Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today's lunch break brought with a new form of entertainment, high speed car chases with a little chicken fried rice on the side.

The best part was how the suspect got out of the vehicle, ran through the bushes (as though, I dunno, the helicopter wasn't following him??) and then sat in the lawn chair as though nothing happened. Listen carefully to the commentary. My favorite part is, "What? Is he bringing out a snack?"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Technically speaking...

...I tried to go to sleep a while ago. It's not working. Instead I'm just laying in bed thinking. Not a good idea for someone with a wild imagination and an enormous amount of creativity. I do my best writing at night in my mind, but once my mind starts wondering it makes it even harder to sleep. Then I realized that it was October 27th already out here in North Carolina. And usually October 27th is the date that the real countdown begins.

The countdown to Thanksgiving?
Nuh uh.
New Year's?
Not that either.

The answer:
The countdown to my birthday.

So, just as a head's up to everyone, my birthday is in 3 months from October 27th. If you have difficulty counting, that makes my birthday January 27th. This is a big one too.

Be prepared to hear me countdown from here on out.
Thinking about this birthday makes me feel old.
I'm gonna try to sleep again. If sleeping doesn't work, I might try to buy some orthopedic slippers online.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Last days...

Time is running short on my big Charlotte adventure. I've been busying myself with hanging out, walking, eating at new places and the like.

So what have my last few weeks looked like?
Something like this:

Jay from work has been showing us some of his favorite places to eat! This was Lupie's.
This place had great ambiance and great chili! (Nothing like a lot of crackers!)

View across the street.
What does chips, ranch and the Quesadilla Explosion Salad from Chili's look like?

(That's the face of excitement!)

My favorite books EVER: Nancy Drew! (She's my hero! She's inspired me and helped me to fine tune my detective skills. You should be afraid. I guarantee I know more about you than you realize!)

Sittin' in a buggie! (NOT a grocery cart) I don't know why I kept making the same face all night long. Note the huge wall of those NASTY Honey Buns! (Who knew that Costco could be so much fun!)
Another one of Jay's favorite places. Penguin was on the list. For those of you from Elkhart, this is NOT Penguin Point.

Jay and Steve.

So, it came out a little blurry, BUT this is a bottle of Cheerwine. I had never heard of it! What is it? Cherry Coke of course! BUT, it's a lot of cherry!
I had also never had fried pickles. Sound strange? Yes. But oh so good! (Dipped in ranch!- You can never go wrong dippin' food in ranch!)

Barbecue. Good times.
At Cookout! I had a corndog and hushpuppies!Our table was a little unsanitary, but it worked

Apparently, Matty has trouble eating without getting stuff all over his face. At least he looks happy!
I forgot about zoom!

6 days left! More pics to come!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My life as a Made for TV Drama

(Quick note, go to the post below to see pics of the Biltmore estate in Asheville, NC. Awesome!)

If the opening scene were to start with where I am right now, it would be me wrapped in my red blanket sitting on the porch. It's dark and chilly. There's actually a frost advisory that I know about because my laptop weather channel alert is blinking yellow with the message. My nose is, I am sure, red and my feet are frozen, but I am sitting outside because it's quiet and I can think. The air smells cold and a bit like burning leaves. I breathe deep. That could be how the drama would start. It wouldn't get much more exciting from there though. I am not too interesting to watch. After I leave the porch I will undoubtedly go to bed where I will sleep until tomorrow morning when I have to drive my friend to the airport. If I'm not exciting enough to watch, I am probably not exciting enough to write about, but here I am typing typing typing. Trying to make sense of what is buzzing in my brain.

I've thought that maybe I'm writing to much. Maybe the world doesn't or shouldn't know the thoughts that I have in my brain at all hours of the night. Maybe I shouldn't give the world the power of knowing what I am thinking. There is a vulnerability that comes with putting words to paper- or in this case, typing them on an internet space so that the World Wide Web viewers can read and view and judge. And yet, here I am on another night typing my thoughts away.

If you have been reading then you know I've been on this little journey of sorts. Shall we call it, "New Adventures of the Old Stephanie"? Much like the new t.v. show about to make it's debut, (or has it already?) I have been working hard at finding me, finding what matters, deciding who I am, who I am going to be, and what I plan to do once I get myself all in order.

