Thursday, October 3, 2013

Number Four

Writing is tough work. It may seem like an idyllic, cushy hobby of a job, but it's not easy. Trust me. I've been staring at the three paragraphs below the prompt wondering where the heck to take this story for so long that banging my head against the desk seems much more appealing and fun than continuing to write does. That's the frustrating thing about writing. Some days it flows, and some days (most days), even when you have an idea, it's stagnant.

I realize I've written about death in each of my most recent posts. I've always leaned more toward dark storylines. I guess it's just my preferred style, but I feel like something more uplifting in is order for the next few days. My body and mind are craving it.... Still, though, I love this prompt. I just have to get myself in the right emotional state in order to take it in the direction I have in mind. Frankly, I don't have the energy to get to that place right now. But this is something I definitely plan to come back to.

(9:00pm- Mom gave me a few good and happier sounding ideas for this number four prompt. Maybe I'll retry tomorrow. Goodnight!)

She's curled up on the couch. Tears trickle down her cheeks, and I haven't seen her blink in the last four minutes. I made her a cup of tea. Valerian root. It smells like rotten feet, but I thought it'd help her sleep. She hasn't touched it. In fact, she hasn't moved since late last night after the last wave of cramps rippled through her body.

I know the worst is over so I move the makeshift toilet out to the back porch. I want to burn it, the seatless chair with a trash bag lined five gallon bucket underneath to catch the blood and gray tissue escaping her body. I tie the ends of the trash bag together, grab a shovel, and trudge to the Japanese maple in the far right corner of the back yard. I bury what is left of my child.

This one would have been a boy. I am sure of it, just as I am sure that the first three were girls. She hadn't carried any of them long enough to determine the sex, but I knew. The girls came and went over the course of one year, and three years passed before she became pregnant again. The doctor warned us not to get our hopes up, but I insisted we name him. Thomas Caleb.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

When I left... a writing prompt

When I left the river I never expected to see his face again. I laid him face down in the mud. The slick earth swallowed him whole, sucked him into the creamy muck. I smattered his grave with rocks and broken tree limbs left over from the storm. I lit a cigarette and inhaled, pulling the orange glow toward my lips and walked away.

I first fell in love with his face. His smooth, chiseled jaw. His skin, tanned and taut except for a deep furrow in his brow. His eyes were as dark as fresh tilled soil. He only half smiled, curling up the corners of his mouth just enough to make me want to kiss him and unlock his lips. I never did kiss him.

He awarded me a peck on the cheek once. It was a Sunday in October. We stood in the empty parking lot of the church. He leaned toward me, wrapping his arms around my waist and pressed his lips against the side of my face. As he pulled away, fibers of my wool sweater dress clung in patches to his dark, tailored jacket.

"There's someone else," he whispered. His eyes locked onto mine, but I shifted my gaze to the gravel at my feet and chuckled.

"I only invited you to church. I didn't expect anything more." I lied.

He grinned and exhaled. "Good. I just wanted to make sure you knew."
He hugged me again, more of my dress transferred to his sleeves, branding him.

I saw him weeks later with her. They sat on the same side of the booth, investigating a single menu. Black whiskers peppered his chin and upper lip. He smiled fully now, his straight teeth glistening in the glow of the restaurant light. She turned and pressed her full lips onto his. My cheek burned recalling his feather touch.

A thick beard masked his beautiful face at their wedding. Hair blanketed his entire jaw, and a mustache hooded his broad smile. He wore his tailored jacket. Remnants of my dress still lingered. She stroked his furry chin at the reception, and he nuzzled it against her neck as they shared their first dance.

When the storm came, I called him. He arrived at my house just as the river banks overflowed and crept toward my back door. He lifted me into his arms, carrying me over the water to his truck. His beard grated my cheek like sandpaper. He placed me in the cab and climbed into the driver's seat. As he turned the key, I pulled the paring knife from my pants pocket and drew it across his throat. A thick crimson river trailed down his neck, and his chin dropped to his chest.

I grabbed clumps of his matted, damp beard and sawed them of with the knife. The strong, angular face I so loved slowly revealed itself. I retrieved a razor and cup of warm water from the house. His jaw was smooth when the rain stopped. I kissed his chin, cheeks and pushed his lips into a frozen half smile. I drove him to the river.

