Park Ranger Imp- The end and beginning of Unemployment

Park Ranger Fiery Imp

Well that title is a mouthful!

The Imp scored a job. A temporary Park Ranger for the National Park Services. Can you believe it? The Feds are allowing me to teach people at a National park…you must be so proud to pay taxes ♥


Enjoying my anniversary with a glass of bubbly and a great hubby.

Enjoying my anniversary with a glass of bubbly and a great hubby.

Actually, I quite excited about being a Park Ranger. Sadly it’s only temporary, to only last 6 months. I normally do don’t’ take temp positions; I do not like the idea of knowing that I will be unemployed again after a small time period. Too much uncertainty of where the next paycheck will come after I am terminated. The one thing that is for certain, the monthly bills will still arrive in my mail box.

These last few months have gone by so quickly. I was so upset to return to the “unemployed” and “looking for a job” status that I’m actually going to miss it. My terror was built around the struggles of my last unemployment stint. The feeling of loneliness, despair and the undesirable weight of being useless. Sadly, I’ve felt the same while being employed. Those feelings scared me for life, but this time I didn’t let them hold me back.

I can honestly say, I’ve used my time wisely. I spent a few weeks to grieve over my new status of unemployment. That is the one thing I didn’t do last time, I didn’t grieve after I finished college. I was happy that I graduated but didn’t grieve over the death of being a student. I didn’t understand  being a student was a job, I worked hard to learn and then being laid off because my goal was completed. Completion is considered a “death”. You should always grieve over a change in your life, it’s up to you have long you should grieve. Like a death, grieving is healing, healing causes change.

After I grieved…then the Imp was off and running. You haven’t seen everything that I’ve done over the last few months. Trust me, I spared you. I spared you from the frustrations and a lot of vulgar word with failed projects. I should be considered a Hero! For instance, I made an infinity dress…it worked out but I used the wrong fabric and I realized my hips are huge. My waist is much smaller than my hips, after 20 minutes of “Your cloths are too small dance” (Ladies, you know what I’m taking about), I finally got the thing on. But to get it off, I almost had to resort to using Crisco. My husband thought it was the funniest thing on the planet to watch me struggle. See? I saved you from that horrid image and saved myself from the abuse.  In my “Fiery Imp” documents folder, I have a half a dozen blogs written but never finished. I promise you, I’ve made good use of my unemployment.


Trying to remove the old and replace the new faucet. 4 hours later...a new facet was introduced into the kitchen

Trying to remove the old and replace the new faucet. 4 hours later…a new facet was introduced into the kitchen

  1. Repainted the kitchen cabinets
  2. Still not finished with the kitchen, but I have ideas
  3. Chandelier make-over
  4. Lots of tested recipes
  5. Book 3 of the Game of Thrones finally finished and started book 4
  6. Applied to over 30 Federal job
  7. 10 referral letters for Federal jobs
  8. Only 1 job interview
  9. Fancy 7th wedding Anniversary!


Camp Creek Campsite

Camp Creek Campsite

10.Tried and loved Yoga (but ran out of money for classes)

11. Gold expeditions (another planned before I go to work)

12. 2 camping trips

13. 2 lake trips- including trying to wakeboard

14. 3 local festivals

15. Many hangovers

16. Many many hours spent laughing, crying, humiliating and catching up with good friends.

17. #15 and #16 go hand and hand

As I look back, it wasn’t that bad being unemployed. Circumstances were different, but the results were more satisfying.  I figured my unemployment would last a few more months and didn’t expect my stupid kitchen cabinets to take so long, I had more things planned;

Gold and black sand inside of a red gold pan. First time using the Bazooka!

Gold and black sand inside of a red gold pan. First time using the Bazooka!

  1. Shampoo the carpets in the whole house
  2. Set all of the rock pavers in the ground around fire pit
  3. Have a garage sale…which means cleaning the garage
  4. Find more gold
  5. Going to the beach
  6. Going to Oregon (Selma or Brookings)
  7. Lose weight (Yeah right, not going to happen)
  8. Run (Yeah right, not going to happen)

Besides the inevitable by returning to unemployment this January, I am truly excited to become a Park Ranger. I enjoy talking with people, speaking to a crowd and the challenge of teaching people history of the local area. What better way to spend your summer (besides a cocktail on a beach) outdoors among history! I wouldn’t have applied to this job if I wasn’t passionate about the responsibility. This job may not pan out to anything afterwards, but I know it will be valuable to me in every aspect. I can’t describe my enthusiasm in this blog…I suck at English too much to use descriptive words and phrases. I guess I’ll let John Muir say it for me:

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. – The Yosemite (1912), page 256.

