Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Vision

It will soon be time to build another vision board.  I looked at my old one today,  much like the ones in years past, there are  pictures that became reality and others that are still waiting to happen.
The arbor that I had posted two years ago is finally built, the honeysuckle and jasmine planted.
New songs have been written, and gigs have been booked, even a video filmed....and I completed my 200 RYT in yoga.

But then there are those pictures still waiting........the cd to be completed,  travel,( I did buy new luggage today) songs to be used in movies/tv shows, more frequent/better paying gigs, a new addition to the house,  did I mention travel?   

The board works, there are skeptics, but if you take the time to develop the board, really think about what you want in your life, and put it all together as a vision board, look at it every day, it works.
It serves as a reminder of the life you want, the life you seek.  As a guide, or map, your vision board
keeps you on your path,  provides the vision for that which you seek.

I am already collecting pictures and phrases and words for the new board.  It is always a mix of old and new........and life changes......some things that seemed important last year,  don't seem quite so 
pressing now.......and others that didn't seem to take center stage, will have more visibility on the new one. 

I stopped making resolutions years ago, but these vision boards, for me they are so much better.
They hold my feet to the fire,  if you put them where you see them daily,  they demand your attention,
and serve as not so gentle reminders about all that you said you wanted, the life that you saw yourself
living.  As soon as the new one is ready, I will take a photo and post it.

So, how do you make your own vision board?  Start thinking about your life, the things you want,
the life you want to live, the people in it, places, things you want to do, to achieve.  Then start
collecting photos, pictures from magazines and publications, word/phrases that re-enforce those thoughts and dreams and hopes.  For instance, it you want to travel to a certain place, be sure to include pictures and descriptions  of where you want to go, if you want a new job,  same thing, pictures and descriptions of that new career, lose pics of how you want to dress,
doing healthy things, and healthy foods.  

How ever you "vision" your life for the coming year,  think it through, glue it all in a pleasing collage
on some poster board, and get ready for results.  No, probably not everything will come to pass, but who knows, maybe it will!   Place your vision board somewhere so you will see it every day.......and let me know your results.  Many of us have lost our vision for our lives......we spend every day making a living, caring for those around us, our visions lost along the way.   Take an hour or two, create your
vision board.....all you have to lose.....some glue, a few pictures, a couple of hours.......and all you have to gain........maybe the life you wished for long ago.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


"Contentment, is an inner feeling of calm"  - Andrew Weil

Dr. Weil has some interesting things to say about contentment........he suggests writing what you're grateful for in a journal, meditation and practicing deep breathing.  All things that I teach in my yoga nice that someone as respected as Dr. Weil is speaking about these simple things that work.

Each time I have new students in my class, and I began to talk about breath work, meditation, writing down what you are grateful for........most look at me with bewilderment.   It can't be that simple they say,
there has to be more to it.  I tell them that it is true, life happens and there will always be difficult times and great times.......but for most of the's that place in the middle where we are day to day.  That is where the breath work, meditation, yoga and gratitude come into play.........those tools will help you get through the difficulties, helping you stay centered and focused.

Sometimes we have to change friends, or lifestyles, .......but if you find yourself surrounded by folks who are always down, who see nothing but the dark......I promise you, soon you will be just like them.
According to Dr. Weil there is much research showing that depression as well as contentment is contagious.  I believe that, just as I believe fear and hate are contagious as well.

Contentment is obtainable for everyone,  but we have to look within........buying something, a new relationship,  anything external can go away.  But choosing to be content, being grateful......that is something that takes place within and it is within our power, it is our choice.

There is evidence now, that even when you are down, if you force yourself to smile, the physical
movement of those muscles will help  you feel better.  Looking at fresh flowers, trees, anything in nature
changes the mood for the better.  And yes, breathing, awareness of the breath  will make you feel better.

Dr. Weil's new book is called Spontaneous Happiness, it's an easy read, a sensible read.   If you think contentment is beyond your reach, think about reading it.......and remember to breathe, spend time
outdoors, eat fresh healthy food, drink pure water, exercise and know that you have a great deal of power,  over your own health and happiness.......your own contentment.

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Early Snow

An early snow......well, for us here in North West Alabama it means  maybe an inch or two and it will be gone by tomorrow afternoon.  But, it is so beautiful as it falls tonight......big, wet, white flakes.
They are heavy, the kind of flakes that as they fall, they grab each other, and soon you have two or three flakes falling down to earth together.  I love snow.   I love the smell of fresh fallen snow, and I love the sound of silence as those flakes drift down toward ground.

It has been raining since yesterday, and rain began to change to snow around 3:00 this afternoon, changing back to rain and now back to snow.  An early snow......I love those words.....there is magic
and romance in those words.  Yes, it is cold, and damp.......but probably by the weekend our temps will be back in the 60's and all will be right with the weather world.

An early snow,  the dogs are snoring, and so is Rick......I sit here and watch the flakes fall, shinning in the street lamp.  Blackie Bear will make snow angels tomorrow if we have enough snow, and Jordan will run and throw snowballs.  I know that people make fun of how we react when it snows.......but it is a rare and special gift for happens so rarely, it is true, we cannot drive in snow and ice,  we lose power, and for a day or two, our world shuts down.

An early snow, a gift from the universe......something beautiful and rare,  a reminder that good things remain,  a little bit of heaven on earth,  a taste of peace.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dream a Little Dream

I had strange, really bizarre dreams last night.  I woke up thinking where the heck did those come from?
Dreams are interesting aren't they?  They can seem so real,  so good, so frightening.   When I was a child,
I had nightmares often.......they still come, but now when I wake up with my heart racing,  in a sweat, I remember to breathe......and to remind myself, it's a dream.

