Don’t call me Shirley

Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Grandpa is on the news!

He has been volunteering at the Ronald McDonald house in Winston for about 15 years, and he just helped them build an addition.  Yay, Grandpa!


Scerbo River House

Bert’s folks are great hosts and great cooks.  They also have a beautiful home and I felt compelled to play around with my camera a bit.  Here are a few favorites.

Funny Story

After Monica has been in grad school at BU for almost two years, I finally booked a flight to go see her during my first day of spring break.  The snow didn’t know this.  My first day of break (Good Friday) turned out to be a regular teaching day…  So after some groveling, my principal allowed me to sneak out a bit early and get on the road to Charlotte to catch a direct flight.  I allowed myself a few extra hours ’cause traffic would be horrid on the Friday afternoon before Easter, right?  Nope.  Happily, no delays.  I arrived early at Nancy and Randy’s house to–much to my surprise–sit and relax for a minute!  The pressure of the journey started to mount in my imagination, however, so I asked if we could go ahead and head out early since the airline had advised that Easter traffic would be heavy.  6.2 minutes to check in, check a bag, get through security, and arrive at the gate is not my definition of heavy, but I’m no transit  expert.  Hmm… What to do with oneself in an airport for two unforeseen hours.  This is not the funny bit, so let’s skip to Boston arrival after an uneventful (yes, army dude trying to hit on me, you were a nonevent) flight.  I arrive at the baggage claim and call Mosie.  She’s a prompt little lady and declared that she was also at the baggage claim.  Haha, funny story:  I bought the flight and received confirmation from United, but the whole sha-bang was actually US Airways, so my baggage claim was not where Mo expected…  Whoops.  No worries, she can easily walk the “0.4 miles” to Terminal B.  If it was 0.4, that must have been according to our old friend Mr. Flying Crow, because it took her twenty minutes at a good pace.  Finally, she arrives at Terminal B.  Supposedly.  I tell her, “Listen, Bub.  I’m here.  I don’t see you.  You are mistaken.  I am at door ‘B103,’ so I am clearly in Terminal B.”  P.S., thanks, Boston, for labeling the doors.  “Oh, no problem,” she says, “I’m at 113, so I can walk towards you and you walk towards me.”  Sounded logical at the time…  I made it to door B106–a dead end.  Monica made it to door B107–a dead end.  We peek outside.  I have a dumpster area and a giant parking lot where Mo claims to be.  Mo has a bank–again, a dead end.  Through some dark magic, wishful thinking, and a Hogwarts Express train later, Mo appeared out of thin air, and my transit karma really kicked in.  We waited less than 60 seconds for each leg of our public transport journey to the Theology Fun House.  Success!

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Girls With Glasses are Sweet Like Molasses

Aren’t they just?  I spent the past five days with my best friend, Monica, up in Boston where she is finishing her second year of seminary.  The post title above was shouted at us by a creepy Boston Red Sox fan as we tenaciously shoved our way through the crowd at Fenway for some delicious local frozen yogurt down the block.  Monica swears she heard a less polite word that also rhymes with “glasses,” but then the quote would not accurately sum up my trip.

I stayed with Mo in her delightful unair-conditioned room at the Boston University Theology House, and remembered all of the reasons that I loved living with her.  Her room overlooks the Charles River and is situated on the 3rd floor of a strikingly charming (read “old”) mansion with enough crown molding and architectural features to make any HGTV host wet themselves.  Unfortunately, I always failed to remember to take pictures seeing as how I always wound up light-headed after climbing the 7 flights of stairs to reach Monica’s room.


Noël 2008

It’s hard to believe that it was only a year ago that we were all together in London, and now for the first time since then, all five of the Mays Clan are together, plus two very handsome guys.  😉  So naturally, if you’re a photo-nut like my dad, this means photo-op!

Mays Family Christmas

Mays Family Christmas

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Thanksgiving 2008

Without a doubt my favorite holiday all year, and this one was one for the books.

For starters, this one lasted 8 days!

On Friday, November 21 Michael and I joined a few of his colleagues in the world’s tiniest uptown apartment with the world’s most adorable weiner dog, Rascal.  There were 13 of us all total, and although there was barely enough room for all of our elbows and knees, there was an incredible spread.  The desserts were particularly impressive, including peanut butter cookies, a pumpkin roll, and a ratio of almost one pie per person!

The very next day, Michael and I joined forces with all of the Great Housemates to fill two long tables with yet another impressive buffet of Turkey Day foods.  Michael and I combined two recipes from Barefoot Contessa (despite the fact that I hate to watch her show), and made the most delicious, juicy, flavorful turkey we ate of all the turkeys I had this year.  Cameron made an outstanding corn souffle and swears it wasn’t hard to make, and I thought it was delicious until I learned that it had sour cream in it….  Nathan made his famous mac and cheese, Shun made a particularly good batch of banana puddin from scratch, and Griffin made some of the most flavorful and fluffy potatoes I’ve had in a while.  Nathan’s Emily made some yummy cranberries soaked in OJ and a bit of sugar which made a tasty after dinner treat.  My batch of Great Granny Beamer’s rolls did not rise very well, and I was beginning to feel discouraged about my abilities….but more about this in a moment.

