Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Blessings

Blessings for the New  Year........I wish all things good for all of you......a life filled with miracles,
big and small.  A year that brings more joy than tears......a year full of good health.
A year that encourages you to face your fears, and do that one thing you have wanted to do your whole life!   Wishing you a year of wisdom, a year of trust, and a year of peace..........may you be loved as much as you love.......may you know kindness every day.......may your needs be met, and your wants filled....
and may you get as many hugs as you give.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Passionately Curious

"I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein
This quote is special to me, because frankly, I too am passionately curious.......I ask questions, I read,
I ask more questions.  There are times I drive Rick crazy, he tells me I should have been a detective or questions drive him up the wall.

I wanted to know all the answers even as a child......why, how, where, when?  I was a teacher's nightmare.
I drove my mother up the wall, so she gave me books to read.  My brothers and sisters did the same thing,
when I would deluge them with questions, they gave me books to read.  Rarely am I ever surprised by an ending to a movie or book......that is a gift and a curse.

When I meet someone, I try not to bombard them with questions, but I am just always curious.....I truly do want to know about them, to understand them, to connect with them.    Where did this natural curious nature come from?  See, I am even curious about myself!!!!

For years, it appeared that I was the only person in my family with this quirk, but my nephew Haven
has morphed into a curious creature too, he even looks like me!  So does this mean because we look alike, we think alike?????  Ha!  Also, my great nephew Jordan is exhibiting a great natural curiosity , he is almost four, so it will be interesting to see how his develops.

No, I am not nosy, I am not pushy, just interested, simply curious. Lots of things fascinate me, people
places......I find this world  an amazing place, full of wonder and excitement,  nothing in it is boring.
I think we should all become a little more curious, notice people and places, ask questions.......
become......passionately curious.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Bigger Heart

A week of rest,  I truly thought that I would accomplish so very much this being my first week off in two years and all.   Ha!  Most of my time has been spent with the dogs, with Rick, napping
and cooking.........not wasted by any means, but truly not what I had planned.

Rick has done yoga almost every day........I have done none, though I have managed to walk these woods with our pack of dogs.  It has been a week of soul searching and what ifs......there is still uncertainty,
but there is always hope.  I will be so happy when my energy has been so long, I might not recognize it!

The sunset this evening was winter at her best.......(I know I have the new phone and didn't take a photo)
but the blaze was along the horizon before I saw it.  The bare trees looked stately against the blood orange
of the sky.  Tonight the stars are twinkling in the chill of December's final nights, January and the new year  are almost here.  Today, everything looked fresh and many ways it was.....I had been given a reprieve.

Thank you all for your kind words and shared joy last night, the energy of kindness can be felt great distances, and love has no boundaries.  I wish my heart were bigger, so that it could hold more gratitude.  Blessings to you and yours, for love, and joy, and good health......may we all share the abundance.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Most Are Not That Lucky

I spent most of my day in the oncology department of a local hospital,  meeting with an amazing doctor who gave me good cancer.  I do have some issues to take care of, but they are treatable.
I am blessed and lucky.   As I came back into the waiting room after the good news, there was a woman sitting there whose husband was undergoing chemo, as she heard my news she reminded me to count my blessings, that most who sat where I sat today were not that lucky.  
I have counted my blessings all evening.  Her words still ring in my head......most are not that lucky.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blessings and Curses

A blessing and a curse........we have had several friends whose parents have passed on in the past couple of months.  Some were ill for a long time, some died quite suddenly and unexpectedly.  A friend called tonight, whose aging parents are showing signs of dementia......she called because she knew the disease ravaged my mother before she passed away six years ago.

I answered her questions honestly and tried to be gentle as well as instill a little humor......I could tell she has had a rough holiday season.  I explained that  the death of a parent for me, well now I can see the blessings and curses of a quick unexpected death, and that of a slow paced illness.  My father died suddenly, he went to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and died with a massive heart attack.
My mother's death took almost two years......and sadly who she was died way before her body did.
I missed telling my father goodbye.  My mother's slow death, changed our family, and felt at times as though it was killing me.  Only a couple of months after my  mom passed, my oldest brother died unexpectedly.

My conclusion, death is difficult no matter when, how or where.  The passing of someone you love
takes a piece of you with them.....forever after there is a  part of your heart missing.  I think that our culture has made death even more difficult, it seems we have a put a time frame on grief, broken it down into stages,  and tied it up with a bow.   But loss cannot be measured by time. .....and it cannot be locked up and forgotten.  Grief for friends and family and pets,  can and will hit at the strangest times without warning. Sometimes the triggers are obvious and sometimes who knows what triggers the sadness or tears.

I think our memories, and the sharing of those memories are the soothing balm for grieving hearts.
And the realization that life goes on,  that for we who are left is part of our growth.
We can work through the guilt, the hurt and the pain and continue with our purpose, or we can become frozen in time....... paralyzed by the grief and the change that has taken place in our life.

So whether death comes quickly or crawls.......there are blessings and curses that it brings for those left living.  Whether we are consumed and killed by the residue of grief, or we learn and grow from its harsh lessons is up to us.   Death is a part of life, some fear it, some welcome it.......but at some comes.

Monday, December 26, 2011

After Christmas Musings

Happy Boxing Day to all my UK friends!  I had a good Christmas, not as hectic as some years, a little more than others.   Unlike many of my friends and family members, I did not start decorating in that means I am not tired of the tree or decorations.  I love leaving the house decorated until New Years
Day.......I get to sit and  enjoy it all this week.

Speaking of this week, I have not taken time away from work in almost two years......I am taking this week off.   I did not realize how much I needed the break until today......I have not missed teaching at all today.
It has been nice to do some much needed cleaning in the house.   Blackie Bear and Buddy have loved having me home today.  This was also the first time in six years that I had not worked on Christmas Eve....
I guess an old dog can learn new tricks.

So, how do I plan on spending my week away from work?   Visiting friends, working on our music,
cleaning house, and working on my vision board for 2012.  There are several things that I want to accomplish this coming year, barring any bumps in the road.  You know as soon as the new board is finished I will take a photo and post it.

I hope that your holidays have been good so far......that your Christmas was Merry and not too hectic.
I hope that the gift of love was in every stocking, and that you all felt peace in your hearts.
Do you all do New Years' Resolutions, do you party,  any special celebrations?  So far, we have been invited to a ball,  a music jam,  and a friend's home.......waiting to see where the spirit leads.  Sometimes it is just nice to stay home.

I didn't even teach my community class was time for a break.  The body and the spirit need change, for growth and renewal.  I believe that next week I will be a much better teacher.....and the dogs do love having me around!   It has been another day of cold pouring rain, I hear it on the tin roof, the sound of the rain, and Blackie's snoring creates an odd musical offering.  Not quite in sync, but rather

Time for a cup of hot tea.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Christmas of My Dreams

Here is our Christmas song that was on the Fretted Instruments Christmas cd this year.  It was an honor to perform our song for this cd.  Rick and I wrote it with our friend Tracy Reynolds.
I hope you enjoy......"The Christmas of My Dreams"


<iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Card 2011

This is my Christmas card that I painted and mailed this week, that's right each one hand painted.......

Merry Christmas to you all, may your New Year be filled with Peace.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Berries

Rick upgraded my iPhone this week, I barely knew how to use the other one.......but I know that this iPhone 4 makes great photos!

As we walked the dogs this morning before the next wave of rain came, I saw these beautiful red berries  at the edge of the woods.  I know there is a proper name for them, I see them used as ornamentals  in yards around the county.  But this bush is growing wild in our woods and it just looked like Christmas!

It is a patch of brilliance in the earth tones of the woods.  Winter has cloaked our woods in grays and browns, while mother nature takes her rest.......the flash of red and green seemed so cheery, so festive!  Even nature seems to celebrate
the season of light.

I have wrapped presents, baked two kinds of biscotti, had lunch with a friend, visited sick friends and relatives........and the rain
came down in torrents.  I am chilled to the bone.  It will be a race to the bed tonight......I think I will beat
 Blackie Bear, even though he is snoring loudly right now.

Good night, Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Thoughts on Blackie Bear

Blackie Bear is not a happy dog, the new collie has decided to take his place in the office while I write.
There is quite a bit of snarling, some deep grunts and guess what.......Blackie wins!  Calliou moves to the hall, Blackie regains his spot by "momma"!

Bear is the oldest, and  I am his......somehow years ago, he decided I was his property.  He tolerates my petting of the other dogs.  He allows Buddy ( my mom's dog) to sit on the couch with me......but I have to pet the others when Blackie is not around.  The past few weeks Blackie's protective nature has grown,
I'm not sure if he is afraid to be left alone, or he is that worried about me.

