Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 31

October 31, yes it is Halloween, but it also means there are only two months left in 2010. It seems like only yesterday we were looking at the year 2000 with awe. How can time go so quickly when you want it to last and move so slow when you want it over???? This is when I have to remind myself, be in the now. If we didn't have clocks or calendars would all this time stuff matter?
What would it be like to just live day by day, with no concept of time? No need for day planners, or reminders. What if we got up with the sun and went to bed with the moon and stars?

It seems that many of the songs that I have co-written have dealt with time in some way or another. Titles such as Time Has Wings, Turn Around(Life Is Fleeting), Do What You Love,
these are all songs that I have helped to write, and they and many others deal with the passing of time. I think I am like many of you my friends, obsessed with time......especially my time here, on this earth.

We are told from the time we are children, don't waste time, spend it wisely. So, what is wisely....
is it learning all you can, is it doing what you love, is it being present in the now, is it longing for the past, or terrified of the future, is it being stuck in a life that has no meaning, is it living a life full of kindness or trying to make as much money as possible?

I think of an hourglass, and maybe when we are children the grains of sand drop one grain at a time, and with each passing year more and more grains drop until it is like a raging sandstorm
by the time we are old. The clock keeps ticking, and I think that surely by now, I would know, I would have so many more answers than questions, but that is not to be. Every day I seem to have more questions and fewer answers, what happened to all the wisdom that was suppose to come with age?????

Tonight, all I can say is this......I have had a good day, most of it has been spent in the now, with very little thought of the past, and few thoughts of the future. I think I have spent my time wisely today, I did what I love, I lived with kindness, I spent time with friends and family, and sent notes to those I miss. I wish you all a day as good as this one, I wish you all an even better day tomorrow. Spend it wisely.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Me and Pinetop,

A few years ago, my friend Randy Palmer asked Rick and I to assist him in managing a stage at the City Stages Music Festival in Birmingham, Al. Now, City Stages was a world class music venue and it was an honor to be asked to do such a task. (yes, The Overalls got to play City Stages, incredible, another story down the road)
But, this was before The Overalls. Randy managed the Sampler Stage, which was blues, folk
bluegrass, roots music, you know the really good stuff! We did this amazing feat a couple of years,
and I'd do it all over again if asked. But sadly, the Festival like so many good things has bit the dust.

So,one of the years that we helped ,Bonnie Raitt was the headliner on the Coke stage(the biggie)
and Pinetop Perkins was our headliner. So, I guess I need to explain to some of you who Pinetop is............
He is, in my personal opinion, the best blues piano player in the world. He played with Muddy Waters for many years, but let me tell you, if you love true, Delta, earthy soul rocking blues, then you gotta love Pinetop! When I met him that night, and I was to be his liaison and escort, he told me that he had to see Miss Bonnie. Well, I told Randy and he told me that security was so tight around the Coke stage that even with an all access tag hanging round my neck, they would never let me back stage, but somehow I had to do it. Randy, being the wild and wacky friend that he is, told me it was my destiny to reunite Pinetop and Bonnie. They had played together years before. So, taking Pinetop's words to heart and accepting Randy's call to my destiny, I got a golf cart and Pinetop and I took off through a crowd of roughly thirty or forty thousand people.

We made it across the park to the Coke stage, but once we got past the crowd waiting for Bonnie, there were Birmingham police officers seems no one was to be back stage for any reason during her performance. The first few officers I spoke with, were heartless, they were doing their job, no matter what. But, finally I found a young officer who would listen to my story(well and by that time, I had actually begun to cry, spending all this time with Pinetop I had truly fallen under his charm and I was determined to make his wish come true) the young officer found the stage manager for the Coke stage, and brought him down to talk with me. At first he too was adamant, NO ONE backstage, NO ONE approaches Bonnie. But, he finally said ok,
we could be backstage but couldn't speak to her as she approached. HA!, I was on a mission by then and NO ONE was going to prevent Pinetop from speaking with Miss Bonnie.

The young officer helped me assist Pinetop up the steps, and then as Bonnie Raitt began to walk up the steps coming to the stage, I stepped forward with Pinetop. When she saw Pinetop, she began to cry and hug him! There was not a dry eye backstage, and she introduced Pinetop to the crowd and he played the show with her. It is one of the best memories of my life.

That night as Pinetop and I talked, and I took him to his hotel on the golf cart, he thanked me for helping him. I thanked him, and told him what an honor and privilege it had been to spend those few hours with him. At the hotel as he was leaving the golf cart, he hugged me and then he made my night..........he told me that if he were twenty years younger, I'd not be going home with my husband that night, Id' be going with him!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Good Night

We played at Local Color tonight, a really unique music venue. It is an Art Gallery, wonderful
restaurant, and they support live music! The crowd was good ,they stayed until the last song.
For dinner I had hopping John, which was excellent.

Sometimes the music gods just smile on you, and everything you do feels right, and that is how it felt tonight. I am tired, but it's a good tired, time for Good Night, Sweet Dreams.
I promise, better writing tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spinning Wheels

It has been rather hectic the past few weeks, as a matter of fact it seems that the wheels are spinning faster and faster and I am getting less and less done. My body is trying to tell me to slow down, whenever life gets out of hand, knots form in the pit of my stomach and they live there twenty four seven. It hasn't been anything in particular, just a full plate.

I keep looking at the calendar trying to figure out when I can take some time to chill, the way it is looking today, maybe sometime after New Years. Family members make fun of my day planner, but that along with yoga and breath work, keep me sane in times like these. A few weeks ago, I saw some cousins and many times we have discussed a cousins family reunion. I saw them around the end of September and mentioned that January would be good for me. One of them looked at me as though horns were sprouting from my head, I tried to explain that every weekend in October was booked, about half of November and part of December, January was open. Of course now, well you know, January is starting to .........

So, I am thinking tonight, that sometime over the weekend, there has to be chill time. Time for a few hours to read, maybe spend the day in my pjs, we have several new songs we need to complete, and studio time that needs to be spent........I know you all are sick of hearing me talk about the beach, but my body craves salty air so bad! Maybe a writer's weekend at the beach,
have some oysters on the half shell, boiled shrimp, if we headed up the east coast some clams would be nice.

It has been a long day, and I am sure after a good night's sleep, all will be well. First thing in the morning, a couple of cups of coffee, a little while to meditate, and then my trusty day planner will show me all that the day holds. You know several years ago, I stopped wearing a watch, it was magic. Maybe I need to ditch the day planner........naw, the wheels would get out of control for sure.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Keeping In Touch

I heard from a friend today, it had been a long time since we last communicated. I had thought of him often, but you know sometimes friendships drift and space is needed. He had read my blog last night about my dad and it had touched him, because his father's birthday is late October also.
It did my heart good, to get his note, and know that he is well and that life is treating him kind.

