Friday, March 29, 2013

Dear Friday: Snow, Spring, Softball

The sun showed it's face!

Dear Friday, today I will take a picture for the newspaper of an event in which I grew up participating.  Very cool.

Dear Snow, I like you, but I'm hoping when I return from my mini-vaca that you will have melted.

Dear Springtime, please hurry up and arrive!  I want to wear sandals.

Dear Thursday, you were awesome.  I got to go to the Holy Week service, reminisce a little, go to Michael's game, and (the biggest surprise) watch Bath Co. play softball!  I loved getting to see all the students.

Dear Subbing, you are such an awesome job.  I am paid to do something I love--hang out with students and try to share some of my excitement of life and learning!

Dear Council Meetings, you gave me a doozy of a week.

Dear NC and SC, prepare for me to visit!  WooHoo!

Dear Duck Dynasty, you are so awesomely hilarious!  So quoteable, so funny, and so clean.

Dear Homes, I love having multiple of you.  I have many places to rest my head and many places where I am loved.

Dear Trey, I had fun with you the other night.  I like sharing "sibling moments" with you.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thoughts and Moments From My Mind


-Has Disney Channel always been this immature, or have they reached a new low?
-I heard this quote during first period on Susan Boyle (and their thoughts on her lack of attractiveness): “Every woman needs loving.” ---well, maybe you had to have been there.
-Are teachers allowed to have a no gossip rule?  I would love it.  Except, I know I would break it.
-Some things are so hard to make myself do.  Seriously.  What is my problem?
-I want to leave a lipstick print on a glass window sometime.  You know, a red, perfect print.
-Other than family, it is rare to find people you can tolerate and enjoy for long periods of time.  I'm thankful to have found that with the Shaver's.

My Invincibility Was Shaken

As many of you know, it snowed on Palm Sunday.
Instead of hating, I am doing my best to enjoy the mountains coated in white.

Yesterday I went to Covington to do some stuff for the paper. 
I'd barely left the driveway (that Pastor Steve plowed so Lala and I could do our errands), and I decided I wanted to stop and take a picture.  Pulling over, it dawned on me that I might not be able to get out of the snow.  I did, without taking out a mailbox or two!

After dinner last night, Trey, Bella, and I went traipsing (my current favorite word to describe what we did) through the snow.  I wore my yellow wellies.  Wellies are supposed to be water proof.  To show off my invincibility, I stood in the creek.  I had the sensation of cold water running over my feet.  At first I wondered if I was just feeling the cold through the rubber.  Then I realized, water was leaking into my boots through the awesome zipper.

No longer do I feel quite as invincible.

Trey and Bella had quite the wrestling match.  Actually, if we are friends on Facebook, you should look at the pictures very quickly to get the full affect.

All in all, a beautiful time.
It ended in tranquilly walking home.
Trey and I drank hot chocolate.
And I baked cookies.
Chocolate chip cookies.

The mailbox I worried about knocking over.

Such beautiful scenery.

These mountains amaze me.  The God who made them amazes me even more!

Winter Spring

Beautiful Falls.

Cousins walking in the snow.  They are besties : )

It happened.  See my sad face?


Wrestling match!

Look at his cute freckles!

Love these kids.  They are basically family.

Proof we were all there!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What Month Is It, Again?

March 24, 2013
Palm Sunday
The 4th day of Spring
and it's snowing

It started just before one, and now, at one minute till six, we have about four inches of snow.
It's not falling anymore, though.

Initially, I was upset by the snow.  But, after a reminder from Daddy, I decided to just enjoy it--forgetting that date.  So, I shall make some hot chocolate in a few minutes, and maybe do some writing or reading.

I've folded some laundry, wasted time online, and froze my feet for a minute to take pictures.
(This morning at church, our speaker, Chip, made two subtle Duck Dynasty references.  I practiced self-control and didn't tweet about it till after church ended.)

Below are a couple of shots!  (Have I mentioned how beautiful my home is?)

Friday, March 22, 2013

How Do You Respond To That?

Today was pretty spectacular with only a few down moments.

Yesterday I didn't have a subbing job.
This morning, they called the house.
When Pastor Steve told me I was subbing for Ms. Hodge (he took the call and accepted for me), he said, "Since you're subbing for Ms. Hodge, you can learn to cook like Miss Kay."  Haha.  Hilarious.  Love Duck Dynasty references.