In times of stress, I have a recurring dream that is beautiful and calming.  I suppose it is my spirit's way of coping when life hits the fan.  It is one of those dreams that is so delicious, so beautiful that I wish I could dream it at will.

One of my dreams last night  involved a friend that I had not seen in a long time......he invited Rick and I to his house, when we got there, there were hundreds of people around but he was no where to be found.   As we were leaving, he appeared and asked why we were leaving......then I woke up.

I know that dreams can be helpful,  I have dreamed incredible songs,  dreamed solutions to problems,
and experienced dreams that encouraged me to follow my bliss.......or to change paths.  I use to keep a dream journal, I probably should again.

There is a gentle lazy cold rain falling tonight, I hope that it encourages sweet dreams......there is talk of snow for the next couple of days.......that could inspire some dreams too.  I wish sweet dreams to all of you tonight, dreams that will encourage you,  and inspire you, dreams that will be so good, your whole week will be smooth and joyous.    Maybe you'll even "dream a little dream of me."

Goodnight Sweet dreams.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One Track Mind

This morning as I was downing my third cup of coffee, I picked up Wednesday's newspapers to look at the Black Friday sales ( I am a little behind, I know) after looking at all the advertisements, I looked at Rick and told him that I hadn't missed a thing.    He was a happy man.

My sister then called and told me that   not only was her Christmas tree decorated, but she had almost all her Christmas shopping done.   I am so depressed.......I must be the only person in America who shops in
December, and decorates her tree two weeks before Christmas.  Oh yeah, her gifts are all wrapped.

I  am still wishing I had pumpkin pie from Thursday,  to go with the stuffing that I ate for dinner tonight.  I must be living in limbo land, but it is a happy place to be.  When I was grocery shopping today a woman told me she was buying everything she would need for her cooking in December, I told her that I was buying what would feed Rick and I for the next few days.......I didn't know what I would be cooking in December.

Somewhere, I got off the merry go round,  well truthfully I was never on is all my brain can do to process Halloween, then Thanksgiving and then Christmas.......I cannot multi-task them all at the same time.    I mean, Rick took down my harvest flag today, to hang his Alabama Football flag,  now I have to hang the harvest one again........I have a one track mind.

Good night Sweet dreams

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Creek

There is a creek that flows through the property where I places there are rocks and drop offs
at times it is narrow and deep, and in places wide and shallow.  There are spots where the water flows quickly and in others it is quiet still pools.  I love that creek!  In the six years that I have taught at my job,
I have seen that creek flow out of her  banks, raging with mud and debris.......I have seen her dry to puddles and mere trickles.

Every day that I go to work, it never fails......I look at the creek to see what is going on,  what stage of life is she  in today.  I have watched spring flowers blossom on its banks, autumn leaves fall and drift in its stream, and snow flakes swirl as icicles hung from tree branches and her rocks glassy with icy water.

Today, I looked at the creek......she is not at her fullest, rain has not been plentiful and there are places where her bed is dry......the stones dull from lack of moisture.  She is so much like our lives........sometimes peaceful and beautiful.......sometimes raging and angry.  She is in need now of rain
so that she may flow and nourish.  I have spent a great deal of time giving these past few days, and I think I am like the creek........I need a little rain, some nourishment of my own so that I may flow and nourish again.  I think this time of year, we all began to feel the it's important that we slow down, just as the creek does when the rain doesn't fall.

Looking at that creek, allows me to be in the now.  I look at the colors of the jagged rocks,  the trees jutting up from her banks,  hear the sound of the water as it flows across the is easy to not think of time.......she is timeless.......she flows over and around,  patiently carving her path, knowing her destiny and always moving toward it.    She has taught me much these past six years,   soothed and calmed, showing beauty and ugliness, accepting the flow of tears from many of my students,  and teaching many of them, just as she has live like water.......always flowing toward our destiny.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


It has been a good day.  Watching people's faces as they came into the community center today was
really many of them said they couldn't believe we were serving them dinner.
I can't tell you how many times someone asked me, why are you doing this?  We are in a sad state, when no one thinks they deserve kindness.  This really was a community dinner,  the elderly came, those who were working the local businesses that were open came on their lunch hour,  the lonely came,  those whose lives had been destroyed by the tornadoes came,  and then as we found out about those who were home bound, food was carried to them.

As we were cleaning things up, people were already talking about what they would do next they could make it even better.  There was such a joy among those who were helping, you could see it in their faces, and hear it in their voices as they welcomed  each person who walked through the door.
This is the third such dinner in as many years that my nephew James has organized ( and yes, he knows he can always count on Rick and I to help).  He has an incredibly kind and loving heart,
and his wife Andrea, and their four children are always right there in the thick of it all.  Breeze, the seven year old, and Daisy who is four, made all the table decorations.........dried leaf wreaths with a candle in the center.

I am tired, it has been a long day.......and an emotional one as well.  I miss my family, my parents, my oldest brother, our Thanksgiving dinners that we shared as a family.  I have to admit, there were moments when tears hit my eyes today.......but I have wonderful memories and I hope that these community dinners give others good memories.  I know that some where, some place, some one
did not have a big Thanksgiving dinner today,  I wish there was some way to reach out to everyone.
One thing life has taught me, you do what you can do.

I hope that you all have had a good day, that your tummy is full, and that your blessings have been matter where you are.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings

Cooking chicken and dressing for the community Thanksgiving dinner at Sipsey tomorrow.  My nephew
James who organized it, requested  that I make it.  I learned how to cook it from my mom, it is an old recipe that her mother taught her, and it is southern.  No matter how I try, mine never tastes as good as momma's did.  Maybe one day.

