Spellbinding stories of mystic love and soulful hope . . .

Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

A dozen interesting tiddlybits to make you go, “Huhn. Well now I know! Thanks Kat! You’re Special!”

  1. 0841. Our interstates have a “system” to them. Odd numbers are north to south with the lowest numbers in the west. Even numbers are east to west with the lowest numbers in the south. Exits are assigned numbers to let you know the distance to the next exit—mile-markers aren’t always exits but they tell you distance “in between.” The interstate system is about 46,300 miles, and of those 46,300 miles, it is a known fact that 40.4858788584857% of the time, a bathroom will be ten to fifty miles from where you really have To Go Bad. And 50.4848482975875% of the time, a Left-Laner will hold up traffic for 20.225 miles, plus three, and then flip you off in indignation when you finally zoom by in frustration.
  1. Supposed to work - let's hope you never have to find out!

    Supposed to work – let’s hope you never have to find out!

    A skunk can spray up to ten feet away. The spray is a yellow oily substance—and guess what? Oil and water don’t mix; so if your dog is sprayed and you wet the dog, it’s going to stink worse—delightful, right? The spray contains as many as seven kinds of nasty “ingredients” that can easily be conglomerated by the skunk into a gas that explodes from the ass(it rhymed!)—that’s what makes it stanky; no, stanky isn’t strong enough a word—putridly pungent. A skunk stinks, yeah, but  in a sobering addition to this light-hearted skunkfomercial: did you also know that skunk spray can cause severe anemia and death in dogs? Okay, only very rarely but worth a note if your dog loves chasing Pepe LePew.

  1. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop? According to science: 1,000. According to Kat: about 30 before she bites into it with glee.
  1. When you google “Will I ever use Algebra in real life?” This is the kind of answer you find, which is an evasive non-answer in my Algebra experience: “This is a difficult question, but the simplest answer is that Algebra is the beginning of a journey that gives you the skills to solve more complex problems.” Uh huh. Nice try.
  1. 007It’s a myth that lightning never strikes twice in the same place. Where did that saying come from? Actually, it’s from the 1800s or some other time when people made up stuff out of boredom and other bored people readily believed it because there wasn’t Google, or Bing if you are a Binger, to debunk it (only 6.777558475% of people like Internet Explorer; poor thangs)—of course, ironically, the internet is full of BS that bored people make up and equally bored people believe. Anyway, lightning not striking twice meant: misfortune won’t happen twice in the same way to the same person. *fake-coughs out a barely perceptible bullshit*
  1. Women’s colons are longer than men’s colons (so who is more full of sh with a side of it, you may ask? Answer with care, my male friends, answer with care). And our female colons are more twisted up. We’re all discombobulated in there. Why? Whyyyyy? They—the infamous “They People” (who I believe are Aliens! No, really!)—say it’s because we give birth. Oh. Okay. So, we have more colon so we can squeeze out a human? Uh huh. They—the Aliens—are tricksters. Just tricksters.
  1. Conversely, a man’s brain is about 10% larger than a woman’s brain. Now, before you men’s heads swell up even more, no it doesn’t mean you
    This is your brain; this is your brain on gender

    This is your brain; this is your brain on gender

    are more intelligent, or any less intelligent. It does mean you process differently. But brain size is not a correlation to intelligence. The brain is larger to accommodate the extra body mass and muscle. Is to! Is TO!

  1. Speaking of brains. Artists have different brains. According to a scientific study (by “They”), researchers found sort ofishy scientifically that artist’s brains are structurally different from non-artists. I suppose that includes us writers, right? I need an excuse for my discombobulated hootnannies. Scans (by They/Aliens!) show that artists have more grey matter in an area of the brain that matters to scientists because scientists are awesome. That area of the 1291293eef10a1b7765ddd172deed303brain could possibly (why aren’t “They” ever sure?) be linked to that “inner eye” that gives visual creativity/clarity.
  1. While goofing off on Google, you find things that you think are jokes, then realize some people really do believe in these Thangs. Like, the im-not-saying-its-cats-but-its-cats-thumbf96496501b29ea59d0cd2f06ad7bba09“theory” that cats are aliens. Uh huh now; I see. Well, there is discussion of it Here and Here. Enjoy!  The first one actually is called “catalienconspiracy.com.”

