at every turn. And so I follow that trail. I refer to my map often. I search diligently for the white trail markings. I can't see the top of the mountain at the end, but I know it's there and the Park Manager wont lead me astray if I just keep on going.

"Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom, lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on; I loved to choose and see my path; but now lead Thou me on! I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on. O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till the night is gone. And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I have loved long since, and lost awhile."

When I say "we" I am, of course, not trying to project this on every person who may read this. It's really just me referring to my own personal experiences with these situations in the "we" tense.

The reason all this came out because-if some of you remember-I have been using the "my life is an uphill mountainous climb and all I can see are a couple steps in front of me" analogy to describe how my life is right now. Today in church, the speaker made almost the exact same analogy in his talk about faith and trust in Heavenly Father. It's not that unique of an analogy, but the fact that this man in my ward was using it within about a week of me considering it myself was interesting and heartening. Father in Heaven does know my situation and I believe that was his small way of telling me so.

In other brief news, the stake president was at church today and introduced himself to me. He told me about the institute class that's held at the Concord church building every Thursday. Why didn't I know that until now? It was never posted in a program, no one ever mentioned it, I didn't actively seek it out... oops.

Whatever the reason, I am just glad to know about it to get to go for a week or two before the end of all this.

By the way, this countdown is now officially like the anti-Christmas countdown. 25 days left.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 26

Another day, another countdown post. Feel free to gaze over the lovely pictures and be prepared to fall in love.

1.It all began with the icing. Mom's recipe. Of course. I made it all myself! (not hard, I know, but it was still an accomplishment for me!)
2.There it is, in all it's butter-cream loveliness. But the best is yet to come.
3.First, lets get some color going!
4. How cute is it so far? We (Me, Jess, and Whit) started with the outline, then the white and red icing. Look at those mushroom tops. So Mario Brothers, right? Love it.
5. Add some green and blue in the form of sky, grass, and vines and you've got something. We bought flower sprinkles to add that special touch. Oh, and golden gates to lead you into your fairy tale!
6. Let's get a little closer look. The vines and the grass were my biggest contribution. Thanks for all those years of practice Mom! Of course, your grass and vines always look better.

7. Next, we added fairies and pumpkins. Those are sour patch kids with dyed pumpkin seed wings. Jess and Whit dyed them last night. Look at that perfect 3-D effect, huh? And look. We only had to use one of those candy corn pumpkins cut in half. All the more for us to eat!
8. Then we gave them faces of melted chocolate chips. Don't they look so happy?
9. And here we have the finished score. Don Juan Triumphant! Oh...I mean, here is what they cake looked like when we were all done. A perfect fairy land!
10. Crazy angle!
11. One of some of the process.
12. And the rejects. We bought iced animal cookies to be pets for the fairies. But when we opened the bag all we saw were sad excuses for anything resembling a living creature. Misshapen blobs, the whole bag! So Jess and Whit tried to create their own animal outlines on the shapes. I don't need to tell you that they pretty much failed. See if you can spot a rhinoceros, a puffer fish, and owl, and a snake. We decided they we could not taint the perfect cake with those deformities. They look like something out of a bad horror movie concerning genetic experiments on animals gone wrong (man that movie on sheep and genetics was NOT what we were expecting, was it Uber Goober?)
13. Oh, and we made a friend last night! I forgot to mention it. Meet Mo the Mouse. I know the picture is blurry. Just know that he was really cute and we didn't release him that far in hopes that maybe we get to see him again.
13. And then some of the monarch that we doomed. Remember? The one that has no chance of getting to Mexico or having offspring that can make it to Mexico with the rest of the Monarchs? Yeah, here it is.

I hope you all enjoyed that as much as I did. I also hope that in your enjoyment you appreciate that I came to the library to get some work done to beef up my hours and instead I spent it catching up on TV shows and posting this entry.

I'm feeling a little guilty if you can't tell. What can I say? It's the weekend. Work just isn't in me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 27

Did I not type that this was a count down? Did I not type that I would chronicle the events of my last days in New Hampshire?

I believe that I did. So I want you to stop all your whining because it wont do any kind of good.

1. I was second awake today. Jess beat me by about 15 minutes. I also woke up 15 minutes later than I did yesterday. Isn't that a fascinating pattern? I thought so.

2. I feel like I'm in college again. Citations, bibliography, research. All of it. I can't decide if I missed that or not.

