Tuesday, August 10, 2010

O.k., call me "Geek". But I prefer "Curious and Interested"

So its pretty well understood that I am the geek of this group.  Bossie Tammy recently kindly told me that I wasn't such a geek.  "You're just really curious about stuff...." she said.  Isn't she sweet?

Last weekend, as if to prove the geek stuff, I got all excited about some mollusks.  I know, I know.  But give me a sec to explain:
 - It wasn't just a geeky event.  It was a Rugged Event.  I was out in waders scrambling across fields and down streambanks and over beaver dams.
 - Several of us volunteers were surveying for and measuring some threatened native mussels that help keep streamwater clean for stuff like that yummy salmon you might have on your dinner plate.
 - The Xerces Society and the Johnson Creek Watershed Council are two environmental groups that really take action and accomplish things to improve the environment so that not only the animals but us people and our environment and economy right here in the city.
 - Here in Portland, Oregon, you can still find a stream that has salmon and beaver in it.  Right in the middle of the city.
 - Who knew there were freshwater mussles?  Did you???  Cool, right?  Right???  Ummm....o.k....

 Yesiree, folks, that is a Genu-wine real life, Oregon native freshwater mussel in my hand.

Now for the Bossy Stuff:
What causes do you most want to support?  Do you want to do something to help the environment?  Go find your local watershed council and see what activities they have going on.  Do you want to help kids?  Go find a mentoring program, or volunteer for special events now and then at a local children's museum. There are so many causes that need volunteers.
I bet you you can find some volunteer activities that are not just good deeds, but are also good fun.
Go for it! (Hint: I linked straight to the Volunteer Opportunities webpages for the organizations above.) :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

But was it such an adventure, really? For this particular Bossie Girl, that is.

Love this photo from this year's Oregon Country Fair!
Words tend to fail me when I try to describe the fair's pure awesomeness.  Its sorta Renaissance Fair-like: in a wooded setting with a rather strong woodland-hippie-fairy theme.
Everywhere you turn is a colorful visual feast.

My favorite part: people are playing.  There are puppets, dress-up clothes, stilts, juggling balls, hula hoops, masks, crafts,  tee-hee - you should see the free-form hippy marching bands!  - singing, dancing, laughing, skipping, even.  All from the grown-ups as well as the children.  And all my Bossie Girls know how much I love it when adults let their inner children play.  So, while I do know that not positively Everyone In The Entire World will feel comfortable at the Country Fair, I tend to have a bit of a prejudiced view.  "Look at all this happiness and creativity and play!," I think.
                     "How could anyone not be into this?"

Of course, having been a child of hippies during the late '60's and early '70's in California, living in an ashram (sorta like a commune, but with more outward focus - look it up, silly! :-p) complete with a guru and an organic garden before anyone else in the country had even heard of tofu... well, lets just say that from when I first ever set foot in the Oregon Country Fair, I felt very happily right at home.  Even though by the first time I went we were all deep in the midst of the '80's (wasn't that the "greed is good" decade?), and my day to day life is far from a commune or ashram. Still, I was so instantly happy there.
So, I have to ask myself, what about trying out some of the happy festivities that other people love that are outside my "comfort area"?  What about, say, a rodeo?  I mean, I'm always going on about how people should try new things, right? I want to expand my experiences (especially fun ones) and appreciate more cultures, including all the subcultures right here in our own country.

Its time for me to go find, say, a picnic organized by the local country music radio station or something.  Hmmmm......
Time to ask my Bossie Girls for their opinions.  I'm sure they will be willing to give them.

You can see even more amazing images of the Oregon Country Fair at their website.
Here are just a few favs that I took a couple years back: