Tuesday, December 31, 2013


2013......tonight is goodbye to a year that has been difficult, sometimes sad, joyful, and has gone by so fast it takes my breath away.

2013......a year filled with truly wonderful musical gigs

2013.....a year with friends, old and new

2013.....a year to say goodbye to four of the best dogs ever, even now hard to face that that Blackie Bear, Astro, Taylor and Buddie crossed over the rainbow......RIP

2013....a year to face the facts, life sustaining treatments, always

2013......a year to see snowfall in October and watch Old Faithful as the snowflakes fell

2013......a year of loss, a beloved nephew John Michael you left us too soon, and Aunt Florence, I miss our talks

2013......a year to know that friends and family are there for you, no matter what

2013......a year to complete our cd and one with our friends

2013.....a year that after tonight, will be just memories, some good, some bad.......but this one fact I know.......I am loved.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Night Thoughts

The flu is spreading like wildfire here, the flu and some sort of nasty respiratory infection......if it is in your neighborhood, please remember to wash your hands, avoid crowds......it's not too late to get your flu shot.....and if you develop symptoms please get to a doctor as soon as you can.

One more day in 2013, time to reflect, to think, to remember.......time to look ahead with hope.
The New Year comes with a New Moon, first time in 19 years.......a new moon means new beginnings....

Going to buy my black-eye peas tomorrow to cook on Wednesday......black eye peas and greens.....mean good luck and prosperity for the New Year.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, December 29, 2013

League of Extra Ornery Singer/Songwriters

Here is a wonderful article about the "think tank" group of singer/songwriters we hang out with.


We as a group have released a compilation CD, Saturday January 4, we will do a CD release concert at our favorite listening venue, Berkeley Bob's Coffee House, Cullman Al.
This group has become not only close friends, but writing and performing partners as well.
Our monthly meetings are wonderful times, a bringing together of creative energy and like spirits.
I am so proud to be a part of this group.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Gathering

A small gathering of friends.......it took place this afternoon.... such a cold rainy wintry evening, but inside all was warm and loving and joyful.  My friend Kaye invited a few of us to spend the afternoon with her and Jamie.  It was my favorite type of visit, small and intimate, lively conversation, good food, surrounded by loving friends......this is good medicine, the kind that we all need.

Our friends, Jon and Diana went with us to Kaye's and Jamie's.......Jon and Diana are friends, writing and performing partners.......really and truly, family.  We all love movies, and our recommendations can be quite unique......this evening we discussed everything from Eraserhead  to The Decoy Bride.

We can never all spend time together  without discussing music as well,  today was a trip down memory lane, recalling concerts that we saw when we were  young and wacky.  As we sat there and talked about the New Year, what we wanted......what we visioned for ourselves in 2014, I thought, how lucky I am, to be in this room with these  incredible, bright, talented people who are also loving and caring.

I hope that your weekend has been what you needed.......whether it be rest, shelter, food, love or excitement......may your Sunday bring peace and all good things.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Mixed-up Schedule

Classes today, to make up for being off on Tuesday......it felt strange to teach on a Friday.
Not sure about all of you, but with holidays in the middle of the week.......I am all confused!
I thought yesterday was Monday, today felt like Tuesday......who knows what tomorrow will be.

At least next week, my schedule goes back to normal......Monday and Tuesday will be the last yoga classes I teach for 2013.......I know I blinked my eyes in 2012 and suddenly I am a few days away from 2014.

Time to start on 2014 Vision Board, have some thoughts, just need to put them down, find the pictures and phrases and make it happen.......I have written about my Vision Boards ever since I started this blog, if you have never made one......do it this year, it will change your life.  I will post pictures of mine as soon as it is ready.

Make the most of this weekend, it is the last one of the year......do something remarkable.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Let Us Begin

I posted this quote on my board today before classes began, with 2013 winding down, I think it is quite pertinent......

"Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not come, we have only today. Let us begin."   - Mother Teresa

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

One of the angels that hang on our tree.......I hope your Christmas has been merry and bright, may all your Christmas wishes come true.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Christmas of My Dreams

"everyone that I ever loved, friends and family, have come together to celebrate.....the Christmas of my dreams." - 

those are the words in part of the chorus of a Christmas song that Rick and I and our friend, Tracy Reynolds wrote a few years ago.
Missing friends and family members tonight, who have died or live far away......


Monday, December 23, 2013

Almost Christmas

Almost Christmas.......my students were subdued today, for some, this will be the first time they have never been home for Christmas.  Many got pass outs to go home, at least for a few hours or a couple of days, but for a few Christmas will be quite different this year.  There are worse places to spend the holidays, but an addiction center is not a place people dream of being at this time of year.

The flu bug is still raging, it is cold and damp.....but there were hugs and Christmas greetings....and we did our classes listening to soothing Christmas carols.  Many times, I have taught on Christmas Eve, but not this year, my body and spirit need the rest. I will stay home tomorrow, breakfast with my brother and his family and then in the afternoon, Rick and I will visit friends who are  not so well.
Some time tomorrow, there are cookies to be baked.......I am running way behind on my holiday baking.  :)

I hope that Christmas Eve is one of joy for all of you tomorrow, cherish those you are with, share memories of those who are no longer here, and may peace wrap around you like a warm blanket.
May all your Christmas wishes come true.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.” 
― Carl Sagan

I loved Carl Sagan, I love this quote, and I love books.  I have been a bookworm my whole life.
I was a shy, quiet child, but books were my best friends.  They allowed me to travel the world, and to imagine that I could be and do anything, after all if someone wrote about it.....the possibility was there.

We have bought our nieces and nephews books through the years, I hope that in some way we helped to instill a love of reading in them.  For many of them, we gave them subscriptions for Highlights, the magazine for kids. I think reading is a gateway for kids, to learn about the world, to open their minds, to help them to ask questions, to seek truth and knowledge.

Our walls are full of books, many are old friends that I revisit often.  The electronic world is nice and convenient, but a book in hand is worth way more and is way better to me. I hope this Christmas season, you have the opportunity to read and maybe even give a book as a gift.......spread a little magic.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Peace and Joy

A Happy Winter Solstice.......though right now in Alabama it is 74 degrees and the wind is howling.
So glad we did not hang outdoor Christmas lights this year, they would be in Georgia by now.
The painting is done, cards are mailed......now gifts to be wrapped, cookies baked, and visits to be made in the next couple of days.

Fatigue is rampant in my body tonight, but it is the good kind.......a couple of years ago I didn't know if I would live to see another Christmas, I am grateful to be here......grateful to experience and enjoy Christmas with friends and family one more year.

Enjoy your Saturday night, have a cup of nog and a cookie and cherish your Sunday.......peace and joy to everyone on this long dark night.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Week of Joy and Sadness

Life has been most difficult for three close friends this week, two lost their dads,  the other 's husband was diagnosed with a dreaded disease......most of the time I never feel helpless, but when people I love and care for suffer, and I can do nothing......I feel helpless.

I understand the loss of a dad and the threat of disease, but how do you comfort those who are dealing with those issues.......all I can say is "I'm so sorry, what can I do?"  If I could change one thing in the world, it would be to end all suffering .  I know, we are here to experience, to learn, to grow.....I just wish it didn't involve so much pain.

I do know from the personal experience of loss and illness, that just hearing a friend's voice, getting an e-mail or text helped.....to know that someone cared, that they were concerned about my being meant so very much.  We have performed at a couple of Christmas functions this week, the kindergarten class yesterday and a brunch at the local college this morning.......I thought of how much cheer and joy I have seen this week, but also how much pain and suffering I have seen as well........life is ever changing, good and bad woven as a tapestry with mankind as the threads.  Some days it makes perfect sense and others none.  The holidays seem to magnify the emotions of sadness and joy.

Wishing you all a good night's sleep, a weekend of joy and peace.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Encore Performance

An encore performance.......Jordan's teacher asked us to come back to the kindergarten class room today to read "The Night Before Christmas."  It was also their Christmas party and energy was boundless in that room filled with five year olds.

