Sunday, July 29, 2012

Oops I did it again. . .

Sorry this is two days late.  It has been a busy year, and the end is only busier! 

So I left off on Friday the 20th, and now it's Sunday, the 29th.  Since the list format has always worked best for me, I'll stick with that.

-pack car
-drive 7 hours to L.A.
-sleep on floor

-Wake up and start driving to downtown

-See Walt Disney concert hall
-Drive along Sunset Blvd and pass the Hollywood Stars

-See Hollywood Bowl and Hollywood sign

-Picnic there
-Drive to San Diego (4 hours with traffic)
-See Corondo
-Last party at San Diego JV House

-Sleep on floor

-Sleep on Corondo Beach while casamates go swimming

-Drive to retreat camp, just outside of L.A. (2.5 hours)
-Start JVC retreat, Dis-orientation



-Drive 7 hours back to Sacramento
-Stop at Ghiradelli outlet store for ice cream
-Sleep in bed

-Talk with my neighbor Dave

-Drinks after work with Mom (the exucutive director's of L&F, Sister Libby, mom who volunteers at the park every Friday)
-Watch Olympic opening ceremonies with Casa Jane

-Hike to Angora Lake in Tahoe
-See Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe


And now I'm writing my blog!!

Some points need explaining, such as Dave, work, and Dis-o.

Dis-o: We were at a children's camp with low-lying bunk beds, not enough bathrooms, and cafeteria food.  Other JVC retreats have had not the best accomdations, but this was just like summer camp! We even shared the camp, swimming pool, and dining room with an elementary Bible camp called "Beaver Believers!" (They were great and lead each meal with a song/prayer.) Other than the facilities, the retreat was emotional.  (I don't cry, but others did.) It was filled with wrap-up meetings, evaluations, paperwork, reflections, and togetherness.  It was preety good, but emotionally draining.

Dave: My 80 year old neighbor who is wise and talkative! We are going out Tuesday night to say goodbye.  I will miss talking/listening to him. As much as I tried, he would not give me a Mustang. (He has 4, plus a garage full other cool cars.)

Work: You have heard a lot about work, so I don't have to describe just how chaotic it was.  Work just seemed more hectic due to the fact that I was gone at peaceful place the last 4 days.  Everything just seemed tougher.  Remaining patient, calm, and friendly when people aroung me weren't, was harder than I remembered.  It also is the end of the month, which accounts for a little more craziness.

Tonight we have dinner with my spiritual director and her community.  This week is full of goodbye plans, and my last week of work.  Emotional to say the least!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Under pressure!

Got to make this post quick because I'm leaving for a casa vacation/Dis-O in an hour and got to tidy up still!

Here was the week:

Friday- JV goodbye party.  Nice. Goodbye. Sad.
Saturday- toured city, Eric went away.
Sunday- church, cleaned, usual.
Monday- doctor check-up.
Tuesday- blood test, happy hour with Nick.
WEdnesday- California state fair with Bridget, Nick, and Drew!! Totally fun! (Picture to come.)
Thursday- Sister Claire, Dave, cooked dinner, midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Friday- 2 hours of sleep, work, blog post.

Next will be packing the car, drive, sleepover at JV casa in LA.
Saturday- tour a little bit of LA in morning, drive to San Diego, visit, sleepover at JV casa in San Diego.
Sunday- Brunch in San Diego, drive to LA. Go to Dis Orientation til Wednesday, then drive back to Sacramento that night!

I'll tell you more about DisO next week.

Got to go!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Like A Record Baby. . . Right Round Round Round

I feel like a broken record when I write these posts.  Almost every week it is the same story- this week has been a roller coaster of emotion. . . like all weeks.

The weekend was great; it was filled with lots of fun, friends, JV merriment, and acceptable bed times! (I usually go to bed around 9:30pm. . . on the weekend I stayed up 'til 11:30!!)

But then it was Monday.  Mondays are the worst day at the park because our guests have gone without services all weekend.  Everyone scrambles to get as much as they can, and that means tons of work for the green hats.  Nothing too bad happened, I just remember feeling worn out.  It was also my dad's birthday, and I was kinda bummed about not being with him.  That was probably part of the worn out feeling.  Later that night, we had a community night where Angie (the director of Mustard Seed School where Kathleen and Tessa work) took us rock climbing! I had never been, and it was exciting! I did a little rock wall with a harness, some bouldering, but I mainly just worked out at the gym portion of the facility.  It was a great night!

Tuesday, was a normal work day. . . except this week has been exceptionally hot!  It was over 100 degrees, and two things happen in the park when it's hot: 1. People get easily irritated (myself included) and 2. people get lethargic (myself included as well).  After the work day, I had spiritual direction with Sister Claire, who took me for ice cream- a wonderful treat!  We talked for about 2 hours, ending with a lesson in gifts.  Sister Claire introduced me to a homeless women, Devora, who taught her the greatest lesson she ever learned- gifts are about the person giving the gift, not the person receiving it.  If you want the full story, please call me up to talk about it!

