Sunday, October 28, 2012

Microbrews in the Northwest

One reason I love the Pacific Northwest is all the incredible microbreweries that exist out there.  They also have quite the jones for IPAs.  I'm still acquiring my taste buds to those extra hoppin' brews.  Sidenote: Seattle, Washington has a whole week dedicated to beer, can you believe this?!! Sounds amazing and like I should RSVP tomorrow! Not until May though...I'll keep ya posted on my attendance.  

Cold weather means perfect time for a good porter! That's exactly what I had my fair share of on my last visit to the Seattle/Tacoma area. 
Naked City Brewery& Pub
First was a sampler at the Naked City Brewery & Taphouse .  From left to right were the following:
Naked City Duplicity
Naked City Betsey's Mountain Amber
Naked City Podunk IPA
Naked City Boo Radley Pumpkin Ale
Naked City Pinkerton Porter
Naked City Dobb's Gold

One of my favorites was the Podunk IPA (surprisingly), it was an oatmeal IPA which was different, but extremely flavorful despite the hops.  Also, the Boo Radley Pumpkin Ale, probably because it's that time of year.  Least favorite: Dobb's Gold and the Pinkerton Porter.  I just was not impressed with those two.  
The twelve beers of the Apocalypse
Afterward came Tangletown and a beer or two there.  I had the Omen Raspberry Stout.  It was perfect for the cold weather and only slightly sweet.  Rich, but not too rich and definitely filling like a meal.

The Omen
My Omen and Peter Pan collar
Last stop was at Chuck's Hop Shop, such a neat place.  Not quite a bar, but definitely a hip feel.  They serve you a pint in a mason jar glass, so very southern of them.  I wish I could remember the name of the beer I had, all I know is that it was the best chocolate stout I've had yet.  Mine is on the right in the picture below.  

So, you failed.

I am so unbelievably tired of working.  Yes, I have had a full on working weekend.  Things are just getting so busy towards the second half of the semester.  My classes this year are just a semester long so it is officially crunch time.

Here is a play by play of my weekend just to give you an idea of what it looked like:

Friday: I stayed after school until approximately 4:30pm for a student to make up some work.  Meanwhile I attempted to do some work of my own.  When I came home I made a large cup of coffee and I sat on my front porch as the cold front came in.  It was wonderful to just sit in the cold on my rocking chair breathing in fall.  Around 6:30pm it quickly became too much to bear and I went inside and attempted to focus on my graduate school essays.  I did not allow myself to eat dinner until I had finished writing.  That turned into seven pages too long and a pizza order at 8pm.  I felt quite productive and put on my happy hat (literally).

Saturday: I went to school and worked on my lesson plans for the week up until about 4pm.  When I got home I showered and prepared for a little fall party we hosted for our lovely neighbors.  The chilly weather called for some corn bread and chili (leftovers for dinner tonight), pumpkin pie, and pumpkin carving.  We were ever so festive and I had a pumpkin beer to go with it all.

Happy Halloween!
From left to right: a witch, a fleur de lis, a skull and cross bones, a jack-o-lantern
A hearty bowl of vegetarian slow-cooked chili with cornbread mmmm
The ladies working hard on the pumpkins.
Today: I have literally been grading tests (the same tests I might add) since 12pm and am not finished.  I decided to stop because of how unsuccessful I currently feel.  Most of my students completely bombed their unit three exam and I feel like I have failed them as a teacher.  I started thinking about what I did wrong and why most of them failed this exam.  It is a downward spiral from there and I need to think positive thoughts so I have decided to finish my last bundle of tests in an hour and/or tomorrow.  I cannot tell you just how disappointing it is see results like this when you feel like you have been working as hard as you have at your job.  I can also tell you that his is not uncommon for those working in schools like mine.  Rather than looking at all of the circumstances I immediately begin blaming myself.  I hate to make excuses and by looking at other factors I feel like that is exactly what I am doing.  

I'm just trying to find a balance between my job, which seems to take over my life sometimes, and talking to my friends and family.  If you fall into one of those two categories and you feel neglected lately I apologize deeply.  I am going to attempt and do better about that within the next two weeks.  I also really need to attempt and meet my personal deadline for the UW-Grad School application.  I know I still have time, but I'd like to have it taken care of a good three weeks before it is actually due.  This essay needs to be perfected before anything else can happen.