I try to keep in touch with my friends, old and new. Sometimes it is just not in the cards........interests change, life happens. But it is thrilling when friends keeps in touch. Just to know that someone thinks of you, that they want to know how you are and what you are doing.
There is something so special about the human connection, of keeping in touch. Don't you love that phrase, keeping in touch. Those words say it all. Keeping in touch, not drifting away, wanting to continue to care about you, no matter the distance.

So tonight, if you have friends that you think about, would love to hear from, no matter how long it has been........keep in touch. I can promise you, you will make their day when they hear from you. Even friends who are in close proximity lose touch and that is even sadder. When we allow ourselves to become so busy, we don't "keep in touch" It's different if the friendship has waned but if it is someone who still holds a place in your heart, Keep In Touch, no matter how embarrassingly long it has been.

Thanks to all my friends tonight who keep in touch. Sometimes I have a bad day or I'm just down, and I open my e-mail and there is a note that changes my day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, may we always keep in touch.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Daddy's Wisdom

This week was my dad's birthday. He passed away twenty years ago, it just seems like yesterday.
My dad shared a lot of wisdom with me. He was kind and gentle and was there when ever family or friends needed him. He told me two things that I have carried with me through out my life.... work out your own salvation and don't straddle the fence.

My parents "got religion" after my older brothers and sisters left home and married. We went to a fundamentalist pentecostal church. It was small, and no there were snakes handled or at least none that I can remember, but it was a lively church. The kind where the singing was loud and emotional, every sermon was fire and brimstone, and every service was all about sin.

As I became a teenager, I began to question my mom and dad about our religion. It was the sixties and early seventies, so everyone had questions. My mom would just tell me to read my Bible or that I had no business asking so many questions, but daddy would listen. The amazing thing, most of the time he agreed with me. Most of my questions dealt with race, hate and war.
So one day when I had question my dad so much about his thoughts on God, and the particulars of our religion, he looked at me and said, "you know, I believe you have to work out your own salvation." I am sure at the time if the church elders had gotten wind of this, he would have been thrown out of the church. But, my dad had been through the horrors of World War Two, he had survived an underground mine explosion, I think he knew God better than anyone I have ever met. He believed in the Golden Rule, of loving your neighbor, and lending a helping hand.

The other wisdom that he always stressed, was not straddling the fence. He would always tell me, stand up for your thoughts and beliefs. It doesn't matter if no one likes them or what anybody thinks of you, don't be wishy washy.

So tonight, I sit and think of my dad. I have his blue eyes and I hope that I have his kind heart and wisdom. I have missed him very much today, his laughter and sense of humor, his hugs.
I close my eyes and see him, sitting on the side of the bed, playing that old silvertone guitar
and singing. I remember going to work with him on Saturday mornings, my brother and I and he would stop at this little gas station and buy us grape drinks and Hersey kisses. He could fry the best fried chicken in the world and he taught me how to eat raw oysters and shoot pool. I thought he would live forever.........I was wrong.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's A Choice

Every day when I teach a yoga class, I am amazed at reactions of students. .......I have taught thousands but when someone "gets it", it is still thrilling! I watch my students closely, to make sure that alignment is good, that they are safe, to see who is enjoying the class and who is there because they were made to come. Some are so skeptical when they walk in for the first time, others are really nervous, some are angry, others are just glad to be where it is calm and peaceful.

Today was a typical day, several were so happy to be there, a couple were a little nervous, and one comes because they are made. It is hard to teach someone stillness and peacefulness when they do not want it.......well they want it, but they cannot believe that anything as simple as breath work and gentle stretches will do anything. I watch this person who is made to take yoga, they do not close their eyes during the first few minutes of breath work, not much effort in the asanas(poses).
Forcing someone to take yoga, makes no sense to me, it is like trying to force someone to quit smoking or drinking alcohol. They leave looking bored with hollow eyes, I feel so sad for them.
They can't grasp what the big deal is, what all the others are raving about, the sensation of peace and the beauty of stillness. But it is a choice you know. I give 100% to my students, but the vessel has to be open, there has to be a willingness, a want or desire to know peace, to relax.

Then there are those, who are so ready.....who drink it up and cannot believe it was so simple and easy. Who understand that breath is everything, it is the key to now, to living in the present. The breath is healing, the breath is calm, it allows you to go inward and find answers you have been searching for your whole life. Yes, it is that simple. Many teach yoga as a physical fitness, as just another way to exercise and I suppose if that is all you look for, then that is what you get. But there is a choice to make, do you want a better understanding of your self, to go deeper and find answers, to be so aware of your body and its workings, to connect with the world around you, to relax, to sleep, to manage pain, to travel a path to good health, and live a happier peaceful life. It is that simple, to breathe, to experience stillness, to meditate.

It's a choice, I urge you to try it, just sit for a few moments when you get up in the morning.
Do nothing but sit, and breathe. Be aware, of sounds, of light, of movement, of smells.
Sit and breathe. Listen to the sound of your breath, to the sensation of breathing and doing nothing else.
Sit and breathe. It's a choice.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Anticipation of Rain

We are in a drought, it is so dry that even digging down six to eight inches, it is only dry dust.
The weather gods are saying that we will have rain tonight and for the next few days.........October is always our driest month. And still even under a fire ban, people burn......leaves, trash, etc.
and throw cigarettes out of car windows. There have been so many fires in our county the past few weeks, we have hoses connected to all our outside faucets, just in case.

There was a ring around the moon Friday night, so according to my Grandmother Mamie's
wisdom, rain should be moving in tonight. I can't wait to smell the earth as those first drops of water come down, there is now lightening to our west and the wind is picking up. There is some color in the trees, but also lots of brown dried leaves on the ground. I love the smell of wet earth,
the sound of the creek running over the rocks, water dripping from tree limbs.

I know we have lost trees, and some flowers. Not only has it been dry but hot. Normally our front yard is a soft cushion of velvety green moss and maybe some stray mushrooms and ferns. Our house faces north. A plus for the heat, we are still picking tomatoes and eggplants in the garden! The nights have been cool, so when we walk in the mornings, I'm in sweats, and by mid-afternoon, tee shirt and shorts. Tonight is different, warm and humid, which is good because we have had extremely low humidity for a long time.

