Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blazing Star

I stepped out on the deck this morning, Mamie's blazing star was shinning bright.  It seemed appropriate that it would bloom this Independence week.

It stands over 12 feet tall, covered in buds that will soon bloom just as these did this morning.
What a gift!

A much better day today, after all the morning started with a "blazing star."

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Musings

Almost a full moon tonight...coming at the first of a new month...lots of energy and change in the air.
Our garden has celebrated since the rain last week with new growth.  We have small green tomatoes!

I did not make it to work today...a bout of meningitis hit...am better tonight, but I sure did miss my students.

I still have a little brain fog, I hope your week started with all good things.
Goodnight, sweet dreams

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Gratitude

Sundays are my favorite day of the week...mornings are for coffee and newspapers...the rest of the day...rest, naps, food and good things.  I wish every day could be Sunday.

We spent a great deal of the day on the screened porch and the rest of the day on the deck....It was only mid- 80's today with low humidity...the perfect summer day.

My table is full of peaches and blueberries.  Candles and flowers rest in the center of the table, with some cash...tonight was a gratitude ceremony.  Without gratitude, there is no joy and our life is so full of abundance, it would be a sin to show no thankfulness.

Peace, gratitude and joy...may you all experience them tonight and the rest of the week.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Porch Weather

Porch weather...finally we get our screened porch cleaned and ready for the summer.  For some reason, it was just a slow go this spring.  But, it was on the agenda today and we made it happen. Nothing quite like a screened porch on a warm summer day, ceiling fan turning and cool green ferns...a glass of ice tea and the complications of life become simple for a few moments.

Everything is scrubbed, the plants are in new pots....it's ready for coffee sipping in the morning.
I love our porch...it is our getaway when days are tough.  There are almost two dozen wind chimes, twinkle lights and speakers for our stereo...and an old metal glider that belonged to my grandmother, a table with chairs and a gurgling water fountain...it is a little piece of heaven.

I hope your Saturday has been as happy as mine...wishing you a peaceful Sunday.

Friday, June 26, 2015

What You Love

I saw a quote today..."promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate."  - David Wolf
I love that sentiment and that is what I try to do with this blog.  What a difference it would make if tomorrow we all talked about what we love and said nothing about what we hated.  Even if we only did it for a few minutes it would change the energy around us.

Tonight we had dinner with friends, went to our great-nephew's birthday party and just had a wonderful evening.  We spent our time with those we love, we laughed, hugged, had  good food and enjoyed life...that is what it's all about.  Life is so short...even if we live to be 100.  Spend it well, with those you love, doing what you love.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Our blueberries are so prolific this year...they are fat, juicy and every day waiting to be picked and made into yummies such as smoothies, pound cakes, muffins, waffles...well, let's just say we have consumed a great many blueberries in the past couple of weeks.

Jordan comes by almost daily for a blueberry fix...his favorite way to eat them...right off the bush.
Blackberries are almost as plentiful, but then there are the thorns.

We are finally getting a little rain...it has been quite some time since it has been this hot and dry in June.  I walk the dogs early in the morning but with the high humidity, the dogs are exhausted by the time we finish the walk...I am usually pretty tired too.

It has been another long productive day, time for a cup of hot tea and my cozy bed.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Secret of Change

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new."  -Socrates

Since I write about change or transformation so often this quote really spoke to me.  I read quotes constantly but had never read this one.  I wrote it on my board at work this week.
This one will stay with me for awhile.

Today is Wednesday, hump day...my off day.  For the first time in a few weeks I feel wonderful...I had energy to spare today, let's hope it stays for awhile.

Our heat is still building, early afternoon it was 100 degrees (heat index of 110) summer came early.
As my Irish friends say, we live in the hot country.  The humidity was so thick and damp today, taking a deep breath was almost impossible. I really appreciate my  Smart Vest.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pass It On

I had posted last night's quote about life's storms because it seemed the whole world had storms these last few weeks.  There have been personal storms, national storms, even stormy weather...energy shifts seem to take place across the board sometimes.

Are these shifts like dominoes, falling one by one...are they caused by a shift in the stars and planets... do we humans release such negative energy that storms erupt at will?  Is it the heat and humidity of an early summer heat wave?

