Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Being thankful

This blog topic could not come at a better time considering the challenges people are currently facing. I know of many who are very stressed and overwhelmed by their financial and employment issues. It is important to remember that we are all in this together and how much we have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my husband. He is a great man who is never boring and we laugh a lot together. I feel like I have a true partner and best friend to travel with through life. He is very smart and honest.

I am thankful for my mom and dad. They are the best parents I could have ever asked for and I see so much of myself in them. They made my childhood a happy one and always did the best they could in hard situations. They are smart, fun, and caring.

I am thankful for my family. I have a huge family with many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Since I am an only child my cousins are like my brothers and sisters. My family members are fun and crazy and never take themselves too seriously.

I am thankful for my girl friends! I cannot even express enough how important they are to me. I have many and have known them for 5, 10, 20, 30+ years and when I really need them they are always there. We also laugh and have fun together whenever we can.

I am thankful for my health. As I get older I realize that having your health is vital. I plan on spending the rest of my life being active and traveling and I need to be healthy for that. I am trying to do they best I can to preserve it!

I am thankful for my education. I never in a million years thought I would enjoy school this much, but I do. I love learning new things and being able to be a full time student has been a dream come true. I am already seeing a difference in the way I think, write, and interact with others.

I am very thankful for two crazy cats, a beautiful home and everything in it, and my Jeep Liberty that has four wheel drive for the winter (not that I am still not a big chicken on the road...)

Finally, I am thankful for public libraries and NASCAR racing. My two favorite diversions from the harsh realities of life. :-)

Thanks again Andy for this great topic. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Something new everyday

This has really been a great semester and I am enjoying my courses a lot. My biggest surprise so far has been Crisis in Environmental Health, which I chose because of the ECCE requirement but have really loved. We were asked to write a short paper about an environmental issue in our community, so I wrote about a boat motor company who was polluting nearby Waukegan Harbor for many years with contaminants from their plant operations. Next up is a longer research paper on the history of flooding and issues of the Des Plaines River throughout Lake County. I am really excited to work on this because I love to research and study the past and especially since I have memories of many of the old floods. I have learned so much about the field of environmental health... the big responsibilities they have, how they do so much with so little, and how they have a true passion for what they do. I have been talking about things I have learned with my friends and family and I now have a new appreciation for workers in the field. There seems to be an environmental health crisis almost daily across the country. It makes me look and think about the Southern California fires from a whole new perspective.