Friday, September 30, 2011

I Love Weekends

Happy Friday Everyone! 

Hope it's a beautiful one there, just like it is here.  It's supposed to finally dip below 88 this weekend, so I'm excited.

My blog's been super boring lately, huh?  When you spend all of your free time at a desk in the library, there just isn't much to share.  I was super good this week and got a lot of my work done so I could actually enjoy some hours of the weekend.  School, blah!

I hope to break out the fall decor this weekend and get crafty, so maybe I will have something to share this week.

In the meantime, I'd like to give a shoutout to my most cherished tool for student teaching:


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Something I look forward to each year - fried curly potatoes at our local craft fair.

Next up to look forward to (in October) - county fair corn dogs!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Warm Fuzzies

I'm elbow deep in some educational research reading right now, but felt like I should pop in to say hello to my loyal thousands. :)

Warm fuzzies for the day:  Today was my last day at the elementary school for student teaching.  When I was leaving, they all swarmed around me for a 25 person hug.  A long one.  Like, couldn't get them off of me long.

Glad they liked me :) 

It's off to a middle school on Monday.  8th grade.  Wish me luck.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Photos & Fruit

I recently accomplished not one, but TWO things on my 2011 List.  It's quite the accomplishment.  Mostly because I've done so poorly on my little list this year.  These two mark only 10 crossed off out of 50.  Life gets in the way, ya know?  I've still got 3 1/2 months to redeem myself...

One off the list is highly important, the other is totally fluff.  But I'm sharing them both anyway.

First, # 34.  "Back up my photos somewhere"

I've been panicking recently, worried our computer will crash and I will lose everything.  I surely do not want to rely on poor quality Facebook pics of my most treasured moments.  That, and despite antivirus software, windows covered in Chinese characters keep popping up when I'm online... not a good sign.

So we caved and purchased a gigantic external hard drive.  Ok, in actuality it's really tiny, but it holds 500 GB, so I'm happy.  No more lamenting over the space my photos are taking up on our computer.  Everything will be safely backed up.  

It's funny that I still remember the first memory card I got for my first digital camera.  It was only 256 megabites, and cost about $40.  Ha!  How times have changed.  

The great thing about the hard drive we got (a Seagate), is that it comes with software that automatically backs things up as they change or get added, keeping you from having to remember to transfer files.  My kind of lazy-person safeguard.

Time will tell how it holds up, but so far, so good.

Second, #23.  "Try a new piece of random fruit from the farmer's market"

I'm not very adventurous in the fruit department.  I think I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't like real oranges.  It's always the texture, not the flavor, that bothers me.  

The farmers market we sometimes go to is the Your Dekalb Farmers Market up towards Atlanta.  It's an everyday, permanent kind of market, serving the very diverse population that makes up Atlanta.  So they have tons of veggies and fruits I have never heard of in my life.  Many spiny, fuzzy, multicolored oddities.  

For fear of eating something that would somehow kill me from an unknown allergy, I took it easy when selecting the fruit I would eat for the list. 

I went with a dinosaur pluot.  I figured it got bonus points for having "dinosaur" in it's name.  That, and I spent waaay too long figuring out how to pronounce "plout." (it's ploo-OTT, btw).  Maybe these are common fruits elsewhere, but I had never seen them.  So it was deemed adventurous enough for the list.   It's a plum and an apricot mixed together. 

I liked it!  Sweet and softish, but not too soft or too sour.  Try one! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Learning early how to drive a golf cart...

Friday, September 16, 2011


Yesterday, I talked about my family's visit over Labor Day and our trip to Serenbe.  I took more pictures that weekend, although not at Serenbe, so for the sake of honesty I didn't want to put them in that post, but still wanted to share... (whew, run on sentence)

Also, my brother in law's birthday happened recently, and we had the wonderful opportunity to see them and our niece Ava.  So consider this a NP (Niece Post).  Or PHNP (Photo Heavy Niece Post).

Four generations :)

artsy, ha!

What ya makin' me sit in this rusty chair for?

Seconds before an official meltdown :)

The whole fam (Tony's side)

Little reader

Making a video for her great grandma

I warned her there wasn't much money in it, no need to try to walk off with it :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


In all of my homework/student teaching/classes madness, I didn't have a chance to share what I did over Labor Day.  

Have I mentioned I LOVE having guests?  Too infrequently do we have visitors in our home.  Sure, we only have a horribly lumpy, maddeningly wobbly full-sized bed and a rock-solid single bed to offer, so I can see why people are hesitant to come.  But when they do, I love it.  I love playing hostess.  Someday we will have a big house and lots of friends and family nearby and I will "entertain" ....

This past long weekend, my mom, Grammy, Courtney, and Lyla came to visit (girls weekend!). I’m always eager to find fun things for us to do, so I decided we should take a visit to Serenbe. Serenbe is a community about thirty minutes from Peachtree City that is as beautiful as its name. People live there, but it’s a fun place for visitors to spend a nearly-fall Saturday morning. 