I know what is said on Face Book, and other social media, on the news and in beauty salons...but sorry, I just don't buy into a world taken over by evil.  I know too many good people...people with kind hearts, full of love, and forgiveness.  I see too much beauty around me...and with that much beauty...evil can never take over.  I do think, those who wish to do harm and wreck havoc are given way too much press, too much publicity and too much importance in our daily lives.  And I know the naysayers love to preach hate and corruption.. but,take away the glamour, the tv cameras, the book deals, the movie deals...replace it all with mandatory responsibility of our actions.

I do believe that education, kindness and love can change hearts and minds...and I also believe we have to practice kindness in our daily lives...even to those that seem so undeserving of kindness.
We live in a complicated world, full of people who are different, who have different beliefs, cultures and lifestyles...it is time that tolerance was practiced and taught.  It is time to treat others the way we want to be treated ourselves.  Pass it on.

Monday, June 22, 2015


"When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person that walked in.  That's what the storm is all about." - Haruki Murakami

It seems that there is always a storm raging in someone's life, I wish there were an easier way to change.  Hoping your Monday was smooth sailing and no storms on the horizon.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

My dad Sharky and me, 1990 Laguna Beach just a few months before he died.  It was autumn and his absolute favorite time at the beach.

This is my favorite picture of the two of us.
I miss him every day.
Happy Father's Day Daddy...to all you dads...I hope you have had a wonderful day...teach your children well.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Best Meds

A jam packed Saturday afternoon...seven great nieces and nephews...a weenie roast, a scavenger hunt, a water gun/rocket  wet down.  Wow.

Thank goodness the meds kicked in around 4:00 am this morning or I would never have made it thru the day.  But the sound of giggles, laughter and squeals of delight are by far, the best meds in the world.

Quality of life is most important...today there was great quality in my life.  Friends and family, food and lots of kids, on a hot summer's day...it was glorious.

Tonight's fatigue is so much better than last night's.  A cup of hot tea awaits and my warm cozy bed.
Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Night Thoughts

A trip to the doctor first thing this morning, a couple of shots, more antibiotics...ugh.
But, it has been a beautiful day, hot and dry, but absolutely beautiful.
I hope your weekend is off to a better start than mine...this too shall pass.
A wee bit tired, well actually very tired.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hard Work

The blossom is a rose of sharon, I have pink, purple and white and a white with a red throat.  They came from my mom, my oldest sister and my grandmother.

The bushes are big and tall and the humming birds are loving them. I know when they bloom, it is summer...regardless of what the calendar shows.

Jordan helped me plant impatiens today.  About half way through, he was very hot and sweaty and became a little whinny.  I told him I understood, I was hot and tired also...but we had a couple more containers to go.

Ever the problem solver, he suggested that was good, but, as soon as we finished he would need a bath, I would need a shower and we both would need lunch.  I agreed.

He also planted a container of flowers to take to his house.  I explained that he would have to water and care for them. He asked if he would need to move them inside this winter and I said yes.  He then informed me, that gardening was hard work...once again, I agreed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

One Breath

I talked with one of my students yesterday, it was his last class with me.  He was excited, happy and scared...I reminded him that the world he left behind a few months ago was waiting for him, but now he had knowledge and tools to help him navigate the ups and downs of life.

I told him about a friend who is a Buddhist monk, who goes into places of turmoil to help those in need...I asked the nun who often accompanied him on these missions how he did it, how he dealt with so much stress and sorrow.  She said she had asked him that question herself...his reply, "one breath at a time."  I told my student that not only do we have to live one day at a time, but most often..."one breath at a time."

I am still experiencing bouts of , mild aseptic meningitis.  It has been five months since my last treatment.  The past week has been difficult, I have worked and gone about my daily life, but it has been interesting. I read some information on the internet that suggested these symptoms could last as long as a year after the last treatment.  They are getting milder, so hopefully within the next few months they will fade away.  But I truly understand..."one breath at a time."

We all experience difficult times and some days we think we might not it make to the next one or even the end of the current one.  It does come down quite often to "one breath at a time."
Whether you are dealing with chronic pain, depression, addiction, or a life in turmoil....hang on, find help, ask for help...and know that this too shall pass...and when it becomes unbearable...remember,
"one breath at a time."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fresh Flowers

since everything is so lush and beautiful right now, I had to share another picture with you...my beautiful
fragrant gardenia...The leaves are so shiny and deep green, the waxy flower is pure white with a fragrance that can only be described as heavenly.