Rick started the reading and after a few pages, I read......to watch their faces, see their expressions,
hear their laughter and excitement......there was Christmas spirit.  If you can't find your Christmas spirit, I urge you to spend time with kindergartners.......you will find it.

They sat enthralled as we read, holding on to every word, their smiling faces and sparkling eyes looking up at Rick and I as we read about St. Nick's visit.  After the story, we sang Christmas carols.....I thought last week was something.  School is almost out, Santa's coming, it was party time and there were gifts under the tree, these kids did some singing........the grand finale......"All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth."........seems everyone of them had been visited by the Tooth Fairy in the past week.

The teacher gave us a standing invitation.......we are welcome to come visit anytime......tomorrow, we play for the local college faculty at their Christmas brunch........I bet they won't be nearly as much fun as our audience today.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Miracle

A student talked with me at length  yesterday about finding spirit.  He told me of a couple of instances that had happened in his life, of people that he had met that had exhibited so much love and compassion......he knew they were different......they were living the life, walking the walk, talking the talk like no one else he had ever met. He talked about how shaking one man's hand sent a surge of
love through him that he had never felt before.

I told him about my friend who is a Buddhist Monk, about how the first time I met him, the peacefulness that seemed to shine from his being.  I knew right away, he was different, like no one I had ever met before. I have known many many religious people, but none that I had ever met had the presence and aura of love like my friend has.

I truly believe there are those among us who vibrate at a much higher frequency than most......their faces, their eyes, their voices are different....they walk among us filled with compassion and no judgement......you feel the love that they have for all humanity.  My prayer is that those people will become more common place, that it won't be that rare instance, that chance meeting......but our lives will be touched daily, by their love, their compassion and  their need not to judge.

That for me, would be a Christmas miracle.....more love for humanity, less judgement.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One of Them

I can remember in years past, seeing friends and meeting people and sometimes they would tell me about a serious illness they were dealing with, many times I would look at them and think.....but, you look great, you look so healthy.  I have always tried to be compassionate and I hope that through the years as I met those people I was compassionate......you see, I have become one of them.

Dealing with chronic illness is exhausting and at times can be frightening and depressing......especially when you see someone and they tell you how great you look......that's when the voice inside your head screams.  As a former make-up artist, and fashion consultant, I  can put together a great package, but only my husband Rick knows how my days and nights are.

I have had friends who voiced their worries and concerns with phrases like, " we are worried about you, we think you're giving up."  Ha!  Giving up would be easy, quitting my job and spending my days on the sofa would be a breeze.  Working, teaching and performing.....and trying to live a normal life is the hard stuff.  Maintaining a positive attitude is tough sometimes, when all you really want to do is throw yourself a big old pity party.....or lie in your pjs on the sofa.

I try not to talk about my health very much, usually when people ask, I tell them I'm ok, I'm good.
But, I had a small meltdown this morning, and I realized I had become "one of them.".......the ones who don't look sick, but who struggle just the same.  In the words of my friend Brenda today, "life is a bitch, but it's worth it."  She is one of them too......and yes Brenda, life is a bitch sometimes, but it is worth it. Thanks for letting me share tonight, I bet there are many of you just like me......we should form a club, with tee shirts  "I'm One of Them."

Monday, December 16, 2013

Flu Bug

The flu bug has invaded our surroundings, we have family and friends who have been stricken, it has hit my workplace.......so just a friendly reminder
1.  cough etiquette.....cough into your sleeve, not your hand
2. the flu bug can live on a hard surface for 24 hours......wash your hands frequently
3. if you have flu symptoms, like a temp over 100, aches, chills, nausea, coughing, shortness of breathe, etc......don't share.....stay home, feel better and call or see your doctor.
4. if the flu hits you......drink lots of liquids, get rest, eat lightly, call or see your doctor
5. WASH your hands frequently!

Wishing you all good health tonight, remember the flu can be deadly, take care of yourself.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Tree

The tree is decorated, cards are painted, we did Jordan's Charlie Brown tree today........well, some cards are painted, gift boxes are painted, still have some kissing balls to paint and cookies to bake this week.

Even though I use the same decorations every year, the tree always looks different. The crystal icicles are almost 40 years old, they are  my favorite decorations on the tree.....when Sam (Jordan's mom) was little, she thought they were real, she always wanted to eat one.

Once again, it has been cold and cloudy, but by mid-week it is supposed to be near seventy degrees.......this wacky Alabama weather!

I am very tired tonight, my warm cozy bed is calling my name.  Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pooh Wisdom

some times, I wish Winnie the Pooh lived next door, I love his wisdom.........I just felt like sharing his words with you all tonight.....Pooh keeps it all in perspective.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.” 

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?” 
― A.A. MilneWinnie the Pooh

Friday, December 13, 2013

Keep It In Perspective

Something dawned on me today, I had noticed it during Thanksgiving, but it truly hit me today......holidays have lost their urgency with me.  I had 25 people coming to my house for Thanksgiving dinner and never panicked, not even when that morning the side-effects from my treatments were raging and Rick had to fetch my niece to help me with the cooking.

It's that way now, I know I have a great deal to do before Christmas, I still have to shop, paint cards and decorate our tree, but there is no panic, no sense of urgency.  I finally understand how important it is to enjoy your time and not waste it with worry about things that won't matter five years from now.

Students have been asking me more and more how they can become like me......I find it puzzling, I always smile and ask them what they are talking about it.......they tell me they want my peace.
I wish I could them my/their peace, but we have to find/make our own.  Life will always have its difficulties, its ups and downs.......we just have to learn that is life......enjoy the good, and get through the bad, one breath at a time, one day at a time.

During this holiday season, if you find yourself panicked, please try to keep life in perspective......yes, the holidays are wonderful and we create great memories during them, but they are only a small part of our lives.......what we remember, what we cherish, what we become, is way more than holiday celebrations and traditions.....your kids might not remember the toys you got them, but they will remember how cranky and stressed you were or the tears you shed because something wasn't perfect.....be grateful, smile.....and don't forget to breathe.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

An Equal Opportunity Holiday Celebrator

A day of rest......as it should be after treatment.  I have slept most of the day, watched a couple of movies, read a little.  I did go out this afternoon and play "fetch and catch" with Calliou.

Tomorrow, I will paint Christmas cards and hopefully by Sunday night our tree will be decorated.....and then I will shop.  I know, most of my friends and family put me to shame, their trees have been up for weeks, their shopping done, their Christmas cards mailed days ago.

It's ok........I realized years ago, when it comes to the holidays......I do live in a different time zone than most.  I wait until December to do everything.  I can't help myself, I like celebrating Halloween and Thanksgiving......I am an equal opportunity holiday celebrator.  :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Treatment #24

Treatment # 24.......today I count my blessings, today my heart is full of gratitude.  In the past few days I had to have more tests, a new doc and a terrifying probable diagnosis......good news the tests came back negative and I am deliriously happy.  I know that much love, many prayers and good thoughts were sent my way this week and my heart overflows with joy.

The big green chairs proved a source of comfort today, I needed the nurture and care of those angels in blue.  I am getting extra meds, and the drip has been slowed again, but all is well.  There was a feeling of joy in the infusion room today.  Another of my chair buddies came in smiling, he only has two more treatments to go.....there is light at the end of his tunnel, and today, he could see it.  He glowed with happiness.

My friend Louis, came and spent time with me and there was much laughter in those green chairs.
We poked fun at the Christmas tree our angels in blue had place at their desk......it was red, crooked and stood about five inches tall.......I suggested we make it into a hat, and the tiny packages underneath could be earrings.

More good news, another chair buddy doesn't have to come back until March, she almost danced out of the room.......Christmas came early for those of us who sit in the big green chairs today, blessings were counted and gratitude spilled from all our lips......those moments are cherished when you sit in the big green chairs.

