Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Update

I still have not heard back from Texas. Waiting has definitely been hard, but I know that God has a plan so I will continue to wait for the right door(s) to open. "I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23).

Freelancing has picked back up which is good - my clients are mostly small business owners, so there can be some fickleness as to when they need things. Generally when projects come, they come all at once. I am just thankful for the work.


I have a couple of meetings this week and then I will be back to waiting...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Relaxing Weekend

It is finally starting to feel like fall! Daniel and I took advantage of some down time while his hand is healing. Friday we grabbed dinner and then ended up at our favorite bookstore at the mall. While there, Daniel read an article that said "The difference between a laceration and amputation is the height the table saw blade is adjusted to." Boy are we both incredibly thankful that the height of the blade was no higher and that he only had a laceration!

Saturday we slept in late and then drove up to Lake Norman where we drove through a subdivision he designed the roads for. The road was finished and they are starting work on the lots - that was neat to see, especially for Daniel to see his work in real life.


Afterwards we drove on the Lake Norman State Park where we did a 4 mile hike. We were curious to see the water levels of the lake since we have been in a drought for several months. The water was definitely down - about 6 feet. At one place we came to what would have been an island, but the water was so low that we could actually walk across the sand bar out to the "island."


Saturday night Daniel had to do some work at the office, so after we ate pizza together I was on my own for the evening.


Sunday, we slept in again. All of this sleeping late has been a real treat. We went to late service and then spent a lazy afternoon watching a movie and not doing a whole lot. It was nice to have the opportunity to do nothing but relax.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Trip To The ER Part II

Daniel's bandaged thumb.
 
We had our second trip to the ER today when Daniel cut his right thumb on a saw blade.

I was out running some errands and received a call from Daniel at 2:45 saying I need to get home as fast as I could. 15 minutes later, the house was locked up and we were on our way to the ER.


The ER was pretty busy - we had to wait almost an hour before we were actually called in. We spent a total of 4 hours at the hospital - a lovely October day wasted waiting on people to see us.


Daniel is doing fine - he had three stitches put in his right thumb. He is worried about how to do the following things with his left hand:


1) Shave

2) Take care of business
3) Brush his teeth
4) Use a keyboard and mouse
5) Write

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Locked in the Bathroom...

Today I changed out the old door handles for all of our doors and while I was in the bathroom, I shut the door (dumb idea). The problem with this was that I had already inserted the latch part of the door, but not the handle. Thankfully I was able to use a screw driver to jimmy open the lock...

On a bright note, all of the baseboard and shoe molding in the guest bedroom is installed and the door casing around our coat closet is in as well... this means that we can start installing baseboard in the living, dining and kitchen areas soon!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ron Mueck

Last weekend I had the opportunity to view the Ron Mueck exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in Ft. Worth, Texas. First of all, the museum itself was a beautiful space. The architecture brought light, water and concrete together in a really amazing way.

The Ron Mueck exhibit was fantastic. His over-sized and under-sized sculptures looked incredibly lifelike (except for their sizes). Looking at the sculpture "In Bed" I had the odd sensation of what Jack must have felt like, walking among giants, in the story
Jack and the Beanstalk.

Another sculpture, "Two Women," made me feel as though I were the giant, walking in the land of the small. The attention to detail made me feel as though I could almost hear these two old women, standing around, gossiping at the grocery store.

All of the sculptures made you feel like they would get up at any moment and interact with you. Like in the movie,
Night in the Museum, where everything comes to life at night. Any moment... they will wake up, bewildered that you are in their space...

The skin, the hair, the wrinkles, it all seemed so real. If you have the chance to see Ron Mueck's work, I would highly recommend it.

Click here to view sculptures from the exhibit.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A note for my sister...

Angela, here is my daily note, since you are having withdrawals!!!

This morning I got up and was hurrying to get ready for my morning workout. Daniel had not left yet and he took one look at me and said, "Is the tag on your shorts supposed to be on the outside?"