Serenbe has homes, restaurants, shops, and a farm, and the entire community looks like it has sprung right off the pages of Southern Living (I wish I had gotten more photos of these, but it felt a little stalkerish). On Saturday mornings in season they have a farmer’s market, and we found ourselves buying fresh bread and fragrant flowers, handmade jewelry and soup. 

Children laughed and played in the grass, residents stopped to chat with friends, and the warm sun peeked through the trees that surrounded the property. It was a delightful way to spend a morning.  And you know I took a bazillion pictures of Lyla...

I’m a sucker for the details, and camera in hand, I captured the beautiful architecture, Southern storefront facades, fragrant flowers speckled with butterflies, and even the eclectic streetlamps. We ducked in and out of little boutique shops and caught a whiff of fresh pastries wafting out of the Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop. 

We drooled over restaurant menus that boasted of dishes made with ingredients grown right there on Serenbe’s farm. I walked the tree-lined sidewalks, taking in decorative details and envious front porches, pushing Lyla in her stroller as she chattered away in the sunshine. 

Serenbe invites a laid-back atmosphere, people milling around with no specific purpose in mind. Conversation, beauty, and relaxation were the rules for the day. It was a morning meant to take it easy, and so we did.

If you're near the Atlanta area, I would recommend checking it out some time on a lazy Saturday.  It's also beautiful at Christmas.

Monday, September 12, 2011

An Afternoon Walk

The sun is dappling the path that lies before us, creating a mosaic of bright sunlight and dark earth.  Despite the oppressive heat, there is a cool breeze that glances off our warm skin.  One cannot help but be transfixed by the green – so much green - a million shades of nature, all blended together, trees crowded on top of each other, vying for sunlight, vying for life.  A spider spins lazily, the sunbeams glinting off the silken strands.  Birds chirp, singing happy songs, guiding our way.  We continue on, our steps relaxed.   Squirrels, chipmunks, we see it all.  Something rustles in the nearby bushes.  Perhaps it’s a snake, slithering through the murky, swampy waters that surround our path.  Perhaps it is something bigger. 

Fall is right around the corner, but only a few eager trees give it away.  We round a bend in the trail as a deep splash ricochets off the solid trees and stops us in our tracks.  A small doe, quiet and majestic, stands near, ankle deep in in algae-green water.  Her ears perk, her tail flicks.  She is silent and watchful.  Her baby is not quite as cautious as he slips tentatively from behind her, eager to continue on their course.  We remain motionless, the flickering sun through the breezy trees the only movement.  Hesitantly, she gracefully steps from the water, slowly, cautiously.  Her feet touch solid ground and she is flying, darting effortlessly among branches and brush, soon swallowed up by her green world, once again invisible.  Her baby follows, a mirror to her grace.  They have vanished, the spell broken. 

For those brief moments, we shared the same space, the same hesitation.  We move on.  The sun still sprinkles through the canopy of leaves.  The air still smells of a damp coolness.  It is still hot.   We are quiet, reflecting.

Just another day, walking our dogs on our favorite cart path through the woods.


I know I have mentioned before that we have tons of golfcart paths around town that are perfect for carting or for walking.  Nearly every day this summer, Tony and I took long walks with the dogs down these paths, grateful for the shade and cooler temperatures in the woods. It's like our own private nature walk.

This is the view from our driveway:

That is the start of a cartpath - all we have to do is cross our street and we have access to miles and miles of safe and smooth paths.  Lucky, huh?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nothing for Granted

It is such a beautiful morning here in Georgia.  It looks to be the same in New York.  

A day like today, with the sun shining through a clear, vivid blue fall sky, makes me realize how important it is to take nothing for granted.  Each day, each moment, to appreciate and treasure.  Life can be unexpected, but you have to cling to what is important, what really matters, and never let that leave you.  On tv, young children are honoring parents they never really knew, parents are mourning the loss of their grown children, widows are praying silently, eyes squeezed shut.

On a morning like today, like others, I am thinking back ten years.  I was sitting in my high school history class when word made it up to us from the front office about what was happening.  We turned on our classroom tv and watched in dismay as newscasters scrambled and jumbled information was slowly pieced together.  We watched live as the second tower was hit.  

I remember too that my history teacher turned off the tv then.  Not because he couldn't handle it, or because he thought we couldn't.  Instead, he told us he had to finish his lesson for the day, since we were already behind in the unit (the lesson was something about the West and the gold rush).  To this day, I still can't believe that.  We were watching history unfold before us, in a history classroom, yet my teacher was more concerned about covering material than helping teenagers grapple with real history being made and the unanswerable questions we all had.

This day impacted all of us, as Americans.  And my particular experience impacted me in a way that I hope to remember always.  I don't want to be the teacher who sacrifices teaching something truly meaningful for the sake of a tidy lesson plan.  Whatever the future brings us, I want to be that teacher encouraging my students to embrace the world they live in, good and bad.  I want them to understand, to participate, to know.  

I'm interning in a fifth grade classroom right now, and Friday, we had a school-wide moment of silence for September 11th.  Only some of our fifth graders had even been born then.  Most everyone in the school, the adults excluded, were not even yet imagined on that day.  

Time goes so quickly.  We must appreciate each and every day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Lantana, one of my favorites (wish this was mine!):

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