When  I took the dogs for a walk this morning,  the others ran in wild abandon like they usually do,
but Bear stays close to me........I changed my path a little this morning,  thinking he would continue on the old one, he did for about ten seconds.......then he charged through the woods to catch up with me.
He has been with me for many  many Christmases......he is grey and frail,  I know our Christmases together  are numbered.  I can't even let myself think how my life will be without him.

I think tonight I am as ready for bed as Blackie.........
he says good night, sweet dreams

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Roof Over My Head

Pouring rain tonight......the kind that makes you glad you have a roof over your head.  Actually, most days I try to be really glad and grateful that I have a roof over my head.  The past several days I have driven
around the storm struck areas visiting friends, going to the doctor, running errands.  There are still so
many homes that are damaged, so many places where homes use to be......and I keep thinking, and wondering about the people in those damaged homes, about the ones who have no homes.

It has been seven months, since the April 27th outbreak of seems like seven seconds, it seems like seven years.  Our friends live in these areas, where the trees are gone, homes are gone,
people died.......I think many of them are on autopilot and to get technical......many are PTSD.
There is an odd normalcy to their lives, yet a strange eeriness as well.  They know, as well we know,
that anyone who survived that day will never be the same.

I have been lucky and blessed my whole always have a roof over my head.  It may not have been the roof of my dreams, but there was always a roof.  Tonight I think of people all over this earth who have no roof over their heads.......I can't imagine what that must be roof, no food, no clean water.  I certainly have no right to ever complain about the cards I've been dealt in my life......I have always had food, clean water and a roof.

I hear the pouring rain on the tin roof, and I count my blessings......pouring rain, and night fit for man or beast.  Once again, I whisper a prayer of gratitude for my roof.  It may seem a little strange to
talk so much about a roof.......but in this season of mass consumerism......when I see all those roofs around me, still  covered in blue tarps.....I worry.  I hope they are warm and dry tonight, I hope they have what they need,   I hope that  mercy is shown them,  that there is food, and warm clothing
that they have health and joy......and that the new year brings them roofs.

Monday, December 19, 2011

No Panic Yet

No, for anyone who is interested, I am not through with my Christmas shopping, nor am I finished with the painting of Christmas cards, no gifts have been wrapped.........let's see how many days until Christmas?

So, in the morning, if all goes according to plan, the cards will be done and will be done tomorrow afternoon, and wrapping, well maybe Thursday if all goes well.  Also, cookies and biscotti will be baked on Thursday......and again on Christmas Eve.

Strangely I am not in a has to be all the yoga.....or maybe it is just the realization that no matter what, it all works out.  Of course, by Friday.......I might be in a straight jacket!

But, I am very very tired, Blackie Bear is waiting for me to go to bed, so he can sleep.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Celestial Gifts

We drove down to Tuscaloosa tonight to have dinner with our friends, Jerry and Carol , Bob and Brandi.
We took the long way down Highway 69 and as we crossed Lake Tuscaloosa the sunset blazed.

Never have I seen cloud formations and colors like these this glowing embers that intensified as the sun dropped into the boiling clouds.

It seems the heavens have sent gifts this whole month,
the full moon  was one of the most beautiful pearls ever in the night sky last weekend,  meteor showers this week, and then this sunset tonight......a bounty of rare and beautiful gifts!  How lucky can we get???

Beautiful celestial gifts and time with can be so exquisite when you least expect it.  I know this is the week before Christmas and for many the mad rush of the holidays will rob you of all the gifts around you.   Take time to see the beauty, smell the scents of the season,  listen to the music, and enjoy your time with family and can all change in the blink of an eye.  Cherish each memory, every laugh, and hug and make a wish on the evening star.  It will all be over before you know it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Feels Like Christmas

Rick and I went to the first Christmas party that we have been to in several years tonight......usually we are the ones hosting a get-together.  It was a small intimate gathering, bright talented people, musicians, writers, much talent, it was like being in a movie.  I had a great time!  Actually, I have not had this much fun in a while...... just sitting in someone's living room, playing music,
talking, eating, enjoying each other's company.  I sat there for awhile and looked around tonight and thought.......this is it, this is the Christmas spirit.   We were all quite different, yet had  so much in common.

It was so hard to let this evening one wanted to go, but I think we knew in our hearts, the moment could not last forever.  Aren't those moments wonderful.........everyone leaves with a smile on their face, a bit of joy in their hearts.....and you think, wow......wish it could be like this all the time

So tonight, the Christmas spirit has touched me......I know for each of us, we feel it in a different way, a different place.......but that contentment, that joy.....this is what memories are made of, how they are created.  My wish for all of you tonight......that the Christmas spirit touches your hearts, that you feel the joy that we all felt finally feels like Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Good Yoga Day

New students in my yoga classes today.......all of them came in apprehensive......all left with smiles.
I am always amazed at the apprehension of coming to yoga class.  I usually make jokes and tell the new students not to believe those rumors about me, they can't all be true!

Yoga is a release, and sometimes quite an emotional one.....there were some tears today as well as laughter.  I try to make the class as nurturing as I can......but there is no place like home for the holidays and many of my students will not be home.  The holidays make me emotional too......once old traditions are no longer celebrated,  finding new ones that fit take some time.  I am still trying on.

Because of our changes in the weather this week, several of the students were dealing with chronic pain.......the class moved in a healing direction, lots of breath work, blankets and eye pillows.  It is amazing how much yoga helps with pain, both physical and was a good yoga day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We Did It!!!!!!!!!

A little good news.......Phil Campbell High School was awarded $50,000 today by the Glee Give A Note
committee.  You all changed lives with your votes, with the time that you spent encouraging all your blog buddies and friends to vote, there is now a tiny community in Northwest Alabama where the sun is shinning brightly tonight and the  music plays loud and clear.  Pat yourselves on the back, do a happy dance, and say a prayer of gratitude!

My friend Kim (whose son was in the video) said you could hear the kids and the whole community
yelling and crying as the announcement was made today.  I know that most of you are like me, and many days you might think that nothing you do matters.......well guess what, it does.  Because of your help,
Phil Campbell High School will have help rebuilding their band program.  April 27th destroyed so many homes and lives here in Alabama, but I know that music heals.    Today, healing in Phil Campbell took a giant leap!

Our state has a long way to go in the rebuilding and healing process.......Rick and I drove from Birmingham today, and the devastation still leaves me reeling.  All around us, it still looks like a war zone......there are times that as I drive through the communities, tears fall down my face.  But these bright spots, these incredible good deeds, keep us all going.  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, with your efforts music will live in the hearts and lives of young people, whose world was turned upside down by the storms.  Who knows the impact of your simple vote?   I believe your act of faith and good will changed the world and set into action something that will have lasting impact for years to come.

This is the best Christmas gift ever!  Blessings of love, of good health and contentment to all of you.
We did it!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beware a Busy Life

"Beware the barrenness of a busy life"  - Socrates

During this "busy season" I try to remind myself of this quote often.  It is true you know, think about when you are so busy, how barren, how empty your life becomes.  You hurry and scurry from one place, event, whatever to the next.  You constantly watch the clock, thinking of all the things you have to do.
With the hustle and bustle, do you take time for your self and others?  Do you do good things for your
body and your spirit?  Do you take the time for good nutrition or just make a pass at the next drive through?

When you are "so busy" do you do anything well, or do you  just get things done?  During this holiday season do you rush from one family function to the next, never enjoying any of them?  Do you find yourself so busy that you wish the holidays were over?  Are you so tired from you trying to accomplish all that is on your to do list you collapse in bed each night?

Through the years I have been guilty of all of the above.........and there are some regrets.  If I could give anyone advice now, I would say pick and choose.   Pick the family functions that mean the most to you, (not to others) choose traditions that have meaning for you, slow down........take time to look at the lights, look up at the stars, and allow yourself to be happy.  It is not your responsibility to
"make" the holidays perfect.  You really don't have to be everywhere and do everything.
Don't max out your credit cards on will end up in debt and full of resentment.