Now that you have a detailed weather report from Empire, Al. I know you can all rest easy!
What can I say, I love my trees, and all the vegetation that surrounds us. It is sad to look around and see what is usually so full of life and vibrant, lifeless and wilted. So when you say your prayers tonight, ask for some rain to fall on Empire, Al. I 'll do the same for you when the need arises.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

For the Love of the Song

As much as I love to teach yoga, I love to sing even more. There are many with better voices than me, but I can assure you, I can't imagine anyone finding more joy when they sing than I do.
Songs are an amazing art form. Songs connect to your memories, they take you to places of the heart. I love to ask people what their favorite song is, it says a lot about them.
So many people remember songs from important times in their lives.......high school, their first love,
their first heartbreak, sad times, good times, happy times.

I take writing songs as a serious responsibility, because of the connections that people make with songs. I want the songs I write to help create memories, to take on lives of their own, to continue to live even after I am gone. I want my songs to inspire, to bring joy and sometimes tears, I want
people to cherish my songs like old friends.

I remember the first time I ever sung in public, don't remember what I was a rather traumatic time actually. I was six years old, I had long blonde hair down to my waist.
School was about to start, and my mom decided she had no time to brush my hair every morning. She took me down to the local beauty parlor, and had my hair chopped into a "poodle"
cut, was about two inches long and permed into god-awful curls all over my head.
As I was sitting under the hair dryer, crying, I sang as loud as I could. There I was a chubby
sad little kid with "poodle hair".

As the years went by, I sang with my sister as we did the dishes after supper at night, we listened to the radio, and sang as loud as we could. Somewhere around nine or ten, I began to sing in church. Then in Chicago when I was around eleven, our art/music teacher auditioned some of us in class one day. Seems the city was putting together a group to sing at assemblies
all over the city every Friday. She loved my voice. I had three solos! It was the beginning of my love affair with songs. It didn't matter that by then, I had gone from chubby to stick thin, or that I was the tallest girl in the class.( I am only five foot three, but I did all my growing in one
short year) all that mattered was when I sung, I felt like I was the most beautiful girl in the world. It still makes me feel that way.

For the love of the song.........I have sung when I was brokenhearted, when I was happy, grieving, in love, and devastated. Songs have lifted me up, made me laugh, and brought tears
to my eyes. When my lungs were burned by paint stripper and I thought I would never sing again, for me life was over if I could not sing. I am so grateful I found a doctor who was there in my darkest hour, who assured me I would sing again.

For the love of the is a gift, one of which I am forever grateful, never to be taken for granted. I have notebooks full of "hooks", pieces of songs, rewrites of songs, songs that will probably never be heard, and a few that will.

We played in Lynchburg, Tn today at the Jack Daniels BBQ Festival. I watched peoples
faces as we played and sung, they smiled and clapped, and some stopped in their tracks as they walked and listened. Music is magic.

I am a singer. I am a songwriter. I am a yoga teacher. I am blessed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Moon Dreams

A full moon tonight. I love the moon, and I am sure that most of you who read this blog have figured that one out by now! I just stepped out on the deck, and the moon is just above the tree tops. The good news, there is a ring around the moon, so rain is on its way. Don't laugh, it's true,
my grandmother Mamie always told me that. A few years ago, I actually read scientific evidence that supported it, something about water vapors.

Tonight I share my moon dreams with you all. Not really dreams that I have had about the moon, but dreams that I want to experience.
I want to see a full moon shining on the shimmering sands of the desert, illuminating rock and cacti with all its silvery splendor. I want to see the full moon out in the middle of the ocean, where all you see are the stars in the sky, and the moon light dancing on the waves. I want to see the full moon shining on the snowcapped Rockies, lighting the snow like moon dust. I would love to see the full moon behind the Eiffel Tower smiling down on the streets of Paris on a cold winter's night. And last but not least, a full moon looking down on the Burren in Ireland, all those gray limestone rocks looking like a moon scape on earth with the sound of the sea to lull you to sleep.

So there you are, my moon dreams. I guess it seems a little strange to want to see a full moon so badly in such beautiful places, but the moon itself has incredible beauty, and magic. And after all, if you are going to such great places anyway, I think the full moon experience would transport you to heaven or some place near there........the man in the moon would not be the only smiling face that night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bionic Ramblings

We had planned on going over to my friend Fred's house tonight to do a little recording.
But life threw a curve, as it sometimes does. Rick's mom was rushed to the hospital this morning, seems the battery on her pace maker died. She is fine tonight, we just got home a little while ago.
I had forgotten how exhausting it is to sit at a hospital all day. I told Rick on the way home, that hospitals should do what casinos do, pump oxygen in, so that at least you are energized while you are there! Actually I think they do the opposite, recycle air so much that it sucks the energy right out of you.

Isn't it interesting how so many of us are becoming bionic, Lee Majors was so ahead of his time!
Almost everyone I know has a stint, a replacement, a battery, some sort of space age thing-a-ma-jiggie. Friends are walking around with perfect vision because of lens implants, women have perfect or near perfect bodies, thanks to implants, nips and tucks. I can see it all now, a few years down the road, everyone will look just like Ken and Barbie, some sort of weird plastic
mechanical version of what we have deemed as perfect.

Sorry, I tend to go way out in left field when I am tired and stressed. I think it is time to call it a
night, drink my rose tea, and see what tomorrow brings.
Good night, sweet dreams.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I am re-reading a book called The Zen Commandments by Dean Sluyter, a meditation teacher.
It has been on the book shelf for some time, and this morning as Rick and I were drinking coffee, we talked about Zen......He asked me if I had some books that he could read so I pointed him to the Zen shelves. The Zen Commandments was the first book he pulled off the shelf, I told him it was a great book.....then immediately took it from his hand and began to read it again!

Every day I meet and teach people in pain. You know there are different kinds of pain.......the physical kind from injuries, the emotional kind from trauma, the pain that you get when you give up on life. The pain that is self-inflicted, brought about by guilt and the search for a perfection that does not exist. The pain that is a security blanket, that becomes your identity, who you are.
The pain that cripples your soul and leaves you encased in self-loathing.
We all suffer from pain, it is part of living. It is part of that circle of life, a lesson, an experience.

There is a quote in the book by Nga K'Chang Rinpoche, one of the best I have ever read concerning pain, so I am sharing it with you all tonight.
"We tend our pain meticulously through the familiar process of thinking about it. The more we think around our emotional pain the more we cripple ourselves with the artificial intensity of it....
We could allow our pain to dissolve into the skylike openness of direct experience; but somehow we feel more secure with our pain as a reference point."

