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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tea for Effort

Get it?  I'm blogging.  See, I can do it.  Even if that means that I haven't since last month...  Are you judging me?  I think you're judging me.  Stop it.

Today is my little blog's 5th birthday.  I have big dreams for her during the next year.  I wish I'd spent more time with her this past year, but like my Granny said...  "Wish in one hand and {insert something entirely inappropriate here} in the the other.  Which one do you have more of?"  Here's to hoping I'll produce much more {again with that inappropriate thing} this year on the Manifesto.

January is National Hot Tea Month.  As in, last month was National Hot Tea Month.  The irony here is that I began drafting this blog in early-January and it sort of seems silly to post it on the first day of February.  So to mix things up a bit, I'm declaring February an extension to National Hot Tea Month.

Years ago, I was a coffee drinker, but when the caffeine began to give me heart palpitations, I made the switch to tea.  While I appreciate the smell, taste, and texture of coffee, there's really no comparison to how well tea administers a solution to my every mood.  And, the options are endless. 

Since it's award season, I've compiled a little list of my favorite teas...and some of my not-so favorite.

Best Black
Republic of Tea Ginger Peach
I fell in love with this particular tea when I was working at Books-A-Million in high school.  Our Joe Muggs cafe featured a selection of Republic of Tea.  I worked the customer service desk with a little old lady named Arlina, who complained often of her fibromyalgia flare-ups.  She drank Ginger Peach and would re-use the tea bag several times with fresh hot water.  Anyway, I was intrigued by the sweet and spicy aroma wafting from her mug, and it didn't take long for me to become hooked.  This tea has little bits of peach pulp dried amongst the leaves, and has just a touch of heat from the ginger.

Best White
Celestial Seasonings Perfectly Pear
One of the things I love about white tea is the caffeine lift but in a delicate, feminine package.  White teas undergo very little processing (except from the sun) and much less fermentation than black teas.  This makes them naturally sweeter and softer.  I would recommend white tea to a new tea drinker who wants a little more panache than an herbal.  Both Republic of Tea and Mighty Leaf make fine white teas, but my favorite is this little gem from Celestial Seasonings.  I remember many a lazy Sunday afternoon sitting at my old apartment, the Aspen Bungalow, enjoying a cup of Perfectly Pear with a good book.

Best Green
Tazo Zen
This green tea is not boring like I find some green teas to be.  It's the perfect afternoon tea because it's so refreshing, featuring flavors of lemongrass and spearmint.  Just one inhalation of this tea delivers invigoration while simultaneously soothing the senses.  You can quote me on that.  I like to drink Zen after work and before I head out again for evening plans.

Best Oolong
Mighty Leaf Orchid Oolong
Christmas of 2008, my mom was given a Mighty Leaf sampler pack as a gift at work.  ML tea bags are made of silk and stitched with unbleached cotton, and the pouches are large, allowing the curly, twisted leaves to float around, maximizing the brew.  The quality of these tea bags makes them a bit pricier than most, averaging a little over 66 cents per bag.  In the sampler pack, I found the Orchid Oolong, and prepared a cup while writing this blog post.  I found this tea to be light and smooth, with a fragrant tropical floral scent.  It steeps a soft beige and yields a quiet response.  Orchid Oolong makes me feel like I'm at a spa retreat.

Best Rooibos
Numi Red Mellow Bush
In high school, my brother worked at a coffee, tea, and smoothie shop in Hendersonville.  The store eventually closed down, and my brother came home with some of the leftovers.  Part of the stash included a large selection of Numi teas, including Red Mellow Bush.  This tea is made with rooibos, a native South African tea leaf.  The flavor is smoky, earthy, and rich, and feels like a late-September afternoon...warm and windy.

Best Herbal
Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile
My roommate, Amy, first introduced this tea to our household several years ago.  Celestial Seasonings ups the ante with this chamomile tea, adding honeyed vanilla.  I'm not lying when I say you can taste the vanilla and the honey coats your throat.  I drink a cup of this before bedtime almost every evening.

Best Breakfast Blend
Bigelow Earl Grey
When I began drinking hot tea on a regular basis, my taste generally trended toward softer, herbal teas.  It wasn't until I went to London in 2008 that I began to enjoy tea with bold, unique flavor.  I ordered Earl Grey with my cucumber sandwich and scone at The Orangery Tea Room in Kensington Gardens.  It came with rich cream and sugar cubes, and I found a new obsession.  The Bigelow variety is some of the best that can be found Stateside.  The bergamot oils in these tea bags are so potent that the bags turn bright yellow in their foil lined wrapper.  Bigelow's Earl Grey is one of my favorite morning traditions. 

