Monday, January 31, 2011

Red Tulips

I love red tulips in the winter.......come January and February, I buy a bunch every time I go to the grocery store.
They make me feel hopeful and happy. The crimson color is just the pick me up when every thing is grey and bare. I am not a rose kind of girl.
They are beautiful, but somehow roses are just not me. I love red tulips, purple violets, daisies and peonies, tall stalks of lavender and yellow forsythia and daffodils. Actually, purple is my favorite color, so any purple flower makes me smile.

Red tulips in the dead of winter, they seem strong,
almost defiant. This week I bought two bunches.
One for the kitchen table, one in front of a mirror in the living room. I see them when I open the front door, something that beautiful is bound to make you smile. It's as though they greet you saying we're so glad you're home!

Soon, I'll break branches of forsythia, place them in vases and they will bloom in the house much earlier than out side. I'll do the same with plum blossoms and apple blossoms. I guess you realize by now, I love fresh flowers in the house. Tonight I placed my vision board by the vase of tulips on the kitchen table.......the tulips just seemed to reinforce all my hopes and dreams on the board. It has been a very good day, full of heart is overflowing with gratitude, and the tulips, well they just added to my joy. I wish I could give you all red tulips tonight, as a reminder....that there is beauty, even in the middle of winter, that there is brightness and joy and hope, even when the days are grey.....and there is kindness, when you least expect it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guitar Friend

Playing guitar is a love/hate thing for me. There are times when I play and it is like being in the zone.......sounds good, feels good, we are one. There are times when I play and I think it cannot get any worse than this. I look at my friends' hands, most of them wear nail polish and/or have beautiful nails.......I look at my hands, my nails are clipped as short as possible, I have thick callouses on the tips of my fingers, damn guitar!........but my guitars are magical.

I have a Taylor, it's the one that cost the most money, the one that everyone says "wow, you have a Taylor". I have an old Gibson( well it is in the shop right now). It is so old and worn there are scooped out places in the has a sweet deep full of character sound. Then there is my twelve string, a Sigma that I bought on the layaway plan years ago when I was broke. Each guitar is like an old friend, with a unique sound, a distinct personality......sometimes (just like friends) we don't spend as much time together as we should, but those times when we do hang out, I never regret it.

I am hanging with my guitar friends much more these days. I played at guitar for years, but this past year, I decided to play is not easy, it is time consuming, humiliating, down right discouraging......but also, joyful, inspiring, uplifting, wondrous, my time flies when you are having fun! I made a vow to my guitars this year, that I would not ignore them. I promised that I would do what it takes to release the beautiful music that lives within each of them.
There are new songs that reside in those guitars, just waiting for me to write and old songs ready to spring to life.

My brothers and my dad played guitar......not great guitar, but play with joy, play with love, play with a broken heart, and tears. I saw and heard through them, the relationship, the friendship that an old guitar could bring.......and even after being stored in the back of the closet, it responds with love when your fingers caress the strings.......a friend for life.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


The old farm house that sits at the back of our property has beckoned us for years. We first talked about living there, but we decided to build our little A-frame style cottage. Through the years
we spent a lot of time around the old house, loving the hundred year old oaks, the quirkiness of the house itself. In the past few months we have decided to use the house as creative space. There will be an office for Rick, an artist studio for me, a small kitchen and bedroom. We will also use it as a guest house and one of our friends has suggested that we use the porch as an occasional stage for house concerts.

It was warm and sunny today, my nephew James and his wife Andrea and their three kids came to visit. We all walked down to the old house and sat on the newly rebuilt porch. I looked around and every one had a smile on their face, that is the magic of the old house........there is something so peaceful, and ageless about it. Andrea remarked that it was like being in a cabin on vacation in the mountains. There is much work to be done.......but the possibilities of that space are inspiring.

I have done all my painting and jewelry making in the laundry room and I can assure you, it does not inspire creativity. I have longed for space, at times cried many tears for space of my own, I really never thought it would happen......I think there is a part of me that is still waiting to see if it really will. Now next, recording space......maybe in the barn?????