You want this season to be full.......of goodwill, sharing meals, peace toward your fellow man, enjoying the beauty of the lights and music,  and time for reflection.  You don't want the barrenness that is the residue of a "busy" life.  You don't want to find yourself at the end of the year, in a mountain of crumpled wrapping paper, exhausted, and thrilled that the season is over, filling empty and disappointed.  Let this season enrich your life,  restore your hope, and give you joy........slow down
and feel  the peace, the stillness of a cold winter's night and the laughter and smiles of the children.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


 I love dragons.  Not quite sure when this fixation began, but I have several pieces of dragon jewelry.
One necklace ( a vintage piece)  is rumored to look just  like a piece that Janis Joplin wore.
It is a massive piece, and every time I wear it, some one comments about it.
 A friend gave me a tiny silver dragon on a black silk cord,  I wear it almost daily along with my
Tibetan prayer coin,  they are my talismans.
I have dragon earrings (vintage) and a dragon bracelet, also vintage.  They are pieces that spoke to me as soon as I saw them.

Many dragon pieces are ferocious looking, but I find a great deal of beauty in their intricate markings.
They project a strength and braveness that I envy.  It is no wonder, that in the Chinese zodiac, my sign
is yep, you guessed it.......The Dragon.

I also have a crystal dragon that hangs in my window, next to my spirit ball.  The two of them catch
the sun and make me smile every time I look at them.  By the way, one of the most requested songs that we do......Puff, the Magic Dragon!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Send a Card

 We received a Christmas card from our friends in Ireland today.  I know that we all communicate electronically most of the time,  e-mails, texts, calls.....but to get a handwritten note or card from someone
makes my day.    Often students give me cards or notes, and I keep them all in a red leather book.  On days when I struggle, when I question what I do........I sit and read those cards and notes.

Those cards, those notes are some of my most prized possessions.  They serve as reminders, that somewhere, sometime in my life, I helped someone.  I try to send cards and notes as often as I can, maybe the gesture doesn't mean as much to some as it does to me,  but I will continue to send them out.

I think that Christmas cards are of my most favorite traditions.  Picking out a card, taking the time to write a note and mail it........that is one of the things that makes this season special.  We live busy lives, we live fast, but the old fashioned sentiment of mailing a refreshing and appealing.

Dick Blick says I will get my blank cards tomorrow, that means tomorrow afternoon, the painting frenzy will begin.  Rick always says, you can go buy some cards.....and there have been years that I did, but not many.  I love to paint those cards, to send them out, to know that there are friends who look forward to getting them, as much as I look forward to seeing that card postmarked, Tullamore, Ireland.

I know that mailing Christmas cards does not appeal to everyone.......but don't shortchange yourself.....
send a birthday card, or a thank you, or just a note to say hello.  Brighten someone's day......imagine their surprise when they open a card instead of a bill!  Send a get well card or thinking of you to someone who is ill,  sending a card is such a warm heartfelt gesture, you will never be forgotten.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Beginning

The tree is decorated, Jordan helped with his first batch of cookies, the house is a wreck.........I am itching like crazy because that is what evergreens do to me.  A big beautiful full moon, rain moving in and Blackie Bear wants to go to bed.  (he will not go to his bed, until I go to mine)

Beginning to get a little antsy about the cards, Dick Blick is late with their delivery of blank cards,
starting to rethink original sketches, simplify, simplify!  A marathon day of shopping this is the holidays!
And with that said, Blackie has convinced me.......time for bed.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Do What You Love

Rick and I wrote a song called "Do What You Love" has become our anthem of sorts......and a message that we spread whenever possible.  Life is short, and why would you spend it not doing what you love????  We did what we loved tonight.....played music.  The crowd has been bigger, the money better, but it doesn't matter when you do what you love.

We performed Do What You Love a while back for a group of teachers, they asked for the lyrics so they could give them to their graduating seniors.  I think we are all guilty of not doing what we love.....and it shows in our lives, on our faces and in our eyes.  When you do what you love, everything is different,
there is contentment, peacefulness, the willingness to work as long as it short cuts.
The work seems more like play, even when it is hard.

Tonight, "if you ever get the feeling, life is passing you by, do you dread Monday morning, is your
job killing you? then do what you love, and love what you do"

Good night Sweet dreams

Friday, December 9, 2011

Feel The Magic

Driving home this evening, the moon shone behind a gauze like veil of clouds......and all around the houses scattered on the backwoods road were Christmas lights.  I am always intrigued by how people decorate for Christmas.  I pass by houses and there seem to be thousands of lights, figures, and decorations that I can't quite figure out, some are like ours and there is nothing (yet) and others that simply have a Christmas tree.

We will decorate our tree Sunday.  We always do a living tree, (we plant it after the holidays) and as you walk across our property you see all our trees from years past.  I suppose I am somewhere in the middle when it comes to decorations.......a tree,  the mantle, the coffee table, a tree outside.  It's not that I don't like to decorate, but we live in a small cottage(not much storage space) and my biggie for Christmas is hand painted cards.  I have been painting our Christmas cards for many many years, friends have collections of them, many have framed theirs.  For me, sending my painted cards lets our friends and families know how special they are, that yes I put that time in just for them.  Each card
hand painted and signed.

Jordan is excited, this will be the first Christmas that he has wanted to help decorate the tree,  and bake Christmas cookies.  Cookies, that is the other thing that I put much time and effort into, Swedish Spice
Christmas cookies.......have made them with my nieces and nephews for years, now the great nieces and nephews are helping me.

Being in the Christmas parade last night,  was so much fun.  Main Street, in my hometown of Sumiton
Alabama was lined with of all ages watching the parade, waiting for Santa.  Since
Rick and I were Grand Marshalls, we led the parade......funny thing, some of the little kids thought
Rick was Santa!

The Christmas Spirit always hits me later than most.  Our family never put a tree up until the week before Christmas.....most years we each got only one gift.......but the meal was unforgettable.  For my parents who grew up in the Depression, the meal was everything.  The table would groan because of so much food, and so would we.  Even if you filled your plate twice, you would never be able to taste truly was a food orgy.

Tonight, with the moon peeking through the clouds a lot of childhood memories of Christmas pasts
floated through my mind.   Looking at the lights twinkling in the darkness,  the world seemed so peaceful......even the cold felt peaceful tonight.  There is something magical about this time of year.
If you can stand back from the mad consumerism, and the rush of the crowd and look at it all through a child's can see, and you can feel the magic.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Consider You Home

Ok, so here is the video that we did a couple of weeks has been an eventful week!  The video was posted on You Tube last night.   Our Christmas song that we recorded for a compilation cd was released today, and tonight Rick and I were Grand Marshalls for my hometown Christmas Parade and we are playing Saturday night.  It has been a good day.

Hope ya'll enjoy the song!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Sometimes no matter how hard you try, or what you do life beats you up.......I'm sure there are lessons that are to be learned, but often they are not apparent.  So, what do you do? It is easy to become angry, to feel hurt and to wish like hell you were someplace else........but you're stuck in the thick of it with no way 
out....or so it seems.    It's those times, when you really do have to go pull from your inner strength, to breathe, and remind yourself that this too shall pass.

Going inward can be can shut down, shut up, and close your eyes........going inward can be can search for answers, pray for guidance, and hope for wisdom.  There is a certain amount of wisdom in knowing which inward path to take.......and there are some days when flipping a coin makes as much sense as anything.

I think sometimes we search too hard for the answers.......and by doing so, make our lives that much harder.  Most of the time, they are right in front of us, or within........usually the answers we seek are so simple, that we think this can't be right, it is too easy.  Why do we think everything good or successful has to be complicated?  

Some of us spend too much time going inward, and miss the lessons and answers that are  right in front of our noses.........that is when our lives become  exhausting.   The balance and contentment come
when we learn when to go inward and when to just let it all go.  It's that thing about learning to pick your battles.  And then there are those times, when there is no fight left within you.........once again,
knowing when to let it all go.

Going inward can be rewarding, uplifting and enlightening........staying inward......can be depressing,
defeating and destructive..........know when to let it all go.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cold and Rainy

Cold and rainy tonight, I hear the rain on the tin roof..........that roof is one of the best things about our house now.  Nothing like the sound of raindrops on tin.  I spent most of the afternoon doing errands.....and silly me didn't realize rain would be here so soon.  I got drenched!  Had a jacket, but no umbrella or hat......I am still cold.

One of my very first childhood memories is of rain.  We had moved into a house that had a porch across the front,  a new sink had been delivered.  The new sink sat on the porch waiting for my dad to come home to install it.  My kid brother, Ricky who was about one year old and I, opened the doors (the sink was in a cabinet of sorts) and hid from my mom.  It was pouring rain......and that porch was the perfect playground
for rainy days.  There is a picture of Ricky taken sometime later on his trike, on that porch.  It is one of my favorite photos of him.

