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Throwing My Skirt Up

natchez trace walk, to live forever book

DISCLAIMER: No living creature was harmed in the updating of this web site. Unless one counts overheard bursts of profanity. Or the pieces of furniture and bits of technology that were beaten to a pulp. Marriages were strained, but they remain intact. We are not responsible for additional damage to persons and property caused by makeup sex.

Welcome to the new Accidental Cootchie Mama. The content will remain the same. For your reading pleasure, I’ve updated the About Andra page, and I’ve added Events and Contact pages.

Please note that e-mail addresses mentioned on all pages will NOT be active until Wednesday, February 5, 2014. And, give a big round of applause to Carnell for figuring out the mess that was my prior e-mail service.

Even though I’ve been sporadic around here, you’ve been on my mind, Dear Reader. My hand shriveled into a claw from writing letters to you, and I may have the licking-and-sticking disease that killed Susan, George Costanza’s fiance.

Please look for your letters to arrive in your mailboxes in the next 10 days. (And, if you haven’t already given me your mailing address, please send it to me at andra(at)positusonline(dot)com. Make me write more letters. Come on. Make me.)

Aside from screaming at my computer and writing letters, here’s what I’ve been doing:

natchez trace walk, to live forever book

A rest break at Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park during a 15-mile walk.

natchez trace walk, to live forever book

A pause during a 10-mile walk on the West Ashley Greenway.

natchez trace walk, to live forever book

A fifteen mile walk in the rain.

natchez trace walk, to live forever book

A brief pause at Patriot’s PointΒ during a fifteen miler.

I don’t know how many miles I’ve logged, but my feet are ship-shape. Everything is working, even when it gets tired.

The worst part is the loneliness. It’s especially embarrassing to be caught talking to myself on a long stretch…..those people tend to turn and walk quickly in the other direction……..without looking back.

I’m equal parts exhilarated and petrified of what’s to come. Thank you for being there, Dear Reader.

122 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thanks Andra – this brightened up my monday . BTW.. you are not alone.. I too have caught myself talking (and indeed arguing with myself!) on long distance walks. I am hoping to return to my favourite 42 mile walk later this year… Happy Monday!

    February 3, 2014
    • Happy Monday to you, Tony. At least, I’m in good company with the talking-to-myself thing. πŸ™‚

      What’s your favorite 42 mile walk?

      February 3, 2014
      • Andra, the walk is up in the North of England, in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Fantastic scenery, not for the faint-hearted.. the 42 miles has to be completed within a 24 hour elapsed period. I normally manage somewhere between 16 and 21 hours, depending on the weather conditions.. more details here http://www.lykewake.org/

        February 3, 2014
    • I’ve read so much about the Yorkshire Moors. I must make it there someday.

      February 3, 2014
      • I love it but then I am biased.. I am from yorkshire πŸ™‚

        February 3, 2014
      • I love them, but then I am biased – I am a Yorkshireman born and raised.. Have a good one.

        February 3, 2014
  2. Fifteen miles in the rain is taking being dripped on a bit far!
    Don’t people realise that your talking to yourself shows good judgment in seeking intelligent conversation? πŸ™‚

    February 3, 2014
    • Haha. I don’t know how intelligent it was, Col. It passed the time. πŸ™‚

      I’m going to have to walk on the Trace if it’s raining. I needed to test out my gear and see how truly waterproof it is.

      February 3, 2014
  3. I do a lot of talking to myself. It’s especially embarrassing in a car, when stopped at the traffic lights. You suddenly get the feeling that you’re being watched by the people in the car that is next to you…..and you are:)

    February 3, 2014
    • Oh, Roger. I do that all the time. I am horrible about talking to myself in the car. What’s worse is I have a very specific plate, so anyone could find out who the crazy woman is………I’m glad I’m not alone.

      February 3, 2014
  4. If you wore a hands free headset people would assume you were talking on the phone. πŸ™‚

    February 3, 2014
    • I have hands free in the car, and I don’t need a headset. I just assume people think I’m using that……….

