Tuesday, January 31, 2012


"Compassion is not religious business, it is human business. It is not a luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability. It is essential for human survival." - Dalai Lama

A friend had posted this quote on her Facebook page today, it really struck a chord with me.
I have a lot of friends and family members who are religious, but do not seem to have much compassion.  Sometimes I am amazed at the things that come out of their mouths, I sit there and think you can't possibly mean that, but they do.  Driven by fear, they have lost their compassion.

I too,  believe compassion is essential for human survival.  If we become so afraid of the differences in each person, that we give up our compassion, I think maybe we are doomed.  I have said it before,
I will say it again......we all want the same basic things,  a home, food, to be safe, medical care,
our children to be educated, to be loved.  As humans we are  so very much alike, it's just our cultures  and the manipulation of people in power that dehumanize and feed the fear.......and compassion is lost in the wind.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Musings

Our blueberry bushes are blooming, peach trees are budding, daffodils are blooming, it is spring on the
30th of January!  Wow.....I keep waiting for winter, but the old man has forgotten to come south.
The nights are still chilly, but the days are around 70.....so not normal.  All I can think about if it is this warm now, July and August will be unbearable......so those of you who live in cooler climates,
can I come visit this summer?  Have guitar, will travel, can cook!

I taught three yoga classes today, they were all packed.  My community class that I teach on Monday nights was jammed tonight......all ages, teenagers to folks in their seventies.  It was fun, watching the interaction of the generations, and amazing how agile some of the newcomers were.  I love teaching yoga, watching faces as they get the pose for the first time, watching the stress leave their bodies.
Seeing smiles as they all leave.

Thanks for the wise and caring comments that you all left last night.  I appreciate each and every one!  and so does Blackie Bear.   I am rather tired tonight, so I think this might be it.
Wishing you all, good night, sweet dreams.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

We Better Do It Now

 Well, I had almost a whole post written, and just trashed the whole thing......it's ok you deserve better.  Even Blackie Bear, grunted in appreciation as I deleted it. Ha,ha!

My best friend called me tonight, she and her boyfriend are going to take a cruise through the Greek Islands for her birthday.  As we talked, we both teared up a little, talking about how our lives had intertwined all these years, all the good and the bad that we had experienced. We talked about her husband's death, the loss of friends and family members and she said something really profound,
she said "you know whatever we want to do, we better do it now, it's not like we have our whole lives in front of us anymore".   I told her that I had had those thoughts all week, that it had hit me so hard the past few weeks......that whatever I enjoy doing, whatever I want to do, where ever
I want to go, whoever I want to spend time.......I best be doing it now.

"It's not like we have our whole lives in front of us anymore"......that's the kicker, throw in a scary little visit to a hematologist/oncologist and boy howdy, there is a big bitch slap across the face.  When I started this blog, I thought that it would probably really focus on the yoga part of my life....thus.....Transformation Information.....but life has a sense of humor and lots of curves and this blog took on a life of its own.  If there has been any transformation in any one's life,
it has been in mine.  The information.....I think has been more about what has changed me and what I searched for.   I wanted to write a blog that would honestly help people with their lives,
but the blog has become a road map and guide for me.

So, thank goodness for Blackie Bear's editorial skills, and his honest grunts of disgust when I am tapping the keys and trying too hard.  He too, no longer has his whole life in front of him and he has no time for key tapping.
Time for guitar practice and vocals, we have a wonderful gig this week!
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Day of Kids

Yesterday I mourned the twenty-first anniversary of father's death.....today, we celebrated Jordan's fourth birthday, and our great niece Breeze's seventh.  They had their birthday party together, at a place called Froggy's.  I kept thinking what is a Froggy?  Well, it turns out, it is party central for kids!
They have these rooms filled with HUGE blow up slides, and mazes and jump-jumps, after two hours of 20 kids, ages 3 to 9 yelling, running and jumping, then we had cake and ice cream and they opened gifts.  I was just about in a sugar coma, and borderline exhaustion by the time we got home.

I kept thinking, surely these kids are in bed now, but nope, I called Jordan's grand-dad and Jordan was still going strong!  How can that be?  Scientists should study and pursue obtaining the energy from small children and giving it to adults. Actually Jordan's birthday is tomorrow, he gets his gift from Aunt Rick and I in the morning.......a shiny red Radio Flyer Wagon.  I can't wait to see his eyes light up, when we take it to him.  That is correct by the way, he still calls Rick, Aunt Rick.    Breeze got really cool black suede boots, and art supplies, she is quite the bohemian.  I see alot of me in her, though she looks very different, our personalities are similar.

My favorite tv shows are about to start, PBS shows all the old British sitcoms on Saturday nights,
I am hooked.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Difficult Anniversary

Twenty-one years ago today, my dad died.....he got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and suffered a massive heart attack.  Some years this anniversary is not so bad, but this morning was tough.  I woke up thinking about him, wishing with all my heart that I could speak with him, hug him, just see him one more time.

