Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic selfhood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be.  
Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I couldn't be happier!

This weekend I was with my best friends, the Nine (see photo in post below).  We haven't been all together since last Christmas... which after living within several feet of each other in college was way to long.  During our times apart we communicate by email... usually once a week, but at least once every two weeks.  I think we would all tell you that it was time to recharge.  We can only go so long without sometime together and since JM is back in the states and I haven't left yet the long weekend was the perfect time for our get together.  

During the weekend, someone was talking to a new boyfriend on Skype who asked what we did when we were together.  I suppose for someone who hasn't ever been with all of us when we were together this was a perfectly reasonable question, but kinda a hard one to answer.  Megs thought of the easiest answer "we eat."  Its very "southern"  I know, but I think our fellowship around a table which is what we makes it so special.  [Although, the food is always pretty great too.  As we've gotten older and further away from college, we've moved from eating out at our favorite college restaurant to cooking together.  This weekend's big meal was grilled chicken, grilled salmon (for the pescatarians), grilled corn, asparagus, and my chocolate cake for dessert.]  Back to the fellowship, I never get tired of hearing all the awesome things happening in their lives.  I can't really put it all into words.  We just start back where we left off and celebrate with each other all the awesomeness that has come in between time of seeing one another.  I can't wait for the next time we can all be together.   

Just, Margaret

P.S.  This post should evolve a bit.  I didn't take many photos this weekend.  That one of the great things about having nine of us around... someone usually designates themselves as the "official" photographer of the weekend.  So as I get photos I'll add them to this post.  Hint:  Blair and Laura.  

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Sometimes I just feel the need to be "domestic," today was one of those days.  So I got in the kitchen and made a classic Southern chocolate cake.  I was using a new icing recipe, well new to me.  You see recipes in "the South" are almost what you'd call sacred, some of them are as unattainable as the Holy Grail.  So I was totally excited when earlier in the summer when I visited my home town of Colquitt a family friend gave me the recipe for the icing on the cake that she made.  Since it brought her so much joy to share it with me, I don't think she would mind if I passed it along.  It's actually pretty easy and makes a great cake.  

So here is the "secret" recipe to my success.  Hope you enjoy.  

Mix together 2 cups sugar, 3-4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa, 2/3 cup canned milk and pinch of salt.  Cook on medium heat.  Watch carefully so that it doesn't burn, but don't stir any more than necessary.  (I used a double boiler.)  Add butter about the size of an egg.  (You read that correctly.  I used about 3 tablespoons.)  

Poke small holes in hot cake layers with fork or toothpick and frost while hot.  (This allows some of the yummy icing to seep into the cake.)  I made a yellow cake and actually used a mix, but I guess you could put it on any type of cake you wish.  

The best compliment I've received so far was from my dad who said "that tastes like Ms. Pat's icing."  I'm to take the cake with me this weekend to see friends.  I'll have to make my dad one soon.  

Just, Margaret

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From the Olympics to the Democratic National Convention

I thought I would be able to get some sleep after the Olympics were over.  For those of you not on Eastern Standard Time, watching the prime time live Olympic events was awesome, but also totally wore me out.  Staying up till one or two each morning is just not my usual routine and I've felt throughly sleep deprived trying to keep up with all the action.  But just when I thought I would get more sleep, the Democratic National Convention began on Monday and I had to watch.  It's been great to witness all thats going on.  

Just, Margaret

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Today my college roommate- Jane Marie- and I went back to our Alma mater, LaGrange College, to share with the faculty and staff about what we are doing now.  Kind of an inspiration for the new school year kinda thing.  So we put together a slide show... we ended with the slide below with the thought that our administration, faculty, and staff have changed the world because of the difference they have made in the lives of their students.  

I decided to post this yearbook type page from the presentation of us, well, for two reasons.  One is that I've been meaning to add a photo of these best friends for a while.  We were good friends in college (we graduated in 2006) and have continued to communicate with each other weekly.  They are a vital part of my life and I'm grateful for their friendship.  And I'm also so inspired and proud by all the good they do.  As you can see below, we all work/have worked/or studied social service fields.  They are incredible and give me hope.         

Just, Margaret

P.S. I'm the person in the red shirt and the captions correspond clockwise or counter clockwise from there.  

Monday, August 18, 2008

Do I really look like that?

