Monday, November 9, 2009


Thanksgiving is coming! I love thanksgiving, it is by a landslide my very favorite holiday. There's no stress of finding the perfect gift for anyone, no guilt of receiving gifts i don't need (not that I'm not grateful for the one's I do!) and it's all about spending time with my lovely family and all the wonderful food they make. One of my favorite online stores that sells things I certainly don't need and can't afford but love to drool over anyways, Modcloth, is hosting a thanksgiving Thank-a-thon Blog contest, here, where you can write about what/who you're thankful for and then win a gift certificate! Since I'm all about Thanksgiving and free clothes, I figured I can shamelessly enter and post about it.

Anyways, my what and or who I'm thankful for go together: I'm thankful for my college education (no really, now that it's almost over too I'm getting extra appreciative), and for my dad for making it possible for me. I do tell him this, and I hope he understands that I mean it and I'm not just saying it because I'm required to. Really, I'm so lucky to have a wonderful dad and an exceptional education.

Monday, October 12, 2009

the real world

I realized this morning that I have forgotten to declare my minor. Not that big of a deal, I think, I'm pretty sure I can just walk into the office later today and fill out some paperwork. The big problem here is that I discovered this while attempting to apply for graduation. From college. Graduation from college. I don't think this is ok. For one, I love college. Yes, it's challenging, but its also wonderful and I love my life here. I'm not ready to give up my roommates and my classes and my apartment downtown. It's not that I think life will never be this good, I'm not just done with this part yet. I'm gonna have to find a real job and have a real life and be a real person, I'm just not ready! Sigh... I guess I still have six months to prepare myself.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm going to a permaculture seminar! I'm very excited - I'm only recently getting into this and don't really anticipate being able to do anything meaningful until I get out of college, but for now I'm happy just to be learning. I also was offered free tickets right after I decided to go! Hooray!!

Yesterday, I had the chance to do something I've been dreaming about for ages - I got to witness the opening and inspection of a beehive! I love love love bees (and honey!) and seeing them all in action was fascinating. They were so organized and so chaotic at the same time - bumbling around while obviously intent on doing their jobs. The queens (there were three hives) were so different and I had fun finding them each time. I'm hoping maybe next year I can get my own hives - beekeeping is definitely a new life goal of mine. 

Sunday, July 12, 2009

So I guess keeping a regular blog is harder than I thought.. I'll defend myself this time though with the excuse that I haven't been neglecting all my duties (blogging and otherwise) out of laziness, but instead out of complete lack of time. Really! I'm so busy lately, which makes no sense as a college student on summer vacation. I think the difference is that during the school year, I devote most of my time to school. It's summer now, so I want to spend all my time going places and doing things, but instead I have a job. So I add a busy social/vacationing schedule to an exhausting work week, and then further stress out because I can't take care of my house like I need to.  I'm getting better at it though, and managed to go camping last weekend and still get a lot of things done. 

Camping was another adventure altogether. My family has been going to a campground in Manistee National Forest for years, but I haven't been able to make it since middle school. I couldn't get off work as much as everyone else, so I drove up by myself later to meet everyone up there. So what happens? Just as I'm feeling proud for making a trip all by myself, my car dies! Getting a car towed back home is expensive. No joke. Fortunately for me, my wonderful boyfriend took pity and lent me his car for the weekend so I could still make it to the lake, and I had a perfect weekend of beach soccer, tent sleeping, beach parties, and campfire food. On the way home however, my car unluckiness is solidified: his car breaks too! About ten miles from where I was the first time, and apparently a crank shaft pulley falling off is supposed to be impossible? Who knows - but it did suck. Luckily, everything worked out in the end and both cars are now up and running again, but it was quite a situation for awhile. 

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I'm making a garden! 

We have some old raised beds that I've been using for the past few years, but they seem to be infected by some sort of wilt that causes everything to die in the middle of the summer. I've been planning new raised beds all winter, but now that spring is actually here and my summer job started up again, I'm finding myself exhausted and busy every night. Somehow last night I found myself both energetic and inspired (at the same time, for once) and managed to clear an area, put up some fence posts, and begin killing the grass. I was going to use newspaper to kill the grass, but my brother suggested some silt fences he had lying around because they're black and will heat up more. I also found a gate and am going to try to put up once I find the right hinge pieces. 

Unfortunately, grass takes awhile to die, and so I can't move forward for at least a few days, probably a week or more. I know it's already May, but most of the things I want to plant don't go in until closer to the end of the month anyways (tomatoes!!) and so hopefully I can get this all finished before then. Mostly, I'm worried that I'll lose momentum and never finish. I guess we'll see!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I could smell the lilacs when I came home tonight..

