The Great Bike Ride

A local business owner and friend recently asked me about sponsoring an upcoming event, Ride for Life. It's a charity bike ride with part of the proceeds supporting autism and part supporting her club’s Christmas project to provide bikes for local kids. Growing up I spent a lot of time with bikes. There was my green Schwinn, with the pink flowered banana seat. Next, came the light blue 5-speed from Sears. Then when the cycling bug bit, I went on organized rides with my Aunt Jane and Uncle Bud, rode the countryside of southern Michigan and northern Indiana after dinner, called...

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Chris vs. Bear

In early June my boyfriend Scott and I had the opportunity to escape the beach for the weekend before settling into the summer schedule. I picked the Shenandoah National Park. Just the basics were tossed into the car -- tent, pads, sleeping bags and personal items -- and off we went early on a Friday morning!We arrived at Skyline Drive mid-afternoon, stopped to pick up an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, China Rock, looking for a ride up the road to meet friends, chose a campsite at Big Meadows campground (while Scott and I put up the tent, China Rock polished off...

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Kayaks killed the pumpkin pie

Kayak Nantahala Nantahala Great Pumpkin Pursuit Pumpkin Pie Sweet Potato Pie

This is my answer to why I’m making sweet potato pies for Thanksgiving rather than pumpkin pies. I know you are asking how these two things are remotely related? A few weeks ago I told some of you that I was headed off to the North Pole to have my final strategy meeting with Santa and the Elves concerning Christmas cookies and chocolates. I lied. That meeting was in early October; a few weeks ago I went on vacation. We enjoy going to Western North Carolina and up into the Smokies for vacation. We tent camp, hike and kayak and/or...

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Donkeys, Dirty Socks and Change

Hello,  That's me on the donkey. Behind me are Grandma Carroll and my mom, pregnant with my little brother. Looks like a pretty idyllic family photo, right? If you said, "Yes," you'd be correct. But you'd never guess that my wonderful father had just recently been killed  in a car accident at the ripe old age of 26. That's right, in spite of losing a father, husband, and a son, here we Carroll women are dealing with the radical change we've just had thrust into our lives, TOGETHER. That's my dad in high school kicking back with the dirtiest socks...

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