Best Afternoon
Republic of Tea Blackberry Sage
I get restless at work everyday around 2 p.m.  When I open my tea drawer (yes, I have a tea drawer in my office), I typically reach for the can of Blackberry Sage.  It combines the caffeine of a black tea with the fruitiness of an herbal tea.  The sage adds a kick of pepper, and I find that this tea helps me to kick start my productivity.  

Best Chai
Bigelow Spiced Chai
I've had some really bad Chai teas.  Sometimes they're too spicy, burning the throat with the aftertaste, or they aren't spicy enough, creating only lightly seasoned water.  I've found that Bigelow produces an amazingly spicy Chai, but it still manages to be smooth.  I like to enjoy a strong cup of hot chai with a splash of International Delight Sugar Free French Vanilla creamer.  This is the beginner tea that I would recommend to a coffee drinker, wanting to make the switch. 

Best British
Fortnum & Mason Queen Anne
On our first night in London in 2008, we visited the famous Fortnum & Mason department store on Piccadilly.  My sole purpose in shopping was to stock up on British tea.  If there hadn't been ten days of Europe left on our trip, I probably would've filled up my suitcase.  My favorite tea purchase is the Queen Anne.  It's some of the strongest, blackest tea I've ever experienced.  It's so dark that you can still smell it through the packets, even though the box is closed.  It's genuinely British, and deserves to be brewed long and hard, and then rewarded with a generous amount of milk and a heaping tablespoon of sugar.

Best Seasonal
Bigelow Pumpkin Spice
Autumnal-inspired teas always hold a special place in my heart.  In the spring and summertime, I typically drink lighter, fruity teas, so by Fall, I want something that compliments the changing of the leaves and the crisp weather.  I'm kind of a sucker for pumpkin anyway, so any tea that features the flavor has me sold.  This tea is like eating a piece of pumpkin pie in a cup, with a strong side of cinnamon and clove.

Best Nighttime
Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime
Even if you aren't a regular tea drinker, I bet you've reached out for the stuff when you're sick.  You want something hot, light, and soothing.  Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea is the perfect combination of calming chamomile and cool spearmint.  It simultaneously relaxes you to sleep and helps clear the head of congestion.  In my humble opinion, this tea should be a staple in your kitchen cabinet...or in your nightstand.

Best Non-tea Tea 
Tazo Organic Apple Red Herbal Infusion
Technically, this "non-tea tea" has a base of African rooibos, but there's so little of it that it's more accurate to call this a cider...or, as Tazo calls it, an "Herbal Infusion."  Once brewed in very hot water, you can taste the apple, caramel, and cinnamon saturation.  Because of it's natural flavor, you don't even need to add sugar...it's already sweet. 

 Best All-Around
Republic of Tea Honey Ginseng Green
I'm really excited to share this tea with you.  It's my favorite for several reasons.  First, I dig the subdued caffeinated assistance.  Second, the Chinese green tea offers powerful antioxidants targeting cancer, heart disease, and promoting general circulatory health.  And third, the flavor of this tea is incredibly unique.  I attribute this to the twang from the ginseng.  I enjoy this tea with meals, and it's my old standby when I visit a cafe or beverage shop offering Republic of Tea.  I especially like it with a slice of fresh lemon.

A list of the "best" is not complete if you don't round it out with the "worst."

Epic Fail 
Twinings of London brand teas
I've given this tea brand more than a fair chance.  I've tried their herbal teas, their black teas, and even their green teas, and all were met with disappointment.  For some reason, these teas fail to steep well even in the hottest of boiling water and turn out weak and flavorless.  From a company that's been around since the early 1700s, I expect more.  My guess is that in the overall history of the company, they were committed to fine ingredients and excellence, but somewhere along the way, they sold out to cheaper processing and commercialization.

Honorable Fail
Lipton brand teas
For your general, all-American iced tea purposes, Lipton will do.  Their basic bags get the job done for the masses.  But when they got into the specialty hot tea business several years ago, they may have been feeling a little too ambitious.  Their herbal line tends to create a bitter aftertaste, and their pyramid line leaves a large amount of sediment floating in my cup.  There's nothing more unpleasant than sipping dirty tea.

And now for something really fun...

