Monthly Archives: April 2018

… flowers from outside by my bed tonight… xo

… reading about INFJs tonight.. which apparently I’m one of them… 

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… not feelin’ the workout today :-(

… I’ve been working out every day lately, but definitely am NOT feeling it today… short cardio, no weights and I’m calling it good…

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365 Things to Do in Brevard – #6

… stop by Food Matters to pack the perfect organic picnic lunch for a waterfall hike… everything organic and wonderful… xo





 

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… Sunday morning smoothie…

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… fun group and great conversation on Lake Toxaway this evening… #peaceful

…  dinner at The Library with Cream of European White Asparagus Soup with Crispy Jerusalem Artichoke Chips… 

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… French Broad Chocolate in the Asheville Visitors Center Gift Shop ;-)

… and no, I didn’t buy one… heading back to Brevard for more meetings, setting up two upcoming TV gigs, and a late day workout… 

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… my new Dolley Madison prop :-)

… along with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Dolley also saved the famous portrait of George Washington when the British looted the Capitol in 1812.  Plus, she hosted some pretty fantastic parties!

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… cute… (sign in front of DD Bullwinkle)…

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… nestled in the mountains west of Brevard near the town of Sylva sits a magical place…

Every once in a while, I happen upon a place that stops me in my tracks and makes me pause, and want to write and share about the experience.  This week, I happened upon such a place.  I visited the SOAR campus in western North Carolina for the first time.  SOAR is a high-adventure summer camp, boarding school, and GAP year program for young people living with ADHD, ADD and learning challenges.  I was there to meet with the executive team, but my take-away was very personal and inspirational and had little to do with the content of the discussion in our meeting.

I was reminded of something every important… that sometimes when we least expect it, when we’re feeling perhaps at the “end of the road” (quite literally in the case of SOAR, by the way which sits at the end of a road named “Soar Road!” – ha!) not expecting to find something life-changing – THAT’S often where we find new direction and inspiration.  Sometimes the “end of the road” is actually where you find your new beginning.  Haven’t we all turned a corner, happened upon something unexpectedly and suddenly thought, “wow, this is incredible!”  Well, I discovered a wonderful place at this camp and academy called SOAR.

All around me were signs of things I didn’t expect to find, things that clearly show folks here embrace the same principles I believe in.  Like this: Challenge yourself.  Do something every day that stretches you, scares you even!

(I smiled when I got a tour and was shown this high ropes course below. Just last week I added “Complete a high ropes course” to my bucket list.  My fear of heights has kept me from ever doing one before.  There’s also one other high-challenge item on my bucket list that faces my fears head on – I’ll get it done. I will!)

This is a place where everyone is encouraged to thrive and be uniquely who they are.  Where young people can all be uniquely who they are. And there’s such freedom in that, hence the eagle and the name, SOAR… a place where you can spread your wings and where you aren’t “labeled.”

I hate labels.

I remember a friend who used to obsess about birds. I would see a beautiful bird, colorful and stunning and he would go to great lengths to share with me the scientific genus and species name of the animal: “That’s a  Dryocopus pileatus”… “This is a Cyanocitta cristata.”

“Who cares what you call it?,” I would wonder to myself.  Just look how beautiful that creature is.  You’re missing how special and unique it is.  The name or label has nothing to do with what makes it special. Don’t categorize anything, everything doesn’t need to be put in a box.

I guess I also don’t like boxes – ha!  I don’t want to be told the answers to questions I didn’t ask.  I’m seeing today that SOAR is place where you’re free to ask questions yourself.  It’s a place that makes you want to stick around, a place where you belong. Where kids are safe to be themselves… a place where you aren’t told you’re a round peg but you must fit in a square hole.  This is a place where our roundness is celebrated.  :-)

Another principle I firmly believe in (if you know me, you know this is true): Express yourself creatively every day.  I found joyful paintings and all kinds of artwork by the kids.  They are encouraged to express and create.

I sense they believe in balance here.  Everywhere I turn there is evidence of places and spaces where the mind, body, and spirit are fed….nourishing, resting, and challenging all three.  It’s not a linear easy path, I’m sure…it’s certainly not for me. But it comes with habit and practice.

All in all, maybe that sputtering light at the end of the tunnel near the “end of this road” called Soar is the start of a beauty journey of getting to where we all want to be.  We can all learn from what goes on here. “When I came to SOAR, I didn’t think I could. But, I found I could,” says a young girl/camper on a company video.  I love places and people who build others up.  Something tells me SOAR is a place where young people find “you can” and a whole lot more. Welcome to this beautiful place called SOAR.

www.SOARNC.org

 

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… meditation and epson salt bath… perfect end to a busy day… xo

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… pink petals everywhere in downtown… I love this time of year!

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… pre-Europe trip get-together at Wine Down… xo

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… cabinets are going in today, finally!

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… my sweet chocolate boy loves the outdoors and sticks/logs…

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… getting to see what the kids thought of Dolley Madison today… xo

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… oh my, look what I found at Ingles… Oskar Blues Root Beer ;-)

… had to get some for me… and some for someone I love… xo

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… rainy day today…

… but beautiful nevertheless… ;-)

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… yes, for me too ;-)

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… a friend asked for this recipe today…

… she was over for pulled BBQ beef sandwiches one night and wanted the recipe… this really is the best recipe…  be sure to get the Hawaiian roll hamburger buns and an awesome BBQ sauce for the perfect sandwich… add potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans… perfect!

