Sunday, August 26, 2007

Blog Action Day

I hope that you will notice that I replaced the stopglobalwarming.org banner with a banner spreading the word about Blog Action Day. On October 15th, bloggers will unite to write on one topic. What topic is that you might say?? Well none other than one of my favorites, the ENVIRONMENT. I have signed up and hope to have a special post prepared for this day.

I encourage you to take a look at the site and if you feel so moved, please sign up to participate in the day. I'm looking forward to the environmental buzz.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Some of Mississippi

I wanted to take a few minutes and post some pictures from our most recent trip to Mississippi. I did not get any pictures on the job site because of the nature of the work...just imagine what would happen if you tour your walls and ceilings out of your house...now imagine if you house had been underwater, you waited two years, and then tour your walls and ceilings out... that was the situation we were in.

This is the Friendship Tree on the University of Southern MIssissippi's Gulf Park campus. It is estimated to be over 500 years old and although all her leaves were stripped during the storm survived Hurricane Katrina.

Pretty artistic photo of the beach.

The Gulf Coast is so Beautiful.

The End is Imminent

That's right. School starts MONDAY. As I see it, this situation has it's pros and cons. The care free days of summer are slipping away (CON). I am being given the opportunity to learn (PRO). I will have to forgo my recreational reading for required reading (CON). I am getting closer to obtaining my masters degree (PRO). I will have to write papers, attend classes, and participate in unpleasant discussions (CON). I will get to travel to India at the end of the semester (PRO).

It's no secret that in the past year I have not been a stellar student. Life often seems to get in the way of what I would ultimately like to achieve, as well as the fact that I am sometimes just lazy.:) I have been spending the last few days pondering how, this semester, I can become the student that I am meant to be. I have not received any answers, so if you have some insight on this feel free to drop me a line. I feel that only through determination, hard work, and prayer will I make it through. Hopefully the long hard journey will be worth it.

I will be doing my field education this year at Terra Nova Church where Ryan and I have been attending since January. It is an unpaid internship but I'm hoping to learn something. I'm also hoping to realize a little bit clearer what it is I'm being called to do.

In the next few months you should look forward to posts relating to my school work and internship. Hopefully we can all learn something together.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Harvesting

This spring people here at the seminary started the plans for a community garden on campus. After awhile it seemed that it wasn't going to happen, but in June a plot of land did get plowed and I put into motion what will hopefully become the Methodist Theological School in Ohio Community Garden. Only one other family participated in the project this year, but many showed interest and I'm hoping that it will develop into something next spring.

I mention this because I often talk about eating local foods, a practice that is EXTREMELY environmentally friendly. A lot of people in this area do not have the resources to grow their own food, however there are many other options to chose from, which I will discuss later.

After being away for a week Ryan and I adventure into the garden last night, which is mostly over grown with weeds, to see if there was anything worth harvesting. To our surprise some areas of the garden are doing fairly well. Our tomatoes are overflowing, our leeks and green onions are thriving, watermelons are small but getting bigger, and the pumpkins are blooming. Not everything is as prolific however, the corn almost didn't come up and some that did got chewed on. Beans are sparse and the potatoes are dead.

We picked the tomatoes that were ripe, four beans, a leek that could have used some more growing, and we dug up the potatoes that grew before plant death. This is what they look like.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Reporting Live from the MS Gulf Coast

I thought I would have been more efficient at getting a post up here while still on my trip. Ryan and I have been in Long Beach Mississippi since Saturday and will be leaving this Saturday morning. We are working with the folks at Camp Coast Care which is run by the Lutheran and Episcopal Services in Mississippi and funded primarily through the Episcopal Relief and Development.

Among many things it is hot in Mississippi, the heat index for the past few days has been well over 100 and the sun has been shining very brightly. I spent today not feeling well, as I have been sick to my stomach since arriving on Saturday.

I have also not taken many pictures because of the nature of the job I have been participating in. When I was here in June I took great pleasure in laying ceramic tile, and although it was hot and slightly strenuous it was not all that difficult.

This week I have had the opportunity to learn what it is like to rebuild your life from the ground up. After the storm many people were not able to return to their houses for many reasons. The house we are working on lost it's roof so received water from the top and the bottom. After the roof was replaced the family moved back in but was soon trouble by illness caused by the mold that was present from all of the water damage. The only way to fix this problem is to completely gut the house, spray down the studs and floors with bleach and start over. So this is what we did, ripped up carpet, tore out drywall and paneling, scrapped up tile, etc. It was hot, dusty, moldy, smelly, and uncomfortable. I don't think that I've worked harder in my life. But it is well worth it. The woman who was living in the house with her son has not had a normal life for quite some time, she's been through a divorce, lost most of her money to her husband, had to pay back taxes she thought were taken care of, lost her primary home and all her possessions in the storm, and dealt with the illness from living in the house. She has had some amazing friends who have helped her get back on her feet, and now some great volunteers from all over the country will help her move back into a home.

I will take some pictures of Mississippi away from the job site and post them soon.

Friday, August 03, 2007

I'm Off Again

I will be heading to Mississippi for the second time this summer, this time with my hubby Ryan. We are leaving tonight and hope to be there sometime Saturday evening. We are staying at the same place I did in June and will hopefully get to do some sight seeing while we are there.

I am taking my computer with me this time, so I hope to write a few blog enteries while I am down there. I've been slow with the posting lately so if you are all caught up on what's going on in my world, I have some suggestions for you to read today.

If you look to the right of this post you first see the list of "Usefule Links." Check those out, they include the Beatitudes Society who has a very good blog as well as a wealth of other information. The B@ts are the group that I went to MS with in June and are an organization of divinity students from across the country. If you are a divinity student you can become a member for $10 and you recieve a free book chosen from the reading list, plus all the other benefits of learning about conferences, fellowships, etc. If you would like to supporter of such a wonderful organization you can click on the donate button.

Other links will take you to Camp Coast Care where I will be for the next week, Terra Nova the church Ryan and I attend, Treehugger and Grist which are websites I visit daily, and my school MTSO.

I also want to encourage you to read the news stories that I chose to share through my Google Reader. You can find those under "Important Reads." They are mostly environmental based because that's what I read and are very informative.

If you don't already, read my friends blogs, they would love to have you.

I believe that is all that I have. Next time you hear from me I will be at the Gulf Coast.