Thursday, February 28, 2013

4AM

The heater jolts to life because the temperature
dropped below seventy-two.

It doesn’t disturb the dog but startles me.
Every. Damn. Time.

The intermittent cars whiz by the dark turn
outside of my apartment building.

I can hear Rex breathing through his cold black nose.
I can hear Brad stumble to the bathroom.
I can hear the black coffee fill my
“Peace. Love. Books” mug.
Mudslide k-cup with soy and Splenda.

The busy Macbook on my lap gives me warmth,
as does the blanket plugged into the outlet next to me.

I get lost in the moment:
I edit a picture, 12 minutes.
I type up a blog post, 23 minutes.
I get lost in a memory…

Reading Facebook posts about a woman
who is now with the stars.

In a grey Jeep Cherokee
with a familiar stranger home from war.
“You look great,” he says quietly.

Full-time job offer.
Graduation plans.
E-mail to Grandma.

Before I know it, it’s 4AM.
My body is tired,
but my mind is wired.
This is peace.

---

I was recently inspired by a friend to write poetry again. Thanks, Em. This piece came to me because of her tweet about an all-nighter that she just pulled. Silly girl. ;) 

In my warm bed last night, reading the first chapter of The Happiness Project...at 1:12AM, I thought about what makes me happy about 4.I love 4AM.

I get that this is not a typical blog post, but 4AM is a personal journey for me, which I can only experience when my mind wins out over my body. It's a beautiful moment of  peace and quiet and really is a journey of sorts. 

Anyways, hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Muddin'


I wasn't holding the keys to a brand new Chevrolet but to one with almost 100k miles on it...the truck Brad paid for in cash when he got home from Afghanistan. It's the truck that brought The Poops home. And the one that never transported The Poops again.

"I have leather interior. And my windows...they DON'T roll down..." Excuses.

Brad's stark white pavement princess is now accented with a beautiful reddish brown.

Muddin' when you leave off the "g,"has a certain air to it. A backwoods air. It brings to mind a blue collar job, a cold beer or several to celebrate the weekend, and a pretty woman in the passenger seat in cut off jeans. I'll say this right now, it was too damn cold for cut off jeans yesterday.

On a cabin-fever-inspired Sunday Drive, Brad and I took off for Reddish Knob to see the 360 degree views that we heard about.

We almost made it to the top.


But our guts told us to turn around. One lane roads covered in ice flanked by steep fiery plunges to imminent death just didn't set right with us. That's a picture from a safe-zone by the way. It was worse.

Ice, though, is how we discovered Plan B. The road less traveled by...the one with the mud...


Brad did the mud loop two or three times. He channeled his inner Tim-the-Tool-Man-Taylor. Manly man, arr arr arr.



And I giggled. Talk about stereotypes. Video is a video of a video...so not my greatest work. Technical difficulties.


video


When I thought we were finished this fun game, I asked Brad if I could drive. He said no and blamed "no one to call if we get stuck" and "no spare tire." I let it go. I was having too much fun to make something out of nothing.

He continued driving, away from the mud, and then he turned around to head back to the muddin' pit. He put the truck in park and got out. "Now I'm going to tell you what to do, you gotta listen to me."

"Hug the edge by that tree." and "Don't let off the gas when you're driving through the puddle." "This is important." I was a good student. I listened. I followed instructions.

When I arrived at the "finish line" after a gloriously (and very short) bumpy trip through the mud, I stepped on the brake and unbuckled my seatbelt.

A curious Brad asked, "Aren't you gonna go again?"

But I was good. I didn't want to press my luck. I once drove a car at 108 mph and got away with it, and more recently, I didn't get Brad's truck (or us) stuck in the middle of nowhere with less-than-desirable cell phone service.

I'd rather keep an undefeated record than push the boundaries of good taste.


The Harrisonburg Farmer's Market

in pictures :)


Harrisonburg Farmer's Market Website












As you can see, you can buy local ALL YEAR ROUND. Check out the market this Saturday. It opens at 9AM.