We're thinking we will have around 100 folks show's a small community, the one near us that was so devastated by the April 27 tornadoes.  The healing and the rebuilding is slow, and yes we all know,
it won't ever be the same.

Thanksgiving was a big deal at my mom and dad's house.  Mother was a great cook, and she loved cooking for anyone who would share a meal with her.   She would cook the biggest turkey she could find,
the table would groan because there was so much food, and there were  always leftovers for everyone to take home.  Daddy would say grace,  and there  would be a mad rush to get to the food.  She would send plates of food to anyone that she knew would not have lunch that day.    Things change,  and yes I knew when she passed, it would never be the same.

So tonight, let me share my gratitude, and all of you who read this blog, who send me your wise comments, your funny stories, your sad times, and your encouragement.  I pray that your Thanksgiving is blessed, with plenty to eat, lots of hugs, laughter, and love and good health.
May you be surrounded with people who love you, and remember to count your blessings.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Video Fun

We shot our video today.......I am exhausted! but it was so much fun!!!! Part of it was shot inside but there were several scenes that needed to be shot outside......and it rained.  Not showers or sprinkles, but thunder storms, monsoons,, in  between the lightening bolts and deluge we filmed.

It will be a while before the editing is done,  but as soon as it is ready, will post for everyone to see/hear.
I had forgotten how much fun this film and photography stuff can be.......and how draining. It is like performing all day long!  So I requested to look ten younger and ten pounds thinner! Ha!

Our friend and music guru, Jerry Henry is doing all this wonderful work!  He is just such a creative force, and so much fun to hang with.  Already working on the second song!

I know many of you will be on the road tomorrow, headed for your Thanksgiving destination......blessings and safe travels......and remember to breathe and smile.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Monday, November 21, 2011


After my community yoga class tonight, a couple of us talked about service.  Often students ask me what can I do to feel joy, to feel content, to feel grateful?   The first thing I tell some service, help someone else, give with no thought of receiving.  If you are in pain, you will forget your pain for a while,
if you are depressed, you will see someone whose life is worse than yours, service to others is humbling,
and empowering.

When I see people who are bored, who are angry, who are empty........service is the key.  This Thanksgiving if you are away from family, or maybe you just can't face another family gathering......serve someone.  Serve them a meal, provide transportation to a community meal, feed a neighbor or friend who is alone.  Visit the elderly, the sick, play with a small child, do something for someone else.  Even if you are having your family meal, find time this holiday week to do something for someone else.  Writing a check is good, but that human contact is better.  Volunteer to ring the bell for the Salvation Army kettle!  There is great need, but the need for human contact, the need to help each other,  to look in someone's face,  to see a smile......that need seems to be growing daily.

I promise, if you will take the time during this holiday season, to give with no expectations of receiving
anything, just give your time, will fill your heart.

Remember will change you this holiday season.  Helping others is the greatest gift we can ever give ourselves......volunteer for one hour, or one will want to do it again.
We are all born to serve.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Giving's something that I have never done, well not with a child.  But, I have birthed songs,
and I am here to tell you sometimes.......they come like a gift from the angels,  you dream them, the  muse hands them to you so quickly it makes you dizzy.  Then......there are those which make you writhe with pain, they drain every emotion out of your soul, you think you have been rammed by an eighteen wheeler,
and you curse the day you ever started writing songs.....and wish like hell you could quit!

Why am I writing this blog tonight?  well, Rick and I wrote a new song for the music video we are doing
Tuesday.  The first few hours we come close to blows, I envisioned ways that I could hide his body and collect the insurance! (I am sure he had those same thoughts about me)......but then we took a walk, Jordan came over and within ten minutes the song came so fast we both were breathless.  Basically we got out of the way, and let the creative energy flow!  And yes, as soon as the video is done, edited, all the stuff that has to be done......we will post it.  Tonight, I  styled our wardrobes,  and now we just hope that the beauty gods will smile upon us and   neither will look troll like.

We also have to learn the song! I know it sounds easy doesn't it, you write it, hell you should know it!
Not quite that easy, the reason you know all the words to your favorite have listened to them a million times!  This one is hot off the presses, so chords have to be remembered, melody, harmony and oh yes......WORDS.......this is a live video (no lipsinc)  say a prayer and hope all those involved are patient!

Hope your weekend has been a good one, I think the moon, the planets and the stars are in much better alignment this week, and maybe the north wind blew the bad juice away, and we all got our
mojo  back!  Ha,Ha!

Good night, Sweet dreams

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Good Music News

There is a wonderfully unique music store in Birmingham called Fretted Instruments.  It is owned by a friend and talented musician, Herb Trotman.  If you are ever in the city, drop by, sit on the porch or one of the comfy sofas, pick and grin,  have a chat and enjoy the best atmosphere of any music store you have ever  visited.

Each Christmas Herb and his folks produce a Christmas cd to hand out to their customers......a couple of months ago Rick and I submitted a Christmas song that we had written with our friend Tracy Reynolds.
Today we got a call confirming it is on the cd, which will be out the first week of December.
The song is The Christmas of My Dreams,  Rick and I recorded in our little home studio.  So excited!

Herb has been such a good friend through the years.......several years ago, I did some volunteer work
at a home for "at risk teens".  One of the boys wanted to play guitar.....he had lived such a difficult life,
the director and I thought a guitar might give him a better perspective on his future.  Rick gave him a few lessons, and it became apparent that this young man had talent that most only dream about.
I called Herb and told him the story, he gave us a guitar for the facility, and the young man just about wore it out.   Music  did change the boy's life.  He became a lead guitarist for a Christian rock band,
is married with three children, went to college and calls Rick and I  a couple of times a year to let us know how he is doing.  Herb's kindness truly changed someone's life.  So if you are ever in need of a
"fretted instrument" and you're in the Birmingham area stop by and see Herb.

