I realize that most people probably think other people’s resolution reports involving statistics do not make for interesting reading material.  I get it, I do. But whatever. It’s my blog. I do what I want!  If I want to whip out a t-test or a flowchart, I will!  Just try and stop me.

Actually, October is not a month for t-tests. October is a month for life beyond spreadsheets; it is a month for magic-y magic and wild, wily witchery.

subdued witches

subdued witches

not so subdued witches

not so subdued witches

Poetry Witches5

I might have been on a bit of a witch kick.  I tore through three of Paula Brackston’s books:

The Midnight Witch

The Witches Daughter

The Winter Witch

I haven’t bought The Silver Witch yet, but it’s on the list. I love this author! Necromancers, hedge witches, and warlocks, oh my! Each story was set in a different period with unforgettable characters. The language was beautiful and the magic strange.

And as if by magic, I did manage to make some progress on the resolutions…

1. Cook something fabulous and complicated every other week.

I did! Four times fabulous with varying degrees of complicated.

2. Eat dinner before 7:30

I had a 61% success rate here — up 8 points from September!

3. Tend the garden.

I spent over 9 hours out there planting mums and pansies, pulling weeds, removing dead flowers, picking arugula and planting Brussels sprouts, spinach, cauliflower, and lettuce.

MoonPie smells the roses

MoonPie smells the roses

4. Finish Inferno choreography.


5. Write a book.

I got a whooping 5 hours in his month.  Better than last month, but I need to invest way more time here.

6. Meditate 15 minutes a day.

Not even close. Only got in 2.5 hours.


What were your happy accomplishments in October?

In the middle of our life journey, I found myself in a dark wood. I had wandered from the straight path.  It isn’t easy to talk about it: it was such a thick, wild, and rough forest that when I think of it, my fear returns….

Dante, The Inferno

Dante's Inferno

On Saturday, October 3rd, the Inferno choreography was released into the world.

Inferno (2)

The idea for this dance has lived in me for over nine months. In the last trimester alone I poured out over 20 hours of zeal and profound love on just the physical creation of the 4 minute and 23 second dance. That doesn’t include the hours I spent reading, researching, and thinking about Dante’s heroic verses.


Before this conception there was a courtship, of course.  My notes date back to August 15, 2014, when I responded to Dante’s call to his Readers:

O voi ch’avete li ‘ntelletti sani,
mirate la dottrina che s’asconde
sotto ‘l velame de li versi strani.

Oh you with sound intellects,
Observe the doctrine that conceals itself
Beneath the veil of these strange verses!

–Dante’s Infeno, Canto IX

Inferno 01

That’s when I began studying Dante’s work in earnest and trying to interpret the mysterious verses. It’s astounding how a 700 year old poem continues to resonate through the work of contemporary musicians, painters, writers, singers, and other artists.

By the time of the performance, most of the choreography was set, but there were unnerving parts I had to improvise.  I haven’t seen the video yet, so I don’t know how well the improvised parts went and whether I was able to express what this dance with Dante meant to me, but I do know that I learned a lot through the process of making it.

IMG_4916 (2)

If you’re interested in seeing the images I collected to guide the choreography, they may be found through the link here on Pinterest:  Inferno inspiration board

Inferno Finale


The poets leave hell

I have a new one-eyed Turtle friend named Sprout.  He has taken up residence in my garden.  We’ve been hanging out together.

Sprout being shy

Sprout being shy

IMG_4942 (2)

Sprout in a rather distinguished-looking pose

Nickel seems threatened by this new relationship.  Last week while I was cleaning out the veggie beds he persistently intercepted my reach, sticking his silly cat head between my hand and every weed I was trying to pull.  It was a sad and desperate attempt to force me to pet him, which of course worked.  And while I was taking pictures of Sprout, Nickel jumped up on a rock between us and he went all “Zoolander” on it, in a “look what I can do” sort of way.  It was a sad and desperate attempt to force me to take pictures of him…

Nickel Posing

“I’m too sexy for my shirt”

"I'm too sexy for your party - no way I'm disco dancing"

“I’m too sexy for your party – no way I’m disco dancing”


When I turned to leave Rose’s bed,

She clung to my shirt and whispered,

“Please don’t go.”

Originally posted on Grace Flow Yoga:

If you’ve ever experienced the “tumbling piles of fear” that can come with living a creative, authentic life, the video below is for you.  Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat. Pray. Love., Committed, and Big Magic, shares how she handles fear.  I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!

View original

Originally posted on Grace Flow Yoga:

Greetings Friends!

Naturally I’m all in favor of group exercise classes. The benefits are numerous. First off, they are a great way to meet new people who share your values (health, fitness, and fun!!) and who are likely to keep you motivated and inspired to meet your goals.  Practice time seems to go by a lot faster when you’re with a group.  Another advantage of group classes is consistency. Having a regularly scheduled class can help you develop a regular routine.  A third benefit is that instructors are generally trained to offer safe and effective exercise programming.  We take into consideration the need for warm-ups, cool-downs, focus on particular muscle groups, etc.  When we practice on our own, it’s human nature to skip poses that seem “boring” or to focus on our favorites.

All that said, sometimes we just have to practice on our own due to scheduling or logistics.  For that reason, I’ve compiled a few of…

View original 113 more words


Dear Friends!