      February 3, 2014
  5. Looks great! I’ve been doing boot camp in the snow if it makes you feel any better. It sucks, but I get to feel virtuous for an hour or so afterward ;-).

    February 3, 2014
    • Only an hour or so, Dina? Working out in the snow is a serious commitment. At least three hours of virtuosity……. πŸ™‚

      February 3, 2014
  6. Love the new look site and I’m sure you didn’t scare too many people with your selfiechats on your meanderings.

    February 3, 2014
    • There aren’t many people at the far end of the Greenway. That’s for sure. It’s kind of creepy out there.

      February 3, 2014
  7. Love the new header!

    February 3, 2014
    • Glad to hear it. I’m tickled with all this artwork, but I’ll do a separate post on that at some point.

      February 3, 2014
  8. At one point I was thinking I should just drop all the nothing I’m doing and come walk with you, but I didn’t want to hold you back.

    February 3, 2014
    • Lisa, I WOULD LOVE IT if you would come for a while. I can even share my spreadsheet with you if you think you can. I mean it. It would be great.

      February 3, 2014
      • I will have to consult with my other half. Email me stuff and I’ll see if I can make something happen.

        February 3, 2014
      • I’ll send you the google spreadsheet.

        February 3, 2014
  9. I love the update! It looks really good. And there’s nothing better than a Seinfeld clip πŸ˜‰

    February 3, 2014
  10. Loving the new look! Nice to think I could be some small part of your your ongoing process. Even if it was just unraveling the cords that connect all the tin cans of email.

    And if you are talking to yourself while you walk, does that make you a walkie-talkie?

    February 3, 2014
  11. 1) I love the new look
    2) Makeup sex is supposedly even better than breakup sex. I’ve only ever had makeup sex, so I wouldn’t know.
    3) Oh Christ, wouldn’t you know it, thinking about sex made me forget my third point.

    February 3, 2014
    • It’s more making up to MTM for all I’ve put him through in the past week. We almost never argue, but I do try his patience.

      February 3, 2014
  12. It’s all excitement in your neck of the woods. Sounds like you’re meeting your goals of getting everything ship shape for the walk ahead. I’m looking forward to more tales and adventures. Here’s to makeup sex!

    February 3, 2014
    • Lisa, I am PETRIFIED. I wish I could just be excited, but I’m mostly scared poop-less.

      February 3, 2014
  13. Love the new look! And talking to yourself only shows how discerning you are when it comes to great conversation. I’m green with envy over your walks…more precisely, your ability to do them. March on!

    February 3, 2014
    • They’re getting easier. I really don’t feel it until about the 12th mile.

      February 3, 2014
  14. Andra, every time I think about your walking tour I am filled with wonder and excitement for you. I don’t know you except through your writing, but I really admire your courage in taking this on. Thanks for writing about it! And the site looks great!

    February 3, 2014
    • Thanks, Carolyn. I’m eager to get started on the actual walk, mostly because that will mean every day will be one less day ahead of me. Ha.

      February 3, 2014
  15. I’m still stuck on the phrase “makeup sex.” So many possibilities to sort through. It’s a writer’s happy place. One more thing: I would find it odd if you did NOT talk to yourself as the miles stream by.

    February 3, 2014
    • I’m going to have to do it, because the actual Trace walk is going to be deserted. Cars and bikers and me. Once I get to TN, I’m sure I’ll see a few horses.

      February 3, 2014
      • Is there any commemorative recognition of where Mr. Lewis was found?

        February 3, 2014
    • He is buried in a pioneer cemetery at a stop called “Meriwether Lewis”, near Hohenwald, Tennessee.

      February 3, 2014
  16. Thought about you yesterday when, in Charlottesville VA, I saw a monument to Lewis and Clark. I’m on a college tour with Andrew and no, we were NOT looking at UVA – just riding through to see the campus. Love the new look.

    February 3, 2014
    • Where are you taking him? I’ve always wanted to visit Charlottesville, and I never have. Isn’t that crazy? I’ll have to pick your brain about it if we decide to go sometime.

