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Archive for February, 2011

Lately

So…lately I have been neglecting you. I have definitely had my hands full with all of my responsibilities. I realized just this morning that I had not loaded any pictures to share with anyone in the past several days, so here are some pictures of the day:

The girls and I were playing on the trampoline the other day and decided to get some good pictures and some super silly pictures. I have only included the good ones because I didn’t want to embarrass anyone with posting super silly ones (you know how 10 year olds can be 😉 she is beginning to get into the pre-teen years).

Anyway, we had a great time and we enjoyed each other. We were silly, which those of you who know me, I LOVE to be silly, and we laughed and joked and played with each other. That is what beautiful sunny afternoons are all about.

Get outside! 😀

Much Love,

Ireland Dreamer

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Life is Short

Take advantage

of every day.

Breathe in and out,

and remember to pray.

‘Cause life may not last,

another day.

By: Me

 

I wrote this poem September of 2010 to remind me that life is a beautiful thing. It ebbs and flows and we should cherish each moment along the way because we don’t know when our last breath might be the last one that we take. Recently, a friend of mine died. A guy that I went to school with all through middle school and high school. He was with some friends in a parking deck, and his friends were skating. He decided to be a dare devil and run the edge of the parking deck barrier. He lost his balance and fell six stories to his death. This has made me realize that I every day is important not only because it could be my last, but because I want to make the most out of every day. To enjoy every moment, breath, laugh, tear, and relationship. I want to cherish every love and every person in my life because each is important. Being thankful for every day is the key to life. Not allowing the little moments that could get you down take over the entire day, that is important too.

“Happy days are made by happy people. Happy people are made by choice.”

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Only 23 days left.

Oh my!

I can’t believe it. Woah! How time flies!

Can’t believe it. I have to say, I’m extremely excited, but I’m getting anxious too.

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A New Me.

Lately I have decided to become a better body. Notice I said body, not human, person, etc., etc. I have been trying to become a better person for a while now and God is guiding me through that. On a daily basis, He guides me and on a daily basis, I try to follow.

Anyway, those points are beside the point. I am trying to become a better body. My body has lacked attention for a long time. I have neglected by body due to time and energy and desire because I didn’t feel that I needed to worry about it and because I never had the energy or the time to take care of myself. So, I ate what I wanted, whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted.

Terrible, right?

I know. Extremely sad.

Moving on. I have lately been eating better. Not the best that I can, but better than I have in the past. I have been packing spinach salads for my lunch and focusing on portion control rather than gorging myself on the foods that taste, oh so good. It breaks my heart some days, but I am using Ireland as my goal. I have to have something to look to for a goal. Otherwise, I would not take the time.

After beginning my better food regimen, I decided to add exercise in the mix. I know, some of you are saying, “WHOAH, SLOW DOWN THERE NELLY!!” But, I have begun. Don’t worry, I haven’t neglected telling you that I began the exercising part of this better me because I just started it a couple of days ago, but I wanted to share my goals with you. Here. Even though there is no one reading, I have to post this somewhere, and share this somewhere so that I have some type of accountability.

Saturday, I had a short hike with one of my roomies that ended up being about 1.5 miles. I am really just guessing at that, so take it for what it is worth. Let me tell you, it felt like 20 miles to me, but I’m POSITIVE that it was not 20 miles.

Anyway, then Sunday, I swam for a little bit for my lifeguard challenge. Don’t worry, I didn’t go crazy with any long distances or anything, but it was something, and something is MUCH more than I have been doing.

Baby steps, right?

Then…get ready for this…I worked out again today, Monday! WOW! I walked 2 miles with my cooperating teacher, Erin at school today, did “Just Dance 2” on the Wii with my young roomies, then got on the treadmill for another 1.5 miles. I even ran a little on the treadmill! WOAH! I even surprised myself. I’m pretty excited about this venture.

Now, I’m tired and stinky and I need to go take a shower. Yuck! Oh but it felt so good!!

The ultimate reason for me telling you this, is that my goal is to run a 5K after I return from my trip for charity. The local swim team is hosting a 5K/Fun Run where I live, and I want to participate. I want to support my local swim team for the kiddos and I want to be able to run the entire thing. That is my goal.

There I said it. I want to run the 5K.

Yours,

Ireland Dreamer

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To Eat or Not to Eat-Zuzdas Style

To begin this post, I have to say, I am NOT food critic nor have I been to school for cooking or anything like that. I simply have a love of food and a love for trying new restaurants out. I enjoy eating new foods at new places and I love to cook too. Nevertheless, I am no food connoisseur, nor do I claim to be one. I do, however, have opinions about things and I tend to share those opinions.

I visited a place last night in Banner Elk, North Carolina. It was a tapas bar where you order multiple plates throughout the night that are little portions of food. The name of this particular tapas bar was Zuzdas. Let me just say, it was not as impressive as I was hoping. The service of this place was not impressive.