I have a very good friend, she has suffered much physical and emotional pain. She is a beautiful
woman, inside and out. Today we were talking, and she talked about learning to live with pain.
She was so profound and wise as she talked about, understanding her pain, and realizing it was part of her, but it could not keep her from living her life. She no longer allows pain to be her reference point, she no longer allows pain to shape her identity. She has chosen to live, no matter how painful life is. I was humbled greatly by her words and honored that she shared them with me.

So this pain, that we all deal with at some point in our lives, do we let it devour us, steal the goodness of that which is all around us, or do we do as my friend did.......she understands that there will always be pain in her life, but she has also realized there is pain in all lives of some sort. Through more pain, and change and growth, she made the choice to live. I think most of us choose to do that on most days, we just take a deep breathe, maybe fake a smile and go on out there and live. But on those days, when your pain threatens to rob you, to take your identity,
know that at any given moment some one else has stood up to pain, refused to let it win, decided to never let it rob them of life. Acknowledge the pain, but take your awareness to things and people that bring you joy......... live your life.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Remote Control

After all these years, I think I finally understand the connection between men and remote controls. It really is all about control. It is that male urgency, that need to feel in control that feeds the frenzy of remote control possession.
Actually we probably all have that desire, the need to control or at least feel in control.
And when you think about it, a remote control for our lives would be great! Had a really good day....push that replay button as much as you want. Bad day, hit erase! Want to go back and redo something, hit reverse, want to see the future or at least get out of what is going on right now....hit fast forward.

Don't like your friends or family or job, change channels. But it could be down right scary, some of us would be 18 for ever( mentally some of us are) some would be stuck in some strange 1980 bad hair day with line backer shoulder pads in our jackets. Please don't bring back the mullet!

Some would relive their glory days of high school or college over and over. The bald would have hair, the fat would be skinny, and well the beautiful would still be beautiful. This need to control fascinates me, why is that so strong in all of us? Most philosophers tell us that life gives us what
we need when we live like water, or go with the flow. That incredible lives are waiting for us when we are ready to let go. And yet, so very few of us have the faith, to let go of that need to control.

I imagine what life would be like sometimes if I did let go...... and when I think about the possibilities it is intriguing ........but that leap of faith, that jump, that release of power, the ego just hangs on for dear life. I do know this, when I have gotten out of the way, and let my life take its course, walked through open doors and accepted with faith, miraculous things have happened.
So, why can't I do it every day? My only answer goes back to that need to control, he who holds the remote control, gains the illusion of control...... and that is what control is, just an illusion.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Wouldn't it be nice if there were never any curves in the road that is our life? If it were all straight and flat, and we could see everything that is in front of us and behind? We get those little straight
stretches, and then whoosh.......there is a curve, or a hill or maybe both!

Sometimes there is one curve right after another, sorta like curves that clone. That is when life is going so fast, and so out of control, you get dizzy.......and then the hills start.
Those curves are usually things we didn't plan for, illness, financial problems, loss, divorce, you know each of us has our own personal road map filled with curves. The hills, that's when you slow down big time, when the illness is long term serious stuff, when you lose everything, when all the sugar in the world would not make lemon aid out of your lemons!

That's the one thing about living, the road map gets more complicated, the longer you travel.
I have had hills to climb that took me years to make it to the top. (caring for an aging/sick parent) dealing with a chronic disease(no end in sight). But you know, I have found that no matter how many curves and hills I have, there is always someone who has more. Steeper curves, higher hills, I meet people almost every day whose map is way more complicated than mine will ever be.

I don't mean to oversimplify, because I know too well, when it is your curve, your hill the last thing you want is for someone to minimize it. But the simple act of just helps to cope. Think about it, when you have something important to say, you take a deep breath before you say it. Many times when you have to do something not so pleasant, you take a deep breath before you begin. The breath is calming, centering, and healing.

When you are in the center of a deep scary curve, don't hold your breath, breathe! When you are climbing what looks like a mountain/hill with no end in sight, breath. I tell my students all the time, you can go many days without food, many days without water, but only a very few short minutes without air. And when we need it the most, that is when we breathe the least.
We allow those curves to take our breath, and when there is one right after another, we become shallow breathers,holding our breaths.

So the next curve you face, the next hill you have to climb, don't forget to breathe. It won't make the problem go away, but it will make you feel better. Breathing will help you to stay focused, to think about what is taking place, to stay calm on a rain slicked curvy road.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This has been a day for scattered thoughts. Do you ever have those days when your mind races, and you go from thought to thought in the blink of an eye? I think mine is maybe fatigue, the waxing of the full moon this week, or heaven forbid.........age! Actually I think it is a combination of fatigue and overload. I have multi-tasked most of the day, and yes I know better.

I know I am in trouble when I can't concentrate. Usually I am very focused, but not today.
A good night's sleep will help, so will some meditation and yoga. Maybe I should go out and howl at the moon........ I'll do that Friday night when the moon is full.

I have started this paragraph at least five times, and nothing that I wrote made sense.
There are five of us who are putting together a creative workshop, we met this afternoon to work out the workshop agenda, and my thoughts were so scattered, well never mind.
Then we had practice this evening, yep, thoughts are everywhere, like scraps of paper blowing in the wind!

I think it is time to let my brain and body get some rest.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tiny Dancers

Rick and I spent the day at the Heritage Festival in Jasper, Al. The weather was perfect, 75 degrees, blue skies. We had our booth in the best location, first booth before you reach the stage,
right by the sound booth. We had the best seats in the house for great music all day.
And, we got to hang with the sound crew,and they are always the coolest guys!

We had friends drop by and visit, we made new friends, sold some books, played a few songs.
Ate festival food, gotta love the best junk food in the world, funnel cakes, lemon aide, hot dogs,
BBQ, corn on the cob! If I had only gotten a candy apple, too late, kids beat me to them!

As with all small town festivals, the listening crowd ebbs and flows, there is so much to see, so much to do, folks stop and listen, and then move on to the next booth or stage. Today proved W.C.
Fields quote about never following/sharing stage with small children or dogs. In between each
musical act, local dance and gymnastic groups performed.........little cute kids, age 3 to maybe 17.
As the kids would come into the stage area, the stands would fill with people, grand parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, parents, etc. They would cheer for the tiny dancers, and then poof!.....
as soon as their show was over, the crowd would disappear. Because we were there all day, we caught on early, but there were bands who just showed up to play, and for the first twenty minutes of a forty minute set, just your normal flow of listeners, then whoosh for the last song or so, the tiny dancers, entourage would fill the stands! waiting for those tiny tots to sway and wiggle to Three Little Witches! You could see the guys on stage, as the crowd would gather,
thinking wow, we're really bringing them in...........then all those cute little prancers would take the stage, the crowd would go wild, and yep, one more time, as soon as the last kick or twirl took place, grand pa and everybody else moved on.