      February 3, 2014
      • jsteven3 #

        This trip we are seeing Mary Washington U (Frederericksburg – he loved it), Va Commonweath U School of the Arts (RIchmond – touring now), Elon and UNC-Greensboro. Spring break we’ll do a Tenn. leg with Belmont, Vandy, Rhodes, U Memphis, Sewanee and Middle Tenn. State U (they have an excellent music technology program). This is so confusing. When I was young, you just picked a college, applied, were accepted (or not) and went. No visits, no wailing and gnashing of teeth, no horrible parental competitions! I wish we had more time in Charlottesville – I would’ve loved to travel to Monticello! As it was, we went the back roads thru horse country to Fredericksburg and that was a beautiful drive.

        February 3, 2014
    • I’m sure it’s big business for these schools…..

      When is spring break? Will you be in Nashville around April 3?

      February 3, 2014
      • Jill Clary Stevenson #

        I don’t think we’ll be in Nashville then. His spring break is early March. 😦

        February 4, 2014
  17. I love the new design, I’m personally terrified of doing anything to my site even though I’m tired of the look so congratulations no matter how difficult the process was.

    And I’m glad your feet are back to tip top shape, although it’s too bad about your mind with that talking to yourself disease you picked up πŸ™‚

    February 3, 2014
    • I’ve always talked to myself, Howard. I inherited it from my father, who is always talking, even when he’s alone…………..

      February 3, 2014
  18. napperscompanion #

    HI, Andra. Love the new look. Best of luck with your new book. Peace and best, John

    February 3, 2014
  19. Love your new avatar.

    February 3, 2014
  20. Love the new look!!! You make me feel lazy, since I haven’t updated my blog. But then, I haven’t vacuumed so . . .
    I won a CD so you might have my address. I can send it again. I totally admire your writing letters to people!!!

    February 3, 2014
    • I kept your address from the CD, Linda. Your letter got done several days ago. πŸ™‚

      February 3, 2014
  21. Looks very lovely here, all spruced up and fresh! If you write me a letter I will write you back because I, too, adore writing and getting letters. You are very inspiring Andra! I’m back to the gym-got the thumbs up last week so here I am. puff puff puff…

    February 3, 2014
    • Laura, I’m so glad to hear you’re back at the gym. That’s GREAT!!! Your letter is written and ready to mail. πŸ™‚

      February 3, 2014
      • I had an unfamiliar feeling a couple of days ago when leaving the gym…I recognized it finally as euphoria from having oxygenated blood and having completed a workout! Boy, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt good, really good.

        February 3, 2014
    • Laura, I’m so glad to hear it. I’ve got everything crossed that you keep feeling really, really good.

      February 3, 2014
  22. Dig the new look Andra – best foot forward!

    February 3, 2014
    • Ha, Jim. They’re both my best feet at the moment.

      February 3, 2014
      • Good – eat properly too – went out for a run yesterday and struggled with the stodgey food I had been eating all week!

        February 3, 2014
      • One good thing about this is I get to eat more. Ha. πŸ™‚

        February 3, 2014
  23. Love the new look Andra, and your About page (my wife hates cilantro as well). And way to go on all your walking!!! You’re an inspiration Mizz Andra.

    February 3, 2014
    • Glad to have something in common with your wife, Phillip. Especially a hatred of the devil week. Ickickick.

      February 3, 2014
  24. Its been really nice to see you improving and stronger after the rejection depression.

    Just dont lick the glue, that was creepy πŸ™‚

    February 3, 2014
  25. I really love the new header, darling — and I sympathize with your stress levels. I, too, am having the labour pains, and will be re-branding my page soon as well. Keep your eyes peeled for the cover reveal, which is being trickled out by some very lovely people who’ve volunteered to be part of the marketing process.
    I’m off to check out your new About pages and such now, and then back to work!

    February 3, 2014
    • Thanks, Helena. I’m pleased with how it turned out.

