Thursday, May 31, 2007

Best Wishes KJ and Scott

Yay! Our sweet friend Katherine James is engaged! Scott proposed on the beach in Wilmington where they first met. We're so excited for her!!!

Reuniting with Regina Carter

Regina Carter is one of the leading violinists in the world... I first heard her at a NY club called Birdland, and later brought her Quintet to North Carolina (in 2004) for a GreenHouse benefit concert called The Purpose Driven Night. She was a huge hit and has sense gained a new "Southern" following...

Addie and I were walking in our neighborhood the other day and noticed that Birdland was just around the corner... Ironically enough, Regina was set to perform there the May 30th through June 2nd. I am so excited! Mike's not really into classical music, but he's taking me to the show on Friday night.

If you want to check out any of her music, here is a list of CD's:

Paganini: After a dream

I'll be seeing you: A sentimental journey

Something for Grace (Grace is Regina's mother)

Regina Carter

Motor City Moments

Rhythms of the heart

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Baby Anderson

Rebecca and Michael had their baby. Anderson Grace Ueltschey was born around 2:30am on May 28th and weighed 7lbs, 10oz. She has dark hair and is absolutely adorable. Here is one picture, but you can see several more on Rebecca's blog. (See link under "Friends' blogs.")

Monday, May 28, 2007

Addie in the City

Addie and I met Mike in NYC on Friday afternoon and boy has it been an adventure...

For starters, Addie is incredibly confused about where she should pee. There is literally NO grass here - just sidewalk - so she has taken to walking in the middle of the road to do her business. I know this is incredibly unsafe, but it's the only way I can get her to potty. We go at early and late hours, and shoot for streets where there aren't a lot of cars. Then it's dash into the middle of the road, shout out some words of encouragement, and then scoop and run.

We went to a little park on Saturday. (Park in the sense that there are benches and lots of people, but again, no grass.) Since there are subsequently a lot of dogs around I thought she might find some bathroom inspiration... No; all she found was an eyeball! I am not kidding, it didn't look like a human eyeball, but it was an eyeball nonetheless.

Pier 83 is at the end of our road - like four blocks down - so we frequent it daily. There is a little strip of grass there but it's covered with signs that say "No Dogs on the Lawn." I try to go at off hours and sneak Addie on for just a couple critical minutes. It's worked once, but yesterday all we got was a slap on the wrist from park enforcement and a new "friend." Her name was Geannie and she said she was an actor. I asked her what kind of acting she did and she said that she pretends like she's sick and medical students diagnose her fake ailments... Interesting. Actor?

There is a "dog run" at the end of our street as well. I found this out by asking a woman I saw with a dog one morning. She ranted and raved over this dog run, so Addie and I headed West in search of the run. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect, but what we found was totally different than what I had imagined. Again, no grass. It's a 30 foot by 15 foot fenced-in strip of asphalt. You are supposed to let you dog in, and off the leash to run around. I decided to try it out... Addie and I got in the first gate, and half way in the second gate when this giant dog catapulted over and jumped on top of Addie. She was yelping. I was tangled up in between the gate and the leash. All these other dogs were running out the first gate. And NO ONE would come over to help. I finally scooped Addie and got the gate closed. Her poor ear was soaking wet from the giant dog’s slobbery mouth. I felt awful and told her that was a very bad idea; we left as quickly as possible.

On our walk this morning we saw a horse and buggy trotting down our street. We were in non-pee position, so it's not like we were in the middle of the road, but Addie was scared to death. She started running in circles and then leaped into my arms. She was shaking and would not let me put her down for a block and a half.

I think Mike and the boys (Cory and Ross are visiting) think I am crazy because every time Addie and I come in I have some kind of story to tell. So just a warning; I am sure there are many more episodes of Addie in the City to come...

Friday, May 25, 2007


Plane broken. Stuck in the Dulles airport.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Passport Hell

Ok, I am going to vent for a minute... I have been trying to get one of our GreenHouse kids a passport for the past month. Out first challenge came in getting an official copy of his birth certificate. I think we "almost" went to apply for the passport three different times... First time he forgot it. Second time he only had a copy. Third time his mom forgot to send the official one with him to school.

Anyway, we finally get the official birth certificate in-hand. I go and pick Donta up from school and we (yay) head to the passport agency. This time we make it all the way inside, we put our name on the list, and we take a seat (at the orders of the barking Passport Official on duty). We had been sitting there about five minutes. I kept looking at the birth certificate over and over, making sure it was really an official copy. I also kept re-reading his application to make sure everything looked correct... Then, just as I am getting really excited to have this whole affair over and done with, I ask Donta for his ID. "Uh, I didn't bring it."

$#!! - He didn't bring his ID. I truly could have screamed.

I look at my watch and it's 4:23... The passport office door says they are open until 6:00. At least we can run get the ID and make it back in time...