He would have adored Jordan, he would love knowing that the barn has been refurbished, and that we are working on the old farm house.  He would laugh to know that we have chickens, and he would love every one of our five dogs.  I think he would be so proud of me and the work that I do with soldiers.
He would want to go fly fishing with Rick ( and catch more than him).  He would be thrilled that I finally got off my rear and really do play guitar.  He loved the songs that we had written before he passed, he would love the new ones too.

I think it would truly sadden him, this division of our country.  He was a decorated war hero, but when he came home, he was a true soldier for peace and loving your fellow man.  He was blue collar, working class and smart as any college grad.  In a town of less than 2000, more than a 1000 came to his funeral......to this day, there are still people who  tell me how my dad helped them at some point in their lives.

He was a coal miner, and a plumber......both hard dirty jobs......but he took pride in his work.
I have his blue eyes, and I think his heart.  Being kind was his religion....and joy and laughter
was part of his daily bread.  I have cried many tears today, the grief has shook me hard and the sadness just won't leave.  This has been a difficult anniversary.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bumps and First Days

It's  just a bump in the road......it may be a tiny bump or a mountain,  but I have found myself saying that pretty often these days.  I am trying to live each day like it is my first, not my last.  I am trying to look at the things that matter most to me, how I truly want to spend my time, my life.
All my life, I have spent a great deal of my energy doing things for others and honestly quite often not things that I really enjoyed.  I never knew how to say no. But that call, sending me to see a hematologist/oncologist was a major slap across the face.  For days, before that appointment all I could think about was the time that I had given so freely to others through the years, while I put my wants and desires on the back burner.  The words, "treatable, not cancer" was my "another chance".

Now, when things come up, when people are asking for my time, when there is conflict, I try to think about what kind of bump in the road is this?  Is it one that is tiny, that it is truly no big deal one way or the other, or is it a mountain, will it be a major bump, that I will give in to, only later to be filled with caustic resentment?  Reading "Murphy's Law Repealed"is encouraging,  the author keeps reminding the reader, to stay peaceful, to send love, that" everything will turn out right, when you let it."

Jordan spent the day with me, and it has been wonderful.  He splashed through mud puddles,  taught me all about his Leap/Pad,  and gave me dozens of hugs.  He teaches you the important stuff......and today has been a learning day for me. He called me last night to let me know how excited he was about spending the day with us......and he didn't want to go home this evening.
We had way too much fun today.  There were no bumps in the road with Jordan!

"Murphy's Law Repealed" uses the phrase "live like it is your first day, not your last" often.  Charlie says that if you live like it is your last day, then life is frantic and chaotic.  But if you live like it is your first, you'll live like Jordan.....eyes wide open, filled with wonder and simple joy, amazed at all that is around you.  Whether there are big or tiny bumps in the road, I want to live each day like it is my first.....and maybe a little child-like .....cookies and milk for breakfast are ok,  splashing through mud puddles is a necessity.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Charlie's Law

I am reading a new book, Murphy's Law Repealed! by Charles H. Ware, Ph.D.
(everything turns out right.....when you let it)  This is my kind of book, I always thought Murphy's Law sucked......how dare anyone think that "anything that can go wrong, will".  That was such a defeatist attitude.  We are usually our own worst enemy, we really do get in the way of our success , and then we beat ourselves up about it.

Here are the chapters:  1. Murphy's Law Repealed!
2. If You Need Something, It Will Come to You
3. When Faced with a Difficult Task, Start
4. Just When You Think You've Run Out of Time, You're Done
5. If at First You Don't Succeed, Relax and You Will
6. You Are the Person You'd Like to Become
7. Everything You Do That Comes From Love, Works
8. When Life Seems Overwhelming, Do Less
9. If You Reach the End of Your Rope, Let Go and Fly
10. When You Choose Peace, You Get Peace
11. Live Each Day as If It Were Your First
12. When You Let Go,  You Feel Joy

Just looking at those chapter titles, doesn't it make sense?  I have said it so many times before,
we all complicate the simplest things sometimes.  I think our biggest issue is we don't always get what we want, but I'd bet most of us usually get what we need.......things like, food, shelter, clothing, love, friendships, spiritual growth.  We may have to pursue them, work hard for them, and wait for them to come, but we do that for our wants also.

I don't share my book readings that often ( I read constantly, sometimes 2 or 3 books at a time)
but when I find one that really speaks to me, I feel compelled to share.  I'll keep you updated, should be finished with this one in a couple of days.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I can't help myself, red tulips and white daisies in January........this makes me smile! Thanks to my iPhone for its awesome camera!

My godson is in New York City this week, on radio business......yes, he is a big time radio hot shot, but me and his  mom and dad are the only ones who can brag about it.  He posted a funny post tonight on FB about a taxi ride he took today  His post reminded me of a wild and wacky taxi trip Rick and I had in New York City several years ago.