Thanksgiving Number 3 was on Thanksgiving day with the Phelps, my mom’s folks.  Michael was able to make it again this year, but Charlotte and Justis stayed home since Charlotte wasn’t feeling too hot.  (We missed you, hon!)  For the first year ever, Pappaw was not feeling well enough to produce his usually high quality fruit stuff, but Mammaw filled that hole in my tummy with fluffy potatoes, asparagus casserole, and cranberry apple dessert.  Sadly, I controlled my portions since my tummy has been on the fritz again, but what little I ate was perfect.  We scurried on from there to visit my dad’s mom in the hospital, which wasn’t the best of circumstances, but she was lively as ever with her stories of the past.

Thanksgiving Number 4 was at home in Greensboro.  My dad made his scrumptuous from-scratch stuffing, and I was proud of how my brussel sprouts turned out.  (Even those who ordinarily turn up their noses couldn’t resist!)  My mom also gave me some pointers on how to produce the fluffiest of rolls…. and then she gave a whole set of ceramic bowls!! (Which I learned are necessary for roll success cause they keep the dough nice and warm while it rises.)  It was nice to see Aunt Amy, Uncle Steve, Sarah, Alec, and Robin, but we missed Charlotte, Justis, Leah, and of course Grandpa and Granny (still in the hospital).  At least it made me grateful for those who could be there.

Finally, we had Thanksgiving Number 5 on Saturday, November 29 with Michael’s mom.  She went all out with an appetizer tray and several entrees, but my favorite part was when she taught me how to decorate the turkey-shaped cake!  She gave me lots of great pointers, and I had a blast.  It turned out pretty well for my first try.

Part of the glory of so many Thanksgivings was plenty of opportunities of making turkey hash out of the leftovers!  Turkey hash is the kinda thing that only my dad would think to try.  You dump equal parts of chopped up turkey, leftover dressing, and leftover gravy into a saucepan.  Add a little bit of water until the whole thing looks like dog food and is warm through.  Then enjoy one of the most delightful leftover meals you can imagine.  Yum!  Seriously!

Finally, turkey-ed out, MIchael and I spent a turkey-free day with Nancy and Randy (Michael’s other mom and dad) and their three sweet dogs.  My favorite of course is Abby, a boxer who knows she’s a lap dog, despite many warnings to the contrary.  She attempted to follow the rules at least a little bit by keeping her hind legs barely touching the floor, and all of the rest of her body in my lap so that she was technically not on the couch.  Tee hee.  She kept her nose and my lap warm as we watched Son of Rambow, an adorable and strange coming of age film that you really ought to check out if you’re in the mood for a giggle.  Then Nancy, Randy, Michael, and I went for a yummy dinner at the Irish pub Ri-Ra before scooting off to a concert at Blumenthal Theatre.  We saw Mannheim Steamroller in all of it’s 1970s glory.

As a bonus, of course, my 8-day Thanksgiving was even brighter by the fact that I have no lesson planning or grading duties at the moment.  I finally got the guts to resign, and my last day was Tuesday, November 25.  It’s nice to have some time to catch up on rest, but I’m anxious to get back to work, and have begun my search for a non-French elementary position this time.  I’ll keep y’all posted.

Love to all, especially everyone involved in my best Thanksgiving ever.

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Vive le weekend

Michael, Shun, and I went up to Chapel Thrill this weekend to go to Michelle’s baby shower and to visit as many lovely peoples as possible.  Last night Bert and Kate recommended Ted’s Montana Grill for dinner.  I was not optimistic as it seemed a little pricey and like it would be the type of place to have ginormous portions, but I was delightfully surprised.

The humongous bison head mounted on the wall seemed a bit ominous, but the marvelous mission of this restaurant soon became apparent.  We sat down to a table covered with a recycled paper table cloth, and were quickly served our drinks with thick paper drinking straws.  This place is entirely green friendly!  We then got to taste a sample of their bison pot roast and gravy, which I wasn’t sure I was cool about… until I tasted it!  Bison is apparently much like beef, yet far less fatty.  It was delicious.

I was almost unable to choose from the vast number of tempting entrees until Michael suggested that I pick the first one I’d seen and that we’d return soon to try the others.  So I enjoyed the bison pot roast and gravy with a side of  mashed potatoes and fresh sauteed green beans.  I also helped myself to a taste of Michael’s cedar plank salmon (the best salmon I’ve ever had) and Kate’s tuna.  I didn’t taste a thing that wasn’t divine!

Delicious food plus great service plus a green attitude equaled one of the most enjoyable meals I’ve had in a long time!

Then as if the night couldn’t get better, we decided to head out to Four Corners for a few drinks.  Michael grabbed us some trivia game consoles so that we could play along with the TV in the bar.  Normally (as Monica can attest after much experience), I am lousy at trivia.  However, armed with a happy attitude after dinner, I just seemed to be totally on the ball… and won the game out of all the players in the whole place!  It was quite a rush to not only discover that I wasn’t necessarily useless at trivia, but also to WIN!  This called for a celebratory drink!  Several in fact…

The company was great (TGM, Shun, Eric, Becca, Kaitlin, and AMT), the alcohol was on someone else’s tab, and I was giggly beyond all reason.  🙂