First of all, let me set the scene for you. It was a two story dining experience. The first floor was a dining area and then a separate small bar area. Upstairs, where my friend and I ate, was a another bar area where there is live music Friday and Saturday nights. We visited this place on a Saturday night, expecting it to be packed, we called ahead and reserved a table, just to be sure. When we got there, we did not see the hostess. Anywhere. That’s cool, so we just waited around for the hostess in order for us to be seated at our reserved table. She came around in about 5 minutes and kindly offered us our table, but we decided that since there was live music upstairs we would like to sit there. The upstairs bar area is a first come first serve area so we went in and took a seat at a table in between the bar and a line of tables that held about 15 people for a birthday party. That table was full of people having a good time eating, drinking, and socializing. They were being catered to throughout the night.

I know, I know…there were a lot of people and the servers were going to get a big tip from them. I got that. Let me just say, I was a server once upon a time, and I know how the hierarchy works and those who are spending a lot of money tend to get the most attention. Nevertheless, the “little guys” are important too, and I feel that those servers who pay attention to the little guys who frequent an eatery/bar/restaurant are the ones who keep that eatery/bar/restaurant afloat.

Guess how long we sat there before we were even acknowledged…15 minutes! That is how long we sat there without even so much as a menu or “hey, how ya doin’?” from any of the wait staff. Disappointing. Truly, disappointing. Then, once we were finally acknowledged and given a menu, we waited another 10 minutes (at least, really I’m being generous here) before the waiter came back around to take our orders. I was appalled, really. So, we placed our order and the only time the waiter came around was to take another order. It makes me sad and a little bit mad that we were no more important than that.

Now, to get started on the food.

Let me preface this portion of my analysis with this: I. LOVE. FOOD. Truly, I will eat practically anything, and if I don’t eat it on a regular basis then I’ll at least try it once just to say that I have tried it. I enjoy trying new foods and seeing have various chefs decide to put their spin on a plate. It is truly enjoyable for me.

…back to the food.

I was not impressed. No, it doesn’t take a lot for me to enjoy something really. Especially because I simply enjoy food in all of its simplicities and complexities. I had a French Onion Soup to start my meal off, and I expected it to be divine. Well, let me just say, it was disappointing. It left a funny film in my mouth that I am not accustomed to from French Onion Soup. I mean Panera Bread does a better French Onion Soup. Got me? Yeah, so there was not a rich taste of the onions and the cheese left a lot to be desired and the bread that is supposed to be in the soup, where was it? I think I got a tiny morsel of the bread that should soak up all the deliciousness. I guess it disappeared somewhere between the kitchen and my table. I guess.

The lobster bisque was pretty darn good. I have no complaints there. Of course, I had never had lobster bisque before last night, so that was a new experience for me. I enjoyed it. It was rich and creamy and delicious. I was pleased.

Another thing that we got to eat was the calamari. I have had calamari many times. I love calamari, especially fried and in marinara sauce. It should be crispy and not greasy and the marinara sauce should be rich and tomatoy ( I know, I just made up a word, but I’m gonna just roll with it). The marinara, in this case, was not one of those things. I was severely disappointed and I did not enjoy it. Not at all. It made me sad in fact that the calamari had not been given some tender loving care because that’s what it needed. Oh my did it need some TLC. It was greasy and didn’t have any flavor and the marinara sauce tasted like it had come out of one of those frozen tubes that come in the store bought frozen mozzarella sticks. It was sad and I wanted to cry afterwards.

The final piece of food that my friend and I purchased was a ravioli. This ravioli was giant and it was beautiful in its appearance. It was covered in marinara sauce with a little bit of parsley on top. Everything was going well until we took our first bites. The ravioli itself was wonderful. The cheese inside was fabulous, but again, the marinara sauce left a lot to be desired. It disappointed us again. Me in particular being that I love tomatoes. Sadly, my dream of a heavenly ravioli was crushed. Hopefully I can get something good to eat somewhere again soon.

I know I have told you about all the bad things, but I do want to say that there were several good qualities that the restaurant has. The atmosphere was beautiful. there were classy chandeliers that sparkled from the lights surrounding them. The ceiling was draped with a metallic heather gray fabric which classed the place up a bit and in the corner of the bar, there were wine bottles turned upside down on some sort of stand which was lit be colorful lights to add a little bit of interest to the room. It was classically designed and a great big BRAVO to the interior designer. It truly was beautiful. Also, there was a live band there and they played all sorts of oldies and classic rock which livened up the atmosphere and allowed us to have a relaxing Saturday night. The only thing that I would have changed about the band was that their music was much too loud. I had to yell to the person next to me.

Overall, the experience was a massive disappointment. It makes me sad. Though these are my lowly opinions, and I have no professional training which give me grounds for my opinion. Nevertheless, I have one. Its up to you to have your own as well.

Much love,

Ireland Dreamer

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Spring is approaching!