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Tragedy of the Commons

I finally understand the tragedy of the commons! I don't know why I didn't get this in my ecological issues class last year. I think I may have spaced out in class and then never caught up on what it was, but I vaguely remember it being an important concept and while I got the gist enough to understand the discussions, I never exactly knew what it was. Turns out, it's pretty simple. Basically, there is often a large resource that is consumed by many people (the classic example that I'm getting a little sick of learning about: fisheries) and it benefits each person individually to take more and more from the "commons," in our usual case, each person takes more and more fish. These people each have more fish, they make more money, and they are happy. But, eventually, the commons cannot sustain this much use, and it will collapse. The problem is figuring out how much each person can take sustainably, and convincing everyone involved that they can't have as much as they're capable of taking or there will be none left for anyone. I hope I got this right... It seems so simple now that I actually paid attention in class, like there's probably something I'm missing.  And hey! Just in time for Earth Day! 

The only Earth Day-related thing I did today was attend a ceremony where I was given an award I won/earned about a month ago for working at the Botanical Gardens and writing an essay. I say won/earned, because I've been working there for about a year now and I feel like I've put a lot of myself into my lowly intern position, but I truly love it there and so I also feel lucky to be rewarded for my work. In addition, I had to write an essay to apply for this award, and I'm very very proud of it. I do not consider myself a good writer, but I feel like I expressed an entire summer's worth of discovering new things and learning about myself very eloquently in my two page limit. I don't usually win things, and I'm usually pretty modest about such things, but I feel like I put a lot of effort in our projects at the Garden's and that essay, I'm proud to have won it too. 

I really have many other things to write about, but my two hardest finals are in the next two days and I haven't really started studying..

Edit: I have Nutella and a Zingerman's baguette.. my most favorite comfort food :)

Monday, April 20, 2009


I'm making artichokes for dinner! I haven't had them in a very, very long time, and they've been mentioned a few times over the weekend so I started craving them. I'm still not sure what to do about the dipping sauce - I had a very dizzy moment when I thought I'd just call my mom and ask her how she did it, but I got over it. I'm thinking yogurt and something, but I haven't figured out what yet. Apparently you're supposed to use melted butter, but I think I'll change it up. While I was at Whole Foods just now, I planned on getting some bay leaves as well and thought I remembered that they had bulk spices - apparently not, the bay leaves were either $6 or $9 for a jar, I forget. Eek! So i went to the Co-op, where I spent thirty-four cents on about 15 leaves. Hooray! I hope these are as good as I remember...

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I'm taking a psych class on environmental stewardship right now, and while I'm thankful it's almost over because it had the slowest lectures ever, I've really learned a lot and I think this class might actually be useful in life. Granted, I'm in the middle of studying for the final, so my mind is full of minimum justifications and intrinsic motivations and educational models, but there's also the disproved misconceptions that people have about behavior change and some other important stuff I hope I remember past tomorrow at 3:30. 

While it's not the most critical thing we've discussed, the psychology of fear really struck me. Apparently, when we are scared of something, the only thing we want to do is flee. This applies to attempts at behavior change. While its so tempting to say "You should recycle or we're all going to die," trying to scare people into doing good, they're just going to ignore you. This is very frustrating to me, because it's easy to think that if everybody only knew what was happening to the world, they would try to help. Apparently, it's way more complicated. 

Another lecture I feel should be more widely understood is extrinsic motivation. This can be anything from a reward for an action, a penalty, feedback, or social praise. Tons of people think that the strongest motivator is monetary incentives - we see this from the government all the time in incentives and tax breaks. But in getting people to change their behaviors, these are not the strongest tools! I'm still figure out what exactly the best motivators are (it would probably help if I had paid more attention in class..) but I do know that money isn't the best. Furthermore, it often works once or twice, but never lasts. I can see how so many people would think otherwise, since everything in our country is so focused on the economy, but it's facts like this that could help so many incentives to work better if just more people understood them. 

How is anybody supposed to make a difference if we're going about it all wrong? And which way is right? I can't wait to figure it out. 

First Post, or I can't sleep

I can't sleep. I can't sleep because my mind is so full of everything I want to do, everything I want to learn, everything I want to see. I've been toying with the idea of a blog for awhile, but have shied away because I've always been a terrible writer. But I've decided to try, because if I can't ever figure out how to say what I'm thinking I'm never going to get anywhere in life. I feel like I should outline my blogging intentions and set a theme, but really I just want to explore my thoughts to further articulate them before I frustrate boyfriend with another rant he can't figure out because I can't find the right words to tell him.

I've found myself full of ideas of things I want to do in life but feeling constrained that I can't jump up and do them. I want a garden, but I have to wait until the semester is over. I want to cook delicious, organic, healthy, locally grown meals that took more than my microwave. I want to figure out a way to make people understand what is happening to the planet without sounding like a snob, and I want other people to want to change the world just as much as I do. Technically, I'm in school to do just that, but I'm still unclear as to how it's actually going to happen. Mostly, I want to make myself a better person without the fear that I'll just be lazy and give up on everything. I guess I'll just have to work hard and be patient.