We have almost finished the song that we will be doing for the video Tuesday.   (I know we are cutting it close)  and tomorrow, I get our wardrobe together.  There is a lot to this stuff!
Just wanted to share the good news,  seems many of us had a not so great week things are better for me, and I hope they are for you too!  For all of you who have asked to hear us, you will soon have the opportunity!  Be kind with your judgments.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Creatures Coming Home

Rick drove into Birmingham this morning to do an interview for one of the newspapers that he writes for.
I was sitting on the sofa, watching the two cardinals that have come home, and I saw movement in the woods across the road.  I thought at first that it was our neighbor's dog, Rebel,  (don't make snide remarks, he is a magnificent bull dog, with the most beautiful golden eyes) but then I realized  it was the little fawn
that I had not seen in months.  She peeked through the undergrowth before she jumped across the road into our yard.  She has grown, but not a lot.  She walked daintily up to the bird bath and sipped water, then munched on the suet at the bird feeder.

She turned and looked at me, as if to say hello.....I'm back, you may feed me now.  I watched as she walked  
down the road to the barn.  I scurried to the kitchen, got a couple of apples and took them down to the apple tree where she and the rest of the family came to visit last spring........By the time I made it back to the house she was eating an apple.  

So, our wildlife are slowly coming has been  strange to look at the bird feeders and have no birds, and to not see deer in the back yard.   I  have not heard the owl that lived down behind the barn, and the woodpeckers are still silent, but maybe with time they will come back home.  Ever since the April storms, there has been an eerie absence of  creatures around the farm.

The chipmunks are still around, and they drive the dogs crazy.  They hang around the front door, teasing the dogs, and when the dogs go out, the chipmunks have a an escape route like no other.
We have an underground drainage system, so when water flows off the roof, the pipes carry the water 
to the stream in the hollow.  The chipmunks have learned to jump into the pipes and while the dogs are going crazy at the house,  Alvin and his friends are down at the creek laughing at them.  You would think the dogs would smarten up,  but not yet.

It's Friday, glad to see this weekend.....we have a lot to do.  Rick and I are doing a music video Tuesday.  So, the song has to be worked out, wardrobe has to be perfect,  and do you think I can lose ten pounds by Tuesday?  Wishing you all a weekend of rest, and renewal.  Safe travels to you who are on the road.....and for tonight.....good night, sweet dreams.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

True to Ourselves

Reassess, reevaluate, I used those two words a few nights ago......I have thought of them often since then.
I love what I do, and I am very fortunate that I no longer "have to work".  So that puts me in a unique situation.......when the bullshit hits the fan at work,  it is always very tempting to say ok, take it, have at it,
and walk away.   But, I truly believe in what I do,  I know in my heart that I help people, that I make a difference in their lives......and that is why I stay.

But life is passing quickly, and honestly, if  the insurance charts are correct, I don't have that many years left  to do the things I love......and there is more to my life than yoga.  The music, is just as important to may not touch lives like the yoga, but it is good for my soul.  Time with my friends and the people I love, really had not registered until the storm hit this week,  and when I found myself  being
battered.........I have done a lot of thinking.

The past few years people have kept asking when are you retiring, and my answer was always the same, never.....will work until I die.  So, there is a great deal of thinking, of evaluating.......I don't want to 
leave but I also know, life is too short for the bullshit.   I am good at what I do, actually,  I am really good at what I do, and my students tell me they live for my classes, it is the best part of their day while in rehab.   I am  an extraordinary employee......the company gets my all when I am least two and three times a year I go to workshops, I am constantly studying and reading so that I will be the best teacher I can be.  Oh yeah, those workshops......I pay for most of them myself....and the props that I use.  But I do it, because of my love for my students and knowing how much yoga can help them, in their recovery and their lives.

I hope that things will calm down, that I can go about my teaching and all be as it was before.  But one of my friends told me this week that maybe something better was waiting in the wings, and this was just preparing me for it.  Who knows......but because of this week,  I am thinking thoughts I would never have thought, and the contentment that was there......well,  it will come back,  but for now, there is an open wound that will have to heal.

Change is for certain in life, nothing lasts forever.   The important thing.....knowing you did what you knew in your heart was right, that you treated people the way you wanted to be treated, and that all you did , was with love, courage and the intent to help.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring, every day I ask for my portion of grace and the wisdom to do what I should.  

This was truly not the post I intended to write, but it is the one that the muse gave.  I suppose it needed to be released.  I think that there are many of us in the same position, that have reached the stage in our lives, when we can do what is in our hearts fearlessly.......and if the storms appear,  we will stay on course, and remain true to our selves.  Blessings to us all and all of our endeavors.

Good night, Sweet dreams.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

You Fill A Need

Our first rainy day in who knows when.......the rain started yesterday, by last night, pouring.......still raining tonight!  It sure sounds good on the tin roof.  With the rain, came the birds.......since the April 27 tornadoes, our bird feeders have been empty.  But yesterday, I saw two cardinals and a mocking bird and today more cardinals.   Maybe our world is righting itself, finally.

My classes must have sensed that I had had a couple of tough days, my students were so caring, and telling me over and over how much they loved coming to class.  I needed it.  It's kinda funny how, our needs are met.  Phone calls, e-mails,  you never know how much they mean.......just follow your heart and let people know that they are loved and appreciated.  By the way, thank you all for your comments last night, you all are so wise, so kind.

Rick made me promise tonight, that I would not allow myself to become jaded, that I would walk away from it all,  that I wouldn't let myself to become bitter.  Nothing is worth the hardening of soul and heart,
nothing is worth allowing bitterness to swallow you up.

