Friday, October 17, 2008

5:00 Fridays

While the calendar declares that Autumn arrived a month ago, our Carolina temperatures beg to differ. However, a cold front is coming so say the meteorologists (the only profession with no accountability. Be wrong everyday and keep your job! Sign me up.). By the way, having lived in the midwest for 10 years, a "cold front" here is laughable. But I'll take it over 30 below zero with a whipping wind any day!

I love fall and am just dying to wear my tall boots, sweater coats, and houndstooth tights. I am aching to snuggle under a blanket by our outdoor fireplace, cocktail firmly in hand. Here's hoping this fall libation brings on some chilly evenings and toasty nights. Hubba Hubba.

Caramel Apple Pie
1 oz. tequila (The better the tequila the better the drink. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT use the crap you used at the PIKA house for upsidedown margaritas in college!)

½ oz. butterscotch schnapps (Also excellent over vanilla ice cream for a grown up treat!)

1 oz. apple cider (The real deal from the farmers market. If it ain't a bit cloudy, it ain't cider.)

1 tsp. lemon juice (Fresh, natch.)

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the damn fine tequila, schnapps, cider and lemon juice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with an apple slice.I prefer a green Granny Smith apple slice because the Red Delicious is anything but.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Women Make the World Go Round: GASP!

North Carolina is a state scarred with the wounds of battle. Its fertile fields, cascading mountains, and illustrious shores have seen the anguish of war. The pain and suffering are still palpable. The lore still very much alive. The history retold. North Carolina has seen its share of battle. The folks here know what it is to don their proverbial armor and hoist their bayonettes to fight the good fight. "Battleground state" is more than a metaphor here.

We are a battleground once more. A political battleground, but the tension still runs fierce.

Obama might actually have a shot to turn the fields of red into a shade of glorious, hopeful blue.

It started with 12 girlfriends having dinner. And like the old shampoo commercial (Breck?), they told two friends. And so on. And so on. And so on...

Four weeks later it was 225 women.

G.A.S.P. was born and has hit a rapid growth spurt.


Those were the words we chanted in unison. It was musical, magical, moving. 225 women dedicated to the same cause: to help elect Barack Obama to the White House.

Sure, it started as Girlfriends Appalled About Sarah Palin. It ended in a fire under all our derrieres to donate, volunteer, canvas, knock, call, feed, stuff, walk, talk, breathe, live, give. We are a sorority of Obama evangelists. Super Heroines. We are all stepping outside our comfort zones. Whether we are stepping in our Manolos, Birkenstocks, Rainbows, Tory Burches, Dansko, Nikes, Pumas, Simples, or No Names is irrelevant. We are stepping out together to lay to rest the disastrous last eight years. We are stepping out to give credence to our system and to women who have worn the mantle of leadership before us. We will not be mocked or used or puppeteered.

The power of women cannot be discounted.

G.A.S.P. is Momentum personified. G.A.S.P. is Motivation. Dedication. Realization. Emancipation.

Women are a force to be reckoned with. Nothing, nothing my friends, stands in the way of our Conviction.

In the words of G.A.S.P.'s battle cry, "We believe that as Wake County goes, so goes North Carolina. As North Carolina goes, so goes America. And as America goes, so goes the world."
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poverty is Alive and Kicking

My children scarfed down a huge meal last night. Macaroni and cheese, barbecue meatballs, peas, and sliced tomatoes. All topped off with a butter pecan ice cream cone treat. Did I mention they also each ate an entire peanut butter and jelly sandwich an hour before their dinner? Then they woke up and each ate one sunnyside up egg, buttered toast, a whole pear, and bowl of yogurt. They count their servings of fruits and vegetables everyday to ensure we don't gyp them of their five servings. I have written before of what super champ eaters I have. I have also written about how much I love food and how much of it I eat. Food is a part of our family's brand DNA.

I am grateful. Grateful for the healthy options we have, for Farmer Tom and the insanely delicious organic veggies he provides us, for the family meal times we share, for food coma, for smeared chocolate on my kids faces, for drips of syrup on my pajamas, for sticky fingers, for flour in the crevices of my stove, for a full belly.

We have so much.

We have so much more than most.

Children in our proverbial and literal own backyards are hungry. They fall asleep to the grumble of their bellies and awake to the nausea of hunger. They eat meals at school and go without on weekends. They know nothing of organic strawberries and pulled pork simmering in sauce. They learn to live without while we cut off crusts and pour out half drunk apple juice boxes.

We can help those kids. Help them grow and learn and have faith in the power and goodness of others. Inspire them and your own kids to take note of hunger and more importantly, take action.

Today is Blog Action Day. Bloggers big and small are using our voices to speak out on eradicating poverty. I pledge to donate $1 to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina for every single comment I get on this post. I totally filched this fabulous idea from Magpie Musing. I don't think she'll mind.

So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment and forward this to everyone you know. I promise you there is no easier way to help the poor. Your words equal my money. Now that's putting your money where another's mouth is.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Why I Am Now a Tar Heels Fan

I got this in my inbox today from the venerable Dean Smith. Of Dean Dome fame. As a Wahoo, my relationship with the Tar Heels has always been a contentious one. All that Carolina Blue on Franklin Street is blinding, and I don't find that particular shade of blue to be all that appealing or flattering.

Today I have changed my mind. Today I am officially adopting the University of North Carolina Tar Heels as my local team. I should have listened to my friend Will all along.

Here is what came to my inbox this morning:

There is a point in every contest when sitting on the sidelines is not an option. That is why Linnea and I are writing to urge you to join Barack Obama's campaign for President.

There are pivotal moments in history when the right decision by a nation can change its course for the better -- opening up new paths before us and providing future generations with opportunities that we had not thought possible. This coming election provides one of those moments. Linnea and I believe Barack Obama is the right leader at this critical juncture. I have written that when coaching a team, you must be prepared to make changes to meet new challenges and obstacles. We must be prepared to do the same as a nation. Now, it is the United States that needs a change in direction... and a change in leadership.

Join Barack Obama today by volunteering in your corner of North Carolina.

Linnea and I respect all that Senator McCain has done for our country. However, we feel strongly that it is Barack Obama who offers the real leadership our nation needs to tap its potential as a land of opportunity -- even as we face difficult times at home and abroad. Senator Obama is a patriotic American, a committed Christian, a good family man, and a man who shares the bedrock values that most North Carolinians have in common: fairness, hard work, respect for others, and personal responsibility. And he has the vision and judgment to help us push through this period of uncertainty to a time of greater economic stability and greater security from threats abroad.

If you believe America needs to set a new course, then the time to join us is now. If you are already an Obama supporter, please step up to help our campaign. There are only about three weeks left before Election Day, and if we are going to move away from the failed policies of the past, then we need your help now.

So we encourage you to get out there and get involved -- talk to your neighbors and sign up to volunteer today.

Get involved now:


And pass this email along to those you think might be interested. This election is too important to stand on the sidelines and watch history pass us by.

Thank you,

Coach Dean Smith and Linnea Smith
Chapel Hill, NC

This letter was wonderful in its simplicity and earnest tone. I give the Smiths credit for putting their name, their brand, on the line to support Obama publicly. It speaks volumes about their character.

To all those couch potatoes and arm chair athletes out there who don't think their vote counts, heed Dean Smith's call to action. It is indeed too important to stand on the sidelines. It is a rare chance that we get to get in the game and make history. It is a duty. A right. A gift.
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