The police questioned me, but nothing was proven. His wife held a memorial service. She hugged me as I left.

The next storm arrived two months later. Rain hammered the ground, and the river swelled, birthing a flood. The water seeped into my home and bathed my floors. It took a day or two for the earth to drink in the excess. When the waters receded, I sloshed through the kitchen and opened the door to the back porch. Murky inches spilled onto the pine boards and pooled around the body. His body, green and stiff. His face, sunken but still smooth. His lips still curled in the half smile only for me.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October challenge: write every day

I'm not sure if October is national write every day month, but I've seen a lot of the people and pages I follow on Facebook mention that daily writing is their goal for this month. Considering that November is National Novel Writing Month it makes perfect sense to prepare and cultivate the writing habit in now in October. So I throw my hat in with the rest of you. I am going to write every day in October. Maybe just a paragraph or a page. Maybe I'll hit on something ingenious and crank out a whole story. My hope is that I create some spring board ideas from which to launch the novel I commit to write in November. Note: it will be a shitty novel, but that's ok. The first ones usually are.

I'll post everthing here because 1.) it will keep me accountable and 2.) it just seems easier this way. Editing will go by the wayside for this month. Each misspelled word and forgotten comma will haunt my inner grammarian, but for now I'll resist the proof reading urge for the sake of getting words on the screen. You've been warned. Try not to judge me based on those errors.

I've no plan as for what to write. One day may be a reflective essay followed the next day by a poem and the next day by rant. I try to avoid the use of profanity in my writing. I feel like it's a cop-out for more creative and unique description. But sometimes the only appropriate word that works is a big, fat "fuck" (or "shitty" in the case of describing a really awful first novel writing attempt in November). I won't censor myself here. So again, you've been warned.

Now that we've covered all that, here is today's work....

I'm not good with death. The death of someone I know. I fumble around feelings and trip over words. I cry a little, but I don't think I cry enough. Or sometimes I think I cry too much. Death is one of the few things in life on which we can rely. Sooner or later, painfully or peacefully, quickly or drawn out, we will all die. It's a fact that has never sat well on my heart. Even the belief that after death we will go to heaven doesn't soothe its sting.

Mrs. Mary Lou Robbins and Mrs. Esther Mallard both died this summer. Their lives were long and rich, but my world dimmed with their passing. I didn't cry when I heard the news of their individual deaths. People were around, and I felt awkward. Awkward because I hadn't seen Mrs. Esther for a few years and Mrs. Mary Lou for a few months, and though they were dear ladies it wasn't like I was best friends with either of them. Truth is I was just too worried people, family would think I was weird for breaking down over the deaths of two women I only saw on the occassional Thursday lunch gathering.

For several years now, a group of silver haired, firecracker women meet for lunch every Thursday. They call themselves the OMDs which stands for "oscillate my derriere" which simplified means "kiss my ass". I attended my first OMD lunch over five yeras ago at the invitation of my grandmother, one of the group's founders. I saw it as a good opportunity to spend time with her so I agreed to go even though the thought of being at lunch with a group of people I didn't know flamed my social anxiety. I left that meal spellbound and in love with the laughter, the gossip, and the perfectly laquered lips that were repainted after eating. I returned almost every Thursday until I got married and moved to North Georgia. As the lunches and weeks passed these women transitioned from being friends of my grandmother's to dear friends of my own, and I transitioned from Alice's granddaughter to bonafide OMD member.

I want to continue to tell you about these ladies. I want to tell you about Mrs. Mary Lou and how she would lean in to tell you something and then pull back with eyebrows lifted. I want to tell you about Mrs. Esther and how she came to believe I was writing a book about my grandfather, for whom she worked back in the day, and how even though she was in the advanced stages of alzheimer's she still asked about me and how the book was coming along. I want to tell you these things and more, but the words are tangled in my head, much like the feelings that wouldn't let me cry when they died.

But I'm crying now. Crying because I loved them and miss them. Crying because I can't get sentences on the page that will do them justice....and for now this is all I have. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Finally! A new post!