3. The Winchester Brothers have stolen my life for the past 5 years and continue to do so.

4. The Acorns continue their onslaught of every building, car, and human being. It's getting dangerously brutal out there.

5. They were 6th graders. It was a challenge. It's unfair how humid it was today.

6. Sal's Pizza is good. Buffalo chicken pizza is really spicy. Good company.

7. Shaw's is dangerous.

8. Butter cream icing is wonderful. It's even better if you make it yourself and can reap the benefits.

9. I can breathe today. The worst is over.

10. Decided to download all the free chapters of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files so I can decided if these books are worth buying or not. That's 200 pages worth of free reading.

11. No links today. Satellite internet will do that to you.

12. Thank goodness for the weekend.

See? That wasn't so bad.

Ps-more and more color appears each day on the trees. Eee! (That was...a...squeal of excitement...)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 28

You will all get sick of me. Good thing "all" encompasses 9-10 people.

Here you will find chronicled, the detailed events of my last just-under-a-month in Southern New Hampshire. Too bad I already discovered a new species, got stuck in a cave for a week and had to chew my way out, and successfully created life from the absence of life, i.e. chemicals (oh wait that was this guy). So you won't have to deal with reading anything exciting.

Today, for example, went in the following way:

1. I wanted to blow my nose, so I woke up at 8:15-ish. I am always the first one to wake up, no matter what.

2. I stood while cleaning myself. Whoever cam up with that anyway? When did we go from bathing to showering? Probably someone who thought, "I can't keep waiting for the next rain shower to get clean. It's dry season and I smell. I need to come up with an artificial way of creating rain." Bam(bi)! The shower was invented.

3. I had raisins for breakfast.

4. I decided that I needed to get some work done. I got some work done. Mike unplugged my computer.

5. I took pictures of a newly emerged monarch butterfly. We raised the cute little thing in a large glass jar. Now, it will fly away. Into the woods. Where it's choice diet and the diet of all it's kind is not to be found. Not finding any of it's kind in time, it will die, having spent all that time growing and struggling to get out of it's cocoon just to waste it's life stuck in the woods. New life is beautiful, isn't it?

6. When Chris sang "I'm Coming out" by Diana Ross, I asked if he remembered this commercial. Because I do. And I still think the best part is the look that the little kid has.

6. I ate instant mashed potatoes with Jess-made "good gravy!" gravy.

7. I drank lots of tea (I'm still trying to get over a cold, see?).

8. I packed up and drove through the ever changing woodland that is Bear Brook State Park to my 1:00 program.

9. I taught the best group of children I have ever met all about the "Incredible Edible Forest." It was magical.

10. I called back the Maine Conservation Corps. If I am lucky I will know that I got a position by October 12th. Just enough time to get a plane ticket for a reasonable price. Barely. They asked how likely I was to accept a position with them if offered. Between 50% and 100%. I said 80%. A lie.

11. I watched the premier of Glee.

12. I downloaded this song for free. Listen and love.

13. Then I downloaded this song. Not for free, but apparently we need it for a program.

14. I watched the premier of Cougar Town. Why do I love that show? Because it's short and it makes me laugh. I'm also glad that I have a better personality than the main character.

15. Now I am blogging for lack of anything better to do and because I know as soon as I leave this library I will have no choice but to go to bed because I need to get better for my program tomorrow.

A similar post will follow every single day. I hope you are prepared. I'm not. But it's a countdown. And this is how countdowns work.

Is anyone else freaking out because I can refer to this internship as having less than a month left? I can count down the days like Christmas.

I guess out of all you 9-10ers I am the only one freaking out. Go on. Live your lives. Free of the immense pressure felt when one has so little time that one feels obligated to count down to the end.

While you are whiling away your time on the internet, visiting this blog because you sadly have nothing better to do, please go here. It will make your day. Unless you have no soul. Then it will not make your day..

Don't worry. Not every post will be this long.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Feeling of "Sick"

My tea tastes like onion. That's the last time I buy onion flavored tea. Actually, I blame our dishwasher which, though it is of industrial magnitude, probably didn't wash all the onion flavor out of the spoons, or industrially washed it INTO the mugs. Either way, my stuffy nose and pressure headache do not appreciate the gesture. So, thanks a lot dishwasher.

On another note, MOM-You could always start making sweaters of Alpaca, or sell Alpaca droppings to farms for fertilizer. That's what the Alpaca farm near Pawtucaway does. Their sign advertised the Alpaca fertilizer as "Paca Poo". Made me smile every time.

