About Me

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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water. After twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live and work in the Ozarks and visit the mountain often. These are stories about the Ozark Wilderness written from a women deeply influenced by this special place.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lakeside



"Water in there?" my son asked while examining the end of the hose. He had been watering the garden and playing with the hose for a while. Now he was looking down the dark hole at the end of the hose, wondering how so much water was stored in such a small space. His language skills were still underdeveloped but I knew what he was asking.
"The water comes through there," I said. "The water comes from a big lake. It comes through long pipes to our house and then through the hose. But it is really all in a big lake."
"Lake?"
"Yes."
"Where?"
"Way over by Rogers and Eureka Springs," I said pointing in the general direction of the lake. My son still looked puzzled. "We will go see it some day."
"Let's go," he said enthusiastically and he began walking in the direction I had pointed, barefoot and determined.
"Honey, we can't go now! It is almost dinnertime and you don't even have your shoes on."
He looked down at his feet, obviously wondering where his shoe had gone and said, "I'm not hungry."
I walked over to him and gave him a hug. "We will go see the lake soon, not right now, but soon."
A few days later we drove to a small beach on the south west corner of the lake. The sky was blue, the water clear, and the breeze warm.
As we sat on the beach and prepared to swim, I explained how the water traveled through pipes and got cleaned before traveling to our house so we could water the garden. He gazed out across the expanse of water.
"What over there," he pointed to the other side of the lake where a dock and a small house, perhaps a shed, stood.
"Oh I don't know, people live over there I guess."
"Let's go," he chanted eagerly starting for the water with his life jacket on.
Yes, he is an curious and determined boy!
We did not cross the great expanse of water. Instead we watched a flock of Canadian geese land on the water and float slowly by. The button bushes were blooming all around us along the shoreline and their globular flowers attracted various pollinating insects like honey bees, bumble bees, swallowtail butterflies and even a monarch.
By the end of the day we were all sun kissed and exhausted from swimming. Nevertheless, the next day we couldn't say no when a friend offered to take us sailing! I had only been on a sail boat once before, a catamaran when I was very young, and my husband had always been itching to try his hand at sailing. So we packed up early and drove to the Beaver Lake sailing club.
Again we took to the water. Letting the wind carry us out quickly. Then we had to climb against the wind to get back to the dock, the task kept everyone busy. My husband and the captain of the ship pulled on ropes all day. I was completely occupied with keeping the children happy. Not an easy task for two boys so young and quick to loose interest in a tiny space trapped on a vast template of water. Still, I dare say it is an experience my older son will never forget and I am sure the little guy learned something new.
Now after two days exploring the waters of Beaver Lake, perhaps my son knows where his water comes from. For knowing where your water originates is important information indeed!








Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Call For Submissions!

I am the editor and co-creator of a Women in Nature anthology.
At the Louise Grace Publishing Company we are calling for true nature stories by women for our Women in Nature series.  
 
Submission Guidelines:
 
From wilderness living to urban gardening we want your personal stories that reflect a transforming or transcending connection to ‘nature’.  We are looking for stories that can open our perspectives conceptually, or ‘show us how’ to do something experientially.  We’re talking about living with the earth, not on her.  How do women connect with nature, and the reciprocal and essential relationship with the earth and all that is in it?

Guidelines:
  1. Your story must be true.
  2. Your story should be told in first person
  3. Good quality writing is as essential to your story, as is your story.
  4. Your story should relate to a personal experience that then translates into insight, advice, creative ideas, or transcending awareness!
  5. Your (funny, somber, endearing, emotional or otherwise) story should be between 750 – 2000 words
  6. If your story is chosen, you will be given author exposure, as well as varied options for compensation including copies of the book, discounts, (and other monetary and non-monetary rewards to be further specified.)
  7. We are currently accepting stories from women (as this is a women’s anthology) from ages 18 and on…. however, we are open to stories from men... about women.


Submissions should include: Your story and a brief (50 word) author bio..


