Sunday, November 25, 2012


After a Thanksgiving spent with friends, coworkers, Addy the Dog, fantastic food, Jumanji and the Patriots creamin' the Jets… this image was the icing on the cake.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


30-D POD: 30

We went to the Portland Art Museum last night for "Free Fourth Friday" admission! The 4th floor was very modern and very much so my favorite. This piece stood out the most. Reduce, reuse recycle… into art!

And on this patriotic note, my 30 Day, Photo of the Day mission is completed. I may have not been very punctual all the time but these 30 photos represent the last month of my little life.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Douglas Fir

30-D POD: 29

Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Pioneer Square in a Portland drizzle; even the Hilton is all lit up!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Full of Turkey

30-D POD: 28

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last Thanksgiving, I was living on a team of 11 people, 45 miles out of the nearest town, in the Anza Borrego Desert. We had the holiday off and decided to volunteer at Julian, CA Town Hall by feeding the hungry, the homeless, the tourists, the veterans, the locals and stuffing ourselves with candied yams. I remember the chill in the air. Winter was approaching, even in Southern California. I talked to people who came through the line as I served them mashed potatoes out of serving trays and pouring ladles of gravy over their plates. They told me how thankful they were for my AmeriCorps NCCC's team service that day.

In my family, Christmas was always the largely celebrated holiday. We'd done the Thanksgiving dinners at home for years but it slowly just became easier to just go order a meal in a restaurant. No dishes! By the time I was working at CVS, I was pulling double shifts on Thanksgiving to get Christmas off. Meme wanted to have a home cooked meal though for Turkey Day 2010 and I closed the store early to get home. I'm glad I did because it was the last Thanksgiving I had with her.

After my team and I finished cleaning up Town Hall last year and started the long drive home, reality started settling around me. Not only was it my first Thanksgiving away from home but it was the first holiday season without my Meme. My team had heard me speak of her quite often but I needed their support that night more than anything. Missing her, still grieving her recent passing and still adjusting to my new endeavor of service, I took it upon myself as we sat around and ate more pie at our campsite, to start a sharing circle. I wanted to read to my team what I wrote and read aloud at Meme's funeral. This was the first time I cried when I read it since I wrote it. Heck, I didn't even cry when I wrote it! My teammates each ended up opening up and sharing some of their deep thanks. It was a milestone for our team's growth and I'm glad Meme was a bridge for that. I was most thankful to know how proud Meme was of me before she passed and even though she didn't get to hear about my stories on the other end of a phone line, I know she got to see all that I accomplished in my year of service.

Now that I'm back on the West Coast, this time in Portland but still not able to afford the time or the plane ticket, I'm absent from my family's festivities again. However, my fantastic supervisor, Nicole hosted an "Orphan Thanksgiving" for my new team of six. Four of us were able to bring dishes and many friends were in attendance. We made these handy-dandy-turkeys that are posted above (mine is the one with the umbrella) while waiting for the real deal to cook and over a fantastic dinner, we each spoke of where we were last year and what we were thankful for this year.

This year, I am thankful for my AmeriCorps experiences. In NCCC, I learned hands-on skills, traveled through California, met many angels of the day, learned how to appreciate love, improved my leadership capability, grew with my team and opened a door that lead right to where I am now, sitting here on my bed in Oregon, serving a second year of AmeriCorps. It was been life-shaping and I am grateful.

Miss you, Mem. Xoxo.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Got Thyme?

30-D POD: 26

I've got plenty of Thyme for my sweet Italian feast that I'm preparing for a visiting friend this weekend!

Monday, November 19, 2012


30-D POD: 25

In exactly 6 months, I will be on my way to Seattle for the Spring 2013 Build-a-Thon for Habitat! I love this photo! The piers, the Space Needle, the city, the ocean! I hope I can get up there for some puddle jumping soon!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


30-D POD: 24

The largest Women Builder's group that I have seen on site yet!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hawthorn Bridge

30-D POD: 23

At a board meeting, downtown, up on the 21st floor with suits and ties… and I'm in jeans and a baseball cap. The car is dead, parked in a lot we aren't suppose to be in but the view up here is fantastic!

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Put a bird on it!"

30-D POD: 22

This is our newest bedroom tapestry behind Jenna's bed.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Aunt Pat

30-D POD: 21

I spent the weekend with friends from San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and my Aunt Pat who escaped the weather in New Jersey!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


30-D POD: 20

Not Vegas, just my neighborhood TriMet Max stop.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


30-D POD: 18

I've never had a red pear before and it was so good, I nearly forgot to take a picture of it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


30-D POD: 17

When my supervisor told me this space heater had "a little" flames to watch out for, she wasn't kidding.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


30-D POD: 16

Just an awesome day at work under an early Winter Portland sky.

Monday, November 5, 2012


30-D POD: 16

"Remember, remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder, treason and plot…"

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012


30-D POD: 14

Small accomplishment: I had to disassemble this vent, install the blocking and reassemble the vent!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


30-D POD: 13

I've always hated seeing smashed pumpkins the morning after Halloween but it frustrates me even more when I see them in the neighborhood I am helping construct.