Two years.....I remember that first day of treatment, how scary those big green chairs looked,
how sad and depressing the room seemed, and how stressed those angels in blue looked.......I never thought I would find joy in that big green chair, or love, or hope.......but I have found all of that and more.......I have found friendship, faith, happiness and peace......along with the sadness of death and illness......life in those big green chairs is different and once you sit in them, you and your life become different......I never thought I would say this, but I am grateful for those big green chairs.......for the people that have sat in them beside me, for the nurses and doctors who take care of us......my life changed for the better because of those big green chairs........24 months, two years......for every day I am grateful.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Wish of Good Health

Tomorrow is treatment day, number 24 to be exact.......I have spent way too much time with the medical profession the past couple of weeks......I ask Rick if I could play hooky tomorrow, he said no.
Health is something that I think most of us take for granted, until it is gone or at least missing for a while.  When it is lost, it becomes apparent how precious it really is.

The flu and strep are rampant in our neck of the woods, several family members have been stricken......I feel I am becoming paranoid, my hands have been washed so much, they are red and dry.  It is that season, not only of good cheer, but of nasty coughs, chills, fever and such.
I fear it might be time to wear cloves of garlic, drink foul brews and maybe leeches.......

Tonight's wish.....one of good health for all of us, may we keep it, regain it, and never lose it......and always be grateful for it.
Goodnight Sweet dreams

Monday, December 9, 2013

We Make It Through

Here is the note that I posted on my board today for my classes,
tonight, I share it with all of you:

One day at a time, one breath at a time.  That is how we make it through life.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Rainy Night

We braved the freezing cold to get our Christmas tree yesterday.......the winds whipped around the hills of the tree farm, and I forgot my hat......I think my head is still frozen.  I decorated the house last night, our tree sits in its bucket out in the yard in the pouring rain.  It has rained all day, so I figure the tree will come in  later in the week and be decorated by next weekend.

Today our music think tank friends came over, what a treat!  Good friends, music, and lots of food.....and pouring rain.  I think our universe has shifted and somehow, Alabama has become part of Ireland the past few days.  The rain pours, the drops of rain, along with the acorns bounce on the tin roof......it has a rhythm of its own.

Calliou has slept most of the day......he is a wise dog, what else should you do when it is rainy and cold?  His favorite place to sleep on a rainy day? under the house.......but tonight, he has found his way to the couch and refuses to give me an inch of space to sit.  Dogs do own their owners don't they?

Wishing you all a rainy night, a warm cozy bed, and the sweetest of dreams.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

World Just Keeps On Spinning

Pearl Harbor.......I always remember my mom talking about how the world turned upside down when the news broke about the attack.  My dad and his younger brother, James both joined up like so many other young men.......they were just kids, farm boys from rural Alabama who suddenly saw humanity at its worst.

Rick's uncle was Marvin was on the USS California, he was the first casualty of war from our county.
He was just a young country boy also.

I think about how the world changed for our parents on this day long ago......life would never be the same for any of them.  Young men saw the horror of war face to face, and so many of them never saw their families or country again.

Tonight, I think about war and how it seems we as a nation have learned nothing from the wars we have fought, the lives that we have lost and taken......it does seem that war has become business as usual and we go about our daily lives not knowing and not caring that we still are fighting and people are still dying, and that those who come back will never be the same.......and history just repeats itself....and the world just keeps on spinning.

Friday, December 6, 2013

75 Kids

So, Jordan invited us to his school to sing Christmas carols.......we thought it would only be for his class.......we sang Christmas carols with FIVE kindergarten classes (75 kids and their teachers).
It was so much fun......these kids sang with enthusiasm and gusto.  Afterwards, we got to share snack time with them.....they kept telling us we looked like Mr. and Mrs. Clause.  Years ago, I was a teacher's aide in a kindergarten class, today I remembered how much fun it was.......five year olds are the best.

This afternoon we did a book signing with our friend Brenda at the local mall.  We have had a busy day, but a fun one.  I feel the Christmas spirit tonight, ready to shop, wrap, put up a tree and do my cards.  75 kids will do that to you......each and everyone said thank you and wished Rick and me a Merry Christmas......my heart just melted.

Tomorrow, Jordan will help me decorate the house, next week, we do the tree and his Charlie Brown tree.  If you have children in your family, do a Charlie Brown tree, they love it.......we cut a branch, decorate it with homemade ornaments, string some lights on it......it is all his, to decorate any way he chooses.  It will make some memories, I assure you.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tough Old Broad

I have called myself a Tough Old Broad for quite awhile......I told my friend Terry today, I am retiring that title.  I found myself feeling very fragile and not so brave this morning.......any semblance of toughness was not to be found.  That's ok, change as I have often talked about is constant......so it's ok for me to change too.

As humans, at some point in our lives we will all feel fragile, we will all feel fear......we just can't allow those feelings to take over our lives.  It has been an exhausting day, but tomorrow the sun will rise again and we can start all over.  I might even feel like the TOB again.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Even though each day  has twenty-four hours, some seem much longer than others, and some seem much shorter.......today has been a long one.  New doc, more tests.......ugh...more tomorrow.
We are having a heat wave, mid-seventies today and tomorrow......feels so weird.
I am ready for normal........normal weather, normal body, normal days.....just plain old normal.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fog and Rain

Fog and rain, I have driven home in fog and rain more this fall than any other time I can remember.
It is an eerie combination, especially on dark country roads.......usually I enjoy my drive home from work, but the fog and rain makes the drive stressful.  Deer and other creatures appear before you know it,  and then there are those things you think you see......you know, it's foggy rainy and you can't quite make out the shape up ahead......it could be a giant deer with tree branches for antlers or......it could be what it is......tree limbs on the side of the road.

Fog and rain......it can also be quite beautiful.  The raindrops hitting the windshield through a foggy mist......driving along a hill top in the rain, while the valley below is shrouded in thick swirling fog....it is a surreal kind of beauty....the kind that is breath-taking, yet scary.  Fog and rain.......driving you get the feeling you could be anywhere, there is a displaced sensation of knowing yet not being sure of the road.  Fog and rain........time for you to go away......my imagination is too vivid for.....fog and rain.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mother Nature's Critters

The cold rainy weather has brought on a slew of critters looking for food.......the birds have been amazing.  Today, before I left for work there must have been at least fifty birds at our feeders......doves, cardinals, jays, woodpeckers.....our yard looked like one of those all you can eat places with an early bird special.

That's the beauty of windows floor to ceiling.......we can be all warm and cozy.....but Mother Nature is an open book that we read daily from our living room sofa.

Tonight on the drive home, within a quarter mile of our house......at least six or seven deer....they are lucky, still lots of acorns and hickory nuts to munch on.....and always suet and bird seed at the Watson house.

Wishing you all your very own visit with Mother Nature's critters, may they delight and amaze you.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 1

December 1......24 months of treatments, can I do this the rest of my life?

December 1......all of my siblings gathered together today, a Christmas gathering of sorts, no gifts, just the love of family and good food

December 1.....cold, grey cloudy day, this would have been Rick's mom's 89th birthday

December 1......24 days til Christmas

December 1....making a list, checking it twice

December 1.....a month of birthdays for our families, my mom's on the 7th, Rick's sister, Mary Lois on the 12, my nephew Haven's on the 21, my niece Jayna's on the 23, Haven's wife, Alesha's on the 26th......wow, that's a lot of birthdays!

December 1.....winter, the shortest day of the year, bare trees, cold frosty mornings and maybe if we are lucky......snowflakes.

December 1.......Christmas cookies, painting Christmas cards, shopping, decorating a tree, wrapping gifts, visits with friends and family......a busy time.

December 1......a time to look back and reflect, a time to look ahead and hope

December 1.....the CD, we play it every year on December 1, one of my most favorite CD's ever......do yourself a favor, if your spirit needs lifting, buy yourself a copy, December by George Winston

December 1......one thing I have learned, time goes much slower when you are a child.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Emergency Smores

Emergency smores......there is such a thing.  Jordan had sat around the fire pit with Rick yesterday afternoon, today, we had discussed smores.....tonight he called sobbing, an urgent request for smores.
I had planned on picking up the big marshmallows and chocolate bars tomorrow, we only had miniature marshmallows and chocolate chips, I did have graham crackers......but what the hay, I can fly by the seat of my pants.