Hello dear ones! At this point I am obliged to say that it has been awhile (indeed it has!) and offer up some excuse for my absence (work, teaching, and packing all at once is overwhelming; traveling to and from Statesboro has gobbled up my weekends; certain posts caused concern which in turn made it impossible to write without inserting numerous asides defending and validating my thoughts). Since my last post, my Yoga practice has become almost non-existent; I've abandoned any kind of nutrition habits that could be considered healthy; and I haven't written a single word- not even a line or two in my journal. I've gained weight and feel bloated and itchy every day. (The itchiness really throws me for a loop.) My face is mapped with red, sore mountain chains. I sleep through the night but never feel rested and yearn for the hours to pass until I can crawl back into bed.

My life is caught in a salad spinner and instead of flowing and finding balance in the midst of the craziness, I've overdosed on stress. I beat myself up for awhile about all the unhealthy ways I've coped, including several nights camped on the couch with a carton of ice cream, but then I decided I was just giving in to human nature. It's easier to gorge on sweets than it is to spend an hour in a yoga class and the gratification is quicker. Those happy hormones surge to your brain as soon as the sugar hits your tongue, where as you have to get in your car, drive to the studio, find your breath and build a sweat before your feel good receptors will light up from exercise. (Or in the case of working out at home, you have to get off your butt, turn off the tv, change your clothes, unroll your mat, and motivate yourself to move.)

Health, balance, and sanity take a bit of effort, and in the midst of stressful circumstances, the last thing I want to put forth is effort. Some call it laziness, and yes, there are times when I wallow, but I think the propensity toward the easy path is just the way we're wired. (I've been reveling in this excuse fact for the last month.)

Anyway, just about all of you know that the hubs and I are moving back to Statesboro. Yay! Tomorrow, we load the U-haul and say our goodbyes to North GA/Chattanooga. To be honest, I'm a bit conflicted. I've waited for this moment since the day we moved up here. I've missed my family and home town, and I'm truly happy to be going back. But I will miss Chattanooga. I will miss walking the Walnut Street Bridge on the first warm, sunny day of spring, surrounded by runners, and bikers, and mothers with jogging strollers. I will miss the weekly festivals in the parks and the overflow of artists selling their passion. I will miss random lunch and dinner dates with my Yoga girls and the laughter of beginner yogis in Ringgold as they flip their dog for the first time. I will miss the lunches with my River Valley ladies in that awful 70's timewarp of a building and Mr. Jim, who never failed to say hello every day....Ok, I've got to stop before I cry.

It is my hope that with the move, or shortly after the move, life will start to settle (as much as life can, of course). A new phase is beginning, and I'm ready to take off with it. On May 6, I'll begin teaching classes at Your Power Yoga, the newest yoga studio in Statesboro. Susanne Jackson, the owner, is working hard to develop a yoga community in the 'Boro, and I'm excited to help out. Check out the schedule below and make time to find out what Yoga is all about. Note: the 3 weeks unlimited yoga for $30 is a REALLY good deal. Don't pass it up!

Promotion – 3 weeks Unlimited Yoga for $30 Dollars
Classes begin May 6th

Monday – 10:30 – 11:30 am   - Yin- WITH CHRISTAN!
                     4:30 – 5:30 pm - Power I
                       6:00 – 7:00 pm - Power II
Tuesday  8:30 – 9:30 am – Intermediate Vinyasa
                       4:30 – 6:00 pm – Power III
                       6:30 – 7:30 pm – Power I
Wednesday – 8:30 – 9:30 am – Advanced Vinyasa
                           4:30 – 5:30 pm – Yin- WITH CHRISTAN!
                           6:00 – 7:00 pm – Beginner Vinyasa- WITH CHRISTAN!
 Thursday – 10:30 – 11:30 am – Intermediate Vinyasa- WITH CHRISTAN!
                        4:30 – 5:30 pm – Power I
                        6:00 – 7:00 pm – Power II
Friday – 3:00 – 4:00 pm – Beginner Vinyasa 
                 4:30 – 5:30 pm – Yin
                 6:00 – 7:00 pm – Community Yoga
Saturday – 8:30 – 10:00 am – Power III 
                    10:30 – 11:30 am -  Power II
Sunday – 8:30 – 10:00 am – Power III
                 10:30 – 11:30 am – Community Yoga

Ignite the body while quieting the mind!
 721 S Main Street, Suite 2   Statesboro, GA  30458 - 912-536-0896

Register online after April 29th at, email or call Susanne        

Aren't you excited about this?!? Yoga is about to take off in Statesboro and you know you want to be a part of it. I'll be able to post much more in the coming weeks and will five you info on the different types of Yoga that are being offered at Your Power Yoga. That way you'll be able to choose what class you think will be the best fit for you. I can't wait to see you there!