This morning, I spent some quality time getting some homework done…

…at Chick-fil-a! Can you imagine that? I actually got work done at Chick-fil-a where there are so many people to watch! Notice how I have all the vital items. My computer, its case, a soda from Chick-fil-a, my planner, and my pen. I also had my phone there too, but I’m probably talking on it my sister…who knows!

After my stent of time at Chick-fil-a, I had to go into work to do a challenge for my First aid and my Lifeguard certifications…unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of that lovely experience, but thankfully one day is down and I only have two days to go! Of course work merged with errand running, then I got to come home!

Shortly after I got home, Wendy got home too and she had the brilliant idea to go for a short hike. We didn’t have much time because the sun light was waning, but we got one squeezed it!

Check it out!

We went on the Tanawha Trail which is pretty much through a horse pasture, nevertheless it was a beautiful day! See! Check it out!

We were going to go to another trail that a bit longer and more challenging, but we weren’t able to get there because part of the Parkway was closed…so rather than give up, we decided to find somewhere else to go! That is how we ended up on the Tanawha Trail.

Look! We are conquerers! We made it to the top of the hill. Not the mountain, the hill. We are out of shape, winter is to be blamed. At least that is the line we are going to use for a little while.

We got tired though. Really tired. Ok–so I’ll speak only for myself…I got tired. Really tired. I’m blaming it on winter and my laziness throughout the winter.

See how tired I got? WOW! I’m plum tuckered out! Just look at my face! I’m worn out! Anyway, it is a good thing…I need to be worn out a little more. At least more worn out in this way, not by the stresses of everyday life. I need to be worn out from being outside because I miss that feeling. That is a good feeling of worn out. I miss that. That beauty.

I mean, seriously…how beautiful is this? I LOVE the mountains! The sun was beginning to set and it was gorgeous setting over the mountains and the grass was lit by its rays. I’m in love. If there is never a man in my life, I could live on this intoxication. Truly, this beauty is intoxicating for me.

Wow! I’ll leave you on that note. I love this. I think I will be happy having this view available to me for the rest of my life. Beautiful.

With Love,

~Ireland Dreamer

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Dancing the night away

This week has been full of surprises, emotions, and feelings. I have been sick, elated, I have cried, and I have laughed the hardest I have in a long time. It has been a roller coaster, but it sure has been a wonderful week.

I have loved every moment in it, and to be completely honester, I even enjoyed the times that I was in pain from my sinus headache. I continuously have to remind myself that the beauty of being sick is knowing that there is a time when I won’t be sick. That way, I can relish in the fact that I am not sick, when I am not sick.

Did I just talk circles around you?

I think I just talked circles around myself, and that I’m sure is a pretty impossible feat.

Anyway, what I mean is that it gives me an opportunity to appreciate the times when I am not sick because those times are first and foremost, and the beauty of them is forgotten. Quickly. So, now that I am on the up and up, I am appreciating being on the up and up. I am appreciating the ability to be around lights and loud noises and I am appreciating not feeling like my head had been beaten against the wall repeatedly. I am appreciating every bit of being in a generally well condition.

On another note, you will never guess where I just got back from…

…go on…guess!!

I just got home from chaperoning my first middle school dance. It was adorable. There were so many things that I forgot about middle school and what the dances are like. It is amazing to me how times change and how quickly they change.

I remember middle school dances. Vaguely. We called them “Sock Hops.” No, we did not wear just socks, and NO I do not know why the dances were called that, they just were. I’m just speculating here, but I imagine that at some point in time it was popular to call dances “Sock Hops” and the name stuck. Or, who knows, maybe at one point everyone danced in only socks. Who knows?!

Anyway, off of my rant.

My responsibilities included that I watch over the young ‘uns. Pretty much making sure that they did not do bad things like hug or kiss. YUCK! Or maybe to make sure that there were any fights or bullying going on. The latter is probably a more likely story.

Well, I was successful. No fights. Kisses. or bullying. I’m not sure about the hugging thing. I think I might have exaggerated my responsibilities a little bit there.

AAAAnnnyyyyyywwwwaaaayyyy……..

I watched the students dance and talk and eat and made sure everyone stayed well hydrated. It is so cute to watch middle school boys and girls slow dance. First of all, usually the boys line up against the wall and the girls gather around on the dance floor socializing. Then, you have the kids who are the brave ones who dance with or without a partner. And then, there is the height difference thing. The girls are always like a foot taller than the boys. Literally. You think I’m kidding, don’t you. Well, I’m not. They are taller….like giants with little squeamish boys. Oh my. Then, there are the slow dances where if you are asked to dance, you MUST (under penalty of death) dance with that person. Those are my favorites! The knees are locked, neither the boy nor the girl know where to put their hands, and they just rock back and forth. They aren’t usually in time with the music nor do they look at each other. AWKWARD!

They are so cute and adorable and I’m sure they would hate me describing them as cute and adorable, but I did it. So, there.

It was so much fun and I can’t wait to do it all over again!

 

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