My niece Breeze and nephew Stone were part of the tiny dancer scene, and I have to admit, I was really proud of them. Breeze is six, she dances, is learning guitar, sings and is already writing her own songs, Stone is eight, plays football, and is an awesome dancer! I was never that cool when I was a kid!

It's been a good day. Rick is watching Alabama football, and I have to tell you, it doesn't matter if they win or lose, he has been a Tide fan his whole life. They are winning right now, so he is a happy camper. I think I hear a nice warm bath calling out to me, then a cup of hot tea.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I love weekends. I love my job, so it's not that I hold my breath all week waiting for Friday.
I just know that on weekends, the routine changes. Weekends, we play music.
Weekends, we see friends.Weekends, we often see family. Every other Saturday, Rick stays with his mom, giving his sister a much needed break. So I spend that afternoon, ambling around at the produce market, or the thrift stores, or just sitting home reading a book. On those Saturday nights, I watch PBS, and all the British Comedies.

Sundays are my most favorite day of the week. I sit and read the papers, drink coffee, walk,
maybe have lunch with my sister. Sunday afternoons, I do my best to take a nap. Don't you love Sunday afternoon naps!? ! I might do a little laundry, if we have a gig coming up, we practice.
Even the dogs seem to know when it's Sunday, they are lazy and playful, and when it's nap time,
they LOVE it. If I could bottle a drink of feel good elixir, it would be that laid back, rested feel of Sundays.

Fridays start the weekend, it's high school football season right now. So Friday nights I am home can I be alone with five dogs????? Rick does the local high school web site and he is always at a football game on Friday night. Friday night is old movie night, comfy pjs, no makeup, bare feet, I'm in heaven!

There was a time in my life when weekends were not so blissful. I started to work when I was fifteen, and almost my whole working life I have worked jobs that included Saturdays.
Just about a year ago that changed, it took me awhile to adjust.......but now I understand why
everyone is so protective of their weekends. It's just not the same, having an off day in the middle of the week!

So whatever your weekend plans, going to the beach, shopping, ballgames, festivals, family gatherings, meeting friends, or just hanging.........I hope you have a great weekend, I hope all of you laugh out loud, and I hope you get a hug. Rick and I have a booth at the Heritage Festival in
Jasper tomorrow, he will be signing his books, hope we sell a bunch! They have also asked
Rick and I to do a few of our original songs, so we'll take the stage for a little while around 1:15.
Tomorrow night there is Alabama football, and Sunday, friends are coming over to brainstorm about a songwriter's workshop that we all are hosting. Have to schedule a nap in there somewhere! More tomorrow night.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Power of Words

As someone who has spent their life loving to read, I thought that I really understood the power of words. But teaching yoga(not as physical fitness,but a mind/body experience) and writing this blog have taught me the real power of words.

My mom had a very very sharp tongue and she was smart. She used words to cut you to shreds.
Of course, she knew her kids' weaknesses and which of our buttons to push, but she could do the same with anyone. It was a talent I never wanted. But I also realized that not only could words break you heart and spirit, they could mend a broken heart and give wings to a wounded soul.

Since I have been writing this blog, many of you have written me comments that I will never forget. I have heard from good friends and strangers, and I understand every day that words matter. Many days when I write, it is quite is to lift my burden or share my thoughts before they explode in my brain. You all have touched my heart and lifted me up in some very dark moments, and you have giggled and shared my twisted humor.

As I go about my daily routine, I really listen to those around matter where I am, whether it be work, Walmart, where ever. It never fails to amaze me, the words that come out of some people's mouths. For instance, one young mom talking with another, about what looks
like a two year old child" I can't do a thing with him". I am thinking, he is two years old, you are in your twenties and basically you are saying the two year old is smarter than you???????
I hear parents tell their children they are stupid, they are bad, they are dumb......... but I also hear adults say the same things about themselves.

Words are real. When I was seventeen, I picked up my one and only ever, hitchhiker(I heard the gasp)! He was a young hippie, probably in his twenties, I took him home, my parents fed him and he continued on his journey. A few weeks later, he showed up at my parents house,
a dozen red roses and two books, As A Man Thinketh, and Apples of Gold. As A Man Thinketh started a thought process that changed my life. But the young man told me, that I was one of the very few people on his journey that spoke with kindness, and he just wanted to repay my family and I in some small way. Of course, I never told him that after he left that first time,
my folks had told me in no uncertain terms to never pick up another hitchhiker, that I was really lucky.

As I write this blog, night after night, I feel an incredible responsibility to all of you. In my soul
I know that I have to say what is in my heart with as much honesty as I can muster.
Words can change your day, words can change your life. Words can save you, words can heal,
words can express love and tenderness, or show the darkness that lurks in all of us.

I know this much, when you speak without thinking, once those words come out of your mouth..... you can't put them back in. You can apologize, you can beg forgiveness, but those words are out there for eternity. Ironically, one of my mother's favorite sayings was "if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything."

These days words are thrown around so cheaply. The media, politicians, really are just talking
heads. Telling the masses what they want to hear, using sound bites to create fear and hate.
I wish that some how, some way, they would all step up to their responsibilities, to understand how their words are destroying and dividing. But you know, the scary thing, I think most of them understand the power of their words.

I understand that when the day comes and I no longer live in this body, my words will live on, whether in songs, writings or memories. I want my words to matter, to use them wisely, to always understand their power.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Angry Yoga

Many times through the years I have had students walk into my yoga class angry. Life is tough, and when you are away from your family and friends, and every second seems to bombard you with change, well there is bound to be some anger. Most, when angry, will arrive early, to sit and listen to the music, smell the lavender and maybe just talk. By the time we finish our first five minutes of breath work, the facial muscles are relaxing, the eyes soften and the anger has found a new home.

Today was a first for me, a student came in angry and left angry. It was quite interesting to experience and watch. When anger is flooding the body, there is tenseness, the shoulders hike up,
the eyes harden and the breath is quick. As the student entered the room and I saw the anger , I decided to open the class with a meditation session. Another first, I have never seen anyone hold anger during a meditation session.

We proceeded to move through the asanas(poses) , the anger was still lurking. Then came savasana, (relaxation and breathing) for ten to fifteen minutes, everyone's favorite.
The student kept moving, grunting, and looking at their watch, after about four minutes,
proceeded to get up and leave. I tiptoed out the door and ask them to please not disrupt
savasana again, boy did the anger show its ugly face.