So, "What is it today Stephanie?" What is it that I am trying to determine today? That's what I am asking myself. Without going into much detail, as is the usual plan when typing out in public, today the thought running through my mind is "What do I do?" Have you ever had to make a decision and had everyone tell you his or her opinion- basically telling you what to do.
"Oh, take the job you'll make more money."
"Don't eat the pizza- you'll get heartburn."
"Get in the car and be quiet."
"Finish your homework."
"Be positive."
"Did I not tell you, No more wire hangers!!!"

And I can honestly say, I don't know what I want. I am torn from all sides. I don't know. The voices that I am hearing I cannot decipher. I do know that none of the voices are mine. I've turned mine off and instead and muddling my way through a sea of others. What am I waiting for? I don't know. I think somewhere inside I'm hoping that someone will say something that I like better than a previous statement, but it hasn't happened yet.

The other ironic part of this is that very few people know of the decision that I am trying to make. So not only am I trying to figure out what I want, I am actually trying to figure out what other people would want me to do, and what they would say. So the voices in my head, while not my own, are in reality, all my own.

There is another voice though. A voice that I have silenced that actually should be heard. A voice that could make sense of my mess if I would listen. I'm a little afraid, though, to hear it. I am afraid of what could come next. Like the director shouting at an actor I am afraid of what God could want me to do. I find that somewhat amusing considering I don't know what I want. Shouldn't I be open to what God might have for me? I have found that when I listen, things actually go better than planned.

So, what's the next step for Stephanie? What do I do in scene two of this unfolding life drama? I go to a quiet safe spot, and have a little conversation with the director. And while I don't think I'll be up for any Emmy nominations, I think at the end of the day, I'll do alright.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you... Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.

Biltmore Adventures

...or should I call the day HoneyBuns and Cupcakes? (You'll see why below.)

On Saturday, I went to Asheville, NC and visited the Biltmore estate with friends, Mary Beth, Christy and Melissa.

When I walked outside I saw this Star leaf attached to the back of my vehicle. I had to take a picture!

This truck made it several miles with us on our way to Asheville. Can I just add, I hate HoneyBuns- as much as the word Bun makes me laugh- HoneyBuns are the equivalent of nasty!

The view was amazing. I was driving so no I did not take the pictures, nor did I really spend much time looking side to side, but it was gorgeous just following the road!

This is Wendy. I would like to add that the time it said we'd make it by- well, I beat it.
Overheard in the car:
Mary Beth and Christy -"I can't wait until we get to the mountains."
Melissa to me - "When should we tell them we are in the mountains?"

We ate in the stable. Note the lovely centerpieces.

Which is which? Unsweetened vs. Sweetened?
The mansion. Awesome, no?
The Biltmore house was actually built by George Vanderbuilt. Notice the "V" that the trees make. This was the view from the center of the house. If you were right in the middle this is what you see straight in front of you.
We went on the "Rooftop tour," and if you see the window at the top of this tower, I actually went out that window and around the side of the roof! I'm afraid of heights- whew- it was a touch scary, but oh so cool! Fortunately MB and Christy let me hang on to them for dear life!
Pictures from the roof.

On the roof.
This is part of the roof. You could actually still see some of the flecks of gold that were used when building the house.

See the "V"?

Wouldn't the be just darling on my porch?

I would like to add right here that I was going to post a picture of Christy, but I deleted it so she wouldn't hurt me later!

My SECOND star leaf of the day!

I want one of these for my apartment.

MB, do you notice how the flowers are bursting with color. Can you imagine it in the spring?

I was trying to take a picture of myself, but the sun was bright and I couldn't keep my eyes open! I don't know why I didn't try it from the other angle.
Notice the design on the side of the building. That is actually the counterweight to the stairs on the inside (other side of the wall).

Cucumbers? Or maybe Zuchini? Nope- neither. Actually this is a LOOFA. Weird that they grow like this, I had no idea!

I am disappointed that I did not get any pictures of the bamboo growing along side the road. I also did not get a picture of the WILD beaver along side it either.
"How often do ANY of us get to see a beaver in the wild?" Well, after yesterday I am proud to say that I have.