I love the rain.  It doesn't depress me or make me sad,  I find it soothing and calming.  When we were in Ireland  everyone was concerned about the rain, but I loved it......nothing like standing on the rocky shore with the rain  coming down.  Then going down to a local pub, and smelling peat burning in the fireplace.

Blackie Bear is snoring, he finds the rain soothing too.  As a matter of fact, he, Astro and Buddy are all in the office with me snoring like crazy as the rain falls.  YAWN.........I am getting sleepy too.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Made with Love

Tomorrow would have been my mom's has been six years since her passing.  I drive by her house, everything still looks the same.  I wonder if the family who lives there now has any inkling of the memories that are stored in that house, good and bad.  My mom and dad both died there.  But there were incredible meals,  and loud, laughing get togethers there.  Grandchildren climbed those trees, picked the flowers and and sat in her swing,  Someone was always stopping by for a visit,  and a piece of cake or pie.

Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations in that little blue house  will be remembered for many years to come.  Momma was most always in the kitchen,  or coming up the steps from the basement.  Her laundry room was downstairs,  but so was her beloved quilting frames.  All the kids and grand kids cherish those quilts she made.

She and I  did our Christmas shopping together,  I did her tree, her Christmas cards.  Since she passed, I have done most of my shopping on line, going shopping is just not the same.  I would wrap all her gifts and then come home and wrap mine.  Birthdays were never much of a big deal with her, but Thanksgiving and Christmas were......and it was all about the food.  Christmas presents at our house
were secondary, food was the major focus.  She planned for weeks what she would cook, we would go grocery shopping for days, all over the county  getting everything that would make the perfect meal.

For momma,  people coming to her house, sharing a meal......that was life.   Rick tells everyone that I got my mom's gift for cooking.  I do love to cook for our friends and family, not only did my mom teach me her recipes, but she taught me the most important ingredient in a  Her theory, if you didn't cook with love, no matter how great the recipe or how good the ingredients.......for the meal to be great,
it had to be cooked with love.

Tomorrow, since I can't wish her a Happy Birthday......I'll cook a great meal, made with love.......and think of momma.  Happy Birthday Momma.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wasted Heart

I watched one of my favorite Christmas movies tonight......Love Actually.  There is a line in the movie where one of the characters talks of his "wasted heart".   That phrase, "wasted heart" brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.  The character is speaking about wasting his love on someone who loves his best friend......but there are a lot of wasted hearts out there.  Hearts that are wasted on loving the wrong
person, the wrong things, the wrong places.  Hearts that have been given to those who were unappreciative, who were cruel and unloving.

Hearts have been wasted on following dreams that were never fulfilled,  hearts that followed paths that led to nowhere.  Hearts that were given and then tossed aside because they were old, or fat or not pretty enough, or just thought to be boring.  Hearts that were used up, by people, and causes, by beliefs, and ideologies, wasted hearts, shells that once beat proudly for the good of all.

Wasted heart, given along with a wasted soul for a cause that was unworthy.  Wasted heart......and time and energy,  the heart you can salvage......the time and energy are gone for ever.
A wasted heart, may become hardened, cynical,  and cold.  Walls build around a wasted heart, and as the years go by, they become thicker and stronger,  insulating the heart until it starves ......and then it is wasted forever.

Many of us have probably wasted our hearts at some point in our lives, and hopefully, we pressed on,
wiser, stronger, more careful........but what about those whose wasted hearts barely beat, so used,
they are mere shells  that once housed vibrant living energy.  It shows in the eyes, the look of defeat, accepting and acknowledging, they have wasted the center of their being.  It's not too late, a wasted heart needs tender love and care.......human kindness and touch......the understanding that hearts mend, lives can be regained, and spirits heal.......and that love actually really is all around us.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Other Gig

A really long day......I have worked as a make-up artist for a friend who does motivational speaking today.   She had two shows, one at 2:00pm one at 7:00pm, plus meet and greets in between.
Back at the hotel, pizza and a glass of feet are screaming!  But, it has had its high points.....mainly Larnelle Harris.  If you have never heard him sing, go to I-tunes now and buy his Christmas cd.....truly one of the most incredible voices ever.

Didn't know I was a make-up artist?  Oh yeah, been one for years......I just don't practice on myself much.
Ha,ha!   Working this gig is like performing, time ceases to fades into night, and before you know it......another day.  But, for some strange reason, this agrees with me.......I enjoy it.

Twelve hours days are tough, and I think it is time to sleep, tomorrow home, and practice for our gig coming up this week......oh yeah, did I mention that Rick and I are the Grand Marshalls for my hometown
Christmas Parade on Thursday night?  I am practicing on my wave!  Then Saturday night, we play Berkeley Bob's one of my most favorite places to play.

This nice hotel bed is calling my name......
Good night, Sweet dreams

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Little Drained

Somehow, my friends always know when I need them.  A couple of them called, a couple sent wonderful e-mails,  but it was a day when I needed the connection.  Not a bad day, but just a day when I needed to hear voices, get notes, and know that I was not forgotten.

Physically I feel better than I have felt in months, but emotionally a little drained.   The night sky was so breath taking as I drove home from work tonight.  The moon is not quite half full, the stars were beaming,
and the air is cold and crisp.   Driving home, everything seemed so clear against the sun set.......the bare trees, the colors blending from yellow and orange to deepest blue.

Forgive me for the short post,  I am very tired tonight, ready for a hot bath and cup of tea.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Spend Time Wisely

I have been beaten myself up tonight......sometimes I waste my most valuable commodity, my time.
Why?  because sometimes I don't know how to say no.   I know that I am not by myself, that there are many others who do the same thing......and then much like me, you beat yourself up.   Time goes so quickly, I mean it is December 1st today!!!!   In the past few months, I had really done much better about giving away my time, and then hello........I did it up big time!

Just say no......well it didn't work with teenagers and sex, it doesn't work with drugs and alcohol, so how could I expect it to work with my time?   Changes have to take place, for one thing.....I have to begin to recognize my value,  I have to truly believe that my time, my energy, my creativity is important.......just as important as anyone else's.

So tonight, I am working on letting go, being kinder to myself when I screw up, and once again reminding myself the value of my time.......the most valuable commodity I have.  As always, it is my acting out of kindness, and not thinking, that propelled me to say yes, not no.  But, I do admit, I am getting better, managing the spending of my time smarter and  more frugal.  

There are twelve step programs for almost everything these days, there should be one for those who can't say no........Hello, my name is....and I can't say no.   Sorry, that statement could truly be misconstrued in several different ways!  Ha,Ha!

So, once again, I will put on my big girl what I said yes to,  and remind myself daily that my time is valuable, to spend it wisely.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Vision

It will soon be time to build another vision board.  I looked at my old one today,  much like the ones in years past, there are  pictures that became reality and others that are still waiting to happen.
The arbor that I had posted two years ago is finally built, the honeysuckle and jasmine planted.
New songs have been written, and gigs have been booked, even a video filmed....and I completed my 200 RYT in yoga.

But then there are those pictures still waiting........the cd to be completed,  travel,( I did buy new luggage today) songs to be used in movies/tv shows, more frequent/better paying gigs, a new addition to the house,  did I mention travel?   

The board works, there are skeptics, but if you take the time to develop the board, really think about what you want in your life, and put it all together as a vision board, look at it every day, it works.
It serves as a reminder of the life you want, the life you seek.  As a guide, or map, your vision board
keeps you on your path,  provides the vision for that which you seek.

I am already collecting pictures and phrases and words for the new board.  It is always a mix of old and new........and life changes......some things that seemed important last year,  don't seem quite so 
pressing now.......and others that didn't seem to take center stage, will have more visibility on the new one. 

I stopped making resolutions years ago, but these vision boards, for me they are so much better.
They hold my feet to the fire,  if you put them where you see them daily,  they demand your attention,
and serve as not so gentle reminders about all that you said you wanted, the life that you saw yourself
living.  As soon as the new one is ready, I will take a photo and post it.

So, how do you make your own vision board?  Start thinking about your life, the things you want,
the life you want to live, the people in it, places, things you want to do, to achieve.  Then start
collecting photos, pictures from magazines and publications, word/phrases that re-enforce those thoughts and dreams and hopes.  For instance, it you want to travel to a certain place, be sure to include pictures and descriptions  of where you want to go, if you want a new job,  same thing, pictures and descriptions of that new career, lose pics of how you want to dress,
doing healthy things, and healthy foods.  