Our show “Poetry in Motion”  is TONIGHT at 7pm at the Buckman Theater, Memphis Tennessee! This show is going to be a colorful mixture of beautiful poetry, pictures, and dances  that you will definitely enjoy!

Tickets are$18 at the door.





IMG_4905My squirrel self is in full swing. It’s an autumn thing. September was a month for darting around and flitting through the trees and clouds of Craggy Garden, for hiking up to the top of Clingmans Dome and for running down the mountain in the rain. It was a month for meeting hundreds of new little people. There is so much busy to be had.

Some progress was made on the resolutions.

1. Cook something fabulous and complicated every other week.

I managed to cook four somethings fabulously. Two were even complicated. Mission accomplished.

2. Eat dinner before 7:30

I can’t do it. I only managed a 53% success rate. Boo!

3. Tend the garden.

I only got in two hours of garden time. I planted pansies and bought mums. The basil finished drying, so I packed it in adorable little jars (even if I do say so myself) and gave the SoKaNers early Christmas presents. The comments heard ’round the table are telling:

“Can you smoke it?”

“You should have given us rolling papers to go along with it.”

“This jar is the perfect size for a shot – you can take your whiskey to go!”

“I wanted the jar with the orange lid…why does she get that one?!”

These people are out of control.

Hm.  I just realized I didn’t count the time I spent picking and arranging flowers on my spreadsheet. That’s probably because it didn’t feel like work.

the fruits of my labor

the fruits of my labor

4. Finish Inferno choreography.

I spent 9 hours on the dance this month.  There are parts still not exactly choreographed and the dance will be performed on stage in less than 33 hours.

5. Write a book.

46 minutes — that’s it for the entire month. September was not a month for sitting still.

6. Meditate 15 minutes a day.

See previous comment. I got three hours in total and one of those hours was spent at a Quaker meeting, which was my first Quaker experience. I thought sitting in a room in silence with other people for an hour might be weird, boring, or awkward.  It was none of the above. It was the most peaceful morning of the entire month and it passed too quickly. It was so nice to be with others and not have to instruct, direct, introduce, discuss, agree, argue, prove, comment, question, remind, relay, request, suggest or any other speech act. To just sit and be – it’s a good thing.

Soon silence will have passed into legend.  Man has turned his back on silence.  Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.  Tooting, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego.

–Jean Arp (1887-1948)

Here’s the resolutions progress report:

1. Cook something fabulous and complicated every other week.

I cooked three simple but tasty dinners and one easy lunch, which was way more cooking than I usually do.

But that’s not all!

Debra of Threading the Web shared her grandmother’s recipe for banana cake with caramel icing – it’s an old-school style recipe, which called for ingredients I had to search for in two different stores. It was worth the effort. This cake is seriously yum.  I made the cake for Nanook’s 75th birthday party and it received rave reviews from all party-goers.  And…then I made it again for my birthday.

Then there was a pasta dish that was semi-complicated. I used fresh basil, oregano, and cherry tomatoes from the garden, which made me happy.

I must admit, I am quite pleased with my performance this month on the cooking resolution.

I bumped the “Eat dinner before 7:00 p.m.” goal down to “Eat dinner before 7:30 p.m.” because 7:00 is still too hard and if I miss the deadline, I’m more likely to say “screw it” and eat at 9 p.m., which is part of the problem.  I was able to hit my 7:30 deadline 81% of the time in August compared to 67% of the time in July with the 7:00 deadline. Not perfect, but it’s progress. I’ll take it.

2.  Finish Inferno choreography.

I still haven’t finished it, but I’m getting closer! I spent 9 hours and 45 minutes working on it this month.

And here is where I will insert a gratuitous dance picture from last week’s performance at the Renaissance Faire.

Faire Dance

3. Write a book.

I spent 9 1/2 hours writing and researching this month, which only amounted to around 4,208 words. This is just sad. It’s not nearly enough if I want to get this thing written in my lifetime.

My resolution time was hampered by things like the need for sleep, busted water pipes, and walls being ripped out of the house in search for the leak.  A new semester started mid-month, so now I have a couple thousand preschoolers competing with everything else for my time and attention. I am getting better at saying “No,” to the time-consuming requests made by others, but I have a long way to go if I’m going to carve out enough time to get stuff I want to do done.

4. Tend the garden.

I spent 23 hours in the garden! Wowie. I had no idea it was that much until I just totaled up the time. Garden hours seem to pass on a completely different time scale. I logged most of this time in the first half of the month. I was a weeding and mulching maniac. Slinging mulch is great exercise. I planted oregano, cilantro, arugula, greens, chives, and lettuce. I clipped the amaryllis and hid them away until fall.  There is still so much work to be done!  I still want to plant spinach, garlic, kale and chard. The back beds need weeding. I want to plant mums and repot the house plants. And soon the leaves are gonna start falling. I am so looking forward to the fall and winter this year.  This is a brand new thing for me. I’ve always been a spring and summer sort of girl, but I’m ready to be cloistered inside with hot chocolate. I want to hide under a pile of blankets and spend hours reading books. I’m ready for soup.

5. Meditate 15 minutes a day.

I logged exactly the same amount of time this month as last month:  3 hours and 15 minutes.  This is a far cry from daily.  We’ll see how September goes.

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