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Eagle

When the horizon fills, with the clouds of the storm
Small birds seek their refuge
When thunder rolls and the wind is born
The weak await the deluge

But the storm brings our the eagle
to challenge the wind and the cloud
The storm brings out the eagle
soaring high and free and proud
Defiantly facing the fury
Determined to see it through
May all the storms of your life
bring out the eagle in you

When you trials are many and your triumphs are few
and fire is down to an ember
When your spirit grows weary and your lost and confused
there's one thing that you should remember

Rick and I wrote that song twenty five years ago, the Challenger disaster inspired it.
Even today, every time we sing it, we get great comments about the song.
Tonight, I wanted to share the lyrics with ya'll.
We all have storms in our lives, some of us daily......and after awhile, it seems we do await the deluge.

When you think about the people in this country and around the world who have given their lives, doing what they believed in........we have to make sure that no one dies in vain.
Some days, no matter how beaten we is that spirit that fans the ember into a flame.
My prayer tonight, no matter the storm that is raging in your life, you have the defiance and determination to see it through.
May all the storms in your life, bring out the eagle in you.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I love to read.......we have floor to ceiling book shelves and they are full. I discovered a book today that I read a few years back....Illusions by Richard Bach. As I glanced through the pages, I ran across a quote that I had underlined, "you are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however." That quote seemed to go hand in hand with my project that I finished this week, my vision board.

Usually I do mine around my birthday, but I started it a few weeks ago. I felt the need for my map a little early this year. ( my birthday is in March)
Vision boards provide a map for your brain, a route to follow, in pursuing your dreams and wishes. You take photos, magazine pages, words, phrases anything that shows the life you want to live and assemble them all on a board. You then place the board where you can see it every remind your self, to remind your brain, to remind your spirit of the life you wish to live. On my board, there are photos of musicians, of Paris, Ireland, NYC, San Francisco, mountains, gardens, even Rick and I, there are horoscopes, words and phrases
that inspire me, that remind me of my pursuits and goals for this coming year.

As I looked at my board from last year, I was surprised by what I saw. There were several pictures of the mountains and the coast.......... I traveled to Telluride in the summer and the beach in the fall, neither were planned trips. Lots of music, art and yoga visuals were there, and I accomplished several goals in each of those areas. It will be interesting next January to look at this board and see what has taken place.

Some years I have worked harder for some wishes than others, but that is always the case.
Sometimes what you think you really want doesn't matter that much after all, maybe it's just not worth the work. And some of the "smaller wishes" turn out to be the big ones!

Another quote that I love from Illusions......."here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't." Pretty profound, and rather humorous, don't you think?
I hope you all have the energy to make your wishes true, and that your missions are long ones.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Twenty Years

Today is the twentieth anniversary of my father's death. I have thought of him many times today, actually the past few days.......twenty years seems like so long ago, seems like only yesterday.
He was one of the smartest people I knew, and he only had an eight grade education. He went to work in the coal mines when he was a child for twenty-five cents a day. He fell in love with my mother and welcomed she and her four children into his life.......then they had my sister, nine years later me, and then my younger brother, twenty months later.

He joined the air force when WWII broke out, he was a medic. His friends told me war changed him,just like it did all of them. He would never speak to me about the war, he buried it somewhere deep in the bottom of his heart.

He taught me to live by the Golden Rule. He taught me to work out my own salvation. He loved being outdoors, growing flowers and vegetables. He believed that there was purpose for everything on this earth, good or bad. He taught me compassion. He gave me a love for music.
He taught me to eat oysters on the half shell and to shoot pool. I have his blue eyes.
He played the guitar and sang the blues. He could live on peanut butter, so could I.
He made the world around him a little better, I am a better person because of him.

I miss him. His name was Jim......his friends called him Sharky.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Accept Yourself

I read a phrase once, accept yourself for who you are intrigues me.....accepting myself for who I am today. Everyday is a brand new day for all of us, even though it may seem as if it is a carbon copy of the one before. Who am I today? Today it seems I have been Aunt Jilda
(Jordan was here today) today, I have been a little down, today, I have had a great hair day.
Today, I was a songwriter who booked a gig for myself and a few of my songwriting buds.
Today, I did my third lesson in Little Course in Miracles. Today, I cooked soup for my mother-in-law who is in a nursing home.

