Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pushing Through the Pain for What we Desire

“It’s almost eight miles, Kat,” he says. The morning is chilly, but the sky is a deep blue, too blue to be atmosphere and must be instead something tangible, touchable, bending in at the pressure of my hands as I press. Around the corner, I hear the creek rushing. I shoulder my pack and say, “Let’s do it.” The trail lollipops through the woods—meaning, we start out and end on the “handle” of the lollipop, and make our way around the outside of the “sucker” part.

We follow the creek a while, then begin the incline. I munch nuts and fruit, and drink the water I’ve brought. It’s silent save for our breaths. At the end of the steepest climb, my right leg begins to complain; I ignore it, move on. We round the top of the lollipop and make our way down. The decline is easier, but the terrain is rougher—the trail narrows, we step over slippery rock, climb over a giant fallen limb from a tree that looks a thousand years old. The pain in my right leg is expanding across my lower back and to my left leg; I ignore it. We come to an ancient tree that reaches forever into the sky, its trunk as wide as Texas, and there’s a hollowed out space that I slip into. I stand inside its walls, and make up a story about a woman who hides in a tree so no one can find her, until she wants them to. I reluctantly step out of my sanctuary.

We come to a sign that reads: .8 miles to the trailhead. It’s been hours and we’re hungry for the wine and cheese we packed. But the pain screams loud now. I hold my head high, pretending, so no one would know I’m hurting this bad. But, by time we are to the trailhead, I can no longer hide it; I’m limping, and my lips are pulled in a grimace. It’s another “lil’ piece” before we make it to the bridge that leads back to our car, and by then my limp is much more pronounced, my lips pressed, my teeth gritted. But I don’t care; I’m exhilarated. I hiked the entire lollipop, and it was sweet! Once in the car, my grimace turned to a grin, I say, “When can we do it again?”

Sometimes we just have to push through the pain to be where we want to go. Sometimes the painful struggle is worth it if we appreciate what else is going on around us--if we see what we long to see and do what we long to do and be who we long to be. Sometimes there is just pain and that’s just how it is but there’s much more to the experience so that the pain doesn't completely define us, but as well, the journey to where we want to be.

Thanks for the day, Mother Earth, Father Sky.

What pain will you push through for what you love or desire or where you want to be? Will you say, "It was worth it and I'll do it again?" or give up before you complete what you desire?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Photos/Videos - Pisgah & strumming the ipad

I wanna iPad . . . :-D

Cold Mountain from Pisgah Tower

tower perspective, Mt Pisgah

enlarge pic to see where Boopmobile is parked :)

on the Pisgah trail

on Parkway to Pisgah

looking glass rock in shadow

a cool accident with the camera

from Pisgah trail

pisgah trail

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

State Parks and Thanksgiving & The Great Cornbread vs Bread debate!

Dupont State Park
No mistake in this house I love a good cornbread dressing. GMR loves my cornbread dressing, too, as does most anyone else who eats it. GMR is from New Orleans, and I am a West Virginia HillWilliam who lived a lot of her time in the deep south and who had a Tennessee Daddy and an adoptive mom from an Arkansas farm. My mom always made cornbread dressing. I ate it as a child growing up; I watched her make it and  learned from her as I grew up; I took up that tradition.

GMR, however, prepares Erster Stuffing . . . or for you who aren't New Orleans born or haven't lived in or been to South Louisiana, that's Oyster Stuffing (he does call it dressing, but I refuse to *teeheehee*). This stuffing is made with Bread - no cornbread. Not a touch. And it has critters in it - oysters. What the fiddledeedee?
dupont state park
So each Thanksgiving, I have an informal but rabid poll about this. What do you eat/prepare in your house at Thanksgiving (or during the holidays)? Is it WONDERFUL MAGICAL SUMPTUOUSLY DELICIOUS Cornbread Dressing. Or is it nasty soggy bread stuffing with maybe some snotty-looking critters in it? (*haw*)
Dupont State Park
I want to wish you all who observe to have a Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your families. Hug each other. Tell each other you love one another. Make the moments count. If there is any time at all to be mushy and to build broken bridges and to talk about gratitude and family and friends, well, now is surely that time.
cataloochie valley as seen through the barn
from waterrock knob on parkway
from water-rock knob parkway

Today, I bake my cornbread and we'll have a slice when it's warm from the oven - there's always plenty left over for my dressing. I'll bake my pecan (puh-cahn!) pie and my pumpkin pie, as well. GMR is brining the turkey (this really does work quite well), and he will make his erster stuffing (what-EVER --laughing--), and whatever else he will do ahead of time. I am lucky to have a GMR who loves to cook, but also who cleans up along-side of me so I don't have to do it all alone.
Blanchard Caverns

blanchard caverns
99% of photos here on my blog are taken by me. The two cavern photos were not taken by me, but by my brother Tommy, from our Odyssey round-about from Texas to North Carolina, and they do not do these caverns justice much as he tried--they are just too majestic and awe-inspiring to fully capture in the dim light--Blanchard Springs Caverns in Mountain View Arkansas. In the caverns, it was as if some ancient civilization, or aliens, created the "sculptures." I'll have more photos later, I hope. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me (I rushed to Texas so quickly, I didn't grab it), but my brother did, so as soon as he can upload all the hunnerds of them from our Odyssey :-D I will share some more with you. (Our first State Park stop was below at Petit Jean State Park).

