Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A telltale sign

If you are raised in South Carolina and love football, you are either a tiger fan or a cocks fan. You were either raised to pull for Clemson University or the University of South Carolina. Those are our teams... Me? I'm a Clemson Tiger fan... bleed orange. Ok, so I don't go too overboard like many fans. But when Dad wanted to take us on a special "date" with one of his 4 daughters, we'd go to a Clemson football game (looking back in retrospect he really was "date" smart, we did love it though and jumped with enthusiasm at the mention of the game!), I married a Clemson graduate this past April, and many of my family/ friends have gone or are currently enrolled at Clemson. One of my cousins currently enrolled sent me an article from their campus newspaper, The Tiger, called "A telltale sign". As I glanced at it I noticed it seemed a little wordy and long so was just going to delete it from my inbox, but for whatever reason I was compelled to read it anyway.

After reading it, I had to pause. This article was so true. And the very reason I didn't want to read this "long and wordy" article was a little slap in my own face. You see, this article literally talked about words and how our society has forgotten how to speak or even how to verbally express ourselves. The author, Zak James, quoted N.T. Wright saying “A serious breakdown of language is a telltale sign of a serious breakdown of human culture.” James goes on to write,

" No wonder we are quick to give credence and respect to the words of
individuals who speak as though they are from a time in the past... We disregard
language that carries with it a level of meaning and complexity for a new kind
of vernacular that is painfully shallow and deeply defensive, overtly gratuitous
and laughably bombastic. Should we really feel so entitled as to blame our
foreign neighbors for believing us to be fools by virtue of our speech? I think
not... The culture at large rests upon the language of its people; when the
language erodes, culture soon follows. It is a perpetual cycle of reciprocal
determinism that, if not soon grasped, will undermine everything we have
achieved... (It is) a society in which bad language is no longer ceaselessly
implemented as a substitute for the inability to articulate one’s emotions or as
a cop out for not putting forth the effort to speak as individuals."

Why do only a handful of readers out there read Jane Austen? Our society can't understand her books. They are too long, wordy. Its "hard" reading, we have to concentrate too "hard". Why is EVERYONE out there reading Twilight (material written for young adults)? Its on a 4th grade reading level. Our society likes to read on a 4th grade reading level because we can understand the material. And I'm as guilty as the next. Makes me think... how am I contributing to the linguistic decline of our society? Can I do anything to change the snowball effect? Is it too late? I know this is a little heavy, but definitely something to think about... Check out the article. What ya'll think? Is this article true/false?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Southern Living Kitchen

This past weekend My Love and I stayed at his parent's Saturday night (they were gone to the beach) so I wouldn't have to drive as far to work Sunday morning. While we were there I became engrossed in her new Southern Living magazine (i even stole it, brought it to work Sunday, then home with me Sunday night. Bad daughter-in-law). Oh, sometimes it makes me happy to be a Southerner! Great stuff for all you ladies who live down here! I especially loved this cozy kitchen remake! Lately all I've been focusing on is my small barn decor that I haven't really looked out for any "big" house ideas. But this kitchen definitely caught my eyes. Not too big, but still spacious. The muted gray cabinetry with the distressed finish is quite lovely and really love the open shelves over the sink! Plus, I've found that I'm really drawn to large farm styled kitchen sinks as well. If you take a peek at the layout you'll see that the living area is right there too! And that's definitely something I want, all open! This kitchen will definitely be saved in my house favorites file on my desktop.

Friday, August 27, 2010

boys of fall

There are certain seasons that impale your senses full on. Like you cannot only see, taste, smell that season arriving but it puts your senses into overload, without remorse. Christmas is one of them. Fall is one of them. But Football season is also one of them. Luckily its practically knocking on our doorsteps. There is something strikingly different that this football season holds. There will still be tailgating, painted faces, hot scorching days, then blustering cool days, fun, food, rivalries. But this year will be the first year I no longer will see my brother on the field. I've mentioned before that my brother has played football almost as long as he's been walking. Honestly, I can hardly remember a year not watching him on the field in his shoulder pads, jersey, and helmet. I've learned the game and learned to love the game because of him. But this year my #82 will not be on the football field, he graduated from college this past may. When he graduated I didn't think about how much I'd miss that emotional tug that has always been associated with seeing a loved one sweating, fighting, winning and losing on the field. But now that football season has arrived, I am missing it. Missing my boy of fall! It sure was fun seeing him play!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Swim Lesson


Yes, I've started swimming... well, I'm in the process of attempting to be a swimmer or trying not to drown/swallow half the pool in the process of becoming a swimmer. I'm not exactly sure how this all got started. But its a little out of control now. A girl in my home group from church is a swim teacher and casually mentioned we should go swimming one day because we both go to the same gym. They have an indoor swimming pool and blah blah... Well, offhandedly I agreed, but secretly doubted because i had no intention of being seen in a bathing suit next to a double zero size girl (the size is totally true, i went shopping with her the other day!) who strangely resembles a dark headed Barby. The first "lesson" i totally blew her off. The second time I felt bad so reluctantly dragged myself to my first ever adult swim lesson. And about died.

