Monday, March 26, 2012

What I've been up to.

It is spring. I was told not to believe the early signs, but even the trees have given in. I spent half of Saturday looking for and marveling at wildflowers, and I have decided that spring is amazing.

But, ephemeral spring delights will be for another blog post. For now, I am long past due for a general update of what I've been up to.

First, Spring is a month early. Right now, there should be more snow and less rain. But there is rain and sunshine, and I'm not complaining. Because of this, I've been spending as much time as possible outside. Last weekend I taught a friend how to play Kubb, Saturday I went out hiking and exploring, and during the week I spend my breaks taking walks around SSE. Everything is so very green and lovely.
The maple syrup cooker.

A few weeks ago, I went to a maple syrup boiling. This is a typical March activity once the sap gets flowing in the trees. Tom, the manager for Seed Savers Exchange's commercial production, invited us all to his house where we sat around in his garage and watched sap boil. The smell was amazing, and the syrup is the best I've ever had. It takes several hours to boil the water out of the tree phloem, after weeks of collecting the sap. You can see in the pictures the contraption he set up for this, as well as the trees the sap came from in his maple bush. He's a hunter, and has kept the antlers of every buck he's shot. All sorts of new culture for me, but what's not to love about some cheap beer and good company with the smells of camp fire and the promise of maple syrup?

Last weekend there was another contra dance, and I can now confirm that I freaking love contra dances.

I am now a Neighborhood Team Leader for the Obama campaign here in Decorah, Iowa. To get here, I've made phone calls, attended a house party, and even hosted a Women for Obama house party. I'll be heading up the youth initiative, working with some students on the Luther campus as well as attempting my best to work in town. It's kind of exciting to feel like I can actually do something and make a difference when it comes to political things, and Obama is a force I believe in. The Affordable Health Care act is one major step in the right direction towards making things better. BUT, I digress - I won't be getting political on here much. You can follow my political antics on twitter by following me @christydriftles.

I'm going to be getting roommates soon! I know I've spoken highly to the merits of living alone, but when the numbers come in I can't afford my place alone. Two rather nice girls have been looking for temporary housing in town, and I have an extra bedroom and a lot of open space. Not only will the company be nice, but I'm looking forward to being able to save for a few months while still looking for a smaller and cheaper place to live (which is rather difficult when you have a dog).

Also, I now have an official Iowa drivers license and license plates. I even got a fancy plate, paying the extra money to support Iowa Natural Resources. Iowa needs all it can get to preserve natural habitats, less than 1% of this land is devoted to it. But that, too, is for another blog post! What we have here, really, is me becoming a real Iowan. Or at least pretending in a more convincing way.

Welcome to spring, and my backyard.
On Sunday, I went to a Methodist church (I've tried Lutheran, Congregational Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalist ... you could say that I've been exploring my spirituality), then afterwards headed out to Castalia, Iowa to go to Greens' Sugar Bush. Here, they make a lot of maple syrup, and every year they host a massive all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast for $6. REALLY good syrup and pancakes, with maple sausages and applesauce. It was well worth the hour wait in line, and seeing the kids running around, riding horses and everyone interacting all friendly like was awesome. People come from miles around. As if my day couldn't be fuller, I went to see Hunger Games (they actually showed a movie on it's opening weekend in Decorah, and one that I wanted to see!) and a BBQ after full of dogs and co-workers. Nice way to have a weekend, eh?

Life has been busy in a very good way. Everything is waking up and so many things are happening ... I really like it. And I like that, unlike before, all of this new and change is a lot more manageable. It really is an exciting adventure, where I'm experiencing all kinds of new things in a magical almost child-like way. I'm enjoying this approach to life.

1 comment:

  1. Fresh, real maple syrup sound amazing! I want waffle or pancakes now.

    BTW - in case you forgot... you're amazing!