"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!" - Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine
Groom, feed, paint, shovel and learn the ropes during volunteer orientation day at Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located a few minutes south of Lompoc, and only about a half hour from our house.
For as long as I can remember, I've wanted a horse. During visits to my great grandparents, I spent most of my waking hours on and around horses, riding with other farm kids, even napping on horseback.
The desire has spread to my daughters now, but they haven't had much horse experience. Mr. B and I decided we should get them around horses as much as possible so they can get a feel for what it really takes to maintain horses - a lot more than feeding and brushing.
The sanctuary houses some 200 horses on 300 acres of managed lands. Its operators are constantly seeking help in maintaining the facility to meet the animals' needs. Welcoming volunteers onto the privately owned property is a incredibly fantastic idea which affords horsey folks opportunities to mingle with the animals while also getting more work done in a short period of time. (Wish I'd thought of this!)
Yes. We had a wonderful day at the sanctuary. The owner and staffers were friendly and helpful, educational and mindful of the fact our girls haven't had much horse experience.
Most of the other volunteers were young members of Pony Club. It was so refreshing to be around a group of such willing young workers.
And while we were shoveling horse apples, mucking out a pig pen, and performing other filthy chores, none of us were bothered. In fact, the girls' raced to get to their next pile of poop for scoopin' and, indeed, asked what MORE needed to be done as they completed each task.
Public radio is my favored radio station at home and in the car. We listen to it for HOURS on end some days (usually Saturdays when our favorite programs are on). Public radio, while somewhat non-commercial (there are show sponsors, but the mentions are brief), depends upon subscribers.
Absolutely. I like the various view points and the variety of programs offered. And while we're growing increasingly strapped for cash (like so many of our friends and family), we'll consider this the cable bill we never see. (We dropped cable nearly a decade ago.)
Take Grandma out to lunch to satiate her craving for "real Mexican food," then run an errand with her, and enjoy some time out together.
Largely explained here, but we also took Grandma to the store to pick up some toothpaste because I noticed her shopping list, then grabbed some ice cream and headed for the beach where we enjoyed a nice dessert and beautiful views.
Absolutely - what a pleasant, relaxing day.
The project: Removing poison oak seedlings from the middle of a popular hiking trail, and, yep, more trash removal.
Not measured - the hike and associated recreation and work all totaled came to 7 hours.
I'm all for live and let live, 'til that something causes oozing rashes on my loved ones. I'm SURE poison oak serves some sort of purpose, but in our house, it's a heinous pest that should be eradicated - like ticks and mosquitoes. (At least rattlesnakes provide rodent control, but ticks? Mosquitoes?! POISON OAK!? NOTHING.)
The Snyder Trail to Knapp's Castle is a very popular route for hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and, judging by the tracks we found today, at least one bear of considerable size. Most whiz past the oil-infested leaves that threaten to encroach upon the trail, but THESE suckers were RIGHT SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE of the trail. So much for that live-and-let-live attitude.
As for trash - we did a good thing for the trail in picking up bike parts, a CO2 cartridge (new), and other hikers' detritus. But when we arrived at Knapp's Castle, I felt like our garbage pickup was meaningless. There's so much trash at what has clearly become a drunken party spot (no one was there today - but the trash, and, OH, the glass!) I wouldn't even know where to start, let alone how we'd carry it the 3.5 miles back down the trail to our waiting van. (There's another parking area 1/4 mile or so uphill - perhaps this will be a group effort later this spring - if I can find any takers on the cleanup effort.)
If our poison oak scrapping saves a few others from that which is the Poison Oak Rash, absolutely. And picking up trash - well - it almost always feels worthwhile. Today, it felt like spitting in a rain barrel.
Chase down another motorist whose roof rack was open putting surf gear in danger of roadside loss.
Wouldn't it be a bummer to lose YOUR stuff 'cause your roof rack was wide open? Worth it?
Absolutely. These folks had lots of surfing gear in their roof rack. They were visiting from out of state. It would have been, like, DUDE, a TOTAL bummer if their gear had surfed the roadside at 60 mph instead of surfing the waves at the speed of the swell.