So, I suppose today........I am an aunt, songwriter, daughter-in-law, student, who was a little down on herself. I am envious today, since Rick has retired he has a lot of freedom. He has been spending his days with really interesting people,visiting some wonderful places. Today I have missed the freedom of some of my past jobs.......the travel, the excitement.

I love what I do, but because of privacy issues, I go to work, leave and pretty much close the door. Because I am contract labor, I am not an employee so I miss the meetings, the connection if you will of other employees. It is the most rewarding work I have ever done, it is the most difficult.

I have accepted today has been good and today has been difficult, much like most days. The course work in Miracles is difficult, going inward, examining why I react and do the things I do,
is depressing......I am only on the third lesson and it is painful. I read a segment about illness today, in the course, and I have read this theory many times before.........illness speaks what your mind and body hold within....suppressed words, feelings come out, one way or another.
My friend Claude Thomas believes talking heals the spirit and the mind.

I accept myself today, as a little frazzled, a little depressed, a little envious, a little happy, a little tired old broad who will face tomorrow as a brand new day and do it all over again!

Monday, January 24, 2011


I have not had a date with my favorite two guys in a very long time. There have been days that I spent way too much time with them and regretted it so much the next day. But, to be honest they are kinda like my pets, always there when you need them, full of sweetness and will make you feel better no matter what kind of day you have had.

They really are perfect, never disagree, and will get you through good times and bad. Tonight I caved in to desire, I couldn't help myself, hell, my husband suggested the rendezvous! I tried hard not to give in.......but finally I walked into the kitchen, opened the freezer and said hello to Ben and Jerry. What is it about those two????? They always know what you want! was New York Super Fudge Chunk, smooth creamy chocolate ice cream, with white, dark fudge chunks, pecans, walnuts and fudge covered almonds. I savored every bite, because I know it will be a while before I let those wild and wacky guys back in my house. What can I say,
it was a good time.......and I am soooooo happy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Shadow

Every night as I sit down at the computer to write, Blackie Bear lies down beside me. I scratch his ears, he grunts and then he settles or rather clunks down on the floor. His watchful eyes are always on me and as I move through the house, he moves with me......when I do laundry, he is in the laundry room, our kitchen is so small two people can barely move, but he lies down in the middle of the floor while I cook. I constantly step over and around him, moving from the stove to the sink, to the counter and pantry, he is blissful.

When I am on the sofa sitting in front of the fireplace reading or just watching the birds, he is there.
Forget privacy while taking a shower, he is in the bathroom waiting for me to get dressed. In the mornings when we walk, after about twenty minutes he is ready to come home, but I have to walk him to the house, tell him I am ok, and then he stays. Sometimes when I am cold and tired, I lay in the floor with him and he is like a big teddy bear! Some how through the years, he decided it was his job to watch over me, so he does.

When we have company he positions himself between me and our guests, making sure they know he is can you miss him, he weights 97 pounds, is half chow and half lab and truly looks like a black bear!!!! oh yes, his tongue is spotted. Never in my life will I understand how someone could not want this dog.......he was abandoned, like three of our other dogs.
He is smart, and clever and loving and loyal, he is all you could ever want in a pet, or a friend.
He knows when I have a bad day, he knows when I am not is clear to me, if need be, he would give his life for me.

He is snoring now, quite loudly, his breath is labored, he is old. But the moment I close this computer and leave the office, he will wake up and go with me. He is my shadow, even when there is no sun. I write about him often, he and Charlie, but they amaze me, there are many humans who could learn from these sweet caring animals..........they are pets, friends and family members, we are so lucky they decided to keep us.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Seems Like Old Times

Seems like old has been a while since we sat around and picked, just for grins.
Not practice, not writing, just picking and grinning. A couple of our friends came over for dinner tonight, who happen to be pickers and well we let nature take its course. Today was my brother Ricky's birthday, he was home alone tonight, and originally we were expecting out of town guests but they had a death in the family. So, my brother Ricky came over for dinner, our buddies came, and though it was not the night we had planned, it was memorable.

