Posts Tagged With: WV

Something to YAC About!

This past weekend was YAC (Young Adult Conference).  It’s a weekend event for adult 4-Hers held at Jackson’s Mill.  I had a blast!  I always do when I’m at the Mill.  I love having a winter camp. After aging out, YAC is my last camp as a camper.  It’s really fun connecting to all my friends that I haven’t seen since last YAC, and even the friends I see during the year.

The best part about YAC is the magical snow that comes to the Mill.  At least it seems magical…it’s so different from my usual experiences at the Mill, in the summertime that the snow adds something special to my YAC experience.  Usually we’re still able to have Council Circle outside, but unfortunately the temperatures were too cold this year and we had it in the West Virginia Building.

We had three classes and I went to Irish Cuisine, Line/Folk Dancing, and YAC Planning 2015.  I had a great time in all of my classes.  I learned a new bread recipe, a line dance to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, and got to throw out ideas for the next YAC.  Oh, we also got to eat a lot of bread and have some tea in Irish Cuisine class, best time ever!

Saturday night was the camp dance and I got on the floor and grooved to a lot of different songs, probably my biggest amount of exercise in a good few weeks….maybe months haha.  I took stuff to donate to the Silent Auction this year, but there wasn’t a lot of exciting things to bid on.  Probably the most exciting item was a hand-crafted wooden canoe/kayak/some type of boat paddle, it had the clover and YAC wood burned in it.

Sunday’s announcements were fun.  Even though I graduated college in May, I’m still interested in helping out Fairmont’s Collegiate Club and there were numerous updates and things to look forward to on the collegiate level.  We also have officially hired a new Global Education Specialist, which means that someone is going to focus on the IFYE applications.  Hopefully they’ll be out before I get hired somewhere else for next year, but I can always apply for the trip after this one.

On another note it was so cold that it took my car forever to start, even with someone jumping it.  After we got it started I didn’t shut it off until I parked at my apartment.  The ride home took almost twice as long as usual because the roads in Morgantown were so scary; I saw someone drive sideways, luckily not into me.

I had a fantastic time this weekend and can’t wait to make my world a better place.

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AHHH!!!! Snow!!!

So today we had our first official snow, and I being the somewhat behind person that I am, only knew to look outside after seeing one of my sisters tweet about the snow.  I love the first snow.  There’s something magical about waking up to see your entire view blanketed in white.  It also justifies the freezing temperatures.  The only thing I hate more than being cold and wet is sweet pickles.  The snow is slowly melting and will probably be gone by the time I’m off work, but it was here and it was beautiful!

This drop in temperature has me in a knitting mood.  I have a blanket in the works and will post a picture soon.

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A Letter to West Virginia 4-H

Dear West Virginia 4-H,

I know that you’re busy, National 4-H Week just winding down and all, but I just wanted to take a few minutes to say thank you.

A little over eleven years ago I was a quiet sixth grader who spent her time reading and helping out in the library before school started.  My biggest goal at the time was to read all the books in the school library.  When my friend invited me to a 4-H meeting I had no idea what to expect.  I remember staying with my friend and being confused by the pledge and singing of “West Virginia Boys and Girls”, but something stuck and I came back month after month.  When asked for volunteers to take a llama to the fair, I didn’t hesitate.  I named my llama Dusty Dreams and over the next three years we learned a lot from each other; he had to listen to me and I had to speak up and let Dusty know I was in charge.  Taking a llama to the fair was definitely my most memorable project but I also did sewing, puppetry, jewelry-making, and knitting, among other things.  Let me tell you, having a deadline as a child was hard (I got procrastination from my parents) but it was definitely a fantastic learning experience.  I appreciate growing up in a county with such a marvelous youth fair, and a 4-H program that didn’t question whether you would do a project but which one you would pick.

I think beyond the meetings and projects what made me stay in 4-H was the camping.  True, our camping can be quite posh compared to both scouting programs, but there is something about spending a week with boys and girls your age.  I started 4-H late compared to many kids in my home county, at age 11 I completely bypassed Younger Camp and went straight to Intermediate Camp, but I still felt welcome.  I followed my friend into the wonderful Cherokee tribe and had a great first week.  That first year I missed the Final Council Circle because, being a first generation 4-H’er, no one in my family knew what a big deal it was.  That was the only time I missed a Council Circle.  The next couple of years were spent in anticipation of 4-H Camp and the County Fair, then I discovered State Camps.  I never camped an Alpha but I was a die-hard believer in OMC.  Older Member’s Conference allowed me to meet 4-H’ers from all over the state and build friendships that will last a lifetime.  My two roommates are 4-H’ers that I met at OMC, and without 4-H I wouldn’t know them.

While working with fellow 4-H’ers is wonderful, 4-H gives its youth members the best adult role models the world over.  From club leaders to camp counselors 4-H is filled with adults who have had such a tremendous impact on my life.  West Virginia 4-H’ers are blessed with adults who challenge us to truly “make the best better” not only with their words but by their actions.

I’ve also had the opportunity to be that adult role model and give back to the program by spending two summers as an ECI leading camps.  Teaching a camp a new song or leading a Charting class have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

So to sum it up, for: molding me into a confident 23 year old, giving me the friendships of a lifetime, sharing magnificent adult role models, and especially employing me with the best summer job in the world I want to thank you from the very bottom of my heart.  Without your impact I am honestly unsure of what my life would look like.

How-How and God Bless,

A West Virginia 4-H’er

P.S.  Also thank you for making the county you’re from and the tribe you’re in just as important as your name.

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Brussels Sprouts and Life

So yesterday I made Brussels sprouts, which isn’t very exciting in itself, but I didn’t follow a recipe.  I just threw them in a skillet sprayed some olive oil on them and prayed that they would survive, luckily they did and they actually weren’t bad.  My point is I didn’t worry about the outcome, I just did it.

And I was thinking, “Hey, life should be more like that!”

I want to do things just because I want to and not worry about whether or not I’ll get paid or be in trouble (with the law or worse my Mom.  They’re the only things that hold real sway.)  It’s much more fun to do things without all the hassle of worrying.  Does it matter that I just graduated from college and am now babysitting two children?  Not really.  I don’t feel any less educated or feel that I’m letting all “my potential” go to waste.  I still have potential.  I will always have potential, but that’s for me to develop and act on, not something for society to impose on me.  Having a college education is something that I can’t ever lose.  No one can take it away from me and I can’t un-earn it.  But it’s just another tally in the long list of things that make me me.  It doesn’t define me, it just goes in the big stew pot of Kelly along with high school grad, age-out 4-Her, West Virginian, lover of books and knitting.

In four days I’ll turn 23.  It’s exciting to think about, not nearly as much of a milestone as 18 or 21, but still impressive.  I’ve managed to survive this long, haven’t killed anyone or myself and in some cases that is probably a very big accomplishment.

Yesterday was also exciting because I got to ride a horse.  Not for the first time in my life but for the first time in a probably a decade.  I am going to be learning how to ride this fall/winter in exchange for helping to exercise the horses.  Riding is something I’ve wanted to do since I was little.  I would have been the most ecstatic little girl if I had received a pony for my birthday or Christmas.  And now that I’m an adult I get to make awesome choices like this!

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Blue & Gold Mine Sale

I’m in the process of moving to Morgantown, home of West Virginia University and the Mountaineers for those unfamiliar with the area.  Last night I was hanging out in my new apartment with my friend Ryan when I found out about the….

But, wait!  Just what is this Blue & Gold Mine Sale?  Well, according to the website:

Students and community members donate good, usable items to sell to the public at large. Visit the sale for great bargains on wonderful treasures! All proceeds are donated to the United Way as part of WVU’s annual campaign.

I couldn’t resist going and I’m glad I didn’t miss it!  I went with Ryan and helped him decide on a mattress, and wandered around searching through books, clothes, kitchen items…you name it, it was there.

While there I bought

  • Two Books: An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski and Why Do We Say It? The Stories Behind the Words, Expressions and Cliches We Use which doesn’t have an author listed
  • A yellow bangle bracelet with elephants and deer/rabbit looking creatures on it
  • A creamy white comfy cotton openish weave blanket
  • And…a comfy pair of black moccasins

ThriftyScores

All together I paid a measly $4.25 for my treasures.  I was pretty stoked!  I have already worn the shoes today; they are so super comfy.

After the sale, I drove back to Fairmont and met up with Ava, one of my sisters, who kept me on task while packing up my apartment, which is always good because I’m am easily distracted…not to mention a pack rat (inherited from my mother, of course).  So far the packing is going great, I can actually just load up boxes tomorrow and take some big furniture up to the new place.

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Lauren Mann

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