Max Patch

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Max Patch is a bald atop Max Patch Mountain.  The mountain is about an hour northwest of Asheville on the Tennessee/ North Carolina border in the Pisgah National Forrest.  The mountain top was cleared in the 1800’s to use as a farm.  In the 1920’s they began using it as an airplane landing strip.  Tourist and locals would pay for a short flight around five mountain ranges.  Yes, that’s right, I wrote FIVE!  On a clear day, it has a 360 degree view where you can see the closest mountain range named Bald Mountains, the Unakas Mountains to the north, the Great Smoky Mountains to the south, the Black Balsams and the Black Mountains to the southeast.  We were very lucky on the day we went to take these pictures.  They were no clouds, only mountains in the sky.

Today the US Forrest Service owns the land and keeps the bald cleared.  It has a variety of trails ranging from a rigorous 10 miles starting at the bottom to an easy 1.5 mile stroll from the parking lot near the bald.  The Appalachian Trail also goes over the peak and there are places to camp before and after the bald. It was definitely worth a trip!


Kind Reminder

nfl__g_andruzzi_gb1_300(Photo via Bill Greene/ Boston Globe)

While reading the news today I came across a statement made by Joe Andruzzi, the New England Patriots’ offensive lineman.  He said,””Marathon Monday should be about uplifting stories, personal challenges and fundraising milestones, but today’s bombings irrevocably changed that. While I appreciate the interest in hearing our perspective on today’s horrific events, the spotlight should remain firmly on the countless individuals — first responders, medics, EMTs, runners who crossed the finish line and kept on running straight to give blood, and the countless civilians who did whatever they could to save lives.”

Reading this statement, I’m reminded of a teaching strategy I learned in college.  I was told when a student is misbehaving to verbally acknowledge a student who is following direction.  Often times students will act out for attention so when the student who is behaving in a more preferable manner is getting the attention, the other students will follow.  Not only does this usually work for behavior correction, but I believe it also helps the teacher subconsciously.  The teacher is verbally focusing on the students that are better behaved in the classroom versus constantly correcting and complaining all day long.

I realized this morning reading article after article about the Boston marathon bomb, that we should apply this strategy to the media.  As the public, we should not ignore the truth and ugliness of the world but still, we should focus our attention on the many heroes and healers from this tragic event versus the attackers.  It may only have a little impact, if any, on preventing future terrorists from seeking media attention but, I believe, readers focusing more on inspirational stories will at least help the psyche of society.

Here’s a few I found.

Ted Talking Tuesday

Hello, my name is Christine and I am a Teddict…

Here’s one of my favorites.  Not only do I love Ron Finley’s message of spreading beauty and sustainability around urban areas, but he is also an accessible guy that extends an energy of community and action.  Only 211 of the 1250 Ted talkers have ever left a reply to their listeners on the ted website.  Of those 211, their average amount of replies is 19.  At the last count, Ron Finely has left 178 replies to his supporters.   This article explains that and lists what the author believes to be Ron’s top 10 comments.

See you in the garden.

It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money!

But spend it well.

In the course of planning our honeymoon, I’ve picked up a few strategies for purchasing airfare that I think are worth sharing.  For example, the great and powerful Google has a seemingly unbiased airfare comparison tool.  It is user friendly and the best part is the “lowest fares” bar graph that shows its face after you type in the trip information.  You can get to it by clicking on the bar graph icon on the right, underneath the date information.  It shows the lowest fares for flexible dates and flexible trip length for all airlines.  Anyone who cares about prices cares about this bar graph icon.

I’ve also discovered price alerts.  I know I am a little behind in the ages with this one, but in case you are too, you can give many outside travel agencies (Airfare Watchdog, Priceline,  Kayak, Yapta, etc) your email and trip information.  Go about your business and let them do the searching for you.  When they find a good deal they send it to you.  I would also suggest double checking with the actual website to see if the price is available there.  This can help with avoiding cancellation or change fees.

I haven’t purchased our tickets quite yet.  We are hoping for Ireland and Scotland in August so please leave me a comment if you know of any better tips for purchasing tickets.  That goes for tips and ideas for things to do once we are over there too, please let me know.

I part with beautiful photos and an Irish blessing.

Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold pint– and another one!