5/31/11

Blogger works again

I have had some major issues with Blogger... mostly it would not let me log in! That makes posting difficult. I am finally back. And, I have a ton of updates. First, I need to get through today at work.... then I will post.

Thanks for sticking with me.

5/18/11

Wordless Wednesday 5-18

This cutie turned 3 on April 29th and her Aunt Misty has yet to mail a present. Bad Aunt Misty. Plan for this weekend: Mail Emily's Birthday Present!

5/16/11

Walking for Water

Saturday was the Corvallis Walk for Water 5K. My church was supporting the Corvallis-Gondar Sister Cities Association. Gondar, Ethopia, is our "Sister City" and their most critical need right now is local access to fresh, clean water. The average female in Ethiopia walks about 3 miles a day to collect fresh water for drinking and cooking. They walk halfway with empty clay containers, walking back with pots which weigh, on average, 44 lbs. I paid a $10 entry fee: $9 went to dig a well and $1 went towards facilitating the Sister Cities association and their mission to educate and serve. Not too shabby.

All I had to do was roll out of bed, brush my teeth (with my conveniently located clean, safe water from the tap) and drive to meet friends. So, it was really a chance to walk and talk with friends. The walk started on the corner of 2nd and Western and went to Avery Park and then back. I did the 3.1 miles in about 56 minutes. Not too shabby for my first 5K. I didn't take any pictures of me (that was implied when I said I had just rolled out of bed and walked a 5K), but I did get a picture as we started the walk.
I checked "complete a 5K" off my bucket list. Afterwards, we went to brunch. All-in-all, not a bad way to start a Saturday.
Water is an issue in many places around the world. Here is a video about the Living Water Project featuring my favorite new artist: Page CXVI
Joy from Living Water International on Vimeo.

5/11/11

Wordless Wednesdays- Seen on campus

They have to stop paying those Assistant Professors so much....

5/10/11

How NOT to write an email

I am not the best at email. I tend to be all business and forget about the formalities that make them read well when received. However, I do try. I make a conscious effort to think about how my email will come across.

Below are two examples of student emails I have received about missing class. Guess which one received a written response and which one received a rant to myself at my desk and no email back (because if you don't have anything nice to say...):

Dear Dr. Lambert,

I locked my keys in my car this morning and I spent all day trying to find a way to get into it, and that is why I missed class today, did I miss anything important?

Thanks,
Student A

And 

Dr. Lambert,

I will be unable to attend class tomorrow because of my sorority's audition for the Greek Sing (the time was just changed, sorry for the late notice). I will have one of my classmates turn in my POR and Conflict Resolution Styles assignment and I will get the notes off Blackboard. Is there anything else I will need to do to make up for missing the class?

Thanks
Student B


If you haven't seen this, enjoy!

5/8/11

Mother's Day...the only way I could

How do you celebrate Mother's Day as a) a single girl, b) not in a serious relationship, c) with no kids, d) who doesn't live near any "motherly relatives".  This means I am not a mother, I don't have to celebrate someone else's mother,  and I am not near enough to my own mother/sister/sister-in-law/aunts/grandparents to facilitate a celebration with them.

What to do?

My solution was simple. I went to church and enjoyed coffee while sniffling my way through a sermon reminding me that God is Great. Then I treated myself to lunch out. I know this seems nuts on a holiday when everyone is treating their mother to a "day off" from cooking, but hear me out. Everyone at the restaurant was a large group - every kid and their kids with mothers and grandmothers. I was a table for 1. Their wait = an hour and 15 minutes. My wait = less than 7 minutes. And they had a bar. Cocktail? Yes, please!

What to do after a peaceful lunch? A solo movie. I had recently read 'Something Borrowed' by Emily Griffin, so I Googled movie times and hit the jackpot: a matinĂ©e was starting right across the street. It wasn't as good as the book (I know everyone says that, but in this case, it was true), but half a Sunday spent not in my apartment or office (but not outside in the overwhelming allergens of a blooming Corvallis) was priceless. (I only had to leave the theater twice to blow my nose or quench a cough.)

Of course, when I made it home I called my mom and wished her a happy Mother's Day. (And, it is a bummer that she is 3,000 miles away on a day I am keenly aware of all that she has done. I just want to give her a hug.) Now I am home and grading papers (in between nose blows) and preparing myself for the rush of a week with a grant deadline at the end.... but my morning was great. I know that if I become a mom someday, Mother's Day will take on a whole new meaning. But I am not sure, even then, if a quiet lunch with a cocktail and a movie alone wouldn't sound like a perfect way to celebrate.

Currently Dreading: Friday's grant deadline (Grants are the devil!)
Currently Anticipating: my first 5K next Saturday (any of my Corvallis people want to walk with?)
Currently Enjoying: The rainbow I can see out my living room window. All that rain has its rewards. But, did I mention my allergies are going nuts?