How ever you "vision" your life for the coming year,  think it through, glue it all in a pleasing collage
on some poster board, and get ready for results.  No, probably not everything will come to pass, but who knows, maybe it will!   Place your vision board somewhere so you will see it every day.......and let me know your results.  Many of us have lost our vision for our lives......we spend every day making a living, caring for those around us, our visions lost along the way.   Take an hour or two, create your
vision board.....all you have to lose.....some glue, a few pictures, a couple of hours.......and all you have to gain........maybe the life you wished for long ago.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


"Contentment, is an inner feeling of calm"  - Andrew Weil

Dr. Weil has some interesting things to say about contentment........he suggests writing what you're grateful for in a journal, meditation and practicing deep breathing.  All things that I teach in my yoga nice that someone as respected as Dr. Weil is speaking about these simple things that work.

Each time I have new students in my class, and I began to talk about breath work, meditation, writing down what you are grateful for........most look at me with bewilderment.   It can't be that simple they say,
there has to be more to it.  I tell them that it is true, life happens and there will always be difficult times and great times.......but for most of the's that place in the middle where we are day to day.  That is where the breath work, meditation, yoga and gratitude come into play.........those tools will help you get through the difficulties, helping you stay centered and focused.

Sometimes we have to change friends, or lifestyles, .......but if you find yourself surrounded by folks who are always down, who see nothing but the dark......I promise you, soon you will be just like them.
According to Dr. Weil there is much research showing that depression as well as contentment is contagious.  I believe that, just as I believe fear and hate are contagious as well.

Contentment is obtainable for everyone,  but we have to look within........buying something, a new relationship,  anything external can go away.  But choosing to be content, being grateful......that is something that takes place within and it is within our power, it is our choice.

There is evidence now, that even when you are down, if you force yourself to smile, the physical
movement of those muscles will help  you feel better.  Looking at fresh flowers, trees, anything in nature
changes the mood for the better.  And yes, breathing, awareness of the breath  will make you feel better.

Dr. Weil's new book is called Spontaneous Happiness, it's an easy read, a sensible read.   If you think contentment is beyond your reach, think about reading it.......and remember to breathe, spend time
outdoors, eat fresh healthy food, drink pure water, exercise and know that you have a great deal of power,  over your own health and happiness.......your own contentment.

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Early Snow

An early snow......well, for us here in North West Alabama it means  maybe an inch or two and it will be gone by tomorrow afternoon.  But, it is so beautiful as it falls tonight......big, wet, white flakes.
They are heavy, the kind of flakes that as they fall, they grab each other, and soon you have two or three flakes falling down to earth together.  I love snow.   I love the smell of fresh fallen snow, and I love the sound of silence as those flakes drift down toward ground.

It has been raining since yesterday, and rain began to change to snow around 3:00 this afternoon, changing back to rain and now back to snow.  An early snow......I love those words.....there is magic
and romance in those words.  Yes, it is cold, and damp.......but probably by the weekend our temps will be back in the 60's and all will be right with the weather world.

An early snow,  the dogs are snoring, and so is Rick......I sit here and watch the flakes fall, shinning in the street lamp.  Blackie Bear will make snow angels tomorrow if we have enough snow, and Jordan will run and throw snowballs.  I know that people make fun of how we react when it snows.......but it is a rare and special gift for happens so rarely, it is true, we cannot drive in snow and ice,  we lose power, and for a day or two, our world shuts down.

An early snow, a gift from the universe......something beautiful and rare,  a reminder that good things remain,  a little bit of heaven on earth,  a taste of peace.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dream a Little Dream

I had strange, really bizarre dreams last night.  I woke up thinking where the heck did those come from?
Dreams are interesting aren't they?  They can seem so real,  so good, so frightening.   When I was a child,
I had nightmares often.......they still come, but now when I wake up with my heart racing,  in a sweat, I remember to breathe......and to remind myself, it's a dream.

In times of stress, I have a recurring dream that is beautiful and calming.  I suppose it is my spirit's way of coping when life hits the fan.  It is one of those dreams that is so delicious, so beautiful that I wish I could dream it at will.

One of my dreams last night  involved a friend that I had not seen in a long time......he invited Rick and I to his house, when we got there, there were hundreds of people around but he was no where to be found.   As we were leaving, he appeared and asked why we were leaving......then I woke up.

I know that dreams can be helpful,  I have dreamed incredible songs,  dreamed solutions to problems,
and experienced dreams that encouraged me to follow my bliss.......or to change paths.  I use to keep a dream journal, I probably should again.

There is a gentle lazy cold rain falling tonight, I hope that it encourages sweet dreams......there is talk of snow for the next couple of days.......that could inspire some dreams too.  I wish sweet dreams to all of you tonight, dreams that will encourage you,  and inspire you, dreams that will be so good, your whole week will be smooth and joyous.    Maybe you'll even "dream a little dream of me."

Goodnight Sweet dreams.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One Track Mind

This morning as I was downing my third cup of coffee, I picked up Wednesday's newspapers to look at the Black Friday sales ( I am a little behind, I know) after looking at all the advertisements, I looked at Rick and told him that I hadn't missed a thing.    He was a happy man.

My sister then called and told me that   not only was her Christmas tree decorated, but she had almost all her Christmas shopping done.   I am so depressed.......I must be the only person in America who shops in
December, and decorates her tree two weeks before Christmas.  Oh yeah, her gifts are all wrapped.

I  am still wishing I had pumpkin pie from Thursday,  to go with the stuffing that I ate for dinner tonight.  I must be living in limbo land, but it is a happy place to be.  When I was grocery shopping today a woman told me she was buying everything she would need for her cooking in December, I told her that I was buying what would feed Rick and I for the next few days.......I didn't know what I would be cooking in December.

Somewhere, I got off the merry go round,  well truthfully I was never on is all my brain can do to process Halloween, then Thanksgiving and then Christmas.......I cannot multi-task them all at the same time.    I mean, Rick took down my harvest flag today, to hang his Alabama Football flag,  now I have to hang the harvest one again........I have a one track mind.

Good night Sweet dreams

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Creek

There is a creek that flows through the property where I places there are rocks and drop offs
at times it is narrow and deep, and in places wide and shallow.  There are spots where the water flows quickly and in others it is quiet still pools.  I love that creek!  In the six years that I have taught at my job,
I have seen that creek flow out of her  banks, raging with mud and debris.......I have seen her dry to puddles and mere trickles.

Every day that I go to work, it never fails......I look at the creek to see what is going on,  what stage of life is she  in today.  I have watched spring flowers blossom on its banks, autumn leaves fall and drift in its stream, and snow flakes swirl as icicles hung from tree branches and her rocks glassy with icy water.

Today, I looked at the creek......she is not at her fullest, rain has not been plentiful and there are places where her bed is dry......the stones dull from lack of moisture.  She is so much like our lives........sometimes peaceful and beautiful.......sometimes raging and angry.  She is in need now of rain
so that she may flow and nourish.  I have spent a great deal of time giving these past few days, and I think I am like the creek........I need a little rain, some nourishment of my own so that I may flow and nourish again.  I think this time of year, we all began to feel the it's important that we slow down, just as the creek does when the rain doesn't fall.

Looking at that creek, allows me to be in the now.  I look at the colors of the jagged rocks,  the trees jutting up from her banks,  hear the sound of the water as it flows across the is easy to not think of time.......she is timeless.......she flows over and around,  patiently carving her path, knowing her destiny and always moving toward it.    She has taught me much these past six years,   soothed and calmed, showing beauty and ugliness, accepting the flow of tears from many of my students,  and teaching many of them, just as she has live like water.......always flowing toward our destiny.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


It has been a good day.  Watching people's faces as they came into the community center today was
really many of them said they couldn't believe we were serving them dinner.
I can't tell you how many times someone asked me, why are you doing this?  We are in a sad state, when no one thinks they deserve kindness.  This really was a community dinner,  the elderly came, those who were working the local businesses that were open came on their lunch hour,  the lonely came,  those whose lives had been destroyed by the tornadoes came,  and then as we found out about those who were home bound, food was carried to them.

As we were cleaning things up, people were already talking about what they would do next they could make it even better.  There was such a joy among those who were helping, you could see it in their faces, and hear it in their voices as they welcomed  each person who walked through the door.
This is the third such dinner in as many years that my nephew James has organized ( and yes, he knows he can always count on Rick and I to help).  He has an incredibly kind and loving heart,
and his wife Andrea, and their four children are always right there in the thick of it all.  Breeze, the seven year old, and Daisy who is four, made all the table decorations.........dried leaf wreaths with a candle in the center.