This student wore their anger like a medal, it was obvious they felt it empowering. But you know, anger is not empowering. Anger robs you of power, the ability to reason, to think and focus. Anger courses through body creating havoc, just think about the last time you were really angry, how exhausted you were, maybe you even felt sick. Anger destroys, it creates
resentment, and eventually hate if not stopped. There was a time in my life when I dealt with
anger, and you know my anger stemmed from fear........I think all anger is born in fear.
It's not that I think you should live without emotion, but you can't let that emotion take over your life. Now, when something angers me, first I acknowledge the anger, try to figure out why
or what has created the anger, and then I begin to breathe........slowly. As always when I am honest and really look inside, fear has motivated the anger.

Resentment is anger's ugly sister. Anger hits and flares, but resentment festers and spreads.
They both are like fertilizers for hate. The old adage, if you are angry count to ten, is a great one to follow. Count to ten, take ten slow breaths, take a walk and BREATHE! The longer you hold on to the anger, the harder it is to let go, and soon it takes over your life. Negative thoughts, "bad"luck, all are by-products of anger. I believe we attract what we think, and the more anger we allow in our lives, the more negative our lives become. High blood pressure, headaches, stomach aches, it will make you sick.

I pray for wisdom before I go into my classroom, I ask to teach what I need to teach, and that I might teach with love. I know that I was not the cause of the student's anger, I just wish
that I could have helped release it. I know in my heart I can't help every one, today was a lesson reminding me of that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This and That

First for those of you who want the yoga nidra cd, will mail them out tomorrow, hope you enjoy them. Buddy is so excited that his snooze was captured for all time!

We are in a drought, I know that many of you have had floods, but it is so dry that when we walk our trails every morning, we leave a tiny dust cloud. Looks as though we might get some rain a little later tonight. Keep your fingers crossed, every county in our state has a burn ban.

Along with possible rain, a cool front is coming through.........night time lows in the upper thirties!
Looks as though we are getting some fall color, as I drove down the mountain coming home from
work yesterday there is some gold and red mixed with the browns and greens. Will take some photos to post tomorrow!

Tonight is one of those times when I have just ran out of steam, creativity seems to have flown out the door. Maybe my muse will smile on me tomorrow.
Good night, sweet dreams.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recording Buddy

Buddy is one of our dogs, he is the smallest of the crew, which at thirty five pounds is not exactly small, but the others outweigh him by fifty or sixty pounds. He was my momma's dog and when we brought him home, he bonded with Rick. He likes me, but he is Rick's dog.

Rick and I share an office. Buddy loves the office, it is his domain! No matter how long Rick may be on the computer,
Buddy sits patiently until all work is done.
We also use the office as a recording studio. This weekend Rick helped me record a yoga nidra for my students at work.
For those of you who are not into yoga, yoga nidra is a deep relaxation process, twenty minutes is like a three hour nap!
I had written several and the students had asked me to record one.

So we set the mike up, and Buddy of course, wants to stay
in the office. I am thinking, this will not be good......he'll scratch, he'll bark, there is no way he will be still while we do this! I get started, and about five minutes into the recording, I hear these soft funny little noises coming from Buddy.........apparently yoga nidra works really well on dogs........Buddy was snoring!

So, we let Buddy snore, finished the recording and layered my voice with soft chimes,the sound of water flowing, and Buddy's snores. It's pretty cool! When I gave out the copies to my students at work today, I told them the story about Buddy. They loved it! Along with all the laughs, someone said that they were going to play their copy for their dog.

I guess that means Buddy is now a recording star,though the only pay he got was a Slim Jim.
I was thinking I could put some ink on his paw and he could sign copies of the cds.
Ya'll let me know if you want one!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Moon Fever

When we left Helena tonight after band practice, Steve and Judy and Rick and I grabbed a bite of supper. As we were leaving the restaurant, walking across the parking lot there in the depth of a twilight sky was an orange quarter moon.

To me, a quarter moon is very mysterious, more magical than a full moon. And when it is that burnt pumpkin orange , like the one tonight, wow! My imagination takes flight for sure!
At this phase, you look at the moon and you could ask the question, are you coming or going?
As I looked at the moon tonight, I wondered what goes on when three quarters of yourself is hidden? Does the man in the moon take a vacation, or maybe just a nap? Does he throw wild parties, or does he kick back and watch the show on earth? Maybe the orange color appeared because it is October, and the moon is celebrating Halloween ! I have an active imagination, ask Rick!

I have always wanted to visit the moon, I thought by now, it would be as easy to get to as
flying cross country. Maybe in my next life.

Looking at the sky tonight, I felt so small. It is a clear beautiful night, and the stars glimmered
in the darkness like tiny Christmas lights strung across black velvet. That russet quarter moon just added to the beauty and magnificence of it all. I think the beauty of this life are the mysteries, like the night sky, the golden sun, endless stars, and that time of day between day and night when the whole world glows with its very own aura. All that grandeur, and I can't help but think that there is no end , there is no beginning, it is right now.

I find it comforting that the same beautiful quarter moon that shines on me tonight, is also shinning on all of you. Forgive me for my silly giddiness, maybe it is some sort of "moon fever" I hope you catch it too!
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Red Leather Book

My girlfriend Kaye, gave me a beautiful red leather book several years ago for my birthday.
I have used it as a sketch book, and as a journal at times......but in the past five years I have used it to hold some of my most precious belongings.

I use my red leather book to keep letters, thank you cards, notes of love from my students that I have taught on my job these past five years. Some days when I am down, when my darkness
covers me like a blanket, I sit down with a cup of tea and read these cards and letters over and over.

Each of them is a priceless treasure, and as I read them, I think about the person who wrote it.
I always say a little prayer for them, that life is treating them kind and that they are living the life they were born to live. I see their faces, hear their voices, remember their tears and laughter.

Some days I go in to teach and when I leave I think I have done nothing at all to help anyone. But then, I open my book and begin to read, usually I cry, sometimes I laugh and I know that at some point in someone's life I helped. They all probably don't realize that I have kept their notes and cards, I am sure that most of them don't have a clue how much they have helped me in my life.

So, whenever you have the urge to send some one a card or letter, thanking them or just reminding them that you care for them, do it. You never know how important those words will be to that person some where down the road. My red leather book filled with all those kind words.......
on a bad day, is my holy grail.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Darkness, that word has haunted me all day. I woke up thinking about it and it has slithered in and out of my thoughts all through out my day. I came home from teaching this evening, and as Rick and I sat down to spend some time together, we found a Bruce Springsteen documentary
on his album(yep you guessed right) Darkness. So, I think with Bruce's blessings(sorta) this had to manifest itself tonight.