We set up the smores factory on the kitchen counter, a bowl of chocolate chips, graham crackers and Jordan would be the "smasher".  I slipped tiny little marshmallows on a very long fork and held it over the flame of the gas stove......where there's a will, there's a way.  Jordan was delighted!  We made seven smores, with the promise of bigger better marshmallows and proper squares of chocolate tomorrow.....and a fire in the fire pit.......ya'll come.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday

No Black Friday for me.......I spent many years of my life in retail, working every Black Friday and Christmas Eve and day after Christmas.......I have almost become mall-phobic.  Tuesday, someone at work asked if I would be shopping today, I laughed.......I told them, no, not even if Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein called and told me I could get anything I wanted in their stores for free.....I did what makes me happy today,
I taught classes.

Unless you have worked retail during the holiday season, you will never know what I am talking about......ten and twelve hour days, three inch heels on concrete floors, trying to make people happy who will never ever be happy with their purchases because they are exhausted and so are their credit cards.  I loved working with apparel and make-up, most of the time it really was fun, until the holiday season began......and then it seemed, even the customers who were always nice and friendly went to the dark side.

So for me, shopping on line or going to the mall mid-week, mid- December keeps me sane and happy.
I know that many of my friends love the thrill  of an all day or all night shopping spree......it just makes my blood sugar drop.  Now, before my mom died, she and I did have some great times Christmas shopping, and I miss those shopping days.  Last year, Rick did a book signing in the mall, while he signed books, I did our Christmas shopping......I do love shopping for our great nieces, buying clothes for them is fun.

I have made a Christmas list of sorts......and my courage is building, I will face the mall soon......just not this weekend.  For all of you who braved the cold, the crowds and the craziness.......kudos to you....the stores love you.  I hope you found every bargain you searched for!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

My heart is full of gratitude tonight......for my family who came today, for those who helped me so much, for my friends who visited and thought my family witty and artistic ( and they are.)
The meal was wonderful......the company even better.  If your day was half as good as mine, then you are smiling.  Grateful for all of you tonight, thank you reading this blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Cupcakes

Jordan came by this evening to do his share of the Thanksgiving meal, he decorated the cupcakes......swirls of green, orange, red and yellow sugar crystals on dark chocolate frosting.....his version of fall cupcakes.

Of course, he had to take a few home ( to make sure they were good).  But we had a wonderful time......he was also excited when he saw the stash of fun stuff I bought for all the kids to play with tomorrow.......velvet posters to paint, coloring/game books, playdough, wooden blocks, and Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving video.

A houseful of family and friends should arrive around noon tomorrow, I am so looking forward to seeing them all......and enjoying a table laden with food.  The turkey has been soaking in brine all day, I will be up at the crack of dawn, getting things ready.
Our first Thanksgiving at home........I am grateful for the opportunity to share our home and our table with those who come ........Wishing you all a bountiful and happy Thanksgiving......safe travels.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Make Your Holiday Memories

Still rainy and very cold......there was excitement and sadness during classes today......for some the holiday meant a pass out, a chance to go home and see family and friends......for others, home is too far away or they have not been at the facility long enough to have a pass out.  Even for those getting to go home, there is an undercurrent of nervousness, of self-doubt, fear of judgement or returning to old habits.

These are the days I teach with extra love, and care.......these are days we should all treat each other with extra love and care.  Holidays can be brutal, stirring old memories, hurt feelings and pain for many.....while others just want a Hallmark holiday, which only exists in a Hallmark movie.  I think back to holidays past, of the stresses and fears I dealt with.......so long ago, and sadly, so unimportant now.  I was  such a coward back then, could never say no, could never voice the holiday I wanted.  If there are regrets, for me, it is the regrets of holidays past.......and unlike the movies, there is no going back.

It took many tears, illness, deaths and the passing of years to acknowledge what I missed each holiday season.  Too many places, too much to do, too many gifts bought for all the wrong reasons.....but now, I know, I understand......how important it is to celebrate the holidays in the now, to celebrate within your rim of reason and not someone else's, to spend time with those you truly want to spend time with, to create your own traditions.

So tonight, if the holiday season is already making you crazy, if you are wishing the new year was already here.......stop it now, take a deep breath and think about what you want to experience this holiday season.....be honest with those you love, compromise, and understand this.......nothing has to be perfect,
your feelings and thoughts matter, take the time to enjoy the magic......the lights, the food, the sounds, the colors, the joy......each day, take a few minutes for yourself.....it will all be over in the blink of an eye. Find your way to celebrate, your way to make your holiday memories.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cold Night

Cold and rainy........classes today were slow and easy, students are excited about the holiday, some of them will get to visit their families, others will stay at the facility.  I can't believe November is almost gone, some
days, I wish there were no calendars......just the passing of day to night, season to season.  Maybe then time would not go fast.

This weekend, I paint Christmas cards, the design is worked out........the hard part......getting started.
Once I actually start painting, everything goes smoothly.  But, I don't start them until after Thanksgiving.
I am a true believer that Thanksgiving should get its fair share.  All my fall decorations are still up, though several of our neighbors have decorated their Christmas trees.

I hear the rain, falling on the tin roof.....it is so cold tonight.  When we came in from my community class, we saw five small deer in our neighbor's yard......they looked so small and cold, I hope they find shelter and food tonight.  It doesn't seem to be a night fit for man nor beast.  Fall seems to have faded into winter in the past twenty four hours.  There is even talk of snow for tomorrow night.

I know this week is a busy hectic week, but remember to take care of yourselves, stop and breathe......
and be grateful.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


"Time is more than money, time is life."  - Thick Nhat Hanh

I think this quote puts time in perspective......it is easy to think of time as money, or something that we have very little of, or a lot of to waste........but when you think of time as truly what it is, life.....
then it is easy to understand how precious time.

Wishing you all tonight......all the time (life) you need, all the time (life)  you want.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


It was a wonderful cd concert......a good crowd, friends we had not seen in a very long time, tonight reminded us of why we play music......it's just so much fun.
Hope that all of you had as much fun today as we did.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, November 22, 2013

Our First Thanksgiving

My private class that I often teach on Friday mornings got cancelled, rain was moving in and after we rehearsed for our gig tomorrow night, I decided I would be very productive today.  The guest room, sometimes ends up as the catch-all room and it had been a while since I had spiffed it up.......I did that today.
It never fails during the holiday season that we have overnight guests at some point........and thus I go into a tailspin if the room is not ready.  I have spent a lot of time the last  few days thinking about how stressful some of our holidays in the past have been.  This Christmas, two years ago, my world was turned upside down when my pulmonary doc sent me to an oncologist.  I don't have cancer, but I will undergo a type of chemo, once a month for the rest of my life.......these past two years, I have gone inward many times.

I realized that holidays were meant to be enjoyed, with friends and families and the stress that we allowed
to take over our lives and spoil all those precious moments could be avoided.  That Christmas two years ago, I decided the holidays would be different, if I lived to enjoy any more. I would do the things that were important to Rick and me and let go of what wasn't........our last two Thanksgivings and Christmas have been different and I can honestly say I have enjoyed them greatly.

This Thanksgiving I am cooking for my brother and his family and a couple of friends from work.  I have made my grocery list, my menu and am excited to have Thanksgiving in our home.......after almost forty years of marriage, this will be our first Thanksgiving at our house. I am grateful and happy to finally after all these years, cook Thanksgiving lunch.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation.......that is what we did for my last class this evening.  About a half hour before sunset,
clouds filled most of the sky, but there soft streaks of pinks and yellows......I gathered my students together at the edge of open field and talked with them about mindfulness, what it meant to fully be aware.

We set the parameters of our walk, came into mountain pose, brought our awareness inward to our bodies......then I began to discuss mindful walking......beware of what it feels like to walk on grass, gravel, dirt, to feel and hear the crunch of dry leaves, twigs under the foot......feel the wind, the dampness on your skin........hear every sound, leaves rustle, birds, dogs barking, traffic sounds........notice your feelings, your thoughts, your breath.

We walked almost twenty minutes......each found their own path to follow, each their own mindful space.
We went back to the yoga room, did a few asanas, and relaxation.  Almost every student told me how wonderful the class had been.