I am tired, it has been a long day.......and an emotional one as well.  I miss my family, my parents, my oldest brother, our Thanksgiving dinners that we shared as a family.  I have to admit, there were moments when tears hit my eyes today.......but I have wonderful memories and I hope that these community dinners give others good memories.  I know that some where, some place, some one
did not have a big Thanksgiving dinner today,  I wish there was some way to reach out to everyone.
One thing life has taught me, you do what you can do.

I hope that you all have had a good day, that your tummy is full, and that your blessings have been matter where you are.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings

Cooking chicken and dressing for the community Thanksgiving dinner at Sipsey tomorrow.  My nephew
James who organized it, requested  that I make it.  I learned how to cook it from my mom, it is an old recipe that her mother taught her, and it is southern.  No matter how I try, mine never tastes as good as momma's did.  Maybe one day.

We're thinking we will have around 100 folks show's a small community, the one near us that was so devastated by the April 27 tornadoes.  The healing and the rebuilding is slow, and yes we all know,
it won't ever be the same.

Thanksgiving was a big deal at my mom and dad's house.  Mother was a great cook, and she loved cooking for anyone who would share a meal with her.   She would cook the biggest turkey she could find,
the table would groan because there was so much food, and there were  always leftovers for everyone to take home.  Daddy would say grace,  and there  would be a mad rush to get to the food.  She would send plates of food to anyone that she knew would not have lunch that day.    Things change,  and yes I knew when she passed, it would never be the same.

So tonight, let me share my gratitude, and all of you who read this blog, who send me your wise comments, your funny stories, your sad times, and your encouragement.  I pray that your Thanksgiving is blessed, with plenty to eat, lots of hugs, laughter, and love and good health.
May you be surrounded with people who love you, and remember to count your blessings.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Video Fun

We shot our video today.......I am exhausted! but it was so much fun!!!! Part of it was shot inside but there were several scenes that needed to be shot outside......and it rained.  Not showers or sprinkles, but thunder storms, monsoons,, in  between the lightening bolts and deluge we filmed.

It will be a while before the editing is done,  but as soon as it is ready, will post for everyone to see/hear.
I had forgotten how much fun this film and photography stuff can be.......and how draining. It is like performing all day long!  So I requested to look ten younger and ten pounds thinner! Ha!

Our friend and music guru, Jerry Henry is doing all this wonderful work!  He is just such a creative force, and so much fun to hang with.  Already working on the second song!

I know many of you will be on the road tomorrow, headed for your Thanksgiving destination......blessings and safe travels......and remember to breathe and smile.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Monday, November 21, 2011


After my community yoga class tonight, a couple of us talked about service.  Often students ask me what can I do to feel joy, to feel content, to feel grateful?   The first thing I tell some service, help someone else, give with no thought of receiving.  If you are in pain, you will forget your pain for a while,
if you are depressed, you will see someone whose life is worse than yours, service to others is humbling,
and empowering.

When I see people who are bored, who are angry, who are empty........service is the key.  This Thanksgiving if you are away from family, or maybe you just can't face another family gathering......serve someone.  Serve them a meal, provide transportation to a community meal, feed a neighbor or friend who is alone.  Visit the elderly, the sick, play with a small child, do something for someone else.  Even if you are having your family meal, find time this holiday week to do something for someone else.  Writing a check is good, but that human contact is better.  Volunteer to ring the bell for the Salvation Army kettle!  There is great need, but the need for human contact, the need to help each other,  to look in someone's face,  to see a smile......that need seems to be growing daily.

I promise, if you will take the time during this holiday season, to give with no expectations of receiving
anything, just give your time, will fill your heart.

Remember will change you this holiday season.  Helping others is the greatest gift we can ever give ourselves......volunteer for one hour, or one will want to do it again.
We are all born to serve.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Giving's something that I have never done, well not with a child.  But, I have birthed songs,
and I am here to tell you sometimes.......they come like a gift from the angels,  you dream them, the  muse hands them to you so quickly it makes you dizzy.  Then......there are those which make you writhe with pain, they drain every emotion out of your soul, you think you have been rammed by an eighteen wheeler,
and you curse the day you ever started writing songs.....and wish like hell you could quit!

Why am I writing this blog tonight?  well, Rick and I wrote a new song for the music video we are doing
Tuesday.  The first few hours we come close to blows, I envisioned ways that I could hide his body and collect the insurance! (I am sure he had those same thoughts about me)......but then we took a walk, Jordan came over and within ten minutes the song came so fast we both were breathless.  Basically we got out of the way, and let the creative energy flow!  And yes, as soon as the video is done, edited, all the stuff that has to be done......we will post it.  Tonight, I  styled our wardrobes,  and now we just hope that the beauty gods will smile upon us and   neither will look troll like.

We also have to learn the song! I know it sounds easy doesn't it, you write it, hell you should know it!
Not quite that easy, the reason you know all the words to your favorite have listened to them a million times!  This one is hot off the presses, so chords have to be remembered, melody, harmony and oh yes......WORDS.......this is a live video (no lipsinc)  say a prayer and hope all those involved are patient!

Hope your weekend has been a good one, I think the moon, the planets and the stars are in much better alignment this week, and maybe the north wind blew the bad juice away, and we all got our
mojo  back!  Ha,Ha!

Good night, Sweet dreams

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Good Music News

There is a wonderfully unique music store in Birmingham called Fretted Instruments.  It is owned by a friend and talented musician, Herb Trotman.  If you are ever in the city, drop by, sit on the porch or one of the comfy sofas, pick and grin,  have a chat and enjoy the best atmosphere of any music store you have ever  visited.

Each Christmas Herb and his folks produce a Christmas cd to hand out to their customers......a couple of months ago Rick and I submitted a Christmas song that we had written with our friend Tracy Reynolds.
Today we got a call confirming it is on the cd, which will be out the first week of December.
The song is The Christmas of My Dreams,  Rick and I recorded in our little home studio.  So excited!

Herb has been such a good friend through the years.......several years ago, I did some volunteer work
at a home for "at risk teens".  One of the boys wanted to play guitar.....he had lived such a difficult life,
the director and I thought a guitar might give him a better perspective on his future.  Rick gave him a few lessons, and it became apparent that this young man had talent that most only dream about.
I called Herb and told him the story, he gave us a guitar for the facility, and the young man just about wore it out.   Music  did change the boy's life.  He became a lead guitarist for a Christian rock band,
is married with three children, went to college and calls Rick and I  a couple of times a year to let us know how he is doing.  Herb's kindness truly changed someone's life.  So if you are ever in need of a
"fretted instrument" and you're in the Birmingham area stop by and see Herb.

We have almost finished the song that we will be doing for the video Tuesday.   (I know we are cutting it close)  and tomorrow, I get our wardrobe together.  There is a lot to this stuff!
Just wanted to share the good news,  seems many of us had a not so great week things are better for me, and I hope they are for you too!  For all of you who have asked to hear us, you will soon have the opportunity!  Be kind with your judgments.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Creatures Coming Home

Rick drove into Birmingham this morning to do an interview for one of the newspapers that he writes for.
I was sitting on the sofa, watching the two cardinals that have come home, and I saw movement in the woods across the road.  I thought at first that it was our neighbor's dog, Rebel,  (don't make snide remarks, he is a magnificent bull dog, with the most beautiful golden eyes) but then I realized  it was the little fawn
that I had not seen in months.  She peeked through the undergrowth before she jumped across the road into our yard.  She has grown, but not a lot.  She walked daintily up to the bird bath and sipped water, then munched on the suet at the bird feeder.

She turned and looked at me, as if to say hello.....I'm back, you may feed me now.  I watched as she walked  
down the road to the barn.  I scurried to the kitchen, got a couple of apples and took them down to the apple tree where she and the rest of the family came to visit last spring........By the time I made it back to the house she was eating an apple.  

So, our wildlife are slowly coming has been  strange to look at the bird feeders and have no birds, and to not see deer in the back yard.   I  have not heard the owl that lived down behind the barn, and the woodpeckers are still silent, but maybe with time they will come back home.  Ever since the April storms, there has been an eerie absence of  creatures around the farm.

The chipmunks are still around, and they drive the dogs crazy.  They hang around the front door, teasing the dogs, and when the dogs go out, the chipmunks have a an escape route like no other.
We have an underground drainage system, so when water flows off the roof, the pipes carry the water 
to the stream in the hollow.  The chipmunks have learned to jump into the pipes and while the dogs are going crazy at the house,  Alvin and his friends are down at the creek laughing at them.  You would think the dogs would smarten up,  but not yet.