      Eyes peeled. Of course. πŸ™‚

      February 3, 2014
  26. Love to read your blog. I dont do it of ten but when I do I always get caught on an idea or an image.

    February 3, 2014
  27. I’m not sure that I’ve ever done anything which requires as much preparation–though there were about 6 months one time when I prepared a vocal recital for the public. Your perseverance and drive are admired. Your self-discipline has long been admired…and it along with talent and dedication are why the world will know about you/your book.

    Walk on!

    February 3, 2014
    • I hope the world will know about it. Really. That would be awesome.

      February 3, 2014
  28. Great picture of the West Ashley Greenway. Don’t worry about talking to yourself. You are really taking brain notes and composing blog posts.

    February 3, 2014
    • I’m trying to work with voice to text apps on my iPhone as I walk, but I haven’t found one that will compose a whole post. (One that will decipher my accent, yes.)

      February 3, 2014
  29. tarakianwarrior #

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I missed you! People who turn and walk away are too uptight to befriend anyway. πŸ™‚

    February 3, 2014
  30. Redneck Garage #

    Your blog update looks great. At least you don’t argue with your dog like I do on most walks. For some reason Maggie, the ADHD Aussie, thinks she is in charge. One gentleman passed me on a recent hike and commented on how much energy Maggie had. That was after two miles….

    February 3, 2014
    • Thanks. I used to argue with my Boston terrier. She was always in charge.

      February 3, 2014
  31. Debbie #

    I love the new look and can’t wait to hear about the artwork! I also love your picture in the upper right (but I will miss the old cover photo…..I always thought that was perfect).:-)

    February 3, 2014
    • I miss it, too. It was the perfect theme for what I was doing with the blog. Edge of a cliff and all that.

      February 3, 2014
  32. The new website looks fantastic, Andra, and a hearty congratulations to Carnell for his technical support!

    February 3, 2014
    • Thanks, Nate. After all the gnashing of teeth, I’m pleased with how it turned out.

      February 3, 2014
  33. Very nice, Andra! You sure have been busy (make up sex included). πŸ™‚ Glad your feet are cooperating and that your eyes endured all that writing! You’ve given me something to look forward to during this depressing mood of mine! I’ll be checking my mailbox. πŸ™‚

    February 3, 2014
  34. Great new look! Keep walking and talking – to us and yourself!

    February 3, 2014
  35. Good to see you up and around. The blog is looking good.

    February 3, 2014
    • Thanks, Jon. It’s good to be back to doing everything.

      February 3, 2014
  36. Lance #

    I like change for others, but not for me. My blog’s needed this for months. Love it.

    February 3, 2014
  37. Nice looking after the rework. I liked that picture in the rain with the green rain gear. You look sort of like an IRA SWAT member. (it is a compliment)

    February 3, 2014
    • One of my cousins told me I am more man than he is the other day. Ha.

      February 3, 2014
  38. I do love the look, Andra. It represents you well as a first impression. I look forward to my letter. πŸ™‚ Congratulations on getting the web presence brought to your current standards while you have so many other areas pulling for your time. I can imagine there has been a fair share of strain! Good job…you did it!

    February 3, 2014
    • I’m nowhere close to done, Debra, but it feels good to have finished this little bit. If I think about it all, I just shut down. One thing at a time. πŸ™‚

      February 3, 2014
  39. worried about talking to yourself on a long walk? Jeeze you should hear what I say from my desk to the kitchen! And Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 3, 2014
    • Thanks, Susan. I’m so glad to know so many people who talk to themselves. πŸ™‚

      February 3, 2014
  40. I like the new look, Andra – it’s good to have a bit of a freshen up every now and again, I feel!
    All that talk of walking has made me feel very sleepy though, but I shall try to stay awake for now!

    February 3, 2014
    • You’re the master of changing things up, Tom. Maybe I’ve learned a few things from you.

      February 3, 2014
  41. I love the new look. Nice and clean and easy to navigate.
    I am so, so, so excited for you, Andra! ❀

    February 3, 2014
    • It’s a mid-point. More to come. I’m used to it now. I’m glad so many people like it.

