And you start to freak out like
hahahaha. I can’t stop laughing at this.
photo 236/365: “the best way to get something done is to begin” (anon)
© Ashley Herrin. Olympic National Park
1. Today I got to hold a baby duck! and a chicken. and pet goats and dogs.
2. Helped a family of 4 work on their 40 acre organic farm. we planted 250 trees, cut and hauled brush, & put up a high tunnel. Very rewarding.
3. Treme is back
1. Grateful for the awesome birthday package suzy sent to me yesterday! The sweater she sent in the box smells like yankee candle!! And i know a couple months ago i would’ve loathed that smell, but it was very familiar and nice.
2.Winning the game for us in darts last night with a (phantom) triple 10! after a friendly couple let us use the rest of their credits.
3. Having an excellent 60 day review with my team leader abbey.
So the past couple of weeks i’ve been thinking a lot about things that have been frustrating me, and not taking the proper time to think about the things in my life that I am grateful for and truly appreciate. I’m going to try my best to keep up with this. I made suzy a gratitude journal and she kept up with hers for a while and i was super impressed. so, as of today Tuesday April 26th, my top 3 things i’m grateful for today:
1. Nick and I got excellent reviews from our youth for our midsemester evlaluation as youth crew leaders. We even got called “Amazing people”.
2. I am grateful I recieved compliments on the brownies i made for my youth today, “this is seriously the best brownie i’ve ever had” (even though they were slightly undercooked) and they also noticed that I dyed my hair. (even Andy noticed after we decided that boys don’t notice those things)
3. I am so grateful for getting to work with incredible people everyday who make me laugh consistently.
So i thought i’d be able to keep up with this better than i have, but due to my insanely busy schedule i just got my laptop up and running on the internet here. For those of you who dont know, “here” is in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Not Michigan, or Mississippi, or Montana, or even Maine. Most of my family thought i was going to be in one of those places. But nope, I’m here in the suburbs of snowy Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is going to be a brief summary of my past two and a half weeks here in MN. Hopefully now that i have internet i can keep up with this. Also…There is a facebook album with pictures if you’re interested!
About two and a half weeks ago my dad drove 20 hours to get me here. We stopped in Maddison, Wisconsin which is an awesome town (and also in the news a lot lately). But we finally made it. When i dropped him off at the airport, I had about 15 mins to get to work, so it was a quick goodbye. Which was sad. I drove away with tears in my eyes but had to pull it together quick because I had to introduce myself to people I’ll be working with for ten months.
I am staying with a friend I know from Kutztown, Sarah Karwowski. She’s also from Pennsylvania. Her family moved out here when her mom got a job in MN. They were so kind to offer me a place to stay out here. They are so hospitable and giving. It’s so nice to come home to a family after work. Sarah and I went to the mall of America this weekend wich was massive, and really just a large mall with an amusement park inside. But it was neat. She also took me to Chipoltle, which I had never been to before, and now i can’t stop thinking about their burritos. I really enjoy getting to spend time with sarah, we watch parenthood on demand on thursday nights (because we’re old people and go to sleep by 9 on weekdays), we watch thursday night tv, and hockey. We also drink tequila and talk about boys. It’s pretty great.
So before I left everybody had been asking me, what are you doing out there? I had to come up with some generic responses because honestly, I had no idea. Now I have a much better idea. The Conservation Corps of Minnesota works together with the Department of Natural Resources to “provide meaningful work for young people in conserving energy, managing natural resources, responding to disasters and leading volunteers.”
My position with the corps is a member of the youth outdoors crews. “Youth Outdoors, our newest program, engages Saint Paul teens during the school year in educational activities and service-learning projects afterschool and on Saturdays, 12 hours per week. Youth earn a stipend while revitalizing local neighborhoods and leading volunteers.” I am on a cew with two other crew members and one crew leader. There are two other youth outdoors crews. We are all really excited to get to work with the youth which starts March 22. I really enjoy all the time we are spending with the other two crews. The people I work with are really awesome and welcoming.
My crew is also leading the I Can Camp! program this summer. This program is a special program that the public can sign up for either at REI or at the State Parks in Minnesota and for two days our crew will teach you how to camp! How to set up a tent, take it down, make a campfire, cook over a campstove, etc. and we will also be leading nature hikes, and informative sessions on the outdoors, etc while at the campgrounds. We get to go to a new state park every two days. It’s going to be awesome. Not to mention, all of our supplies were donated by REI! (tents, stoves, pots, pans, air mattresses, all kinds of things!)
So for the past two weeks we have been going through a lot of orientation and training. The first week we spent two nights at Camp Friendship where we had tons of orientation sessions, and more important got to know and spend time with our crews. This past week we learned how to use chainsaws. It was quite an interesting experience. I have never had any reason to pick up a chainsaw in my life. And that inexpereince was not to my advantage. But, honestly, who gets good at using a chainsaw in two days? Especially making face-cuts on trees in order to take them out. I know I will get better, I just need more exposure and more confidence. Also, my body was killing me. Chainsaws are heavy and hard to start. I have brusies in the strangest places. (My pinky? and on the inside of my thighs)
Not only did we learn how to use chainsaws this week, we also learned how to use brush saws and pole saws. we also learned how to back up a truck onto a trailer hitch. a lot more difficult than it sounds. especially for someone who’s never driven a truck before. we also learned how to back these trailers into parking spots. I was much better at that than chainsaws. Needless to say, I’m learning a lot!
Enough about work, let’s talk about the weekends. Until march 22 I have 3 day weekends fri-sun. I made my first friend, Shannon. Who so kindly has been inviting me to hang out with her group of friends who are hilarious and awesome. On valentine’s day I went by myself to see Justin Townes Earle. He was of course incredible. I met a guy named Neal at the show who also was in a couple conservation corps in the past two years and we had a bunch to talk about. I also saw two of my supervisors at that show who told me that Ryan Bigham is coming in March. I am definitely getting a ticket for that show. The Twin Cities are pretty large and it’s easy for a first timer to get lost on these roads out here. Also, it’s weird because when you merge onto highways out here, people actually let you merge. I guess that’s where the ‘Minnesota Nice’ term came from. I really think this is why their traffic moves here. So yeah! I keep hearing about tons of cool restaurants, bars, parks, and festivals. I cant wait until the weather gets warmer and I get to stroll around town. I hear the spring and summer here are incredible. Here’s to hoping spring gets here sooner than later.
I had this feeling in my stomach the time i jumped off that 50 foot cliff into a swimming hole. Here’s to growing up and taking that leap. See you soon.
MOVIE THEATRE WITH BEER, PIZZA, & COUCHES!
Reel Pizza Cinerama, Bar Harbor, ME.
$6 to see a movie.
You order a pizza, order a draft beer or wine, you pick a couch or a recliner.
You set up a TV tray.
Your number flashes on the board when your pizza is ready.
This place is amazing. The coolest movie theatre you’ll ever go to.