They are in every room of my house...and they are truly a transformation.  When you walk in and smell that sweetness, you feel relaxed and immediately the stress levels begin to drop.

I urge all of you to keep fresh flowers in your home...it is peaceful and restful.  It is a small reminder of nature, her beauty and our connection.
 Flowers are a reminder that good does exist...they are a gift.

Monday, June 15, 2015


With the heat comes the flowers...everything has started to bloom...gardenias, magnolias, rose of sharons...the butterflies and hummingbirds are in heaven.

Hope your week had a good start, if it didn't, hope it's better tomorrow.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Well the gremlins have done it again...I had tonight's blog written and as I was typing the last sentence everything just disappeared.  Nothing to be found, anywhere.

I am exhausted, the past three days have been slammed...so I suppose what I am saying...too tired to write another blog entry tonight.  This is so strange, it has happened way too many times...ugh.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Thorns and Roses

sharing what I think is a wonderful quote with you all tonight...

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."  - Abraham Lincoln

Friday, June 12, 2015

Rain and Chickens

I always plant flowers along the edge of our vegetable garden...usually sunflowers and zinnias.  Because of the rainy cold spring I didn't plant the flower seeds until this past week.....then no rain and scorching heat appeared.  But, the rain came today...not a great deal, we could use more...but a nice heavy shower.  I walked down to the garden to look at the happy plants after the rain and I swear the flowers had grown a half inch since this morning.

The air was so fresh and clean, the wind was blowing...Taz and I sat on the back steps enjoying the the smell of rain on dry ground.  It seemed that every living thing around us breathed a sigh of relief.
Even the chickens seemed to enjoy their evening stroll and scratch a little more than usual.

Speaking of chickens, we have a new one...she just appeared a few days ago.  She looks like a road runner, built for speed, not very domesticated looking at all.  Not sure how she found us, none of our neighbors have chickens, but she has made herself at home...there seems to be no plans to leave.
Zeus, our rooster and his brood of hens have shunned her so far...but that will change...and honestly, she doesn't seemed bothered by their neglect.

As I mentioned last night, a busy weekend ahead...I do hope for more rain.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday Musings

The energy in classes today was awesome.  As always,  first-timers and people saying goodbye...but a sweet peace filled the room and stayed with us for both classes.  Meditation class was exceptional...there were tears and smiles.

If the heat backs off next week I want to take the group on a walking meditation.  I try to make every yoga and meditation class different, so that the students get a broad view of how they can develop a yoga and meditation practice.  It can be tricky, usually if I have any class notes I don't even use them.
I read the energy levels, listen to students as they walk in the room and then decide what they need for class that day.  It works great for the students but can be quite exhausting for me.

A long busy weekend ahead...Jordan tomorrow, go see some friends play Saturday and Rick's family reunion Sunday.  I hear my comfy bed calling my name.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Flower Explosion

Now that our temps are reaching the upper 80's and low 90's the flowers are exploding with blossoms.

Our humming bird population loves this one...I always make sure we have red flowers for those tiny creatures.

It's hump day...and my off day...enjoy the rest of the week.
Oh yes, according to the Farmer's Almanac...the earliest sunrise of the year will take place on the 14th of June...one week later, summer arrives.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Circle Keeps Spinning

It is easy to worry...about your family, your friends, the world in general.  Sometimes the hardest part of life is to let go and trust that it will all work out...and it will...one way or another.  I think we all want to buffer those we love from pain, harm and life's rough spots...but we can't.  We all have to walk our own path, live and die by our choices and accept responsibility for what we do.

Hearts get broken, lives are destroyed...and yet the circle keeps spinning.  We tend to forget that the choices we make, affect many more lives than just ours.  We foolishly think when we make decisions that it has nothing to do with anyone else...but it does.  We are connected...whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.

We are not islands...we are more like a massive root system to one large incredible being...our pain and suffering is felt by more than just ourselves...the thought that we are alone, that no one has gone through what we have is totally self-centered.  I can promise that for every sad story, for every heartbreak, there is another one that is much worse...if you saw inside your neighbor's heart you would be surprised...so many carry their wounds and burdens with no help, no sharing...yet others think their problems, their concerns are the greatest...and they let everyone around them know.

