Saturday, May 30, 2009

Community Supported Agriculture

One thing we are trying this year is community supported agriculture. We had several friends do it last year, and it sounded like something we wanted to try. A lot of the local ones filled up early, but we got a space with one, Hilltop Farm in Willow Spring. I wanted to try it it for a several reasons:
  • We're supporting a local family farm (check)
  • We'd eat more vegetables (check, in a big way)
  • Maggie would grow up knowing that her food comes from a farm, not a grocery store (95% of her food comes from Mommie right now, but Hilltop has open houses and work days, so maybe next year we can take her there).
So far we've gotten a lot of lettuce, spring onions, and strawberries, along with some broccolli, assorted greens, and we're starting to get a more diverse mix of veggies.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Backyard Renovation

Since we moved to this house 2 years ago, we had wanted to have some landscaping work done. We finally got around to it, in a big way! We had it done by Chris Myrick at Green Art Inc., and he was really great to work with if you ever need a landscaper. The main work was to build a retaining wall in order to give us more flat parts of our yard, and to rebuild our patio, which was hard to maintain and not kid friendly. They also regraded and added drainage, since we had lots of problems this past rainy year. Here are a few pictures:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3 (not much progress on Day 4 due to Rain):

Final product (Day 6 of work)!

We love our back yard, Pretzel loves having her yard back, and we know Maggie will love it when she's old enough to.

Catching Up

Well, it's been over five months since a post, so I think I have some catching up to do. I'll post a few things in the next few days, including pictures of our new back yard and some thoughts about church I promised in December.
Of course the biggest thing in my life right now is my daughter, and I'll put some pictures and videos of her up on her blog
But this blog is mine, so I just want to say that I thought that a baby would be something you just love because she's yours or you have to or there was some chemical force that made you love this thing that just laid around and pooped and cried. I wanted to be a Dad, but thought the first few months would just be something you muddled through. Now, I found out, that I love my daughter more than I could have ever imagined. She is sweet, and smart, and funny, and all around wonderful. Part of me wants to keep her a little baby for ever, but most of me is excited to see what kind of adult this magical little person grows into. More to come, I promise!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Virginia Tech Season Review 2008

Whew. This was a crazy season. In all rights, it should go down as one of the greatest seasons in the history of Hokies Football with another ACC championship (2 in a row and 3 in 5 years in the conference), a win against UVa, and a win in a BCS bowl givng us 10 wins for the season. Especially after losing so much talent to the NFL and also to injury. Here are some of my thoughts about the year:
  • Disgruntled: Many Hokie fans seamed to just be upset with the team, and the coaches. Spoiled fans with "Out of Whack" expectations? To me, thats a big part of it. But the offense was just plain bad much of the season, despite the return of an experienced offensive line.
  • Controversy, Part 2: Tyrod Taylor was going to redshirt, but after an opening game loss to ECU, the coaches (and Coach Beamer in particular) decided that Sean Glennon couldn't get it done behind the bad offensive line. It's a shame for Glennon, who I think could be a very good QB behind a good line. The coaches were probably right, because our best play for the next 9 games (until UVa) was Taylor running away.
  • Defense! The defense was supposed to be the weak link, as we lost 8 starters, many to the NFL. However, Bud Foster proved (again) that he's the best defensive coach in the country by developing a defense that ended up top 10 in the country. It started out slow, but for the last 4 games played as well as any VT D ever.
  • Roadtrip! As I reported earlier, my trip to Nebraska was a college football fan's dream trip.
  • Parity: The ACC was even top to bottom, and every game was a battle. By the end of the season, though, the Hokies proved they were the cream of the crop.
  • Dustin Keys: R-Sr placekicker finally made the team, earned a schollie, and had a great year. His parents used our tickets for many of the g
  • Freshmen on Offense: Darren Evans played great, and WRs Coale, Boykin, and Roberts developed as the year went on. Blake DeChristopher started at Tackle, and Jaymes Brooks started the bowl game at Guard.
  • Baby! I only made one homegame (GT), one road game (Nebraska), and a neutral site game (ECU@Charlotte), but it was worth it as the next generation of Hokie superfan was introduced to the world.
  • MVP: Another tough call this year, as freshman running back Darren Evans set a freshmen record with 1265 yards and 11 TDs. I have to give the MVP to Macho Harris, the senior cornerback also returned punts, played some wide receiver (8 catches, 63 yards) intercepted 6 passes for 2 TDs, defended more passes than I can remember, and led the team emotionally.
Next year there will be a lot of expectations on this team, with the whole offense returning (10 starters) along with much of the defense. It will be one of the hardest schedules in the country, with parity in the ACC again along with games against Nebraska, at ECU, in opening in Atlanta versus Alabama. Who knows, next year might feature Maggie's first Hokie game as well, since the Hokies play at Duke.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


So, today is Christmas Day, and we have tried with some limited success to scale back our giving and receiving (we did scale back our giving more successfully). As my faith as changed in the last few years, it has become very obvious to me that how I was used to doing Christmas was not how I want to do it in the future. I have spent my holidays bowing down to consumerism, and not to the God I believe in honor of the birth of his one perfect incarnation. I want to change that.
Some things really influenced me this year: the website Advent Conspiracy sums it up a lot of it pretty well. In a world that remains in spots hungry, without water, without medical care, we celebrate the birth of a poor child by spending money. Our house church adopted families again through Share Your Christmas, which was great and I was able to actually deliver to our family in the projects in a really bad part of Durham. Our family was a 28-year-old single mom and her 6 kids. And with Maggie's birth, I've really thought about how we teach her what we believe Christmas is about without being a Scrooge. Hopefully we can have a nice, traditional, fun Christmas without going overboard, diverting some our gift giving to those in need, and including her in our projects to help others.
We are lucky enough to have my family down for a day and now Debbie's family here from all over the country (Seattle, Tacoma, Champaign, and Mebane - the last two can rhyme if you try really hard) and I think the sermon at Duke chapel put that into perspective. On Christmas, we choose to spend time with certain people, and that's a way we love tham. And that's the story of Christmas: that God chose to be with us. I think that is simple and beautiful. I hope we can continue to choose to be with our family and friends, and start to choose to be present to those around us in need.
The Christmas stories in the Bible are set up to show how Jesus birth and subsequent life started a revolution against the powers of the day (Matthew's version set Jesus against Herod and Luke sets Jesus against Ceasar). I hope our lives and our Christmas' can be part of a revolution against consumerism, poverty, fear, and hopelessness.