Tagged: nature

Seven Quick Takes Friday (Vol. Arizona)

— 1 —

Last Friday, I was in Flagstaff, AZ, on the way to the Grand Canyon. I had never been before. It was like I expected.


Because of our timeline, we didn’t schedule hiking or anything down in the actual canyon. We will next time we go.



— 2 —

We did some hiking at Sunset Crater National Monument.

lenox trail
This was while it was still warm. The ash flow was so cool. I think this was my favorite part.



That’s me. Wearing my sneakers with a skirt. Yeah, I rocked that.



— 3 —

On Thursday, when we landed, we immediately went here:


MacAlipine’s. If you’re ever in Phoenix, I highly suggest this place. The food was great, and they can make all kinds of mil shakes and cream sodas.

— 4 —

The only hard part about coming back was being so t ired. I just didn’t sleep that much over the vacation.



— 5 —

San Diego was cool, too. Good food, for sure.
Most of my vacation was delicious food.

— 6 —

Now I’m home and my plan is to make delicious food here. Of course!

— 7 —

I also found out I got a garden plot through the community garden program. 10 square feet of dirt.
Mid-May I’ll be planting tomatoes and herbs and onions and carrots and everything!
I’m really over-excited about this because I’ve wanted a garden so long, but it’s been impossible with apartments.



I was that close to that mule deer. They’re big. Big big. Like I didn’t know deer were that big.

God bless.

For more (and better!) Quick Takes, find everyone else at Conversion Diary!


Leave it a little better

What if we always left the place a little nicer than we found it?

Every time I use a bathroom, I pick up something that’s on the floor. I wipe off the wet counter. I leave it just a little nicer for the next person.
I don’t spend an hour cleaning. I spend an extra two seconds grabbing the paper towel that fell on the floor.
I think if someone walks into a room, and it’s clean, he’ll try to keep it that way.
If it’s already messy, he’ll try to keep it that way.
It’s really an unconscious thing.
So at my bathroom at work, I pick up the paper towels.
And I’m on a mission to clean the entire thing by just spending a few extra seconds in there every time I use it.
I wipe off the soap residue from the sink. I dusted the heating vent a few weeks ago over several days.
Usually, I just use my wet paper towel and wipe something.
If I did this everywhere I go, the world would be much better.
Nicer, neater, cleaner.
And maybe it will sway others to do the same.
I don’t go out of my way to change the world. But if a piece of trash is on my way, I’ll grab it and throw it away.
It’s not hard to do something nice for someone or the world.
I make it a goal to do it everyday. Or try to do it at least. Sometimes, our best intentions don’t work.
On Friday, I tried to cover the last few dollars on an elderly woman’s grocery bill. She couldn’t cover it.
She refused, but I tried.
She said thank you.
I hope that doesn’t come off in the wrong way.
It’s hard to not cross the line of being over-generous or domineering in those situations.
I wanted to help, I wasn’t trying to flaunt my own personal financial success. I just happened to have some cash in my wallet right then. I normally don’t have cash and wouldn’t usually be able to help in times like that.
What about when I leave my own bathroom?
Not really the same thing, and as I write this post, I’m vowing to take better care of my own things.
Maybe I can put the hand towel back the way it’s supposed to be. Maybe I can make sure my tissues are all in the garbage can. Maybe I can wipe off the toothpaste from the sink.
And what about the rest of my apartment? What about my car?
I shouldn’t just be treating the rest of the world with respect. I should be treating my own things that way, too.
So, when I get out of my car tonight after work, I’m going to grab something and put it away. The gloves that are still in my back seat that need to go to Goodwill.
(Speaking of Goodwill, I took a whole storage tub full of stuff there yesterday. It was so nice to get rid of things.)
When I take off my shoes and jacket, I’m going to make sure my clothes hooks are organized.
These things will only take a few extra seconds, yet I’ll have a cleaner place.
And I’m going to keep going with my mission to clean the bathroom at work, and maybe start that same mission with everywhere I go.
The village offices I see weekly.
It’s funny how many bathrooms I’m thinking of right now, haha.
What small thing can you do to make it better? Nicer? Cleaner?
And it doesn’t always have to be cleaning or putting away. It could be bringing flowers to somewhere that needs flowers. Opening a window to somewhere that needs air.
Opening the blinds, finding the remote control or stacking the dishes.
As I write that list, I realize it’s mostly cleaning.
But they aren’t hard things. They aren’t things that take a long time.
Try it. Tell me how it goes.
God Bless.

Snow and ice and everything nice

First of all… THIS:

Just, you know. Watch it.