If you have never tried a walking meditation, I urge you to try it.......walk your normal slow pace, breathe,
and allow yourself to be aware.......of everything, your body, your movements, your breath, the sounds, the sights, sensations.......it will change the way you see and think about your surroundings......a twenty  minute walk can truly be mind changing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Just a Short Post

It's been a beautiful autumn day.....of course I spent a great part of it with a doctor, but I often do that these days.....but that is ok, there are worse ways to spend your day ( and better ones too.)
We practiced this afternoon, it is so exciting........getting ready to perform Saturday night.  We are playing our CD release concert at a local coffee house in Birmingham and many of our friends have said they will drop by.  Nothing better, than playing music and seeing friends.
Tonight is a short post, forgive me.  What is it about spending time with a doctor that is so exhausting?
A cup of hot tea and a warm cozy bed await me.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Two Owls

I have seen two of the most beautiful owls in the past week.......a few days ago, a white owl flew in front of my car, and sat down on the side of the road.......I stopped Ingrid to admire his beauty.  The snowy owl looked at me as if he knew me.....quite amazing.  Last night, driving home from work, about five miles from the other sighting, another owl flew across the front of Ingrid.  He was spotted.

I feel as though Mother Nature has sent me two gifts.  These birds were so beautiful, they took my breath away.......and honestly, I felt as though something really special had taken place.  Sometimes our lives are so busy and hectic, we forget about the beauty that surrounds us, about the beauty that is truly everywhere if we take the time to see it.  I was reminded by the  visit of both owls of the incredible beauty that lives here in my little neck of the woods.

I told one of my classes today about the owls.......I told them how blessed, how special I felt to have seen them......as though somehow, the universe had sent me some sort of sign.  Sometimes, we need signs....or at least what we think are signs......life gets tough, we feel a little lost......if we keep our eyes open, just when we need it the most......there it is, an owl or two.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Catching Some Rays

I walked out the back door this morning to take a walk, and here was this guy, catching some rays, hanging out on our fountain.  The wind chimes cast a strange shadow behind him, but he didn't seem to mind.

I heard a rustle and looked at the rosemary plant beside the fountain, there were two more of his friends, looked up at the kitchen window......three more!  They must have met for breakfast. :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

All We Are

Do you ever think about who you are, why you are that person and how the heck did you become who you are?  I know, for me to even ask that question, I must have too much time on my hands.  But maybe teaching yoga  and being a musician pushes me to ask questions like that.

I think we are a living collage, every experience, every place, every person, every book, every movie, every song, every word we have spoken or heard has created who we are today.  That is why we are not the same as we were ten years ago or will not be the same ten years from now. We are all a little bit like human play dough, and life is constantly molding and shaping us.  Change is taking place, even when we resist it.

There are bits and pieces of me that have remained constant, but there are also parts of me that did not even exist a few years ago.......teaching and music have brought so many different people and places into my life, many changes have been so swift, I never knew they took place.  Sitting in those big green chairs once a month has truly changed me.

So we can kick and scream about change, whine and complain until we are blue in the face.......but it is there, smoothing, roughing up, caressing and kicking.......nothing can stop it, all those we love, all those who drive us crazy, all the beauty, the ugliness, the good and the bad that we feel and see.......play a part in who we were yesterday, who we are today......and who we become tomorrow.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Salt Water

"The cure for anything is salt water......tears, sweat, or the sea."
- Isak Dinesen

When we were kids, if we ever had a sore throat, stuffy nose my mom brought out the salt water......gargle, nose spray.....it really did help.  Then there are those tears......I have cried tears of anger, joy and sadness.....and yes, shedding those tears always helped.

Sweat......I am constantly telling my students that sweating is good for you.....gets rid of toxins, makes you feel alive.

The sea.......when I was younger, I loved the warm  Emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  My dad always said those waters were healing.  As I grew older and traveled to the West coast,  I became enthralled by the roughness and chilly waters of the Pacific, and then I visited the Northeast and fell in love with the Northern Atlantic.  And then, there was the Irish coast......rocky, fierce and magical.  

I no longer crave the tropical seas as an adult, but oh how I love rough, jagged coasts  and brisk winds.  I feel fearless when I face a sea that taunts, with winds that chill you to the bone, and the salt spray that stings your face.  Something about that stirs my creative energies and lights the fires in my soul.  It rids my head of fogginess, destroys depression and self-doubt......it is a salve that never fails to soothe and heal.

I think salt water....... tears, sweat or sea possibly is the cure for whatever ails you.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, November 15, 2013

Rainy Memories

By noon today I had cabin fever......we walked awhile first thing this morning, but rain drops began to fall, we made a mad dash for the house.  We haven't been home much the past few weeks, it was  time to visit the grocery store......and my knees were no longer wobbly from the treatment.   By the time I dressed, it was noon and the rain had become a much welcomed steady downpour.

The pouring rain and trip to the grocery store brought back an old memory of my mom......she and I always did our grocery shopping together......and about this time many years ago, we were loading our groceries in the car and were caught in a deluge......neither of us had a dry thread on our bodies by the time we made it to her house.  She was worried that I might get sick, I was worried about her.  November rains in Alabama can be downright chilly, today, as well as that day, the rain was icy cold.  Funny what triggers the memory process.......I actually brought the ingredients to make one of her favorite recipes today, ribs with sauerkraut
and potatoes......she loved cooking that dish in the fall and winter.

I often miss my mom most when there is food involved........she was a great cook, and she passed the love and art of cooking on to me and my siblings.....we all love to cook.  There are so many times in my kitchen when I think of her and am grateful for the kitchen skills she demanded we all learn.  To cook with love was her first rule, her second......never be afraid to play with a recipe......sometimes her creative ventures with cooking got a little strange, but often they were wonderful.

Tomorrow, my sister and brother are coming over to  eat her rib dish......there will be some laughter and memories and as always since she died, a little sadness.....but the food will be cooked with love, and she will be remembered with love......and maybe a cold rain will fall.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Not Your Ordinary Turkey

Ok, Jordan calls and says he needs some help with an art project.
He has to decorate a turkey for Thanksgiving.......he wants it to look like Captain America........I google Captain America, I find a small flag, we make a shield out of foam, bring out the markers......and there you are, Captain America Turkey.

I admit, it was loads of fun and I would love to see what the rest of his class did with their turkeys.  He did say that one of his friends glued q-tips on his and made a skeleton.  This project brought back memories of school projects from my past.....the most unusual one I ever made......a bark wigwam.

It was my typical day after treatment ........lots of rest, fluids......
and I'm thinking we may make more turkeys.....Jordan suggested
Hulk might be fun, and since he is green and red.....we could use him for Christmas too.  An afternoon with Jordan is great medicine.....I suggest you all decorate some turkeys.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Treatment #23

Treatment # 23 today,  my chair buddy Louis, finally let Rick take his picture with me.......he is rather camera shy.  Louis is a golden ray of sunshine in that often gloomy room.  Everyone smiled when he walked in today.

We had a new person join our group today, her first time, she was nervous.  She sat by me, we talked about her diagnosis, and how many treatments she would be having.  I explained that I had been sitting in those big green chairs almost two years, that I called our three nurses, blue angels and that there was much love and caring in that big scary room.

Another chair buddy has passed on, since I was there last......at least I know he no longer suffers.  My sister worries about the friendships that I make in those big green chairs......many of them are no longer with us......and I do tend to care with all of my heart.  But I choose to believe I sit in that big green chair for a reason, and you can't not care for someone because they don't have much time.

Louis has become one of my dearest friends, we call to check on each other, he calls Rick to argue football( they pull for opposing teams).  I would never have met him, never had known his kindness if not for those green chairs. I told him once that meeting him was worth every hour spent in the big green chair.  He has been sitting in those chairs over fifteen years.......he is there for a reason also.