Most of the time we think of darkness as not good, void of light, evil, sinister,unenlightened.
We talk about the dark side, about finding our way out of the darkness, having dark moments.
I think we are embarrassed in a way, about the dark side of our lives, of our thoughts, maybe even scared by the darkness. And when someone surrenders to the darkness, it can be devastating, maybe life threatening.

But just like everything in life has balance and purpose, so does darkness. I deal with darkness
in my life, just like everyone else. Everyone's darkness has a different face, a different character.
Mine robs me of my self esteem, my self worth. For some the darkness takes away kindness,
steals the ability to love, swallows the ability to connect with spirit and with other humans.

As I have thought about darkness today, I have begun to understand my darkness and how in a weird twisted way, it leads me to the light. When you think about being in the dark, truly being in the dark, then you begin to understand a single beam of light shines like the Milky Way
in utter darkness. Without the dark, the light would grow dull, lose its shine, its luster if you will.
The contrast of the darkness increases the brilliancy of the light. Those days when I can find no worth in what I do, what I say, what I feel, and I am lost in the darkness........ when that one beam of light peeps across the blackness, it is blinding. But on days when I am walking in the light, and an extra little beam shines down, I don't notice it so much.

It has been said so many ways, so much more eloquently, but it is the circle, the good and the bad, you can't have one without the other. The secret is to acknowledge the darkness that we all can be from illness, from trauma, from chemical imbalances in our bodies,
it can be taught to us as children, it can come from not allowing ourselves to think, to question.
For some of us the lives that we once lived, as the years go by and we learn and grow, our past becomes our darkness. I think maybe that is when you have to really look for the light, if you think about living your life a certain way for many years, pursuing what were dreams then..........and as you live and learn, as your spirit grows, as you seek truth, you begin to realize the darkness you were in. That's when it is vital to grasp those
beams of light, not to hide in shame or fear, but to walk into the light and out of the darkness.

For those of you who may be in darkness tonight, know that there is always light........just as surely as the sun fades into night and the night drifts into the morning. Even if it is just a tiny crack of light that appears for only seconds, look at it, and know that it will grow. If there is any message I can leave you with tonight, don't allow the darkness to trap you, to fool you into thinking there is no light..........that is just the lie of the dark.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rose Tea Withdrawals

I am out of rose tea.......I know, most of you are thinking, big deal, so what. Rose tea is my comfort, it is my warm fuzzy, my nightly hug. So, for the past two nights I am jumping out of my skin because of the steroids and no rose tea. I ordered four boxes today.

I found a calming tea that had rose and chamomile flowers at the local Walmart , but it is just not the same.
The rose tea I drink is from Organic India. It is tulsi or holy basil tea with rose petals, and the taste is exquisite. And it is so soothing.........

I only slept a few hours last night, I woke up around 3:30 and I have been running around like a human tornado. It's not that I feel that great, just the high octane steroids. Thank goodness the dose drops off quite a bit tomorrow.

It will be a few days before my tea arrives, but I promised myself today, never again would I run out of rose tea! Old habits die hard. Is there a 12 step program for tea drinkers?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Road Home

I travel a beautiful road between my house and my job. I have mentioned before that we live in the foothills of the Appalachians so there are winding curves and small mountains(well compared to the Rockies, just HUGE hills) . I see deer every day and sadly Ingrid has hit more than her share,(well actually, most of them have hit Ingrid) Some days I see cranes flying up from the river, soaring across the road in front of me just to land in a small lake.

I once saw a raccoon that was as large as a my dog Charlie who weighs about 25 pounds. I often see wild turkeys, who once came out into road in front of my car and just stopped and stared as I honked the horn trying to get them to move. A couple of summers ago, near one of the lakes,
a cotton mouth (scary aggressive snake) had coiled beside the pavement, coiled he would have filled a half bushel do I know he was a cotton mouth? I slowed down and when I looked he struck at the car.

There are wild black eye Susan that line about a half mile of the road now, as I drove by today, they sparkled and danced in the wind and sun. Normally this time of year, the forests that line this county road are filled with reds, oranges, golds that dazzle, but because of the heat and drought not much color. Except in this one S curve, one side is a rocky cliff, and the other is
a wide rocky creek that flows to the Mulberry River, today in the middle of the cliff there is a tree in a flame of glory. I couldn't stop to take a photo, but sometime tomorrow, I am going up and shoot a picture to show you all.

The road home is always beautiful no matter where you live. Home, whether an apartment,
a simple cabin, or something grand is where our hearts reside. The road may be a city street,
a winding road, it doesn't matter, just as long as it gets us home.
The anniversary of my mom's death is coming up the first week of November. She spent her last few days in a morphine stupor, I spent them filled with fatigue, grief, lost in a fog.
On the day of her funeral we drove down a section of the road that leads to my job, and I saw the fall colors for the first time, they were blinding, one of the most beautiful falls we have had in years. The weeks leading to her death had stolen my ability to look around me, to see the beauty of the road home. I remember asking Rick when had the colors changed.

Yesterday, my road home was filled with friends sending me texts making sure that everything had gone ok at the doc's. Rick had driven me, and he spent some of his time talking with an old friend who kept him laughing for a couple of miles. The road home, it really is being in the now,
being present with your life, taking the time to understand it's not just any old road,
it is the road home.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Doc

I now have Doogie Howser as a my new pulmonary doc. I wore my old one out, well he retired and is now teaching young docs. The new doc is ........very very young and even younger looking.
But, he is a sweetie and seems quite competent. He kept calling me Mrs. Watson, I finally said look, please call me Jilda, no one ever calls me Mrs. Watson!

So you all know how I spent my day, but I got a new mix of antibiotics and steroids, and I will have the cleanest house ever by the end of the week, and if you have any odd jobs, I can do them.
That's what the steroids do, crank everything up to high speed.

It's interesting to talk antibiotics with the young doc, so he says, you just came off antibiotic A, and before that you had been on B, and you're allergic to C and D, so we don't have much to work with, but there is the old faithful E. Even more interesting, A had cost me over $200 for seven pills,
E cost $6 for twenty eight, I think there is a problem in the world of pharmaceuticals.

But, I am grateful, things could be worse, there are many many others who are way way sicker
than me. This is just a tiny little bump in the road. I am glad for old faithful E.
And in a few days, I can take a walk and not have to nap afterwards, and I can sing without feeling like I have ran a marathon.