In celebration of The Queen MAB Manifesto's 5th Birthday, I'm giving away a tea gift basket valued at over $50 in tea and tea-themed goodies.  All you have to do is leave a comment.  You can wish my little blog a Happy Birthday, or tell me your favorite kind of hot tea, or anything else that you'd like to imprint in cyberspace.  One entry per person, please, and no entries past Friday, February 4 at noon.  The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted by email on Saturday.

Thank you kindly for reading, friends.  I appreciate you.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

I'm three days late for my New Year's post.  Once you fall off the wagon, it's really hard to get back on.  My blogging suffered greatly in the past year, and I intend to claw my way back into the driver's seat.  And just like in AA, there's always a first step.  My first step is my much beloved first post of the new year.  It's one of my yearly favorites because I get to chronicle my growth throughout my tumultuous twenties.  Tumultuous?  That's putting it nicely...

Hinging on developments during the last half of 2009, I spent the majority of January through March 2010 in a fever-pitched love haze.  Looking back, I remember that time was characterized by a happiness and fear as we took the next steps in our relationship, and I tried to figure out if he would handle my heart honorably.

Turns out, he didn't.  After I got back from Europe in April, three days after my birthday, he broke up with me.  The days and months that followed were dark for me.  All I remember about May were my tears.  I can honestly say this was the hardest thing I've personally yet to experience in life. 

But, during those months of utter heartache, my God held me every step of the way.  He gave me the freedom to weep, to ask why, to anger, to forgive, and to heal.  At times, He offered comfort, and at other times, He offered gentle discipline and rebuke. 

I call those months my "pain moment."  In every person's life, there will be one, and sometimes more.  God allows these pain moments because, ultimately, they drive us back to Him.  This experience has taught me to seek Him solely.  I still cling to Psalm 23:1 - "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want."  Because of my pain moment, I am a different woman heading into 2011.  Praise Him!

One day in June, I stopped crying.  And that's when things started to get sunny.

In June, I went down to Orlando for SBC and got in some much needed beach time.  And I even got to drive to Tampa to meet my dear friends' new baby, Norah.  Also in June, my new small group Bible Study girls began a "summer siesta," as we began to build a foundation for friendship and accountability.

July was typical:  Steph and I, poolside.  In mid-July, Mom and I road-tripped it down to Atlanta, and I got a hefty does of laughter and love.  The last bit of July was rounded out by fun on the lake with my best friend, Amy, and her family...especially her two silly kiddos.

In August, I stood beside my dear friend, Katie, as she pronounced her marriage vows among the thick Mobile humidity.   

I started off September in the Keys with Molly, as we declared our "Adult Spring Break" a slap-in-the-face to the boys that broke our hearts earlier in the year.  It was one of the best and most fun trips of my life, and I look for it to be a regular Labor Day weekend tradition.  Also in September, I enrolled in Bible Study Fellowship, an international organization dedicated to hosting Bible classes on a weekly basis that promotes individual study, small group discussion, and homiletics.  We're studying Isaiah and will be in the book through the end of the course in May.  I've really loved BSF, and it's kind of kicking my butt in a really good way.  I don't know that I've ever been in an environment that so deeply dissects the Word of God, and I'm learning so much!

In October, my roommate Amy began making plans to move to South Africa to do mission work at Living Hope.  Her decision created a domino effect for the Foxes on Knox and was an impetus for me to make a decision of my own.  Alongside our family realtor, I began to search for a home to buy.  Much of the last quarter of the year was spent driving around neighborhoods, attending open houses, making appointments for showings, debating pros/cons, and narrowing down my choices.  At this point, I'm unsure of where I will be living when I move out of Fort Knox on February 28, but my pain moment taught me that God's already on it. 

Thanksgiving was spent at Ben and Brittany's this year, and it was nice to mix up the traditions a bit.  And Christmas was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable I've had to date.  Mom, Dad, Stella, and I spent most of our time fireside watching it snow outside. 

2010 has been a tough year for relationships.  I lost a dear friendship of mine to unwise choices and pride.  But I did regain a friendship that I thought was gone.  I'm convinced that where there is a mutuality in Christ, time will offer humility, forgiveness, and heal old wounds. 

My small group Bible Study grew exponentially this year, as we studied Romans, Proverbs, Jonah, Haggai, Habakkuk, and a Deeper Still study, Anointed, Transformed & Redeemed.

