Thursday, March 31, 2011

visit from friends

this past weekend, while the hubby was still away in asia, my friend melissa and her daughter came for a visit to celebrate both of our birthdays. these might just be the last visitors to see our house as it has always been. (we're about to have it torn up and changed around as we sell our stuff and our house.)

we had a great time chilling inside away from the cold rain, going to edventure children's museum, and eating brunch at the farmer's market. thanks, guys, for the fabulous visit!

here are some highlights from the visit.
just woke up
the holy terror after just waking up

hanging out at the local farmer's market
visiting the all-local farmer's market

me and ann reading
relaxing for a minute

a girl after her mother's heart-easy mac
having fun at the piggly wiggly shopping area at edventure. (if ann only knew that it was easy mac that got her mother through college....)

this is tough work!
plowin' the fields

the fun is not only for kids
the adults can have some fun too (though, too bad there wasn't anything that came out of that cow's utters. that would've been cool!)

you can see all the shots here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


i've been so stressed over the past week or so-just running, running, running. so i'm trying to relax for a minute tonight with a little of the season opener of dancing with the stars. i'm such a junkie!

cutie in asia!

check out the hubby! isn't he the cutest?

Monday, March 21, 2011

2nd beehive gone

we sold our 2nd beehive and all the remaining equipment tonight. it's official; we're no longer keeping bees. i won't say "we're no longer beekeepers" because i definitely think we'll do it again. but for now, we have no bees.

i've definitely got mixed feelings about it. i was sad to see them go. but the woman who bought this hive was so sweet and seemed so happy to have them. she used to have a bunch of hives years ago. but her husband died and she suddenly was raising children alone. so she had to give up the hobby. her last child is about to go away to college, so she said she's looking to start the hobby up again. i was really happy to have them go to someone who was so smitten with them. it made me feel a little bit better.

next hurdle will be the cats. gasp.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

st. patty's festival

i've lived in columbia 7 1/2 years and have managed to have never gone to the st. patty's festival (a.k.a. drunk-fest) in five points. it's something i sort of have prided myself on not having done.* but this year, my last year in columbia, i ended up helping my office out by volunteering for a 3 hour shift in the comfort zone tent.**

it was pretty much like i expected it to be--mostly really drunk people showing too much skin and getting sunburned, all in the name of... well, i'm not really sure what it was in the name of. in the name of "fun," i guess. but i don't really call that fun.

shameful highlights of the day:
-several heavy-set men dressed in kilts and no shirt (reference the picture above)
-a guy in some sort of green lycra outfit that covered his entire body, including his face (that was more creepy than anything)
-an older man walking through the crowd preaching and holding up an open bible
-a girl vomiting in the aisle of the shuttle bus on the ride back to my car

*sort of like not having gone to any gamecock football games, despite living within spitting distance of the stadium.
**my office gets proceeds for coordinating the volunteers for the day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

trans-global communication

it's so amazing what technology can do! i just got off skype with the hubby. he's in taiwan and it's friday morning for him. and i'm in south carolina and it's thursday night for me. it seems like we're worlds away, but yet we could sit down and have a conversation...

well, a quasi conversation. for whatever reason, maybe the microphone on his computer is broken, but we can't get it so i can hear him talking. so we're able to look at each other and he's able to hear me. but i can't hear him. i think it's so funny because if anyone knows baldman you know that he likes to talk and it's sometimes hard to get a word in edgewise. so to have the ability to speak without him chiming in is quite unusual! the only problem is i like to hear him talk. and i have trouble thinking of things to say.

so we resorted to me talking and him text chatting me via skype. that worked fairly well. in any case, i enjoyed seeing his face and cracking a few jokes.

st. patty's day

today is the hubby and my 10th dating anniversary. too bad her's not here so we could celebrate in some way. i can't believe that we've been together for that long!

our first date was a concert that we went to with a group of americorps friends when we were doing a project in florida. we were supposed to see 2 punk bands (the bouncing souls and flogging molly), but the building had a flood so the concert was canceled. so, instead we just walked around coconut grove, sat outside and talked. happy anniversary, sweetie.

for st. patty's day dinner i made an open faced sandwich topped with a veggie burger and sauerkraut with a salad on the side. for some reason when i was making it i thought that'd be kind of irish. but i guess sauerkraut isn't irish, is it? oh well! it was yummy anyway.

Monday, March 14, 2011

the first to go

one beehive gone.

breaks my heart.

at least i know they've gone with someone who will take good care of them.

the irony is that we went into the hive this weekend and it was so strong and so docile. the perfect hive, really. i guess we can rest easy knowing that we raised them well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

FAQ for africa

the hubby posted a good list of frequently asked questions on his facebook page. i know most people who read this blog also check his facebook page, but just in case-here are some answers that he typed up about our big move abroad.

So, not surprisingly, announcing that we’re not just moving but moving to AFRICA has resulted in people having a lot of questions for us. I have prepared this list of frequently asked questions to hopefully provide people answers to most of the questions people may have.

1. Moving to Africa? Why?

No surprise for those who see us regularly, but this has been a dream for almost a decade. The original plan was to go abroad in 2006. We even applied for Peace Corps and several other programs, but my father’s cancer waylaid those plans. So we’ve been working toward this for years. As for why we’re moving to Africa, this one is a bit more difficult to answer. Katie and I have been fascinated by the continent for years and years. We even visited Tanzania and Kenya in 2006. I can speak a little Swahili, we’ve both tutored Somali Bantu refugees, and I helped found the Pan-African Student Association at USC. We just dig the place, man. We want to go have a substantial overseas experience, and the work that Maryknoll Lay Missioners (MKLM) does is awesome, so we are ecstatic to be a part of this organization and its mission of working among poor communities around the world.

2. Seriously, Bro. You’re talking about moving to Africa. Are y’all crazy?

Nope. Africa and Africans are awesome. It won't be easy, but we're up for the challenge.

3. Are you both going?

Yes. We are married and enjoy each other’s company. Therefore we have decided to move together. But seriously, this isn’t something tat one of us wants to do and the other is just going along with it; we’re both really excited about this move.

4. Why not stay here? There are plenty of problems here in the US.

True. But we want to live in Africa, so we’re moving there. Simple! Also, I’ve been teaching a class on International Social Work, and all my relevant experience is domestic work with internationals here in the States. I’ve talked the talk; now it’s time to walk the walk.

5. Will it be dangerous?

Most likely not. While I cannot tell the future, both Tanzania and Kenya are relatively peaceful (especially Tanzania). We do not foresee any issues, but it is a risk we have discussed and are willing to take.

6. What are Maryknoll Lay Missioners?

Here’s bit from the MKLM website:

“…We are a lay Catholic community called through baptism to witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, crossing boundaries of culture, nationality and faith to join our lives with impoverished and oppressed peoples of the earth. With them, we discern the presence of God’s Spirit in all creation and in the world’s many cultures and religions, and work toward human liberation and inter-religious dialogue in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

…We strive together for justice, peace and fullness of life, and so our ministries are offered in response to the needs of the people with whom we live and work, and with respect for the integrity of all creation.

…We challenge unjust structures and systems, seeking transformation of the very powers that create and benefit from the marginalization of communities, and we commit to becoming a dynamic anti-racist organization that reflects the ethnic and cultural richness of the US Catholic Church and the world in this millennium.”

A great organization. Pretty badass, actually. Learn more at their website:

7. What is the timeline for your move?

We will find out our country placement in June. Out pre-departure orientation and training takes place in Ossining, NY, and occurs mid-September through mid-December. We’ll leave early January 2012 for our placement and be abroad for 3 ½ years, with the option to stay longer if we so choose. We’ll both remain at our jobs into the summer. Not really sure at this point exactly when our last day will be. We’re working that out right now.

8. What will you be doing?

Well, we don’t actually know that yet. But we do know we’ll be using our Social Work training to work in marginalized and poverty-stricken communities most likely around either health or educational initiatives. When we arrive in our country of placement, we’ll first be put into an intensive language program to learn Swahili. While this is happening, we’ll be visiting prospective work sites to determine the best placement. It will be a “mutual discernment” to find the balance between our interests and the needs of the organization and community. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to move to the other side of the world without a clear idea of what we’ll be doing, but I have faith that the placement process will ultimately find a very good fit for our talents and interests.

9. Are you getting paid?

Yes. Not a lot, but enough to live on. We’ll also have a retirement fund and insurance.

10. What are you doing with the house? What about your stuff?

We hope to sell it. If we cannot, we will rent it. We’ll be keeping certain sentimental pieces of furniture and odds and ends, but largely we will divest ourselves of most of what we own. I think it will be difficult, then liberating.

11. What about the cats and the bees?

One beehive will be relocated to City Roots, the CSA just up the road from our house. The other will be sold. As for the cats- well, that’s the toughest part of the move, I think. I LOVE our cats. Luckily, they will both be moving into a new home with our friends Travis and Julia sometime in April.

12. What does this mean for being Foster Parents?

It means it will not happen at this point in our lives. The fostering process was actually very frustrating, but that’s an issue for another post. We knew when we applied for MKLM that we would only be fostering a little while; however, we never got a placement that worked out. The fostering approval process took much longer than anticipated, and the MKLM approval happened quicker than we thought, so the timing didn’t gel. We’re sad fostering didn’t work out, but we’re thrilled to be going overseas. We’ll have other opportunities down the road to start a family.

13. Can you come back to the US at any point in the 3 1/2 years?

Yes, we can, and we very well might. However, the costs of a trip home are quite high, so timing and cost will determine whether we can actually make a trip home.

14. Can people visit you while you’re over there?

Absolutely. It’s encouraged, actually, so folks can see for themselves the work that MKLM are doing. In fact, there are a few of you from whom I EXPECT a visit. It will be an amazing vacation- life changing!

15. Do we need to do fundraising before we go?

No; MKLM has funding available to send missioners. However, the organization can always use support, so from time to time you may be receiving information from us about ways you could help support our work. If you are able to help support us, it would be appreciated.

16. Are you giving away any of your CDs?

Ha HA. No.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

big changes afoot for waldie and the baldman

After about 10 years of planning, hoping and praying, the hubby and I are so pleased to announce that we will soon be moving overseas. The organization that we will be working with is called Maryknoll Lay Missioners. It's a Catholic-based organization that does social justice work in 6 countries around the world. We're pretty sure we'll be going to either Tanzania or Kenya, but there's a small chance we could go to one of the other 4 countries that they serve (Cambodia, El Salvador, Bolivia, Brazil). We're really hoping to go to Africa, but we're super jazzed about the work that the organization does, so even if we went somewhere else, we'd be okay with that. Our contract would be for 3 1/2 years, with possibilities of extensions if we so choose. You can check out the organization we'll be working for online at

Obviously, it's a total life change for us, for our families and our friends. The hubby and I are a bit dazed and confused right now. But we've already started the process of getting rid of stuff and preparing to divest ourselves of most everything we own. We'll be putting the house on the market (hopefully) by the end of the month. We're also giving away the cats (to a good home) next month...break our hearts! And, no more beekeeping for us (for now). We're giving away one hive this weekend and trying to sell the other one ASAP. It's all tough stuff, but we're up for the challenge and really excited.

I'm sure the hubby and I will be updated Facebook and my blog respectively as things change and our plans come to fruition. In the meantime, if there's anything that we own that you've ever wanted, let us know! ;) Most things will be going the way of the yard sale and Craig's list.

Thanks for everyone's support and prayers. We know that we wouldn't be able to do any of this without the support of family and friends. Your continued support and prayers will be much appreciated.

Monday, March 07, 2011

mmmm, caper pasta

i made our family's favorite dish tonight for dinner, caper pasta. boy howdy, is it still so good!

3/4 - 1 lb pasta
6 TBS capers, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
piece of stale bread
1/2 cup olive oil
parmesan cheese for garnish

cook pasta. take the stale bread and cut off the crust. grate the bread until you have 2/3 cup. while pasta cooks, heat oil in skillet and add garlic. saute about 2 minutes until golden. add capers, parsley, and bread crumbs. saute a few minutes until everything is nicely cooked and golden. when pasta is done, drain and add caper mixture to it. serve with parmesan cheese.

Friday, March 04, 2011

is it not january anymore?

time keeps on whizzing by and i've barely posted on here lately. it occurred to me tonight that i never posted our post christmas christmas party pictures. so i'm pretending it's still january instead of march, and here are some shots we took at our awesome party!

the living room portion of the party

by the fire


the packed dining room

friends in the kitchen

mokey center stage in the back room