SUBMIT TO SPECIFIC WIN BOOKS AS FOLLOWS:

FOOD The objective of the WIN - Women in Nature on Food book, is to generate an awareness of the food we eat, where it comes from, and how what we eat affects all life on this planet.
We are looking for your true stories about food, particularly stories that celebrate sustainable and organic food and food sources as they relate to our natural environment.  We also welcome stories that reflect the emotional relationship humans have with food, as well as stories that encourage an awareness of connection.
SUBMIT YOUR STORIES ON FOOD TO    carly.womeninnature@gmail.com     DEADLINE for submissions 1 September 2014


ADVENTURE
The objective of the WIN - Women in Nature on Adventure book is to encourage awareness, respect and intimacy as we seek out adventure.  We are looking for your true stories about your adventures in, and more significantly ‘with’, nature.  Adventures – hiking, climbing, deep sea diving, dog sledding, kayaking, spelunking, wilderness research, horseback riding, swimming, mountaineering, skiing, surfing – can unfortunately sometimes become an activity of disregard and disrespect.  We are looking for experiences that celebrate and appreciate the beauty and awe of the natural environment - and instill an intimacy and awareness of reciprocity - while experiencing all of the challenges, adventures, and inspiration nature has to offer!
SUBMIT YOUR STORIES ON ADVENTURE TO    carol.womeninnature@yahoo.com      DEADLINE for submissions 1 September 201


CHILDREN
The objective of the WIN – Women in Nature on Children book is to encourage the engagement of children with the natural environment, and to nurture an understanding of their existential and intimate relationship with all living things. We are looking for your true stories about children and their relationship with nature. We welcome stories about your childhood experiences in nature, as well as stories about getting children into nature, and your experiences observing children in nature. All stories should move beyond children merely playing an activity outdoors and should focus on the interaction with nature,.
SUBMIT YOUR STORIES ON CHILDREN TO    roslyn.womeninnature@gmail.com       DEADLINE for submissions 1 September 2014


HEALING

The objective of the WIN – Women in Nature on Healing book is to encourage an understanding of our reciprocal relationship with the nature, and how the health of the earth and our own health are intimately intertwined.  We are looking for your true stories about healing, both the healing of nature and how nature heals us.  This includes both physical and emotional healing through anything from plants and animals, to the healing power of simply being in nature’s bliss.

SUBMIT YOUR STORIES ON HEALING TO    carol.womeninnature@yahoo.com        DEADLINE for submissions 1 October 2014


GENERAL - For stories that do not fit into any of the above categories, please submit through the  standard Louise Grace contact form HERE!
 
 Visit the Louise Grace Website for more information.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Playing in the Rain

Yesterday I gardened in the rain. I planted some mid summer beets and carrots, impartial to whether or not they decide to germinate in the heat of July. A friend gave me a variety of white strawberry plants which I also transplanted in the muddy soil, loosened by the rain. I had been dreading trying to dig into the hardened clay to create a this new, but much needed, garden bed for these plants so desperate for the security of the earth. So when the rain started, I knew this was my chance. The rain would help me dig.
Meanwhile, my oldest son wandered through the wet yard, stomping in the mud, kicking at the droplet ladened clovers, and trudging through the tall grass that is going to seed. He walked in circles for an hour without an agenda or plan. I feel this wandering was important. Too often we forget to just take some time to do nothing.
By the end of our time outside we were soaked to the bone, our rain coats had been swamped by the pounding water. As we walked back to the house I noticed a particularly juicy looking cucumber hanging over the fence. My son picked it from the vine and asked if he could please eat it. Of course I said yes.
Watching my boy walk back to the house with mud on his boots, rain soaked hair, devouring a cucumber fresh from the vine, I feel hopeful, elated.
Later, after the rain stopped, we all went out to play in the mud: the baby, the boy, and I. The woman in me who has to clean the house tried not to think of all the laundry I would have to do later or the muddy floor I'd be mopping. It was less important than the lessons lying in the mud. Messy outdoor romping is good for the young souls of children. My boys stomped in the muck, mushed clay between their fingers, and gently, playfully threw mud into each other's hair. Smiles graced their faces and their eyes glowed with wonder. Watching them delight in the soft squish of clay and earth, I realize that these are the moments that make a childhood shimmer.