So. How is everybody? Comfy? Cozy? Good.

I, myself, (can any one of you englishy types tell me why anyone would say that in a sentence? Why acknowledge yourself twice to your audience? For that matter, why do people say do do? Isn't it an unnecessary repetition and one that more often than not makes your audience snicker? What about had had. Is that one ever reasonable? Just asking.) am suffering from what we scientisty types like to call the "Really? Right now?" illness. Also known as the common cold. Because nothing is more inconvenient that a sickness that is debilitating enough to make work miserable but not debilitating enough to warrant a day off.

This particular mini-beast of an illness has been hanging around since Sunday. It reared it's admittedly small head in the form of fatigue. Lucky for it and unlucky for me, it has never come out all at once in full Cold force. It's just given me little tastes of each stage so that I have not been sick enough in the last 4 days to not work. Monday, it was sore throat and more fatigue. Tuesday it was the sniffles and a sore throat. Today it's the sniffles and fatigue with a little bit of chesty low voice-ness to go along (honestly, it's the low voice that I love the most. There is nothing more empowering than being able to sing an octave lower than your normal register). But still not enough to put me out of commission.

Then there is the guilt.

Remember the time when you were a kid and didn't mind getting sick because it meant you got to miss school and be babied all day? Remember how in college you felt free to take "sick days" all the time because it didn't effect anyone else? Well, now comes the time when being sick is not only impossible to hide, but it has a big impact on your work and those working with you. Jess, my trusty companion through these past weeks, knew I was feeling unwell immediately. She's so sharp. Like an attendant mother, that one. But I felt like I was whining every time I mentioned how I needed to go to bed early or take a nap or not drive or this or that.

I don't like having to admit to people that I feel unwell. When they ask, because by now it has filtered to all of the 6 other people who live here now, I hate telling them that I haven't been around because I have been trying to sleep off a cold.

Here is why I feel this way: When I was a kid, it didn't matter that I might not have been as sick as I said. Mom or Dad would take care of me and trust that I was sick enough to miss school. When I was in college, it didn't matter if I was feeling like I was going to die or if I only had a stuffy nose. I could do what I wanted and no one had to know or care. Now, I feel like every person is judging me when I tell them I'm sick. I imagine these thoughts going through their heads:

"She's not that sick. Why is she acting all sick anyway?"

"She just wants attention."

And so forth.

I know this is all in my head. In fact, the fact that I have a cold is probably of such little consequence in this small community that right after they inquire about my wellness, the others forget what they even just asked me or what my answer was. This is fine with me. I liked it better in college when I could baby myself and not wonder if other people think I am making it outto be worse than it is. In fact, I'd rather people not asked me at all how I felt. That way I wouldn't feel like such a baby when I say, "A little better and a little worse". Because that's how this cold is beating me. "Here, let me take away this symptom and replace it with another," it says. "In this way, you will never be sick enough to take a whole day off to sleep and let your body get rid of me. Mwhahahahahah!"

That's what this silly little cold says to me every day. And then I wonder...

...doesn't that make me mad (hatter-like, not the wrath kind)?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Have a Care. Package that is. (AKA-Good things in my life)

  1. 1 Madagascar 32% Milk Chocolate Bar
  2. 1 Package of Keebler Cheese and Peanut Butter crackers
  3. 1 Package of Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch dip
  4. 1 Package of Wrigley's Hubba Bubba "Ouch!" gum
  5. 1 tin of Wonka Exceptional's Pomegranate Fruit Marvel's
  6. 1 Package of Oreo Cookies N' Cream instant pudding
  7. 1 Bear Creek Country Kitchens creamy wild rice soup mix
  8. 1 single package of Strawberry Pop-Tarts
  9. Hallmark butterfly stationary
  10. 3 Packages of Hawaiian Punch to-go singles (berry limeade blast, berry blue typhoon, fruit juicy red)
  11. Smucker's magic shell cupcake ice cream topping
  12. 1 package of Toy Story Band-Aids
  13. 1 package of Jell-O Caramel Mousse
  14. 1 bottle of McCormick Salad Toppings
  15. Crystal light Natural Cranberry Apple
  16. Great Value Strawberry Orange Banana drink mix
Courtesy of Steven and Tamara. Thanks guys! That package could not have come at a better time. Food has been scarce lately and with the hitches back (meaning there are 33 people again for 4 days) it's been even worse.

I have been thinking a lot about the things that I love about this place. The things that I will miss. What makes me happy right now.