5/6/11

Those are some tall trees

Saturday, after taking in the beauty of Crater Lake, we hopped back in the car and drove to Northern California, stopping only for some fast food in Grant's Pass. We were headed to Crescent City, CA to begin at the visitor's center. To get there, we drove along the edge of the Redwoods at 55mph. They were impressive enough that you wanted to hang your head out the window to get a photo (We didn't, mom!).
When we got the the visitor's center, Super Chatty Park Ranger Guy told us everything we needed to know and more about everything we could do in a 30 mile radius, most of which we ignored. However, he had a couple good pieces of advice. The first was that there were seals and sea lions in the Crescent City Harbor (which was recently the most damaged area in the US from March's tsunami in Japan).
We drove over and, of course, since Desiree and Curtis only got to see a couple of seals in Newport, and even those were way out on a rock, they wanted to get "close". But I think the park ranger scared them when he said seals and sea lions can bite. Melissa and I had a good time laughing as they inched forward and then backed away.
video
We then headed to see the Redwoods. Among the 1,000 things the ranger said, he told us to take the dirt road through the forest that was built around the trees - he failed to mention the potholes! You drive about 15mph and take in lots of Redwoods. There were also 2 trail options given to us by Super Chatty Park Ranger Guy.  The first one was a mile loop. The other trail was The Boy Scout Tree Trail at the end of which was a waterfall and an old growth tree named "The Boy Scout Tree" because of a famous photo taken in front of the tree. This trail is 2.8 miles in and the same 2.8 miles out (half uphill).


We drove the dirt road, taking in a few sites and stopping for a photo op in front of this giant downed tree.





My sister and I proceeded to play chicken as we decided which trail to hike. Mind you, we had spent the morning at Crater Lake and then driven to California so by this time it is already after 3:00. I was in favor of the short trail and some quick photos - but I wasn't going to say anything. Let the game of chicken begin. She didn't want to say "I just had surgery 3 weeks ago" and I didn't want to say "I haven't tried to hike this far since I had hardware put in my spine". Since no one flinched, we set off on a 5.6 mile hike. Oh, and I forgot the best part - the ranger indicated that there was a tree down on the trail. For a normal forest, that isn't a problem because you can hop over a downed tree. You cannot "hop" over a downed Redwood. More on that later.

We started the hike.
It was a little muddy.
 Right away, we stopped for photos.




 When Curtis would run too far ahead, we would holler "Marco" and he would yell back "Polo" and stop for us to catch up. Funny - we didn't have to do that on the way back out.

Then we got to a place where the trail looked like this:

"You can't go under it and you can't go through it. You have to go over it." It was a team effort.
We made it to the waterfall.It wasn't much since we had just been hiking Silver Falls three days earlier, but it did mark the half way point. We had made it 2.8 miles. But, we had that far to go (and we still hadn't found the Boy Scout Tree). 
Melissa went and checked a side trail we thought to be THE tree. It was!.... so we hiked straight up hill and finally saw it: The Boy Scout Tree



   Pardon the dumb look on my face! We were the only ones there, so we had to prop my camera up on a log and set the timer. This is the best one we got.




The hike out (from this point it was over 2 miles) went faster. There were only a couple stops for photos - actually they were stops to rest, but Melissa started snapping. We looked like this.



We cleaned up. I took a ton of Advil. We stopped in some small town and had the best tasting Subway sub ever (maybe because I was famished) and drove back to Corvallis. We got home around midnight.

Best day ever.

5/5/11

Crater Lake...or "the most beautiful thing I've ever seen"

Friday afternoon (April 29) we took our time packing up, ate some lunch, drove through Sisters and stayed the night at a cabin in La Pine.

All of this was in preparation to see Crater Lake. I will admit I had never heard of Crater Lake until I moved out here. (FYI...My dad said his knowledge was limited to a mention in a Bob Seger song! It's also mentioned in Johnny Cash's "I've been everywhere man").

A few facts: Crater Lake gets about 44 feet of snow a year. The North entrance doesn't open until Memorial day and snow stays on the ground at the lake until late July.  They have a cool video at the visitor's center which explains the snow removal process and how long it takes them to clear 30 foot drifts off of the 30 mile drive around the park (1/4 mile gets cleared a day, starting in April). We went around to the South entrance. As you climb the road to Crater Lake, you see a little snow on the ground....
then a foot or two of snow on the ground, and then this.
Eventually, we saw this:
We got out to take some photos and Desiree immediately went and stood in snow.  
This is her "What? Me?" face.

We hit up the visitor's center. This was the view out.
Because this is the visitor's center: 
No seriously. It's on the other side of my car. There was a tunnel to get in. So, we hopped back in the car and drove to where someone had packed a trail into the snow so that we could see Crater Lake. We climbed up and took in the view. Totally worth it.






 




I also shot a small snippet of video because you couldn't get the whole lake in one camera shot. If you backed up far enough to get it in, you would have been on the wrong side of a 15ft snow bank.
video