We had flown up for one of my closest friend's wedding.  Rick was a groomsman, I was a bridesmaid.  It was quite a wedding, the bride and groom were in showbusiness, so were most of their friends.  The wedding was much like being in a broadway show.  Needless to say, there are many fun and great memories of that week in NYC.  The wedding was on Saturday night, we never went to bed.....but, we had an early flight on Sunday morning, so Rick and I, along with some of my friend's family members grabbed a taxi in an extremely hung over state.  We sobered up quickly......it seems our driver( middle eastern, broken English) had learned the rules of taxi-world fast.  Our first mistake, telling him we needed to make the airport fast.......no, our first mistake was getting into his taxi.  So, we are flying down the streets of Manhattan at six am on Sunday morning, suddenly......he hits another taxi....nothing major, a fender bump......but he floors it.  The chase is on.....the other taxi driver can barely speak English and now they are yelling foreign obscenities and playing bumper car with their taxies......
We are now sober, all four of us looking at each other, thinking.....we will never see Alabama again.  Light at the end of the tunnel.....we are at the airport, never have you seen four people jump out of a taxi so damn fast.  Praise be to  God, Allah, Buddha and anyone else we can think of......we ran to our plane!

Wow, had not thought of that story in years, thanks Donovan for stirring old memories!
I miss NYC, would love to make a visit there soon, see our friends and make some more memories.

Monday, January 23, 2012

We Made It

First up, we made it through the storms, the bad stuff was in the county next to us.  Thanks for the good thoughts and prayers.  Looks as though it is going to be a long season.

April 27, 2011 made us gunshy.....When the weather is unsettled, I don't sleep, the dogs don't either.
I think they feed off the changes in the atmosphere and my feelings as well. It was a long night last night.  Sadly, the forecast is more to come Thursday.

I taught three yoga classes today. It was just what I needed, lots of breath work, and flow......released alot of stress.  I have also been painting again,  really just some personal cards, but the itch is there to do something bigger.....we'll see what happens.  Actually, my creative energy must be sky rocketing....
my guitar playing has taken a leap forward, the itch to paint is big time, I just want to do stuff!!!!

Honestly, I think because I feel better physically than I have in quite some time, the energy is there to create.  Now, if I could just spend some time out west.......
Well, because I didn't sleep last night, am very tired tonight.  Blackie Bear is ready for bed too.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Sunday, January 22, 2012


January 22, 7:56 pm and it is in the sixties......they say we are in for a rough ride tonight.  I know for all of you who live where it is cold and snow and grey, you would love to be here......no, no, no....not tonight.  When we have have 60 and 70 degree weather in January and February, it is NEVER good.
We are in the tornado zone tonight, the forecast is for those babies that stay on the ground for miles.
I would love to be where it is snowy and cold and grey tonight.  This too shall pass, but if you live in Tenn., Ms. or Alabama as the weather guys say,  know your plan.  Stay safe, my friends.

On a happier note,  a few years a go, I got into the 10,000 steps a day walking program.  It was great,
I could eat anything I wanted, had loads of energy.....and then for some reason I just drifted away.
I continued to walk, daily, but I timed my walks and I could see my body changing.  So last week,
I found my pedometer and started the program again.  Right now, I am shooting for the 10,000 steps at least four days a week, hoping to build back up to seven days soon.  I love the yoga, and all that it does for my body, but I also love to eat and I am not burning nearly enough calories......so 10,000 steps it is.    Oh yes, and update on the earthing that I talked about last spring and summer, still do that too, though we have had so much rain the past few weeks, ........
I am a wimp, mud squishing between my toes just does not get it.

It has been so warm, the daffodils are budding, the forsythia is blooming and there are buds setting on the peach trees.  Camellias are in full bloom too, there are pink ones nearby that look like rose trees.  I drove by my mom's old house, her red camellias are blooming......she loved them. Often when they were in full bloom, people would stop by and ask to take pictures of them.....and she would always give them a bouquet.  I am so happy that the couple who bought her house have taken care of her flowers.

Today was my kid brother's birthday.  He lives next door( he is Jordan's grandfather).  I called him early this morning and sang happy birthday to him, later this week is Jordan's fourth birthday.
He is now telling people that he will be twelve.  What do you buy a four year old, who thinks he is twelve?  HaHa!

So tonight, it has been a ramble, but sometimes it feels good to ramble.  Wishing you all a good week, may the traffic gods smile on you, no waiting in line, and no bills in the mail!
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Second Chances

Second chances.....teaching at rehab center, I hear that phrase alot.  But second chances don't always happen the way you want them too.  Many think when they come into the center for treatment that that is their second chance ( or for some third, fourth, etc.) or maybe their last chance.
Some lose their families, their health, and sometimes their careers.  Sobriety can be sobering in more ways than one.  For the ones whose lives fall apart, who lose what they value most.....I often ask,
"what are you going to do when you grow up?"  what are you going to do now that life has seen fit to let you start all over again?

It is not just those in rehab that face starting over,  a second chance......starting over can come through illness, divorce, death of a loved one, loss of job, marriage, birth of a child.  All of those major events are second chances.  If you messed up a relationship the first time,  the second time gives you the opportunity to make a better choice, work harder at the relationship, and understand the art of compromise.