In no particular order, my highlights:
-Coining a new fashion phrase.  Jungle-chic.  Hold the phone while I call Vogue.  They will be all over this.  And, I have the founding model for them.
-Sitting with a group of my awesome students at lunch.  We laughed so much!
-Chase getting me lotion.  (He got me chocolate yesterday).
-Walking through the hallway and hearing "Miss Richardson" from behind me.  Tanner wanted to show me something.
-A student forgot my name.  What do they come up with?  "Miss Hot Teacher Lady."  I tried to not laugh...but how do you respond to that?
-Picking up Rebecca for school!  I love having company in the car.

And, just because, my attempt at brownies from a Pinterest recipe.
They didn't turn out so hot...

Dear Friday: It's Been a Good Week

Dear Friday, you've arrived and I get to be at the high school!  This makes me very happy.
Dear Week, you've been a roller coaster: a snow day, working on stuff for the paper, substitute teaching, and growing relationships.
Dear Jamison, I love our friendship, although, we should work on taking our own advice ;)
Dear Duck Dynasty, I love watching you.  Can't you come on more often?  I mean, who wants to watch Storage Wars, anyway?
Dear Students, you all are my favorites!  I am happiest subbing when I am at BCHS.
Dear Car, I'm taking you for an alignment...I must be growing up if I'm taking the car to the mechanic.
Dear Spring, Please arrive!  I don't want another snow storm.
Dear Weekend, here is to all the fun things I've yet to plan but hope to do!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's Duck Night!

Do you find yourself more tired than usual on the nights you want to stay up later?
This dilemma keeps presenting itself to me on Wednesday nights.  AKA, Duck Dynasty night.

Tonight, I was unable to keep my eyes open just after nine.  I took a cat nap--the kind where you doze but don't quite sleep.  I was aware, but wanted to stay in sleep mode (even though I wasn't sleeping).

I woke up and watched the new episode of Duck Dynasty about ten minutes into the episode.  The second new episode was my favorite.  Poor Sadie had to go shopping with her dad AND Uncle Si, and all because Willie thought her dress was too short.  She is his little girl.  But, Uncle Si did a great job with his heart-to-heart conversation about her growing up.

Favorite quote of the night:

"I'm so dope, I'm illegal in 55 states." ~Uncle Si

P.S.  Did you know Uncle Si is married?  I have a feeling his wife deserves a medal!  Here is a great article sharing the family's perspective on the show.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Afternoon Chai, Writing, and Lipstick

I'm at the coffee shop in town, working on an article.

Clearly I am taking a break.  For whatever reason, I am having a difficult time piecing it together.  There are so many things I want to share, but I must keep writing and erasing to see how it comes together.

I love that my job let's me work from wherever.  Although, I tend to be slightly distracted when people and cars walk and drive by.  It's a small town, so I'm always like, "Who is that?  Wait, do I know that person driving by?"

Winter is a guest overstaying it's welcome.  It is gusty outside, making the awning flap angrily.  I'd like to see some green buds on the trees.

I bought sale $1 lipstick on Saturday.  You know, how high can my expectations really be?  The first color is too pale/shimmery for my taste.  I already have another color like it.  But, the red I bought is awesome.  Granted, I have to apply chapstick first, but the color is great, it stays on well (I've been drinking chai and I still have some on my lips), and my lips stay smooth.  I'm a fan!

I need to go back to brainstorming and writing.

From my view:

My distraction
What I'm about to pack up because my brain is not working.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pancakes and Liquid Gold

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

My weekend was filled with pancakes, maple syrup, lots of people (friends, acquaintances, and strangers), and laughter.

Last weekend Amanda and I went to the Maple Festival, ate pancakes, and visited Monterey.  This weekend, we went as far as Bolar and served pancakes on Saturday and Sunday.  Hundreds of people come through the Bolar Ruritan Club over the two weekends.  Two long tables and eight (ish) smaller tables provide seating for the tourists and locals to enjoy made-from-scratch buckwheat or buttermilk pancakes.  Strangers sit across from each other, swapping stories.

When we arrived Saturday morning, we were put on sausage duty.  Yes, Amanda and I are now professional sausage makers.  We handled about 30lbs. of homemade sausage and know how to make perfect sausage patties--another skill added to our "useless resume" (that we are thinking about know, all the skills we have that won't get us hired).

