the great outdoors

This weekend we went hiking! This trail is probably the best there is, since it is only 4 miles AND it has a waterfall at the top.

Michael had never been there, and I wanted to surprise him so… I didn't tell him where we were headed! I had him wear his swimsuit (it's tradition that you get in the freezing, numbing water under the falls…) I tried to convince him that he was doing a triathlon, and that that was the reason for the swimsuit. He didn't buy it. He somehow did manage to concoct some idea of a church pool party, despite the fact that yours truly was not dressed to go swimming.

Nature allows me to leave the world behind.

Nature allows Michael to be a daredevil.

This was before he realized how cold the water is…

While he was swimming, I found this beauty…

He was pretty anxious to get out of the water!

Mist.

And we met Rocky, probably the most fun dog in the world. His owner was a really nice elderly gentleman who let us play with him! We threw the stick into the water and Rocky dove out to get it every time! =)

the music in me

I love music. I started singing in a choir in 5th grade, then in 9th grade I started learning guitar. I've always loved playing, but for awhile I didn't practice much at all. Now that it's summer and I have time, I've been picking it up and practicing most days. My fingers hurt, and I love it! Right now I'm attempting to master singing and playing simultaneously… it isn't as easy as it looks!

delicious

I believe this is the first time I've posted a recipe on here! I guess I'm just not good at sharing, huh? =)

Anyway, these cookies are delicious. If you need… uh, *ahem*… I mean want, some chocolate, these are for you. They're a bit softer and "cakier" than other cookies, but still scrumptious.

Click here for the recipe!

neglect

Today when a friend of mine called, I could tell something was not right. When she told me what was going on, I almost couldn't believe it.

Her roommate left a guinea pig alone in their empty apartment for an ENTIRE MONTH. He had no food or water left. I don't even know how he survived, because a guinea pig's liver starts to shut down only 16 to 20 hours after it stops eating. This little guy is very lucky to be alive.

I just don't understand some people. How can you take responsibility for another's life, and then just disregard that commitment and leave that animal to die? When you bring an animal into your home, he becomes a part of your family. At minimum, you need to make sure he has everything he needs.

Would you abandon a helpless human being like that? No. Even if someone wanted to, they probably would not, since child neglect is oftentimes punished by law. On the contrary, animals are neglected and even abused, but the person never suffers any legal consequence. The animal can't speak for himself, so people who just don't care feel they can get away with it.

My friend brought him over here so I could help clip his severely overgrown (even curling under) nails and check his gender. His gender was a bit tough for me to determine… but I tried. I'm pretty sure he's a boy. I also gave him a vitamin C tablet, some fresh, green veggies, and cuddles. It's sad to watch a little guy enjoy something so much because he hasn't has it in so long, when really he should have it everyday.

Animals deserve the same quality of life as any human being.  Plain and simple.

where i need to be

Sometimes life happens differently than what you plan for, but I know I am right where my Heavenly Father wants me to be.

Right now I have a summer job where I am part of the "grass-roots" in the operation. There are ten of us in total, and we really do work hard. In past summers, I had worked one of the other positions, but you work your shift alone. When I applied to work there this summer and received the position I'm in, I was a little unsure. I wasn't sure I could do it; it just seemed like such difficult work.

Now, a few weeks later, I'm doing just fine. And the best part is that I have 9 buddies to work with, and never have to be alone, unlike the other position I originally wanted. I'm glad I have faith in God and know that He puts me where I need to be, whether it is to help me out or to be His instrument and help others. I know that all of us have a Father in Heaven and He really loves us. He does. I've felt it, and you can too, if you just ask Him.

Fairy

Today, I'd like to dedicate a post to a very special little guinea pig.

Her name is Fairy, and today is her birthday! She is one year old.

She is deaf. She is blind. Most of all, she is beautiful.

Here blog is here.

Yep, I am talking about a guinea pig. Fairy is a sort of celebrity in the world of guinea- pig-lovers around the world. She was born with a genetically inherited condition, labeling her as a "Lethal White". Most of these pigs die shortly after being born, so it truly is a miracle that she is still here. Lethal whites require an extremely dedicated caretaker with an intense amount of love and care. Her mom even takes her to the "dentist" regularly to have her teeth filed down!

The best part is that her mom shares her with the rest of the world. Whenever I'm stressed out or a little sad, reading about Fairy will always give me a smile. Even if you don't think you like guinea pigs, just take a look at Fairy's blog. You just might fall in love, too =)

I drew this little present for her… it was my first time drawing a guinea pig, so don't judge me too harshly!

creepy sleepy

After work today, I decided to spend some time at the town library. Okay, truth be told, I was secretly dying to read Dog Fancy magazine. No, really, I'm being honest here!

Anyway, I sat down and delved into a world full of dog sports, ads for flea and tick preventatives, and funny photos of dogs on vacation. Sadly, my delight was short-lived- after about 30 minutes (who am I kidding, it was probably even less than that!) I felt my eyelids slowly drooping, my heavy head declining toward my chest… And I was fighting the inevitable.

I can sleep basically anywhere. In Europe, I managed it on airplanes, crowded buses, trains, and even in airports! 

Anyway, back in the library, I thought for sure I was winning the battle. My eyes were still open, yes, I could see the plethora of books surrounding me. "I'm not sleeping, I can't be sleeping, not in the public library!" I thought (or dreamed, perhaps?!). Then, hearing a gruff chuckle, I woke up. At the table across the walkway, a middle aged-man was guffawing at my expense! 

Oh well. I attempted to keep reading for the next while, but gave up and went to put my magazine away, hearing the man recommence his cackling (yes, cackling… alright, that might be a bit of hyperbole…)

What's so funny about a girl falling asleep in the library anyway?

In Switzerland, my roommate Katherine managed to catch me sleeping while doing my "scripture study". They all had a good laugh at me, the creepy sleepy "mummy"…

yes, I am that crazy guinea pig lady

And obviously, I am not ashamed.

Today, if you were lucky,  you may have seen me sprinting across the lawn, chair, blanket, and playpen in hand. After plopping down my chair and spreading out the blanket in the shade, I connected the ends of the playpen to form a neat oval.

Then I sprinted back inside and grabbed my girls. And the camera, of course.

After letting them down gently in their playpen, I looked up, only to see some people across the street watching me. Yep, I really did just set up a whole outside space for my guinea pigs to enjoy some fresh air. You mean you DON'T do that? Really?!

Anyway, they did enjoy their first outside time of the year…

If you're thinking about getting a guinea pig, or just want to learn more about them, visit http://www.guinealynx.info/ .