Or not, as we were walking out the door I sweetly lean over the counter and tell the Passport Official we will be right back; that he has forgotten his ID. She glares up at me and says, "I am not taking anyone after 4:30." I look at the door (which I will remind you says 6:00) and then back at her. She shakes her head and barks back "4:30."

So Donta is still passport-less. We are going to give it another go on Wednesday. Say a little prayer that we can get on the Passport Nazi's list!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Great, Easy Recipe

I am turning into quite the little cook and have a bruschetta recipe that is getting rave reviews. (My dad, who is an excellent cook, said it was the best he's ever had. It may have been one of those "proud dad" comments, but I'm gonna milk it for all it's worth!)

Anyway, this is quick, healthy, and (I think) super yummy...

1 can Northern Beans
1 small can greek olives
drizzle of olive oil
fresh basil
1/2 carton cherry tomatoes
Goat cheese
French baguette

Pre-heat over to 350
Drain and rinse beans and olives.
Chop olives, basil, and cherry tomatoes.
Throw everything into a bowl and mix (except cheese and baguette).
Spread a thin layer of goat cheese on each baguette.
Top with mixture.
Bake for 10 mins.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Exciting JL News

Since this was in the News and Record today, I feel completely comfortable posting it to my blog... Everything is still in the early stages but it's extremely exciting news! Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Starmount Shifts Plans for Corner Site
GREENSBORO - Starmount Co. has revised its plans to develop property at West Friendly Avenue and Green Valley Road. The longtime local developer still plans to donate about an acre there and the historic house on the property to the Junior League of Greensboro. But instead of moving the house to one end of the property and building offices near Green Valley, Starmount has decided to turn the remaining land into a park dedicated to company co-founder Blanche Sternberger Benjamin. The private company's board, which includes members of the Benjamin family, voted in favor of the park plan at a meeting earlier this month. Starmount hopes to donate the intended park — about 5 acres — to a nonprofit and reap the tax benefits. Even so, though, the company will be taking a financial hit. Building offices or townhomes on the land was a much more lucrative proposition than leaving it undeveloped. But those prospects might have cost Starmount some local goodwill; neighbors in Starmount Forest have opposed development at the corner. They see the Starmount property as the first in a line of dominoes falling along the south side of West Friendly. That area, part of the former town of Hamilton Lakes, was protected from rezoning for 50 years when it became part of the city of Greensboro. That protection expired Jan. 1. Ron Wilson, president of Starmount Residential, said the company's revised plans will set a precedent for limited residential growth along the corridor. He credited the company's board for supporting the plan and said area residents should follow suit. "They ought to be there backing it and saying 'Go team,'" said Wilson, who lives in Starmount Forest and has been on the receiving end of angry missives from some of his neighbors. City zoning and parks officials, and the City Council, will have to sign off on Starmount's development plans. Wilson said the company could seek a rezoning in August. Look for more in tomorrow's News & Record.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

GreenHouse Ecuador Team: Meet the Kids

I thought some of you might like to know a little about the kids we are taking to Ecuador this summer with Dustin's GreenHouse... I don't have pictures of them yet, but here is a quick overview.

Quadicia White has not had many opportunities offered to her but works incredibly hard in school and makes the most of her available resources. Her mother and stepfather are supportive parents, but because of their work schedules she is the primary caretaker in a household of (I think) six or seven children. Quadicia was recommended to Dustin’s GreenHouse by her science teacher at Grimsley High School.

Taylor Robinson will be a senior at Western Guilford High School next year. She has been raised by her mother and is a very impressive young lady; she has excellent manners, good grades, and respect for others. The Robinson’s financial situation limits Taylor from being able to experience things like travel, so this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for her.

Cortni Denni is taking courses at Guilford Technical Community College and trying to improve her grades so she can apply to a four-year university. Cortni has struggled with some substance addictions in the past but has gone through rehabilitation and has been clean for over a year. She is an amazing young woman who is wise beyond her years. Cortni will do great things in society based on experiences she had (and lessons learned) at a very young age. Cortni will be considered a Junior-Leader on the trip.

Mary Gigliotti is a student at Ragsdale High School and a starter on the varsity soccer team. She is an incredible young lady who’s shy demeanor often shades an underlying, powerhouse personality. Mary is using her soccer connections to collect gently used sports equipment that we will be able to give out to kids in Ecuador. She has not done a lot of traveling before now, but will be one of those women who blossoms on our trip, in college, and in life.

Carrie Whitsett is a student at Eastern Guilford High School. Last year Eastern burned down and was relocated... Carrie’s shy personality caused her to be hesitant in adapting to the new social and academic environments at the temporary school, so two of her teachers recommended her for a Globetrotter trip. They felt a program like Dustin’s GreenHouse would help build confidence and cultural awareness into her life. Carrie is an incredible musician and artist, two talents we are hoping she will share with us while in Ecuador.

