October 28, 2011

A beautiful day in Autumn

Mmm.. nothing's better than a cozy blanket, pumpkin spice coffee, and the sound of snow hitting your quiet apartment complex. I have recently become addicted to this lifestyle I have adapted in the mountains. Everyday I wake up, make tea or coffee (depending on current taste bud yearning), and head to class freezing my tail off but with warm hands. Then in between classes catch the bus back home (yes, that's right I take city transit now trying to erase my eco-footprint) and make tea and check e-mail/my new addiction: Pinterest.

Pinterest is probably the worst thing that has happened to me his semester. It is a website crammed with crafting ideas and delicious recipes all organized and can be "repinned" to your own home page so that other people can see if you've tried them and if they've worked or not. Today I was on a pumpkin kick and must have read thirty recipes before running across one I might give a shot tonight after babysitting: Pumpkin Whoopies. The picture is delightful, it looks like a little oatmeal cream pie with cinnamon flavored filling and a puffy, Pumpkin flavored outer shell. I can't wait, and if it's a success I will try and make some (or peanut butter chocolate fudge) to take home for christmas. In short, this website has become not only a hobby but probably the ultimate death of my free-time. So.. get one. So i can follow you and see the things you find interesting too.

Oh lord.. hello, sweet-tooth weakness. I wonder if when I get my wisdom teeth out I can still eat these :)

This semester, thus far, has gone by crazy fast. I have written more papers in the past three months at Appalachian than I did in my academic career as a whole at NC State. School is officially kicking my tail but I am loving every minute of my classes. Right now the most interesting Literature I am studying is a book entitled A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe by a Portuguese poet by the name of Fernando Pessoa. He has an ingenious mind and has created three personas, complete with biographies for each, and writes on completely different topics from each supposed "writer". I have been so completely overcome with this book and his philosophy on taking life head on every single day that I guess I should share a bit that has touched me personally:

"To be great, be whole: don't exaggerate Or leave out any part of you.
Be complete in each thing. Put all you are Into the least of your acts.
So too in each lake, with its lofty life, The whole moon shines."

A little food for thought..

I absolutely love this poem because I am currently trying to use this philosophy for the way I live my everyday life. I feel as if when I went to State I barely showed my true, whole self and up here since I am starting over I am making sure that I surround myself this time around by people that I can show my "whole" self too, without exaggerating qualities or leaving any part out.

Well anyways, before I bore you to death with literature reflections, "fall" up here is phenomenal. And by that I mean phenomenally short. Fall lasted about two weeks with red, deep orange, and yellow crispy leaves covering every flat surface of this town. The quotations I am choosing to add around the word "fall" are to emphasize the fact that it is only a two week long season up here. RIght now it is currently forty degrees and we are already expecting our third snow tomorrow morning. Absolutely crazy. The weather is on hyper-speed and spring apparently doesn't start until April and the snow doesn't melt until about the same time. I can't believe fall has ended and it's not even November yet. The wind chill is ridiculous. You could wear ten layers and feel naked. To give you a picture of just HOW cold it is up here, this is what I wore today: A long-sleeved dress with two pairs of tight, a fleece, outer shell coat, wool socks, and hard-toed thick rubber rain boots. Oh, and I still felt naked. Definitely something my body will have to adjust to, but at-least when I come home I'll stop complaining about how cold the house is :)

And I guess the last update on my life as of right now would be my new eating habits.. I have watched "Food Inc." in one of my environmental classes, and once again am on a health kick. I only buy local vegetables and fruits, for fear of E. Coli which there is currently an outbreak of in leafy vegetables. By buying local I am attempting to fuel our local economy and keep farmers businesses still alive in hopes of not having to turn overseas for food. Ammonia is added to most meats and the meat industry has banned labeling which growth hormones they add to their meat products. Oprah was even sued for admitting on television that she has boycotted corporation meats because of the ammonia added to them being unnatural for our bodies to process. The meat industry is allowed to sue us for saying we're boycotting their products, despite our "Freedom of Speech", and makes court costs so high that most people have to agree to settle with them before their case is even heard. Absolutely terrifying, I feel as if our nation's food industry is communist. Therefore, I am no longer eating meat because I can't afford to buy local meat. Poor man's solution. I will no longer be purchasing corporation meat or consume it because I feel for our farmers today that are being put out of business for not wanting to sell out and inhumanely slaughter. The largest, inhumane slaughter house for Pork is actually in our own backyard in Tar Heel, North Carolina and is called Smithfield. Makes me feel a protest coming.. Knowledge is power. We are what we eat. Yes, I do sound like a deranged, brain-washed hippie but I am suddenly becoming okay with that.

By the way, here's a website that for $25 dollars a week you can pick your produce from a local farm to be delivered in a large box at your front door on Saturday mornings.. https://carolinagrown.org/ If i wasn't broke, I'd invest in this for you all for Christmas.

October 2, 2011

Hello, Boone.

"The wind blows where ever it pleases.
You hear it's sound, but you cannot tell
where it comes from or where it is going.
So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
   John 3:8

First beautiful, sunset hike - Rough Ridge

So here it is, I caved, I am a blogger. Not only has Boone turned me into a cat-loving, painting, hiking, camping, organic food shopper, but I have also turned to Pez the family cat for friendship. There is something so neat about being a cat owner, they may be the most worry-free animals that own us. All day he sleeps, all night he hits my feet and meows two inches from my nose until I pet him. I even got to experience my first real sense of what parenthood might be like.. I handled a hairball.

Sir Pez Lucas & I

So as of today, the start of my third month as a Mountaineer, I have accomplished several things I guess I should share with you all. I have camped off of the beautiful, Linville trails in full fog and a torrential downpour, bought all local groceries, attempted to cook, and even painted a picture of the mountains. I have started reading again and joined a wonderful church college group at the local Lutheran church. The leaves have already begun to change and I have hiked over 10 trails after class, casually. It is a new life that is for sure, and has been a rough transition. But I think by Christmas I'll have my feet on the ground and be in love with this place. It is surreal how close you are to nature here, and it really does have me inspired to start to teach. The mountains and views make me think of Robinson Crusoe and have me mystified as to how people used to live in this crazy weather without the technology so readily available today. 

First swimming hole - off Winkler's Creek

 First miserable camping experience - Linville Gorge - in the rain/fog

In conclusion, this blog is for my family back home to keep up with my random mountain adventures, and I will try and keep it as updated as I can to keep you all well informed. Hopefully I won't bore you to death. I love you all and wish you were here. Come visit! By the way, if you want to check out my one for my Technology in Schools class here it is: http://www.lucaskv.blogspot.com