Picture taken near Whiteside Mountain trail head

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


My mom noticed and brought it to my attention that I’ve been changing my mind on things I have been so sure about this semester and it got me wondering why… and the truth is I have no idea.  It’s just all happening…

I’m not going to New Zealand…… after graduation that is.  I WILL make it there someday!

I think the only person I have said this out loud to is my Mama.  So, for all of my surprised readers, please, let me explain….

I have been planning and talking about this trip for 3 years to EVERYONE.  I always told myself I knew I was going because of how much I blabbed on about it to all my friends and family.  So, I have to admit I’m slightly disappointed in myself…. but I just can’t justify going by myself fiscally, specially not right now. It makes no sense. 

My sister Christina is nestling into a beautiful home in Crested Butte, CO with my new pal, Tom Rudder.  Christina couldn’t have picked a more loveable, kind hearted guy to start a family with.  Yes! In 1.5 months I am going to be Aunt Pan to a beautiful little girl! J

After Christina’s move in December I had a flight booked by mid January for my first trip west of the Mississippi.  With a cousin in Denver and my sister in Crested Butte I couldn't resist. I’m probably booking my next flight for my niece's arrival tonight!  So, you see, there has been a little dipping into my NZ savings account but It’s all worth while and for good cause.  Some things you just can't plan for ;)

I could still make NZ happen if I reallllyy wanted to but I’m just going to keep working, keep saving, and just see where life takes me after graduation.  Hopefully out west or abroad, but who knows, maybe it will keep me right here in the southeast.  Wherever it takes me I know it will be a new adventure and I know traveling will be part of my life.

It does make sense to use some of the money I have saved to get started in a new (hopefully cool) town and to keep saving until I can take a trip to NZ when it doesn’t wipe out my entire savings and I have somebody to come with me.

Another change is that I’m no longer doing my internship with City Roots this summer.  The reality of me owning and running my own farm is quite slim and 6 weeks at home, traveling to Columbia, with no incoming cash is not how I want to deplete my savings account.  When considering the unneeded experience factor and fiscal factor I have decided against it. Local and organic food is still a passion of mine but I think it’s going to be a passion I get involved with in other ways.

I have no idea what’s in store for me at the end of this year… or even for the rest of 2012! 

The homily at Easter mass this past Sunday was based on a simple phrase, “Let it be, let it go, let it grow” which put this known-to-be-planner at ease and even excited for the unknown.

Until next time...
Aunt Pan  :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A little D.C. inspiration….

Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to spend some time in Washington D.C. within the past year on a few different occasions.  My most recent visit was on Monday.  I was staying with my friend Adam, who was a super trooper, and took me to visit a few more memorials that I hadn’t been to before (Jefferson & FDR Memorial)!

One of my best friends, Jeff Lorick, just graduated from USC with a political science and psychology degree and has been the greatest help in keeping me (somewhat) up-to-date on political hoopla.  Just before my visit to Maryland/D.C. he shared this video with me…

I was shocked.  I can’t believe, that we, the people of the United States, are allowing our rights to be taken away. Especially without a fight! And this is only one case…

As lucky as we are to live in such a great country, we cannot sit back and let our government change our founding principles.

Without our constitution ruling us all (gov't officials included) we will destroy a country that could be grand.  Our elected leaders of this country are not abiding to their oath. If we don’t take a few steps back to enable us to move forward the people are going to be left with nothing.

Here are some quotes I came across at the memorials
in D.C. that really stood out to me…

-Franklin Roosevelt

– Roosevelt


I think one of our nation’s greatest problems is that the people, as a whole, expect too much from our government.

Our founders set up our government and wrote our constitution to protect our freedoms and rights, provide us safety from others, and to give us a voice. Our government has spread its wings to far and our resources are beyond exhausted.  With one quick fix after another our problems are getting worse. I believe we keep trying to fix something that’s already broken because we are to scared of the economical consequences of going backwards.

We have lost our will to work and fight for what we believe in. I don’t want to look back on this time period and regret not doing more for necessary change.  If you care about your “inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (-Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence) you can’t disregard the happenings of our government.  We all have voices and we need to use them. Most importantly we need to use them intelligently and passionately. 

So many of us overlook politics and our government because a) we believe our vote doesn’t make a difference or b) it has become to complicated to keep up with. The truth is that our disregard of what’s going on in our government is only causing us to suffer more.  If we don’t petition change and justice we could be setting up our future generations with irreversible detrimental consequences. We need to be making decisions on what is best for the future of the country instead of pedaling around in quick economy fixes. 

I have to say….I’m preaching to myself just as much as any other out there. I have hope and believe in the people of our country but I believe that there needs to be a sense of urgency for change. 

With all this said- I want you guys to check out Ron Paul.... he is really the only presidential candidate that I have done any real research on but I can't agree with him more.  He gives me hope. Although, without the support of the people he stands absolutely no chance. Corporate america isn't exactly his biggest fan... and I'm not the biggest fan of corporate america. 

Even if you aren't a Ron Paul fan get involved...figure out some basics of what's going on and try to make a difference by making an educated vote.

Here are some links you should check out to get a basic feel for Ron Paul...

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I have now been in my house for 2 months 
and a routine is slowly but surely lurking
 around.  My “routine” changes depending
on whether we have a home football game or not.   

Here are some pictures of Katherine and I's house....

Speaking of football….how about those CLEMSON Tigers?!? 

I feel funny saying this but these past two games have actually made me feel good inside, like seriously happy! The awesome part is that you can truly feel that same energy roaming around on campus!  I think our Tiger's have surprised us this season and we couldn't be happier.  

Start of Semester Resolutions Update:

My biking to school has been pretty much non-existent.
I know, I know….I had all these beginning of the semester resolutions and posted them on my blog so I would hold myself more accountable for them; unfortunately I’m not too proud of my report:

My eating habits have been…..alright.
My carbon footprint habits have been……ok.

Care to hear my explanation??

I rode my bike to campus twice…it was much harder than I expected; come to find out the tires were flat (this made me feel better about the difficulty level of my 2 rides to campus)!  So, I have been walking; when the weather doesn’t interfere and I don’t have to be at work at 8am (Which happens every Wednesday there is a home football game the weekend before).  It takes about 30 minutes to walk to my office from my house.  Not bad, it’s a great way to start and end my day at work. I’m just ready for the temps to drop a bit.
As for my eating habits, convenience has been holding me back.  I have been making regular trips to our local produce stand, Kathy’s, and only buying necessities at the grocery store.  I have had too many meals out lately…ima workin on it J

I'm heading out to the farm in the morning~ it has been too long. I'm hoping to blog about the farm very sooon!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Recent Recipe: Quick, Easy, and Healthy...oh, and cheap!

Thanks to this new Pintrest thing I found a Quick, Easy, Healthy and Cheap recipe! perfect way to start the school year health kick.

Here is a link to the recipe....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Time to play catch up....

Summer’s end will be here before I know it and I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done at all.  How has all this time past when I haven’t even gotten into my summer groove?

Obviously, work (and my oh so exciting social life J), is taking up way. too. much. time.  I feel like I never have time to just sit down and…BLOG!  My camera stopped working and my computer was stolen so that has made it a little bit more difficult, so please forgive me!

I was running after work at Clemson’s experimental forest. To my surprise, when I returned to my little Jetta the passenger window was busted out and my MacBook, GPS, Costa sunglasses, backpack, bag of clothes, and wallet were gone! It was horrible.  Thankfully I have dealt with most of it and its now part of my past.

I’m so excited for school to start!  I won’t be hitting the books and all my friends will be back in town.  As much as I love summer, this one has been a hectic one.  I’m ready for a routine.  Somehow this summer I just haven’t been able to put myself in one and if I go to long living one hour to the other it all just starts to blend together. I hate that; sometimes I think I would give anything to slow time down. I think living a simple life allows this. I hope I can try it out one day!

I move into my new house this weekend, I couldn’t be happier.  One of the great things about it is that it’s only about a mile and a half from campus.  Which means I will be able to ride my bike, walk, or run to work.  I am going to do my best to ride my bike everyday to work, besides when the weather won’t allow me.   While I’m making that environmentally responsible change in my life I am also going to do my best to eat as locally as possible.

Oh, to catch everybody up on my recent reading….I HAVEN’T BEEN!! I’m so ashamed of myself.  I do have one excuse- my most recent read that I was really getting into (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) was stolen too!  I didn’t realize it until the week after.
Good news is that right before it got stolen I ordered a book that was referenced in The Omnivore’s Dilemma!  I have just started it, it’s called, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

Until next time….and I promise that it won’t be over 3 months.
Sorry no pictures….I’m workin on the camera thing ;)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Starting to get my hands a little dirty...

Earlier this semester I found out that there was a Student Organic farm at Clemson so I emailed one of the managers to see if I could help out on the farm (even though I wasn’t sure if I would be able to since I’m not a sustainable agriculture major).  I never got a response but for some reason last week I decided to try again and I emailed somebody else about it.  Sunday when I got home from Charlotte there was a response waiting for me in my inbox!
He said that he takes on volunteers and really spends a lot of time teaching them what goes on and that if they turn out to be good workers he could put them on as part time employees.  Unfortunately, with my co-op starting in about a month I won’t have much free time but I am really excited to start volunteering when I can.
Today will be my first day out on the farm! It just sounds good to say.....
  My friend, mammy kaffrin, is coming along to help us plant some vegies! I can’t wait to learn more about organic farming and to finally get my hands in a garden!

If you would like to read more on Clemson’s Student Organic Farm the link is below:

Oh, something to think about.... this is a quote from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
"We are a nation with an eating disorder, and we know it. The multiple maladies caused by bad eating are taking a dire toll on our health- most tragically for our kids, who are predicted to be this country's first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. That alone is a stunning enough fact to give us pause" (Kingslover, p. 18). 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A book recommended by a ROCKSTAR!

Today I received a new book in the mail!  The book is called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and it is a New York Times bestseller.

After catching up and sharing some of my future plans with my high school U.S. history teacher (who happens to be one of the coolest people EVER!), Anastasia Sease, she told me about a book I should read.  One too many times I’ve taken her advice on books and each time I did, I didn’t make it past page 50.  Meaning, I gave it an honest shot, but just couldn’t finish.  The first recommendation was Love In the Time of Cholera and the second was In Cold Blood.  So obviously, I automatically responded to her suggestion with a big fat NO.! Much to my surprise the recommendation came from her rockstar husband (yeah...... I wasn’t lying about her coolness; she is married to a rockstar. And to top it off she has the custest little boy that last I heard thought he was a jedi!! I love it!)
So the book finally got here and will be started this weekend!
I haven’t read a good book since Christmas break so I’m eager to start turning pages…
Oh and great news…. I got the co-op at 55 Exchange!  Helllooo New Zealand savings account! :)