I think when we begin to realize how connected, how much alike we all are...how much one person's actions affect so many more lives than just theirs...then true transformation will take place in the human race.  We are not alone...no matter how dark the circumstance...we are not alone...we are not the first, we won't be the last...the circle keeps spinning.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bleeding Heart

My grandmother Mamie, gave my mom this plant probably 40 or 50 years ago...it fills one corner of my deck...it is a bleeding heart.

This plant is like a member of the family...an old friend.  I look at it and think of the two strong women who had it before me...I feel their love and strength.

Its beauty leaves me breathless.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


A few weeks ago, one of my blog friends, Julia suggested that I should write a column for a newspaper...for whatever reason her suggestion resonated with me.  I mentioned it to Rick and he agreed with Julia...there is a paper called The Leaf that runs Rick's column, I thought it might be suitable for me.  Rick sent the publisher a note and she immediately sent a note back saying yes, she would love for me to write a column.  So, in about an hour's time I went from blogger to columnist.

The Leaf is a monthly publication full of creative writing, and beautiful art work...I am honored to have my writing appear in such a wonderful paper...and I am grateful to Julia for her kind words and encouragement.  This has been quite a transformation for me...my blogs are usually not that long, so I am learning format and giving even more thought to my words that I put to paper.

My blog has been life changing in many ways...it has taught me discipline, sharpened my writing skills, made me realize how important words are....but most importantly, it increased my circle of friends.  Some of you have been with me since the beginning, but you all have been there for me through the good and bad...and I appreciate it.

After my first column is published this month, I will share it with you all...after all, ya'll are responsible for this transformation.  I hope The Leaf's readers respond to my writing the way my blog friends have.  Once again, thanks for the encouragement and all the kind words...I am a little nervous, but excited.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Ruby's Pound Cake

I found my mother's pound cake recipe awhile back.  I know it's a southern thing, but she made the best pound cakes...I had made hers before, but it was years ago...yesterday I decided today I would make Ruby's pound cake again.

I got out the old tube pan, the butter, the eggs and placed them on the counter top this morning.
Just before noon, I started to cream the sugar and butter and cream cheese ( yes, it has cream cheese in it) added the vanilla flavoring, the eggs and finally began to sift the flour in.  It was already beginning to smell like momma's kitchen.  The pan was full of batter and ready for the oven.

An hour and a half later, a golden brown pound confection came out of my over...the whole house smelled of vanilla and butter and sugar...I couldn't wait, I had to have a slice...it was warm and rich and smooth...just like my mom's.

My transformation today...a visit back in time, a happy memory...every golden morsel reminded me of my mom and all the time spent in her kitchen.  I am eternally grateful that she taught me how to cook, to love cooking...to understand that making a meal was an art, and almost a spiritual experience...that nothing could beat a meal cooked with love and fresh ingredients.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Lessons From a Seven Year Old

 Jordan picked the first ripe blackberries today...it has become a tradition, he always gets to pick the first ripened fruit whether it be blueberries, apples, pears, blackberries, peaches.  A seven year old can truly give lessons on enjoying your food.  He looked at each blackberry today, discussing color, size, and ripeness...he squished the first one and licked the juice off his fingers...then with a big smile popped it in his mouth, devouring every drop and tiny seed.

Everything he does, he does with joy...he runs across the back yard and his giggles ring out...he blows bubbles and his laughter floats across the trees.  He reminds me of the things that I teach...he lives them.  He is in the now, every minute of the day...he lives each moment to its fullest.

We have had a busy day, washing yoga mats, cleaning house, picking berries, and of course...having fun.  I bought the ingredients for smores, we are cooking out tomorrow afternoon and that will be our dessert...but we had to open the marshmallows and chocolate bars today...just one...please.

It has been a beautiful Friday, nice and laid back, hopefully the weekend will be the same.
No gig, no places to be.....just a weekend to hang out.  I hope your weekend is exactly what you need...here's to blue skies, warm sun, and lots of laughter.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Grateful Teacher

Class was packed out today...new students and saying goodbye to one.  Saying goodbye, saying hello...it happens so often, even so....after 10 years it is the most difficult part of the job.  Saying hello means someone's life is in shambles...saying goodbye means they are returning to a life that will change for the better, or could become even worse than it was before.  Prayers are uttered constantly for the names and faces that cloud my brain, those students whose lives touch  mine only for moments in the scheme of things.