Jennifer Santillan is a student at High Point Central High School and was recommended to our program by the Latino Family Center where she is part of a program that educates teens about abstinence, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Because 3 out of 5 Latinas become pregnant, this is a very important program to have in her life. Jennifer’s parents do not speak English, so she is the primary translator for her family. She also takes care of her three younger siblings while her parents work.

Nick Foulks is a student at Western Guilford High School… Like many other team members, Nick has a supportive family environment, but has not had experience with international travel. Although Nick comes across quite shy, he will be a hero in the Ecuadorian villages. His athletic talents and size will awe kids... I hope he is ready to feel like a hero!

Elliott Montpellier was selected by Suzanne Caudle, the teacher who received the 2007 Dustin’s GreenHouse Teacher Scholarship. Mrs. Caudle was allowed to bring any student of her choosing and chose Elliott because of his maturity and love of science. Elliott is part of the Ragsdale High School Science Olympiad team and an AP student. He is wise beyond his years – the type of son every mother dreams to have. Elliott will undoubtedly encourage other members of this team to set high goals and set out the achieve them.

Mac Ellenburg is a student at High Point Central High School. He was recommended to Dustin’s GreenHouse by a program called Community in Schools and a past scholarship recipient (Claudia Eldridge). Mac is both athletic and artistic. He is also engaged in social and political action at a very young age, and thus will bring interesting conversation into our team activities.

Donta Jarrell is a senior at Ragsdale High School. Although he is good at just about any sport, he will be attending Shaw University in the fall on a partial football scholarship. Donta was raised in a single parent home and has never experienced travel of any kind. I don’t think he has ever been outside of Greensboro, NC… Donta is huge – like you would imagine a defensive lineman to be – but he is sweet and compassionate.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Alexandra "Lexie" Bucy

Check out these amazing pictures of our adorable niece Lexie. She is Bill and Courtney's little girl...

Cory Menees is officially a law school grad. He walks this weekend and we're all heading to Chapel Hill to celebrate.

My wonderful hubby has finished his first year at UVA law. He had his last exam this morning and is probably at some bar drinking heavily right now.

JJ Kasper is enjoying some new-found freedoms. He and his long-time girlfriend (who I love by the way) are on a break so he went on his first, first date in years... JJ's wild date was a night of studying. Crazy huh?

My sister Mallory and her best friend Lauren have moved into their first apartment. It's right in the heart of App's campus and they are elated! I can't wait to see it; I'm sure it will be absolutely adorable.

Fanny Taylor the artist who made all of the jewelry for my bridesmaids and me at the wedding had a wildly successful booth at the High Point furniture market this year, and she has a new person interested in rep-ing her line.

I love all of you! Congrats.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

NYC, here we come!

Yay, Mike and I finally have a place to live in the city. It's only for three weeks, but it's a start. Two more tid-bits of good news: Addie (my dog) gets to come to New York with us; I just know she will love Central Park and shopping!!!

And (second tid-bit) the owner of the apartment we are renting is the associate conductor of the New York City Opera. He's going on tour, which is why the place is available. His name is Garrett Keast and he has also led orchestras in New Jersey, Hawaii, and Dallas... Garrett said there is a ton of great music for us to enjoy at his place. I'm hoping there will be a pair of concert tickets waiting at the new pad as well.

The pic is of our new temporary home. And if you are interested in learning more about our landlord, check out his website:

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Globetrotters 2007

The 2007 GreenHouse Globetrotter trip is almost here and things are getting very exciting. We have eight students and two teachers traveling with us this year, and so far, our two week adventure is shaping up like this: Fly into Guayaquil and spend the first night in the city. Wake up early the next morning and fly down to the Galapagos Islands where we will (almost immediately) grab a picnic lunch and head out for an afternoon on horseback. The next morning we will join our ship captain and island guide and begin sailing around the islands. From snorkeling and scuba diving, to Charles Darwin Station and giant tortoise farms, our 5 days at sea should be incredibly exciting. Once our boat docks we will drive up to the city of Manta and meet up with Habitat for Humanity International. The next four days will be spent building a house for a local family and visiting neighborhood schools. Just before heading home we are taking the kids to a spa where they will enjoy a couple days of R&R. Then we head to Quito for some shopping and salsa dancing, and then we’ll be on a plane home.

It's a whirlwind of fun and excitement, but please keep everyone's health and safety in your prayers.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Happy 50th B-Day Mama

Believe it or not my mom turned 50 on Saturday. To celebrate the big occasion, we headed to Wilmy and enjoyed 2 days of "Woo" Green fun. We went to yoga, had massages and manicures, walked the loop, ate at wonderful restaurants, and (of course) did a little shopping.

One highlight from the weekend was my dad surprising her with another one of his classic trips. She leaves for France with three of her girlfriends at the end of the month. Then dad is meeting her in Paris and heading to Egypt for two weeks with another couple. Cool huh?