A Beautiful Thing

(an unexpected take-away from a karate tournament)

You might be thinking, “this is a pointless read.” “I am not interested in karate.” Well, this isn’t just about karate, this is about us, you and me. And this is about our kids, so buckle up.

I couldn’t even think of a good play on words for a title. It just is what it is. But I’m so anxious to get right down to it, I’m not going to try to bait you in with a funny story.

I took my kids to a karate tournament today. It was crowded, so immediately, not my thing. But this wasn’t about me and I needed to get over myself, real quick. And I did.

My kids were SOOO excited about this. Honestly, they behaved better on this trip than probably any other trip we’ve taken. It was their FIRST tournament.

They were nervous. They mingled with their friends, some older, some younger. They tried to shake off their nerves for at least two good hours before it began. I watched as my son (11) encouraged a younger student. I watched as older students encouraged my kids.I’m used to seeing this at belt rankings and during class, but this was a competition! They were competing against each other and I’m sorry to say, I rather expected it to get as ugly as some youth sporting events I’ve been to. You know, where the refs get yelled at and parents get into fights. Yeah….😞 I digress….

A little later on, I heard an adult competitor say they hadn’t seen a much older Sensei in a while, and she said “I need to go find him and make sure he’s alright.” She found him across the gym, watching and encouraging a young student.

As my son and daughter went up to spar, I noticed some of the older teenage students coaching them and encouraging them. As a parent, I can’t help but approve. As a human, I suddenly became aware of this beautiful circle.

Each child, young adult, adult and older adult at this tournament had an intrinsic responsibility for the well-being of another. The older ones took care and looked after the hearts of the younger ones. In turn, the younger students, not only look up to the older students and teachers, they look after them as well.

Everyone was included. Everyone was important. No one was there on their own. Each person was a competitor, a coach, a student and a teacher. Each person gave respect and received respect in return.

Many days, I find myself shaking my head in shame, disappointment and disbelief at the things I hear and see human beings do. Today was different. Today, I was impressed. My heart is glad that I had this experience. My spirit is lightened to see that this phenomenon still exists and that my children get to be a part of it.

I am moved by the knowledge that this good character is being purposely developed through corrective encouragement and self-discipline. My kids need this and quite frankly, every community needs more of this.


Karen Bradberry is the owner and sole writer for “Disturbing Clarity”, a humorous yet factual blog found at http://www.disturbingclarity.com. She began this blog in effort to try to fill in the gaps for travelers like herself, ready for adventure and avoiding disaster.
As a parent, college student and full time counselor, Karen strives to bring a better understanding of the places she visits, how to get there and how much it really costs, to readers who have always wanted to travel. You can reach Karen Bradberry by writing to: disturbingclarity@gmail.com
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Are Almonds Low FODMAP? Dietitian Q&A – Lauren Renlund MPH RD

A comprehensive guide to almonds and the low FODMAP diet, including almond products such as almond milk, flour/meal, butter, oil and extract.
— Read on www.laurenrenlund.com/2017/10/17/are-almonds-low-fodmap-dietitian-qa/

Whole30 January 2019

The Whole30…Who’s Disturbed Now?

How Femur Length Affects Squat Mechanics – Bret Contreras

How Femur Length Affects Squat Mechanics – Bret Contreras
— Read on bretcontreras.com/how-femur-length-effects-squat-mechanics/

Digesting the Day

Today, my co-workers and I, spent the day at Eupepsia Wellness Center in the beautiful mountains of Virginia. Nestled along a hillside surrounded by small creeks and wooded areas, looking very much out of place, and yet, right at home at the same time, Eupepsia, who's motto is: the alchemy of digesting life, sits awaiting your personal or company retreat.

We are greeted by numerous friendly- faced hosts and hostesses upon our entrance to the property. I took this video of my walk down the porch later on after lunch.

Our morning began with freshly made pastries of all sorts, some with cheese and some with fruit, coffee and tea. For some of us, who are often nervous at these sort of required gatherings, arrival time can set the tone for the whole day. I am pleased to report that everyone quickly relaxed into casual conversation and greetings of coworkers we don't often see. This was helped along by welcoming staff wearing name tags and eager to speak to any lone wolves.

I didn't catch all the details, but I understand that the staff was brought in from Dubai and they make everything from scratch. Naturally, me being me, I couldn't wait to see what was on the lunch menu.

But instead of seeking that out we got on with our morning company business and mini training sessions, readying ourselves for a productive school year. (We are all Therapeutic Day Treatment counselors and work within the schools in several counties in Virginia. )

After our trainings, which were short and sweet, the staff got underway providing us with opportunities for a myriad of team-building exercises. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil the surprise for you if your company is kind enough to book a day here, but wear comfortable shoes and clothes. We all had a great time with the activities, which seemed challenging but not impossible, and definitely made us feel like we could trust each other and work together.