10. The Perfect Every Time Boiled Eggs. Really! I swear! Put eggs in a saucepan and cover the eggs with water–I just added “the eggs” while re-reading this; didn’t want you to think I meant cover the pan with water -haha! Bring water to a boil and soon as it reaches that “roiling bubbling toil and troubling boil” turn off the heat, cover the pan with a lid, and let the eggs sit in the water for 14 minutes—no more! Some say 12 minutes; some say 13 minutes (what do “they” say?). I’ve had success with 14 minutes. Soon as the timer goes off—and if you don’t use a timer, you will forget and your eggs will suck–no one likes sucky eggs or to suck an egg; eww. No, you will forget–use a timer. I mean it; you will. Anyway, pour off the hot water, add cold water on top of the eggs in the pan, and add some ice to stop the cooking process. Perfect boiled egg.

  1. Most writers make crap for money. If writers are in it for the money, nowadays especially, then those writers may surely be sorely disappointed in the results of their dreams of Lotso Casholo. No, seriously! You wouldn’t believe the people who think I’m rolling in it because I have 5-6 books and some stories out there. When they see me pull up in my 17 year old Subaru decked out in clothes from the clearance rack, an old Dell laptop, a broken-shattered iPhone that I refuse to replace until my iPad’s paid for, they think I’m being ironic, or eclectic, or
    What you talkin' bout Willis?

    What you talkin’ bout Willis?

    that I left my sports car at home with my Louboutin’s. Seriously, though, folks. There is about 0.555785959992445566999999% of the population of authors/novelists who can do this “for a really good living without having another income” and 0.2455668855599999494994949 of those 0.555785959992445566999999% spend a lot of their time writing inspirational platitudes and giving writers advice about how we should be doing this and not doing that and all this blah blah blahdidly blah that they half-believe themselves but they’ve paid their dues, by golly gee, and can tell all us other writers how it is done and if we can’t do it that way, well no wonder we don’t sell books! The rest of us are varying degrees of starving, doing okay, doing pretty well, and pretending we are doing very well by posting upbeat Facebook and Twitter updates about how awesome we are doing and how we aren’t drowning our sorrows in wine and chocolate and sex—la tee dah, y’all! Haw!

  1. And speaking of Louboutin’s—while looking up how to spell it (I can spell Ked’s – wait, is that Keds or Ked’s – dang), a glance at a site that sells downloadthem yields this: “cheapest” (relative term): $525 for some kind of oogly-arse boat shoe looking thangs, to the more expensive sparkled heel at $4,225—my entire wardrobe does not come anywhere near that much—shoes included.

Now, aren’t you glad you know all that? I know I am!


393520_294411430580586_999236092_nTouty Plug of the Day: I love this Facebook Page – easy, simple, uplifting, fun: Things I Like –About: “feel free to add your likes (3 per post)–just keep it clean–keep it positive. drop by or join our “365 day like-a-thon.” by posting here, we have your permission to include our favorites in the future, THINGS I LIKE ©”

The returning . . . the Cove at Killian Knob

misc dale and kat etc 147So, my friends. I have been gone from here a while. Other things and people and places grabbed hold of me, of my attention, of my time. But it has all been for the most wonderful beautiful of reasons: I have returned to my Cove at Killian Knob. Home. I am Home. I came back almost a year to the day I drove away from my Cove–thinking I may never be able to return. But my Cove was not about to let me go. My mountains knew I’d return. The creek shouts out to me–Welcome Home, Wild Wolf Woman Kathryn.

misc dale and kat etc 223I had to pinch myself every day for the first few weeks, and then, now a little over a month since my return, I at last do not fear I will awaken from some gorgeously warm dream. It is real. It is tangible. As real as my Crow cawing outside my window–he, Big Boy, tells me all the secrets to the cove; all the things I missed while I was gone from here. Each morning, and evening, I toss over the rail to the ground below some tidbits for him to eat, whistle for him, and there he comes, sailing on stretched wing, oily black and handsome. He now will, as he used to do, sit on the branch of the Tulip Poplar and watch me as I sit on the porch drinking my coffee, or maybe later my wine–at first, he did not trust that I would be here to stay and he was shy. Now? Now he knows. Just as other critters know I am here to stay: the coon, the squirrel, the bird, the rabbit, the turkey–all of them. Even the ones who hide and watch: the bobcat, the coyote, the bear, the deer.