Here's to hoping this last week of October is not as crazy as my weekend was.  Expect a Halloween post if our internet is up and running. Happy Halloween Week! 

I'll leave y'all with a little something to cheer up this post. I'm sure y'all have seen this already, but it's such a feel-good thing to watch.  

Monday, October 22, 2012


Perfect rainbow in Tacoma, Washington yesterday
Back in the south already my friends.  I sure miss Washington already, and I can only hope that a move there is in my future.  As I begin my week I would like to share some words that have been on my mind the past couple of days.  I heard this poem/prayer back in college and it inspires growth through risk taking.  I think that the fight for social justice requires courage and perseverance, and sometimes we need a little reminder to fight anyway.

People are often unreasonable,
illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of
Selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you successful, you will win some
False friend and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,
People may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building,
Someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
They may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
People will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
And it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It never was between you and them anyway.

- Mother Teresa of Calcutta - 

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Greetings from the beautiful and very chilly Pacific Northwest y'all.  I was told that my southern accent is revealed every now and then, who doesn't love a southern belle though, right?  Scratch that, I don't necessarily consider myself to be a southern belle.

I have spent a blessed time here with my dear friend Lisa.  We spent our Friday in Seattle meeting up with Teach For America with the UW-School of Social Work office of graduate admissions. Thank you, Lisa for putting up with my crazy adult-post-TFA meetings, you're a doll.  We had a great time going to a couple of consignment shops and making fun of how tiny the clothes are at American Apparel.  Can you believe some of the sizes wouldn't even fit an Olsen twin?!

On my mind lately (and I promise it's not the lack of sun out here in the state of Washington) is the word jaded.  Jaded in regard to romance I think we could say.  Let me just clarify and say that romance persé has definitely not been on my mind, but rather my indifference to it.  I would like to think that most people who are not in steady relationships whether married or unmarried have thoughts about romance.  Usually daydreaming about the romance you want in your life, of your ideal partner, your future partner, your soul mate (or whatever your choice of jargon is).  At least this was always the case for me.

Instead of these thoughts coming to me, I hit a wall when I consciously attempt to force myself to daydream about happily ever afters.  Today I named that wall: J-A-D-E-D.

jaded [ˈdʒeɪdɪd]
1. exhausted or dissipated
2. satiated
jadedly  adv
jadedness  n

HA! Remember, that wonderful song?  Casting Aerosmith aside, I think I'm just jaded with the possibility of romance in my future.  That sounds awful, does it not?  I am definitely crazy about romance and love and all the roses and rainbows that come with it.  It's more of a feeling of too good to be true at this moment in time.  That's not quite right either, and it makes me sound cynical, which is also incorrect.  Now, I'm just contradicting myself.

Not very bright side of me? Except I do feel optimistic, it's just that my heart is just not as enthusiastic as my mind is.  They'll catch up with each other, don't worry ;)

Stay tuned for an update on the beer page as we tour some microbreweries in Seattle today! I made a friend who happens to appreciate a good craft beer, an important quality in my book!

Fun at Urban Outfitters
Really hoping to be a Husky next fall! 
In love with how apparent fall is in this state
So enamored
Crashing into a pile of leaves, check! 
Apothecary Bars are my new favorite thing
Experiencing the shops at the U
There are indoor trampoline parks for adults! 
Toe touching! 
Never grow up!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Delayed post // Delayed flight

My goodness it's been too long. I'm blogging from the airport. I am awaiting a delayed flight to Seattle. I cannot wait to be in the beautiful Pacific Northwest again.

I didn't abandon y'all because I don't want to blog anymore. Absolutely not. I have been dying to blog and keep everyone posted on the happenings of my small town life. You see, our house has been having loads of trouble with our Internet. It has caused one too many problems and our company that shall remain nameless told us the earliest day they could come out and address our issue was November second. Yea. I know. Our Internet has been faulty for two solid months and the earliest they can address the problem is first week of November? I kid you not.

