Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gratitude: September 2011

I started the month with the ending of my week vacation in the cities. I was trying to spend some "quality" time with family while I was there. I played some tennis with my older sister, which I haven't done for years!! On my Saturday before I left for Morris, I had to get my brakes fixed after getting my tires (e.g. replaced and wheel bearings). It was a very expensive job and I didn't want to put any additional money from my own pocket. Thus, I decided to work on my own (with my friend's assistance)car and don't want to pay any labor cost. I the end, I calculated that I saved $200 (according to what Tire Plus estimated)!.. can read more of the story from my previous month blog (August) as I just realized I ready wrote on this part. School is pretty much in session around here, which means lots of community activities. I was invited to participate in this dialogue on ways we can welcome the growing numbers of "Spanish-speaking" residents, so I just shared my perspective (see Stevens County Espanol Services) from my past involvement with the group as a member of Stevens Forward. It's very encouraging to see how far our community has grown in this area!

In the second weekend of August, we had some 80 degree weather, which was very nice! I wasn't sure how long this was going to last, so I spent the weekend every day "playing" (e.g. tennis) outside.

On Tuesday, September 13th-I went to my annual ABE/ESL training meeting in Alexandria, Minnesota. I've been coming to this for close to the last 5-6 years now since volunteer teaching GED and English. We meet about 3 hours to share how the year has been and ways we can do better (e.g. increase student participation). The following day, I had my weekly Wednesday GED-ESL classes, which I'm very thankful to have 2 new volunteers (one is a professor at the local university, which I was a little intimidated at first because of his status. However, I've been getting more comfortable as we both work together and gotten to know each other through our stories).

My housemate asked me to use my photography and take pictures at the 2nd softball game of the season (I would take another in October too during the 1st and last playoff game). I would participate in Kazu's softball practice the Saturday after wards early in the morning (around 10:30am) for fun. It was nice playing softball for the first time since my nose fracture (see last month's blog) accident!!

I also marked down the 18th as the 1st day of rain. It was the first rain fall of the month. I'm glad I saved some rain water from my gutters of my house last month, which I used to water my crops (see Foods: Agriculture, Horticulture-Gardening, Farming, etc...) as the season ended. I was able to get some good size corn..


Every Tuesday evenings, there is a campus-community gathering called the Jane Adams Project. They had their first "kick-off" gathering on the 20th, which it was well attended..

All residents in and outside the Stevens County area are welcome to participate as it's a great way to meet the growing numbers of the "Spanish-speaking" community (e.g. many and not all are from the local dairy farms)!

Each week is a different topic/theme, so the first one was "Meaning of our Names". This was such a great topic, I ended up doing this in my weekly (Wednesdays) ESL class the following day. My students really enjoy this, so I ended up doing a blog on this-> Where did your name come from? from Goodnewseverybody's Webblog (

I spent the last days of the month hanging out with some college alumns-friends during University of Minnesota-Morris Homecoming Weekend). My friends that have been coming every year since 04' bought their friend name "Brother Max", who was an awesome guy serving the Lord!