Saturday, April 29, 2006

pierce's pad

i finally made it down to roanoke to visit my little bro pierce friday night. mom, stephen, pierce and his friend joan and i had a fabulous thai meal before mom started her major trek to texas (she's moving). at last i got to see pierce's pad. i told him to sit on his bed so i could take a pic of his room. being pierce, he decided to pose instead.

Friday, April 28, 2006

goshen: God's country

i love the city, truly. but being in the mountains, surrounded by Creation and all its sounds and smells... it's where i feel closest to God and where my Spirit is most renewed. goshen is my absolute favorite place in the world. i drove down from baltimore, stopped outside of lex for a chili cheese dog, put the top down on the car and drove through the mountains until i found my favorite spot. a great big rock in the middle of the maury river cutting through the mountain pass. the river was pretty high (and cold) so the water swirled all around me as i sat and thought and rested. ideal way to start a long weekend!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

traffic sucks

normally, it takes 30-40 minutes to drive from work in annapolis to home in baltimore. yesterday it took two hours. thank goodness i have a convertible... driving with the top down made the ridiculous commute a bit more bearable. plus, i did some homework. did i really take a picture of myself doing homework while driving? yes. it was that slow.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

back in class

yesterday i had the JOY of visiting woodlawn high school where i used to teach and coach. my office has been working with GM to bring hydrogen fuel cell technology into the classrooms, demonstrating its use in transportation. students got to look under the hood, talk to technicians, and ride in a very cool million dollar vehicle. it was really neat to see the kids so interested in alternative fuels (they asked great questions!) and to see the GM folks so excited about the students.

it was a very affirming day for me as well. i ran into several former students and every one of them remembered me and how much fun MY class was. i think about my students all the time (i have pictures of them in my office), but sometimes i wonder if i had a lasting impression on any of them or if they would remember anything i taught them. here's the update...

deatrus, a very smart kid that i absolutely loved even though he was constantly getting in trouble, is now on honor roll and tells me i'm still his favorite teacher. (already, i'm glowing...)

leah, a quiet but brilliant young lady, tells me she is in spanish 3 (she's only required to take two years) and making great grades. she's not the timid freshman she used to be.

jess, who had never set foot on a lacrosse field when i first met her and really struggled just to cradle the ball, is now one of the team captains.

WOW. not that i'm responsible for the successes these students are achieving... they are doing all the work. but even just to be a part of it makes me feel like a star.

plus, i got to have lunch with one of my favorite teachers, hope. over 30 teachers left in 2004 with me and another 64 left last year... but hope remains. she's awesome.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


i think it's been well established that baseball is one of the better aspects of spring. though i'll openly admit my amateur status, having only been a fan for 3 years, i'm pretty sure i take the game more seriously than many more seasoned folks. one of the fun things about the game is the field. walking out into the open and seeing the grass stretch out under the lights... it's borderline romantic. i'm partial to camden yards, of course, but visiting pnc park in pittsburg was a real treat this weekend. the field, the river, the skyline in the setting sun... really, they planned this park well. this was my first pirates game (vs the cubs), but i played the part of a pirates fan well. armed with my jason bay bobble head (yes! he's now in my office next to the less illustrious sammy sosa), and seated with my more dedicated pirates fan friends (nice eye patch, erin... arrrr), i think i fit in pretty well. as if that wasn't enough, erin and i took turns posing with pirate the parrot. actually, i posed... erin danced. that parrot can get a little freaky! watch out, kids. go bucs!

Monday, April 17, 2006

road trip

many people travel on easter weekend, but we travel in style. there are several things you need for a successful road trip... 1) a road, 2) a vehicle (preferably a cargo van full of furniture), 3) a papazon cushion to provide extra seating/bedding, 4) sheetz and mto sandwiches, 5) iPod and iPod radio transmitter, 6) walkie talkies, 7) rock band sightings, 8) two girls that think they're rock stars, 9) a guy that will put up with said rock stars, 10) ice cream stop. it also helps if you have an exciting destination like harrisville, pennsylvania. warning... papazon cushions are very conducive to sleeping. use with caution.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

happy easter hammer

easter wouldn't be easter without a little egg decorating and quality family time. the donovan's adopted me for the weekend and invited me to their cozy home in harrisville (small town), PA. brian, erin, colin and i decided to send a special easter greeting with our masterfully colored easter eggs and baby lamb cake. this one goes out to big mike the hammer (be sure to click on the picture for the full effect). note the bunny ears, compliments of erin. after taking this picture, all eggs were deviled and eaten... yum. the baby lamb cake was good too. happy easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

