Masters of the Sod Universe!!

For Best Friends Build Day, my bestie and I helped out at Habitat for Humanity in San Juan Capistrano, CA. They are finishing up on an 18 home (9 duplex) community and it is pretty amazing! Some of the homes are specially designed to be accessible for the disabled, which is pretty cool.

The day started out slightly drizzly as I was driving to meet my bestie in Newport Beach. We were worried that it would start raining since I hadn’t brought a jacket, just a small sweater to stave off the chill.

We arrived at the site and had to park pretty far away since there was not that much parking next to the site. We walked over and signed in. We got out Habitat for Humanity lime-green shirts (not a bad lime-green, actually) and our awesome little work aprons.

After the health and safety meeting, we started to volunteer for teams. Since they were so far along on the houses, most of the groups involved planting. The teams were Planting, Tree Planting, Sodding, and Painting.

We ended up volunteering for the Sod Team since there were so few volunteers willing to lay grass. This means we were hauling around grass (they were heavy and awkward) and placing/installing it onto the front lawns. After we were done with the first lawn, our lead had us re-sod a portion of the small park/drainage area they had installed since the grass had died. We did an awesome job. The grass looked awesome when we were done with it.

After the first portion of the park, our lead directed us to dig out an area of dead grass so that we could re-sod. The soil was super dry and super hard so it involved quite a bit of time and effort to dig out the dead grass. There was a lot of kicking the top of the spades and cursing during this portion. Since the soil was so hard, our lead thought that we should also take a pick out there and loosen up the ground a bit so that the roots of the grass could actually break through and take hold. This was probably the worst part since we were already aching from getting the dead grass out. I think that this was when the sun started to finally come out and we were sweating a lot from the exertion. As Van said, “If this is what prison is like, I never want to go there”. The soil was so hard that even swinging the picks over our heads only made the soil indent about a 1/4 inch. It was pretty awful. Luckily, right afterwards, we broke for lunch.

The lunch was donated by a local restaurant and was a welcome change from the digging and pick-slinging we had been doing. Mostly it was burrito fixin’s, but they also brought a bow-tie pasta dish that had tomato sause, ricotta, and mozarella. It was very tasty. So tasty, in fact, that I somehow got tomato sauce all down my new H4H shirt, work apron, and down the back of my jeans. It was slightly messy.

After lunch, we fertilized and sodded (is that even a word) the newly bare earth in the park and set up to fix a couple more small patches and one last large patch of dead grass. It took forever to get everything done. They really should name the park after us.

All in all, it was an awesome experience. The only issues I have now are that my wrists and legs are killing me, but yeah, I feel good about it!

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Habitat for Humanity

I am really excited for this weekend. I am joining Habitat for Humanity on their Best Friend’s Build Day to help to build a house! I even get my own tool belt to keep. I heard the hard hats are pink though, so I am taking my own white one (that I usually use for work).

I think that this year I have done the most charitable work since high school. I ran a 5K to support women’s cancers and raised about $250, I donated money to a friend of mine for her half marathon, and now this…and it is only June! I feel great that I can afford to help out those less fortunate than I am (not that I am rich or anything).

Also, ever since I decided to start swimming in mornings before work, I have been extrememly productive. I sewed a cute project…started back up on my cross-stitch…and I have been writing a ton of proposals for work!

Phew! So busy!!

Thanks for reading!! See below for a picture of my sewing project!! It is super KAWAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the picture quality, my personal camera was at home.

–Psykoneko NYU!!!

This is the sewing project I did! Cutest thing EVER!!!

Camping FUN!!

So this weekend, we went camping to the north of Kernville in Sequoia. It was a great time! We went hiking around 2,000 year old sequoias…hugged some trees…cooked some chili and fajitas…made some s’mores… got some bug bites…and generally had a great time! It was my best friend’s birthday today so it was a trip for her. We have known each other since 7th grade (I think it has been 20 years now…don’t add up the years, it is just depressing) so I know pretty much everything about her. She is one of the awesome-est chicks I know. She was the one person I was always competing with in high school and she even inspired me to become a geologist!

I was majoring in Anthropology at the time and I was having a good time. In high school, we both belonged to a class called the Natural Environmental of Southern California (NESC). It combined biology and geology into a class that taught us everything about our wonderful, diverse state. So when we started college, she went into Geology at UC Riverside and I went into Anthropology at Cal State San Bernardino wanting to become a forensic anthropologist (this was pre-CSI, by the way). So I took all the anthro classes I was supposed to take and then reallized that with a Bachelor’s degree, I really couldn’t get a job doing what I wanted to do unless I kept going and got my PhD. By that time, I was hearing all of these great stories about these awesome geology camping trips from my BFF and I was getting super jealous. Then, I realized that what I really wanted to do was be active, be outside, and have a great time doing something that I love. Since I only had one class left for my BA in anthro, I decided to finish the degree and start on a second one…in Geology. It was the best decision I ever made. I ended up studying mines in Tasmania (Australia) for three weeks AND I spent 10 days in the Caribbean in Dominica drawing maps of the geology (before they filmed the Pirates of the Caribbean there).

All in all, I have her to thank for my experiences and for my awesome job.

Happy Birthday chica, I love you! You inspire me!! And, as always….YOU ROCK!!