Don't forget, if you get the urge to call or send someone a note, do never know what is going on in their life, and your words, your voice may be exactly what keeps them going on, may be just what they need to face another day.  We all fill a need in each other's lives.

Good night, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eye of the Storm

I know that in the past forty-eight hours that there are lessons being taught to me, but for the life of me right now.......I just don't get it.   That is how life is sometimes, the lessons bombard us, we are beaten over the head time and again........and they just don't make sense.  How do you figure this stuff out?

Tonight, I tell myself that the rest of the story, the moral of the lesson.......those are to come.  I think the past two days have prodded me to rethink, to reassess where and why.  My head is dizzy from the drama of today......... Do you ever have those days?  I think someone peeled away my skin and everything hurts tonight, inside and out.

Have you ever wanted to do the right thing, to help someone, know in your heart  that you could help them......and for whatever reason ended up in a  storm of wrath?  Let me tell you, I was in the eye of the storm today and it was no fun.  

All I have been able to do really is just joke about it......I refused to waste my tears.  Thanks for letting me whine and bitch some more, surely this stuff has to be over and out of here by tomorrow.   Sorry to be so vague, but it would do no good to give the details and it is time for me to let it go.

I know we have all felt this frustration,  and bewilderment, and I tell myself tonight.....this too shall pass.  So, blessings to all of you tonight,  may tomorrow be smooth sailing for us all........and a special blessing to the storm maker,  I hope the anger and fear that dwells in your heart fades away.

To end on a happy note, I had not seen a red bird (cardinals) since the April 27 tornado, we had two at the feeders this morning.  Life really is good.

Monday, November 14, 2011


It has been a Monday..........not getting phone messages, having to cancel something really important,
working hard on something at work, and dealing with bronchitis that has been with me since May.
UGH!!!!!!!  Ok, the whiny bitchy  me has left the building.

It is November 14, and at 9:45 pm it is 72 degrees, way too feels tropical tonight.  Showers
just blow through, and the wind has not stopped all day.  I know that many of my friends and family love it when our winters are warm and mild, but I just feel out of sorts.  Warm days are ok, but I need the cool nights.  All right, I lied in the first paragraph, I am still whiny bitchy me.  Let me rewind and start again.

Classes today were wonderful.  Tonight at my community class, three people who took my class a long time ago,  just showed up, wow!  It was great,  and everyone left with a smile on their face!
Classes at work were awesome, but a little sadness, today there were some goodbyes.  That is the toughest part of the job........but it is also the best.......because my students leave and hopefully go out and live the lives they were born to live.  I have to believe that  they will make wise choices, take care of themselves, and live peaceful, contented lives.......that is my prayer.

For those of you who could not find the collie in the bottom picture last night, look down at the bottom, just behind the leaves, he's there.  I think maybe I should do more of those photo studies,
you all were so kind with your comments!

It takes a lot of work and effort to be a whiny bitchy me,  I am very tired, and maybe a good night's
sleep will sweeten me up!  Ha,Ha!  (Rick is probably saying never)
Good night, Sweet dreams

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Study In Red

Our fall has not been the prettiest this year, but slowly the reds are beginning to glow.   No matter how beautiful the golds and oranges are, the reds are my favorites........I wanted to share the crimson with you all tonight.  I am glad I took these photos this week, because we have storms moving in Tuesday, so we will probably lose most of our leaves.
The photo to the right, doesn't it look like candy!  This is actually one of our wild blueberry bushes.  We are so lucky that there are several on our property.  Sometimes they are called huckleberries.  No matter what you call them, the berries are nice and tangy, the flowers are beautiful in the spring, and the leaves are breath-taking in the fall.

If you look closely at the next photo, you can see our newest dog in the background......Caillou the wild and wacky collie!  This is the old road that leads from the barn to the house.  Everywhere around us the reds are ablaze!
I hope you have enjoyed my spread of red tonight.  May your week be filled with peaceful days and blissful nights!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veteran's Celebration

Some of you may have wondered why I didn't write about Veteran's Day yesterday,  I waited to post tonight because my hometown of Sumiton, Al. did their celebration today.   I grew up in extremes......Sumiton, which has a population now of just over 2,000 and Chicago, Ill.  I think they both had much to do with who I am today.  The Veteran's Celebration was especially important to me today because
my husband Rick ( a veteran) was asked to be the keynote speaker, and they also asked us to sing.

The celebration was geared toward the Viet Nam War era today......two gold star families were recognized for their loss, and a community service Veterans' award was given to one of my dad's friends who served in World War II.   I can never go to this service without crying, our  small community has four soldiers who were awarded Purple Hearts, three in the Viet Nam War.  Viet Nam changed me, just as it did many many others in this country.  When I was eleven years old, I knew my first soldier killed in Nam, and for every year after that until the war ended  I knew someone who was killed.  At one time, we had four of our family members in Nam, and countless friends.

I looked across the crowd today, there were veterans from WWII, Korea, Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan,
and I am so proud of my little hometown for showing how much they care.  Our War Memorial is beautiful,  and much more than you would ever expect from a town this small.  I was not the only one who cried today, I think most did.  You think about the sacrifices that service men and women make,
many lose their lives, some lose their families, spouses, their quality of life, they lose limbs.  They spend holidays away from home, and so many are in harm's way.  They are our very best, these men and women who serve.  Every day I work, I do my best to remind those still serving how much they mean to me, how much I appreciate all that they do.......I give them my best, because they give all of us their best.