Pulled out of the kitchen, I started serving (my favorite!).  The busier things are, the more enjoyable it is.  When thing is so boring.  Anyway, we had a great time.  We arrived at 7:45 AM and left at 2:30 PM.  A long and awesome day.

Saturday night we helped at One Way Cafe, an outreach for the youth in the area.  Super fun!

Sunday morning we headed up to Bolar again, arriving around 10:15.  Some kids from the night before were there, as were a couple of students I've had in class (they are so sweet)!  It was awesome to work with the kids.  They are helpful, funny, and make everything brighter.

Trey's Super Bowl football banquet was Sunday, late afternoon.  I decided I would rather go and not know many people, rather than being home alone.

Highlight of Saturday:  Being asked to prom.  It happened.  (I should add, this is a highlight because I graduated almost five years ago...he didn't believe me when I first said, "I think I'm too old for you.")

Highlight of Sunday: Working with so many awesome kids and talking at the end of the day.

Highlight of the weekend:  Seeing so many people I know (yes, I even saw my first softball coach from 4th grade).

On the drive home
Photo by K.L.R.

Bustling time at the Ruritan Club
Photo by K.L.R.

Making sausages and taking a pancake break.
Photo by K.L.R.

Pancakes on the griddle.
Photo by K.L.R.

Syrup and cakes!
Photo by K.L.R.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

He Really Looked Like Prince Charles

You have several awkward moments in a week?
I had several awkward moments in...two hours!

-Yesterday Jamison and I were supposed to meet for lunch after I finished subbing.  While waiting for her to arrive, it dawned on me, what if she was at the other Cucci's?  I realized we hadn't specified which one, I'd just assumed since I told her I was subbing.  Panic hit, and I frantically began to call her.  She didn't answer.  Finally, she picked up...well, her purse answered--and she walked in.  It turns out, she had wondered the same thing.

-Sitting, eating, talking.  Three State Troopers walked in.  I looked past Jamison, noticed them, and made a face--the kind of face that could be misinterpreted as "ooo, they are hot."  Jamison noticed and started laughing at me.  I had to explain my State Trooper encounter a few weeks ago.  No, I was not into the officers, just struck by the personal the day before, when I started to speed and decided that with 50+ officers around me, I should avoid speeding.

-Still facing everyone walking into the room, I looked past Jamison's shoulder as an older couple walked by.  I stopped listening to her talk as my brain started to spin.  The man behind her looked so familiar, but I couldn't place him.  Then I remembered.  Prince Charles!  No, wait, that can't be right.  Prince Charles would not be eating here...nor is he in the USA.  This guy sitting next to us looked like him!  I quickly texted her--across the table--to let her know why I had slightly freaked, and promptly started laughing.

A picture for your amusement:
I shared it with a friend who taught me to play chess--and knows about my State Trooper encounters

Art and Humanity: Thoughts from Stephen Freeman

You may remember when Stephen, from evenstephenfreeman, invited me to share my thoughts on knowing and seeking Christ in the quiet.

Now, it is my turn to host Stephen.  His writing is insightful and allows the reader to know him.  It is fascinating to read his thoughts on different ideas and encounters.  Early in February, Stephen wrote about a visit to an art museum with his wife.  It prompted me ask him to write about art.  Everyone has a unique perspective on art, and I enjoy hearing people's opinions on the subject.

I hope you enjoy his thoughts and will enjoy his other posts!
Some people say that art is useless.  My deep love of art brings me to say that I wholeheartedly agree.

Let me explain.  To say that something is “useless” literally means that it is an object which has no use.  But, more often than not, what these people mean when they say that art is useless is that art has no practical use.  It is only for the sake of looking at and provides no practical, realistic, empirically measurable good for anyone’s real life.   An engraving, like the one shown below, cannot be used (at
least not very effectively) as a hammer or as a vehicle, or as fuel, or as anything that pragmatists would consider useful.

So I ask you, what is the "use" of this engraving.  I am an English Major, so I would have a terrific time writing you essays upon essays of what this piece means and the social implications that it holds, but really, what is its use?

Although there may be countless answers to this question, mine is simple.  It makes you think.

It gives you a reason to sit down, stop being so busy, and really thing about the nature of what it means to be human.

I saw this piece, or rather, a reproduction of this piece, while wandering through St. Augustine with my wife Caroline last year.  The artist's name is Frederick Hart, and this particular piece is called "Ex Nihilo" which means "out of nothing."  If you are able to look at this sculpture and not wonder at what it means to be alive and human, I wonder at your capacity to be amazed by beauty at all.