Chronic illness can help you to understand just how precious health is, how precarious life can be.... so you make better use of your time and energy.  Loss of a job or career gives the benefit of truly thinking about how you want to earn your living, that maybe it is time to simplify, or even relocate to that place you always wanted to live.

Not everyone gets a second chance, though most do and many ignore the gift.  If you notice I have changed my quote by my photo.....it is a line from a song that I co- wrote.  "life is made of many choices, every choice demands a price.....deep inside you know the answer, your heart don't give bad advice."  Sometimes, even with a second chance, we are just not willing to pay the price.
Second chances, take courage, can be life's greatest challenge......but can be worth whatever the cost.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Unsettled Atmosphere

We met old friends for dinner tonight in Birmingham.....always good to reconnect!  We stayed so long, the folks at the restaurant were ready to ask us to leave. Ha,Ha!  Coming home, such an odd feeling in the air....we stopped to get gas and I just glanced at the weather app on my phone.....we're under a tornado watch.  No wonder, the atmosphere felt so heavy!  Lots of unsettled air streaming up from the Gulf of Mexico.....it may be a bumpy ride tonight.

The dogs are glad we're home,  Astro (the weather forecaster) is already in his spot in the closet.  Bear is just ready to go to bed....he does not like these late nights!  He needs his beauty sleep and so do I.
Actually, I am ready for bed too.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Techno Crow

My favorite thing about my new i-Phone......the camera and the Photo Shop app.  I am trying to come up with a new picture of me for this blog.....I think this one might do the trick.  I also Photo Shopped this same photo in multi -colors but it reminded me of a clown's wig.
Not a good thing.

If you had told me ten years ago that I would have a cell phone that took great pictures I would have laughed and thought, yeah, right.  Wow, who would have guessed technology would have come to this!

I laugh at my technological skills, my husband Rick moans when he is trying to explain something to me.....but for someone who is so not technical.......I also have an i-Pad.....Rick is trying desperately to bring me into this century.  I admit I am torn......I still love to write notes, send cards and phone my friends and family.......but all this techno stuff is pretty cool too.

Writing this blog has probably done more to bring me into this century than anything.  Sitting here each night typing these words, knowing  that people from all over the world will read this.......that is the good techno stuff.  I know you don't have to tell me the downside to it all......I am one of those who still mutters about kids who play "games" and never go outside in the sunshine and fresh air.

But tonight, I am taking pictures with my cell phone, writing to people all over the world who receive my words in a flash, and  hearing from friends all over the world......ok, I admit it.........it is a good thing.
I have eaten technological crow.....not so tasty.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


There was a time when I thought that forgiveness meant, I would have to forget or become involved with those who had hurt me  in my past......I knew that forgiveness is essential.  I knew that without forgiveness that resentment would harden the heart, and that all I once was, would become just a shell.

I began to really study forgiveness, and the yoga practice of opening or softening the heart... releasing blocked emotions, letting go of grief and sadness and anger.   Gratitude was part of that practice of opening the heart and  forgiving.  Service became another way of forgiving, of opening my eyes to the troubles of those around me.  Giving without expectations.......a wonderful way to open the heart and learn
about forgiveness.

Realizing that I had spent a great deal of my life in fear, I began to practice living without fear.....and with that practice, accepting the past and getting on with my life became reality. I know that sometimes the hurt is so bad, it just seems impossible to forgive those who have hurt you........but holding on to that does nothing to change what happened or to change or hurt those who hurt you.......it is just a slow breakdown of your life, your joy, your happiness.

Some think that once the person dies who hurt you, then it will all be ok.......how so  not true.  Without your forgiveness, their death doesn't change how you feel, or the prison that you have built for yourself with the blocks of resentment and anger.  Forgiveness means freedom......freedom to live your life,  to experience love, and contentment, freedom to move forward.  Forgiveness opens your heart to the possibilities of life and all that it holds for you.  Forgive, and  move on......forgive, and let go.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Winter's Day

Monsoonal rains swept across the state last night and today......cold rains driven by a front pushing through, with thunder and lightening and howling winds.  Last winter we had record snows, this winter almost balmy days interrupted by bouts of rain and cold.  Interesting stuff, weather.

The dogs are restless when it rains, we take down them out ( we have great LLBean rain gear) but the thunder and lightening spook them.....I hear Bear, his claws clicking and clacking on the wood floors, he is ready for me to write.....he's not very happy, Calliou has to decided to visit his sacred office space.  I think Bear thinks that collie is way too uppity, and he wishes he were younger......he'd teach Calliou a thing or two.

Even the birds knew the weather was going to be miserable today......they chowed down on the suet this morning.....the cardinals and woodpecker have a dance that they do, each flying to the feeder for a bite of suet, then going back to a branch on the persimmon tree, waiting their turn.

