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"


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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!

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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