Sunday, April 14, 2013

{Book Review} Awol on the Appalachian Trail

Great book.  Easy read.  However.

This book actually turned me away from wanting to hike the AT.  My father-in-law brought it up a couple weeks ago, and apparently had informed Chris that it made him feel the same way.  It's fun to read and hard to put down, but it showed me a reality to the trail that I didn't know.  I had always expected that when we did the AT that we would literally be hiking and camping the entire way up - minimal civilization.  I was quite disappointed to find out that Awol (and apparently most thru-hikers) stayed in shelters and hotels just about every night and ate fast food the whole way up.  It made the AT seem not worth it to me.  I'm not sure if people do rough it on the AT or if we just need to find another trail to pursue when the time comes.

Anyhow - great read, disappointing reality.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Laurel, Mississippi

We have a dream.

And though it seems too perfect, we believe it could happen.

Laurel holds a sweet place in our hearts.  When Christopher and I decided it was time to be best friends, we found ourselves traveling to Laurel quite a bit.  Knowing one person from there quickly turned into at least a dozen - overnight.  It quickly entered our lives, but like most people, I'm not certain it will ever leave - as it should be.  Laurel is one of those amazing small towns you read about and wish you knew what it was like to be a part of.  It's tiny, it's artsy, it's active, it has an adorable downtown, and the best part is the small group of best friends that reside there.  We've always wanted to live in Laurel, and we've soon realized that it's a pretty feasible dream - perhaps.

So it's maybe kind of a huge dream with lots of large events that must take place.  In short, we want to move to downtown Laurel, open our very successful 'Collins Family Chiropractic' clinic, make it big, open Mississippi's first Chiropractic College in Hattiesburg, then, once we're in a place where we can move, renovate the old Webb house and move on in, open the old dairy farm, start a garden, and invite friends over for dinner.  Sounds good, doesn't it?

I believe it will happen.

 P.S. - Just watched a male cardinal dance for a female one. :) Love is in the air!  Hello Spring!

Friday, April 5, 2013

{book review} We The Living

Ayn Rand has been my favorite author since my freshman year of high school.  We read Anthem the summer before high school for our "Gifted" English class (that's right), and although I had to read it two or three times to even somewhat understand what she was talking about, I eventually fell in love with it.  It's beautifully written.

That's what I love about Ayn Rand.  Many people think she's too negative about the world and government, but her writing style is breathtaking to me - it tromps the things she writes about.  I can read her books over and over again solely due to the manner in which she chooses to explain her beliefs.

I just finished We The Living; and although half way through I was pretty determined it wasn't a good book and it wasn't going anywhere, it pleasantly surprised me.  It's definitely a more vulgar book than I like to read, but I did enjoy the style of course.  I've always been quite interested in historical communist movements - probably because they hit such a tender place in my heart.  This book is such.  But very different, since it's a more racy approach to the subject.  It's somewhat a biography of Ayn, which allowed me to relate on a deeper level, knowing that she struggled the way Kira did in the book.

All in all, I actually shed a tear on the last few pages.  It moved me.  I could not imagine fighting my whole life just to have enough to live, then having every person I love stripped from me as well, not to mention my own life.

It will definitely make you think.  It will definitely make you grateful.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Weekend - -

It was a great Easter weekend.  My father-in-law came to visit on Thursday, so of course it was a busy and fun-filled three days.  I'm still in a little bit of disbelief of how much was accomplished during his stay.  Friday we went over to Jone's Gap and hiked Rainbow Falls.  Beautiful waterfall.  On the way up, our friend John timidly confessed that he had never tried a boiled peanut *please forgive him - he's from New Jersey*.  We stopped at the first po-dunk grocery store we saw.  Huge cup of boiled peanuts for two dollars - thanks Lester.  Needless to say, he loved them - had a hard time sharing.  He's adapted pretty well to "the south", if South Carolina can be labeled as such.  On the way down the mountain, Alexander gave every single person that passed a taste test with love.  One man was not so happy about it.  So after listening *with a bit of a deaf ear* to his wife complain to me that my dog had rabies and I should not have him on the trail, we exchanged numbers so they could later clarify that we were telling the truth that our well-behaved, obedient-school-graduate, currently-confused puppy was in fact clear of rabies.  They confirmed later that day with our vet in Mississippi.  After the hike, we picked up a pizza and watched a James Bond flick.  Worn out.

Saturday was full of adventure as well.  To quickly recap - the men built a garden, planted the garden, built a door and lock for our outside storage room, built a bike rack in our other storage room, and picked up a work table from our Chiropractor and put it in the storage room.  All the while, I made venison bagel burgers and sweet potato fries for lunch, followed by homemade ginger snaps for desert.

Afterwards, we decided to check out a town close by called Pacolet that Mr. Michael had read contained the most craftsmen style homes in the state (he's a contractor who specializes in historic homes).  Well, someone obviously did not complete thorough research for their write-up on "must sees" in South Carolina.  This town was the epitome of disappointment.  White trash, need I say.  We saw 2 out of the "supposed" 250 craftsmen style homes, a drug bust in the middle of town, and when we asked where the historic part of town was we were told the Dollar General was a block away.  We got out of there pretty quickly.  Luckily our trip was greatly redeemed when we stumbled upon a couple trails on the outskirts of Pacolet.  We hiked for a bit then decided to try to find Glendale (another old mill town) that wasn't far away, hoping for more redemption.  Glendale was b.e.a.utiful.  There were many craftsmen style homes and a gorgeous dam.  Next to the dam was an old fabric factory that had burned down in 2004 - built in the 1800s though.  It was crazy to walk around and see.  Unfortunately we didn't have much daylight in Glendale, so I hope to go back soon.