Showing posts from May, 2007

A quiet day

Today I chose to be consciously aware of my surroundings when walking home from work, and I was pleasantly surprised. At lunch time, as I sauntered down Old Main Hill, I could smell the sweet pollen from the trees. The grass was green, almost too green, and the whir of bicycle tires against pavement surprised me as a cyclist raced toward the bottom.

I am lucky to live in such a beautiful world- and even luckier to live only two houses from the children's school. Every day when I walk home I get to see them playing their games with each other, calling out names, tagging each other, and hiding behind the trees in the park. Their shrill screams of joy and youthful laughter always put a smile on my face. Today, a group of girls had settled in the middle of the sidewalk with a bucket of chalk, and were plastering the walkway with the colors of their imaginations. "Teacher, look, I'm drawing a purple unicorn!" or "Teacher, this is a picture of my mom." I chuckled …

The Valley Mountains

I always appreciate the drive out of the valley, and coming back in. The beauty of our small town catches me by surprise from time to time, especially when I take a look around and see how we are surround/trapped by the looming mountains. I find it comforting.

This first picture is the west mountains (the Wellsville mountains), on the drive out of the valley. As you can see, the Wellsvilles still have some snow left, despite our temperatures that have been in the 80's F.

The second picture, the east mountains when coming back in.

Book review: New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding

New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding - American Academy of Pediatrics

This book was a random find a thrift store, and being the curious young woman that I am, interested in motherhood and the possibility of my own family someday, I decided to pick it up and read. I've never been pregnant, nor do I plan to be a mother any time soon, but I might as well educate myself while I have the time. I didn't have the slightest clues about breastfeeding before reading this book...

My own family has been discrete in their choices about breastfeeding- I do not know how my mother feels about length of time children should be breastfed, and I've never heard a peep from my father about breastfed children. The only reference I have is that when my mother was nursing my youngest brother she often visited the local Le Leche league if she was having troubles. Even has a mother of 4 previous children, she still had trouble the fifth time around. That information, coupled with the books main po…

Birth control availability

Kudos to Brazil for opening up to women's rights.

I am a strong support of the Planned Parenthood Federation here in the US- the program makes birth control a viable choice to many women who might otherwise be unable to afford this form of family planning. In addition to birth control, Planned Parenthood offers counseling to assist men and women in making the best choices for themselves and their future families, womens' yearly check-ups, pregnancy testing and std testing and treatment.

For your info- Planned Parenthood offers a sliding pay scale based on income, and most people I know pay on a donation only basis, meaning pay what you are able (whether that be the full amount ... near $100 for the entire medical checkup, tests, and a month of birth control... or only half, or none one month. Birth control pills run near $15 - $20 per month.)

So women, if you are reading, know there is somewhere to go if you are unable to visit a doc…

And in the beginning


I'm mandolin, and I'm a college student, young in age, with a passion for all things enjoyable. I work, play, and play some more. In addition to my regular full-time employment, a job at which I get paid to do whatever I want- read, play on the internet, homework, crochet, and even nap on occasion, I'm also the volunteer coordinator for a non-profit, fair trade gift shop. Currently, most of my spare time is spent at the store as we are revamping our whole system- new computers, new Point of Sales, new accounting program, administrative changes, volunteer training, etc.

What do I study at the university? I study whatever I want! This view, however, has proven a disadvantage- they've put a hold on my registration until I declare a major (3 years of study without a chosen path is frowned upon). I considered majoring in English, but I like the linguistic aspects, not literature so much. I pondered linguistics, but all they offer here is a minor. I'm nearly d…

Book review: Separated by Duty, United in Love

Separated by Duty, United in Love - Written by Shellie Vandevoorder

A random find at Hastings book & movie store, this book is a guide for the spouses of men and women in the US military. The author outlines the predictable, usual problems that families face when a loved one is deployed, such as finances, loneliness, and even death. The information is practical, and throughout the book women give their opinions on day-to-day life without their loved one.

Honestly, I don't have that much to write about this book. Some of her advice is valuable, but I'm not married to someone in the armed forces. The main point I took from the book is that while missing a loved one is bad enough, dealing with children in the same situation is much worse. It takes a strong woman to support a military man. Her writing style was simple, and there is nothing more to find by reading it a second time through. Would I recommend it? Sure, if you're in a relationship in which one or both partners …

My New Boyfriend

I feel lucky to have such a wonderful partner in my life...

Last Saturday we were able to spend a couple hours of quality time together. He made me sweat profusely (always a good thing), exhausted my lower body muscles, and when we arrived at First Dam for our picnic he just sat quietly. The shade was a welcome guest into our party after such a workout...

Over the past days, even weeks, he has been the light shining into my darkness. He's absolutely loyal (I am his first), he's always around, never complains, and his performance is excellent.

Man, I'm so glad that I have a new bicycle (even with a seat that I haven't quite adjusted to)- it really is better than a boyfriend.

Book Review: The Red Tent

The Red Tent, written by Anita Diamant This book was handed to me by a friend, and I was told I would love it. I thought her confidence was a bit odd, considering that we had never really discussed our literary preferences before- but, she was right.

The Red Tent is a fictional story of the life of Dinah- a woman from the bible. Dinah was the sister of Joseph, and the daughter of Jacob (who was the son of Isaac, who was the son about to be sacrificed by knife at the altar, by his own father Abram). Again, this is a fictional account of her life. It is an amazing and powerful story, however is only an embellishment to the little information we are given about Dinah in the bible.

The title of the book, The Red Tent, is a reference to the location where women spent their womanly times. During menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, etc women retired to the red tent to bask in the glory of womanhood and celebrate the blessings (and curses) only mothers and daughters can experien…