It's Friday, glad to see this weekend.....we have a lot to do.  Rick and I are doing a music video Tuesday.  So, the song has to be worked out, wardrobe has to be perfect,  and do you think I can lose ten pounds by Tuesday?  Wishing you all a weekend of rest, and renewal.  Safe travels to you who are on the road.....and for tonight.....good night, sweet dreams.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

True to Ourselves

Reassess, reevaluate, I used those two words a few nights ago......I have thought of them often since then.
I love what I do, and I am very fortunate that I no longer "have to work".  So that puts me in a unique situation.......when the bullshit hits the fan at work,  it is always very tempting to say ok, take it, have at it,
and walk away.   But, I truly believe in what I do,  I know in my heart that I help people, that I make a difference in their lives......and that is why I stay.

But life is passing quickly, and honestly, if  the insurance charts are correct, I don't have that many years left  to do the things I love......and there is more to my life than yoga.  The music, is just as important to may not touch lives like the yoga, but it is good for my soul.  Time with my friends and the people I love, really had not registered until the storm hit this week,  and when I found myself  being
battered.........I have done a lot of thinking.

The past few years people have kept asking when are you retiring, and my answer was always the same, never.....will work until I die.  So, there is a great deal of thinking, of evaluating.......I don't want to 
leave but I also know, life is too short for the bullshit.   I am good at what I do, actually,  I am really good at what I do, and my students tell me they live for my classes, it is the best part of their day while in rehab.   I am  an extraordinary employee......the company gets my all when I am least two and three times a year I go to workshops, I am constantly studying and reading so that I will be the best teacher I can be.  Oh yeah, those workshops......I pay for most of them myself....and the props that I use.  But I do it, because of my love for my students and knowing how much yoga can help them, in their recovery and their lives.

I hope that things will calm down, that I can go about my teaching and all be as it was before.  But one of my friends told me this week that maybe something better was waiting in the wings, and this was just preparing me for it.  Who knows......but because of this week,  I am thinking thoughts I would never have thought, and the contentment that was there......well,  it will come back,  but for now, there is an open wound that will have to heal.

Change is for certain in life, nothing lasts forever.   The important thing.....knowing you did what you knew in your heart was right, that you treated people the way you wanted to be treated, and that all you did , was with love, courage and the intent to help.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring, every day I ask for my portion of grace and the wisdom to do what I should.  

This was truly not the post I intended to write, but it is the one that the muse gave.  I suppose it needed to be released.  I think that there are many of us in the same position, that have reached the stage in our lives, when we can do what is in our hearts fearlessly.......and if the storms appear,  we will stay on course, and remain true to our selves.  Blessings to us all and all of our endeavors.

Good night, Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

You Fill A Need

Our first rainy day in who knows when.......the rain started yesterday, by last night, pouring.......still raining tonight!  It sure sounds good on the tin roof.  With the rain, came the birds.......since the April 27 tornadoes, our bird feeders have been empty.  But yesterday, I saw two cardinals and a mocking bird and today more cardinals.   Maybe our world is righting itself, finally.

My classes must have sensed that I had had a couple of tough days, my students were so caring, and telling me over and over how much they loved coming to class.  I needed it.  It's kinda funny how, our needs are met.  Phone calls, e-mails,  you never know how much they mean.......just follow your heart and let people know that they are loved and appreciated.  By the way, thank you all for your comments last night, you all are so wise, so kind.

Rick made me promise tonight, that I would not allow myself to become jaded, that I would walk away from it all,  that I wouldn't let myself to become bitter.  Nothing is worth the hardening of soul and heart,
nothing is worth allowing bitterness to swallow you up.

Don't forget, if you get the urge to call or send someone a note, do never know what is going on in their life, and your words, your voice may be exactly what keeps them going on, may be just what they need to face another day.  We all fill a need in each other's lives.

Good night, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eye of the Storm

I know that in the past forty-eight hours that there are lessons being taught to me, but for the life of me right now.......I just don't get it.   That is how life is sometimes, the lessons bombard us, we are beaten over the head time and again........and they just don't make sense.  How do you figure this stuff out?

Tonight, I tell myself that the rest of the story, the moral of the lesson.......those are to come.  I think the past two days have prodded me to rethink, to reassess where and why.  My head is dizzy from the drama of today......... Do you ever have those days?  I think someone peeled away my skin and everything hurts tonight, inside and out.

Have you ever wanted to do the right thing, to help someone, know in your heart  that you could help them......and for whatever reason ended up in a  storm of wrath?  Let me tell you, I was in the eye of the storm today and it was no fun.  

All I have been able to do really is just joke about it......I refused to waste my tears.  Thanks for letting me whine and bitch some more, surely this stuff has to be over and out of here by tomorrow.   Sorry to be so vague, but it would do no good to give the details and it is time for me to let it go.

I know we have all felt this frustration,  and bewilderment, and I tell myself tonight.....this too shall pass.  So, blessings to all of you tonight,  may tomorrow be smooth sailing for us all........and a special blessing to the storm maker,  I hope the anger and fear that dwells in your heart fades away.

To end on a happy note, I had not seen a red bird (cardinals) since the April 27 tornado, we had two at the feeders this morning.  Life really is good.

Monday, November 14, 2011


It has been a Monday..........not getting phone messages, having to cancel something really important,
working hard on something at work, and dealing with bronchitis that has been with me since May.
UGH!!!!!!!  Ok, the whiny bitchy  me has left the building.

It is November 14, and at 9:45 pm it is 72 degrees, way too feels tropical tonight.  Showers
just blow through, and the wind has not stopped all day.  I know that many of my friends and family love it when our winters are warm and mild, but I just feel out of sorts.  Warm days are ok, but I need the cool nights.  All right, I lied in the first paragraph, I am still whiny bitchy me.  Let me rewind and start again.

Classes today were wonderful.  Tonight at my community class, three people who took my class a long time ago,  just showed up, wow!  It was great,  and everyone left with a smile on their face!
Classes at work were awesome, but a little sadness, today there were some goodbyes.  That is the toughest part of the job........but it is also the best.......because my students leave and hopefully go out and live the lives they were born to live.  I have to believe that  they will make wise choices, take care of themselves, and live peaceful, contented lives.......that is my prayer.

For those of you who could not find the collie in the bottom picture last night, look down at the bottom, just behind the leaves, he's there.  I think maybe I should do more of those photo studies,
you all were so kind with your comments!

It takes a lot of work and effort to be a whiny bitchy me,  I am very tired, and maybe a good night's
sleep will sweeten me up!  Ha,Ha!  (Rick is probably saying never)
Good night, Sweet dreams

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Study In Red

Our fall has not been the prettiest this year, but slowly the reds are beginning to glow.   No matter how beautiful the golds and oranges are, the reds are my favorites........I wanted to share the crimson with you all tonight.  I am glad I took these photos this week, because we have storms moving in Tuesday, so we will probably lose most of our leaves.
The photo to the right, doesn't it look like candy!  This is actually one of our wild blueberry bushes.  We are so lucky that there are several on our property.  Sometimes they are called huckleberries.  No matter what you call them, the berries are nice and tangy, the flowers are beautiful in the spring, and the leaves are breath-taking in the fall.

If you look closely at the next photo, you can see our newest dog in the background......Caillou the wild and wacky collie!  This is the old road that leads from the barn to the house.  Everywhere around us the reds are ablaze!
I hope you have enjoyed my spread of red tonight.  May your week be filled with peaceful days and blissful nights!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veteran's Celebration

Some of you may have wondered why I didn't write about Veteran's Day yesterday,  I waited to post tonight because my hometown of Sumiton, Al. did their celebration today.   I grew up in extremes......Sumiton, which has a population now of just over 2,000 and Chicago, Ill.  I think they both had much to do with who I am today.  The Veteran's Celebration was especially important to me today because
my husband Rick ( a veteran) was asked to be the keynote speaker, and they also asked us to sing.

The celebration was geared toward the Viet Nam War era today......two gold star families were recognized for their loss, and a community service Veterans' award was given to one of my dad's friends who served in World War II.   I can never go to this service without crying, our  small community has four soldiers who were awarded Purple Hearts, three in the Viet Nam War.  Viet Nam changed me, just as it did many many others in this country.  When I was eleven years old, I knew my first soldier killed in Nam, and for every year after that until the war ended  I knew someone who was killed.  At one time, we had four of our family members in Nam, and countless friends.