Evidently I had my workout shorts on inside out and was about ready to run out the door like that!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rough Air

I have never heard this phrase before, but on all of the flights I was one, the flight attendants kept saying to keep you seat belt fastened in case of "rough air." What happened to using the word "turbulence?"

My travels yesterday were mostly uneventful. I was somewhat annoyed to find that the Dallas/Ft Worth and the Atlanta airport do not have free Wi-Fi...


Anyways things were great until we landed in Atlanta. By the time we pulled in to the terminal, I only had 40 minutes to get to my connecting flight. This would have been fine had the connecting flight been in the same concourse!


But that was not the case. I flew into Concourse B and my connecting flight was in Concourse E. This meant a really long (fast) walk to the train (which I almost missed) to ride to the very last concourse. By the time I arrived at my gate, sweating and out of breath from almost running, they were calling for the final boarding of all passengers! Talk about a close call.


I was concerned about my luggage making it since I barely made it, but it did. Me and my luggage arrived in Charlotte late last night to a very happy Daniel.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Reata

Last night Taryn and Troy treated me to the Reata restaurant in downtown Ft Worth. The best thing about this restaurant is that it has rooftop dining. We had a fabulous late dinner overlooking Ft Worth. If you are ever in Ft Worth, I would definitely recommend this restaurant - make sure you eat on the rooftop!

We began the meal with calamari, followed by some delicious dishes and finally some incredible desserts. I was beyond stuffed by the time we left.


While we were eating, it began raining. Thank goodness we were under a metal roof and were not really affected by the rain even though we were outside.


We made it home before the big thunderstorms started. It stormed all night long - lots of lightning, thunder and big winds. It kept me awake most of the night. The storms died down sometime after 2 a.m. and then another wave came through about 7 a.m. There is the possibility of more storms this afternoon - I hope that my flight home does not get delayed...

Reata on Urbanspoon 

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Spin Class & Sight Seeing

This morning I slept in and then Taryn and I decided to make it to the 10 a.m. spin class. It was a great idea, but I didn't know that I would need a picture ID to get into the club with the guest pass and I left my wallet at the house... so we ended having to go home without spinning :(

Instead we came home, showered and then headed out to Chipotle Grill for some tex mex. Afterwards we drove around to look at various neighborhoods so that I could get a feel of the Ft Worth/Arlington areas (just in case)...


We then made a stop at a local coffee house followed by a stop at the
Modern Museum of Art to view the Ron Mueck exhibit which was pretty amazing. On the way home, Taryn took me by the Stock Yards - evidently they drive cattle through the streets of this historic area twice a day - that would be a cool sight to see.

So today we had a pretty full day of sight seeing. We are going to try to catch a spin class tomorrow (now I know to bring my ID). Two days until I see Daniel...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Missing Daniel

I am having a good time in Texas, but definitely missing Daniel.

Somehow I made it here without some key things: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant... I guess that is what happens when you have less than 24 hours to get ready to go somewhere.


Taryn and Troy have been great. They have showed me around some, we went to downtown Ft Worth last night and ate at PF Changs. Then today we had lunch at a little hole-in-the-wall place called Lily's that was pretty good. I had waffle fries with gorgonzola cheese on them that were incredible! After lunch Troy took me by a cool local art store called The Artful Hand. Then tonight we had a home cooked meal that was delicious - thanks to Taryn and Troy :)


Tomorrow at 3 is my interview... I am excited but it is all really in God's hands, so I will just have to wait and see how things go.


The hardest part about everything is that Daniel is home and I am here. I feel bad for him because he has a pretty bad cold and there is nothing I can do for him... only 4 more days until I see him again...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Whirlwind

I have been on the job hunt for a few months now. Charlotte has proved to be an extremely difficult market for freelancing and for graphic design jobs in general. If you want to live in Charlotte, you pretty much need to plan on being a banker or involved in real estate (this works for Daniel because his job is land development which leads to real estate).