Later that evening, my wise neighbor Dave took Krystal, Alice and me out to dinner.  It was a nice dinner at The Elephant Bar.  We learned more about Dave, and Dave taught us invaluable lessons only an 80 year old man can.

On Wednesday, I had the greatest meal I've ever had in Sacramento! Don't get me wrong, I have been to some great restaurants here, and the lunch provided by Loaves & Fishes is surprising tasty, but this meal out did them all!  Our Tuesday Volunteer, Tuesday Bob, took Krystal and me out to eat at The Press Bistro.  He had the valet take our car (glamorous!) and he said not to think about price! Bob insisted Krystal and I start with cocktails and he ordered three tapas plates and an appetizer.  All were delicious, but the appetizer out did them all! It was seared pork belly served with glazed peaches and an arugula salad with almonds.  YUM!! The combination of sweetness from the peaches, tangy-ness of arugula, and buttery/fatty goodness from the pork belly was to die for!!!  We then had fantastic entrees and three deserts we all split.  It was heaven in a meal!

Thursday work was pretty typical, followed by a lovely phone call to my beautiful sister Beth, fun happy hour with my friend Nick, and magnificent (and sad) dinner with Casa Jane.  Eric, a JV from Casa Jane, is leaving this weekend to go to med school in New York.  He has become a good friend of mine in the past year, and I will miss him dearly. 

Today, Friday, was another day at work.  To explain what that means would be impossible.  It is a crazy chaotic mess that is sad, funny, and wonderful all at the same time.  Here are a few short stories as examples:
-Crazy Gary lent me his Rudyard Kipling book to read a few poems out of.  Monday, he will bring me a few William Blake poems and the speech that JFK had in his pocket when he was assassinated.
-John Gomez hugged me again. And then he got very loud and angry when his radio wouldn't work.  After a few minutes, I broke down and gave him another one.  My need to be liked wins again.
-Good ol' Tom landed on our doorstep yesterday.  He is a fifty year old man with the mental capacity of a 5 year old.  I'm still not sure if he's playing us, or real.  I give him the benefit of the doubt and help him when possible, but am still skeptical.
-A hospital dropped off a John Doe today.  He has no recollection who he is, where he is, or where he came from.  After an hour talking to him (so I missed BINGO- sorry guys!), the police finally came and I left them to straighten it out.  As I was leaving, he got up to follow me like a lost puppy.  I teared up.
-Joe keeps asking me to marry him.
-Cedric said wedding vows to Cameron (our summer volunteer) and I.  According to Cedric, Cam and I are now married.  He witnessed it.
-Rush and Humble are new to the park.  They didn't go to the teen shelter (they said they were too old) so I directed them to Union Gospel Mission.  I hate it there.

 I could go on.  There are so many people I see every day, and there's a new interaction with each one of them.

I'm going to miss it.

Tonight is the JV/MV thank you party hosted by Loaves & Fishes.  An after party will follow, time and place still TBD.  Tomorrow I don't have anything planned, but I want to hang out with Casa Jane one last time before Eric leaves.  Sunday will be the usual (mass, brunch, paperwork).

Friday, July 6, 2012

Going to the Chapel of Love

Yes. . . wedding bells are ringing. . . mock bells that is!  It is the weekend of the JVC Mock Wedding hosted by Casa Jane Addams (the other JV house in Sacramento) and I'm super pumped!  The weekend will be full of JVs, wedding party plans, and all around good times!!

But that is this weekend. . . Let's talk about my SUPER FANTASTIC HIGHLIGHT of my LIFE!!!


1. As part of our going away party next weekend, Loaves & Fishes asked us to take pictures of our favorite guests.  I had the camera with me the first few days, and on Tuesday, I worked up the courage to ask John to take a photo with me.

*Back story: John hates women.  He was once a history professor whose wife was killed about 15 years ago, suffered a mental breakdown, and has been living on the streets since. He stands somewhere in the park, and just lectures. He believes we are all part of the CIA, and will not talk to any woman in authority. A few weeks ago, as Krystal and I were walking to work, John said Krystal and I weren't his enemies and wished us a good day! Since then, he has asked me a little about where I'm from and my background. He even called me "demure and well-behaved."

Not only did he take a picture with me, but he leaned his head in!

2. On Wednesday, the 4th of July, we had to work.  John was there, but refuses to eat in the dining room. We gave away survival kits with the lunch tickets, so John didn't get one. When asked if he wanted one, he said he wanted a radio instead.  I searched for a radio, gave it to him, and he was so grateful, HE GAVE ME A HUG!!

Later we found out, he hasn't hugged someone in 5 years.


3. Yesterday (Thursday) John invited me to have lunch with him, and his mentor/friend Mark. He joked with me, saying that I would have to roll a cigarette first! Today (Friday), I ate lunch with him and Mark (fish and chips) while they smoked cigars and talked history.

It was the greatest week ever!!

John has been known to have mood swings (one day he'll like someone, next day he won't) and I don't expect his niceness to me to last, but it is great right now! 

Now for a fantastic weekend! Yeah!