"Ex Nihilo" by Frederick Hart
My favorite part about this piece, and about art in general, is its complete lack of practical use.  Because if it had a practical use, it would always be in danger of being reduced to that ability.  A car, for example, is a masterful piece of genius.  Open the hood of your car while it's running and marvel at the complexity of moving parts, all working in perfect time with one another, exploding and moving with fire and water and smoke and air.  This is a work of art, but it is, more often than not, reduced to its ability to transport you from point A to point B, while playing your favorite music.

So, I am glad that art is only art and has no practical use.  This, combined with its ability to make a person think and genuinely marvel at the world we live in, is its greatest quality.  I am so truly glad that art is useless.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Life in a Snow Globe: Guns, Police, What?

I'm half-way living in a surreal world.
The feeling you get after finishing a book or a television series you've marathoned?
That's how I feel.

For two and a half hours today, I was in a snow globe.
I watched the jaws of life (at least I think they were the jaws of life) break a car door off.
I watched police carry out search tactics while they hunted a shooter.
A man-hunt happened around me, and I calmly walked in front of guns (ok, that was kind of weird since I've always been taught not to walk in front of guns--they were not loaded), took pictures, scribbled notes, and enjoyed being able to get close to the action, ask questions, observe, and not be told to leave.

It was like being in a crime television show...except I knew some of the people wearing the uniforms.

Plus, it's always fun to be someplace others aren't allowed (the park was closed for the day).

When I drove out this morning, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw an ambulance and rescue car.  I pulled over, let them pass, and wondered if it was real or part of the mock disaster.  All mock.

I feel like I lived an adventure.  But, when I think about it, it wasn't real.  I'm in a slight quandary over the whole thing.

But, it was informative, fascinating, and made for a fun article to write!

P.S. This was a mock disaster exercise.  I covered it for the paper.

Festivals are Happy Places!

Sunday afternoon, Amanda and I drove into the wild, blue yonder/end of the earth/Highland County.

It's actually not the end of the earth, but since it is the last county before hitting WV (north and west), we joke that it feels like the end of the earth.

Two weekends in March are the Highland County Maple Festival.
Worlds collide...for real.  It's like country meets hippie meets tidy tourist.
i.e. locals, hippies, and folks from NOVA (note: generalization)

We drove up from Bath County after church, stopping for delicious pancakes and sausage in Bolar).  Seriously, best place to stop for pancakes!

The drive, though a tad long, is absolutely beautiful!  It feels like you are in Great Britain at times.

While riding and talking, Amanda and I noted the lack of State Troopers...and how we hadn't seen many at all in a while (you need to understand, there was a chunk of days a few weeks ago where they were EVERYWHERE).  When we arrived in Monterey, what should we see but two or three State Trooper cars sitting on the corner.  I commented that I could feel free to speed home since we knew where they were.

Snow was on the ground, and the air was warm.  A perfect festival day.  We walked around, looked in all the stalls, saw people we knew, chatted, and had a kind of perfect day.  I love living in a place where you go to events and see so many people you know.

Oh, did I mention I wore my fabulous yellow wellies?  I felt invincible.  I walked through puddles and mud knowing my feet would be perfectly clean when I took my boots off : )

Bolar pancakes...mmm!

Amanda enjoying her first Maple Fest pancakes...EVER!

Look at that deliciousness

Eating my pancakes...sooo good!

Franklin, Elkins...see, end of the earth!  Staunton saves it, though ; )

Want to grow your own mushrooms?

Grilling up a storm

Doing something with wood


Reminded me of Venice

My wellies!  Love bright colors!

Walking along 220

Monday, March 11, 2013

If I Owned a Monet

One of my recurring thoughts is...

...if I could purchase a masterpiece, what would it be?

While watching White Collar, the thought struck me again.

My mind flits to Monet.  Of course, Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, and others are not pushed out, but to own a Monet...there are no words.