Thomas House Restaurant

It was Friday. Cue the singing angels...

and I was going out to lunch with two of my favorite people, my neighbor Emily and my boss Kathy. It just so happened that Emily was randomly chosen to be Kathy's teaching assistant this semester.  Long story short, we're one big happy family.

So...the Thomas House!



A wishing fountain filled with coins, women in skirts and sneakers serving lunch in old-order bonnets,  a counter lined with pies and cakes.

Thanks to the women of Dayton, we, three (Kathy, Emily, and me), dined on a very moderately priced Mennonite feast served cafeteria style.



Feast is not an understatement either. With several main courses and over 25 sides to choose from, I had some decisions to make.

Instead of being jealous of Emily's meal, I ordered the same thing that she did: a generous helping of green beans, an overflowing bowl of scalloped potatoes, a large spoonful of watergate salad, and a big ol' homemade cornbread muffin. The squash casserole looked good, but I figured I could just get it next time I came to Thomas House. Oh, trust me, there will be a next time...soon, too.

And can't forget! Kathy graciously let me try one of her beets. Verdict? I like beets.

Other side options included: mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and many more (x 18 mores to be exact).

The wood paneling and China plates hanging on the Thomas House walls added to its quaint Southern charm. The post-Valentine's Day spirit in the restaurant was fading. The roses were wilted, and the balloons were deflated, but this place had plenty of character without those things. Poultry workers, painters, retired women, a mentor and her two mentees chatting about what the next chapter in the book of life might hold.

It was a lunch surrounded by the hardworking people of this gorgeous valley (minus the Poultry plants...one across the street), and it was beautiful because well...on top of everything else, it was Friday and I was spending a beautiful Friday with two most beautiful people.

Schedule a meal at Thomas House soon. Your stomach will thank me. Here are directions.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cupcake Company Crazy!



Caramel Macchiato. Cookie Mint. Vanilla Vanilla. Red Velvet. Banana Cream. Dreamsicle. Buttered Rum. Raspberry Merlot. Chocolate Overload. If you're as overwhelmed as I am right now, keep calm.


Hop in your car, drive 3 miles east of Harrisonburg, and indulge in a box of cupcakes from Cupcake Company. But before you do, make sure this hidden gem is open.

My boss bought me four cupcakes on our way home from a photoshoot. Don't worry, I'm not a model.

I limited myself to one cupcake a day over the course of two days. It was torture. What was more torturous, though? Having to share half of the contents of my 4-cupcake box with my boyfriend. Sigh. Heavy sigh. Eyes welling with tears. It was awful. I can't talk about it.

I should have eaten the whole box on my way home from work, but then I would have had to go running for two hours, and let's be honest here. I hate running.

My Cupcakes


Day 1


Vanilla Caramel Macchiato. It's like if Starbucks and Betty Crocker had a love child. Delicious golden cake with a slight espresso flavor topped with a deliciously light caramel buttercream icing. Drizzled with a touch of caramel and topped with chocolate sprinkles.

Are you in your car yet? Don't read this and drive...it's not safe.

Day 2


Red Velvet. Luscious red velvet cake topped with a smooth and sweet cream cheese icing. The fondant heart would have melted my heart had my senses not been so consumed with the pure heaven I surrendered my tastebuds to.

And, no, I'm not being melodramatic. They're that good.

The one who shall not be named hogged the Cookie Mint and Vanilla Vanilla (left side of first photo). I would blog about them, too, but he robbed me of that privilege.

Oh well, I guess that means I just have to drive on back over and get me some more cupcakes. I could even bring friends. Emily Romito and Shauna Prentice, I'm talking specifically to you.

Big news ahead. :) 

Maybe I should start a Cupcake Company car pool from JMU? Charge my classmates in cupcakes??!!!! But wait...


They deliver. 432-CAKE.

You're welcome.