Today I was driving over to my friend Jane Marie's house... you may have read her blog there's a link on my sidebar.  Anyway I was in the car and happened to glance in the rearview window a woman in her car singing with whatever song was on the radio.  She looked so silly singing to something no one around her could hear and as I began to laugh I thought "do I look like that to other people?"  I turn on the radio and have my own private karaoke session.  I must look like a nutcase.  [smile]  Here's to getting some perspective on oneself!

Just, Margaret 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Witnessing History

I have "Phelps fever."  And I guess that's not such a strange diagnosis for a US citizen these days.  Anyway at the beginning of the Olympics last weekend it was hard not to jump on the bandwagon... his record breaking goal was the talk of all the NBC coverage in the states.  So I've been watching faithfully every night and now finally he has achieved his goal.   I have got to say that I love to watch swimming.  It is so intense to watch, especially when you feel like you're witnessing something remarkable.  

Just, Margaret 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Searching all day...

This post kinda typifies the days I've been having at home and part of the reason I haven't been posting a lot this summer.  After having a job doing something I love hanging around with my family and just being a part of family life at home feels kinda... ordinary.  Don't get me wrong its an ordinary that I enjoy and that I am positive I will miss when I head across the pond in a month or so.  

Its Friday and my parents have this tradition of going to Waffle House or Starbucks  or like today Atlanta Bread Company for breakfast.  So after coffee and danishes I accompanied my mom on the "errands" she had on the agenda for the day.  She was searching for several things to send along with my sister Sarah on a visit to newly moved-in Rachel... a mattress pad- even though she has this plush apartment the bed's like one you'd find in a dorm- and a frame to replace one that cracked during the big move-in.  I didn't really have anything that I needed, but I decided to think of a task for myself to entertain me through a day of riding all over town.  (Just a quick sidenote... you may be wondering why I can't just go home... well as of Thrusday I have no vehicle.  My car sold!)  My task (should I choose to accept it) was to find a pattern for a new scarf I wanted to make before I left for the UK.  I love to knit and I love looking at and for patterns, but today was a little ridiculous.  Four stores and hundreds of patterns latter still nothing.  

If any knitters out there have any good patterns they'd like to share I could really use some new ideas.  A few of the parameters... the yarn I'm planning on using is medium weight, I was hoping to try something beyond the regular garter stitch, but I'm not up for any crazy cables.  

Just in stitches (I know that's really corny but I couldn't resist), Margaret 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A little recognition...

Tuesday I received a great surprise in my inbox.  Dori, the writer of one of the blogs I read From a Yellow House in England,  left a comment on my blog saying I was featured on her most recent post as a blog she's nominated for a "Brillante Award".  Thanks Dori for the recognition!   

Per tradition I'm passing on the love.  The blogs below in no particular order are some that I read frequently and enjoy.  

Just, Margaret

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Under Construction

I felt the need for a change so I'm editing my layout today... we'll see where I end up.  

Just, Margaret

Friday, August 8, 2008

The torch is passed

I love the Olympics and have been watching the pageantry of the games all weekend.  I find the whole time so hopeful and one of the best examples around of our capacity to act humanely.  I love it!  The Chinese have done a beautiful job of upholding the beauty of what it means to come together as a global community.  Since 1996 I have been very faithful to watch the opening ceremonies of the Games and this has bee the most wonderful show I think that I have ever seen.  Amazing!  I can't pick a favorite visual, but I love the idea that they created art live on that large piece of paper and the large globe.  Wow!  Here's the link to NBC's website if you missed what I was talking about.  

The torch was just lit and I know this sounds silly, but my only response is that "Hope springs eternal."  How can we deny the value of our human brethren after witnessing such hope.  I can't.  

Just, Margaret

Family Vacation

So I know that it appears that I've slipped off the face of the earth this past month.  And I hate to make excuses, but I do want to say that I have had my computer with me most of the time with the purpose of blogging, but have been out of wireless range.  Anyway last week my dad took a few days off and we all headed out of town for several days.  Our destinations were Americus to visit Mom and Pop, Broxton to visit Grammy and Granddaddy, and Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.  Callaway Gardens is spot for international tourism and is basically what it sounds like a very large and beautiful garden resort.  Below are some of my photos. 

Mom and Dad in the Victory Garden.  (Sarah and Rachel, my sisters, went on the vacation too, but I don't seem to have any photos of
 them... I'll look in Mom and Dad's photos and try to post one later.)

We were all especially looking forward to the Butterfly House.  

I think I can speak for all of us in saying that we enjoyed having time to be alone together as a family... movies, Mancala, good food.  Just great.  

Just, Margaret