I know how to swim. My mom put me and all my siblings in swimming lessons at our local YMCA when we were little. I remember well. I even beat our teacher in how long we could hold our breath under water. But that was about 20 years ago I'm afraid. This whole swimming for exercise... without oxygen is a whole different story! And is kicking my bleached whale butt... big time (yes, that's what i feel like some days trying to swim). Examine: girl below on far right... about to die... about to inhale a lung she's breathing so hard. That is how I feel. That is me.


But I've decided to stick with it. Because I love to eat. And Michael Phelps is able to consume like 7000 calories a meal or something ridiculous like that and still have a rock'n body. And I am getting a little better. Plus, I've bought the bathing suit, and the hard-core goggles and even threatened to buy the swimming cap... because I'm hard core. Or will be... one day... if I don't drown or develop pneumonia from aspirating half the pool in the process.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Atlanta & My Weekend of Food

Friday afternoon conversation:
My Love: "So what do you want to do this afternoon? Do we have any plans for the weekend?"
Me: "Well, I was thinking we could go to a matinee, I haven't seen a movie in forever and Dad said that Salt was really good and we'd probably like it."
My Love: "Hmmm... yea. We could do that...
Me: "Well, what do you want to do... I gave an idea."
My Love: "Lets get out of town for the night. Get a hotel somewhere, eat, relax, just get away. What you think?"
Me: "Uhhhh, YEAH! Ok, your idea was better!"

So my weekend consisted of basically eating! And relaxing. But a lot of eating. We arrived at our hotel, the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, Atlanta around 7:30pm. We had just enough time to freshen up in our room before making our dinner reservation at 8:30 at Fogo de Chao.
Ok, so I had never been to a Brazilian Steakhouse. And I'm telling you, if you haven't ever gone, go. It was so delish...and I'm not even a huge red meat fan. Basically the restaurant cooked 15 different cuts of meat. And if you wanted all those 15 cuts, you could have them. You just flip your little card over to green and the meat men come running. My Love was in heaven. They also had a fabulous salad bar. I especially loved watching all our "gaucho" servers rush by with deliciously cooked meats. I felt like I was in Brazil because all our servers had Brazilian accents! It was great. I practically had be rolled out though! Was just too much food! Hmmm, yummy but so good!


The next morning we headed to The Flying Biscuit Cafe for brunch where they are known for smooth, creamy grits, delicious biscuits and fabulous atmosphere. Again, food delish! My omelet stuffed with mushrooms and goat cheese, grits, and biscuit = heaven.

Sunday, back at home, we headed to my parents house to have a cookout out at the pond. My uncle is in from Canada so the whole fam was there to welcome him home. Again, lots of food, fun, fellowship. I made this recipe from the wonderful Framed blog. I have grown addicted to her food blog and love her pics! And what a success the peach crumble was! Everybody commented how good it was! And you can't get easier than that! Thanks Framed!
Hope everyone else had a great weekend too!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

One Beggar

How do you reach out to someone who doesn't want to be reached? How do you love someone who doesn't want to be loved? Its such a frustrating thing and it tugs at my heart. One cannot be a Christ follower and not have compassion for the people in this world that Jesus has compassion for. My church, New Spring, is doing a series about evangelism. "Evangelism," he explained, "Is simply one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread". I love that! Its so easy to understand! One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. But wouldn't it be frustrating for the beggar who has bread, or knows where to find bread, or wants to share his bread, but his friend beggar rejects it. Your friend, who is literally starving to death in front of your eyes, won't accept the bread! Why? EERRRH!! Frustration!

I was talking to my sister about this very issue last night. She had just spoken to a "beggar" who constantly rejects the "bread". I know she loves this person and therefore is very concerned for him spiritually. But he constantly refuses. And I know it breaks my sisters heart. "I feel so bruised after talking with him" she tells me on the phone. He doesn't realize how it hurts her to see him starving to death in front of her eyes.

For the Christians reading this I want to encourage you to reach out... even when it is hard. We are called to reach out to the world, just as Jesus reached out to us. And for all the non- Christians out there. When someone talks to you about Jesus. Know that the reason we do it is because we love you... maybe even try to listen...maybe try not to bruise us too much...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

High School Days

So its back to school time again. Oh, and believe it or not, I sometimes miss it. Well, not really that much, but there were some fun times. I had a blast in school! Always playing a sport, clubs, roaming the halls. Its fun sometimes to think back to some of those good 'ole days of high school, watching my brother play high school football, seeing friends in classes, pulling the all nighters. "High school is never over" as the Jane Austin Book Club movie says and in many ways that statement is right. School is never really over. We take those memories everywhere with us!