If you are reading this blog tonight and you are a vet, or still in the service......I appreciate you.  I know that we as a country will never be able to repay you.......I know about the sleepless nights, the nightmares, the fear, the grief, the guilt, and the anger, and the pain.........that is why I do what I do, hoping that someway, somehow, I can help a few.

I talked with a mom and her daughter today, her son was killed in Iraq in 2009.  I looked at their faces,
this mom, and this sister talking about their son and brother who will be "forever young".  They spend alot of time visiting families who have suffered the loss, they go to memorials and celebrations, they talked about his friends who are still deployed and how they worry about them.  I have thought about them so much this evening......their family paid the ultimate sacrifice, yet they are giving constantly to others.   I have also thought about our elected officials, and I truly wonder, do any of them give a damn, do they really care that they troops they send into battle are someone's sons and daughters?
Do they understand that their decisions change lives forever?

We were suppose to go hear a friend play tonight, but my heart was just not in it.  Too full of grief and sadness,  missing my dad and my oldest brother who were veterans .....hoping that somehow they know, I appreciate all that they did.  Thinking about the young men I have spent time with all week, about my friends everywhere who have served their country.  One day is just not enough,
and even if I live to be 100, I will never be able to do again to all of you, thank you for
selfless service, for your willingness to pay the price, for your bravery, your good hearts, and your sacrifices.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Blackie Bear

I write about Blackie Bear often......he really is my guardian angel, always watching me ,never letting me out of his sight.

He does not like to have his picture made, so for me to snap this photo this morning was quite a feat!  You can tell he was not happy with me taking his photograph!

We had just taken our walk and he was resting on the back deck, always watching, making sure all was ok with me!  

He is snoring as I type this blog,  and I think he would be embarrassed if he knew you all were looking at his picture. ......he would grunt and maybe walk away, or if he really trusted you,
he would just fall down at your feet and let you pet him!

We have five dogs, but he is mine.  The others like me, I feed them, they walk with me, but their preference is Rick.   Blackie Bear is all mine.   He was a throw away, the vet figures he is maybe fifteen or so.  Yes, he is old physically, but I believe he is an old soul too.
I swear, he knows when I am sick........he is super protective and watches my every move.  He knows when I am sad or happy.  He and Charlie (who passed this spring) seemed to be on this earth just for me........sometimes I just lie down in the floor beside him and tell him how much I love him, and how much better my life is because of him.

Bear watches over Jordan too, when Jordan is here, Bear makes every step, going from room to room as Jordan roams around.  When we are outside, he never leaves the two of us and if I have to step inside for a moment, he stays with Jordan.  Jordan has asked why Bear follows him around, I told him that Bear is his protector, his angel.

His snores are really loud now, I just scratched his head and he seemed rather annoyed
that I woke him.  I know many of you have animals that you love.......isn't it amazing that they love us back!  I will always be grateful for the animals that have wandered into my
life, the love they gave me and the lessons they taught me.

I hope we all sleep as soundly as Blackie Bear tonight, I bet you all can hear him snoring now!
Good night, Sweet dreams

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stubborn Words

I have started at least a half dozen different entries tonight, and erased them all.  I had a couple of photos, but those got canned too.  It is not easy to sit here and share night after is a tightrope to be walked....and some nights it just seems too precarious to walk it.

The dogs are patient, Blackie seems to know that I am struggling, he is not even snoring tonight.  Rick is playing his word game with his sisters on his phone, there is no time limit, only the one I set.  Tonight I have to let go of expectations and just know the words are stubborn, they refuse to  be at my beck and call.

Expectations are such a set up for yoga we are taught to let them go, but it is hard.
They are such a human thing, to expect for life to be a certain way, you expect for certain things to take place, you expect.....and yep those expectations just lead to disappointments.  It's like expecting the words to flow like honey every night, Ha,ha.......tonight they drip, like the tiniest drop of dew on a blade of grass.

Good night, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


A long day, just very tired tonight.......but an incredible drive home.  Almost a full moon I left work the moon shimmered in the night to the east the clouds that had brought rain to day were still hanging to the west, nothing but stars.  The temps are dropping, as I drove up and down the hills, fog rolled minute there were stars and a big silver moon,  the next foggy you couldn't see anything.
It was that way for the fifteen miles or so home.......stars, moon.......then fog......over and over.

I hope you all are bathed in moonlight tonight.  What makes it so magical?  To step outside on a chilly autumn night, see the stars and then realize that everything around you is bathed in seems ethereal, other worldly, and then to have the fog lying's just not something you see every day.  Isn't it wonderful how the ordinary can become so extraordinary!

Tomorrow we have to bring the trees inside......freeze warnings!  Yes, we have several trees that live in our house in the winter......a mango, a couple of avocado trees, a lemon, a grapefruit.......I have to admit by tomorrow night we will have a forest inside our house!  It's always an adventure when we bring the trees in,
it never fails........some creatures come  in too.  There have been lizards, chipmunks, all sorts of critters that have to be caught and carried back outside.   It is rather cozy with the trees, sorta of like living in a tree house on ground level.

As I said earlier, I am very tired, and there is still much to do tonight.  I have written early, hoping that I can climb into my warm comfy bed soon.
I wish you all moonlight and stars, restful sleep, and sweet dreams.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Normal Day

A nice normal day.......that was today.  Just regular stuff, laundry, shopping, cleaning and hanging with the dogs.
I cherish these days.......these days fuel the weeks when there is no stopping, no slowing down.  These days keep me sane and well.  The fall color is still rocking my world, and a cold front coming through tomorrow will just remind us that it truly is November.

I got my flu shot today, I know there is much controversy about the shot......I can tell you this.....there have been years that I had the flu even though I got the shot, and years that I had the flu with no shot.  The years I had the flu and the shot, the flu was much milder than with no shot.....just my personal experience. What can I say,
the flu is hell regardless.