misc dale and kat etc 170As always before, I turn my head slightly to the left and what fills my eyes is wild beauty. I glance down at my hands as they type upon my old trusty laptop, turn my head back slightly to the left, then gaze around my writing room, my library, my study, where someone special turned it into a warm and beautiful sanctuary with which to write and read and dream. I am filling my little log house back up with my Things–yes the knickknacks and doo-dads and furry throws and rugs and lamps that golden glow the rooms, but also bone and rock and bark and stump and twig and feather. It is as if I am in some mystical movie where the character steps from one realm of noise and confusion and crowds and discombobulation into an enchanted world: she closes the door behind her and doesn’t look back, for that near-year she spent away from her Cove was only an enterlude, only a miniscule slice of a luscious pie–she ate a tiny bite of that miniscule slice of pie and it did not taste of anything at all–now, here, the rest of the pie coats her tongue, slides down her throat with a slight tang and burn, and fills her belly–she is satiated now. That is how it is. And more.

misc dale and kat etc 094I did not come alone. Who knew? Who knew what life takes from us and gives to us. Even when we do not want it. Even when we fight with claws sharpened by what we think is best for us, never knowing that we do not always know what is best for us. Sometimes people come back into your life after many many years and you think, “Why, where have you been all these years?” and they say, “I was going to ask you the same thing.” And then you both laugh at the absurdity of it all. At the luck and timing of it all. At the luscious luscious wonder of it all. And there curled beside you is a little bitty dog. All your proclamations of “Never again! Never! I cannot bear to take into my life another sweet creature and have it die. No! NO!” and the little dog curled warm beside you huffs in his sleep, and if awakened would look up at you with his wonky teeth and you would Know. You’d just Know that he knows what he has done with you and to you and for you. And what his man has done to you and with you and for you. What both of these Living Beings have pulled you kicking and screaming into what you never ever believed in; what you scoffed at; what you considered ellusive and illusive and never ever for you.

We often proclaim not to believe in the very things we most want.

Love is the greatest of things. Love is your granndaughter. Love is your son. Love is your family. Love is your friends. Love is what comes into your life when you do not want it or need it or expect it. Love sneaks up and smacks you upside your head and then laughs at the amazed fearing wonderment that makes you slack-jawed with surprise. It is not to be ignored. Who knew? Who knew?

misc dale and kat etc 066So I sit here, my good friends–those of you still here; those of you who have always been here; those of you who drop by; those of you who wonder by accident or fate if you believe in those things and I do not and I do; those of you who read everything I write and I am amazed by you–I sit here and I am humbled by everything. Everything. EVERYTHING. I am humbled and grateful and beside myself.

I am not lonely anymore.

I am not an island.

I am writing again.

I am here. I am Home. I am back to my little log house at Killian Knob in Western North Carolina Smoky Mountains.

Life is a circle that we either complete or we do not. Or we go round and round it faster and faster until we are so dizzy we do not See anymore. What do you want? How do you want to travel your circle? Ends meeting and then begin again.

(well, look below at the previous post they link to – it was when I had to leave here — ha! what a coincidence)

Science Day: Thoughts on origins of life–snottites and all

(I’m continuing to repost earlier blog posts until I am ready to being new postings – soon. So, in honor of my snotty cold – eww – I repost this that includes Cave Snottites in Mexico. Hoping in the months to come to have some science, some book/writing related, some health related; whatever strikes my wittle fancy)


134Where did life come from? I am here to explore. I am here to say what if and wow and imagine and Can you believe that? And could that have really happened and–to Discover!

Did we come from outer-space? Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, aren’t we now in “outer space?” Isn’t Earth a celestial body? We’re hanging about in the air just like all the other planets, stars, moons.

Imagine Early Earth as this fiery ball bombarded with meteorites and comets. What if the basic beginning of life was deposited here by those meteorites and comets?

download (1)Look at the oldest fossils found, a few billion years ago, and there were microscopic “life forms” that caused our earth to change from that uninhabitable ball of fire and raging heated lifelessness to one like we now know.  And how did they survive on the earth that was so roiling and boiling?– I like the scientist character’s assessment on Jurassic Park: “Life Finds A Way . . . . ” So, here are these tiny forms of life Finding Their Way, and what they did was transform our Earth! These microscopic entities created the oxygen that sustains the life forms inhabiting our Earth.

Sometimes I wonder: what if I were suddenly transported back a thousand years, or two or three thousand, how would my breathing be? What would the earth smell like? How would my feet feel upon the ground, my eyes see color and texture? My blood circulate? And if someone were transported forward to thousands of years from now, evolving instantly along the way, how would they breathe? How would their lungs and circulation work? What would the earth smell like to them?

evolutionIf one took the soft tissue of someone from a thousand years ago and compared it to my soft tissue, what would the differences be? How have we evolved because of the changes to our atmosphere, and what we eat, how we move about or don’t move about, and how we live our everyday lives in response to happiness and having things and not having things, to the stresses and joys and overwhelming possibilities of just where are we headed and how life is lived now and our responses to each other as humans with varied thoughts and beliefs—how would we differ from the earliest “intelligent life?” How has Earth Evolved? Are we only a big Circle of Life and Destruction? To begin and end and begin and end and begin and end, round and round and round we go.

So, evolution doesn’t happen in a sudden way where we can look and say, “Hey, I have an extra vein that leads from my brain to my spinal cord because . . . . ” Instead, the changes are insidious. Human Animals and Non Human Animals adapt to our environments. Some become extinct, some alter they way they fit in the world–survival versus extinction. We can’t remain as we are, and hundreds of years from now, what will our bodies be like? What will our brains be like—how will we see and hear and think and discover? Who will we be?

But, I digress; don’t you love to hate my digressions?

These tiny micro-organisms were creating the oxygen to change the atmosphere of our Earth to one where A Life Form would simply be vaporized if they stood upon the earth’s surface to one where we can walk along a garden and pick a fresh tomato and eat it while a rabbit sniffs the carrots and a butterfly sips from a flower and a tree shades a dog and a cat eats a mouse and a child is born and it is protected (or it is not), to where we can be arrogant about the very air we breathe.

In Ancient Earth, meteorites bombarded—carbon arrived. Things began to change.

downloadIf you imagine our sun as weaker, and that light from it was weaker, if you imagine the hydrogen sulfide and stinky fumes and the amount of carbon dioxide, this inhabitable fiery place—this sounds more like a Biblical apocalypse, doesn’t it? As if the End of The World in the book of the Bible is not really the End of the Earth, but the beginning of it. So, here’s this Earth with a stifling atmosphere and a red-orange color, and oceans that were a weird slug green color. Comets and meteors pounded the crap out of our Earth, vaporizing waters, creating this noxious rain, and it is in this environment that Life Finds A Way.

300px-Dscn1976aIn Mexico, an example can be found as to how Life Finds A Way. In the tropical rain-forest, in the cave Cueva de Villa Luz. In this cave is a nasty smelling place of hydrogen sulfide—much like scientists believe the earth was a few billion years ago, maybe four billion. Scientists study this cave, since they think it represents Early Earth for clues to how Life began. Inside the cave (and to enter this cave, you have to wear gas masks, for it is deadly), are these single-cell bacteria that dribble this slimy ick that the scientists call snottites—because, yes, they look like snot. How original! Those silly ole wacky scientists have a sense of humor! But, the snottites are “alive” and they are in that hostile environment, thriving.

Bacteria. The most ancient form of life on our Earth. They adapt to what they need to adapt to (and isn’t that a scary thought—think about it: we spend millions in attempts to be bacteria free—well, if these little organisms are that tenacious, if they are the origins of life, if they stubbornly insist on BEING HERE, then don’t you think they will Find A Way? Dang.)

So, the bacteria begin to thrive, grow, adapt, reproduce. In the single-cell bacteria there is a molecule of DNA—and we all know that DNA is the Code of Life—allowing them to multiply. Inside the snottites are millions of bacteria. And in this cave, which represents Earth billions of years ago, there are towns and cities and continents of bacteria, which depend on their environment instead of being consumed by it.

Neil deGrasse Tyson says, “Conditions on early Earth may have been far worse, but these bacteria suggest that primitive life could have thrived in extremely hostile environments . . . For more than a century, scientists have known that life is the result of chemistry, the combination of just the right ingredients in just the right amounts.”

downloadAnd those ingredients, folks, for every living organism, are: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus—elements that are common in the universe, with our buddy CARBON as the Main element, good ole flexible Carbon (you’ve all probably heard our “carbon footprint” environmental stuff, right?).

imagesLife Is Chemistry—we are a chemistry experiment created by whatever you choose to believe: Chance or God or Both or All or Some or Chaos or Design or Science is God or God is Science or Big Bangity Boom Boom Boom—but we are chemistry, y’all. Beautiful gorgeous lovely interesting fascinating chemistry experiments.