I looked around the room today before I left.......for some who sit in those chairs, this will be their last Thanksgiving and Christmas......I pray that their families surround them with love, that their friends bring them great joy, and that many precious memories will be made in the next few weeks........actually, I pray that prayer tonight for all of us......
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Change in the Weather

Classes today were a little subdued.......I think the change in the weather took its toll on everyone.
The temps have fallen most of the day, a strong cold wind came out of the north and to quote my niece Samantha, "it's raining leaves."   At times the leaves were so abundant blowing in the wind, it did seem as though it was raining leaves.

Funny how the weather can affect our bodies as well as our spirits.......causing aches and pains, and everything from joy to depression. The past couple of weeks, our travels have taken us across eight states and three time zones......we have experienced  snow, rain, wind and sunshine, warmth and freezing cold......I have felt very out of sorts the past few days, maybe I should blame it on the weather.

Here in Alabama tonight and the next couple of days, old man winter has paid us an early visit, but by Sunday, balmy 70's and thunderstorms are coming to visit......"a change in the weather, is bound to be extreme."  Even Bob Dylan knew something about the weather.  I hope where ever you are tonight, your weather is not so extreme.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day........a thank you to all you Veterans......thank you for your service, your sacrifice, your willingness to face danger, your love of country.  Wishing you blessings of peace each and every day, wishing you a life of joy.......grateful for all of you.
Happy Veteran's Day!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

An Epidemic of Kindness

Kindness.......I am amazed when I witness it, I am brokenhearted when I see it ignored.  The quickest way to lose my respect.......purposefully treat someone unkind.  We are all living human beings, searching for warmth, shelter, food, love and kindness.  We all experience bad days, we all have dark moments, we all at some point surrender to anger.......but even in the worst of moments, try a  little kindness.....it works so much better than harsh words.

Rick and I were in Johnson City Tn for the Johnson City Folk Festival this weekend.......and kindness seemed to be almost epidemic.  Everywhere we went, people were so kind.  It was a long hard trip, exhausting yet so rewarding......the kindness of strangers was a refreshing comfort.  The hotel where we stayed, the musicians we met, the audience who listened to our music, the gas station attendants, and the Krystal where we had breakfast this morning.......it seemed a wave of kindness swept across the city and caught us right smack dab in the middle of it.

We came home tired, happy and beaming with goodwill and love for our new friends and their home town.
Maybe it's the mountain air, or cold streams  or the altitude, but their kindness made us want to spread a little of our own......wouldn't it be nice to start an epidemic of kindness this week, to spread a blanket of kindness from my hometown to yours, to touch every person we meet with kindness.......an epidemic of kindness.....it could happen.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." - William Shedd

I think we humans are much like ships, we are safe and warm most often when surrounded by those we love, but our purpose I believe
is to " sail" out, to reach out to those who are unloveable, to the needy, to those in pain and offer them shelter on stormy seas.

A good friend and I talked for a while this morning, it's interesting, when I need a good strong ship on stormy seas, he seems to  magically appear......and hopefully I do the same for him.  

I think about those who boarded ships for the new world, headed to places that one could only imagine.......what a leap of faith that took, what courage.   I am glad my ancestors were so brave, so daring.....or maybe they were some of the prisoners who volunteered to sail.  :)

I hope tonight, what ever seas you are sailing on that they are calm,  that your voyage is a safe one, yet exciting and that one day we all find the harbor we yearn for.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Highlights of the Day

Rick mentioned to me this afternoon that  in the past week, we had been to seven states and three time zones........no wonder my body is screaming at me.  We played  a beautiful folk festival today, incredible music, lovely people and surroundings that looked like picture perfect post cards.  The highlight of my day ( well besides playing two shows).....petting a deer, seeing a white peacock,  and hanging out with good friends.

Tonight, a cup of hot mint tea is my best friend, taking care of my throat.....two more shows tomorrow.  So sorry for the short post, I am a wee bit tired......more tomorrow night.
Goodnight, sweet dreams

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday Night Musings

Back to teaching today, almost two weeks now.......first vacation, then sick.....actually, I was sick on vacation.  I love teaching, and I had missed it very much.  It felt good to be back with my students, breathing, moving and meditating.
Tonight as I drove home, a beautiful white owl flew down in front of me, sat on the side of the road and blinked his eyes......I felt honored that he acknowledged me.  He was so beautiful, so serene. His eyes were big and bright, he really did look all knowing.
We have gigs all weekend, really looking forward to the music and friends.
Wishing you all a weekend full of joy, laughter and much love.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Worth Remembering

From the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.......

1. Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.
2. The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.
3. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.
4. As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.
5. Making a hundred friends is not a miracle. The miracle is to make a single friend who will stand by your side even when hundreds are against you.
6. Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go and move on.
7. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, etc…
8. If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
9. Don’t choose the one who is beautiful to the world; choose the one who makes your world beautiful.
10. Falling in love is not a choice. To stay in love is.

I read these ten musings and thought, wow.......life lessons that should be shared.  Hope you enjoy them and embrace them, I think they are worth remembering.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


The Aspen trees had not even dropped their leaves of gold, when the early snow storm hit Jackson WY last week.......the second morning we were there this was our view from our window.  It was a beautiful precious gift from Mother Nature.....she knows how much I love the snow.  Every where we looked, it was post card perfect.  Snow.......it brings a silence that is as beautiful as any song the songbird sings......it brings a stillness that is a mix of peace and love.......it seems to cleanse and purify in a way that rain cannot.
Let it snow.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Snow Capped Tetons

We spent last week in Jackson, WY with friends......it is a beautiful place. Seeing the Tetons, and Yellowstone National Park was amazing.  Wish you all could have been there.  The Tetons were snow capped the first day we arrived by our second day there, everything was snow capped.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Daylight Savings Time

When told the reason for daylight savings time the Old Indian said, "Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket."  - Free Your Mind and Think

I saw this on Face Book, it made me laugh......but it is pretty  much how I feel about Daylight Savings.  I have never liked it, it has never made sense to me.  I think it contributes to our crazed thought process of never spending any time in stillness of always looking for some way to go as hard as we can 24/7.  I believe we have messed with our bio-rhythms and inner time clocks so much  our bodies no longer know when to work or rest.  

Fall and winter, the shorter days, longer nights.......it is a time to slow down, and rest not only for nature, but I think for humans as well.  We need the contemplation, the starkness and bareness, the darkness,  to remind us of growth and rebirth.......and to be grateful for the longer, warmer more fruitful days of spring and summer.
This switching, this turning back, springing forward......what a waste of energy, and I think quite a bit of arrogance.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


"When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied."  - Herophilus

My friend Charlie, always said "without your health, you have nothing."  Both quotes are quite true, you can still have family and friends and many do still create and are productive, but it is all so much better with good health.  Health is something that we all take for granted, until we begin to lose it......and then we understand its true value.

My wish tonight, my prayer tonight.......may we value our health, may we all keep it for a very long time.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November 1

November 1.....there is no place like home

November 1......I LOVE Thanksgiving

November 1.....it is fall in Alabama, this is when our colors of red, orange, browns and yellows really shine

November 1.....time for sweaters, boots and tasty hot soups

November 1.....the whole month should remind us of gratitude, everyday should be one of Thanksgiving

November 1.....big gigs this month, Johnson City Folk Festival and our CD concert at Hart and Soul

November 1.... this month is the eight year anniversary of my mom's death, I realized on the way to her funeral, that the leaves were in their glory.....her favorite color was red, and there were red leaves everywhere.

November 1......only one more month in 2013, how can I slow this breakneck pace of time

November 1......this month marks 23 months of treatments, no end in sight

November 1.....this just might be my most favorite month of the year

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Long Day

Long days....we all have them, and what each of us thinks makes up a long day is different with each person.  Usually, long days have something to do with the fact that things don't go as planned.  When that happens, you can panic, get angry, stress......or go with the flow.

Most of my long days, I can manage to go with the flow.....but every once in awhile.......I push the panic button.  That's ok if it is an occasional long day, but.......if every time you have a long day.....your buttons get pushed......time to rethink your reactions.