A table full of food, laughter, and many times through the years, our Saturday nights have been spent like this. The down side to performing, these nights got fewer and farther tonight was a gift and I cherished every moment. I love being in front of an audience , I crave it.....but times like tonight, are really special. The intimacy of friends, sitting in the living room, singing and playing for the sheer joy of it........sharing a meal, stories, the house was bursting with love.

I am tired, I could not hold another morsel of food, but I am happy.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Never stop learning, that rolls through my brain every day.......there are times when learning throws a little fear in me and makes the adrenalin course through my body, but learning something new also makes me feel alive. Rick has applied for an incredible writer's workshop this summer, it is an intense five days with writers and publishers, like a writer's boot camp.
I will be attending yoga trainings in March, April and May.....and one of my friends called me today with exciting news about a photography class he's attending. Another friend is learning guitar,isn't it cool how we are all so into learning?

I have friends, that each time we are together, I learn something. It can be anything from cooking to gardening, writing to music, painting to history. I leave them with my brain buzzing with all the new info they have shared. My Course in Miracles arrived today, it takes one year to complete.
I know that it is not your average dinner party conversation tidbit, but honestly, I have wanted to do this course for several years. It is truly self driven, no grades, there is a workbook and daily meditation, but the only one who judges what you have completed and learned is yourself.
I will keep you all posted on how it goes.

I believe learning keeps you young......not in the sense of young, teenage beauty queen......but youthful, open minded, aware of possibilities. Learning keeps you interesting, it's good for your mental health, and self-esteem. When you learn something new, your self-confidence just soars. I think that smart is sexy.......and every time you learn something get a little smarter, the sex appeal goes up a notch.

There are days I feel not so smart, days I wish I knew oh so much more, about everything. Those days I try to read a little more, speak with friends who share their knowledge......those are also the days I listen hard and speak little.........and absorb all that I can. There is a quote by
Socrates, "all I know is that I know nothing"........I think that no matter how much I study, no matter how much I try to cram into my brain, when all is said and done, as much as I love learning, .........I will know nothing, because there is so much to learn and so little time.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Musical Power

There are days when I leave work that I have to shift mindset does the trick. I get in Ingrid (my 1996 volvo) and crank up the music, I have my favorites.......Paul Thorn, Johnny Lang, Eliza Gilkyson, Zachary Richard, The Swell Season, James House, Christine Olhman to name just a few. Hearing Johnny Lang sing Lie to Me or Eliza sing Aphrodite's Face or Paul wailing on Mission Temple Fireworks Stand and I find my reality.

Music has been a part of my life since I was a small child. Listening to it as well as performing, I can't remember not having music all around me. Music takes me to a better place, but sometimes I need to go dark and music allows that with no consequences. I was in a church basement when I had my first kiss, the choir was upstairs singing I'll Fly Away, pretty profound, huh? The next kiss,my best friend and I were walking home from school, listening to our transistor radio, Runaway was playing and this boy that had a crush on me, walked up ( on a dare) and kissed me right there on the street. .......and yes, he immediately ran away.

Music has let me express anger, sorrow, hate, love, joy and every emotion in between. To this day, I can hear The Beach Boy's Wouldn't It Be Nice and I think of my friend Debbi in high school, she would sing and giggle about the boy who would be her first husband before we graduated. I was in a lounge band once, ( I know, the things I have done to sing) and Take The Ribbon From My Hair was my most requested song........ the first time I met my present boss,
he walked in his office singing that song........strange, almost ran away.

My favorite musical fantasy......... me, on stage, wearing my black leather jeans, playing guitar and singing Who Stole My Monkey with Zachary Richard. (and that is all you need to know about that one) well, there is the one about me taking the mike from Paul Thorn's bass player and wailing on stage with Paul, oh wait, that happened! see dreams do come true!

Music has been a common thread for Rick and I, creating something so personal with your spouse can be really good or the end of the world(almost) . Our bond of music has introduced to us incredible people, taken us to wonderful places and created memories that will last forever.