I gathered the last of the turnips today, big fat purple globes with creamy bottoms......mashed with butter and salt and pepper for dinner....not bad.

A really good guitar practice tonight.....productive and fun.  All in all, a nice ordinary day in the bleakness of  winter.  A cup of hot tea awaits me, a warm cozy bed.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Monday, January 16, 2012

Back on the Mat

Taught my first classes today since last Monday, just before the "bug" tried to take me down.
A little shaky, and a little dizzy, but taught my regular three back to back.  It was good to be back on the mat.

Big groups today and tonight.....it keeps you on your toes, watching, teaching.....it is also exhausting.
Blackie Bear is snoring loudly,  he promised he would help me write tonight.......he wussed out.
Sadly, I am about to wuss out too.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Acres of Diamonds

"Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder  seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them."  -  Russell H. Conwell
The Acres of Diamonds story is one of my all time favorites.....Russell Conwell supposedly told his story
sermon over six thousand times.  Basically a man sold his farm to travel far to look for diamonds, he lost everything and was penniless  when he took his own life. The farmer who bought his farm loved the land and tended the farm with love and compassion, he found an abandoned diamond mine on the property and became wealthy...........each of us has that mine of diamonds with in us.

Often I tell my students, the answers are within you......and they look at me with disbelief.  Why is it so hard for us to imagine that that everything we seek is within us.....in our own back yard?  Those diamonds that we seek......they are already in our reach, in our grasp.  Sometimes it takes a little digging, some work,
some soul searching, some honesty and truth.......but they really are there.   The joy that we search for in our jobs or relationships, the love that we look for in others, the self-worth that we seek by tearing others down........it is all within.

We find joy through our gratitude.........our gratitude of all things, big and small.  Others love us, when we begin to love ourselves, not arrogant egotistical self-love......but the love of seeing ourselves as human, with our strength and our frailties.   Self-worth, that is obtained by finding and pursuing our passion.......following a path of service to others.

I have to admit, that we as a society scoff at the idea of acres of diamonds in our own back yard.  How many times, has someone local with talent and potential,  not be recognized by their neighbors......you
know, it's just "old Joe" he's done that for years.....and then suddenly old Joe is discovered by someone across the country, who recognized Joe's Acres of Diamonds.  Pretty interesting,  isn't it?

So tonight, here is another of my thoughts for the new year.......look for diamonds in your own back yard and while you're back there, look at your neighbor's too.  Let's start a trend in 2012, looking for the
diamonds......our own and our neighbors.  I think we will all be amazed by what we find.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Questions and Answers

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer"  -Zora Neale Hurston

Fourteen days into 2012, what kind of year has it been so far?  I hope that it will be one of enlightenment and growth, both spiritually and musically for me.  This first fourteen days has been quite eventful, already there is loss,  already there is great joy for those in my life.  I already have questions that need answers, I hope the answers come soon .

I think back to years when I was young and wacky,  there were times I had no questions, so there were never answers.......but then life caught up with me, and the questions hit hard......and it was a few years before there were answers.......even now, I still wait for some of the answers, who knows if they will ever come.

Don't think that because the answers come, it makes the year better......sometimes it does, often no.
Looking back, some of the years that I had the most questions........turned out to be pretty damn good years(with hindsight)  I learned a lot, have learned lessons already this year......this could be an interesting year.

The vision board is not done, I am taking my time, really thinking about what I want this year.  What do I want to spend my life energy on?   One thing I know, there is a great thirst in my spirit for some time in the desert......I see myself  there this year.  Already this year, the music has taken a great leap forward........I have vision for this year, just have to organize and execute.  But every year should be that way, shouldn't it?   Vision, then  organization and execution.

Only time will tell if this will be a year of answers or questions, or one of both.   I have patience.
For you all, are there answers that you seek or questions that haunt you?  Make sure you really want the answers and ask the hard questions.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Losing a Week

It is very easy to lose time, I was reminded of that sharply this week.  Tuesday, I picked up a "bug".....I don't remember much about Tuesday night or Wednesday or Wednesday night,  Thursday was not much better......but this morning, I had a cup of hot tea and some toast and this evening I reclaim my body.
I am beginning to understand what it means for the immune system to not function fully......several others in my family caught the same bug, they were back on their feet in 24 hours.....I promise, I am not a wuss!
Ha,Ha!  and Rick didn't have to put me down, though I bet he thought about it a couple of times.

Losing time, is scary......you realize there are times when there is no control......so today, I walked to the mailbox in the freezing cold.....it felt good to feel the cold north wind, to see sunshine, and blue skies.
Rick had to play a gig without me last night, that has only happened maybe one other time in our life together.  But, thanks to our friends Skip (who became the "male Jilda" without makeup) and Jonathan and Diana, the show was a success!  They may not let me play with them anymore!

Blackie Bear is happy tonight, we are back in our routine, sitting in the office, me at the computer, while
he guards me from the other dogs.  He has been my big black shadow, always near, keeping his best eye on me.