Today has been a long day.....but there is still much to be grateful for.
Goodnight Sweet dreams

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I walked into a Pendleton store recently......I bought a really cool hat, but something in that store brought a wave of memories that flooded my heart with happiness and my eyes with tears.  I walked by the woolen shirts, the basic plaid ones they have been making for years.......and there it was, the same red and grey plaid one that my dad bought in the sixties and still had when he died in 1991.  His birthday was this month, so seeing that shirt was almost like getting a hug from him.

Isn't it amazing what triggers our memories?  A smell, a sound, a song, a color, a word.......and we are off and running, wandering down a pathway that can bring great joy or great sadness and everything in between.  For me, seeing that shirt at a time when I so needed that hug was a gift.
I once had a friend who said he believed that those who talk about reincarnation were only recalling memories that were stored in their DNA from centuries ago.  I love that thought, that memories are with us forever.

My wish for all of you tonight, that sometime this week, your memory bank allows a withdrawal
that gives you great wishes, just as mine did this week.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


It is fairly easy for me to let go of control and attachment when it comes to me personally.......to do the same with family and friends......a whole different story.  Example, a good friend's dad is ill, I know she is having a difficult time.....and right now, I can't be there for her.  Example, other good friends will be in concert on Halloween, I can't be there to support them, and they are always there for me.  Example, I found out today my younger brother has to have some tests at the hospital in a few days, I can be there then, but I think I let him down today.  Right now, it is impossible for me to control any of these situations.  All I can think about, are the lessons that I am being taught about control.

Honestly, I am doing some serious struggling tonight.......my whole belief system....is based on kindness and being there for others in need.....and tonight, I think I have let some of the people I care about most down.  Letting go of control is a hard lesson for anyone, and really, let's face it.....there is no control.  Life happens, life goes on, life is messy........and it is going to take place, whether we like it or not.  I am not at my best health wise tonight, I feel even more vulnerable because of that.

I know that there are many of you who read this blog who struggle with the issues that I struggle with.......we have to realize daily, we can't control what is taking place around us and to those we love, we can only control how we react......hard lesson, but we can learn it together.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pay Off

exciting news today, John Godfrey, a dj who has a radio show in the UK, called The Troubadour Show sent me a message........He will be playing a cut off our CD on this week's show!  We did the happy dance.  It is always exciting to know that someone in some other country reads your blog, it is exciting to think that someone in another country will be playing our songs.

If you read my blog last night, this news today is living proof.......practice pays off, never giving up, pays off........believing in yourself, when no one else does.....pays off.
Now, it's time to work even harder.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I heard an incredible guitarist tonight, I would have sworn he was classical trained.....but he wasn't, he had just put the time in......the practice to be really good.  I think we often see someone who is so talented, they make what  they do look so easy.......and we forget, how many hours they  practiced, or wrote, or painted.  Talent is a gift, but many who seem blessed with unworldly talents started with average or mediocre talents and took them to the next level doing the reps.

Passion comes into play, the love of doing something, the need of doing it.......it feeds the desire, it fuels the wants.....and out of all of that, an ordinary person doing something extraordinary.
I read a quote by Michael Jordan once, he talked about how people just saw his accomplishments, they didn't see all the times he failed, all the times he tried and was not successful.  So, don't beat yourself up because you might not be the best.......do what ever you do with passion and love, and practice, practice, practice.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

New Post

New Post......I see those words every night as I write this blog, sometimes they are like old friends welcoming me into their home and other times........they are quite scary.  New Post......I am going into my fourth year of blogging......some days, I think what the heck, what do I have to share.......and then other days......my word cup runs over.  Students ask me why I blog, friends and family do also.......I think I try to share good news and hope......because honestly, my days are not always filled with hope or good news.
But, I truly believe we are our thoughts, we are the energy that controls our world ........I want someone to know they are loved.......I want someone to know that there is goodness.....I want to vibrate at the highest frequency I can.......so New Post, helps me do that.

New Post.......can also mean New Day.......a second chance, a new beginning, choosing a new path.
I like to share options, and interesting quotes and I try my hand at photographs......and sometimes, I share how mundane my life can be.......but, no matter......I try to always share some hope, a little bit of brightness,
some tenderness and love......so if you have had a bad day......you know that down here in Alabama there is a woman who talks with a thick southern accent who cares......who is not afraid to face, New Post, who most days embraces it.

New Post......it has been a chilly fall day, full of football, a great nephew's birthday party and household chores.  An ordinary day, but one to be grateful for........
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, October 25, 2013

Jammed Calendars

I think that I am experiencing calendar-too-full-citis......I realized today, every weekend in October was jammed, and so is November's.......now I know why I am so fatigued.  It seems in life there is always feast or famine........where is the middle and how do we achieve it?  I pride myself in my calendar organizational skills (time management) yet I still end up overbooked like most everyone else.  Rick complains because I multi-task way too often.......yet I think that most of us have to multi-task to survive some days.  I can't imagine my life without yoga, breath work and meditation.......thanks to my lifestyle, most days I feel centered and grounded and able to deal with it all one breath at a time.
 But once in a blue moon, (like today) I too feel overwhelmed.  A good friend asked me this morning how I handled life when I got down........I laughed and told her just like every one else.......sometimes I cry, I whine, I complain.......and then I have to remind myself, it could be worse.  It could be worse and this too shall pass......my mantras now.  Worse than a jammed calendar?  an empty one......and there are those times, when it is empty......that's when the, this too shall pass, goes through my head.

I hear the dogs barking, it is a very cold night......I figure the deer and other creatures are roaming around, looking for food and a warm place to bed down.  It is a good night for all creatures, big and small to seek
the basics, food, shelter, warmth.  I need a good night's sleep, some time to think about the  jammed calendar and carve out some me time.  Rick fished today, that is his me time.......I can't remember my last me time.....that goes on the calendar tomorrow.  Maybe we should all pencil in some me time on tomorrow's calendar.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Life to Everything

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything."   - Plato

I think Plato understood the power of music......music soothes, it excites, brings joy, touches a long forgotten memory, and sometimes brings tears.  I cannot imagine a life without music, for it is all around us.......from the music we create, to the music that nature creates.  May we always have music in our lives.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Do What You Love

Life changes every day, no matter your age.......what you love, what is important to you changes with every passing year.......but the one, I believe most important lesson that aging has taught me......do what your love.
I know, that is the title of our CD.......but that phrase, that belief has become my mantra with the passing years.  A friend of mine, who is a cancer survivor says it bluntly.......spend time only doing what you love, with people that you love.

It's not an easy task......to do what you love.......everyday life tends to get in the way......work, obligations,
stuff.......and then you wake up one day in one of those big green chairs, or hearing some ridiculous words coming out of a doctor's mouth, or getting a call that someone you love is dying.......and then, we wish, we pray, we hope, we want, we beg......to do what we love.

Do what you love.......at least a tiny little bit of it......every day. While there is time, while there is health, while there is quality of life.......do what you love......today is someday, today is tomorrow.......do what you love.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Strange and Wonderful

Some days are just strange and wonderful and everything in between.......today was one of those.
Awesome classes, with students leaving, tears, smiles and hugs and prayers for their peace and health.
Strange  meeting with possible new student as I was leaving work today......I think if he has memory of it tomorrow, he will be very embarrassed and  remorseful....... good chance there will be no memory, I hope there isn't.

One of the other yoga teachers questioned me today about the fatigue......he asked if he were abnormal or old......I smiled, and explained that when you teach as we teach, with as much heart and physical energy that we put into each class, there is not much left in our bodies or spirits by the time we go home. It is not that our classes are that physical, it truly is the heart and soul we put into them.  Our students are so needy, so wanting of love and non-judgement, they mainline our energy right out of us.  In the almost eight years that I have taught there, I come home every night, drained, achy and exhausted.

Home is my respite.....tonight, Rick and our nephew, Haven had moved all the trees and plants indoors.......it was wonderful, I came home to an indoor forest! complete with crickets and possibly other creatures we don't know about yet.  Hot soup and corn bread, warm pjs and a cup of tea.......I will be restored and ready to face another day tomorrow.   Good news today.......Rick and I will be playing the Johnson City Folk Festival in November, so if you or any of your friends or relatives live in the Johnson City, Tn area, come by and hear us play!  More details soon.

