Field Trip

During the last week of February I went on a field trip with the 8th grade class that I had been observing for one of my classes during A term. I was very excited to go on this for a couple of reasons, the first being that it was going to be my first time on a metro school bus. Private school kid. I was also in charge of my own group of students and I also had not been to the Capitol in years.

The trip there was uneventful. All of the students were very well behaved even though half of the 8th grade class did not go because they either had bad behavior or did not pay for it. The first stop was the Tennessee State Museum. We were there to see the “Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation. The plantation was located in Robertson County.  The students were split up into two groups. The group that I was with did an educational activity first that involved looking through primary sources to learn about the slaves that lived there. Overall, it looked like the students enjoyed the activity. When it was our turn, we went through the exhibit. It ranged from various items that were in the house to articles of clothing that were worn. 

Tobacco hanging to dry

Tobacco hanging to dry

When we finished in the museum, we made our way over to the Capitol building. The students liked the fact that someone is buried there and they all were able to identify Andrew Jackson.


We got a tour and ventured upstairs where the students were able to sit in the seats in the Senate Chambers. Needless to say, they all loved that!


Once the field trip was over, we got back on the bus and made our way back to West End Middle School. We did not get very far until we got a call saying the other school bus broke down. Oops. That provided some entertainment for the 15 minute ride back home. 

It was a day full of education and adventures with those little 8th graders! 


Live Free or Die: Let’s go Climb Some Ice

The end of the trip is a little late compared to all the rest of the posts! A term was coming to a close, and midterms happened and then spring break!

My brother and I left Lebanon, NH around 5:30 in the morning to head to North Conway for the ice climbing adventure. It was about a 2 hour drive up to the White Mountains.


The sunrise was gorgeous! North Conway is a little mountain resort town that is small and quaint. We got to International Mountain Equipment and got all suited up for the day. Ice axes, crampons, climbing rope and helmets were issued mostly to me since my brother had everything. Before we even left, an accident occurred. My brother slipped on some ice and kicked a hole in his car. Whoops! He wasn’t happy, but it was still funny! It was about a 5 minute drive to Cathedral Ledge, which in the summer is a huge rock face, but now is covered in ice, blue ice to be exact which means the ice is fresh and not old.


Ice climbing is hard and tiring, but it was so much fun. The legs do all the work, almost like doing squats the whole time you are climbing up the pitch. We started on a 4, which is not the easiest, so I felt a little better after it took me a million years to get up it. I also fell about 4 times, but not far since it was a top rope climb. Lead climbing would be a different story.


We also did some repelling, which was so much fun!


We finished the day and headed back to Lebanon and ate at a little diner. We then both went to bed. It was a very eventful night!

So with all this being said I crossed another item off my 101 in 1001 list,

38. Go ice climbing!

Live Free or Die – Cardigan Mountain

It was surprising warm this past weekend in Lebanon. My brother got off work around 9am, earlier than expected. We debated on what we were going to do that day since the next day we decided to go ice climbing. We got some breakfast at the local diner. They had some great bacon!

We then went over to Eastern Mountain Sports so I could rent some snow shoes. EMS is like REI, but so much better in my opinion. They have kayaks and bikes and climbing gear plus clothes. There is also a LL Bean next door to this EMS, so we looked around in there as well. After we got changed and got all the gear in Jake’s car we headed out to Cardigan Mountain State Park in Orange, NH. It spans over 5,700 acres. It is absolutely gorgeous. During the summer there is an access rode that takes you to the parking lot, but since it is winter. the access rode was covered in snow. This is where the snow shoes comes in!


It is hard work! There were a lot of people out that day since it was so nice. Even the dogs had little shoes on their feet. We stopped some a few times to rest and to also take pictures. A nice group of college kids took our picture for us.


I also had to take a goofy one.


We finished our hike and returned the gear to EMS. We got some take out from a great little Indian place near my brothers place and card loaded as he called it before the big adventure in ice climbing the next day. It was an early night for both of us. We were in bed by 8pm.

With the snow showing activity, I was able to cross number 35 off my 101 in 1001 list and that is go hiking. My brother said snow shoeing counts as hiking. He is the expert after all. I also completed number 86 too, go to the mountains.

Next up, the White Mountains.

Live Free or Die

This past weekend I ventured up north to New Hampshire to visit my brother who lives there. Friday was the travel day, but thankfully TSA decided it should be my lucky day by going through the pre-screening process. Bean boots, big sweater, liquids and laptop all got to stay put. Hopefully the next time of y’all travel, you will be lucky enough to have this happen to you. They even let me keep my coffee!

The two flights were very uneventful. I landed in Manchester to a rainy and snowy mixture and picked up the rental car for the hour and a half drive to Lebanon. Yes, I was headed to Lebanon, NH.


My brother is currently working the graveyard shift so we was asleep when I got into town. He thankfully gave me the name of a place to go and watch the USA hockey game. I headed to the Salt Hill Pub right in the heart of downtown. The town is not that big at all. Jake met me there and we ate some food and watched the game before heading over to his apartment so he could get a few more hours of sleep before work that night.

I got some homework done before heading over to Quechee, VT to see my cousins that were staying at their condo for a ski weekend. The drive took longer than the usual 15 minutes because of all the rain and sleet that was coming down. Not fun to drive in at all. It was a nice visit as it had been about a year since I last say my cousin and her family.

The night ended with the second inside in season two of House of Cards and then I fell asleep.

Great first night in NH.

101 in 1001 Update

Not a lot has been crossed off since I last posted, but there are some. I guess I am using this excuse for a post because I really have nothing else to write about tonight. Work was long and my joints ache. So here we go.

21. Two weeks of no Facebook – Jan 2014
Well it has been more than two weeks because it has been deleted for almost one month!

27.  Give up soft drinks – Jan 2014

53. Only drink water for two weeks – Jan 2014
68. Stop using/buying plastic water bottles, and use reusable ones – Jan. 2014

Hello camel back bottles!

88. Drink moonshine – December 2013
When in Kentucky…

94. Leave an inspirational post-it in a random place (Jan 2014)
Won’t say where, but it was sure random!

40. 50 New Books
32. Andrew Jackson, Southerner

Well that is it.

Until next time.

Mando Pickin’

Three weeks ago I decided I wanted to learn how to play the mandolin. Random, I know, but why not? I truly believe I have no musical talent, but maybe that will change. One of my very good friends has been helping me out, but he told me I need to go and get some actual lessons by a mandolin person since he is more of a banjo man.

It is pretty interesting that with the chords I have learned, I could play many different songs, but I first have to actually learn them. My goal is to be able to play some killer bluegrass. Notice, I said goal. It’s hard to practice on my own when I have school and work to do, but I will learn it and be able to play “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound,” as my friend put it because it is based off the chords I am attempting to play.

Meet the mando.


Gold Tone F – Style Mandolin.

Now listen to the first song I am leaning. Dooley.

So far I have the first line down….. Dooley was a good ol’ man he lived below the mill…

Definitely need to practice more.

Until next time.

Like a Stonewall

Yes, I am referring to Stonewall Jackson. Two weeks ago a couple of my friends and I headed out to the Loveless Barn to catch a music show called Music City Roots. It is a weekly concert and live radio show (hippie radio 94.5) at the Loveless Cafe Barn. The best part, tickets are 10 bucks, 5 with a student ID!

It is mostly bluegrass and folk music with lot of local talent, fried chicken and beer. I was mostly excited about Steep Canyon Rangers, but was introduced to some great acts such as Westbound Rangers who sing a song called “Stonewall’, Ben Sollee, Ashley Monroe, and Joy Kills Sorrow.

Ben Sollee

Ben Sollee

I immediately came home and downloaded the Westbound Rangers albums off iTunes.

Here’s some Steep Canyon Rangers for you – Stand and Deliver

Last, but not least, Ben Sollee with The Healer

Just another reason I love Nashville. Get ready, the next post involves trying to find the musical genius in me.

Until next time.