London Parliament in Winter
Is there a particular piece you dream of owning?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Throwback Night

My beautiful dress, circa 2008!
Tonight went far better than I anticipated.  I was covering the Young Miss Queen of Hearts pageant.  I was in this pageant nine years ago.  Nine years ago, my Charger Dress debuted on the stage of Curfman Hall.  I realized this tonight.  My favorite part of the pageant is always the evening gowns.  However, tonight was extra special.  Of course, no dress on that stage compared to mine ; )

Thoughts from the night:
1.  The girls were a good age, sweet, lacking airs, and most of their dresses were not too short (although, a few were too long).
2.  Honeys, please learn where your hand goes on your hip.  Hip does not mean thigh; it means where the hip meets the waist.
3.  Little girl heels are cute.
4.  As I say at every pageant, stay away from the flats.  From the audience, it looks like your heels have sunk into the stage.
5.  Let's lessen the entertainment.  It is a pageant, not a talent show.
6.  Just hire Amanda and me to run the pageant and teach the girls how to walk and pose.  Seriously, "pageant coach" means nothing to me anymore.

Now I'm home.
The stars are beautiful tonight.
Bed soon.
Church in the morning.
Maybe the Maple Festival?

Happy losing an hour of sleep!

Synonyms: Saturday, Pageants

As I prepare to cover my fourth pageant (yes, you heard correctly), I've been more excited.
There are things I would rather be doing than watching 20 girls walk across a stage, smile and look too hard at the judges, and not understand what too short means.

But, I'm thankful for a job, and I'm glad I am a pageant girl, so I can at least entertain myself critiquing outfits and trying to pick the winners.

Next week should come with normalcy.  I have several events to cover and at least one day subbing (hopefully more!).

This morning I awoke at 6:45, crawled out of the basement, and enjoyed a morning of movies with Lala.  We needed a day to lounge (not like we haven't had snow days all week).  But, today was Saturday.  It was nice to pop in a movie and not be at the mercy of a terrible television selection.  We enjoyed A Beautiful Mind...and I enjoyed most of The Dead Poets Society.  I need to finish it later (I have seen it before).

And, yes, I am keeping up my cute outfits for the pageants (sorry I am so terrible about posting them).

P.S. I was bummed when I realized I wouldn't be home tonight...just in case Duck Dynasty is on.  Oh, you didn't know I was a fan?  Mmm, more on that later.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dear Friday: Snowwwww

Dear Friday, No school.  Lots of snow on the ground.  My week did not go according to my plan (big surprise, right?).

Dear BCHS, I'm so sad I don't get to come back on Monday.

Dear House, You are nice, but I need to get out (cabin fever...makes me sympathize with those girls on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers).

Dear Back, I'm sorry.  I know you want a massage...or an adjustment.

Dear Morning, It's only 8:52...but it feels way later.  Result of getting up too early.

Dear What Not to Wear, Loved watching you this morning with Lala.  Just like old times!

Dear Weekend, Just waiting to see what you hold.  And, yes, a pageant is tomorrow night.

Dear Self, it's time to get dressed!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sometimes the Path is Hard

Snow is covering the ground.
School is out for the second day.
I don't want to make a post of pictures and share about any event.

I need to write about thoughts, processes, emotions.

The human mind is unique.
It allows individuals to take a concept or thought, mull over it (sometimes for hours), and move forward with it--often without processing to anyone else.

It should be no surprise to anyone who knows me (or has read my blog for a while), I am always thinking.  I've been processing a lot recently.  Sometimes my chest feels like it's being crushed.  Remember I said I am content?  It's still true.  But, with that comes a hesitancy about what is next.  I know I will be ready to move when the time comes, but right now, I am satisfied where I am.

If you are reading this and freaking out, wondering if I am going to skip out on England, don't worry.  England is in my future.  But, at this moment, I am happy.  I am looking forward to going to work tomorrow.  I am learning and growing up.  And sometimes I'm a wreck.

But, I'll look back and appreciate the lessons learned.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It Finally, Truly Snowed

The BC Snow Storm 2013 arrived last night, resulting in no school today or tomorrow.

Since I part of the family, I was given the task of folding laundry.
I made a laundry wall around myself.
I Skyped with Kristy and Marie.
Then, we sat around and watched a good movie (it got me crying at the end).

This afternoon, Trey and I went and played in the snow.
It seemed only right to make a snow man...since there is 10" of snow on the ground.
Oh, don't worry, we threw snow balls at each other (and last night, too)!

I'm a experiencing a little cabin fever......
But, I'll get over it.

Enjoy a few fun pics!

Playing in the snow last night

So fun!  Pajamas and snow!

A patch of blue sky was showing.

Too much wet snow for sledding : (

Thanks for clearing behind my car, Pastor Steve!

The snow(wo)man I built!

The new Pope...bringing pink to the Vatican
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