      February 3, 2014
  42. The site looks fantastic, as does your gorgeous picture! You are in my thoughts these days as you walk and talk. πŸ™‚

    February 3, 2014
  43. It’s OK to talk out loud when walking alone in the rain. The point is not to carry on a two-way conversation with yourself. You don’t do THAT… do you? πŸ˜‰ Nice new look, Andra!

    February 3, 2014
    • I don’t do two-ways. I don’t think……………

      February 3, 2014
      • You’ll be thinking about that on your next walk…

        February 4, 2014
  44. Great job with your updates Andra and between your post and all the comments above I’m feeling much more secure in my habit of talking to myself when driving and walking. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to checking my mailbox!

    February 3, 2014
  45. I was so happy to have an email from your blog today. I have certainly missed you. Screaming at your Mac? What the heck? I love the new look on your site! Way to go on the walking ! I am so proud of you! Now that we are on the other side of the crud I need to drag myself onto the WA Greenway too. I wish we could walk together but our schedules probably won’t allow it and I would probably slow you down. I am there in spirit. Keep up the good work.

    February 3, 2014
    • The Greenway is really easy to walk, James. I can’t believe I’ve lived here 23 years and never set foot on the thing until last week.

      February 3, 2014
      • I love to walk it. I have lost track as to how many miles I have walked there. I guess I could go look at my Endomondo history.,

        On Monday, February 3, 2014, The Accidental Cootchie Mama wrote:

        > Andra Watkins commented: “The Greenway is really easy to walk, James. > I can’t believe I’ve lived here 23 years and never set foot on the thing > until last week.”

        February 3, 2014
  46. the site looks great, and the walking looks great and the talking to yourself is the best. hey, if you’re not your own best friend and loyal listener, who is? i’m still excited for your adventure )b

    February 3, 2014
    • I guess I’ve felt that way since I was a tiny girl, because I’ve always talked to myself. πŸ™‚ I’m terrified, but I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone.

      February 3, 2014
  47. I’m always talking to myself – you’re not alone in that, Andra.
    Love your new look, and we look for that mail.

    February 4, 2014
  48. tarakianwarrior #

    By the way….I love your new page. Love it!!!

    February 4, 2014
  49. Loved each imshage@@@

    February 4, 2014
  50. Nice place you’ve got here. All it needs is a small table for people to sit at and watch you work, but I think some writers hate that stuff. Everyone leaning forward on their elbows with binoculars trying to catch every breath as you type. And hey, YOU in the back with the telescope pointed at her feet, knock it off!

    Anyway, talking to yourself while alone is normal, so keep it up. i come up with some good ideas (and worse jokes) when I talk to myself when out walking alone. If it makes you feel self-conscious, carry a phone with you and pretend you’re having a conversation or just wear an annoying Bluetooth earpiece that’s (not on, of course). As long as you’re not doing the below when you’re out strolling, I think you’ll be OK.

    Besides, you may get a book out of your conversations with yourself, so look at it that way the next time words pop into your head and out of your mouth when you’re perambulating about…

    February 5, 2014
  51. Glad to have you back πŸ™‚ Looking forward to your letter.!!

    February 6, 2014
  52. So, this is where it all started? The New Cootchie Mama. Looks good, and I will be checking into every nook and cranny… but I will miss the old photo up top. I know, nothing last forever, and change is good. But, the sight of Andra wandering the bluffs will be missed.

    February 8, 2014
  53. I keep meaning to tell you I’m loving the new look around the place, and fascinated by your adventures, even if my own attendance pretty much everywhere is… sporadic at best.

    February 9, 2014
  54. You take wonderful photos. I may have asked before, but do you use an app or software to enhance and filter?

    February 12, 2014
    • I have an iPhone 5, and I use the Camera+ app to work the photos before saving. That’s it.

      February 12, 2014
      • Well okay. I haven’t used Camera+ on iOS before.

        February 13, 2014

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