I'd like to list those thing if you don't mind.

My brain needs an exercise like this.

1. Waking up to silver and gold mornings in my cabin in the woods
2. Snuggling under my two mom-made blankets in my cabin in the woods
3. Sunlit drive through the towering pines
4. Back-road drives through the mountains of New Hampshire
5. Hikes on needle bedded trails
6. All the new friends I have made
7. Free food
8. $3.50 movies
9. The Hooksett Library
10. The Hooksett Post Office
11. A giant kitchen at my disposal
12. Surety
13. Sparkling ponds surrounded by evergreens
14. Cute little towns on the river
15. Feeling like I work a real job

As this internship ends, tings become unsure. I would be lying if I said I wasn't afraid of the uncertain future ahead of me. I'm terrified. I could say I have time, but I really don't. Another week is gone. I only have 3 and 1/2 weeks left of programs. Then it's practically the end. Just over a month and I am home.

I still don't know if I will be driving or if I will be flying. I have not gotten any new word from the Maine Conservation Corps. Lately I have been rethinking decisions. Perhaps the MCC is not what I should do next with my life. Perhaps it is. Good, better best, and all that. It's hard knowing for sure. I sent them an e-mail and tried to call them yesterday and left a voice-mail. I will call again on Monday. That's about all I can do.

In preparation for their denial of me, I have been looking for other job opportunities. For example-though I know the job is likely very competitive, I have almost finished my application for a full time position with the St. Louis Zoo.

What?!? Full time??? Really? Sarah Lambson is thinking about a full time job?

Yes. Maybe that is what I really need. I kept telling myself that I wanted nothing permanent the Peace Corps could remain an option. Nothing permanent in case I wanted to go to grad school somewhere far away. But there was an open position and I thought, "haven't I wanted to work/intern at the St. Louis Zoo for years? Wouldn't that be a dream job?". Maybe not. And I am in no way holding out a whole lot of hope. In a message I sent to my former Bob Evans manager I asked if I could have a job when I get home in case that is my only option. That way I have something to help me make money until the next step comes into view.

Along with trying to figure out my future I have been looking to the past. Remember Mary Morris (Now Mary Tebbs)? Remember Kristene Vance (Now Kristene Walk)? Remember Sapphire Hodges (Still Sapphire Hodges)? They left their childhood on every acre...wait. This is not a Billy Joel song.

Anyway, remember them? I have been recently. I have also been thinking just how much of an impact they had on my life. I realize that not keeping in touch with them is a pretty poor way of showing appreciation. So I sent messages to them in hopes that I can re-forge some old ties. I know I can't have those glory years of pretending to be a Jedi or imagining that my bike is a pony. I can't recreate the past but I can try to make a future where these friends are still in my life.

I am excited to come home soon. But I am also sad, scared, anxious, unsure, and worried.

But I am also in a better place spiritually than I have been in a long time and I couldn't ask for more than that, really.

Thank you, Family, for supporting my though all this so far and continuing to do so.

On that good note, it's time to take care of my freezing hands and full bladder.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Speaking of Best Days Ever

Autumn is made for perfect days. I have had two days that fall into the "perfect days" category and today looks to be doing the same.

I had better revel in it now, because the real work begins tomorrow.

  • 4th graders (they have a lot of energy but that's better than having a bunch of apathy. I am of course referring to the 8th graders I taught this winter)
  • 65 degrees, sunny, breezy
  • Driving through the pretty part of Manchester,
  • Groceries and looking at (and wishing I had the money to buy) white asparagus and graffiti eggplant and peaches
  • Bavaria (those of you who visited in the spring might remember me saying that I really wanted to try this restaurant. It was great. Pretty intense-lots of meat)
  • Watching Tootsie
  • Tom Salleck's mustache in The Killers (this movie is the worst I have see in a long time and that includes the Twilight movies. If you know me, you know that is saying a lot).
  • Sleeping in
  • Going to the Hillsboro County Agricultural Fair in New Boston
  • Gorgeous weather
  • Bunnies
  • Sheep
  • Goats (including dwarf breeds and babies!)
  • Baby Donkey
  • Chickens
  • Gelato
  • Square Dancing
  • Pizza
  • Looking at Apple Pie winners
  • Going down the giant slide. Twice.
  • The Drive to New Boston
  • Early bed
  • Church
  • Cloudy
  • Rain
  • Rest
  • Hoodie
  • Buttercup Squash
  • Italian Sausage
  • Whoopie pie
Like I said, though, the real work starts tomorrow.