Anyways, I digress... A while back a friend from Ft Worth contacted me about a possible position with her company. I figured, "what the heck" and I sent in my resume/application. And then I waited. About a week and a half ago I finally had a phone interview and then I waited some more. Last night I got the call that about a face-to-face interview for Friday, so I booked tickets to Dallas.


Today, at noon, I will be flying to Dallas to stay with our good friends, Taryn and Troy, for the weekend. I am not sure what God has in store for me or if this will even pan out. I just continue to pray for God's direction as I continue with the job process.


On a side note I am thrilled with
www.hotwire.com as I was able to get last minute tickets, round trip, out of Charlotte for just over $300 (Charlotte is not noted for being a cheap place to fly out of)...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Our Walk In The Woods


Daniel and I waited until the last minute to pack our gear Friday night - we are such procrastinators. We knew we would have to be up to leave by 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning and that we really needed to be in bed early, but we found ourselves packing until midnight... so much for good intentions.


5:30 a.m. came way too soon. My hot shower did little to wake up my senses, but for some reason I volunteered to drive the first leg to the Smoky Mountains. I was hoping to make a quick stop at Starbucks on our way out, but of course we were running behind and Starbuck's wasn't open yet.
 
 
 
It is strange to be awake and driving so early. There was no one on the road. The humidity was awful and I couldn't get the inside of the windshield defrosted properly. Finally the combination of windshield wipers and freezing cold air blasting seemed to help. I felt bad for Daniel, he was curled up under a blanket, freezing, while trying to sleep.

 

I drove for what seemed to be forever. When the sky is dark, there is not much to focus on except the road. As the sun begin to peak through the clouds, fog became a problem. I finally had to stop for gas and to give myself a break. We swapped drivers so that I could get an hour of sleep before we met our friends.

 
  
I woke up to a blinding light - that is what it seemed like anyways. The fog was really heavy in the mountains, so heavy that you almost couldn't see and the sun was blasting through the fog so that everything was an intense white and blinding around us.

 

We made it to Gatlinburg and managed to get to our favorite Pancake House, while avoiding the strip. I hate the strip in Gatlinburg... it is the same as the one in Niagra Falls or Myrtle Beach. Daniel and I try to avoid these places where the throngs of people are so intense... if there is a Rippley's Believe or Not Museum, chances are it is not a place we want to visit for a prolonged period of time.

 

Anyways, we met Gwynn and Chuck for breakfast. I love the opportunity to catch up with friends over pancakes and coffee - this is one of my personal joys in life.

 

Soon we were headed on to Cosby, TN and our trailhead, the Gabes Mountain Trail. There is a loop here that includes Maddron Bald, but you need 2 nights to complete it and we only had one. We opted for an out-and-back trip which would have a total mileage of 10 miles.




Gabes Mountain trail does not offer spectacular views, but it was a nice walk in the woods. I was amazed at how green everything was, even though like North Carolina, Tennessee has not been blessed with much rain this summer. The mosses on the rocks were vibrant green and oh-so-soft.
 

The walk to camp was 4.8 miles with an extra 0.2 mile detour to a waterfall. The waterfall was a good place to break for a late lunch of tuna and crackers, but due to the lack of rainfall, was little more than a trickle. At the waterfall, we met some "frat boys" or as Daniel called them, "The AA Members of Tomorrow" (they were each carrying at least one 6-pack with them). They were headed on to campsite 34 that we would also be calling home for the night.

 

When we walked into camp, there were so many people - lots of the "frat boys" setting up tents and chopping up firewood. Big, burly guys that loved to make their presence known. They also had a radio playing a ball game. The whole sight made me cringe... I walk into the woods for peace and quite, not for the chaos of other people.

 

Thankfully Daniel and Chuck found some sites further down that were away from the chaotic scene before us. The site was nice and quiet and secluded from the rest. There was one other couple at a neighboring site and later in the evening a lone guy would sleep in a spot above us. I was happy that we would have the peace that I crave when in the woods.

