Monday, May 24, 2010

Hail Thee Festival Day...

...those were the words of the opening hymn at church this past weekend. Yesterday marked the end of the Easter season with Pentecost! Pentecost is the celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the apostles, ten days after the Ascension of Christ. Many call this the "birthday of the Church".

Our church takes this celebration very seriously! There was a delicious dinner on Saturday night. The main purpose for the dinner was to raise money to make an extra mortgage payment on the new parish hall but the entertainment and dessert definitely had a Pentecost theme! There is a member of the church who, among his many talents, can juggle flaming juggling pins as well as breathe fire!

video

After dinner, we were served Bananas Foster, a dessert that is as visually impressive as it is tasty!

After dinner, the kids pulled out their sleeping bags and got ready for an evening of fun. With all the adults gone, except the brave few chaperones (including Leni), the night was all about fun, games, ice cream, and decorating the church with paper doves representing the Holy Spirit. Doesn't it look festive?


My favorite part of the weekend was during the Gospel reading at church on Sunday. The deacon begun reading the Gospel account of the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles and how they all started speaking, each in his native tongue. As the deacon was reading this, it was being read simultaneously by several other church members, some in English but many in other languages. Seasoned members of the church remember this tradition year to year but having only been here still less than 6 months, it was quite startling to me! My shock only paled in comparison to how the real apostles must have felt back in the day. I can't even imagine.

Hope your celebrations of this liturgical holiday were as exciting. If not, you're welcome here next year!

Keep It Real!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hooked on the Stuff

My name is Maggie, and I'm a gear junkie.

There, I've admitted it. But I have no intention in completing the 11 other steps in the 12-Step program.

We have a closet full of camping and backpacking gear. You'd think we have enough, but apparently not. The weekend is half over and already we've been to the big sale at REI and spent most of the birthday money from my parents (thanks, Mom and Dad!). I got a new pair of hiking boots, which I'm told will last years and years and years. Also, both of our dogs got a dog pack as shown in the photo. We'd had this stuff less than 24 hours before hitting up a local trail for a day hike to try everything out.















If you're around Los Alamos this week and you see me wearing something on my feet other than the new boots, you've got my permission to smack me and tell me to go put them on. I need to put on some miles to break them in for the big trek to Mt. Lindsey over Memorial Day Weekend. Please note that the previous statement and permission do not count if I am in my own house (ahem, Leni).

Keep It Real!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Homecoming

Upon finishing 10 days in Wisconsin, I flew back to NM yesterday.

When my delayed flight finally arrived in Albuquerque, I felt like junk. Hours of traveling and not drinking enough water or eating well left me dehydrated and with a nasty headache. Despite my excitement to get home and see Leni and the dogs (not to mention sleep in my own bed!), I reluctantly decided to stay in ABQ with Nick and Claire rather than attempt the 2 hour drive not feeling well.

I finally got home this morning around 9:30. I was greeted by very happy dogs and a clean house. I'm waiting to see Leni in about an hour when he comes home for lunch. Closer inspection to the clean house revealed this:




















Guess someone was excited for me to get home. The only question now is who it was: Leni or the dogs?

Keep It Real!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Camp Consulting, Part I

Ever since I got to Wisconsin a week ago, it's been like reliving college.

The people are different and I'm not going to class like I did back in the day. But the main bullet points of what make a good college experience are still here. I'm eating crappy food between meals. I'm getting up early and going to bed way late. I'm sitting on couches talking to good friends. We're making trips to Starbucks. We're "heading over to the guys' house to watch a movie".

Two nights ago, I participated in my first triathlon. It was an epic event and I wish I'd trained more for it. Its title was "The Food Triathlon" and this was the second time it had been "run". It was created by good friend, Theresa, and new friend, Joe, last summer. It consists of a number of people sitting around a table full of copius amounts of the following:
  • Dr. Pepper (I know....you'd think I was back in TX instead of WI)
  • Frito Scoops & Queso
  • Ice Cream

No one gets up from the table until all of this food is gone. I'd say the night started off well and everyone finished the triathlon strong. Stories were different when we all saw each other for breakfast the next morning in the camp kitchen. I was hearing complaints of tummy aches and gas. I myself was just tired from having trouble falling asleep after eatching such crappy - but delicious - food. Uhg...I am invalidating any hard work I put in at the gym last week.

So here I am at Camp Gray with 4 more days to go before leaving. I'm sitting on a couch watching a movie, eating pretzels and enjoying my favorite Wisconsin brew. Tomorrow we finish up with a group that's been here for the weekend and then we'll get started Monday with my last group before leaving, a 3 day Environmental Stewardship retreat for some kids from Chicago. Should be a good time. Never a dull or lazy moment at camp in May!

Keep It Real!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May Adventures

Up here in the mountains of northern New Mexico, we welcomed in the month of May with this:


























Never fear. The snow is gone and today's high temperature is supposed to be 76.

It's turning out to be a more exciting month than I thought it would be. First of all, yesterday was Star Wars Day....May the Fourth Be With You!

Secondly, I'm trying out a new recipe tonight in honor of Cinco de Mayo. It looks very flavorful and promising. (5/6 Update: it was!)

In bigger news, I'm being flown to a former place of employment, Camp Gray in Wisconsin, to help close out their year-round programming season. They turned up short-staffed for the last push to the finish line and I'm very blessed to have a flexible enough schedule to be able to go out and help. I'm quite grateful to those covering for my missed work at church here in Los Alamos and also quite excited to see my old stomping grounds and some really wonderful friends!

A little more than a week after returning from Wisconsin, we will be joining some friends from Texas and Kansas in an attempt to ascend Mt. Lindsey in southern Colorado over Memorial Day weekend.

Ain't she a beaut?
















Mt. Lindsey is just over 14,000 feet (known affectionately as a "14er"). For our friends, this is a big trip. We are so blessed to live very close and be able to shoot up to CO to do this as often as we want this summer. With this range being just about 4 hours from our house, we could shoot up on a regular weekend to hike or four wheel up one of these mountains and be back for a reasonable bed time on Sunday evening. I don't see it being a frequent occurrence but hopefully it will be more often than just this extended weekend trip up to Mt. Lindsey with friends.

After returning from the Mt. Lindsey trip, I'll have about a day to catch up at work, wash clothes, repack, and then jump a plane to another former place of residence, The Pines, for some assisting work there as well. That's getting into June and perhaps too far out for a May-centered post. My bad.

Keep It Real!