I looked across the crowd today, there were veterans from WWII, Korea, Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan,
and I am so proud of my little hometown for showing how much they care.  Our War Memorial is beautiful,  and much more than you would ever expect from a town this small.  I was not the only one who cried today, I think most did.  You think about the sacrifices that service men and women make,
many lose their lives, some lose their families, spouses, their quality of life, they lose limbs.  They spend holidays away from home, and so many are in harm's way.  They are our very best, these men and women who serve.  Every day I work, I do my best to remind those still serving how much they mean to me, how much I appreciate all that they do.......I give them my best, because they give all of us their best.

If you are reading this blog tonight and you are a vet, or still in the service......I appreciate you.  I know that we as a country will never be able to repay you.......I know about the sleepless nights, the nightmares, the fear, the grief, the guilt, and the anger, and the pain.........that is why I do what I do, hoping that someway, somehow, I can help a few.

I talked with a mom and her daughter today, her son was killed in Iraq in 2009.  I looked at their faces,
this mom, and this sister talking about their son and brother who will be "forever young".  They spend alot of time visiting families who have suffered the loss, they go to memorials and celebrations, they talked about his friends who are still deployed and how they worry about them.  I have thought about them so much this evening......their family paid the ultimate sacrifice, yet they are giving constantly to others.   I have also thought about our elected officials, and I truly wonder, do any of them give a damn, do they really care that they troops they send into battle are someone's sons and daughters?
Do they understand that their decisions change lives forever?

We were suppose to go hear a friend play tonight, but my heart was just not in it.  Too full of grief and sadness,  missing my dad and my oldest brother who were veterans .....hoping that somehow they know, I appreciate all that they did.  Thinking about the young men I have spent time with all week, about my friends everywhere who have served their country.  One day is just not enough,
and even if I live to be 100, I will never be able to do again to all of you, thank you for
selfless service, for your willingness to pay the price, for your bravery, your good hearts, and your sacrifices.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Blackie Bear

I write about Blackie Bear often......he really is my guardian angel, always watching me ,never letting me out of his sight.

He does not like to have his picture made, so for me to snap this photo this morning was quite a feat!  You can tell he was not happy with me taking his photograph!

We had just taken our walk and he was resting on the back deck, always watching, making sure all was ok with me!  

He is snoring as I type this blog,  and I think he would be embarrassed if he knew you all were looking at his picture. ......he would grunt and maybe walk away, or if he really trusted you,
he would just fall down at your feet and let you pet him!

We have five dogs, but he is mine.  The others like me, I feed them, they walk with me, but their preference is Rick.   Blackie Bear is all mine.   He was a throw away, the vet figures he is maybe fifteen or so.  Yes, he is old physically, but I believe he is an old soul too.
I swear, he knows when I am sick........he is super protective and watches my every move.  He knows when I am sad or happy.  He and Charlie (who passed this spring) seemed to be on this earth just for me........sometimes I just lie down in the floor beside him and tell him how much I love him, and how much better my life is because of him.

Bear watches over Jordan too, when Jordan is here, Bear makes every step, going from room to room as Jordan roams around.  When we are outside, he never leaves the two of us and if I have to step inside for a moment, he stays with Jordan.  Jordan has asked why Bear follows him around, I told him that Bear is his protector, his angel.

His snores are really loud now, I just scratched his head and he seemed rather annoyed
that I woke him.  I know many of you have animals that you love.......isn't it amazing that they love us back!  I will always be grateful for the animals that have wandered into my
life, the love they gave me and the lessons they taught me.

I hope we all sleep as soundly as Blackie Bear tonight, I bet you all can hear him snoring now!
Good night, Sweet dreams

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stubborn Words

I have started at least a half dozen different entries tonight, and erased them all.  I had a couple of photos, but those got canned too.  It is not easy to sit here and share night after is a tightrope to be walked....and some nights it just seems too precarious to walk it.

The dogs are patient, Blackie seems to know that I am struggling, he is not even snoring tonight.  Rick is playing his word game with his sisters on his phone, there is no time limit, only the one I set.  Tonight I have to let go of expectations and just know the words are stubborn, they refuse to  be at my beck and call.

Expectations are such a set up for yoga we are taught to let them go, but it is hard.
They are such a human thing, to expect for life to be a certain way, you expect for certain things to take place, you expect.....and yep those expectations just lead to disappointments.  It's like expecting the words to flow like honey every night, Ha,ha.......tonight they drip, like the tiniest drop of dew on a blade of grass.

Good night, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


A long day, just very tired tonight.......but an incredible drive home.  Almost a full moon I left work the moon shimmered in the night to the east the clouds that had brought rain to day were still hanging to the west, nothing but stars.  The temps are dropping, as I drove up and down the hills, fog rolled minute there were stars and a big silver moon,  the next foggy you couldn't see anything.
It was that way for the fifteen miles or so home.......stars, moon.......then fog......over and over.

I hope you all are bathed in moonlight tonight.  What makes it so magical?  To step outside on a chilly autumn night, see the stars and then realize that everything around you is bathed in seems ethereal, other worldly, and then to have the fog lying's just not something you see every day.  Isn't it wonderful how the ordinary can become so extraordinary!

Tomorrow we have to bring the trees inside......freeze warnings!  Yes, we have several trees that live in our house in the winter......a mango, a couple of avocado trees, a lemon, a grapefruit.......I have to admit by tomorrow night we will have a forest inside our house!  It's always an adventure when we bring the trees in,
it never fails........some creatures come  in too.  There have been lizards, chipmunks, all sorts of critters that have to be caught and carried back outside.   It is rather cozy with the trees, sorta of like living in a tree house on ground level.

As I said earlier, I am very tired, and there is still much to do tonight.  I have written early, hoping that I can climb into my warm comfy bed soon.
I wish you all moonlight and stars, restful sleep, and sweet dreams.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Normal Day

A nice normal day.......that was today.  Just regular stuff, laundry, shopping, cleaning and hanging with the dogs.
I cherish these days.......these days fuel the weeks when there is no stopping, no slowing down.  These days keep me sane and well.  The fall color is still rocking my world, and a cold front coming through tomorrow will just remind us that it truly is November.

I got my flu shot today, I know there is much controversy about the shot......I can tell you this.....there have been years that I had the flu even though I got the shot, and years that I had the flu with no shot.  The years I had the flu and the shot, the flu was much milder than with no shot.....just my personal experience. What can I say,
the flu is hell regardless.

Blackie Bear is already snoring, I think he loves the time change.....he likes getting up when it is daylight(so do I) and  as darkness falls, he's ready for bed......I think he is on to something!  Now I hear Buddy snoring,
these dogs, eating, sleeping  and walking to the barn........that's when life is good for them!  Come to think of it,
it is a good life for me too!

Blessings of peace and contentment to all of you tonight.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Monday, November 7, 2011

Restore bring back to health or strength.  My classes today were restorative.....time to restore our selves.
We started the class with legs against the wall, that is how we did breath work.  Most of our poses were supported, many using the wall.  It was all slow and easy, the last pose, supportive fish a gentle yet strong chest opener.....many stayed in the pose for their final relaxation.  Yes, there was some snoring today!  All left with smiles, a great way to start the week.  A young woman told me tonight, that coming to yoga made her whole week better.  Imagine that.........

We should all make the time to restore..........most of us are depleted, of energy, time, hope, and health.
It sounds too good to be true, too simple doesn't it?  How can breathing and stretching restore?
Think about how the body needs and uses oxygen, then think about how shallow your breath is most of the day.  Think about how you stiffen every time you get stressed, now think about how many times a day you are stressed.  Starting to make sense isn't it?  So if all you can do is sit or lie and breathe,
start with that......breathe slow, in and out through the nose, then see if you can take some deeper breaths and slowly about doing that ten times?  So now, see if you can do that three times a day.....ten slow breaths.  I bet you feel better!

There are other ways to restore.....most of us are always in a state of dehydration.  Drink some water, 
eat an apple or orange, drink more water.  If you are fatigued, try a glass of water......headache, drink some water, .....joint pain, drink some water.......those are all symptoms of mild dehydration. Our bodies are around 70% water, our blood needs water to circulate through out our body, every cell in our bodies needs water, have a glass!

It's mid-afternoon, energy has disappeared, don't grab a candy bar or cookie!  Eat some almonds or walnuts, have some yogurt, a piece of cheese and fruit, and a glass of water. Restore your energy,
restore your body.  Take a short walk, get some fresh air and sunshine!  Restore!

Tonight, restore with sleep.......the body repairs while you sleep.  Take a warm bath, dim the lights,
turn off the tv, listen to soft music, remember to breathe, have some water, and this may sound silly, but give yourself permission to rest.
Good night, Sweet dreams