I went to a private Christan school from 7th -12th grade. And a few times they threatened uniforms on us. I say threatened because, well, back in those days it was a threat. Now, looking back, what a blessing it would have been! I LOVE having a uniform for work! LOVE LOVE IT! Its just so easy at 0530 to shrug into anything white and run. But school uniforms hold such great style, great looks. Whats happened to the uniform days? Are they still out there? Did anyone ever have to wear a uniform to school? Neither of the private schools in my town had them. Why? Doesn't everyone look better in a uniform? Do they really suppress one's individuality? I say bring back the cute school uniforms!

even these nerds look sexy!

Aren't some of these uniforms fabulous! I'd wear them!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Guess What?

In My Tennis Shoes is One years old today!

And I will celebrate and have a slice of cake!

And laugh out loud about cake while I eat it! Funny!

"Hope its chocolate for meeeee"

Friday, August 13, 2010

Law of the Land

With all this talk of buying land, borrowing money... building our barn... moving... it can get a little overwhelming. Some days I just want to take a leaping jump and dive head first into the wonderful idea of it all. And other days... well, i don't. I get a little nervous. I think to myself, "Am I really this grown up? Can I really make these kind of decisions on my own? What if?"
And then I look beside me and I can breath again. I feel so blessed to have my Love beside me to help me when it gets overwhelming. To know that God has placed him in my life to be the leader, to love me unconditionally, to walk beside me, to comfort me... *sigh* I just feel so very blessed. There is this fabulous song by Levi Lowrey, a guy who travels with the Zac Brown Band called Wherever We Break Down. I heard them live a couple months ago and I'm in love with this song... I can really relate and its just a nice reminder,

"I don't need a roof above my head. And I'll sleep, I'll sleep in the
dirt if you'll hold my hand. Wherever we break down and make our stand, love
will be the law of the land..."

Check it out..

Thursday, August 12, 2010

just can't help it...

So the summertime is over for all the teachers this week in my area and kids go back next week. So I guess summertime is over. The problem with that statement is its not really over... its 104 degrees out there! It is blazing! Summer is still in full swing in my book! It makes me want to just camp out near the water... any water!! One cool chic who knows how to stay cool? My cousin's baby girl. I just can't help it... she is the CUTEST ever. She just turned one last month and she is just fabulous. That's all there is to it... and I don't even like kids that much! I mean take a look at those bathing suit statements! That hat! Precious! I could learn a thing or two from her!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Well, Well, Well...

Dear Internet (i totally stole that from life of a doctor's wife),

Things have really been happening! I mean things have REALLY been happening! Its so weird too because as you see I've been all reminiscing about my barn and about the country and how I'm ready to move home and blah blah... Well! About a week ago I got a call from my dad that the land next to my daddy's land is now for sale... 40 acres of it! How crazy is that! Ohmygoodness. I just don't know what to say. I'm super excited about it but now that it may really happen I'm nervous! I mean this is big bucks we're talking about! Big bucks we'll have to borrow and pay back! Can we afford it? We just weren't expecting this to happen till a couple years and have been paying off big chunks of old debt (mainly on this house). And now WHAM! Its possibly maybe going to happen.

Ohhh... but I am excited! Saturday we took a trip home and looked at it and the plat(?) thingy...

ok, this is the gravel driveway at my parents house... their land stops where all those trees are to the far right and that's whats for sale, the land that runs parallel to the horse's field! that could me ours!

And I liked what I saw... I can almost see my homestead in the upper corner. Some of those little trees/brush will have to be cleared some of course... but I can still almost see it!

Have any of ya'll out there ever bought land? Any recommendations that I should know about?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dairy Rd

For those that don't know, now that I'm married and moved in with my fabulous husband (who really is just fabulous) I drive an hour to work (work 12 hrs) and then drive an hour back home. Well, its not bad really because its only 3 days a week, but sometimes it can get a little mundane. However, my aunt recently introduced me to another route that has really cheered me up and made me smile while driving. Its basically the same but I get to cut though on this charming drive for about 5 minutes called Dairy Road. This road holds the fragrance of home.
Dairy Rd is this small back road that holds this great working dairy farm. And tons of dairy cows in fields on both sides of the road enclosed by these great old fences. Yesterday evening when I passed through I noticed 3 dusty four wheelers parked in front of one large barn. I almost wanted to stop by and ask if I could take a tour. I wondered if they were milking. Would the cows been too distracted to milk if I'd taken a peek? It really is quite charming and it makes me want to move out to my small field with my small barn even more.
My mom grew up on a small working dairy farm. She used to tell us how she'd have to get up before school on cold mornings, slip into her black rubber work boots and feed the baby calves milk bottles. I too grew up on that same land. And while the cows are no longer milked, when I see the milking barn I can remember watching my uncle milking the cows just like his father before him. It seems such honest, wholesome work. And only the hardest workers are able to survive. I do hope one day to be able to point to the dairy across the field from my own home and explain to my little girl that the cows were once milked there and her grandma used to work hard in that same old barn when she was a little girl.
Yes, Dairy Road holds the fragrance of home and makes the drive a little better each day.