It's strange and kind of scary to think that I only have 40 days left here. That's 5 and 1/2 weeks. Just over a month. I only have 4 and 1/2 weeks left of fall programs. I will be home soon whether it be on a plane or via road trip.

I'm not ready. I don't have anything to do. I have no plan. I don't know when I will have a plan. But the important thing is how much I have learned about myself, my ideals, what's important, and the life in general since I have been out here.

It's too early for the big end-of-the-internship reflection so I will stop with that.

I hope the end of everyone's summer is going great.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Coming Upon Change

"What I love most about rivers is you can't step in the same river twice."

Go ahead. Hate me for quoting that. It's true and you know it.

Life is constant change and if it weren't we would all get bored.

For example, I now sleep fully quilted and with no fan.

I have a hot beverage every morning.

Today, I wore long sleeves for the first time in about 4 months.

There are other changes as well. I no longer work weekends.

I will not spend my time waiting for people to show up to my programs in the out of doors. I have a captive audience in the in of doors. They have no choice but to listen to me. Cue evil laugh.

I may or may not be driving back to Missouri after this is over.

In case some of you didn't know, last Thursday I turned in my application to the Maine Conservation Corps. Yesterday they sent me an e-mail. It said the following:

"Your information has been reviewed and your environmental education and experience qualify you for further consideration for our program. We are interested in receiving a complete application from you.

We look forward to receiving your information and will begin with our final review of complete applications the week of the application deadline. If your application is accepted for consideration, our Program Coordinator will call you for your top three position choices. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions about our program and be prepared to ask any unanswered questions at the time of this call.

The September 7th deadline date has passed but we are still very interested in receiving a complete application from you."

That's just a bit of it.

This is only a first step. They have to look over my application. After that, if they decide that I qualify, they call me and ask for my top 3 choice locations. They then send my application to those three locations where the partners review my application and decide if they want me or not. I don't know how long all of this will take. Hopefully not too long. Knowing sooner rather than later is preferable.

So I still get to wait.

In the meantime here are some good things about life right now.

Good Morning Muffins (Em's recipe) that I made for everyone this morning turned out perfect despite the lack of zucchini.

More letters have been sent out to the fam! I hope everyone is getting them okay!

I got a Shel Silverstein book on tape for free today.

BLT with egg this morning was like a party in my mouth. Go meat! (We have been particularly scarce on the stuff for the last week. Not even fake meat! I miss those veggie sausages!)

Psych season finale was good. Actually, to be honest it was not their best episode and with all the "talk" of this crazy last 10 minutes I knew that the big cliff hanger was going to be what it was. But there were for sure some funny moments.

Oh, another item of business. For those of you I know planning a "coming home" soirée for me, here is a list of things that are must haves. I know it's supposed to be a surprise but I can't have you heathens having something as simple as cake and ice cream now can I (although, ice cream cake is acceptable)?

  1. A pony. Two if possible.
  2. On the topic of animals I would also like a flock of alpaca for everyone to ride.
  3. An ice sculpture, of me, completely surrounded by a variety of chocolate covered fruits.
  4. Bouncy Castle.
  5. Hugh Jackman to perform musical snippets for me.
  6. Meat. I'm not picky on this one. Any kind of good meat will do.
  7. The Chapman brother to make a new cartoon dedicated to me.
  8. Snow.
  9. An X-Files marathon and a Lord of the Rings marathon simultaneously.
  10. Broccoli cheese or Tortellini soup.
I know that we are in The Great Recession and that things are tight so I find it acceptable if you are only able to get item 10 off of this list. I will not think less of you. say you aren't planning a coming home soirée for me? That's it, whose been spreading that rumor? Was it you Jerome?

All right, all right. I get it. You all are off the hook. Who needs a flock of alpaca anyway?