I'll let you get back to your Friday now. Oh, and since it's Friday......

 Get up and dance! Love to you all...

Prince - Kiss by cdipre

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Whip it. Whip it Good.

We live in a chemical laden world, my dears. Whether you're eating a steak, a frozen dinner, or a strawberry, chances are you are you're also ingesting an injected growth hormone, preservative, or pesticide. Gak! I think I'm being virutous when I clean my apartment every Saturday, but as I scrub and wipe, I'm inhaling plenty of harsh, harmful checmicals into my lungs. And as if eating and breathing them weren't enough, we also slather them onto our skin in the form of soaps, moisturizers, makeup, hair products, perfumes, etc.

A quick search on Google will provide you with store bought alternatives to regular chemical packed fair. You can buy organic or farmer's market produce. You can pay a pretty penny for "green" cleaning supplies and eco-friendly toiletries. A cheaper and more self-satisfying option is to make some of these products yourself. I've yet to venture into the realm of homemade cleaning products. The vinegar concoction I remember my mom making just doesn't appeal to me. Maybe it's the smell (which could be masked with essential oils), or maybe it's marketing advertisers incredible ability to condition me to believe that vinegar will never do as good a job as all purpose Windex. Probably the latter.

I have, however, started toying with all natural beauty products. Cinnamon as bronzer, anyone? And tonight I made whipped coconut oil body butter. I've tried using coconut oil as a moisturizer before, but it tends to leave me as greasy as a Waffle House griddle. Often I've had to wipe myself down with a towel before getting dressed. But today I happened upon this recipie for whipped coconut oil body butter on somebody's Pinterest board.

Never have I been so excited to make something, and the best part is it only took one ingredient and one step to make a jar full of fluffy whipped goodness. Are you ready for this?

Spoon a bunch of solid coconut oil into a Kitchen Aid mixer, attach the whisk, and beat on high for 6 to 7 minutes. That's it. Add a few drops of essential oils if you want the added benefit of aroma therapy. The body butter goes on light, rubs in easily, and doesn't leave me nearly as greasy. Added bonus- it's cheap! And 100% natural so there's nothing in it to screw with your hormones (which have been giving me a fit lately).

Frothy clouds of frosting for your skin.
So give it a try. Then give it as gifts for others to try (because who doesn't like getting something in a mason jar?).

I promise, for your sakes, I will not experiment with homemade deodorant!
Love to you all!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring, Glorious Spring.

Yesterday was glorious. The sky was hazy, but the sun still shone. The wind danced and flirted with the trees, and the blue jays and robins sang to each other from sunrise to sun set. Spring is by far my favorite season. As nature comes alive so does my soul. It shakes the doldrums from its shoulders and stretches its arms wide opening my heart to the new season of growth.

Spring's official start is still 10 days away, but here in Georgia, it has already arrived. To celebrate I woke early and baked morning glory muffins (a flour/added sugar free, paleo version of course). I found a peaceful rhythym chopping walnuts and grating carrots. My mind drifted back to the couple of months I spent on a ranch in Arizona, and the uh-maz-ing mornining glory muffins they served. I lost in thoughts of cacti   and a stubborn horse named Quincey until I decided to grate the side of my pinky finger off. The result was pretty grusome. I don't do well at the initial sight of blood so I had to cover it in paper towels and squeeze until the blood clotted and my adrenaline ran its course. Now, I will have another lovely scar to remind me why I usually avoid the kitchen. The muffins, by the way were delicious.

Later in the morning, my pup and I took advantage of the weather and explored the Chickamauga Battlefield. When I first moved up here, the battlefield was my favorite place to go. The expansive terrain is dotted with several cannons and monuments, tributes to all those who fought there in the Civil War. There are dozens upon dozens of walking trails at the Battlefield; enough that you could walk a different route every day and not repeat one for at least 6 months. Though it is frequented by numerous visitors every day, it is large enough that you are still enveloped in the solitary peace of nature no matter where you walk.