The photos of waterfalls above are from our own WNC Dupont State Park. And two below I took from the train ride my brother and I took on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.
from train (great smoky mountain railroad)

With GMR's friends, I also visited Cataloochie Valley (photos above and below) and Water-rock Knob at Blue Ridge Parkway (above). These are places, here in WNC, that GMR and I go frequently and never tire of it and are always awe-struck.
cataloochie valley from trail

We also visited Max Patch and walked a bit of the Appalachian (AppaLatchun not AppaLayshun) Trail.

I am awe-struck at the beauty of our parks and parkways.
And, how grateful I am for our National and State Parks. They are truly a national treasure that we oft-times can take for granted. Think of them when you go on vacations - many can be "right in your back-yard." They do so need our love and support.

turkeys at Cataloochie Valley- they won't be eaten, at least by humans, lawd!
Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for all of you. *Blowing You All A Kiss*

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude - photos, few words

There was a time when my big brother and I had not much of anything. For we were right on the edge of not even having a family, for my brother and I were to be scattered upon the winds to who knows where, separated.

Even when we found sanctuary, we were pretty poor. But we had a bed and we had a roof over our heads even if it was raggedy (but always clean), and we had a dad who wanted us and a brand-new 'stepmom' who wanted to adopt us --and she later did (along with our other brother who'd later come). So I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Family, friends, place, home, shelter, love, work, You All.

(and more family and friends, who I'd love to post pictures but don't want to without knowing if they'd want me to do that here on a public blog - She-Laughs and all . . . *smiling*)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another unflattering photo of me (haw) and linky love

Silly ole Kat at Petit Jean State Park
visit Petit Jean State Park's website

I wanted to write up about my brother's and my odyssey from Texas to North Carolina, taking the back roads, visiting State Parks, etc., but I'm still trying to catch up. I hope to have something written up next Wednesday, as I really want to talk about things we saw, and to talk up the State Parks, who need our support!

You know, I don't know how many unflattering photos of myself I have put out here on my blog, but one day I'm going to try to gather them up and post them all *laughing* - I mean, have I no vanity? I guess not  . . . haw. You can even see them in my gallery above  . . . teeheehee.

Today I'll leave you with some links, including the one for Petit Jean above.

Can't remember if I've ever mentioned LitStack, for the love of all things wordy.

And Friday Reads: Read Share Repeat.

Reader Unboxed: By Readers For Readers, and a sister of Writer Unboxed.

If you haven't already, and I think I have mentioned her before but she has a whole new thing on novel structure and etc for all you writers out there, then head to Kristen Lamb's blog. She talks a lot about social networking, too, and how to make it work for you better/smarter- and you don't have to be a writer to benefit from that - I have ordered her book about blogging so maybe I can derive some tips on how to spruce up this place, for it's feeling a little stale, ain't it folks? :-D.

OOPS50 - A sharing blog for women over 50 - just discovered this blog by visiting the Farmer's Market in Asheville.

Karen Elliott is having a "paint the writer's wagon" contest - signed copies of Tender Graces and Secret Graces are one of the prizes, but as well she has a gift card and the Hunger Grames books(not signed, but still), and those two prizes ain't nuttin to sneeze at so I danged ole promise it won't hurt my feelings if you choose one of those *grin*.

There has been a lot of talk and all about book lending on Amazon through Amazon Prime. I don't know what to think about it and as an author I sometimes have to just let all that flow around me and see "what will be," and as well, I trust my publishers, BelleBooks, to do what they must do to protect their authors and their business, and to sell books and etc etc. I do know BB has a temporary deal they had to fight tooth and claw to make sure we were protected and as far as I  know, Tender Graces and Sweetie are on that Amazon Prime program for what may be a limited time - and I say "may be" because seems some books, as I've read about on blogs, have been put there without permission - I don't know. I live in the Land of Confusion where many others live as we walk around with stunned expressions and go "ungh; ungh?" a lot.

Would I really like for my books to be in many many bookstores and libraries across the land? You bet I would! Are they in many many bookstores and libraries across the land? No. You can ask for them and they will order them, but they aren't readily there in some places, and sometimes people expect things to be There, Right Then. This is why Amazon becomes so powerful to/for/with small press publishers and their authors - because our books are physically there and digitally there and can go anywhere to anyone at a quick click. I have more to say on this, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Rose & Thorn's fall issue went live while I was in Texas. I hope you all will go by and take a look, read, let us and the authors know what you think. Our Guest Author is Daniel Wallace of Big Fish fame, and we have plenty more good stuff from writers and poets, and from our guest artist. We appreciate your support.

Almost forgot! GMR has art up at the Studio 86 in Waynesville. Including his "Red Dog" paintings (except he has Red Dog in French and I forgot what it is :-D). If you are in the area - stop by and see all the artists' works. October 19-November 12, 2011FREE. Artist Reception: November 4, 2011 from 6-9pm. Or if you like the Red Dog, he paints them with your fave team on the tag.

As always, visiting those vistors who leave a comment and a link is lovely. I know we are all busy, but I hope our blog community remains and grows. It can be such a wonderful source of information and contact with people all over the world. Yes, so can Facebook/Twitter, but our blogs take Our Selves just a little bit further.

That's enough for now. I once again want to thank you all for your support and love. To know of all these kind acts truly helped me through this, and my family as I shared with them your thoughts.