I have lost almost a week.....I can't get it back.....and I am lucky, it could be so much worse.
I thank you all for your kindness, your love and healing energies.....I cried when I read your notes today.  I am grateful.....in the scheme of things, a week isn't much.....and there are always lessons to be learned.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jilda's Under the Weather

This is Rick posting for Jilda. She is still under the weather. Stomach bug or bad food -- it's hard to say which.
She should be back in the saddle tomorrow.
She sends love and hugs to all.

Good night, sweet dreams.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Simple acts of kindness are never forgotten......a beautiful young woman that I work with brought me a gift today.  It was handmade and made with so much love, it made me cry.  I had mentioned  my health issues and how I much I was dreading the shots and treatments, she had laughed and said you need a teddy bear!  Well, she made me the most beautiful stuffed owl, with hope and health embroidered under her wings.  She is pink and blue with big round eyes, I have named her  Izzy.  I can't begin to tell you how deeply I was touched by this act of kindness.  When she gave it to me, I felt as though the universe hugged me.

Simple acts of kindness change our lives.  We tend to think the big things are the ones that matter most.....but I promise you, those little simple things.....they are our life lines.  A pot of soup, a call, a hug,
a note, a card, a hand made gift.......those brighten our days,and lift our spirits and continue to do so for a long time after.

My mother was a card sender,   she always sent cards.......get well, sympathy, birthday, thinking of you, congratulations, ............she believed in the power of a card.  Her pay-off, when she was sick and dying, for almost two years, cards came in,  it was amazing when she passed, all the cards that had been sent to her those two years.

A few years a go, one of my very best friends had breast cancer.  I called her one day and she was crying.......all her tops were pull-overs......she had nothing to wear. ( after surgery,she could not lift her arms) All I could think about after we hung up, was helping her feel better.  I got on line, and had a cobalt blue velvet shirt sent to her.  It was soft, the color of her eyes, and it buttoned down the front......it was not much in the scheme of things
(not when you are fighting for your life) but it was all  I could do at the time.  A year or so after her recovery, she sent me the most touching card, talking about how much she appreciated that shirt.

So tonight, Izzy sits watching me post......Blackie Bear is wary of her......but I have assured him,
there is no competition.......Izzy will be his companion too.  The three of us will share many hugs and probably some tears.  I have a little stuffed tiger, I have had him since I was two or three years old, he is worn and frayed,  I have loved him my whole life.  Izzy and Tiger are comforters,along  with Blackie Bear, we can make it through anything.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Power of Scent

"For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it's a pity that we use it so little." - Rachel Carson

It's funny the smells that I remember......I remember how my grandmother Mamie's back door step smelled, an odd mix of red clay,  old wood, coffee grounds, and lavender.  Before our shaggy dog, Charlie passed away earlier this year, I swear he use to spend time with her( and she has been dead over thirty years).  He would  bark and want a hug, usually when I was really down,  and he would smell just like walking out Mamie's back door.

I remember how my dad smelled the last time I ever hugged him.......Old Spice, Dial Soap, and Brill- cream hair tonic.

Most of us love and remember the smell of freshly fallen snow,  rain on dry earth, and an ocean breeze.
Flowers evoke memories good and bad......carnations remind me of funerals, violets and gardenias of spring here in Alabama,  and peonies and lilacs remind  me of my mother.

My very first real  perfume was Ambush.......I bought it with money my parents had given to me the Christmas I  was thirteen.  My girlfriend, Debbie and I had ridden the bus to Birmingham to go shopping for clothes, and I brought back this big bottle of Ambush.  I still remember that sticky sweetness, but  I wore it until my senior year, then I wore Chanel # 5..........I thought I was so cool.

In college, musk and patchouli oils became my scent and then someone gave me Shalimar,  that is when I began to fully understand the power of scent.  Scent creates memories that are as distinct as color,  or sounds.  To this day, I can remember the smell of stale beer, cigarettes and urine .......a memory from my childhood in Chicago.....walking down Wilson Avenue, in the winter on Sunday morning, passing the bars as the cleaning crews opened the doors and swept out Saturday night's remains.

Even as a young child, I must have realized how important scent was.....everytime the Avon Lady came to call on my mom,  I begged for Daisies Won't Tell,  right now if I close my eyes I can smell  that scent,
remember that chubby little six year old begging for it.

I remember the smell of coal burning in our furnace,  and of the  mix of coal and damp dirt in our basement where the coal bin was. I remember the softness of mimosa blossoms that bloomed in our front yard, a light powdery scent.

When it's cold, I can close my eyes, and smell my mom's kitchen......the smell of coffee, bacon,  and vegetable soup......and if I try really hard......the smell of her home made sauerkraut "working" in the crock.

I love driving to the beach, when you get that first sniff of salty air, before you ever see the ocean.
I love the smell of play dough,  paste and crayons........my favorite smells from grade school.