On a much happier note the day has finally come. I am returning to Seattle and this time with a mission: to envision my future there. I have a meeting with the graduate school of admissions at the UW School of Social Work as well as a meeeting with the Executive Director of Teach For America for the Seattle region.

I am hopeful and cannot wait to make some connections with some incredible people. Send good thoughts my way. Also, part one of my application is complete. Part two is coming and I need to ask for my recomendations.

Have you ever looked through your phone pictures wondering what others might say about your life based solely on the kinds of pictures on your phone? These are thoughts I have while I await to be boarded.

I will leave you with my recent phone pictures to say what you need to say about ny life. Feel free to share in the comments section.

Catch y'all in the Pacific.

Pumpkin Pie blizzards are the best part about October
German Festival in Louisiana
Historical Cemetery in Natchez
This is almost my whole family in Louisiana
Historical Antebellum homes in Natchez

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Inversion Number Two: Check

Some exciting news today:
  • I wore my Frye Boots for the first time today! I received many compliments at school, even from my boys.  
  • I mastered Salamba Sirasana II AKA: Tripod Headstand. Wahoo! I really thought I wasn't going to get it until at least November.  If you're thinking, "what's the big difference going from Salamba Sirasana I to Salamba Sirasana II?" Well, different headstands or inversions are different for everyone.  While one may appear difficult to one person, another may have the right arm strength or core strength to do another type of inversion.  Regardless, I'm proud of myself.  Last May I would not have been able to do this.  
  • I'm also getting closer and closer to doing the non-modified version of Koundinyasana I 
  • New goal is the forearm stand called Pincha Mayurasana
Obviously I was excited
..smiling and smiling. Focusing on my breathing.
...and finally balancing.
Tuesday Teacher outfit with my Fryes
Have you accomplished a fitness goal lately? Please share! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Deadline: November 12th

That is the deadline I have set for myself. Today I looked again (because I have been checking obsessively) and the UW app is out and ready. I want to submit an early decision application to the school of social work. I have approximately a month to finish the application.

I can do this. I need enlightenment. I need inspiration and I need to put my thoughts into words. My words are worth everything in this application and I really need to shine.

May it begin..

Thoughts From a Weekend

Things are so busy lately.  So busy and our internet at the house has been faulty so excuse my lack of blogging.  I've missed y'all.  Have y'all been busy bees, too?
Check out Lisa's film prints from Labor Day weekend in Seattle-Tacoma! 
Last time I mentioned how excited I was about the new Mumford and Sons album, and let me tell you, it is incredible.  (Don't worry, Lisa, I have a copy ready for you).  Their music just touches my soul every time I listen to it (which is a lot).  It's funny how I wasn't in the right mindset to appreciate them two years ago, but cannot get enough of them lately.  Their lyrics are beautiful.  If you get the chance listen to Babel, Whispers in the Dark, Lover of the Light, and Below My Feet.

This weekend involved lots of R&R, including a much needed visit to the local spa.  The girls and I took a day dedicated to the spa and it was perfect.  Turns out that the lovely woman who gave me my facial is also our neighbor.  Only in a small town...

Thank God for pay day, because we are no longer in the Great Teacher Depression.  We stocked up on groceries for two weeks on Friday evening.  Somehow on Fridays we, the teachers, get a little looney (proof below).  We say things we wouldn't normally say, do things we wouldn't normally do, and I think it is due to the fact that we lose a few brain cells throughout the week.

Try this guilt-free tuna salad recipe, I made it in bulk for my roommates and I so you may want less mayo for one can of tuna:

  • Greek Yogurt (eyeball it)
  • Mayo (1 Tablespoon)
  • An apple cut into small pieces
  • 1 can of tuna
  • Grapes cut in halves
  • Craisins
  • Celery
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • Salt and pepper

Looney in the Kroger aisle

Two weeks worth of groceries

Glowing after my crushed pearl facial
Guilt Free Tuna Salad
Loving tea time before bed these days.  
One last thing, I will leave y'all with a b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. song by City & Colour called "The Girl" Sweet, sweet, sweet, utterly beautiful song.  Isn't it?