Now the best part of my day trip here to Eupepsia Wellness Center was… you guessed it… LUNCH! Everything was vegetarian, although, they did use cream, cheese and probably butter in some things. So, if you are like me and lactose intolerant, be prepared for that.

At the end of the day we did a few more activities which helped us hone in on our personal differences and strengths within our groups. The staff then showed us a short video of our experiences during the day, which was anywhere from well- received to downright hilarious.

I feel I can speak for most of our group in saying that this was one of the most enjoyable and beneficial beginning of the year meetings we have had. I would love to return to Eupepsia, especially since it is only 15 minutes from Wytheville and very easily accessible by car.

If you would like to book your company or personal retreat at Eupepsia, you can do that here.

Traveling Links 


To be continued 

Once upon a time I went away. I went away to reinvent myself. I went away to find out who I was where no one already knew the answer. 

Growing up in a small town never allowed me the luxury of feeling like I could be myself. I wasn’t anything outrageous, I just didn’t fit in. It’s a real shame that so much of who we become is based on what other people decide we are. It’s too bad I didn’t figure a lot of it out sooner. I’m jealous of those people who do. 

I came back home to be near family, family I still rarely see. My father, and the last of my parents, passed away only a few months after I moved back to be closer to him. Why didn’t I just stay to begin with? Why did I have to miss out on all the advice he could’ve given me just to run off and discover myself?

By the time I was 25 I had lived in 5 different states and accomplished nearly nothing. I still haven’t written a book, I’m still in school. I’m still trying to figure it all out and I have a lot of regrets about a lot of wasted time.

Every morning I still wake up with the urge to run. The only difference is, now, I have people I would take with me. I will probably always be a flight risk. That’s not very settling, I know. 

Today I wish I had never moved back home and uprooted my daughter from a place where she was thriving to bring her back here. (So much for small town sentiments) I don’t really know what to do with that regret and that guilt. I keep waiting for the tides to turn so I can say it was all worth it. I keep waiting for people to drop their double standards and give a kid the break they got. Because I truly believe, there is not one person, of all the people who so pretentiously wag their fingers in her direction, who would be in the position to do so if all the cards were on the table. 

Not every blog post is full of universal truths. As a matter of fact, I hope this doesn’t ring true for anyone else. If you live in a bubble where it all works and it all makes sense, and double standards don’t rule the universe, stay there. I’m envious.

Walking in Wiffle 

I was out walking with my niece tonight and we were knee deep in a conversation about how she is starting the Whole30 tomorrow and the numerous treats she’s permitted herself this weekend in preparation… eh hem… when we made a right off Main Steet onto Tazewell, to avoid the “Sidewalk Closed” area and started past Petals

Photo borrowed, affectionately, from Wiffle Pop’s Website

We heard some friendly chants coming from the corner across the street where a gang of kids was patrolling the parking lot looking for their next victim. Are you completely scandalized yet? Don’t be. A friendly gentleman popped his head out of the door and shouted, “Hey, you wanna free Wiffle Pop?” Well, “YES! Of course!” We replied, neverminding the Whole30 conversation 😂 

I handed off my gigantic German shepherd without a word to one of the kids outside, who gracefully obliged me and we popped into the new shop. How CUTE was this place??!! No, I didn’t take pictures of the shop, so you’ll just have to go see it yourself.

I asked why in the world he was giving me a free Wiffle Pop, when I would gladly pay for one, as I have many times before, and never to my disappointment, might I add. There was even this one time someone had “paid it forward” when we visited their booth at the Market, but I paid it forward again because well, they are that good! 😊 He said this is our new location and these were our practice pops. Um… count me in on that YUM 👅!!

Curious as always, I asked him if they were benefiting from the grant money from the Wythe business start up program and Mr. Temple, Matt, gladly showed me the machines he had been able to purchase with the money. I asked how he made all those tons of Wiffle Pops before and he told me they were freezing them in molds, which I’m sure took FOREVER! 

I stole a few pictures from their Facebook page and website, since I definitely did not have my wits about me while I was in there, enough to take pictures of anything except the menu. 

We picked up our conversation about the Whole30 as my polite way of letting them know I needed one that didn’t have any dairy, since I had recently realized I was lactose intolerant. No problem there! My niece had a cookies 🍪 and cream pop and I enjoyed a mango, much to my delight!

The Temple family has been serving us Wiffle Pops (gourmet popsicles) at the Farmer’s Market for a while now, and I think I recall having one also at a local festival, but alas, the Farmer’s Market has been closed since Octoberish and I have not seen a Wiffle Pop in some time. I was hot from walking and had given my dog most of my water 💦 and man was this a nice unexpected treat! Thank You 😊!