Now go live the wonderful Earth life those bacteria worked so hard on creating for you.

Just some Smoky Mountain Eye Candy for all y’allses out there . . . .





deep creek hike 001 deep creek hike 003 deep creek hike 044 deep creek hike 059 deep creek hike 061 deep creek hike 130 deep creek hike 148
winter sunrise 007 march 2014 001 lake junaluska march 2014 004 lake junaluska march 2014 008from the air 002 005072 134 149 151after storm 2014 clearing skies over mountains 001 after storm 2014 clearing skies over mountains 014

Friday Photos – No Words. Music Video for all y’allses

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(music goes with the “soundtrack” in my pea-head for my next novel “The Lightning Charmer” )

Friday Photos: No Words . . .

maggie valley birds

maggie valley, north carolina

maggie valley, North Carolina nature

Maggie Valley, North Carolina - cove at Killian Knob

Maggie Valley, North Carolina - cove at Killian Knob

(more can be found on my Facebook Page – come join in on our discussions and photos and etc!)

Friday Photos: No Words










Friday Photos: No words . . .










Friday: videos of the day–treadmill aerobics & The Universe; photos of the day–birds

Casual friday

Friday is here. So tell me: is Friday a TGIF? or do you work weekends? work all the time? Never work? (laughing). Just what does Friday mean to you?

If you haven’t seen this video yet, it’s pretty danged ole kewl: The Scale of the Universe. Nope, ain’t nuttin gonna come jumping out atchoo and scare the bee-jebus out yer arse–I hate those things and anyone who knows me knows not to send one of those to me, ungh! In this you see the teeniest of the teeny, and then you  see the largest of the large – and there are “markers” to give you an idea of “scale.” Can’t explain it so click and enjoy. I’m such a science nerdy geeky thang.  One day I shall have my dinner with the physicists!
Here’s what I’m doing on the treadmill (this isn’t me of course, but what I am talking about when I say I do “treadmill aerobic dance”) well, mostly what I do – some of these things I haven’t yet done, like turn all the way around. GMR thinks I’ma gonna bust my arse–but I’m having fun while taking that chance -haw! The hour goes by so fast. Oh, does it help my stress, and I’m becoming stronger and healthier-and it helps with balance! *see your doc/don’t do what I do/other sensible disclaimers here* WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Last time for photos of the day, I had Portland, Oregon downtown and the coast. Today for Friday Photos, I have – birds.

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Now y’all go do the day! I hope to come visit some of you I’ve missed here lately, this weekend. I do apologize for not coming by as much as I want to–or reading you in my email but not commenting. Those of you who stop by here regularly make my day, and I am so grateful and appreciative: THANK YOU!

Friday Photos–Places: Oregon Downtown & Coast (& stories made real by the telling)

There's nothing like this feeling . . .

oh sony cybershot, how I'll miss you

I have  blog post up at Bellebooks/Bell Bridge Books blog -called: “The Stories are Made Real by the Telling” – I hope you’ll stop by to read and while there check out the other wonderful posts by BB authors! And thank you all for your supportive emails, comments, updates, messages on the release of the final in the trilogy Family Graces. I so appreciate you all — more than you may ever know!

Today is the day I go with my photographer/chef friend to buy my “Good Camera” – like a kid before Christmas, I could barely sleep thinking about it -teeheehee.

I love visiting Oregon. And not just because my precious granddaughter lives there, and my son and daughter in law. But  because it is beautiful and interesting with mountains, water features, nature, beer (laugh – Asheville, NC beat out Portland, OR in beer city contest!), just as does my Western North Carolina.

Photos have their stories, too, don’t they?

So, once again, I leave you with a few photos casually taken, as I say goodbye to my Sony Cybershot – oh, my camera and I were best buddies! If it weren’t for the  malfunctioning blobs and streaks, I’d keep it and use it every so often–perhaps I will anyway.

I’ll be returning to Oregon this summer to see “Lil Boop.” If you’ve never been, then you must . . .

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