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365 Things to Do in Brevard – #5

… stop by The Proper Pot (36 West Main Street) to buy amazing cheeses for your next wine & cheese get-together… they will allow you to sample before you buy… this will become your go-to spot for buying cheeses, I predict… ;-)

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… too funny! (and reminds me, I haven’t had tacos in forever)

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… juicy sweet strawberries already! :-)

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365 Things to Do in Brevard – #4

… catch an afternoon or evening movie at Brevard’s historic 1923 single-screen theatre, Co-Ed Cinema (79 West Main Street)… enjoy the latest digital picture & sound system and always first run movies…

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… look what I found at Magpie today!

Boundary Tree bottled beer (yes, beer not wine) from Blackberry Farm in Tennessee!!!  Blackberry Farm is the most heavenly place to get away in the mountains of East Tennessee… everything they do is wonderful, so this beer has to be perfect! (you can buy this to-go at Magpie)

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… taste testing possible food for the food tour…. this was delicious!

… Cuban sandwich with pit ham, pulled pork, dill pickles, swiss cheese, sweet Cuban mustard on a pressed Portuguese roll… yum! ;-)

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365 Things to Do in Brevard – #3

… spend the afternoon painting your own pottery at Brevard Clay Studio Pottery (16 West Main Street – 828.884.2529)… pick out a piece to paint (average of items are around $15-$25), paint at your leisure (all supplies provided), leave it to be glazed & fired, and pick it up 5-7 days later)…

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… excited to be invited to join this year’s Vision Transylvania class!

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… shopping for a Sylvansport GO camper… yep, THIS is how I want to camp!

Coolest. Camper. Ever. #truth (www.sylvansport.com)

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… fun this morning with our First Ladies team at Brevard Academy… such beautiful kids!

… and smart too (great questions)… impressive school, in all ways! :-)

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… visited an amazing kitchen store in Greenville this morning!

… if you like to cook like me, you will love this place… The Cook’s Station (659 S. Main Street, Greenville SC – 864.250.0091)… plus, you’ll get to meet Star, the store dog!

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365 Things to Do in Brevard – #2

Duck in to Bracken Mountain Bakery (42 S Broad Street – 828.883.4034) and order one of their nothing-better-in-the-world flakey croissants…. my suggestion: ask them to heat it up for you and then slather on the butter (yep, lots of butter and it will be very messy, but nothing better with a hot coffee on the side)… ;-)

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… Dolley Madison and the First Ladies “performed” today in Asheville…

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… it’s Friday night and that means Wine Down!

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… loving all the blooming and growing things these days…

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365 Things to Do in Brevard – #1

Stop by Magpie Meat & Three in the Lumberyard Arts District (170 King Street – 828.877.3773) to dig into some of the best comfort food in Brevard. For a little something different, eat outside on the patio garden and play corn hole.  Some of my favorites: deviled eggs, corn fritters. :-)

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I seem to be the last in town to hear the hubbub about the possibility of cutting down our town Christmas tree…

… I don’t know all the details, but my prediction is it won’t be cut down in the end… forever the optimist ;-)  seriously, I just can’t fathom that happening…

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Botanist & Barrel cider coming soon at the new Hop Stop & Beer Garden on Main Street…

… I got a small taste today… yum!

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… 243 West Main Street in Brevard will always be the Womble Inn to me…

…  to visitors today it’s the Campbell House but still wonderful! :-)

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… random cute photo of Mac :-)

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… t-shirts for sale at The Hub

… lots of people hanging out in the Pisgah Tavern and shopping at The Hub this afternoon…
… room frisbees for sale (I’ve never seen these before)…

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… I did my bucket list tonight… so fitting that I’m writing it in THIS journal ;-)

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… Tuesday night at Falls Landing…


…owner Mike Young says the best-selling beer on tap is Brevard Brewing Company’s Pilsner… great beer!

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Brevard makes the Forbes “Best Places to Retire” list again, this time at #9

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… no, this video doesn’t have anything to do with “life in Brevard,” but it does have everything to do with living a good life…

The Power of the Heart (watch it here: The Power of the Heart)… one of most powerful soul-touching videos I’ve ever watched… I promise you, you can’t  watch it without having your heart broken open… so #beautiful…

 

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… back in the studio getting another “I Love Brevard” podcast episode ready!

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… at my favorite, Harris Hardware…

… it’s all about garden planning these days… can’t wait to be back to tending a garden!

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… bumped into sweet friends today at Pescados!

… including my friend who apparently loves Louis Vuitton as much as I do…. ;-)  …  I love Pescados’ burritos with just brown rice, black beans and guacamole… so simple, so good! :-)

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Playing with paint & feeling #blessed ;-)

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… wonderful end to a great week, such good things!… :-)

… epson salt bubble bath and my favorite meditation app.. ;-)  … today: “Fearless Me”

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… the view tonight sipping wine at the Asheville Chamber Business After Hours… ;-)

… the people, programs and businesses of the Asheville Chamber are so fantastic… I’m proud to be a member,  supporting the great work they do!

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