Half Dome, Yosemite, Winter 2006

Half Dome, Yosemite, Winter 2006

Blueberry and corn salad without the Quinoa

Blueberry and Corn Summer Salad

As you all know, I’m re-painting my kitchen. That’s such a simple way to put it. Sanding….painting…sanding…drilling…priming and so on. In between all of that, the Imp needs to eat and so does the Imp’s mate.

I’ve seen corn grow from a seed to tassel to full grown ears because of a small garden my father would grow every summer. Now I’m blessed with living among the famous Brentwood corn, which I purchase from the local fruit stands. No one can beat fresh corn from your own yard but Brentwood corn is the best. I’ve often heard the story of my Grandfather going all the way to Brentwood to pick up corn right before I was born. My family loves Brentwood corn but on that day, I won out. I was so cute that the Brentwood corn was null. Yes, my family compares me with corn.

I am a corn snob. I am a salad snob. I am a tomato and cucumber snob also. Ok…I just love my fresh veggies. I blame that on our summer gardens with; fresh cucumber, tomatoes, green beans and corn (yellow, white and bi-color). Mom would just shave the skin off of the cucumber and had me a salt shaker, there was lunch.

This recipe that I bring to you, will bring all of the freshness summer can give…except the blueberries but due to globalization, we can have them year around. The honey is local, the corn is local and supposedly all of the other ingredients besides the cilantro. Give it a shot, you will not be disappointed!! My parents are known for their potato salad…this salad is not mine but will be brought to any gathering that this summer has to offer.

Here is the original link to the salad, from Two Peas and Their Pod. Great website for recipes and what not’s. Check it out!


The beginning of my future salad, a baby cucumber.

The beginning of my future salad, a baby cucumber.

When I first found this recipe, it was for  cucumbers. I now grow my own little garden and usually have a good turn out. A few years ago, I had tons of cucumbers and squash. The squash had invaded most of the container planter. The cucumber had rapped their little arms over my greens beans and suffocated them out. With all of the mayhem, I had plenty of cukes and squash. This year…I separated the hoodlums from the general population.


Cucumber Death Grip

Cucumber Death Grip



This year, I should still get quite a few cucumbers. With Brentwood corn in full swing, I can make the salad anytime. The only change I made with the recipe above is added 1 cup Quinoa, only 4 ears of corn and doubled the sauce.  Please see my notes below on how I’ve changed the recipe and how it may help you make yours!



Blueberry Corn Salad

Ingredients:Stuff for salad

6 ears fresh sweet corn, husked ← I only used 3-4 ears

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cucumber, sliced ← Seeds removed

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 cup of Quinoa (optional) ←  I thought quinoa would make a nice addition to the salad.

It adds a great nutty flavor and adds a little bit more protein. It will double your salad amount.   




2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper



1. In a large pot, bring water to boiling. Add corn. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. When cool enough to handle, cut corn from the cobs. Discard cobs. ← I do not blanch my veggies, especially corn. I feel it takes out the flavor and is pointless. Just cut up the cobs and move on.

Easy way to remove corn kernels from cob. Simply add a small bowl and cut the cut on top of it. This way the kernels just fall to the side and you can cut all the way down the cob.

Easy way to remove corn kernels from cob. Simply add a small bowl and cut the cut on top of it. This way the kernels just fall to the side and you can cut all the way down the cob.

2. In a large serving bowl, combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. To make the dressing, whisk together lime juice, oil, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper. Pour dressing over salad and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. I doubled the sauce when I added the Quinoa. After making this salad a few time, you probably will not measure your sauce ingredients. Brentwood corn is supper sweet, so I may add less honey or LESS lime juice Last time I made this, the blueberries were tart, so I added less lime juice.. Go by taste because of the sweetness of the corn and blueberries.

Note-you can make this salad a day in advance. It keeps well. ←Only if you remove the seeds from the cucumbers. Cucumbers release their juices once cut open, this will dilute your sauce and make the salad running.

Finished meal with the Quinoa…Quinoa is not very photogenic.

Blueberry, Corn and Quinoa Salad

Blueberry, Corn and Quinoa Salad