Sunday, July 31, 2011

Secret Anniversaries

The holiest of all holidays are those kept by ourselves in silence and apart, the secret anniversaries of the
heart.  -  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Secret anniversaries of the heart.....are the ones we never discuss.  It may be the memory of the first time someone held your hand, or the last time you hugged someone before they passed, the first encounter with a friend , or maybe just a connection with a stranger's eyes in passing that has stayed with you for years.

It might have been kind words  spoken from someone you never thought would say them, maybe the smell of someone or someplace, a gesture that meant more than words ever could.  I think that is one of the benefits of spending time in silence each day......those memories of those secret anniversaries have an opportunity to surface, to remind you  of moments in your life that should be remembered.

I celebrated one of those anniversaries today, my dad loved ice cream and on Sundays, our go to the local DQ and get a cone or shake.   Rick and I were out visiting his mom today, and on the way home
I suggested we get a "treat"......he got a shake, I got a banana split .  On the way home, as I ate my banana split, I thought of all the times I had ice cream with my was a sweet anniversary of the heart. (in more ways than one)

Many of those secret anniversaries are such simple ones, remembering my first meeting of a friend, or teaching someone yoga for the first time, my first box of crayons, the first time I played a song on the piano.
It seems life is so fast and so complicated that we don't even have time to celebrate the big "public" anniversaries of the know the birthday, the wedding anniversary, first day on the job, last day on the job, and all those biggies in between.  But the sweetness, the ease of remembering the secret anniversaries of the don't have to do anything but remember.......and smile.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

For the Love

We played a benefit tonight, and at eight pm when we took the stage, it was 88 degrees and lord knows what the heat index was.  You really do this because you love it, by the time we left the stage.....the three of us looked as if we had taken a shower together.....our clothes were dripping wet with sweat.  I am exhausted, I have had a sinus infection this week, for two days I couldn't drive because I was so dizzy( no blonde jokes)that meant no classes also. I did every thing I knew to do to be able to sing tonight.  For the love of it, ain't it amazing what we do for love.

Playing music, I go the extra mile.......for the love of it.  It was a good cause, a successful fund raiser, but I hope that next year they do it in the spring or fall.  You will probably hear me whine about the heat again next weekend......Rick and I are playing a festival Saturday afternoon.  It seems, on stage, when it is this hot and humid, no amount of water keeps you hydrated.  So as I sit here typing these keys, with water bottle beside me..... I bid you all, good night sweet dreams.  And why you ask, do I do it? For the love of it.

Friday, July 29, 2011


But if you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself. - Carl Jung
In my life time, I must have created hundreds of Jildas......and I think there must be a new one created once a day, some times.  When I was a child, it just seemed so simple, think of what you want to be, grow up and be.
Ha, Ha!

My life's path has so many curves, it must look like Lombard Street in San Francisco.  As a teenager, I saw myself as someone with hopes of changing the world.....but I also wanted to be a rock and roll singer and a famous clothing designer....and I wanted to live in Australia.  Wow, come to think of it, I still want to do all of that.

Then, I worked for a newspaper, I married, eventually spent some time in college, and for a brief moment
thought that I would make an excellent business woman.  All this time, I was still making music....that creation never left. I spent lots of years in the fashion world, several in the cosmetics world, still creating someone named Jilda.  And I dabbled in yoga all through the years.

I became a caregiver, and the yoga dabbling became serious and saved my sanity and whatever was left of
Jilda.  The music was my balm of Gilead.  Oh yes, also, during all those curves,there was art and jewelry design.  And somehow, the Jilda of today was created.

My high school guidance counselor told me I could either be a secretary or a wife.....wasn't that special.
Thank god I laughed in his face......though I did create a good wife......but I would have made a lousy secretary!  I can barely type 35 WPM.

What in this world took me down this path tonight, a couple of friends today shared news of their new is going back to school, the other has decided to pursue her 200RYT .  It is never too late
to create.  As long as we are breathing, we have to keep creating ourselves, reinventing, getting better, spreading our wings, seeing who we can be, what we can be, and where we can go.

Life is change, to live we have to create, to survive, we have to create ourselves......over and over and over.
Some of those creations are mistakes, but some are glorious, absolutely wonderful creations never to be forgotten, to be loved forever.  So here is to creating.......ourselves....the best is yet to come.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I need your help.  This flower grew in my grandmother Mamie's garden, then in my mom's and now in mine.....what is it?  It appears mid-summer, the plant looks like a pot plant when it first bursts out of the ground, ( hey, I went to college) and then the stem reaches about 12 to 14 inches in height.  These long string things pop out, tiny pink and pale green buds and then the white blossoms.  They are beautiful, reappear every summer and I think my mom called them spider plants.
But, when you google spider plants, this is not what you get.  The flower ball is about six inches around.

I have several plants that belonged to my mom and grandmothers that I cannot identify, as they bloom I will post photos and maybe some of you can help me figure out what they are.

