April 22, 2015

Earth Day

It is Earth Day 2015. Earth Day is a day celebrated worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. For most of us, Earth Day can be a day to reconsider common daily practices and habits in order to improve the environment. 

What habits can I improve? I'm committed to increasing what I recycle, riding my bike more and using less water. 

Anchorage did not make it easy to recycle. Our condo association had no recycling program, so the only way to recycle was to take the materials to the community recycling center = not easy and time consuming. Therefore, my recycling habits were dismal. However, our garbage collector in Chaska accepts recycling every other week. My goal is to have the recycling bin stuffed full by each recycling day. So far, I've done pretty well. 

My commute to work is short - maybe 5 miles. Although I'm a pretty fair weather bike rider, as the temperatures get warmer, I'm planning to ride my bike to work more. The summers wee variable in Anchorage, but I don't think I'll have that excuse in Chaska. :-)

Using less water - this is a new challenge for me. Nationally, the most water used indoors is for toilets, clothes washers and showers. As a renter, I can't do much about the toilets, but I can make changes to my personal routines. 

I'm used to washing dishes by hand because it's faster. I tend to wash my clothes quite regularly even when the loads are small. And long, hot showers?? One of my most favorite things!! 

However, in an effort to save water, my goal is to wash my dishes using the dishwasher only when it is full, not rinsing dishes before they go inside. Also, only washing clothes when I have a full load and taking shorter showers, which could get difficult when the temps start dropping again next fall. 

Many of these practices are easier said than done. But, simple changes become habitual over time and Earth Day is a good day to start!


April 16, 2015

March has come and gone.

March 2015. A month I will remember forever...

On the last day in February, I moved 3000 miles back to the Midwest hence the new name of my blog, 3000 Miles North...and back. Matt and I had been contemplating a move for a couple months, but I had intended to stay in Alaska through the summer and early fall. However, God works in mysterious ways and I was offered the first job for which I applied. I am the newest Public Health Program Specialist for Carver County in Minnesota. More than 30 days into the job and I couldn't be happier with my decision. I enjoy my coworkers and the work that I do on a daily basis. I still have so much to learn in public health, and I'm glad Carver County is the next stop on my journey. 

My car had been shipped down to Chaska a few weeks prior to leaving Anchorage...

So, the the last weekend in February, I said a very teary "see you later" to Matt and Rio, boarded a plane for Minneapolis and said goodbye to my life in Alaska. I'm going to miss so many people with whom I became close...and the lovely view of the mountains from my office window...

The memories of seven and a half years spent in Alaska came flooding back to me; however, I was excited for a new adventure in a place where I can finally call home. I kept reminding myself of this quote I saw on Instagram about four days after accepting my new position in Chaska...

I was comfortable in Anchorage, but knew there were more life experiences and adventures in store for me somewhere else. I'm excited to navigate that destiny.

My parents were waiting for me when I landed in Minneapolis. With three suitcases and two carry on pieces of luggage filled to the brim...

we hurried to my new townhouse, which I will be renting for at least a year, to unload my belongings. Then the next two days were spent organizing, purchasing a few necessities and buying groceries. I was to start my first day at Carver County on that Monday, just two days after arriving in Chaska.

The first two weeks of my job went very quickly. I had trainings to complete and a lot of reading to digest. It took a lot of patience to learn the "new" ropes after being with the same organization for so long. But, my new coworkers made me feel welcome, and my office space was craving occupancy...

Two weeks into my new job, my mom, sister and I headed to Nashville for a girls vacation. We had planned it for almost 10 months, and fortunately my new employer was supportive of me going. We had a blast. There will be more to come on our Nashville trip in a future blog post...

The last week in March was somewhat of a whirlwind. I got back from Nashville and finally had time to get adjusted at my job and in my townhouse. I have also made time to visit my grandparents in Minnesota, head to Algona for an alumni basketball tournament and welcome visitors. I've stayed busy but I would not want it any other way. 

Here's to spring and new adventures!