Blackie Bear is already snoring, I think he loves the time change.....he likes getting up when it is daylight(so do I) and  as darkness falls, he's ready for bed......I think he is on to something!  Now I hear Buddy snoring,
these dogs, eating, sleeping  and walking to the barn........that's when life is good for them!  Come to think of it,
it is a good life for me too!

Blessings of peace and contentment to all of you tonight.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Monday, November 7, 2011

Restore bring back to health or strength.  My classes today were restorative.....time to restore our selves.
We started the class with legs against the wall, that is how we did breath work.  Most of our poses were supported, many using the wall.  It was all slow and easy, the last pose, supportive fish a gentle yet strong chest opener.....many stayed in the pose for their final relaxation.  Yes, there was some snoring today!  All left with smiles, a great way to start the week.  A young woman told me tonight, that coming to yoga made her whole week better.  Imagine that.........

We should all make the time to restore..........most of us are depleted, of energy, time, hope, and health.
It sounds too good to be true, too simple doesn't it?  How can breathing and stretching restore?
Think about how the body needs and uses oxygen, then think about how shallow your breath is most of the day.  Think about how you stiffen every time you get stressed, now think about how many times a day you are stressed.  Starting to make sense isn't it?  So if all you can do is sit or lie and breathe,
start with that......breathe slow, in and out through the nose, then see if you can take some deeper breaths and slowly about doing that ten times?  So now, see if you can do that three times a day.....ten slow breaths.  I bet you feel better!

There are other ways to restore.....most of us are always in a state of dehydration.  Drink some water, 
eat an apple or orange, drink more water.  If you are fatigued, try a glass of water......headache, drink some water, .....joint pain, drink some water.......those are all symptoms of mild dehydration. Our bodies are around 70% water, our blood needs water to circulate through out our body, every cell in our bodies needs water, have a glass!

It's mid-afternoon, energy has disappeared, don't grab a candy bar or cookie!  Eat some almonds or walnuts, have some yogurt, a piece of cheese and fruit, and a glass of water. Restore your energy,
restore your body.  Take a short walk, get some fresh air and sunshine!  Restore!

Tonight, restore with sleep.......the body repairs while you sleep.  Take a warm bath, dim the lights,
turn off the tv, listen to soft music, remember to breathe, have some water, and this may sound silly, but give yourself permission to rest.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I went to buy groceries early this  morning, around  eight,  Sunday morning is a great time to grocery one is there!  By a quarter to nine I was back in the parking lot, loading the car.  I heard a woman's voice
behind me, "excuse me, could I ask a favor?".  I turned around, a young woman in her early twenties stood before me.....I could tell she was probably under the influence of some drug, she moved slow, her speech was a little slurred.  She told me her husband had beaten her ( her mouth was busted,  her face bruised) and had pushed her out of the car about ten miles up the highway.......a couple had picked her up and brought her to the parking lot of Walmart.  Her mom lived a couple of miles away, it was cold and she asked if I would take her to her mother's house.

I asked her if she wanted me to call the police, but a look of panic crossed her face, and she told me she would walk to her mom's.  I stood there for a minute, looking at her, and trusting my instinct, told her that I drive her to mother.  But first, I needed to call my husband.......I asked for her name, called Rick, told him what was taking place, gave him a description of her and where I was going.

She got in the car, she couldn't buckle her seat belt, I buckled her up and the first thing she wanted to know
 was if I wore tinted contacts.....she kept telling me I had the prettiest blue eyes she had ever seen and that she couldn't believe I didn't have tinted contacts in.  I talked to her about her husband,  I told her that an abusive situation would only get worse.   That she needed to talk with the police, and get out while she could.
 She said that was the same thing her mom had told her.  I urged her to go by the local college ( block from her mom) and sign up to study for her GED.  I am not sure if anything I said registered.  When we got to her
mom's house,  a man was in the front yard, and she mentioned rather fearfully that it was her mother's boyfriend.  I asked if she would be ok,  as she was getting out of my car, she just said thanks for the ride.

I have thought about her all day.  Uneducated, abused.......what chance does she have?  Yes, she was drugging,  thin as a rail.....she looked like an abandoned puppy that no one wanted.  The sad thing, I think there are a lot of young women like her.....who think they have no options, no choices.  They are the invisible, the ones you don't look at when they pass by,  or maybe you cross the street to avoid them.   I have said countless prayers for her today, that  life would be kind to her, that a second chance would be given and she could start a new life.  That she would know love and kindness, that she would have contentment
and peace.

So tonight, when you say your prayers, say a prayer for her and all the others like her........who live in hell on earth, who think there are no choices, there are no options, that no one cares.  Pray for her safety, pray for opportunity, pray for courage and wisdom, pray for them all.........the world she lives in, is cold, hard, dangerous, and in the midst of us all.

God bless us all tonight.........peace.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

This Old Road

This is the road to our barn......the road that we walk every day.  It is amazing to watch the seasons change walking down this dirt road.  Right now, the trees are full of color and soon there will be no leaves, only the pines and cedars providing shades of green.  Hopefully some time this winter, it will be covered in snow.  In the spring the dogwoods and hydrangeas and wild honeysuckles
show colors of soft pink and shades of white.  In the summer, a canopy of green shades us from the heat.

I have watched Jordan run miles up and down this road,
I have walked this road sobbing with sorrow, and laughing with joy..... Spider webs have hung like lace curtains and glistened in the sunlight with the morning dew, and snakes have slithered across it.  Rabbits and squirrels have teased the dogs, wild turkey and deer have left their tracks, and once even a mountain lion crossed it in the snow.