I don’t know what was on this corner before, but I told them I was SO glad to see that they were going to be here now. I mean, the Farmer’s Market gets a bit of traffic, but let’s face it, I don’t only want Wiffle Pops on a Saturday morning. I just know Wytheville is going to embrace this little shop with open hearts and big smiles. Really, they’re such a nice family, how could we not, and plus … POPSICLES! 

Mrs. Temple let me snap a pic of the new menu for the shop which opens in Downtown Wytheville at the beginning of May 2017.

I found this Gofundme link on their Facebook page, I don’t think they would mind me sharing. Click to help! 

I am so excited to add this place to my list of “MUST VISITS” for my readers, I just know they’ll have something you will LOVE ❤️ !!


Karen Bradberry is the owner and sole writer for “Disturbing Clarity”, a humorous yet factual blog found at http://www.disturbingclarity.com. She began this blog in effort to try to fill in the gaps for travelers like herself, ready for adventure and avoiding disaster.

As a parent, college student and full time counselor, Karen strives to bring you a better understanding of the places she visits, how to get there and how much it really costs to readers who have always wanted to travel. You can reach Karen Bradberry by writing to: disturbingclarity@gmail.com

View Karen’s LinkedIn Profile

Wolf Creek Indian Village / Museum & Gift Shop: 1st Annual Easter Egg Hunt 

We hurried up to get to Wolf Creek, hoping they wouldn’t start without us. The hunt was scheduled for 10am. I had never been there, although the kids have both been on school field trips. It was very easy to find, right off I-77 N at exit 58. 

There was plenty of parking for the day, and it was free! I actually would have paid to park, like the state parks require, but thankful nonetheless. We went into the gift shop to register, which only included me handing over $3 a piece for the kids, so no paperwork! We were allowed to look through the museum and gift shop, both were excellent but you’ll have to go there if you want to see it, because they ask that you don’t take pictures in the museum. Totally acceptable in my opinion. 

Unlike most gift shops we visit attached to museums, most items were quite affordable, a nice aspect. The history in the museum was very interesting to me and I easily could have spent a few hours reading  and viewing all of the artifacts. But we went down a few minutes later as a group, which I was glad for since we had to be somewhere later. 

We took a nice little five to ten minute hike down a well-laid trail, around large rocky outcrops that had wooden signs posted identifying local plant life. I noticed they had a golf cart available to carry anyone unable to hike down independently. A very nice touch! 

We ended in the Indian Village near a creek and adorned with palisades. Ages five and under hunted eggs just outside the village and the older children within. The kids scampered in and out of the huts and all about the grounds. 

I saw a lot of older children, including my own, assisting younger ones in reaching eggs in roof thatches and under hut “furniture”. The entire hunt was over in about ten minutes. The staff instructed there would be no pushing, no running and that everyone would treat each other kindly. Thank you 😊! 

We hiked back up through the trail enjoying the scenery, everyone in less of a hurry now.

 The Easter Bunny was waiting at the trail head for photo ops and hugs and most of the children seemed genuinely surprised to see him/ her there. 

The staff continued to organize and direct instead of allowing people to do what people in large groups sometimes do.. eh hem… Good Job! 👏🏻

All the parents were asked to count their childrens’ eggs and write the numbers on a sheet next to their names. And after this was finished they handed out prizes for most eggs, least eggs and two golden eggs found. 

Pictured above: (with parent permission of course) Annabel Rasnik finder of the golden egg age group 6-12. What a cutie! 

They gave out great prizes! The golden egg finders received a large plush animal and the other winners got gift certificates worth $10 each for the gift shop. Like I said before, prices were good in the shop, so I’m certain the $10 went far. Then each child who hunted eggs got an arrowhead necklace. 

They were thrilled! We bought ten mystery eggs that contained jewelry, miniatures and a gift certificate for a stuffed animal and a t-shirt! Win! I also spent $3.50 each on a bag of polished stones for the kiddos. 

We were finished in about 1 and a half hours and on our way. Overall it was a great little excursion which only took 20 minutes in travel time from our hometown of Wytheville, Va. I always try to let you guys know how much things cost because most of us do have to think of that. I spent a whopping $26. Maybe I’ll see some of you there next year! 

Karen Bradberry is the owner and sole writer for “Disturbing Clarity”, a humorous yet factual blog found at http://www.clearlyiamdisturbed.com. She began this blog in effort to try to fill in the gaps for travelers like herself, ready for adventure and avoiding disaster. As a parent, college student and full time counselor, Karen strives to bring a better understanding of the places she visits, how to get there and how much it really costs to readers who have always wanted to travel. You can reach Karen Bradberry by writing to: clearlyiamdisturbed@gmail.com

Lactose Intolerance Diet: The Best Cheeses to Eat if You’re Lactose Intolerant – Thrillist