Well, I'm out of time. Class dismissed. Except for you Jerome!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Best Sunday Ever (In New Hampshire)

  • 4 Rolls-$0.00
  • 1 small baguette-$0.00
  • 1 small bag of white cheddar popcorn-$0.00
  • 1 bagel with cream cheese-$0.00
  • 1 bottle of water-$0.00
  • 1 very large home grown vine ripe tomato-$0.00
  • 2 Nature Valley Fruit N Nut granola bars-$0.00
  • 2 Nature Valley Oats N Honey granola bars-$0.00
  • 2 single size Oreo packages-$0.00
  • 1 can of diet Sierra Mist-$0.00
  • 1 quart size bag of those instant potato pearls distributed for LDS food storage-$0.00
  • 2 ripe pears-$0.00
  • 1 small bag of peanut m&m's-$0.00
  • 6 eggs (4 of them 1 day fresh!)-$0.00
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs-$0.00
  • 1 gallon bag of salad-$0.00
  • 2 Yoplait yogurt cups-$0.00
  • 1 Minute Maid mixed berry juice box-$0.00
  • 3 single packages of Newman's Own salad dressing (ranch, Italian, and southwest)-$0.00
  • some mayo packets-$0.00
  • Sautéed veggies (including squash and eggplant)-$0.00
  • Two Italian sausages with red onions and red and yellow bell peppers-$0.00
  • 1 corn on the cob-$0.00
  • 1 small bag of baby carrots and yellow bell peppers-$0.00
  • 4 cheese sticks-$0.00
What is this a list of? I'll give you some choices.

a) Things I want for Christmas (especially those mayo packets! Yum!)
b) My grocery list (You can totally buy individual mayo packets now. Crazy, huh?)
c) A list of things they never included on those Master Card commercials (driving you're readers crazy because you won't tell them what the list is? Priceless.)
d) None of the above.

If you picked a, b, or c, stop reading now because you obviously don't know me very well. I would never ask for mayo packets for Christmas. How crazy is that? I would ask for the whole bottle. Duh. And only that Kraft olive oil mayo because it's "better for you". It can't be my grocery list because I only have $10 to my name for the week and would not buy mayo packets by the packet even if that were possible. So impractical. Also, they don't make single packets of the Kraft olive oil mayo. And if it were a list of things they never included on those Master Card commercials there would be prices after all of them.

Wait, there are prices after all of them? Oh.

Well, the point is the correct answer is d) None of the above.

It is in fact a list of the things included in a care package I received yesterday (Sunday September 5th).

Let's go back to the start just like Chris Martin.

I've been attending the Derry ward in Derry New Hampshire the whole summer. It's the closest one to Pawtuckaway.

I already feel like a constant outsider in these family wards (my own fault, I know) but the point is in the Derry ward there were two sisters who made me feel like I kinda, sorta belonged there. Even though one of these sisters was only there for a couple weeks that I was there (she went on vacation, I went on vacation, we just kept missing each other) she made me feel welcome.

Yesterday was my last Sunday there. I actually felt a little sad. If it didn't take almost an hour to get there I would try to get my records transferred again (plus they would only be transferred for about 6 weeks. Doesn't seem worth it). Anyway, this sister came to me and asked if I wanted to come over to her house for a break the fast snack.

I had a potential drop-in program (not officially scheduled so flexible) at 2:00, but I felt I should accept her invitation. So I went.

I got to meet her daughter who reminds me alot* of me at her age. She loves to write stories. She particularly loves to write stories that have a little dark side to them (well that part of her is more like me now rather than me in Jr. High). She loves science and wants to be a Zoologist. She has a bunch of fish and has given them rockin' cool** names. It was really neat to get to talk to her. We ate cheese and crackers and grapes and a yummy oil and herb bread dip with warm bread. It was great. I had a wonderful time. Before I left, this sister sends me off with two grocery bags of stuff (the above list). I couldn't even be unhappy that I couldn't find my way back from her house it was such a good afternoon. I simply pulled out my map once I got to a map-able highway and found my way home. It was also a beautiful day so getting a little lost in rural New Hampshire was not too bad.

And that, loyal readers, is what made this the best Sunday I have ever spent in New Hampshire. My gratitude to this sister for her kindness and love is inexpressible. She is truly a gem in the jumble of New Hampshire church members.

I only wish I could pass on this good feeling.

I can't leave the other sister out of it all. She has vowed to try and stay in touch with me so she can hear more about my adventures. I also have an elderly sister who said she will try to write to me.

I only spent a couple slightly awkward and lonely months there, but the support of these sisters made my experience in the Derry Ward worth going to church every Sunday this summer, even though it meant I had to work extra late on Sunday to make up for those hours.

So, there you have it.

It's Labor Day and I am working because there is alot* to do before we start the fall season tomorrow (yep, we're jumping right into it). But thanks to this sister, I have Italian sausage with sautéed veggies, salad, pears, diet Sierra Mist, and Oreos to look forward to.

**Go But you only have to watch the first part to get it.

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