Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Menu

Since I am no longer employed and Da (I'm trying out this new nickname. "D" just didin't seem right since I always see David Cain when someone says D) is in WV, I have been home alone all weekend catching up with my back issues of Martha Stewart Living and Southern Living. After combing through each issue with a careful eye, I have decided that entertaining Da's family for the Memorial Day holiday will cure this itch I have to be Martha. Here's what's on the menu:

Eastside Cafe's (Austin, TX) Salsa with Blue Corn Chips
Fresh Peach and Arugula Salad with Garlic Vinagrette
Mustard Barbeque Chicken
Papa Tom's Famous Potato Salad
Broccoli Salad
Mimi's "P"-Slaw
Caramelized Onion and Cheesy Cornbread Muffins
Key Lime Cheescake

I am so thrilled to have the chance to spend the day with family and friends doing what I love the! I only wish my own family were here to spend the day with us. I am looking forward to days when that may be possible!

In the meantime,  Happy Memorial Day to everyone. Enjoy time with friends and family and remember those who have died in our nation's service so that we can enjoy the freedom's of our life.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Farewell to the Woodruff Wolverines

One more day... one more morning drive... one more sound of the morning and afternoon bells... one more set of grades to enter. That is all that is left in my time at Woodruff High School. To say that this year has flown by would be a major understatement. To say that it seems like I just opened my doors to an unfamiliar school and unfamiliar students on the first day of school seems more likely. All the uncertainty and uneasiness I felt beginning this school year was quickly replaced with a familiar ease and comfort. This school and these kids have made me love every minute of being a teacher and for that reason I will truly miss being a part of this school! So, it is off to West Virginia I go knowing that I am lucky to have been a part of an amazing community for at least this one year. Although I am not an alumnus of Woodruff High School, I am touched by the chorus of the Alma Mater:

Hurrah, Hurrah, for the Woodruff High
We are true as the stars above,
So off with your hats and three times cheer
For the dear old school you love!

Best of luck to all my students! I hope that our paths will one day cross again!

Hurrah, Hurrah for the Woodruff High!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend Excursion

At the close of this week after much excitement (an anticpated interview for me in WV) D and I decided to take a little break. Our break of choice this weekend was a backpacking trip into Panthertown Valley in the mountains of Western North Carolina. We not only needed a break from the stress and uncertainty that has become our life right now, but we also needed a break from the heat that has seemed to permeate every nook and cranny of this upstate corner of SC.

With hopes of cool breezes, clear mountain streams, and a simpler life for a day, D convinced me to put on a backpack and carry my house with me for a night. (I must really love this man since I am not sure I would do this for just anyone!)

At the end of our short hike, only 1.5 miles, we found ourselves amidst a land of countless waterfalls, pristine sandy bottom creeks, and tangled mountain laurel and rhododendron thickets. This small parcel of land (6300 acres) was designated as an addition to the Nantahala National Forest after several attempts were made to convert it into an upscale resort area, Christmas tree farm, and Duke Power's land for  high voltage transmission lines. Regardless of the multiple intended uses, it's primary use today is as a recreation area and it's beauty is amazing! We found ourselves breathing a little deeper and walking a little slower. The dogs felt as if we had taken them to their own personal heaven.

After our wonderful day we called it quits at our home away from home and settled in to a dinner of udon soup and terriyaki noodles. The dogs found a place to settle and finally made peace with the wilderness.

At the end of our trip we left feeling more refreshed and grateful for our time away from the distractions. We found that even a 2 hour car ride and 1.5 mile hike can make us feel like we are miles away!

In the words of  Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas "..... to be whole and harmonious, man must also know the music of the beaches and the woods. He must find the thing of which he is only an infinitesimal part and nurture it and love it, if he is to live."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ever Wonder?

Maybe Daniel and I should investigate this new hobby once we get settled in West Virginia. How hard could it be?

Jib Jab

Thanks Anna!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

At the close of this weekend I have been reflecting on all the mothers in my life and the importance of my own. As I spent this celebratory day with D's mother and grandmother, I am reminded of the special place that mothers hold in our hearts.  This one title, whether it be Mom, Mommy, Mama, or Ma seems to encompass so many different roles. For me, my own Mom is my confidant, my support, my friend, my strength, and most importantly the voice of reason for me when things seem to get so out of control. Yes, we have had our fair share of ups and downs (what Mother and Daughter hasn't), but in the end she is the one that I turn to when I really need to know who I am and who I am supposed to be.

After all these reflections on my mom and my relationship with her I was left wondering how this special day came to be? It turns out that this day for honoring our mothers originated with a West Virginian named Anna Jarvis (it seems West Virginia pops up everywhere I look). Ms. Jarvis, in 1908, wanted to accomplish her mother's dream of making a celebration for all mothers. Unfortunately this idea didn't take off until several years later when President Woodrow Wilson made it an official national holiday in 1914. The story goes that Anna Jarvis later became disgusted with the commericalism of her own creation, and was arrested several times for protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day.  She finally said that she "wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control ...". Regardless of the commericialism and discontent that Anna Jarvis felt over her creation, this day still gives us all the opportunity to tell our Moms how much they mean to us and how much we appreciate them.

I wish with all my heart that I was nearer to mother not just today, but everyday. So, Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers out there and a very special Happy Mother's Day to my own Mom... Love you!