Occasionally, I see a student from the past, or hear how someone is doing...most of the time, our lives intersect for a few short months and I never see or hear from them again.  I choose to believe that no news is good news and that all is well.  But I do think of so many of them and hope with all my heart that all is well.  Through this past ten years I have taught thousands...that is a staggering thought, a sad one, when you think of where I teach.  But, people's lives are complicated, stressful, and often more difficult than you can imagine...many lives are sad, burdened by guilt, haunted by the past...
 all are looking for peace and happiness.

So tonight, I send good thoughts, healing energies and loving prayers to every student I have ever taught privately, in community classes, and at my job...  I hope that life is treating you kind, that you have found the peace and joy and happiness you searched for...it is an  honor to have been your teacher...and many of you have taught me so much more than I could ever teach you...I will always be grateful for each and every one of you.  I am a lucky woman.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Becoming Your Disease

Normally I am not a big sun person ( well, not since my teens) but for the past few months I have craved the sun...its light, its warmth, its brightness.  I find myself going out on the deck at noon and just sitting for a few minutes to bask.  It is interesting how our bodies change, how our needs change.
I know for now, my body and probably my spirit needs the sun...much like a plant...I feel growth taking place.

Since I stopped IVIG treatments there has been tremendous change in my energy, my feelings and even my emotions.  I had almost forgotten what being Jilda felt like, but I remember now...and I like it.  For all my fighting, and struggling...the disease and treatments were trying to take over my being.
It has been quite some time since I felt free...but that is how I feel these days...free.

I still deal with the illness, but the Smart Vest is amazing...that hour every day has been a game changer. Taking a deep breath has never felt so good. My heart is filled with gratitude.

If you are struggling with chronic illness, it is so very important that you do not become your disease.
Trust me, I know how easy it is for a chronic illness to take command of your life...to lose your identity to meds, doctor's visits and bad days.  But for your well being, for your survival, you cannot let the illness consume you.  It is imperative to live your life the best you can, to have normalcy.
Even if you cannot do what you once did, do something, make attempts, embrace a new hobby, make some new friends and NEVER forget to be grateful...to remember to look for the good every day.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Full Moon Musings

Full moon tonight...I love full moons.  They serve as reminders that the same moon shinning down on me is also shinning down on everyone I love and care about.  I love the lore about the moon, the lunar madness stories, the old wive's tales, everything pertaining to the moon, full , waxing or waning...or even the darkness (no moon).

I always feel more energetic during a full moon.  During last month's full moon, we were in Fair Hope, seeing the moon shine on the bay was magical.  It seems my wanderlust kicks in the most during a full moon...a trip anywhere sounds good to me tonight.

I love the link between a full moon and transformation...after all, think about the tales of werewolves,
Dracula and such.  Folk lore is full of moon stories, and then there  are all the names of full moons...blood moon, hunter's moon, harvest moon....the list goes on.

I look at the moon tonight and I smile...knowing that it shines on you, on me and the rest of the world.  We are all covered in moonlight, bathed by a silvery glow that seems so much more mysterious than the sun.  With the sun, what you see is what you get...bright light, blazing heat...but with the moon...there are shadows, stars, phases....mystical revelations,Biblical explanations, fear and love...common sense and the stuff fairy tales are made of.

Some say the moon shines only because of the sun, I say the sun shines because of its adoration of the moon...once again that yin and yang, the balance of all that will and should be.  May we all be bathed in the light of that pearly orb...and feel just a touch of its magic.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1,

June 1...Rick has survived strep, and I survived a nasty stomach bug this weekend

June 1...the year is almost half gone

June 1...the gardenias and magnolias are blooming, I'm in heaven

June 1...ripe blueberries and soon blackberries.....jams and pies

June 1...rainy and cool, feels more like April than June

June 1...summer is just a few short weeks away

June 1...our niece Samantha ( Jordan's mom) got her BS degree

June 1...lemonade is this  month's drink of choice

June 1...my favorite June meal, pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese, black olives and onions, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar....yummy

June 1....it is so easy to go meatless in the summer

June 1..almost a full moon tonight

June 1...a beach trip would be nice, or a trip out west