It’s snowing. I got to work at 8:45 this morning. Not yet snowing. Just this… icey rain. It was pretty.

Left the office about… 12:30. Beautiful, huge, white fluffy snow falling all over and clinging to everything. It’s that heavy, white, wet snow. So fluffy and pack-y, and if I had a yard I’d be making a snow man. And snow angels. And throwing snow balls at my boyfriend and making bear tracks in the snow haha.

It’s that kind of awesome winter snow. I love it. And it keeps going. I cleared off 2 1/2 inches from my car at 2 p.m. And if I could see my car from my apartment, I’d tell you how much more is already piled on it. Awesome.

I hope you can tell how much I love snow and winter…


Tomorrow is my birthday. My full-on, no-longer in my “earlier 20s” birthday. 26. 26 years old. Tomorrow. Wow.

I’m making a cookie mousse thing. It’s coffee and chocolate flavored. How else could I celebrate. All homemade of course. I’ll post a photo tomorrow.

I’m bringing the pan to work to share with everyone. I don’t want to ruin the 13 lbs that I lost in my January Whole30. Nope.

So, happy birthday to me, and enjoy this other video.

I love snow, I love cats and I love my birthday.

God bless.

Genesis 1:1-2:4

Agape Bible Study begins

I decided to continue with the Agape study instead of “The Story“.

It was a good decision.

I read Genesis 1:1-2:4 last night (which I haven’t read since my Old Testament/Hebrew Bible class when I was a… when I was in college).

It was good. I remembered talking about the four different contributions to the Torah (first five books, the Book of Moses): JEPD.

  • J: Yahwist source
  • E: Elohist source
  • P: Priestly source
  • D: Deuteronomist

You can check out the “Documentary hypothesis” on Wikipedia. It’s insightful.

According to the Agape Bible study (and what I’ve gleaned over the years as well), the Catholic Church is not to hot and bothered about the Documentary hypothesis. I tried to forget this as I was reading. And I’ll try even harder when I get to 2:5.

I just printed the notes and questions for Genesis 1:1-2:4, so I haven’t reviewed and don’t really call last night’s reading “a study” of it. I’ll catch up today with the next chapter and all the notes.


Because the trees are starting to notice it’s fall.

Cropped, corrected color (levels).

It was absolutely gorgeous yesterday. I took these with my work camera, the Nikon D50.

I love the changing of the seasons. It’s just another time to be grateful for what we’ve been given, what we get to see. It’s so easy to become complacent when we see the same things every day, so season changes help.

I should have gone to Mass today…

Because it’s one of my favorite readings:

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!
What profit has man from all the labor
which he toils at under the sun?
One generation passes and another comes,
but the world forever stays.


But, St. Patrick’s only has a communion service on Thursday (only!).

Maybe I’ll go to Adoration today. I have some time saved for that.

God Bless.

Remember the unborn today (and every day).

40 Days

It begins today.

(But really the fight is constant.)

I decided to give up buying any coffee/coffee type drink during the observance of 40 Days for Life.

Not because it’s ridiculously expensive either. Because it’s something I like to do a few times a week, and it’s a sacrifice I can make.

Please, add something to or remove something from your daily life in remembrance of those unborn children who have lost their lives because of selfishness or ignorance or despair. I try not to judge. I can’t imagine the pain and fear women go through when they realize they are pregnant.

Here’s a prayer from Priests for Life:

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.
I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
by the Resurrection of Your Son.
I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.
I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all,
Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

(Prayer link here.)

Lake photos

I’m going to post at a different size than the last photo post, hopefully this is easier.

I went down to “the lake” Monday evening. I’ve been working in a city named after the lake since July, yet it’s taken me over two months to go down there. Part of me was avoiding the summer tourists. Another (whole) part of me can’t swim so why bother?

It was beautiful. In fact, I’m already a convert and will be visiting again soon. If not today, this weekend.

The above photo: cropped, corrected color. The water is so crystal clear and clean. It was amazing.

Relaxing for sure.

And this one. Taken at the same time. I love the way the sunlight is just bleaching out all the color in this photo, making it look like an old-processed black and white film.


Cropped, increased contrast (just a tiny bit), corrected color.

This one. Ahhhh.

Can’t you see yourself here? Come on down to the lake. The water’s fine.

I just cropped this one. I tried to correct the color, but the water kept turning green or purple, which is not correct at all.

It’s a little deceiving, there is a dock immediately to the left of the crop and some boats to the right. But a picture doesn’t have to tell the whole story.

God Bless.