I read a lot of books this year, and a few really were spectacular:
  • City of Thieves by David Benioff
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  • Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  • God & Guinness by Stephen Mansfield
  • Cutting for Stone by Abram Verghese 

I was having sushi with Stephanie last night, and I confided in her that I'm considering shutting down the Queen MAB Manifesto.  It's been five years, and as much as I love to write, I pretty much failed at it during 2010.  The older I get, the harder it is for me to be transparent and put my thoughts and feelings out there.  And with my commitment to BSF, and a greater personal commitment to God's Word, much more of my free time is already spoken for.  I really, really, really don't want to give up.  I'm going to give it another year and see how it goes.  Here's to 2011!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

So, hi.  It's been a little while.  I've missed me.  I'm hoping to get back in the saddle in the New Year, and there might be some things cooking in my life that will supply adequate blogworthy fodder.  We'll see...

Anyway, I thought I'd share a little heartwarming story with you in the meantime.  The names have not been changed, as to not protect the not-so-innocent.  You can't make this kind of stuff up, folks...

My longtime friend, Amanda, celebrated a birthday back in early November.  As a birthday gift, I presented her with a $10 iTunes giftcard.  During the next month, Amanda would occasionally comment that she didn't know how to spend the giftcard.  In fact, at one point, she almost purchased the Glee Christmas album, but my disdain for its low-brow contribution to pop culture gave her pause. 

Fast-forward to Friday, December 10.  Our mutual friend, Rhonda, hosted a party to celebrate her 30th birthday.  The festivities were underway, and Amanda and I and a few other mutual friends are gathered nearby Rhonda as she opens her cards and gifts.  Rhonda opens Amanda's card and pulls out a shiny blue iTunes giftcard.  Immediately, I see a red flag go up. 

I looked at Amanda and shot at her, "no you didn't."  I repeated that sentiment several times as she turned beet red and began to giggle sheepishly.  When my suspicions were confirmed, my mouth fell open and those around us began to howl with laughter. 

Here's the thing...  It's not that she re-gifted the giftcard I gave her.  It's that she had the audacity to do it at an event that I was attending!  And she thought I wouldn't notice?  Nothing gets by me.

If it weren't so tragically comedic, I might have been really mad.  But, tis the season for mercy and grace, right?

Speaking of re-gifting...  There is something that you can re-gift anytime of the year, and that's the love of Christ Jesus.  And to give that love away is to receive it back ten-fold.  It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.  Merry Christmas!

Photos from Rhonda's 30th Birthday Party
Photography by Joe Hendricks (Rhonda's Husband)

 Lana, MAB, Rhonda, Amanda & Lisa
5/8 of the original Crazy Eight (See Picture Below)

Spring Break 2007

Blue Steel, ya'll

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cruise and Repeat.

Considering that it's the last day of this month, and we've already had our first frost, I figured it might be productive for me to make an attempt to blog for the first time this October.  I'm tempted to begin my Paris posts, as they are the longest overdue, but on this crispy Sunday afternoon, I find myself longing for the open sea and warm sand. 

On a very early Thursday morning in September, Molly and I departed the Nashville International Airport for Charlotte, and then for Ft. Lauderdale.  Molly's benevolent "uncle" secured us seats in First Class, and we didn't waste any time getting, well, wasted.  Ok, not really...  But we sure did start our morning with twin screwdrivers and the gourmet trail mix, not offered to those chumps sitting in Coach. 

We arrived to the cruise ship port about two hours before we were set to board, but we were thrilled when Royal Caribbean allowed us to board early.  After a quick lunch, we were stationed by the pool, and the boat hadn't even set off yet.  Molly and I scoped out our fellow cruisers, and we were delighted to see a herd of thirty-something men crowded around the poolside bar.  Several hours later, we were called to our designated Muster Deck for a safety demonstration, and met Rusty and Ben, two of the herd from earlier.  Some witty banter later, Molly and I found our cruise ship companions for the trip, along with the necessary gate key to the rest of the Bachelor party.  The next four days were quite adventurous...

Dubbed M&M by R&B

The next morning, Molly and I were early birds, up at 7 a.m. to watch the boat port into Key West.  Molly's friend, Rob, met us at port and gave us the keys to his truck so we could pay a visit to the Southernmost Point of the United States.  We were shocked to see so many wild chickens...crossing the road. 

Key West at 7 a.m.

About an hour later, we returned to the port, and followed Rob aboard his boat, as he was taking us out to sea for the day to kayak, snorkel, and dolphin watch with his excursion company.  We spent the morning kayaking through the Mangrove Islands, with the occasional snake sighting in the reeds.  The kayaking tour was one of my favorite things about this vacation, and I really can't wait to do it again.  After kayaking, we donned snorkel gear and spent a couple of hours underwater, swimming with the creatures of the sea.  Our trip back to shore included a fast-pace dolphin chase, and we were rewarded with a few sightings.

 Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas

Molly and I only had a couple of our hours left in Key West before our ship set back out to sea.  We booked it to the Ernest Hemingway Home, and found ourselves acquainted with a quiet Cuban bungalow and its polydactled feline inhabitants.  Bidding adieu to Key West, we boarded the boat for a late lunch and a nap poolside. 

We greeted our evening with the Captain's champagne reception, followed by a formal dinner, and a lame cruise ship game show and even lamer karaoke.  Luckily, we ran into the "herd" in the piano bar, and then danced the night away in the Viking Crown Lounge until the wee hours of the morning.  We saw the sunrise while in the hot tub, and met some new friends in the process.  It's funny how time doesn't really apply when you're on a cruise ship. 

Molly & MA ready for formal night
MA and Greg
Molly & Eric try escargot
Pat, Eric, MA & Molly

Kindly, our cruise ship didn't port into Cozumel, Mexico until 10 a.m.  Molly and I had reservations at the exclusive, upscale resort, Nachi Cocom.  After a short cab ride, we were situated at our private hut with a margarita in hand.  The view of our exotic locale was characteristic of scenery I'd once only seen in postcards.  The water was turquoise and the wind was blowing softly...it was pure heaven.  Molly and I relaxed for hours, pausing intermittently for a swim in the ocean, or for lunch delivered to our chairs, or for a drink at the pool bar.  At one point, when we'd napped in hammocks, Molly was so inebriated with happiness, that she rolled right out of the hammock, with her feet still entangled.  All I could do was cackle from my hammock, too tickled to help her.  Thank goodness two gay men sauntered by, found amusement in her predicament, and picked her up by her wrists and ankles, swinging her just like her hammock.  Molly and I were all too sad to leave Nachi Cocom, and didn't do so without homemade vanilla and coconut ice cream.

That evening, we had a few hours to nap and get ready for dinner.  The ship had set out to rough waters, and I could feel the boat rolling back and forth as I applied my makeup.  By the time I was ready, I told Molly that I felt sick and I was going to go to the top deck for air.  I met back up with her for dinner, but pushed my Italian meal around on my plate, and finally retired to the room early for Dramamine and bedtime.  It was such a night killer to be seasick, but thankfully, it was the only time on the boat that I felt that way. 

On Sunday, we spent the entire day poolside, relishing our last day at sea.  The day was sprinkled with nice distractions, like the Parade of Flags, the belly-buster contest, and a stint at the rock climbing wall.  Molly and I, along with our new friends, watched the shade form over the pool as the day came to a close.  After dinner, we rounded out the evening with a really bad "farewell show" and then danced in the lounge until morning, hoping to prolong our trip as long as possible. 

Our friends from our dinner table

 Our new friend, Sasha
Rusty & Ben
Eric & Nic
We don't really remember their names, but they were hi-larious

Compliments of our room attendant, Harry...Howard...

Molly and I were genuinely sad to board an airplane back to Nashville, but flying First Class sure does help.  Since we got back, I've been itching to cruise and repeat.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed a cruise vacation, and lovingly refer to this trip as one of the best vacations of my life. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's not me. It's you.

About a month ago one Sunday morning, I was sitting in the church balcony, three rows from the front.  It's where I always sit, and alongside me, sat my three friends, Mandy, Amy, and Casey.  The worship service began, and our missions minister stepped onto the platform and took the microphone.  He called one family out from the congregation, and asked them to join him on the stage.  It was a family of five; a father, mother, two boys, and a girl.  Otherwise known as, the classic American family. 

Our missions minister began to share the story of this family.  The live in an affluent area of town, and are supported by the father's well-paying job.  But, something was missing, and the father expressed discontentment of the life he'd built.  Owning the finest of material posessions couldn't satisfy the undercurrent of purposelessness.  One day, the husband and wife sat down together, and felt the call to go on a mission trip to South Africa.  In the meantime, they also felt led to adopt a little Ethiopian girl into their family.  The mission trip turned into a mission, and they now live as full-time missionaries, serving the people of South Africa.

The missions minister proceeded to call another family to the stage.  This family was led by the brother of the wife of the first family.  The second family was so inspired by the first family, that they also felt God's incredible call of the extraordinary.  The family, already with two young children, entered the adoption process in Ethiopia, and adopted eight brothers and sisters:  seven boys, and one girl, all under the age of 14. 