After lunch I flung open the doors and windows and settled in for a nap while the breeze cleansed the apartment. I never, ever take naps. If I do, I feel guilty for "wasting time", but yesterday, a nap felt to me like fluffy, white whipped icing covering the top of a sweet Easter cake, a perfect treat. The rest of the day was uneventful. Blake went to work, and I browsed through World Market and TJ Maxx. I wish I could decorate my home with all the furniture in World Market. Its all classic and rustic yet modern and beautiful all at the same time.

On my way home I was stalked by a young man in a Cadillac, who drove beside me for miles motioning for me to give him my number and mouthing that I was beautiful. I was creeped out but slightly flattered as I had nothing but mascara on. Well, I did get my hair done yesterday, and though it's a little too dark for my taste, it must be working for me.

If yesterday had a theme it would have been peace. Every event minute of the day was cloaked in a calmness and freshness that soothed my body and mind and allowed me to rest for the first time in ages. Even my constantly spinning mind quieted for the day. It happens every time Spring comes around, and I'm so greatful for it. I hope your weekend was equally lovely. Here's the recipe for the muffins:

Morning Glory Muffins from Oxygen Magazine- April 2013 issue

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice (I used all spice)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey (I did not use this)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pumkin puree (I used 1/2 cup)
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled, and grated
  • 1 1/2 cups carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped walknuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped (or raisins if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • dash of salt
  • Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line or coat a muffins tin with cooking spray.
  • Mix the first 4 ingredients and the salt in a large bowl. Stir in apples, carrots, walnuts, dates/raisins, and sunflower seeds until well combined.
  • Beat wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  • Fill muffin cups and bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Notes: I didn't have honey, dates, or raisins so I used an extra apple. They weren't very sweet, but I still thought they were delicious. Next time I'll try it with just dates or raisins and see if that makes it sweet enough before adding in the honey. I added extra pumpkin puree to make sure they'd be moist. You could also add applesauce (or only use applesauce if you're not a fan of pumpkin).
P.S. Make sure you have some ghee on hand to enjoy with these. I am out and that made my muffins sad.

Love to you all!

Friday, March 8, 2013


Last night's sleep was heavy with nightmares. Twice I woke up wailing. My husband is now so accustomed to these occurances that he just tells me to calm down and rolls over. I don't blame him, but this dream kept me awake and on edge for most of the rest of the night. It's time to shake it off; plus it's Friday, and we haven't danced in ahwile. Can't remember if we've done this one before, but whatever. If you're gonna shake, it needs to be to Hey Ya.
And if you're just going to skip out on the party remember this:

Pinned Image

Ok, now shake.
Now that you're feeling good and you're energes are revved, what do you say to some pancakes? Some mornings just require pancakes. Soft, fluffy stacks of steaming flapjacks, slightly soggy in the center from melted butter...those kind of pancakes. It's a bit hard to replicate the perfect buttermilk pancake with "healthier" ingredients. I've seen one recipe floating around all the Pinterest "Eat Heathy" boards that only requires one ripe banana and  2 eggs mashed and cooked in a skillet. My sister raves over this, but I'm not fond of banana flavored anything, unless of course it's homemade banana pudding. I prefer this from Megan at When baked, they leave the oven steaming and fluffy. I haven't tried them with syrup yet, but a bit of honey tastes good. Or sandwich coconut butter between two and let it get a little melty. That's the best way to enjoy these. Happy Friday, loves!

Almond Butter Pancakes (Grain-Free)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

Serves: 2
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, if you plan on baking these. (My preferred method.)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until a smooth, uniform batter is created.
  3. Scoop the batter using a ¼ cup onto the lined baking sheet, to form 7-8 pancakes. You will probably need two lined baking sheets, if you’d like to bake these all at once.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the pancakes are fluffy and golden. This is my preferred method, since you don’t need to use any extra oil for frying, and you can cook all the pancakes at once without even flipping them!
  5. Alternatively, you can pan-fry these pancakes in a greased skillet over medium-high heat. Flip when the edges are firm and golden, about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  6. Serve piping hot, with fresh fruit and/or pure maple syrup, if you like.
Parchment paper is key for baking these. Even a Silpat doesn’t yield the same results as using parchment paper.
CK's note: Use 1/2c pumpkin puree instead of applesauce and add a tbsp or two of honey to the mix for a savory fall flavor.