Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mustard Greens

Cheesy bean and rice burrito with sides of collard greens with mixed vegetables and grapes.

One of my favorite kinds of places in the entire world are farmer's markets. A close second are the produce sections in the grocery store. I love to skip through the aisles flitting from one bin to another to admire all of the fresh food. I constantly get distracted and forget what vegetable I had originally intended to buy and, if I'm not careful, I will end up bringing strange fruits and vegetables to the check out counter and then make the check out take twice as long because I am too busy telling the cashier how I am going to cook it when I get home.

SO

If this is the case at the grocery store... imagine me at the farmers market.

Last Saturday I went with my roommate and another co-worker to the local farmer's market here in Pensacola. I had a blast! There is so much to see at this market. People will come all the way from Alabama just to set up here in Pensacola. There are a lot of craft like tables that sell things such as homemade clothes, toiletries, jewelry, games, yard decorations, household items, pottery - just about anything you can think of. The food tables are equally diverse. There are baked goods, fresh produce, refreshing drinks, snacks, jams, jellies, kettle corn, honey, preserved meat, fresh meat, different grains... There is also a lot of music there. A bluegrass band comes every week along with several solo musicians. People will play guitar, piano, banjo, violin, drums, and even foreign instruments that I don't recognize. This market is the place to be.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Can Thorns Be Beautiful?

I really don't know how to start this. There are so many places where I could begin. I am learning that stories do not always have a real beginning. A time when the story didn't exist and then it began. It has always been there, its just that we haven't been able to see it. Its like saying a rose bush doesn't exist just because you haven't seen the blossom yet.

I'll begin with the roots.

My father used to play drums, piano and guitar. My mother used to make explosives in her backyard. 

I played piano and jumped out of trees.

So my parents decided to put me in gymnastics.

I enjoyed my days at the gymnasium and found a safe outlet for my wildness. I would run laps around the mat, do stretches, climb the rope, swing on the bars, jump from the vault, and balance on the beam. I learned flips and tricks and handstands. I could do cartwheels on the beam. First at floor level then little by little higher until I was at the highest level. Next up was learning to do handstands on the beam. I could already do them on the mat. But I began to collapse. In the middle of cartwheels or handstands my arms would give way and I would crumple into a pile on the floor. At first I thought it was a balance issue so I kept trying. My instructor and parents were concerned, and when my arms and wrists began to hurt I realized too that there was a problem. I quit gymnastics and began to visit the doctors.

We went to countless doctors. All of them ignored my problems and told us it was growing pains. They told me to wear a wrist brace indefinitely. We went to CVS and tried on different braces and picked out black ones. As soon as we checked it out we opened the package and I put them on. It was a relief for my injured wrists and I was glad to have them. I wore them all day, everyday. I went to bed with them on, took showers with them on, I played baseball with them on. I never took it off. My skin inside the braces began to turn white and softened and the whole thing stank. We began to take them them off to wash them but while they were off I would sit quietly and not move. My muscles began to atrophy.