Forgive me for whining. ......... I should be back to my old self by tomorrow night, at least that
is what Doogie says.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Report

This morning it was 37 degrees here in Empire! Today the sky was blue, the wind brisk, and leaves were blowing. Fall is here! It felt so good to walk this morning, the dogs felt it too.
They all pranced and ran, we could hear wild turkeys down in the woods. All afternoon deer have munched apples under the big apple tree in the field.

It is dry as a bone, and we could use some rain, but the temps are perfect. Blackie Bear is snoring as I write this tonight, he has been out most of the day enjoying the cool air. He is so funny when the weather cools down, as we walked this morning, he actually ran! Not bad for an old dog.

Our leaf color is not so good this year, the weather guy says it is because of the heat and dry spell, I miss the colors. This looks to be a brown fall, not much red or orange. Lots of acorns and hickory nuts, I think the squirrels will have plenty of food for winter.

Short entry tonight, I apologize, a wee bit tired and under the weather. I hope where ever you are tonight, the air is cool and brisk, and you have a tinge of fall in the air too!
Good night, sweet dreams.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Perfect Life

I love stones. Beautiful exotic ones like aquamarines, amethysts, malachite, jasper, tiger's eye, I have lots and lots of them. I have made jewelry since I was eleven years old. At first, I made my own beads out of scraps of wallpaper, as the years went by, I discovered wood. Then somewhere down the road, I found this red Mexican clay, and I began to make jewelry with that, and then maybe ten or fifteen years ago, I fell in love with stones.

I use leather, and waxed Irish linen cord, and sterling silver findings. Turquoise and African trade beads, rose quartz and onyx, I truly love the raw earthy beauty of stones. There are women in Ireland who wear my necklaces, women in New York City to California. At some time or another, if you are friend or family, I have made a piece of jewelry for you. I make it with love. Between each stone, there is a tiny knot, tied with love and prayers and wishes.

When you read about stones, you discover there is energy, and healing connected to each one.
As I create and bring these stones together, I think about the energy, and the person and I work hard to make sure there is a good match. For me, a perfect life, would be music, yoga and creating jewelry..........I am almost there.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Small Town

I have spent a large portion of my life in a small town.......or rural community near a small town.
Don't get me wrong, I love big cities. I love the energy, the fast pace, all the things you can do twenty four hours a day. But today, I experienced small town life at its best.

Five years ago, I was fortunate to be on a planning committee in Sumiton Al for the first Annual Frog Festival........and it was an extremely successful event. After the second year, I had some health issues and had to step down, but every year for the past five years Rick and I have performed on the main stage with our friend, Steve Norris.( well last year, Steve couldn't make it so Rick and I did a duo)

I have watched this small town festival grow from around 3,000 to 7,ooo or 8,000. And it is small town at its best in every way. There is no admission charge, so no matter your economic status,
you are admitted. All the entertainment is free. The food vendors have done a great job at keeping their prices contained, so have all the vendors who sell everything from books, to
reptiles. It is family, from grandpa and grandma to babies. Kids roam around, not afraid, because there is always someone there who knows them and their families.

It is unique because for the most part, everyone you see is smiling. Neighbors, politicians, football fans, folks from other small towns, they walk the main street caught up in the spirit
of small town life. Rich and poor, black and white, it doesn't matter, at the Frog Festival you're just glad to be there. Enjoying BBQ, hamburgers, hot dogs, fried cat fish, candy apples, funnel cakes, home made pies and cakes, lemonade, and cold sweet tea. Face are painted, hair is painted, balloons sail into the sunset. You can't walk ten feet without seeing someone hug or shake hands.
It is like a family reunion, only just with the family members you want to see. I can assure you all if you came to the Frog Festival, you would want to live here. Five years, and we have never had rain, the skies were so blue and clear today you could see forever.

So tonight, I am very proud to be a part of something so good. I am proud of the little town where I spent a good part of my childhood. This one day every year, you see the best in people.
You see and hear amazing talent, eat food that would make you slap your momma it's so good,
see people who work hard, who really are middle America.
I am just about Frogged out, we spent most of the day there, we performed, Rick signed books and took hundreds of photos. Tomorrow, if you would like a glimpse of what today was all about,
go to all the photos that Rick took will be on the site tomorrow afternoon.
He is currently watching Alabama football and photos are not a priority.

When I was growing up, I could not wait to leave. And I did leave for a few years, but when Rick and I married, he wanted to live in the area. He had grown up in Dora, a small town across the
state highway from Sumiton. I admit, through the years the call of distant more exotic places has tempted me, but days like today, I am glad we are here. No, I do not eat frog legs.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Did you know you can feel terribly alone in a crowd? or be lonely in a relationship?
Loneliness is sly, it doesn't announce itself like some long lost creeps into your life.
If you find your self staring into a computer screen, looking at nothing, reading and not comprehending a story, watching tv mindlessly, aimlessly walking about there is probably some loneliness in your life.

I think there is a lot of loneliness in our lives, and we try to fill it with mindless activities. We live fast track lives, we go in opposite directions, it is too hard to share feelings, and relationships take work. Loneliness comes at the end of a good day and you want to share, or at the end of bad day and you need a hug or a shoulder to lean on.......and no one's there, or maybe someone is there physically just not emotionally.

Loneliness can thrive in a house full of people, all going full speed ahead. It can hit you at the top of your game or when you are digging yourself out of a deep dark hole.
I think from listening to my students sometimes, there must be an epidemic of loneliness in our country. Why is it so hard to connect with each other, why so many barriers? I believe many times it comes down to priorities. We rush about placing importance on so many "things" never realizing the people in our lives may be fading into oblivion. Becoming invisible is a major symptom of loneliness.

Loneliness can destroy self-esteem, it can haunt and sicken, I think it kills. These are just my thoughts, but I think it can began in babies. When they are not hugged, and comforted, when they cry and no one picks them up and holds them close. I think it festers in latch key kids that are left alone day after day until mom and dad get home from work. It grows in teenagers when they are awkward and geeky. It overwhelms adults because maybe it is just not acceptable to admit that you are lonely.

At some point or another, most of us have been lonely, and most of the time, we shrug it off and continue on our way. For some it continues to lurk in the corners, waiting for those weak moments, maybe you eat a bag of potato chips, or a pint of ice cream, or drink a couple of bottles of wine or a six pack of beer. And then the next day, you hate yourself for giving in, for drowning in the loneliness.

So for me, when I am lonely, I try to call a friend or meet someone for lunch. We all are different, our coping skills are different too. Loneliness ........ a pretty word to sing, written about countless times, but a mother to experience.