The Sensitive Storm

Beneath the surface, a storm brews.

Category: Pets

Since My Last Post (in pictures)


Things have been looking up. I’ve been looking up, too. For answers.


I spent some time hanging out with Toto. Toto spent some time hanging out on me.


I was “hired” and “fired” from the school board. Again. There went that dream.


I met Katie! She is a missionary in Spain. Funny. Ron went to Spain a few days after I met Katie. He was gone a few weeks. His family lives there.


That was really far. No me gusta.


I drew this. I gave it to my grandma for her birthday. I’m not sure about all the colors but other people seem to like it.


I caught this fish. And no, I’m not pregnant. That’s the wind in my shirt. Geesh.


A lovely lady named Margaret made us dinner. It was delicious. Also, I discovered this seasoning.


You need it in your life.


I saw Jenn. I love this lady!


I drew this. It’s not like anything I’ve ever done. This isn’t the finished photo. Lemme look for that…


So odd. Reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright. Except, not.


I found this feather at the beach. it’s 14″ long.


That same night ^ would’ve been my dad’s birthday. So, we lit this lantern and watched it disappear.


I think it was headed North.


I discovered the first tomato on the plant I have grown from a seed. It’s in a bucket. So far it’s the only one.


I took some close ups of a passion flower plant. With my iPhone. Thanks to this:


I caught this 20″ flounder! I used my Abu Garcia pole and a live shrimp. It measured 20″! I haven’t fished in a really long time but recently I found myself more attracted to the idea of it. I figure since I’m a pesky pescatarian I may as well not be one of those people that pretend death doesn’t exist, for the sake of food.


I dog sat for Toto. The Toto loves me.


I had some quality Facetime with my favorite cousin, Jay.


Marcia bought a bottle of the BEST WINE EVER for Girl’s Night! And I drank a glass. And it was good.


Katie gave me that cool coaster. It’s from Morocco.

girls night

“The Girls”. (fun night!!)


This was another great night. Had dinner with my BFF who came to see me. She’s moving to California mid-October. 😦


We ate at the raw food restaurant in St. Augustine.


I made this stew with garbanzo beans, tomatoes and kale. (and other things but mostly those 3 things)


I started drawing this.


And I saw the sunset at this beach. Beautiful. Big reason I love this state.

Oh! I updated my iPhone to iOS 7. Does anyone have an iPhone? How do you feel about the upgrade? I like it. I love that the lock screen changes color with whatever wallpaper image I use. I also like that I can get rid of a text with a finger swipe. Before the update my alerts would come up toward the top of the screen and hang out for longer than I wanted it to. Do know, however, if you have an older Mac you will have to upgrade to OS X Snow Leopard. I had to buy that bad boy for $20.00 but the shipping was free and it arrived in just a few days.

I think that’s all I’ve got for now. There are other blogs in the work so stay tuned.

~ C


I was supposed to move to Ohio, but now I’m not.

After seeking work for 6 months and finding nothing, I decided to look in other states. I wasn’t actually seeking work in Ohio but I ended up finding something on Craig’s List (in Ohio) that looked pretty awesome. I’d be living in an “intentional community” in Ohio with a few other people. I’d be volunteering my time in the surrounding neighborhood. The volunteer work was at a food kitchen/farmers market. I’d also be working in the garden and doing community outreach related to food and wellness as this was the main goal of the organization. The house was in a nice middle class neighborhood near Cincinnati. A five bedroom, two story home. I wouldn’t have to pay for rent or food and I’d get a stipend that covered my bills and left me with some extra. The commitment was 10 months.

No. It isn’t a cult.

As a matter of fact, this is an Episcopalian non-profit “praxis” community. You don’t have to be of the same faith to be a part of the program. What you DO have to be is seeking to discover your meaning and purpose in life. You DO have to be 25-35 (I’m a little older but they liked me and said it was okay). You DO have to have a passion for and commitment to helping others within your community and you DO have to be seeking something.

Why I thought Ohio would be good for me:

1. I would be able to pay my monthly bills

2. I’d be in a community of people who had the same outlook/beliefs as me

3. Meaningful work that would probably lead to full time employment

4. I liked the spiritual aspect of the community and I looked forward to learning more about my walk with God and what that even means. Having time and space to sort out my thoughts was very appealing.

5. It would be an adventure that I could document and always remember. Maybe it would’ve changed my life…

I was 85% sure I was going until I received an email from a local principal asking if I wanted to teach English.


I was supposed to go to Ohio. I didn’t respond to the email because I was processing. (you know us introverts can take forever processing one single thought) (my INFPness doesn’t help either) I should also mention that in June I was interviewed at the same school and was hired. I signed an “intent to hire” contingent on a background check and other teachery things. I was at home visiting my dog and my mother when I received this email from the school board:


Well then. That’s lovely. So much for hope. The next day is when I found out my father died.

While I was busy ignoring his email, the principal called me (I found out the other one transfered to a different school). I answered and he asked if I was still open to taking a position there. He assured me what happened before would not happen again. I was worried. I didn’t trust them after what had already happened but he was nice and it felt right.

