Friday, April 30, 2010

Getting sad...

This is my last Friday as the Family Support Coordinator at Shepherd Center. It is really starting to make me a little teary. The past 22 months here have been some of the most amazing, difficult, incredible, inspiring and growth-related times of my whole life. Some days were filled with heavy hearts, while others gave way to witnessing literal walking miracles. I've made more friends, laughed more times, and been given an everlasting important perspective that I had never experienced before working at Shepherd. This family-started hospital has left a true imprint on my heart that I can never express my appreciation for enough. WARNING:  .... I'm about to get a little sappy, so if you hate sap, skim over the next couple of sentences....
On a personal level, the past year and a half has been one of the most difficult while one of the most amazing in all my long 25 years of life. Yet, it was truly a gift from God that I was working at a place like Shepherd during this time. Everyone I work with at Shepherd including all the volunteers, patients and families made coming to work an absolute blessing. When you are working in such a bless that gives hope to people in some of their darkest hours, and brings life back to those who thought nothing was left, it presents you with a fresh perspective on what is really worth anything in this life. It is so easy to get consumed with ourselves and make things a bigger deal than they actually are in reality, and I pray that I can bring this perspective with me throughout my entire life. I have gained invaluable experiences and skills with my position at Shepherd, and I am excited to bring all I've learned to the classroom as I seek to make a difference in young lives!

Okay.... enough of the tears. Life is all about change and thus I roll with the punches, change with the wind, and prepare to embark on the next chapter of life...
I know it will be filled with many more challenges, exciting stories and new opportunities to grow!
More to come.....


Thursday, April 29, 2010

History of Coffee

After being told that some were unaware of the various tabs on this blog, I've decided to copy some of my "Coffee Talk" section to my posts periodically so that you can properly learn more about the entire overriding subject of this blog. The history of the yummy beans is a great place to start....

The History of Coffee

Unfortunately no one really knows for sure who discovered the first coffee bean. There is both a popular legend that has become the title of many coffee beans, Dancing Goats, and then there is other evidence to point to a different origin of the coffee bean. Here are both, and you can decide what to believe....

According to a coffee history legend, an Arabian shepherd named Kaldi found his goats dancing joyously around a dark green leafed shrub with bright red cherries in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Kaldi soon determined that it was the bright red cherries on the shrub that were causing the peculiar euphoria and after trying the cherries himself, he learned of their powerful effect. The stimulating effect was then exploited by monks at a local monastery to stay awake during extended hours of prayer and distributed to other monasteries around the world. Coffee was born.
Despite the appeal of such a legend, recent botanical evidence suggests a different coffee bean origin. This evidence indicates that the history of the coffee bean began on the plateaus of central Ethiopia and somehow must have been brought to Yemen where it was cultivated since the 6th century. Upon introduction of the first coffee houses in Cairo and Mecca coffee became a passion rather than just a stimulant.

Regardless of how it was discovered, I am glad those coffee cherry plants gave way to such creative drinks and hang out spots today! Personally, I like to think it was the Dancing Goats that found it.. :)

~Your Coffee CubBuster

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beth and Betty!

Saturday was a sopping wet day in the ATL, but it was a great day for an indoor conference! I got to go see Beth Moore at Woodstock Baptist Church (which is like the size of Phillips Arena mind you) as she spoke about her new book So Long Insecurity. Now I know what your thinking because I thought the same thing and Beth actually mentioned my thoughts aloud at the start of the conference. "Many of you probably didn't buy the book because you don't want to be carrying around a book about insecurity when most people wouldn't call you an insecure person." Yes Beth, I didn't buy the book until after your conference! :)  The book itself isn't some self-help saga on how to love yourself.... no no.... don't let the title mislead you. I haven't started it yet, but after the awesome day, I'm excited to read it.
I HAVE however read many other books and bible studies by Beth that I would highly recommend including, Breaking Free, The Esther Bible Study, A Heart Like His study on David, and others. She is a wonderful writer, speaker and woman of God. It was an amazing day!
Sunday began with completely gorgeous weather so Matthew and I took an awesome drive to Helen and I would say that even though my allergies acted up, a trip to Helen is worth it for Betty's coffee! Um yes... As the Coffee CubBuster, I have to take a minute and salute Betty! Oh Betty's.... how I love thee....
Betty's General Store in Helen is the cutest old timey country store that also sells and brews there own beans. I can't go to Helen without buying some of those almondy, medium-bodied, rusticly fresh beans! I don't even think some of those descriptions are real words! Still, the store itself is like Disney World for me. I'm not exaggerating either. I don't know what it is..... You know when you go to that place that reminds you of your old grandmother's house with the calm and peace of a more simpler time filled with freshly squeezed lemonade, rocking chairs on the porch of her mountain house on the perfect fall day and she brings you out a warm homemade gooey chocolate chip cookie? Okay.... I went a little overboard and neither of my grandmother's lives in a place like that, but you get the picture. For some reason that I don't know why, that is how Betty's will make you feel! :)
I recommend a visit there asap-- although I've probably built it up so much that it's going to be a let down. Well, think of a place that makes you feel like I just described and take a day to visit it and breathe a little deeper.
Can't wait to brew some Betty's tomorrow morning!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Big News!

So, I've been crazy busy because my whole life is about to undergo a big change. I am officially resigning from my position at Shepherd Center to become a fulltime student in a Masters in the Art of Teaching program at Kennesaw State University (go Owls? No I'm still a bulldog!). Yes, I know many are thinking that I'm crazy, not only to be a fulltime student again, but to want to be a teacher in this economy-crazy!  But I'm SO excited about this new adventure ahead of me. I know it's where I'm suppose to be right now in my life. The program lasts exactly one year, and I will come away with an MAT in secondary English. (I doubt my blogs will have any less grammatical errors though. This is blog-world, not high school English folks!)
As many of you know, I've always had a teacher's spirit and truly love making a difference in other's lives. I have a passion to inspire our youth! Plus, when I realized that the certification exam I had passed some years ago would soon expire if I didn't utilize it, I decided it was NOW or NEVER. I know it will just get harder and harder to go back to school, so I am thrilled about this opportunity. However, I will truly miss everyone and everything about Shepherd Center. It has been an amazing place to grow for the past two years, and I will continue to visit and hopefully volunteer myself one day.
Nevertheless, I have a lot ahead of me to complete a Masters in one year! Not to mention the fact that I have to move home and tie up all those loose ends that are involved with changing your life. :)  I can't wait though. More to come on this exciting journey....
~Coffee CubBuster

Think this could be me??? :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Pop!

My amazing GREAT-grandfather will officially turn 105 on Friday, April 16th. In honor of this most magnificient accomplishment, my family in Washington D.C. was finally able to get him a highlight on the Today Show on Thursday, April 15th! The famous Williard Scott will be recognizing Alfred James Dumas (our Pop) sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 EST (but the show is from 7-10 so get those DVRs set to go!). My sweet Pop is still living at his home in Alexandria, Virginia. He is an extraordinary man who has been blessed to see some amazing transformations in this country and world. He can tell you what happened 5 mintues ago, and he can explain our families linage and history from centuries ago. I feel honored to still have him in our lives. He is a blessing to all he meets. 
Happy Birthday Poppy! 
Love and miss you!

This was my great siblings and I with Pop when he was only 102!
Um..... yes, he's amazing!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The CubBuster's still got it!

Yes that's right, the Atlanta Braves 2010 opening season began against the infamous Chicago Cubs. My co-worker, office-mate, and dear friend Peter Collman is a baseball (well I guess all sports) fanatic, and knew that to start the season right, he needed to invite the CubBuster to be sure the Braves started the season with a win! The second game of the season started off slow with a 1-0 lead for the Braves, but at the beginning of the 8th, Atlanta was losing to Chicago 2-1. Although others may be slightly tense at this predicament, I was calm and collected knowing I possessed a special gift of busting up on a certain kind of cub. Thank goodness I've still got it (and I guess Chipper still has it too!). Jones hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and held off the Cubs for a 3-2 win! The CubBuster lives on! Thanks Pete for a fun night! You can see other pics from Turner Field on my Pictures page...

~THE CubBuster

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Gold Dusting

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that today's pollen count is 5,733 which constitutes particles of pollen per cubic meter of air. This is up 2,000 points from last year's spring pollen peak and only 280 points away from the Atlanta pollen record of 6,013 in 1999. This high level makes it quite difficult to breathe in any air that doesn't contain pollen in it. The major current allergen attacks are stemming primarily from birch, oak, pine and sweetgum trees. Although the spike in warm temperatures is certainly welcome after the long and bitter winter, but such a gold dusting as this makes it difficult to enjoy the outdoors. Hopefully tomorrows rainy forecast will aid in this onslaught of sinus trouble! Well, you can always sit inside at a coffee shop and enjoy some hot tea to help with that sinus pressure. "They" also suggest exercising indoors, keeping windows closed, keeping your nose clean, and showering before bed. Good luck out there!
--Coffee CubBuster

I didn't have time to take a pick of my car, but it looks worse than these!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Who ya gonna call?

So my father informed me that I have missed an essential element of my childhood nickname. I would be remiss if I did not mention another key factor in the coining of the name Katie Cub Buster. Not only did the Padres beat the Cubs in 1984, but apparently the Ghost Busters movie was at it's peak in popularity right around the time of my birth. Yes, the original Ghost Busters movie with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Sigourney Weaver hit the big screen in June of '84. I'm under the assumption that everyone has seen this classic tale of good versus evil, but it not, PLEASE go out today and rent it! You are missing out on one of the great movies of the 80's! (It actually kind of scared me quite a bit as a little kid, but I'm sure you all can handle it.) Well, it makes even more sense now why I was called Katie Cub Buster. Thanks for the clarification Dad!

~Coffee CubBuster