As they shared their stories of hope and change, I wept.  While I am so proud of these two families, I couldn't help but wonder why God hasn't given me a husband that feels the call of greatness.  And, not greatness defined by the world's standards of money and power, but greatness in sacrifice and love.

More than anything on this earth, I want to find my husband and build a family that is in constant pursuit of God's purposes for our lives.  While I do believe I can live God's purposes for me now as a singleton, and ascribe fully to the principles in 1 Corinthians 7, I realize that from the beginning of time, God created man and woman for marriage as an institution that is good.  As much fun as I have in my singleness, and as much as I'm learning, I long dearly for a "suitable helper."

I know the three girls sitting next to me in church that day feel exactly the same way.  In fact, I have tons of girlfriends who are extraordinary, Godly single women longing to be married.  And I'm acquainted with tons more through work, church, and social activities.  Most of these women are single single, meaning they haven't had a kiss, much less a date, in years.  Some of them are dating, but the guys they are dating don't share their values, and eventually they end up heartbroken...either because the guy ditched the relationship, or they marry him and pray everyday that he step into the role God calls him and out of mediocrity.  On very few occasions does a single, Christian girl meet a guy that loves Christ first, and he pursues her fervently, like Christ pursued the church.  On these occasions, we rejoice.

I'll be honest:  I'm rather sick and tired of the culture of wimpy, passive, spineless, directionless, indecisive, and selfish men of the 21st century.  Many of the men that fall into this category are Christians, which makes it even worse.  Seriously guys, what gives?!

Let me be very clear.  I am not a feminist, and I am not male-bashing.  I am in praise of strong men who exercise their masculinity in a healthy way.  My perfect man is dirty, rugged, and everything God created him to be.  He knows what he wants, and he isn't afraid to take the risk and fight for it.  He needs a woman to be his softer-side.  And most of all, he's masculine enough to embrace God's purposes for his life.

I shuffled through the stack of mail today, and my weekly issue of Newsweek arrived.  In my own personal opinion, Newsweek is a bit behind the times.  My friends and I have been asking guys to "man up" for years.

As single Christian women, we don't want perfection.  We know that's impossible, as we ourselves are imperfect.  All it takes is a desire to seek God, and a demonstration of effort.  I believe that if a man is truly seeking God's plan for his life, the fear will fall away and a Man of God will emerge.  And I do believe that many of these changed men would see value in the honest pursuit of a woman, and ultimately, marriage and fatherhood.

Men, we are praying for you.  Fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, bosses, leaders:  we are on our knees for you.  We know it's hard, and we know that Satan is attacking the family unit, starting at the top down...with you.  But, you are created for more, and we want to be at your side to support you.  Won't you let us?

On the first day of fall...

....my Visa gave to me!  Well, not really.  There are too many starving kids in Africa (and the United States) for me to justify this pair of granny boots from Anthropologie.  But oh me, oh my, how I adore thee.  Happy Autumn!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Steph and I sat out at the pool this afternoon for a couple of hours, soaking up some late-summer sun.  The wind was crisp, and it felt like the beginnings of autumn, but we've still got 10 days until its onset.  It's tempting, but I'm just not sure I'm ready for it yet.

The pool isn't the only thing I'm hanging onto.  I'm going to miss the carefree days of summer when they end.  My arsenal of extracurricular exploits is dangerously increasing, especially as fall arrives.  Several nights a week are already committed, and I'm looking at designating one or two more.  In addition, I am still ardent in my commitment to move my "Write Nights" up the list. There's still some good material rolling around in my hard head. And, I have a couple of personal goals that I'm bent on achieving this fall. It's going to require that I master the art of discipline, something that's always seemed to allude me.

At some point, something's gotta give, and that something might just be my sanity.  I may lament about this out loud to make myself feel better, but the pots are still boiling on the stove, and I'm still in the kitchen cooking.  Hopefully, I don't burn the place down.

Monday, August 30, 2010


It's Monday Night Write Night, and while I have a really great blog post cooking, I'm going to have to bow out prematurely.  Kip, my hearty little Dell laptop, is going through puberty.  My friend, Garrett, took Kip home for a bit to teach him how to man-up.  It's no big deal, really...just some growing pains.  In the meantime, I bogarted my roommate's MAC to punch this out, and quickly realized how much I miss my PC.  I mean, you people with your trendy-ass computers...

I hope to eek out some time on my lunch break tomorrow at work to blog about what I'd originally intended.  I love it that some of you are keeping me accountable to write each week!  You don't know how much that means to me!  Until then...

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