meet ray

my office had a gift exchange last christmas... the kind where you can trade for what you think is a better gift but you can also get the crappy gift if you're not careful. the game takes a lot of strategy. well i picked ray (actually, ray came with a friend named spot... but he didn't last long). luckily no one else in the office tried to take ray from me... probably because they'd hate to squelch the look of elation on my face. ray is mostly orange with some black accents. for a while he had a black spot on his side and a cute little black mustache... but now he's back to being mostly orange with just black tips on his tail. i guess he's a little chameleon. everyone in the office loves ray. people come by to talk to him on a regular basis. if i'm out of the office, several people feed him several times a day (making his water very dirty), and folks have been known to come in and adjust my window shades to make sure he's getting enough light, etc. ray loves to swim around and make bubble noises. he's a very happy fish. a big thanks to suze for being cool enough to come up with the idea of bringing fishies to a gift exchange in the first place. ray is the gift that keeps on giving!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


back in the days of beirut at "ESL" in good ole lex, chris clark used to call me a "ringer" because my aim was so perfect early on but steadily declined as the games continued. (can't imagine why!) well, it seems the same may be true in my fantasy baseball league. i've been climbing the charts the past three days and now i'm ranked number ONE! woohoo! i felt compelled to share this newfound glory since i'm sure it will be short lived (i inadvertently benched one of my better players and can't fix it until next week... shoot.) i'd like to thank the guys that put this together (the hammer and sweet sassy molassy), and the guys that joined up just to make sure this little girl could learn the ropes. girls still win, but y'all get props for humoring me.

Monday, April 10, 2006

girls always win

so the o's may have lost again friday (and saturday... and sunday...) but that didn't keep this group of girls from having a good time.

somehow daley and megan didn't make it into the pic , but this is me with carolyn, christina and anna at camden yards. all three girls happen to be in my bible study... spending time with them is always one of the highlights of my week.

i'm not sure what it is that makes girls so special. i've actually always been one to surround myself with guy friends. growing up with two brothers, i tend to be pretty comfortable around dudes. in the past year, however, my girlfriends have been such a blessing... this weekend was no exception. i love all my friends. this week though, girls win.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

orange brownies

my aunt pat made these while i was in texas and i was hooked! i've made them twice for parties since then... everyone agrees they're a little slice of heaven. (except joe, who doesn't like orange stuff). super easy and super yummy...

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest and beat with a handheld electric mixer until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven and pierce top of entire cake with a fork.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Pour glaze over cake. Cool cake and cut into squares.

(thank you

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

shout out to a marine

this is my friend garreth. we went to college together, and he's cool. a great leader with a real heart for people and a way with words. he's in iraq now and has been for several weeks. he's the only friend that i know of serving in iraq, and i'm really proud of the work he's doing.

garreth is in charge of a 60 man platoon of marines, soldiers, and staff sergeants... currently the largest platoon in his battalion. i'm writing this as if i know what i'm talking about, but i don't really. i had to reference his emails just to make sure i got the facts straight.

i'd post his command philosophy (because it is pretty amazing to read) but i a) don't know what he would think of that, and b) think it may be too much text for all you short attention span-ers. just wanted you to have a face to put with all those "support our troops" bumper stickers. i'm glad garreth is looking out for me.

Monday, April 03, 2006

the first cook out

i loooove spring. it brings so many good things: green, flowers, baseball, cookouts, baseball, and i get to keep the top down on my convertible. what's not to love? some friends kicked things off right with the first (of many, i'm sure) cookout/roof deck party of the season. i'm going to have to pick and choose what i post since we were all in such a celebratory mood.

ahh, nothing like a game of beirut to ring in spring. you're sure to lose a ping pong ball (or 47) if playing on the roof, however. note the lovely backdrop.

here we have some dudes... but only one is a dude roller. team captain, to be exact. hence the odd expression. mmmm... maybe that's because we've lost all 4 games this season?

the host got a little wet... totally not my fault.

okay... i can't help it. this pic is just too funny. i promise we're drinking water and eating pizza at this point. amazing how daley still looks classy, even with zabel acting like a fool.