So, I went down that day to speak with him. It sounded good. Better than the first position I was offered which was teaching English AND Reading. This time I’d only be teaching freshman English. I thought about it for an hour or so and I called him back and accepted the position.

The very next day I was standing in my classroom by 7:15 a.m. wondering what to do next. I was there for about 10 hours that day. On my way home I stopped at Ross so I could buy an inexpensive pair of flats when I received this email:


So, that’s fun. Now I’m a little freaked out and I don’t know if I even want to try to work for them. There’s more to it than just my taking the GK (General Knowledge). I’ve already taken the CLAST test which could substitute for the GK but of COURSE there happens to be NO record of it at the Dept. of Education (although I had to take and pass the CLAST before graduating with my two year degree but never mind that).

The fun part of all this is…I’ve taught before. For two years. Where was all this chaos then?


So, here I am in Jacksonville and now I have a new list of reasons why I’m glad I am staying in Jacksonville:

1. I have good friends here

2. I’m in the midst of the beginnings of a new relationship and I’d like to see where it goes

3. I’ve become much closer to a wonderful couple I’m going to call my spiritual parents. I’ll have to write an entirely separate blog to explain how they have helped me transform my life. (that’s been an ongoing process and I’ll explain more later)

4. My dog is in Florida. (I miss her. *sigh*)

5. It doesn’t snow here

This story ends well because I’ve finally discovered that faith exists and I too, can have some.


To be continued…

An Ocean Away

tomorrow we will run faster

stretch out our arms farther

and one fine morning-

so we beat on

boats against the current

born back, ceaselessly

into the past    ~fsf



Tomorrow I am driving home for a photo shoot (3 hours away) and I’m staying for a few days to visit a few people. I get to see my dog! You don’t know how bad I miss her. I try not to think about it because I cry. Last week I woke up from sleep crying. Three times in the same night. I didn’t wake up and then cry, I woke up and I was crying. Here are the three dreams, in order.

1. I got to my mom’s and Chewy wasn’t excited to see me. She just ran off into the yard with the other dogs and I felt like she was upset with me for abandoning her.

2. I dreamt my mother died and my (dead) father was comforting me. In my dream I knew he was dead. I was so confused.

3. I dreamt I got home and Chewy peed on the stairs. When I saw what she had done I was upset and yelled at her. She shrunk down really low, lowered her head and started shaking. I felt so bad that I hadn’t seen her for so long and then I yelled at her.

Horrible horrible dreams. I’m already sad for when I have to leave again. I wonder if I’m projecting my own fear of abandonment onto my relationship with my dog.



I miss my dog. I miss my dad.

This morning I woke up to a dream I was having of my father. I was a passenger in the camper he was driving. I was staring out of the front window, watching him drive and watching the road. It was in the evening. We had both decided, without really saying anything, that we just wanted to get a little bit farther before we stopped for the evening. My mind was trying to come up with details like where would we stay, what if we just stopped for a little while at a rest area to sleep and keep going, etc. but my being present wouldn’t allow it. I just kept pulling myself back to the inside of that camper. Watching my dad drive. He never looked back at me.

I expect people that haven’t been through the loss of a parent can’t really understand how it feels to have dreams like this. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to truly understand the depth of them had I not suffered this great loss.

When a dream like this occurs when someone this close to you dies, it stirs things. It doesn’t matter how zen you’ve become about it. Doesn’t matter how comfortable you are about the loss now or how you can finally talk about that person without getting tears in your eyes. It’s especially rough in the mornings because that’s one of the time’s I feel the most vulnerable and open.

I’m just saying it stirs things up. My family was a “camper family” as someone recently put it. We travelled all the time in our camper. After my father died and we were all going through old photos the photo that affected me the most was one my father took of our campsite when we were in Virginia. Everything looked so perfect and it was such a beautiful site. I knew he was proud of it. The only person in the photo was the one taking it, my dad. (I’ll scan it sometime once I can find it again in all of my scattered things)

My parents bought our first camper when I was around 12. Throughout the year we’d go on weekend trips to nearby state parks and during the summers we travelled to place like Niagara Falls (Canada side), Maine, Prince Edward Island (before they built the bridge and we had to drive our camper onto a ferry to get there), Arizona, The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park and everywhere in between.


(pic taken on the ferry)

I’d always be the one to help my dad set up the campsite. Come to think of it, where was my sister during those times? Huh. Anyhow, we’d work out the leveling of the camper. My mom and I have a very delicate inner equilibrium so it was always easy for us to tell if the camper was off. Once we’d finally figure that out I’d climb to the top of the camper and open the storage hatch to pull out what we needed. I’d help my dad put down the awning. We’d set up the chairs by the fire and pull the bicycles off the ladder behind the camper. After that we’d decide what we were going to do the rest of the day.

My father and I were the ones that went on most of the nature hikes. My mother and sister would usually stay near the camper. He’d always grab his 35mm and I’d grab my pink Kodak. Sometimes we’d ride our bikes and sometimes we’d walk. I remember always looking for bighorn sheep because that’s what he wanted to take pictures of more than anything. He finally did, p.s.

I’m rambling now.