My warm welcoming bed beckons,  I am ready for some rest.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, October 21, 2013

People Who Came Before Us

"We're all ghosts.  We all carry, inside us, people who came before us."  -  Liam Callanan

As I taught class today,  I talked about who we are, that we are a composite of all of those who came before us.  Our DNA is that of our ancestors from a thousand years ago, our bone, blood, maybe even our thoughts and memories of all of those who came before us.

We talked about how tough life can be, but if we remember that we carry that DNA within us, of all of those who came before.......we can be strong, we can face whatever we need to face.  It is quite staggering is it not?  To think of all of those who came before us, to think of who and where we came from.....and what we can become.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Nesting and Organizing

I know this may might sound strange, but I love organizing my closet.......and that is what I did today.
All those years spent in the fashion world left their mark, when my closet is organized, I can shop it like a store.  Everything is organized by color and garment.....pants are together, tops, jackets, skirts, dresses.
Shoes are the same way......when my closet is in chaos, I feel as though my life is in chaos too.

When clutter starts to build in our house, I feel as though my life is cluttered.......my creative energy sinks,
and I feel as though the world is closing in........am I wacky or are there others who feel the same as me?
I love to get up in the mornings after I have spent the day before cleaning........when I wake up to a clean and orderly house, I feel as though all is right with the world.  My mom must have brainwashed me!

I have a little ritual that I do a few days before each treatment.......yep, you know it......I clean.  I put fresh linens on the bed, wash my pjs,.......I feel this agonizing need to nest before treatments.  I think it is because
I know how bad I will feel and the cleaning gives me some sense of control.  I promise, I am not a neat freak, my house is not spotless.......I am like everyone else, we all have our quirks.  There are days, you could walk in our house and swear that a bomb had just exploded.

What is it about fall that makes me want to nest?  I have this urge to repaint every room (oh, for the energy)
to buy new furniture, to rearrange everything.........it must be some primal urge from my ancestors or from mother nature herself......reminding me, that with chilly days and cold nights, we will spend more time indoors, all must be warm and cozy.  Tomorrow we bring the trees in........yes, we bring trees in......and for most of the winter, our great room will look like a forest.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Grateful Moon

We played our gig today, packed house, connected great with the audience, and sold cds........it was a good day.  We also did our gratitude ceremony tonight......I am a true believer in gratitude.  I think you have to put it out there, this being grateful stuff......if you take it all for granted, sooner or later it will disappear.
Gratitude not only brings joy, but it continues to bring more into your life to be grateful for.

My chair buddy Louis called today, I had given him a CD, he had it playing when he left his message.
Honestly, it is worth sitting in those big green chairs to have met Louis.  His light shines so brightly, he vibrates at such a high frequency.........it is a joy to look upon his face.

There is a full moon tonight, it is beautiful and bright........and not only does it shine on me, it is shinning down on you.  Be grateful for its brilliance, and the stars that shimmer all around........that is a peace that you can see......and feel.  Enjoy your Saturday night, if you are watching a game, I hope your team wins.  Have a gratitude filled Sunday........think of five things you have to be grateful for.....that will bring a smile to your face.  I shot the picture of the moon with my phone, it's grainy, but I loved the texture, and the feathery clouds.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Spooky Cookies

Jordan's school got out early today, so he came to our house........we picked flowers, chased butterflies, and made Spooky Cookies.  I was not one hundred percent, but it didn't matter, he had a great time and so did I.  Jordan is good medicine.  Today was school spirit day at his school, all the kids got their faces painted.
The cookies taste better than they look, I am not too fond of sugar sprinkles, but inches of sugar sprinkles are his favorite way to decorate.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

FGIF Tomorrow

Almost a full moon, but a cloudy sky tonight......tomorrow and Saturday night should be a full beauty.
Typical day after treatment, but this evening is better.......still the fog hangs around my brain.
Time has a way of swimming in and out of focus on days like today.  We practiced for our gig, though my concentration was somewhere else.  Concentration is interesting, you can go through the motions......but when you hit the zone......you are in the present, and every cell of your being is right there, focused on what you are experiencing.  That was not my case today, but the chemical induced cloud is lifting and clarity will come by morning.

Tomorrow is Friday.......I know, I heard that sigh of TGIF all across the universe.  Wishing you a day of smooth sailing tomorrow, may the weekend gods smile in your direction......no traffic jams, no grumpy
bumpy people, may you all find your lucky penny.
May I find my energy and focus.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Treatment #22

LONG day.......saw the doc, did the lab, did the treatment.   I am a wee bit exhausted......but there is rain on the tin roof tonight, welcome rain......October is our dry month.
I will rest  tomorrow, that is for certain......and there will be practice.  We play the Kentuck Arts Festival this Saturday at noon.  It is a big deal for us, we had submitted for three years in a row and finally got picked this year.

I saw my chair buddy today, the infusion room is a strange breeding ground for friendship.......but that room and those big green chairs create a bond that is binding.  There are always new faces......and there is pleasure and hope when you see familiar faces.  Today was one of those days when the room had much laughter......those are good days.  The bad ones are when you see tears and the doctors hugging family members.

I sat in a different chair today, across the room from where I usually sit..........very different perspective, and I was by the window.  As I looked out the window and watched people walk by, most of them had difficulty
looking at us in those big green chairs.......they glanced quickly, looked away and walked faster.  I don't blame them,  most know what takes place in those chairs, no one wants to sit in them.   Today marked treatment number twenty-two for me........22 months and it continues open ended.  My chair buddy Louis, has been coming for sixteen years, when I get down I think of him........he always says "you do what it takes."
He is right.

My nurses showed me pictures of their kids, their dogs, and home renovations........we are family now.
Family......even my doctor feels like family, or an old friend.  She and I talked about her kids, about her cute boots, and about some of the fears we share.  We are in this for the long run.  I am grateful for my loving and very competent care givers.........sitting in those green chairs would be unbearable without them.
Those big green chairs.......I love them, I hate them.....can't live without them.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


For years I thought that goldenrod was the culprit........you know what I am talking about, the sneezing, itchy eyes, and sheer misery of fall's hay fever.  Then a few years ago, ragweed was identified as the villain.  I'm glad that goldenrod has been vindicated.........it is such a pretty flower, and the fields of it  growing wild here can be breathtaking in the fall.  Our path that we walk daily has huge stalks of the golden feathers that wave in the breeze, and shimmer in the autumn sun.   Of course there are some who scoff at the new findings, goldenrod will always be the reason for their fall misery......maybe it's a combination of the two......maybe goldenrod and ragweed together make the potion that is so vile.  In the meantime, I will enjoy the golden beauty and blame the sneezes on the not so pretty ragweed.  Hoping for rain and fresh clean air soon.

Monday, October 14, 2013

No.....two letters, such a tiny word......yet it can be such a difficult word to say.  When we are unable to say no, to set boundaries......we do ourselves and those around us a great dis-service.  I am as guilty as anyone, but I do admit......I am much better than I use to be.   There was a time when I allowed myself to be stretched beyond limits, and would beat myself up because I couldn't stretch more.

Dealing with chronic illness, being a care-giver and aging all played a part in my ability to learn to say no.
I see friends and students stressed beyond imagination because they can't say no.......their lives are miserable, the people are around them see and feel their misery and yet they continue to say yes when they should say no. Always saying yes, spending time with people and activities that soak up your energy and spirit is a slow death......and it will continue to eat you alive until you learn to say no.

Once you learn to to say those two letters.......no.......life changes for the better.....you get your self-respect back, you feel in control........it is ok to say no.......tell yourself that until you believe it.......the world won't fall apart because you said no, it will keep on and those you say no to will find someone who will say yes.
Life is short, energy is limited.......don't waste either by saying yes to things you don't want to do, spending time with those you just don't want to spend time with.  Just say no.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Today Is The Right Day

This quote from the Dalai Lama just resonated with me tonight.........treatment this week, this keeps it in perspective.

"There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done.  One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live."  - Dalai Lama