Thursday, September 30, 2010


i am saddened and sickened by what happened today to the rutgers university student. it's a sad situation all around and it's things like this that make me disgusted at the world.

it was kind of appropriate that at the end of the day i stumbled upon this youtube video, which i really love. but what a sad thing it is that we have to tell our youth that they just have to make it through high school and then they'll be okay. wouldn't it be better if we could just make high school a better place? that's pretty much what i do in my job, by the way.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

catching up on pictures

i've been very behind in putting pictures up online. so i've finally caught up and have some shots of our recent weekend trips.

earlier in the month we went to charlotte to visit friends. they took us to the carolina raptor center, where they both volunteer. it was a pretty cool place and we got to see some neat birds.

red tailed hawk

it was a nature-filled weekend because adam and sarah found a nest of baby rabbits right outside their house in their front yard. they were so tiny and very cute (in a hairless squiggly sort of way)!

the baby rabits outside a & s's house

see all the pictures from the charlotte trip here.

a few weekends ago we also took a trip to devil's fork state park in pickens county. we camped just the two of us on friday and saturday night and on saturday morning we met up with 2 other couples for a boating trip on lake jocassee. it was a very rainy weekend, but despite the weather we had a great time! plus we rescued a troop of boy scouts. it was our good deed of the day.

our home at devil's fork state park
our camp site (which we accidentally stole from another couple. but it all worked out in the end.)

the boy scouts climb aboard
rescuing the boy scouts

our friends are delivered safely to their rondevu point
dropping them off at their rendezvous point.

the ship's crew
our fair crew.

all pictures from the camping weekend are here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

close call

we received our first call for placement this week. unfortunately we didn't get the voice mail message until after they had already lined up another home for the child. it would have been an 11 month-old.

but that definitely woke us up to the fact that we are indeed on their list and we could get a call any day now! yikes!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

beautiful dinner

this is what i made for dinner tonight. the picture doesn't do it justice, but it was really pretty. (and tasty too.

ratatouille tart
ratatouille tart made with a recipe from smitten kitchen

Sunday, September 19, 2010

the weigh-in

well, ben was closest in his guess of how much honey we would get this go-round. he guessed 35 pounds and we got 40! you'll win the prize of a jar of honey. (but you may have to wait until i see you again. sorry!)

but, yes, we got 40 more pounds of honey! and it's so cool because it is so much darker than the first batch and tastes a good bit different. i think it has a "spicier" flavor. the hubby thinks it's less sweet. but either way, totally yummy.

this picture doesn't really do it justice. but you can get an idea of how much darker it is. the bigger jar is the first batch of honey and the small jar is the second.

our honey!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

more honey

we just took 17 frames of capped honey off our two hives. we'll be extracting the honey this afternoon. anybody want to take a guess at how many pounds we'll get?

i'll give you a few pieces of info that might be helpful in making your guess. last time we took 10 frames that were totally full with capped honey and we got 33 pounds. this time, our frames are not full. many of them are partially full with capped honey.

so leave a guess in the comments section below. and, of course, price is right rules apply.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

open for business

guess what arrived quite unceremoniously today in the mail?

that's right. we're officially licensed foster parents. now we'll see how long it takes to get a kid. i've heard people say everything from getting getting a child on the very next day to getting one a year after they were licensed.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


we were in charlotte this weekend visiting friends. on saturday night we were inside an ethiopian restarant enjoying a yummy meal while this was happening outside. we were not pleased.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

new orleans trip

i finally put my pictures from the new orleans trip up on flickr. i mentioned that i was down there for a conference and then stayed a few extra days. so here's what i did.

i arrived on tuesday afternoon and attended a work conference until thursday evening. i was fortunate to have met some really nice people at the conference who i could go out to dinner with. they had vegetarians and a vegan in their group, so i knew we'd get along food-wise and they loved to eat, just like me! we ate really good indian food at nirvana on magazine street on tuesday night and then had vegetarian jambalaya at scarlette o'hara in the french quarter on thursday night. it was awesome to get a good head start on some amazing food!

late thursday evening my sister flew in so we could hang out until sunday. we both were pretty tired over the weekend, but we managed to walk the heck out of new orleans, listen to some wonderful music, and eat, eat, eat.

we ate beignets for breakfast on friday morning at cafe beignet. and for those "in the know," no worries. we did also have them at cafe du monde as a late night snack on our last evening in town. i thought it was great that we could bookend the trip with beignets from 2 different places so i could compare them.