My point in mentioning the camping stuff is well, my dream. In my dream my dad and I were riding off into the darkness together. A comfortable darkness. What’s it mean? Where was he taking me? Was he taking me somewhere? If so, where? Where were we headed? What was he trying to say?

I have to tell you that the idea of me driving away in a camper isn’t a new idea to me. I’ve actually thought about it a lot lately since I feel a bit like a vagabond lately. I’ve spoken about it to my roommate who calls me hippy and asks me why I am always want to run away. At a birthday party the other night we talked about it with a group of people. Someone decided it sounded like a gypsy thing to do and then we all came up with “gypsy” jobs and names for each other. Apparently the name Carmen already sounds like a good psychic name because that was mine. So we had a psychic, a male dancer that always carried a single stem rose in his mouth, a flamenco dancer, someone that makes beer (in a separate camper) and a mime. Because, in our 20th century minds, that’s what gypsies do.

All I’m saying is I wouldn’t mind driving off into the darkness with my dad sometime. I mean, I’d have to leave some things behind but I’d see them all again eventually. I hope Chewy can come.


So Now What?

After a bunch of headaches I’m back in Jacksonville. I won’t list all of the headaches because I’m really trying to keep my karma in check. The biggest headache (and saddest) is having to drive my precious little doggy to my mom’s house so she can watch her for a while until I get on my feet. It’s been a week today and it S U C K S. I’ve had her with me for 3 years and now she’s gone. *sadface*

Le sigh

My number one goal is to get my dog back ASAP and since that can only be accomplished by getting a job…getting a job has been temporarily bumped up to the #1 position. I had an interview this week. It’s not my dream job but if it gets me on my own two feet I’m all in. Once I get a job I’ll probably find a roommate. I really like living by myself but eventually that gets old and lonely. Besides, the older I get the more I want to live in a commune and well, there are lots of people there. I should probably get used to one person.

Did I mention that my current abode is 4 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean? When I step outside I can hear the ocean. It’s so beautiful and reassuring. It reminds me that life goes on no matter what and everything is always okay in the end. Plans and ideas have fallen through since I decided to go on this new adventure but somehow it all still seems okay. I’m not very stressed because people around me are supportive. Plus, I’m back driving on bridges, hanging out at old bookstores downtown and watching sunsets over oceans.

IMG_1287This was from our last walk on the beach…for now.


I committed to posting a blog 5 days in a row. I think today is day 4 and I’ve been staring at this screen for about 30 minutes trying to figure out what to write about. I’m not in the mood for serious or heavy so I’ve concluded this post is going to be about my #1 soulmate in this lifetime, my dog Chewbacca.

Chewy will be 3 years old in April. I got her in 2010. She was 8 weeks old. She’s a Morkie which is a Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier mix.


That’s Chewface the first day I got her. You can already see expression on her face. Emotion. She was like a little furball with tons of hair that just kept growing and growing…which is why I called her Chewbacca. Although sometimes I think she looks like an Ewok.


So freaking adorable. Her color has changed as she’s gotten older. The only part of her that’s really dark brown now is the end of her tail. Here’s Chewper’s at about one. I love her face.


She’s always been a little bit freaked out. When she was little I couldn’t put her in a cage because I’d come back home and she’d be frantic. She’d get so anxious that she would be dripping with sweat and she’d throw up. Here’s a collage of cute.


Chewy likes to play big spoon little spoon. We take turns.


She’s really cuddly. She doesn’t mind kisses. I didn’t save the hair from her first haircut but here’s a pic of her worst haircut ever. She looked like a circus dog. To the groomers defense I DID say do something interesting…


284930_10150725574240297_4754807_n^^ haha


Chewy just so happened to have a date to be fixed the same month my dad died. When I got back home to Jax I called the lady that was going to help me get a discount on the spay (I was a volunteer and took pics at the animal shelter and she knew people) and basically had a breakdown saying I can’t let her go under during surgery because what if she doesn’t wake up? It was pathetic and sad. So, she didn’t have the surgery until she was two. And here’s how that went down…


She was sooooo sad and I will never ever go back to the vet that did her surgery. There were complications and it FINALLY ended 4 months after her surgery. This is an older pic when Chewy was a pumpkin for Halloween.


She wanted a feather in her hair. What was I supposed to say, no?


Chewypers is a free spirit. She does what she wants. The next few are more recent. Chewpie loves going for walks and hikes. She’s tough. The next two pics are before and after our 4 mile hike.



She seriously slept so long I thought something was wrong with her. This is a very recent pic.


And this is when I spammed Instagram with photos of the Chew.


That was before I dropped my phone and I could still take screenshots.  Grrrrr And last but not least…wherever I am, Chew is. Poor thing. Must be anxiety provoking. Anyhow, she followed me to the bathroom and when I shut the door I bent down and took this photo with my iPhone. Words cannot describe how much I love this dog.


BOOM! Finished this post with 2 minutes left.

P.S – I don’t know what all of those gaps are between words and photos. Doesn’t look like that on my screen. Bugs me.

P.P.S – Chew also has a FB page and a YouTube channel. What? She insisted.