Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bittersweet Nightshade

My neighbor’s grandson asked if he could earn some cash to save up for some new school sneakers.  After washing two cars I had him cutting back some of our bushes and unwanted plants.  He was asking me if these red berries were edible, I told him I doubted it but was curious enough to look them up.  This post a high school group (SOLVE Green Team) wrote where I made my determination that my berries were Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara).  Wiki calls it “an invasive problem weed”.  Good thing we decided against a taste testing.

Bittersweet nightshade (solanum dulcamara)

Bittersweet nightshade (solanum dulcamara)


Afternoon at Fall Creek

My sister wanted to get to the water so we decided to take a drive to Fall Creek today with my dog Loki.  Luke warm water today with a high of 87 there were a few boats out; other than one family gathering we were on our own for the most part.

Fall Creek

Fall Creek

Fall Creek is an unincorporated community southeast of Springfield/Eugene.  In 2000 there were only 1553 people living there.  Not sure there’s any more than that.

Fall Creek Dam

Fall Creek Dam

Fall Creek has spots for boats, camping, picnics, hikes, and appears dog friendly.  At least Loki thought so.

Loki the scavenger

Loki the scavenger

All in all a relaxing afternoon with my sister and our guy Loki, enjoying the Oregon summer.

Always up for an adventure.

Always up for an adventure.

 

 


Ukrainian Festival

A short stop to see the Ukrainian Festival in Springfield with these little performers.  IMGP4097

I love the look of joy on the face of the boy with the pink sign in his hand!

I love the look of joy on the face of the boy with the pink sign in his hand!

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The senior high group.

The senior high group.


Door Fence and Other Sightings

Today I had a great lunch with my friend Shannon and then she agreed to go find this door fence my friend Bob had told me about.  Funny enough we were having trouble finding it and then I saw this mural and said, “Well if we don’t find it I can always take a picture of this mural!”

Mural by Kari Johnson

Mural by Kari Johnson

Funny enough had we just looked around the corner to the right of this mural we would have seen the door fence!

4th and Monroe

4th and Monroe

 

Can you see me?

Can you see me?

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In total there are 16 doors on this fence. One set of doors does seem to be the gate.

Lantern plant

Lantern plant; tried to see if I could get around the door fence to see what it would look like from the other side. No success but found this instead.

 


Finding Sovereignty in Social Work

Ignite Inner Strength

*This post was previously published while I worked at The Prevention Researcher on September 30th, 2009; a journal on adolescent development.

“To own and wield the wisdom of leadership is to claim ourselves, to recognize the strong force that we already are, to stop falling into the traps of social conditioning that would keep us small, and to stand in full sovereignty over our own lives.” –Dede Henley in The Secret of Sovereignty

Personally I’ve always pushed myself hard, whether it is to do well in school, to become a more advanced soccer coach, a better pet owner, a more rounded person, or a stronger life partner and friend.  During the spring of 2008 I went to a one-day conference on Women’s Leadership sponsored by the Dede Henley Group.  Inspired by this one-day conference, I signed up for a 9-month course called “Women Leading Women.”  Our entire class met once…

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Familiness & Strengthening Family Resilience

Ignite Inner Strength

*This blog post was first published on December 11th, 2010 in The Prevention Researcher blog, a journal on adolescent development that I worked for.  The journal’s last issue is being published 9/2013.

Over the past month, I have been reading and thinking about this concept called familiness.  “Familiness reminds us as individuals and as members of particular families to think always about possible alternate structures and sets of functions that constitute family for others” (Shriver, 2011, p. 274).  This concept has been helpful when looking at the challenges of the holidays.  Often there is a mixed bag of emotions as the holidays approach: who do we include in our holiday planning, how are members included or not included, which family members are no longer living, and how might we celebrate with our friends or others we consider family instead?  These are just a few questions that come to mind.

In…

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Working with homeless teens & their families in a shelter setting

Ignite Inner Strength

*This post previously was published when I worked for The Prevention Researcher November 17, 2008. This journal on adolescent development is coming to a close this September.

I had the privilege of case managing homeless families for over four years at an agency called ShelterCare here in Eugene, Oregon. The program I worked at was called Brethren Housing, which provided temporary housing for four families and also single adults with mental illness.

Research reports that the primary cause of family homelessness is the cost of housing [http://www.endhomlessnes.org/files/1224_file_FamliesFMac.pdf]. There just isn’t enough low cost housing and the income families bring in is too low for the housing that is available. Five million American households spend more than 50% of their budgets on housing (the federal standard is 30%) or they live in severely substandard conditions. Families often came to us after living at another shelter, having lived with other family members…

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