unmovable heart.

I'll confess straight up that I have worn the same t-shirt three times in one week, and I don't care who knows it. Well, I would really prefer that Tim Gunn not find out, but everyone else, come and get me. I dare you to call me an unimaginative or misguided fashionista.

As for my home, it's working its way out of a bit of a stale era itself, partly on account of this...

the winding down of September finds me with a persistent case of ants in my britches and a half packed suitcase, bound for the ocean. I look forward to a trip which begins with a swoony drive through showy leaves and floats into a six-day stretch of relaxation and fun by the shore. I'm hoping the trip will help answer some questions and provide one last free-and-easy hurrah. It is perfect timing.

Except for the part that estimates time frames are prone to surprise.

All my life, I have relished a good surprise. I fancy myself one who is not easily surprised, but I've been wrong before. It wasn't a pretty start for travel this year.  It was one of those less than desirable beginnings where foolish selfishness upended innocent by-standers.  It's not the kind of story you ever feel comfortable recounting, it has apologies and a price to pay.  It lives with you forever. and, rightfully so.

Alright let me first start by saying London, maybe next year. North Carolina I love you. You are very sweet and you have a great personality. Let me also say that Ocean Isle Beach, you are beautiful, and your beach is lovely, but have you ever been to Bermuda or Big Sur?.  Hell, have you ever been to Ocracoke?

People kept saying that you were not to be missed.  Hmmm, I'm saying you can be. Unless you are planning to get hitched, then by all means. It's just that you're kinda wedding orientated for the amount of return I received.  I'm afraid you won't make my top 10 list.  Sorry.  You seem real nice though. I hope we can still be friends.

I did have some fun with you on a couple of excursions.

One day we dug the car out of the sand and went exploring.  It's my favorite thing to do on a trip. I secretly hope we'll get lost.

We didn't. We found Myrtle Beach. again. I don't know what else to say about that.

We also met a feller on one of our beach walks who was crabbing. I named him Walter but he didn't know it and I didn't tell him. I tried to take some pictures of him, but I feel like he looks bad in them. I'm hesitant to show them to you. He gave us a tutorial on fishing and crabbing and how starfish are the enemy of crabbers.  I don't remember why.

And now we're all left hanging.

We had dinner at The Captain's House, the best shrimp and grits, ever.

The End.

Oh and P.S. we walked on the beach at sunrise. It was amazing. I don't know if I can give you full credit for that though... I mean how ya gonna mess up a sunrise? on the Ocean? 

But all in all, it was nice. there was family. and my Ocean.

See below picture and try not to weep.

Again, Ocean Isle, it's not you, it's me.  I wish you all the luck in your future endeavors.
We added into the mix, an accelerated summer, and ended up in the same dwelling twelve weeks after handshake and how do you do, my name is... this has left me bedraggled and frazzled and above all ~ exhausted, but bluer skies are on the horizon as I'm scooped up and set off to wind my way down the coast. Half-way to my destination, a stop in a magical place where ponies play in the ocean. I'm hoping to fill a bag with fresh fruit from a road-side farmers' market, guilty pleasure magazines and take to the beach.

the ants in my britches hopefully will morph into butterflies, clang around in my belly for awhile and then sail through my heart.

I'm praying for the time to be blissful. a pure delight. My days spent doing the very things that I most long to do. eat, sleep, listen to music, solve some of the larger problems of the world, walk on the beach.

Months ago, I experienced a shifting of the heart. I was moved. I searched, I prayed, I negotiated (foolishly) and then, I let go. The letting go was not the hardest part. The hardest part was everything that came before that, and now, everything that follows.

The letting go was exhilarating. It was blind trust. It was flinging, in the present tense. In this moment.

So tell me, how does a heart unmove itself?  please, because I fear I've become unmoved.

I would rather believe that I'm not really completely unmoved, that I wouldn't so easily forget the very soul of this change. I'm just waiting for the feelings to stop, that's all. Make them go away, and then I will get back to the business of loving, of compassion, of life.

I am not entirely sure when I tossed truth up on the table and plopped down to wait it out. I am ashamed that I bartered. This flimsy exchange that I offered for gilded pastures just for me, when I have been gifted with a life sweeter than I would have dared to dream, escaped so quietly from my heart that the screen door didn't even bang the jamb.

We have another month beneath our belt and it's true, these britches are getting tight. It's hard to act comfortable when you're not.

So tonight, having no answers but questions, I hope for time to slow down, let me catch my breath.  for an opportunity to stand out like a red umbrella on a rainy day. I pray for gratitude for this life that has loved me so well and will do the same tomorrow.

The verdict is still out on exactly what this day holds. Perhaps, at its end, I will burrow into soft fluffy blankets nourished and stretched, in a home that is sparkling clean. Or maybe I will simply lose myself in air tempered so plum-perfectly as to render it an afterthought.

I adore this in-between time of my life. Rising to the promise of autumn, being swept from the deliciously brief bite of late summer, then mellowing with the lavender sun into skies that darken at just the right time. singing quietly to myself as the rest of the story unfolds.

oh and whisper a little prayer for me. My favorite t-shirt is dirty and I just don't know what I'll wear tomorrow...

Shredded Beef Tacos
1 2.5 lb chuck roast
1 14 oz can beef broth
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Juice of 1 lime

warmed corn tortillas or warmed fresh flour tortillas

suggested toppings:
any kind of lettuce, chopped
tomatoes, chopped
drained black beans
Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese, shredded
Guacamole or diced avocados
Sour cream
Fresh salsa
Freshly squeezed lime juice
Hot sauce
In a small bowl whisk together chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place roast in a slow cooker, pour beef broth over roast then squeeze with fresh lime juice. Sprinkle roast with spice mixture. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low heat 8-10 hours. Remove roast from slow cooker, shred beef (remove fat) and return shredded beef to slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook additional 30 minutes. Remove beef from slow cooker with tongs to remove juices when plating or drain in a colander. Serve with desired toppings.


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