Isn't it amazing when you start to think about smells, all the memories, good and bad that flood your brain?  The sense of smell really is quite powerful!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


There is something about roads that I find fascinating.  I love massive interchanges connecting major roads or interstates,  I love country roads that meander forever.  In Ireland I loved the tiny winding roads that were more like paved paths with the hedges growing along the edges.  I love city streets, that disappear into hidden neighborhoods, even those streets that are dangerous and dirty hold a fascination
for me.  I love Highway 1, that winds down the Northern California coast to LA, how it twists through the hills and  water's edge......how you can smell dill and the redwoods.....how the drop-offs take your breath away.

Tonight on the way home, there were clouds full of lightening to the north, but eastward, the almost full moon was brilliantly beaming down, her rays like beacons guiding us home.   As we drove  the curvy hilly road through Sipsey, there were times that the pavement shimmered in the moonlight like polished hematite.......almost as if the road and the moonlight became as one, rising up to meet each other like old friends.  The trip home ended way too soon.

I walk the dirt road to our barn every day......it is lined in trees.  You can look down through the hollow, hear woodpeckers and wild turkey, in the evenings, an owl.  The road though so familiar, can seem so distant sometimes, seemingly leading  to someplace other than the barn or home.  The dogs love to walk down that old dirt road, and Jordan loves to run it.  There are dogwoods that fill the hollow with clouds of white and pink in the spring, hydrangeas line the edges of the road and deep wispy ferns.
This time of year, the road is covered in fallen leaves and acorns and hickory nuts, the trees bare.  But there is great beauty in the earthen shades.  This is my favorite road, it always takes me home.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Half Full

"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit."  - Helen Keller
My glass is always half full, I can't help it......I can't look at life any other way.   I figure, we are here, in the midst of all that is amazing......people of all cultures, beliefs, terrain that goes from desert to mountains to oceans and wild life that is both savage and beautiful.

As I drive home from work on the same road every evening, I find myself quite often thinking of how different it all looks.......some days the drive seems so mundane and on  others, it feels as though I have taken a brand new route.  But there is always beauty, always some good along the way.  This evening,
the stars were beginning to shine, and the moon rose above the foothills, very few cars, and good songs on the radio........it felt like an adventure.......just driving home.

Yes, there is sadness, and life can be frightening, but that is part of the experience..........we learn, we grow, we share.  I may never make any important discoveries, or change the world in any way........but hopefully, there will be some who remember me fondly, who loved my songs and my art, who appreciated my optimism on a bad day.......who because of me, will look at their glass as half full.

Goodnight, sweet dreams

Thursday, January 5, 2012

First Lesson of the New Year

Have you ever done something, and as soon as you did.......you thought, uh oh, that was stupid.
Well, I did that tonight.  Rick and I were  watching a movie, and Buddy ( the weird corgi mix that was  my mom's)
started chewing on something strange and hard.  He was lying in the floor at my feet.  Now Buddy is old,
and arthritic, and  has had some problems with his teeth.  So, I am thinking what ever he is chewing on,
needs to go.........yep, I reached down to take  what turned out to be a Brazil nut from him, and he nailed
my thumb.  I have a really nasty bite,  man it hurt like the dickens!  All Rick and I could think of, is
oh hell, we have a gig next week, thank god it's not the hand you chord the guitar with.  Ha,Ha!

Buddy is now sitting by Rick's desk, looking very sheepish.......he knows he is on my list.  Now, I have to figure out how to hold a pick with band-aids on my thumb.  Buddy has always been a snapper, and I knew to always be extra careful when giving him his treats.......I can promise you, I will never try to take a Brazil nut away from him again, ugh!

You know, that is where as a human I screwed  up, our dogs become such a part of our household, our family, that we forget.......no matter how cute they are, they are animals.  Buddy gave me a painful
reminder of that tonight.   Painful lesson learned tonight, first one of the new year.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Night Magic

At 2:00am this morning the alarm clock buzzed......at first I thought.....I am going to kill Rick, why is the clock going off at 2:00am?????  Then we both jumped out of bed, we remembered the meteor showers.
It was 22 degrees at 2:00 am in Empire, Al.   We bundled up, wrapped ourselves in blankets and hit the back deck.  Within a couple of minutes, we saw stars shooting across the sky, in all directions.
The night sky was beauty at its best!  We only stayed out a little while, Rick was worried that I might get too cold......my friend Nancy braved the cold for the whole show.   It was magic watching those fragments
cross the heavens,  the cold seemed to intensify their brightness.  The whole night sky seemed to be at its finest.  I hope you all had a chance to make a wish last night.......it was worth getting up at 2:00am and worth braving the cold.

I am trying to savor more each and every day.  I want to live, not just pass through.  I have always prided myself in my awareness...but I am pushing now, every day to notice more, feel more, taste more.
I wish that I could convince all those whose lives revolve around how bad life is, to sit up and notice.
You see what you think about, you get what you think about (Wayne Dyer, paraphrased a bit)  During my life, I have been with several people as they were dying.....none of them talked about politics, most didn't talk about religion,  they talked about loving the people around them, how they wished they had more time.

