Monday, November 29, 2010

Give Thanks

What a Thanksgiving weekend. Thursday morning, I changed up the typical ritual of running in a Thanksgiving 5k and went searching for a real turkey with some friends. Dawson and his brother Caleb joined me as we walked the woods of Tuckahoe early Thursday morning. As ill prepared as I could be, I finally jumped a turkey around 8:00 but to my dismay, had buckshot in my shotgun and didn't have time to switch out to the proper turkey shot. At least I still saw my Thanksgiving turkey. The rest of the day was filled with family and food. On Friday, we had a Thanksgiving with my family and were joined by DeShawn and Larry, two friends from Barton Heights. We went bowling with the family Friday evening. Saturday morning, Dawson and I hit the woods again in hopes of finding a deer, but once again got skunked. My nephew Micah joined me later in the morning for some squirrel hunting. Although we saw a few, they were all too far off for a shot.
The rest of the weekend brought some studying, kayaking, hanging out with friends and family. Below is a future big buck hunter.


This year, Bob and I picked the Smokies for our yearly excursion. It differed slightly from last year's pick- Vegas. Although there were no casino's or spas within reaching distance of our five star room, we still managed to have some fun. Arriving late Thursday night, we bunked in a one bedroom cabin- the three of us, Bob, Paul and myself. We awoke early Friday morning and after some coffee we hit the road, headed past Gatlinburg, and into the Smokies. Our eleven mile hike up Mt. LeConte greeted us with a brisk morning breeze as we set off across several scenic walking bridges. Our first hike included various stream crossings, a "cave" like staircase, an incredible bluff, and to our surprise, a snowy summit. At the summit of Mt. LoConte was the Mt. LeConte lodge which consists of 10 or more small cabins that people can rent out throughout the year:
Here are some pictures from our hike to Mt. LeConte

Saturday, we set out to hike Ramsey's Falls. This was an 8 mile hike with an impressive waterfall greeting us at mile 4. Here are some pictures from our hike. Thanks for reading the blog!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tie Dyed

Saturday morning, I had the chance to run the half marathon. I had been training for a few months and was pretty excited for another chance to run the streets of Richmond with over 3,000 other masochistic people. What an experience. The race didn't go as well as I had hoped, getting a bad stomach cramp around mile 6. I had to stop three or four times, but was able to eventually bear the pain enough to finish the race.
Sunday had some highs and lows. One of my brother rats from VMI who was wounded in Afghanistan in July was at church on Sunday morning.I was reminded of the sacrifice so many soldiers make for their country every day.
Some of you might know that I took up soap making about a year and a half ago. I'm still working out the kinks, and figuring it out- i'll probably never figure it out completely. My soap mentor told me it took him ten years, so I guess that doesn't make me feel as bad when I get a chalky batch every once and a while.
Sunday night I decided to throw a pot of coffee on and get to some tea making. I made three herbal teas. I made a lemon calm tea, a lavender chamomile tea, and a black orange spice tea. Nothin like a lovin spoonful backed up by some bluegrass pickin on a Sunday evening. If there is ever a tea that you would like me to try to make, just let me know and I'll see what I can craft together.
Last night, I got a chance to play my flute for a little while. Was quite relaxing really- lit some sage and incense and offered up some songs to whoever was listening.
Looking forward to the weekend ahead. Heading down to the Smokies Thursday night for a weekend of hiking. Should be great weather. Definitely excited to spend some time in the mountains with some good friends.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Probably the best news I've received all weekend. Haiti nearly escaped the wrath of the previously foreseen furry-filled Tomas. This is what I needed. Hope. Was it an almighty hand that instructed the winds to blow this storm on a more western course than originally intended, or was it chance that caused earthquake torn, cholera-infested Haiti to nearly avoid a third devastating disaster in less than a year?
Seeing this article late yesterday afternoon was just what I needed.
A trip to the Richmond City Jail this past weekend with my RCLI class really broke me for the injustices around us every day. I am still struggling to process just what I saw, heard, smelled, and touched. Is the justice system corrupt, over worked, under-staffed, or am I just overly sensitive, naive, and ignorant?
These are issues I am wrestling with these days. How do we address issues of over crowded jails, placing the mentally ill behind bars, and treating all humans with dignity, while continuing to uphold justice, peace, and security for our citizens? I'm guessing this will never be completely figured out. Where does the church get involved in this issue? Do they? This particular issue hits home for me as I have a close relative in jail and others who have served time.

Smiles in Haiti.. just a lovin spoonful

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Just started what seems to be a great book this morning by Scott Bessenecker. It's titled, "How to Inherit the Earth". So far, it has challenged me to consider how continually seek to serve others with meekness. So far, the book considers how meekness is not weakness. Bessenecker paints a view of what peacful, simple, servant leadership can look like as we strive to serve those in community with us.

"Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tea Time

"He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul"

Woke up this morning and decided it would be a good morning to create a few herbal teas. I have been experimenting with medicinal teas for about a year now. Recently I have been inclined to drink soothing, calming teas. Typically these include chamomile, cardamon, sage leaf, lavender flowers, anise seeds, and rose hips.
I made a calm tea and a chai tea. Below are the ingredients in each:
Rose Hips, lavender flowers, cardamon pods, orange peel, lemongrass, anise seeds, gotu kola, licorice root.
Black Spice Chai:
Black tea, ginger root, cardamon pods, black peppercorn, anise seeds