This is one of my regrets......not writing down the wisdom of my elders.  My mom and grandmothers knew so much about, plants, about traditional medicine.  My dad and his dad knew so much about farming.  All their  knowledge, gone forever.  My older sister knows a great deal and I pick her brain a of my big fears.....we move so far into the future, that we don't remember important information from the past.  I learned a lot, but I was young when my Mamie passed and she didn't share a great deal with her daughter -in-law (my mom) mom shared all she could remember, and my dad shared alot before he passed......but it is heartbreaking, all that has been lost.

I hope I do a better job, but you know I see my nieces and nephews eyes glaze over, when I talk to them about some of the old stuff......oh well, so it goes.  Maybe they will be like me, they will remember bits and pieces some day, and then they will grasp its value and cling to what is remembered.

Now, about this flower, let me know any info you may have!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Go With All Your Heart

Where ever you go, go with all your heart - Confucius
That may just be my battle cry,  if my mom were alive, she'd swear it was.  I'd be the first to admit, I dive head first into most things that I do.  When I am interested in something, I consume as many facts as I can find.
If I become your friend, then I am right there with you........sometimes I wish I didn't go with all my heart, but that is who and what I am.

Go with all your heart, if I were giving advice to some one, something like that is what I'd say.  Because life is short, because there are so many curves in the road, and mountains to have to go with all your heart, if you don' won't make the journey, and you'll surely not reach your destination. If your heart's not in it, no matter what you do or where you go, you'll just wind up on a path and life will beat you down.

I have told my nieces and nephews for years, college is not for everyone.....there is pride in working with your hands, there is pride in providing service , there is pride in creativity.  My father's favorite remark, do what makes you happy.....but don't sit on the fence!  Fence sitters to daddy were the saddest of the lot, get on one side or the other and go for it, he would say. He is probably the reason I go with all  my heart, lord knows I couldn't be a fence sitter!

So tonight, no matter where you are in life....." where ever you go, go with all your heart."  Maybe you think you're too old, or too young, or too sick  or too tired,  too fat, too ugly, too dumb, too broke.....if you don't go with all your heart now, when will you go?
"Where ever you go, go with all your heart".......and my blessings.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Choose Joy

All my classes yesterday had a and gratitude.  I just asked my students that at some point during class, that they chose joy instead of sadness and that they thought of one thing to be grateful for.  I know it might seem strange, but some days there appears to be nothing but sadness in the air.......on days like that, I think we have to remind ourselves......choose joy......find the gratitude.

I reminded them, that I too wake up some mornings and the only thing I can think to be grateful for......I am breathing.......but once I start thinking about something to be grateful for, it is amazing how many things begin to
hit my brain.  Choosing joy......, the news media floods us with the bad stuff and yes there is serious
bad, sad out there, but there is plenty of joy also......we have the choice.

I love the quote from Albert Einstein about two ways to live" as if nothing is a miracle, or you can live as if everything is a miracle".  Often the people I hear complaining and finding no joy in life and nothing to be grateful for, seem to be the ones who give the least.  I look at people who left their jobs, and families to come here to help tornado victims.....they don't complain.  They picked up tons of trash, cut trees, hugged victims,
did anything that was  asked of them and yes there are still groups here, now helping those who had no insurance rebuild their lives and their homes.  They chose joy, they found gratitude,they live as if everything is a miracle.

To choose joy sounds so simplistic, and to be grateful for one thing, is that asking too much? I believe we make our lives so much more difficult than they have to be.  We complicate, we complain, and let's face it,
we whine.  But what do we do to help? what do we do to make a difference in some one's life, what do we do to make the world a better place?  Joy and gratitude are tiny steps, but I believe those tiny steps can change our attitudes, if we change our attitudes, maybe we can change tiny things in our lives and the lives of others.  I believe there are miracles happening every second of every day, but we wear blinders, we are too smart, to sophisticated, too wise to see them.  Ha!

I ask you tomorrow, just as I asked my classes yesterday......choose joy, find one thing to be grateful for and maybe just for one as if everything was a miracle.

Monday, July 25, 2011

In A Perfect World

In a perfect world, I would never miss my friends......I could see them whenever, where ever I wanted.
They would be with me, when ever I needed them, we could spend as much time together as we wanted.
In a perfect world, there would be no goodbyes.......and years would not pass before time was spent with each other.

In a perfect world, there would be laughter and hugs,  and as much conversation as could be  mustered up.
The phone would always bring a loving voice, e-mails galore, and all the hours needed to solve the world's problems.

The more time I spend with friends, the more I miss the ones I can't spend time with.  The days, months and years pass so quickly, it is not fair.  You think of them, and wonder if they think of you, do they have the same memories that you have, do they miss you?

In a perfect world, there would be no need for these thoughts, sadly, the world is not perfect......friends are met, the connection is made, and for whatever reason, the river of life moves everyone in different directions, flooding our lives with memories, with hopes, that one day, somewhere, you see each other again.
The good thing about technology.......keeping in matter how fast life comes at you, the thread can stay connected.......we settle for imperfection.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Royalty , I Have been in the presence of royalty tonight. Musical royalty that is.....and
It was indescribable. We are in Florence,AL tonight. My friend,Christine Ohlman
Played with The Decoys These folks have played with the rock and roll
Gods. If I died tonight, I could say it has been good....
I could say it was great!
Google Christine, google The Decoys and you. Will understand what I am saying.

Great music, incredible friends(thanks and much love to Kim and Christine)
It don't get much better than this.....I am truly blessed.....and happy!
Goodnight, Sweet Dreams

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Reconnecting.....tonight, we had dinner with our friends Marty and Carol from Nashville.  It had been seven
years since we had  seen them, actually the last time was their wedding.  But you know, our friendship is so easy,
it was just like we had seen them yesterday.

Marty is one of our co-writers,  Rick and I wrote  The Night A Country Star Was Born with him......and the song went to # 1 in Europe.  Co-writing is an unusual is close and personal, there has to be some sort of connection, some common thread that weaves the writers together.  It can be so much fun and it can be a real downer, just like any relationship, there has to be some magic there.

After dinner, we all went to an open mike session and saw several other friends we had not seen in some time.
Reconnecting, without effort, just picking up where you left off.......I think that is symbolic of a strong and lasting  relationship of any kind.  So was just like old times.....good food, laughter, and lots of music. Just what I needed......Good night, Sweet dreams.

Friday, July 22, 2011


I think that I have been in the eye of a hurricane for the past few days......and emotional hurricane, and it made landfall today.  You know in a yoga class, that if people are crying during the first five minutes of breath work,
hearts have been opened. It really is not that emotional most of the time, but sometimes the gates open and the good and the bad flood.

It is rare for anger to rear its head in a yoga class, but it did today.  Anger, fear and great sadness washed over like tidal waves and I think I came close to drowning.  I had about two hours of sleep last night, and actually this whole week, sleep has been fretful.  I have kept my head above water, but, it was difficult.
Lots of sickness with my friends and family this week,  some are doing well and others not so well, but we are hanging on.

Yoga does trigger release, and that is what happened today in my classes.  Usually I am very strong, I can take the storms, but today, I was fragile.  On the outside, I know that I appeared strong and calm, but honestly on the inside, I just wanted to come home, curl up and pull the covers over my head.  This too shall pass.  Bedtime will be early tonight, my bed  calls like a siren on the rocks of the shore, beckoning with promises that I hope tonight will be fulfilled.

Storms rage daily, and the winds bring change......I hope the change that comes after today's storm is good.
I am bruised and battered, and it was nothing personal, just  circumstance.  I believe the sun will shine on me tomorrow, and a gentle breeze will blow, Good night, Sweet dreams.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer's Bounty

Summer's bounty........tomatoes right out of our garden......juicy, ripe, perfection.
But we had four inches of rain today, and more coming, so we are having to pick the tomatoes early so they don't split.  That is ok, they will still be wonderful.

In the morning, I'll pick the jalapenos, they are giants this summer and perfect for stuffing and grilling.

I wish I could share this bounty with all of you.
Cook meals for you, sit on the deck and watch the sunset.......and laugh.

For those who do not have gardens, get thee to a farmer's market, the produce is worth the trip!

Good night, Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Even though it was over 100 today, this evening you could feel the very first kiss of fall in the air.  Normally our clouds and rain blow in from the west, but in the fall there are days the systems come in from the east......that happened today.  We didn't get rain, but the clouds rolled in, and a cool breeze swept the heat and humidity to parts unknown.  I sat on the deck for a few minutes, looked at the sky and felt the breeze, even though it will be a couple of months before any coolness appears, you could feel change.

I really do try to live each day in the present, but oppressive heat and humidity are great tests for me, because I find myself longing for fall.  Sometimes in July and August, I find myself just existing, waiting for September, praying for October.  I have to remind myself, focus on the present!  The heat brings all those luscious ripe tomatoes that I love to eat, all those incredible fruits, the flowers and lush greens of the forest around us.

One of the great summer pleasures that I truly loved, going to the beach.  My mom and dad would take my kid brother and I  and any of our friends who wanted to tag along.  Some years we stayed a week, some years two weeks, in an old cement block cottage with a screened in porch at Laguna Beach Florida.
There was a post office, a couple of little everything shops, you know they had groceries, souvenirs, beer and pool tables and air hockey.  My dad taught me how to shoot pool there.  At least once  a week, we would go to Panama City Beach, there was  something similar to a boardwalk,  games, carnival rides.   Back then, it was not the Emerald Coast, just sleepy little villages that happened to be on the gulf of Mexico.

I miss summer vacations,  I think I could make it  through the summer so much better with one. Last year when we went to Telluride in July, it was wonderful .   I miss vacations, it just seems we never take them, why is that ?  We go places, but it is to perform or for workshops, etc.  Vacations were ingrained me as a child,
it is a part of my life that I miss. That is something that has always appealed to me about Europe, they go on is about getting away from the everyday(no matter how wonderful that everyday is) to experience new places, food, people and a change in climate.  It is good for the soul, and the body.

So tonight, I have gone from grasping at the future (fall) to longing for the past (vacations)........I have truly strayed from the present!  Think it is time for.....Good night, Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


My legacy.......some people leave a legacy of children, of money, of property, etc.  Mine......plants.  I have plants that belonged to my grandmothers from the early sixties.
This bleeding heart belonged to my paternal grandmother, passed on to my mom, and then to me.

It is an amazing plant.  In the winter, the leaves fall off and there are just bare sticks, but as the sun in the early spring warms those sticks, tiny green leaves appear, and by mid-summer.......its hearts are bleeding.  Tiny, perfect white flowers, with drops of "blood" dripping from them.
All summer there is beauty in the lush green leaves, the pure white flowers, and the deep crimson drops.

This legacy is scary.  To have the responsibility of  these old plants, to keep them alive, and thriving.......I have learned that it is as much love, as anything else.  I love their beauty, the fact that they have stood the test of time.
And there is comfort in knowing  that they could be here 100 years from now.  I have given cuttings to friends and family, and I hope that these cuttings create a legacy of their own.  There is something, mystical, spiritual and soothing about old plants. They are a treasure, to be revered and respected, a gift to be passed on to those who will see their value.

Then there is that thread of connecting, to think that my grandmother Mamie,  once watered and cared for the plant that I care for today. I know that she loved plants, she knew their worth and their value.....and that is something that she passed on to me.  I hope that someday, someone, friend or family will want this legacy, will see and honor the value of these beautiful plants.......I don't want this legacy to end with me.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Some days I hear so much sadness, so many heartbreaking stories........I just don't think I can hear another one....and then yep, you guessed it, one more comes along, sadder than all the rest.  Today has been that kind of day, as I sit here and type these keys, I am trying to let go.......but I am engulfed and overwhelmed.

The saddest story came from a close friend tonight, and right now it is unspeakable for me.......I am just trying to process, and figure out if there is anything, anyway, I can help.  This yin and yang of life is not easy, and believe me, I know it all has to go full circle,that is the rhythm of life, but knowing does not make it better.

I sit here, barely able to breathe, the sadness and the pain seems to swallow me up, I want to cry, and there are no tears. It is one of those times when the breath has been knocked out, you know it will come back, and tomorrow will be another day, but for now you dangle.

Life is full of surprises, I wish they were all good......but this too shall pass.  Tonight, for all the sad stories, I pray that those lives know love, they know peace, and they know joy and that tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I love to be barefoot, I work barefoot, and I encourage my students to spend at least a few minutes a day I am reading about Earthing, a new therapy that says that the simple act of   your
bare feet touching the earth can improve your health.  According to the book, Earthing:The Most Important
Health Discovery Ever? the electrical energy of the earth, and its connection to our circadian rhythms play a role in regulating sleep, stress, metabolism and reduction of inflammation in our bodies.

I know it's strange, but being barefoot has always made me feel a kid I never wanted to wear shoes!  I have practiced this Earthing for the past week, what I can tell you is this......the chronic arthritis pain that I have had for years has eased a great deal, and my energy levels have been much higher. My sleep, well, there have been some bizarre things take place this week, so my sleeping has not been great. But things are back to normal, we'll see how tonight goes.

Dr. Stephen Sinatra, who is coauthor of the book, Earthing says " when your skin comes into contact with the ground, millions of negatively charged particles are absorbed into the body. Once in the blood, these negative ions neutralize the positively charged free radicals that cause inflammation, and people feel better."
It is suggested you spend forty minutes per day, bare feet on the ground.  I have averaged twenty to thirty minutes, and it has made a difference.  I have been walking barefoot, but what I have read is, that you can just sit with bare feet touching the ground, grass or sand, you get the results.

In yoga, we talk a lot about being grounded, about connecting to the earth........I think regaining that connection, fresh air, sunshine, bare feet on the ground, pure water, fresh fruits and vegetables, I believe  all of these make us feel better.  So, I will continue to spend as much time as I can bare foot, it feels great to walk on the grass.....and this evening I walked through the garden in my bare feet, felt the soil between my toes and enjoyed every minute of it. Now, I just have to make it to the beach soon, LOVE to walk in the sand!
I like this "earthing"!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I am what I am......sometimes I have to scream that phrase inside my brain, to remind myself it is ok to be who I am .   I have struggled tonight, I love humor, I love to laugh( I laugh at myself alot)......but I found myself in a strange circumstance......listening to someone use humor in a way that made me very uncomfortable.
How? making fun of fundamental religion.....I grew up in that religion, and I knew in my heart it was not for me.
But I have family and friends who will go to their graves with their beliefs, and though I disagree, I would never make fun, not in a mean spirited, egotistical way.

Humor is healthy, humor is good, and humor can teach......but humor can become ugly and self righteous, making fun of something does not make you smarter.  Humor can be used to spread hate and narrow thinking just like anything else. I think in some ways humor is a rather scary trap, because people laugh and think, it's just a joke.. So now I sit and breathe, and I think of how many times I have laughed at something and's just a joke.....and I will be the first to say that sometimes I think our country has lost its sense of humor, we need to laugh more, but at ourselves, and the silliness of life , the strange and the wonderful, the wild and crazy, but not at someone's faith and beliefs. So, who's on first???????

Good night, Sweet dreams.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

Guilty pleasures.......I have my share, but this weekend is one of my favorites.....hanging out in a hotel room.
I know, how sick is that???? but you know,  I am reading, checking all your blogs, practicing yoga, and playing guitar.......ME TIME!!!!!!
I came with Rick to a  writer's conference in Huntsville, so he is downstairs being the "author" and here I sit, feeling so guilty(HA!)  NO laundry, no phones to answer, nothing that I have to do, I didn't even go to work today.  I have needed this weekend for a very long time, and I almost didn't come, yep you guessed it......started thinking about all that "stuff" I needed to do.......and then good sense finally ruled and I told Rick I was coming with him.
It's raining, and I am looking out the window at the space center.  All is quiet, I am already in my pj's(it's only eight pm!) By the time Rick comes up to the room, I will probably be snoring.  I had such an adrenalin rush after our gig last night, I barely slept, and guess what!? They have already e-mailed me asking us to play again in August! Yes, I am smiling.
So, now you know one of my guilty pleasures, all those years I spent on the road.....the best part, hanging in a hotel room.  The worst, being homesick.
I am yawning now, so this really comfy bed is beckoning me, and I can not resist it's call any longer.
Good night, Sweet dreams.......oh yes, I hope you all get to experience your guilty pleasures soon.

A Song

My horoscope in the local newspaper today was an interesting one.....Aries......if you have a song in your heart you have to sing it. A song unsung turns into excess baggage, express yourself.  Rick and I played a songwriter in the round gig at Daniel Day Gallery in Birmingham tonight.  It was wonderful!  The Gallery is one of the best I have ever seen, it is like someone brought this incredible gallery from San Francisco and placed it in Birmingham.
Daniel and his wife, Melody have provided an oasis....for artists and  musicians.

I love singing.  It doesn't matter if the crowd is large or small, the joy that fills my heart each time I sing is immeasurable.  The other writers on the stage were awesome, George Griffith and Daniel Day.  The four of us were very different, yet our styles complimented each other.  The audience got their money's worth tonight.

So tonight, I listened to my horoscope,  I expressed myself........I don't need any extra baggage!
It is almost Friday morning, time to, you guessed it........Good night, Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


One of my students gave me, what I think might be the best compliment I have ever received yesterday. A little background info before I share the story, I touch, I hug, I believe with all my heart in the power of touch.
I believe touch comforts and heals, and without it, we might as well turn to stone. Now I also realize that there are people who for whatever reasons, do not want to be touched, and that is their chosen path.
Often during my class, I touch( and yes I always ask permission) I touch hands, feet, foreheads, I do temple massages with lavender oil and I hug.

My student told me yesterday, that he and his friends trusted me more than anyone else they knew(besides themselves) that no one was allowed to touch them when they had their eyes closed, and that to allow me to touch them was major.  I cried, because I knew exactly what he and his buddies were saying to me, and  their words touched my soul.  Their trust, their belief in me was one of my most humbling experiences ever. And yes they hugged me after class.

Through the years, I have seen moms who let their babies cry incessantly, and it appeared that they never comforted them.  I wonder what kind of adults those babies became.......were they cold  and aloof, or did they crave to be touched.  I think probably, my mom let me do my fair share of crying.....she was not big on hugs......and I admit I am  one of those who grew up craving to be touched.  There are much worse things I could crave.

I know this, if I am sick, touch truly makes me feel better......when I am sad, a hug changes my world,
if someone holds my hand and tells me they appreciate something I have done, holding my hand means as much to me as the words.  Often a touch says so much more than words......I remember the last hug I got from my dad, ( twenty years ago) and to this day, I remember his touch and the smell of his skin.

You can fake it with words, but not with touch......there is something in the very core of our being that knows when a hug is authentic, when a touch is sincere.   We're energy, quite simply, and we do react to other energies we come in contact with.  That is why a touch can be healing, soothing, caring, loving or sensual.....why the words can sound like honey, but the touch can  be cold as ice.  The power of touch,  it is to honored, revered, respected......and I believe, to be used.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Broken Hearts

Broken hearts.......not always broken because of romance gone bad.  Some hearts get broken by circumstance, others get broken by bad choices, some get broken by fate.  I have had a broken all of the above.
I know that you make it through, hopefully wiser.

I have broken hearts(by all of the above), but never on purpose, never with harmful intent. Breaking hearts is tough also.  Today I broke Jordan's heart( he is three).......and my own heart broke too.  We were going on a "trip"(anyplace he goes is a trip) to Walmart.  As I was getting his car seat in Ingrid(my car) I turned to see him picking a mushroom that had sprouted overnight in our yard.   I told him we needed to go in and wash our hands, because some mushrooms could make you really sick and I did not know if the one he picked was good or bad.  We washed our hands, and then the tears begin to fall down his cheeks......big huge tears.......and he told me he was too tired to take our trip, he just wanted to go home.  He was beside himself, I called his grandmother to let her know what was going on, and he cried even now his little body was racked with sobs.  At this point I did not know if he was sick, or what was going on.

He finally sobbed and told me he wanted a bath.......( he knows a bath always makes you feel better) and after the bath, we dawned on my thick skull what had happened.  He is always picking flowers for me, and my response is always one of, was different and it broke his little heart into a million pieces.  I know he has to know about not picking mushrooms, but my heart broke into a million pieces also when I realized  what had happened.

After cookies and milk, and much cuddling, we took our "trip" and all was well.  But I have thought about that little broken heart all day.  And I remembered all the times through the years, my heart has been grief, illness, death, loss, embarrassment, and of course love.  Nothing like heartbreak, it is a lesson never of life's most bitter pills to swallow.

By the way,my very first heartbreak.........I was Jordan's age, and I had just gotten new frilly favorite Aunt and Uncle came to visit.....I was so excited, I pulled my dress over my head for them to see my ruffles....they laughed, and my embarrassed mother spanked me....broken heart by humiliation.  But, I guess in some way, most of them come from humiliation, don 't they?

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Silent Retreat

I told one of my classes today that I want to go on a silent retreat..........they all laughed.  I guess it does seem rather strange, but I talk alot, and sing alot........and I listen alot.  A silent retreat just appeals to me, no talking, some days that sounds like heaven.
I had a friend who was a minister and he told me he did a silent retreat weekend at a monastery.  He laughed and told me the first couple of hours were great, and after twenty four hours, he was playing every commercial, every song, and every conversation he could think of, in his head.

For most of us, sitting in silence for just a few minutes can be excruciating, days might just push some of us over the edge.  But I want to do it.......there is a part of me that every once in awhile.....craves solitude and silence.
The solitude, I have to is the only way I can keep my sanity.  It has nothing to do with not loving the people around me, it has everything to do with loving myself.  The silence I cling to in moments, maybe a few hours here and there.

I think the need for solitude and silence becomes greatest when I am burning the candle at both ends, when fatigue is the only sensation I feel, and a ringing phone makes me grit my teeth.  I bet you all have been there, probably some of you are there right now.   All I can tell you is what I do, when I can't flee or become a recluse.......I breathe, I walk, I write and stand in the shower and cry, because I don't have time for a bath.
And I tell myself over and over, this too shall pass.

So the silent retreat is on  my bucket list.......a weekend would probably be the perfect fix for me......or maybe I would be like my friend and twenty four hours would push me over the edge.  Anybody out there want to join me in silence????

Sunday, July 10, 2011


We had friends over this evening, they drove through a monsoon to get here, but I think they were glad they came.  After the rains stopped, the young deer that eat their supper every night under our apple tree made their appearance......lots of jumps, and running, all the cute Bambi stuff they do.

I made blackberry pie with homemade vanilla ice cream for desert tonight.  I guess you all know by now, I love to cook, I love to eat.  Every time I make a pie, I think of the "pie" scene in the movie Michael with John Travolta.....I love that movie, I laugh each  time I watch it.

When I think of some of my most favorite movies, they all have these incredible food scenes......Chocolate, well there is food in almost every scene, but when the count wakes up Easter morning in the window of the chocolate shop,and those dribbles of chocolate on his chin,  or in Stealing Beauty, when they are dining alfresco out in the Italian countryside.

There is something so basic, yet so spiritual about eating with friends......eating together is like some sort of cement in a relationship.  The sharing of food can be sensual, loving, and caring.  Here in America the celebration of most of our holidays involves food.  Most family traditions include favorite foods.
There have been few times in my life that I have not cooked dinner......I started cooking when I was nine or ten......don't even ask how many cookbooks I own.

Our friend Steve, who plays in The Overalls with Rick and I, jokes and says that the only reason he plays
with us......we have practice at our house, and I cook.  At one point, I think a B&B would have been fun, but now,just cooking for friends is fun enough.

So who knows, maybe one of these days, not only will  I play and sing for you, but I will cook your dinner too.  Just one thing, I cook, someone else does the dishes!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


As the heat and humidity rise, my energy plummets......I long for cool mountain breezes and icy streams or even the hot dry heat of the desert.  The past couple of mornings as I walked, the moisture lay on my skin like the fog in the valley after a rain.   The air is heavy and as I walked through the woods, the smell of decaying leaves and trees hangs  in the air.  The humidity does that,  or at least I think it does, intensifies the smell of all things organic.
There are a few gardenia blossoms on the bush, and as I walked by this morning, the sweetness was almost
too much......the heat and dampness made the fragrance cloy and old.

The evenings are quite different, the heat becomes more oppressive, even the body feels heavier and the humid air drowns the lungs.  But this is when the lushness takes over, everything is green and vivid.  The summer flowers are blooming, and the tomatoes are abundant.  That's the trade off, the heat and humidity for fresh ripe
home grown tomatoes.  My favorite BLT......thick grainy whole wheat bread, fresh basil leaves, peppered bacon, tomato slices and for the gods.  I can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

My favorite PBS show, The Vicar is about to come on, so .......
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Who Cares For You?

A student asked me a haunting question today, "who cares for you"?  I have thought a lot about it, and it made me wonder, "who cares for you"?   We are all caregivers of sorts, some are rearing children, some are teachers,
some care for everyone who crosses their path.  Caring for someone is an honorable thing, not caring for ones'self,......not so good.

Most of us have probably at one time or another, pushed ourselves way beyond the limit.  But it is those of us who push that limit daily, there's the danger zone.  There will be a meltdown, a crash and burn if you will....maybe not today, or even tomorrow.......but the day will come.

You've reached the danger zone when you no longer recognize your self, when those around you, no longer know  who you are. I've been there, and I am not even sure how I made my way back.  I believe music played a part, but so did yoga.  There is a saying in the yoga community, yoga heals.  I think yoga played a great part in my did the love of family and friends who never gave up on me.

I have tried very hard the past few years to take much better care of rest, to laugh, to spend time doing nothing, and to look at the world in amazement.  It is not easy, not for me, to put myself first, but I have learned for my is necessary.  I admit, I am stubborn, and tend to think that I am indestructible.... that is so silly, but that is how my brain thinks much of the time......I bet for many of you, your brain thinks the same exact way.  Why are  we wired that way? what strange twist of fate took us down that path???? not sure,
but choices can be made for the good of ourselves in every situation.

So tonight, "who cares for you"?'s ok you know, to let someone else lend a hand.  To let someone else help, to talk to someone, to let someone else know and see your weakness and your strength.
Once again........"who cares for you"?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jordan in the Kitchen

My great nephew is learning kitchen skills, he loves making smoothies!  He has my favorite recipe down pat, bananas, blueberries, yogurt, flax seed, coconut milk, orange juice......he makes them every time he comes over, he knows it is my favorite!

I really think he just likes operating the blender(you know, guys and tools) but he also likes hanging out in the kitchen with me.  Today he tasted every ingredient he added to the blender, he thought the vanilla yogurt was "delicious"!

I know there are many guys (and women) who scoff at kitchen skills, but I confess.......I love to cook.  Maybe it is because I like to eat, and I like good food.   It makes me really happy to have friends over and cook for them.

I also think that cooking is a life skill, that everyone should
have.  Right up there, with doing laundry, basic cleaning,
knowing how to cook is important.  I am also teaching laundry and cleaning  skills to Jordan, but he doesn't enjoy those as much as cooking.
It has been a long day.  Jordan had a lot of energy today, we ran, we played with his wooden blocks.  We spent quite a bit of time outside blowing bubbles and for his treat, he spent some time on the computer playing preschool games.  I am amazed at his eye/hand coordination.  He doesn't spend a lot of time with the games,
we spend more time outside, and he loves to run.  He runs on his tip toes.  I think he is like a lot of kids, running makes him happy.

I am a wee bit tired, we also had a long practice tonight. Rick and I are playing for "music on the square" in Jasper tomorrow at lunch.  It is only for the month of July, every Friday a local group or musician performs at lunch time and all the business folks sit around the square and listen.  It should be a lot of fun.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Random Thoughts

My friend Terri and I talked awhile at work today.  I mentioned to her how often I think of students who have moved on, wondering how they are, how their lives are going.  Terri looked at me and said something rather profound, "you know those are not random thoughts, they need your energy and love and prayers".

I think Terri is right.  I think when you think of those you love, your friends and family, there is a reason that they come into your thoughts.  Maybe they are struggling, maybe they need to feel a little extra love, or they need a prayer for strength or healing.  I have felt that way for a long time.......and speaking with Terri just enforced my thoughts.  Isn't if funny how thoughts of others drift through our consciousnesses ......often it's just  wondering how they are......but sometimes, they stay in your thoughts off and on for days.  Do you pick up the phone and call, or e-mail or  let those thoughts just float away?

I know that when a friend calls me out of the blue and says "I was thinking about you" is wonderful, it makes me feel so special, so loved and appreciated.  Those random thoughts are our connections, our mental phone lines, our reminders that we are incredible energy and that energy moves through the universe.

Often when I think of one of my students, I have no way to reach let them know that my thoughts are with them, that I love and care for them......but I hope that my thoughts, my love reaches through the  miles, and they feel that gentle tug at their hearts, and they know that they are loved.  If I could I would call them every day, or send a note.......I suppose that would be too much.  But in this world, in this life, are we really told we're loved enough, are we hugged enough, do we know that others really care?

Random thoughts, fleeting memories, of people that come into our lives, that touch our hearts in ways we never dreamed.  I wake up at night sometimes and see faces, of those I have taught, I say a blessing for them, and hope that all is well.  Those random thoughts, I suppose they will flit through my brain forever, but that is ok, my life is better because I have met those people, that created  those random thoughts.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ten Things

I read a new book Sunday morning....yes, that is correct, I started it and could not put it down.
My wonderful friends from Florida gave it to me, their good friend, Echo Garrett is one of the writers.
The book......My Orange Duffel Bag.  It is a true story based on Sam Bracken's life, but it also is motivational and inspirational.  I have never seen a book format like this one,  lots of photos, unusual paper, and cover.

Sam Bracken is general manager of FranklinCovey Media Publishing, his story will break your heart and then encourage and lift your spirit.  Check it out on

One of the things that Sam suggests in the book is to write down ten things you like about yourself.  So that is what I suggest to you all tonight.  Don't you think we spend way too much time tearing ourselves down?
So, be kind tonight or tomorrow, and write down ten things you like about yourself.

Ok, I knew this was coming........I'll do it.
1. I like my unusual voice.
2.I like my blue eyes.
3.I like my kindness
4. I like my ability to make people feel comfortable
5. I like my strength
this is not so easy to do......but I am getting there with some thought.
6. I like my cooking skills
7. I like my sense of humor
ok, I admit this is way tougher than I thought.......
8. I like the fact that kids, dogs and old people like me
OMG,  this is hard!!!!
9. I like, damn, there has to be two more things......I like that I can be trusted.
10. I like that I have always worn my heart on my sleeve.
Wow, glad it wasn't twenty, I would have been here all night!

So, brave soul that I am, I did it, wrote down ten things I like about myself for all the world to see.
Your turn now.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday America

I worked today.......but you know it was worth it.  For one thing teaching yoga is not your regular job, and my students today were the best!  It meant so much to them for me to be there, but it meant even more for me to let them know how much I appreciate them and all that they do.

Holidays are tough in rehab, you miss your family, your friends, your traditions......I had celebrated the Fourth all weekend with friends, most of my family had things to do, and when I told Rick that my military group had asked me to come in, he just looked at me and said"well you have to".

There was quite a bit of laughter, and some tears, but the afternoon storms came rolling in during the first class,
and it seemed that not only the earth was washed clean and fresh, but we were too.  Nothing like relaxation with the rain coming down.

It has been a rather different Fourth of July, but it has been a good one.  I made home made ice cream this morning, ate sweet juicy watermelon, and watched Jordan wave sparklers tonight.
Happy Birthday America!
Goodnight, Sweet Dreams.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I think  Mother Nature decided to do her own fireworks show this evening.  Lots of lightening, thunder and rain, but that is not a bad thing.......the rain cooled and refreshed,  and the  lightening has been rather spectacular.
This has been a weekend spent with friends, yesterday morning we visited with friends from Florida, yesterday afternoon we had lunch and saw a movie with a couple of other friends.  Today, friends invited us for a cook-out and pool party, it has been busy, but fun.....and we  stopped by the hospital to see a sick friend.

Tomorrow, I will work.  For some reason this year, all our Fourth of July plans were made for Saturday and Sunday, and since some of my students asked if I could come in(since I didn't have plans) I will be teaching
yoga classes while you all are eating BBQ.

But, I will make home made ice cream in the morning........Rick's mom had asked me last week if we were going to make ice cream ( I realized that she wanted some) and we said yes.  Then this evening Jordan
called and asked me if we were doing anything  tomorrow......I said yes, in the morning I am making ice cream and cutting a watermelon just for you!   He was beside himself, ice cream and watermelon are two of his favorite foods(mine too).  So my Fourth of July will be watermelon and ice cream, yummy!

Ok, the thunder is getting louder and closer, I think it is time to say Good night, Sweet dreams........
Blackie Bear is already snoring.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What Do You Want

An update.......I am still writing my "what do I want " list every week.  We had lunch today in Huntsville with a couple of our good friends.  Actually, she is the one who several months ago looked at me and said "look, you spend all your time helping others, what do you want?"  It floored me when she asked that simple question.
No one had asked me in years what I wanted, I guess everyone thought that life was good,  and that I had no wants.  That  question shook me to the bone, and it was a life changing experience.........I sat down a few days later and wrote across a sheet of paper, the words.......What Do I Want.

I shed a few tears as I begin to answer that question.  It's just four words, so simple, but life shaping, life changing.  Since then, weekly I have written those words in my planner, and made my list .  It is not a complicated list,  I want to write songs that are in movies and tv shows,  I want to play a couple of gigs a month,
I want to travel and perform,  I want to  continue to teach yoga, I want to spend more time with my friends.
Also on the list was reaching my 200RYT and getting the house done......those have been accomplished.

It's funny how just writing something down on paper begins to change your life.  Just like the vision board that I wrote about a few days ago........seeing it, makes it more believable.  I am forever indebted and grateful to my friend, and I told her that at lunch today.......she told me that years ago, someone had cared enough to ask her that same changed her life.
So tonight, for all of you........What Do You Want?

Friday, July 1, 2011


Life is short, I seem to say that every day now......but it's true, even if I live to be 100 years old. This week has been a golden opportunity, for me to think and re-evaluate my life.  I suppose we all do this from time to time.....
we get a wake up call, a scare, a bucket of cold water thrown in our face.  I tell myself that I am making every minute count, but then, you know the happens.  There are fires to be put out,  friends who need a shoulder, plans and dreams are put on hold......and you go along until one of the  fires is you.......then you know
it is time to re-evaluate, to be honest and truthful to yourself,
and hopefully you will have friends and family in your life that will lend you a shoulder.

Today is July 1st.......that is impossible!  2011 is half over, this cannot be!  See how short life is?
Unless you're twenty-one or three, and then time is dragging by, so slow, will it ever speed up? When does the curve and a switch in lanes happen? One day you're looking out the window of a high school class room, praying to leave and spread your wings, and in the blink of an're on a roller coaster going so fast it takes your breath.

It has been a beautiful day, a sky that was so blue and cloudless it looked like a technicolor movie, warm and low humidity.  I had wonderful classes, Jordan spent the morning with me,  I got a phone call that made my day,  Rick picked Ingrid up from the car doc.  Little things maybe, but today......those little things were incredibly special.  I am not going to wear my watch this weekend, I want to savor the the minutes, and hold them dear, because  you is short, even if I live to be 100.