 
  
Daniel and Chuck set up the tent while Gwynn and I gathered firewood. I would put sticks in piles and Gwynn would carry the piles up to camp. When I finally came back with a pile, Daniel wanted to know why Gwynn was bringing so much wood to camp and I only came back with a few sticks! I had to explain that I had been making the piles that she brought into camp.

 

Soon we were cooking our dinners and then making fire for the evening. We were under some really big trees, but above the trees you could see huge clusters of stars in the sky above. We enjoyed our campfire until 9:30-ish before finally bedding down. It was cool out, but warm enough to leave the fly partly off. I love to be laying on my back looking up at the stars.

 
  
I am always amazed at night noises. The symphony of bugs lasted well into the night. There were a few rustlings of something, probably small, poking around our campsite. Our food was hung in the trees so bears could not get at them. The night noises paused briefly for a few hours, before the early morning birds took up the chorus again before sunrise.
  
When sleeping outside there is an alertness that is always with you - especially when sleeping in bear territory. The adrenaline is always there, ready, just in case you need to use your instincts to fight or flight. It is a strange feeling, but it makes you feel alive in ways that you don't experience at home in a bed.

 
  
Morning brought more nice weather. We boiled water for chocolate coffee and soon were frying spam... what backpacking trip would be complete without fried spam? We were soon breaking up camp and Daniel and I headed up to the "frat house" to pump water from the creek.

 
  
I felt bad to learn that a father and daughter had had to camp beside all of the frat boys. The daughter could not have been older than 12 - if we had known, we would have invited them down to the lower section that was quieter.

 
  
Everyone was breaking up camp and we were all soon on our way, back down the trail. We took our time, stopping occasionally for pictures and just enjoying each others company. Hiking in the morning was nice - it was not so hot and the temperature was bearable... 80+ degrees in October is a little much (especially when our sleeping bags are rated for zero degrees).

 
  
Back in the parking lot, we encountered a couple whose car battery was dead. Daniel and Chuck helped to push the car into a place where it could be jump started. Ever since Daniel and I were stranded with a dead car in the middle of Pisgah Forest and we had to hitch hike out (with most people ignoring or refusing to help us), Daniel feels a calling to help others in need (I share this feeling and I am thankful that we can help out when possible).
 

Overall, it was a great trip. Hot showers and hot food always taste and feel best when you first come off of the trail. Sharing our backpacking experiences with others is always special and I am truly looking forward to our next walk in the woods.

 

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Autumn

Autumn is my favorite season of the year. I am sad that it really doesn't feel like autumn yet. Somehow, even though we have had almost no rain this summer, most of the trees around here are green or dead, but the leaves are not changing yet.

Also the weather has been weird. It cooled down a bit last week, but this week is humid and mid-80's - I am ready for cool, crisp weather that invites me to wear a sweater.


I am hoping for a fall-like feeling this weekend on our camping trip in the mountains. Camping is always better when it is cool - there are no bugs, a camp fire feels nice and cozy, you don't sweat in your sleeping bag, the cold air makes you feel alive when you hike... I could ramble about this for a while. Mostly I am anxious for a real change in the season. I hope it happens soon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Boring Week

No trees have fallen in our yard lately. No major catastrophes to think of, so I guess boring doesn't necessarily equal bad!

I am looking forward to the weekend... this is our 4th weekend in a row that has been booked for us. It has been great to see so many people, but we are NEVER going to finish the house! hahaha.


This weekend we are off to go backpacking with some friends from TN. Daniel and I will be heading out Friday afternoon to camp somewhere in Pisgah and then driving on to Gatlinburg early Saturday morning to meet our friends. From there, the plan is to head to Abrams Falls for an overnight backpacking trip. I am so excited! We have only been backpacking once this year and that was back in March (or Feb???).

Grayson Highlands, 2017

I'm so thankful we were able to spend last weekend as a family, tucked away in the Virginia mountains, just the four of us. It was a ...