This old road is timeless, there are places where you see nothing, not the house nor the barn, and it seems you are a million miles from anywhere.  It has become my favorite part of our property, this old road.  It is a great place to think, to walk, to run, and sometimes just to sit down
and look out into the hollow and daydream.  It is a place to leave your worries, and let yourself be in the is a great place to breathe.  It is a road that goes nowhere, yet will always take you someplace,it will take you home......and when you feel the wind blowing in your face, you know it is the same wind that has
blown here since the beginning of time........this old road, has become an old friend.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Empty......sometimes the vessel is empty and no matter how hard we try to get one tiny droplet, there is nothing there.  It's time to step back, regroup, think and probably give it a rest.  Tonight, I tried to post three different luck.  I sat here for half an hour starring at the screen, listening to Blackie Bear snore......the only thing that happened.....I got sleepy!

It has been a few weeks since I have body and my brain are talking to me tonight.....and luckily
this is a slow weekend, no gigs......some down time.  It's the perfect weekend to rest, the fall colors are just incredible now, the dogs and I can just roam around and be lazy tomorrow. If we are lucky Jordan will come over and  catch some falling leaves with us.  I have a couple of new books to read, I think a blanket and a sunny spot would be enticing.   A pot of white chili might be on the menu.

So there's my weekend in a nutshell......not the most exciting, but one that fills the need.  I wish you all the weekend you seek, the weekend you need.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Bits and Pieces

Late post, please forgive me! Rick and I went to hear some of our songwriter buddies perform tonight.
It is a real treat to hear our friends play their songs!  Creative energy is just amazing!

It has been a wonderful day,  our great nephew Jordan got to skip daycare and hang out with us......I made sure I had all his favorite foods and snacks.  It was his day, so whatever he wanted to do, we did.
This day care stuff is all new, it started a few weeks ago when his mom went to work.  He told me today that one of his friends spent the day at the wall yesterday........I asked why did he spend the day at the wall,
Jordan informed me the wall was time out......he also told me his teacher told his friend she would be having a long talk with his mom.  Jordan told me he did not want to ever go to the wall!   I told him I wouldn't want to go to the wall either.

I really appreciate all the kind comments you all have left the past few days.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I also appreciate you all voting for Phil Campbell High School on the Glee Give A Note FB site.
We are now in first place, with just a few more days to go!  Keep up the good work, you will never know
what it means to that community!

I have to get up in a few hours, so I think I should maybe hit the bed now.
Good night, Sweet dreams.......

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Philosophy is Kindness

"This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple, the philosophy is kindness."  - Dali Lama

My friend Kaye shared this quote with me this morning, I have thought about it all's almost too simple isn't it.......the philosophy of kindness.  Treating everyone( no matter the color, creed, race, religion, rich, poor,)with kindness.    It seems easy to talk about beliefs, but treating everyone with kindness, can we do that?
Even if they are so different that they scare us, even if they hate us, even if they smell, or they act "funny" or they don't think like we do, can we treat them with kindness?  Do unto others.....can we?

My father told me to work out my own salvation because I questioned his and my mom's religion so seemed so full of hate, so full of fear, so judgmental...... I read all those words in red, yet it seemed
"their" temple taught everything but those words in red.  I have believed since I was a child, that love and kindness could change the world.....that giving with no expectations was the supreme act of kindness.

Many days I come home exhausted from giving, from sharing's ok, better to be exhausted from
sharing than sick with fear and hate.   My body is the are we caring for our temple, treating it with respect and love and dignity?  Do we nourish it with good food, pure water, clean air and sunshine, and rest? Or are we  pushing, stressing, it to the breaking point?  Do we give our brains meditation time or do we continue to bombard them with stimuli 24/7 and then wonder why sleep never comes?

The philosophy is kindness......I believe it is that simple......kindness to each other, to starts in our hearts, our brains and we can share it freely.   Kindness.....pass it on.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall Thoughts

Fall is my favorite time of the year, and fall in Alabama has been beautiful......clear blue skies, low humidity,
and the color will be peak perfection by the weekend. The temps have been perfect too, 6o's for daytime highs, 30's at kind of weather!

I shot the photo with my I-phone this afternoon, down behind the barn.  There are lots of golds, because of the hickories and oaks, but the reds.....the dogwoods and sweetgums are just beginning to shine.  Every morning when we walk, you can see the changes, the color and the angle of the light.  

We have had some frosts, but nothing major, no killing frost as my dad use to say.....just enough  to let the plants know change is coming.

Tomorrow will be six years ago that my mom passed.  As I walked this morning I thought about her passing.  She had been so sick, those last few weeks, that I rarely left her house.  I do remember the day she passed it was cold .......what I remember most.......on the way to her funeral
I asked Rick when had the leaves changed color.  The sun was shinning, and it was that clear blue Alabama sky, I just remember the color of the leaves was dazzling.
I think it was the first time in weeks that I had noticed anything around me.......but those beautiful fall colors seemed to shimmer hope that afternoon, the first that I had felt in maybe months.  She was sick almost two years,  and honestly there is not much from those two years I remember.....just the caring for her.

I have two friends  who have lost their mothers in the past couple of weeks, it seems odd that their mothers passed during this beautiful autumn, it made my friends' losses more poignant and sad because I was already feeling the sadness of the anniversary of my mom's passing.  

The first day of November marks the beginning of our second tornado season ( yes, we are so lucky, we have two) strange beautiful weather, our fall season in Alabama.  Only two months left in 2011, how can that be?  Time does have wings.

Don't forget to vote for Phil Campbell High School on the Glee,  Give a Note FB site.....we are in first place!
Thanks to all of you, just  six more days to vote, so keep up the good work!  
Good night Sweet dreams