It's hard to explain, but standing in the cold last night, watching those stars, making wishes, I had never felt so alive.   In my neck of the universe, there was supreme contentment and gratitude......I hope you felt it too.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

There Is Enough

I think that one of the reasons I love yoga so much, it is non-competitive......just a personal journey that allows you the freedom to take your practice where you want.  When I first went to college, I went into
fashion design.   I had always sewn many of my own clothes, made clothes for friends, and constantly sketched designs........the cutthroat competition turned my stomach.  People would destroy patterns, fabric, and badmouth anyone they thought might a little bit more talented than they.

As the years have gone by, I have grown to realize it is that way in anything you do.  My thought process is if one person does well, that just opens the door for others.......I have found that not to be a true statement for some.  What makes someone afraid of another person's success,  why would you fear another person's creativity?  Rick says it is young souls, who just haven't found their way in this lifetime.
A very good songwriting buddy Skip, sums it up pretty well too........why can't folks just enjoy making music and leave the ego out of it?  Feel free to substitute any vocation for the word music......art, doctor, teacher,  writer, etc.   I suppose it is so very human.......this drive that some have to one up or outdo someone else.  I just think it is rather like preschoolers on the playground doing their best
to show up their friends.

Our insecurities amaze me,  after all, we are all human, nothing but flesh and bone......but those insecurities breed petty behavior and childish actions.  My mother often said "if you can't say something nice about some one, keep your mouth shut"........I second that motion.  And it is not easy to do that......if someone hurts you, humiliates you , always trying to outdo you......turning the other cheek and keeping the mouth shut become  mountains to be climbed and conquered.  Letting go becomes a test.........of giant proportions.......and more than ten deep breaths are needed.

What started me down this path tonight?  Thoughts of an incredible gathering of some of the most talented people I have ever met........I wrote about it during the Christmas holidays......there were musicians, artists, writers, film makers........and there was complete joy......all were fascinated by each
other's talents and abilities, supportive, kind and giving, happy to be in the midst of each other.
I think of it tonight and wish for more of that feeling for me and everyone else, no matter what you do.
There is enough for us all, share the blessings, the wealth, the talent......there is enough.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Yoga and Wishes

A whole week without teaching yoga.......I can't remember the last time that happened.  But, I chose to practice what I teach and last week I truly needed the break.  I missed my students.  It was good to teach again today, three classes........good to be back.  I am a little tired, I will be so glad to start my treatments
so that I feel better soon.

It is so cold here in Alabama today, so classes were flowing......I don't think anyone complained about overheating!  Actually the night class I teach at the community center, mercy, we about froze......it was 56 degrees when we got there tonight, it might have warmed up to 70 by the time we left.    This is the coldest day of the year so far, 40 degrees for a high, in the 20's tonight.......flannel sheets will feel nice tonight.

The dogs are all asleep, settled in on this cold winter's night......by the way, did you all know about the meteor shower that takes place Wednesday morning, 3:00 am EST, it is supposed to be a wonderful one!  I can't wait, we have set reminders on our phones to set the clocks so we don't miss it.......I think this is truly the year to wish on stars.  The name of the shower event, The Quadrantids, could be as many as 100 per hour.

I'll share a secret with you all, ever since I was maybe ten or twelve, I have made a wish on the first star
I see each night......I still do......in the evenings as I leave work, when I see that first star.....I make my wish.  Aren't wishes wonderful?  I never pass up a chance to make a wish,  I am the eternal optimist, always hoping and wishing for the best.  So when all those stars shoot across the heavens Wednesday morning, I will be making wishes.......as many as I can, as fast as I can.  I am not selfish with my wishes, I'll make them for you all too.

Yoga and wishes,  you never know where this blog will take you........but I think in some cosmic way
the two go together.......yoga joins the body and the mind......wishes take care of the spirit.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Holey Moley!!!!!  January first, 2012..........enough to boggle the mind.  When I was a teenager I dreamed
of space travel, really cool modernistic clothing, and cars that needed no gasoline by the year 2000.
We have made leaps and bounds in some areas, and I think we have gone backwards in others.
Humans are after all human.......and we live our lives ruled by fear........I wonder, will there ever be a time when we are not afraid?  Madison Avenue, Wall Street and politicians use that fear to shape our lives....
what would life be, if we stopped and no longer allowed them to scare us into thoughtless actions.

January, 2012........for this year, for myself........what do I want?  #1.  Good Health   #2. More Gigs
#3.  Creative Space  #4. Travel  
January 2012......for you all.......what do I want  #1. Good Health   #2. Joy  #3. All That You Need, whatever that is

January 2012......I am excited, this is the year of the Dragon!  and I am a Dragon !

January 2012......I am hopeful.....I am excited.....I am curious.....I am grateful

So, this first day of the first month of the year .........Blackie Bear is snoring loudly, he stayed up to see the New Year come in last night......he thinks as long as there are walks in the woods, plenty of fresh
water, a bowl of his favorite food, and a loving hug daily.......life is good.......I agree.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams