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Showing posts from June, 2010

Guest Post: 5 National Parks Everyone Should Visit

Interested in learning some quick facts about five of our nation's national parks? Read this informative guest post by Louise Baker: The United States is home to an array of beautiful monuments and natural phenomenon, from Niagara Falls, to the Grand Canyon, to the Rocky Mountains. Beauty is what the United States is all about and the national parks are no different. The beautiful scenery, exciting trails, and family environment makes the country's national parks a must see. Five national parks that everyone should visit are Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Denali National Park. Yosemite National Park is located in the eastern region of California stretching 761,268 acres and extends across the slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain. This beautiful park is known for its aesthetic waterfalls that include Yosemite Falls (2,425 ft), Bridalveil Falls (620 feet), Vernal Fall (317 feet), Nevada Fal

A drawing & what I learned from a Me-Wuk "sopapette"

I always forget that I know how to draw and that I actually enjoy it. When I was little I drew like crazy, but as I got older I drew less and less. Every once in a while I draw something and remember that I can. It's not that I can draw really well (as my sister PawPrint can), but I can at least get my point across sufficiently. So yesterday after I posted the drawings I'd made in December , I thought I might as well take pencil to paper and make another addition to my Miwok Picture Language Book. I brought my Native American and Miwok books downstairs to our coffee table and began sketching, looking up words and images when needed. I copied the roundhouse from a drawing in a book published through Columbia Junior College called "Miwok" that Alexys's grandmother let me borrow. I collected the words from various sources: Alexys's knowledge of the Miwok language, the internet , Deeper Than Gold , the "Miwok" book, and a pamphlet from the Stanislaus N

Miwok Picture Language Book

In December, my friend Alexys and I spent some time at my family's cabin in the mountains. She taught me some Miwok words and I created a picture book that incorporates the words so I can better learn some of the language. Since then, I've learned some more words and have written many new words from various California tribes (Maidu, Konkow, Nisenan, etc.) in a language and culture journal I'm keeping. Here are the pages that I made in December. I hope to make more soon. watu: sun, lama: tree, oha: woman, nanga: man, kiky: water, lapisay: fish, ohnem: to fish, haju: dog nowehkowai: I love you, ohnem : to fish, nawa: love Alexys drew this one. honon : bear, funawa : laughter Learn how to count in Miwok using this picture. If I make more, I will post them. Thanks for reading! Happy Monday. Green Gal

Wordless Wednesday: Tuolumne

My Weekend in Nevada County

Photo from the book Deeper Than Gold On Friday afternoon, my family drove up to Nevada County to visit my step-mom's parents in Grass Valley. Saturday morning we drove to Empire Mine State Park for a family portrait. I had never been to Empire Mine before, but unfortunately we didn't really get a chance to look around. We took the portrait on the well-manicured grounds and walked around the gift shop. While looking at the interesting rocks and knick-knacks in the shop, I spotted some carved rock hippos, which happen to be my sister 's favorite animal of all time (no doubt, pictures of the various hippos she acquired this weekend will appear on her hippo blog soon!). Surprisingly, they had a variety of different stone hippos for her to choose from. She bought a pink-colored rhodonite one. I found some bear fetishes carved from various stones with a description about what they signify. Bears are my favorite animals. The first time I saw a bear was while hiking with my d

Friday Visit to Terra Bella Family Farm

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my family has joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program with Terra Bella Family Farm . I hadn't visited the farm until today when we picked up our fresh produce and bread. I had to take pictures of the quaint farm located right in Pleasanton. On another note, I saw the Toy Story 3 midnight premiere in IMAX 3D early this morning and then again watched it at noon with my younger sister, and I have to say it is one of the best movies I've seen in awhile. It's a little stressful and scary at times, but hilarious and very sweet and definitely one of my new favorite movies. One thing that freaked me out was the depiction of the landfill. I won't give anything away, but it made me never want to buy anything disposable ever again! Which is a good thing, I suppose! Happy Weekend and Happy Summer! Green Gal --- "Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking,

Kenyan chapati bread

Sabore, a Maasai warrior I met two years ago (Photo credit: Asante Africa ) Today in AP Human Geography, my friends and I presented our end-of-the-year project. We chose the African country of Kenya because my good friend Taylor visited Kenya last summer with her church, so she knew a bit about the culture already. As it turns out, I too know a bit about the culture, having read about the nomadic pastoral lifestyle practiced by many Kenyan people in Man on Earth by John Reader. I also met a Maasai warrior named Sabore and a teacher named Hellen from Kenya at a presentation by Asante Africa at my school two years ago. At the presentation, I purchased a hand-made bracelet and a piece of cloth which is typically worn as clothing. I use it as a table cloth in my room (see it in pictures on this blog post ). Here is the video of Hellen Nkuraiya (see it on the Asante Africa website here ): To prepare for our presentation, yesterday Taylor and I made Kenyan chapati, a type of fr

I Voted!

That's what the sticker says that they gave me: I Voted. How exciting that my voice has been heard as a voting citizen for the first time! I followed some Sierra Club recommendations and talked with my parents about the different issues and people to vote for. Sierra Club recommended No on Measure D, but I voted Yes because it makes way more sense, even from an environmental standpoint. (Don't know what that is? Check it out here: or on Pleasanton Patch .) Today was my last full day of high school. Tomorrow and Thursday are half days for finals, and then Friday is graduation practice and senior assembly. Then, I graduate! :) Happy Tuesday, Green Gal --- Think of the sunset from the sun's point of view. - Steven Wright

Fair trade Earths, CSA, barefooted seniors, and yearbooks

With sadness and yet joy for the future, I attended my last Environmental Club meeting of high school on Wednesday. I stepped down from the role of publicist/secretary and said goodbye to my beautiful club members and fellow officers, with whom I have helped rebuild a fallen club. I will miss running meetings and sending emails, but it’s time for me to let someone else have that title and to let the other officers take the club in new directions next year, including food scrapping and other events that we brainstormed this year but never got around to doing. I wish them the best of luck next year and I will most definitely attend their events and visit when I have the chance. I hope to find an environmental club or group at Santa Cruz that I can join (I know it won’t be difficult!) and experience a similar, yet fresh community of activism for the environment. I was pleasantly surprised when my dear friend Patricia (remember, the whole grain cookie girl ?) presented me with a parting