enjoying a beignet
rachel thought they were "okay," which was not enough enthusiasm for my taste. (my sister doesn't really care for sweets too much. are you sure we're related!?)

after filling up with sugar we spent much of the rest of the day just walking around the quarter, eating more yummy food, and listening to bands on almost every corner.

the smoking time jazz club
this was a particularly good band, the smoking time jazz club. i bought a cd of them for the hubby.

local beer + red beans with rice = yumms!
this red beans and rice from a little cafe was amazing!

rain and fleur de lis
ducking into the cafe was a great way to ride out the storm, too.

defending her fried catfish po boy from the pigeons
rachel got to experience a po-boy while she fended off the pigeons pecking her legs.

after taking a little afternoon nap at the hotel, we went out to dinner at an AMAZING african restaurant on royal street. i'm serious folks, if you're anywhere within a 150 mile radius of new orleans, stop in and have their black-eyed pea stew with coconut milk rice. i didn't take any pictures of the meal because i gobbled it down before the thought even occurred to me. they don't have a website, but i'll link here to their facebook page where you can look at their menu*. bennachin, 1212 royal street. seriously, folks, what're you waiting for!?

bellies full, we strolled on down to preservation hall to hear some cool new orleans jazz music.

sitting right up front

preservation hall jazz band

it rained most of saturday, which was a bummer, because there were a bunch of outside festivals and remembrances for the 5th anniversary of katrina that we wanted to go to. i was disappointed that we they canceled them. but we made the best of the day despite the rain. for the first 1/2 of the day we geeked it out by donning rain gear and walking around.

trampsing through the rain

we ate a pretty good new orleans style breakfast at old coffee pot. though the reviews were right in saying that the service is bad, it was rectified by the fact that the elderly waitress sang an off-the-cuff song to a bride-to-be eating at the table next to us.

after walking around for far too long in the rain, we hopped the streetcar and went to the aquarium of the americas. i was a bit worried about it being too crowded, but it wasn't too bad. i had heard the hubby talk about the aquarium for years and i was really pleased with it.

these are happy rays.

shark teeth!
too bad the hubby wasn't here to see the teeth on THIS guy!


after another late afternoon nap, rachel and i ate dinner at another really good restaurant, the green goddess. this place was very "new orleans." i can't really tell you what that means except that it was unique, quirky and had a very different menu. the people were odd and nice and very attentive. and they had lots of veggie and vegan things. i will say that the food was overpriced, but it had a lot of local stuff so i guess it evened out that way.

rachel enjoying her food at green goddess
rachel enjoyed her eggplant stuffed with crab (the proceeds of which, along with my meal, went to help the fishermen in the gulf.)

that night, for our last night on the town, rachel and i went to the house of blues for a tribute concert to treme'. treme' is a historically rich area of the city that got decimated by the storm 5 years ago. there have been multiple documentaries about the city (one of which i watched on pbs earlier in my week down there) and hbo even made a new series about the area of town. so the concert was thrown together to raise money for the make it right foundation (which was started by brad pitt and is tasked with building environmentally friendly, sustainable houses for people in this neighborhood). the concert was amazing. it brought together new orleans artists of all types to rock the house and the people were going crazy. i'm sad to say i don't remember the name of all the musicians, but the people in the crowd sure knew who they were. they were singing along and dancing to almost everything.

erma thomas
erma thomas being a true diva.

rebirth brass band


this guy was awesome. i think he'd had a bit too much to drink and at the end of the concert they couldn't get him off the stage. he kept doing "one more round" after another. hilarious.

carnival man and indian chiefs
the carnival man and the mardi gras indian tribe dancers.

rebirth band and a bunch of dancers tore the roof off the place. after this, all the rest of the singers/musicians came back on the stage for a final song or two or three.

before this trip i had only been to new orleans one other time. it actually was where the hubby and i got engaged. but during that visit i really didn't get the chance to get a feel of the city. so it was really cool to me to be able to tramps around and get to know it a bit more. it also made me get to know my husband's culture a bit more since he grew up going down there quite often as a kid and young adult.

*so when i looked at bennachin's facebook page when i was in new orleans it had their menu posted there. but now the facebook page doesn't have it up there. i'll leave the link just in case they do anything with the site in the future.