Friday, July 18, 2014

wedding planning and Mountain Pie

before the adventures with my gallbladder, I got to spend two days in the NC mountains with my sister Deanna & mama planning for Dee's wedding next June.

Since Dee will be exceptionally busy finishing up her final year of undergrad and applying to medical school this fall/next spring so we are trying to get lots of planning and meetings out of the way, especially with the wedding taking place 5 hours away in Hendersonville.

Dee will be getting married at the Bearwallow Mountain in the Highlands. It is an absolutely beautiful venue and I was so glad I finally got to see it in person.

I can hardly wait to see her in her dress, walking through the stone archway under the house and across the open field to stand in front of that cross and marry John John. 

And you truly cannot beat these views!

We sampled catering options of BBQ, smoked turkey and appetizers at Luella's in Asheville, found some florists we want to meet with later, and met with two cake bakers, the second of which I sadly didn't get to sample at since ole Gary was rearing his ugly head.

Friday night we explored downtown Hendersonville which has really flourished in the past couple of years, it really gives me hope for our little downtown in Tarboro! We ate at the Green Room Cafe & Coffeehouse where I had a delicious cup of crab and corn chowder followed by a salad with strawberries, chicken, dried cranberries, and pecans. We walked around downtown for awhile while enjoying some Kilwin's Ice Cream and listening to a few live bands set up on the street.

But the highlight of the trip was Saturday morning when we dined at Mountain Pie and Cake. The place didn't look like much from the outside, but oh my word the inside was absolutely precious and was set up like a European tea room. As soon as we sat down at our little table, the owner's daughter brought us each a plate of fruit, a warm muffin, a cup of coffee and a glass of OJ, all of which served on/in beautiful china. Dee ordered the German fruit pockets and mama got apple pie pancakes while I enjoyed amazing chocolate hazelnut filled crepes. They were divine and rivaled those I had in Europe in 2012 (which were probably only better because they were eaten in the view of Notre Dame).

We are hoping to head back to Hendersonville in the fall to meet with florists and another caterer or two, and I am hoping to head back to Mountain Pie for more crepes. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

the tale of Gary the Gallbladder

There once was an angry little gallbladder named Gary (who threw his first little fit a few weeks ago) that got very, very mad at his lovely host, we'll call her Lauren, and decided to go absolutely crazy on her insides.

Tuesday morning Gary woke up at around 5:45am very mad at the body he lived in and decided the best way to show his anger was to send waves of pain through Lauren's shoulders, sides, ribs and stomach.

Needless to say, Lauren woke up writhing in pain, crying, and barely able to catch her breath. Gary continued his angry rant for almost two hours as Lauren and her husband drove their very scared 3-year-old to daycare and high-tailed it to the hospital. Thankfully, his host has an amazing OB who told Lauren to bring herself (and Gary) straight to labor and delivery so that while doctors tried to figure out what Gary's deal was, they could keep a close eye on Lauren and her baby.

Gary eased up around 8am as Lauren underwent an ultrasound, labs and continuous monitoring of not only her blood pressure and pulse but also the heartbeat of the almost-22-week-old baby living inside her.
Lab results came back showing that Gary had made her liver enzymes super high as her liver tried to overcompensate for Gary's slack and also shot up her white blood cell count, then the radiologist revealed that the reason Gary was so angry was because he was basically all gall stones.

Gary ended his reign over Lauren's body at 5pm on Tuesday and went to live on a ranch somewhere with other mean gallbladders (and probably appendixes too) after a very nice surgeon took him out.

Lauren had to spend one long night in the hospital with hourly checks on her and baby by a wonderful nurse then was discharged Wednesday morning to relax at home with some pain meds, heating pad and instructions to drink lots of water.

The end.

(btw, thanks for all the thoughts & prayers!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

tractor traffic

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you saw this rant today:

In my 28 minute (on a good day) commute to work from my little town of Tarboro to the "big city" of Greenville I take a back road and then a main road, both of which run parallel to several farms and big gardens. Because I know that right now is prime harvesting season in our neck of the woods, I leave a good 10 minutes early for work or I accept the consequences of my actions and deal with getting stuck behind a slow moving tractor, combine, or giant flatbed truck full of veggies, tobacco or equipment. It is the way of life here.

So this morning I was very disappointed when the drivers in a long line of cars I was traveling behind got visibly angry at a tractor we ended up following down the road a good portion of the commute (that just so happens to be curvy and a no passing zone). They honked their horns at him, flipped the bird when they finally passed or followed him way too closely. That tractor driver didn't pay them any mind and just kept trucking along at about 15 mph.

I was baffled. Having grown up surrounded by farm land, having friends whose parents are farmers, and relying on local gardeners (including my papa) to provide me with my summer veggies, I have always been taught to respect the profession and appreciate what these men and women do. Some of them help put food on my table with their edible crops while others support our state and community economically with their cash crops like tobacco and cotton. So why would you act so hateful towards a man who is just doing his job. He did not set out this morning on his tractor just to piss you off and make you late for work!

Growing up here, you learn to appreciate the beauty of a giant field of lush tobacco leaves or corn stalks and seeing a field of cotton is an every day thing, not just a pretty picture on Pinterest. Take a look at northcarolina_ag on instagram and see how absolutely beautiful the NC rural areas are:

If all that beauty (and deliciousness) means that every once in awhile I get stuck behind a tractor or two, I'll take it.