To me, one of the most magical things about music, people link memories to songs.......they remember a time, a place, a kiss, a tear, music engraves, it tattoos forever, that link of song and, in the words of Paul Thorn, "it don't get any better than this".
Listen to your favorite song tonight.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Turning Point

During some time in our lives, we all reach a turning point.....for most of us it has happened more than once. Sometimes those moments, those "points" are triggered by major events, often just a buildup of day to day moments activates the turn or something that someone says or does.

A few weeks ago, a student experienced a turning point in class. I didn't realize it at the time, but they told me this week of the profound change that had taken place. It started with a comment,
a rather out of place comment..........but I let it go, assured them that no offense had been taken
and continued with class. I noticed that each time the student came back to class they were different, but I didn't make the connection. Then this week the student told me, that comment and the feelings that they had felt afterwards caused a major turning point in their life.... because I chose to react in a way they did not expect.

So, I began to think about turning points in my own life..........the death of my dad twenty years ago caused a major reevaluation of my life, illness caused major lifestyle changes for me,
but so has the kindness of strangers and words from friends and family, some good, some bad.
In college I had offers from corporations in NYC, I came back to Birmingham instead and lived a very different life than I would have in the Big Apple I am sure. A turning point that really seemed so insignificant at the time was becoming a yoga teacher........I was thinking of maybe teaching a small community class once a week, instead I have taught thousands and it became
a passion.

I am grateful for my turning points, even when I made a "wrong" turn.......I am here, I am where I am suppose to be, because of my turns.........who knows when the next one will take place.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Day With Jordan

My niece Samantha started back to physical therapy school today, so Jordan her two year old son spent the day at my house. Rick had deadlines and a big interview tomorrow, in Jordan's words,"Aunt Rick is on the phone or computer" for most of the day. Jordan and I have had a busy was his first day with us since Christmas break began, we both had adjustments to make.

The photo was taken during the snow of last week. He loves snow as much as I do, so we spent some time throwing snowballs and just hanging out in the snow. Today, it rained and he was not happy......he likes snow and sunshine, nothing in between. We spent time outdoors for awhile, but once back inside I could not convince him to go back outside later in the day.

Jordan loves to play in boxes, today he painted a couple and spent a while just hanging out in his "big" box. He used the box as a hiding place, a chair and
an art gallery. Life is simple when Jordan is here. It is an exhausting day, but a day that teaches now in the simplest of terms. You play now, you eat now, take a bath now, nap now.
I am trying to teach him things of value, like doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, exercise, fresh air and much laughter. We feed the animals, and examine everything he happens to pick up outside. He runs as much as he wants, digs in the dirt and constantly asks questions, it was a long was a very short day. We will do it all again Thursday.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tearful Day

New students today, funny how different each one's perception of yoga was. There was fear,
disbelief, anger, eagerness and much curiosity. It was a slow go, a couple of times I had tears in my eyes, but I have had lots of experience and I just hung in there. By the time class was over,
almost every one in the group had something good to say. WHEW!!!!!

Needless to say, I am very tired tonight. In my Monday night community class, we have three members who are/have been seriously ill.......we are a tight knit group, most have been coming to my class for years. It's like family being sick. I looked out among the group tonight, and once again felt tears in my eyes, I miss them. The group has sent much love and healing energy, and many prayers for them, this day has been an emotional one. I want them well and back in class!

It is one of those times in life when I have to breathe a lot. That is just how it goes. One of my students said it best, "it's ok to be sad, better to feel sad than not to feel at all." When my mom was ill, I began having headaches, you know the kind, you think a midget with an ice pick is on top of your skull excavating........I went to my family doctor and when he heard the nurse ask how my mom was doing(he didn't know she was dying) the first words that came out of his mouth, " you need antidepressants". I told him I just could not take them, that yes it was a horrible time, and I was depressed, but I needed to feel the sadness. I knew in my heart that if I didn't let myself experience it then, the grief would be unbearable when she passed. I could not spend those last few months with her numb and unfeeling. Sometimes you just have to let yourself be sad.

Next week is the anniversary of my father's death, funny how those days stick in our brains.
It has been twenty years, you'd think by now, it wouldn't hurt so much. The pain is still there it, just doesn't show its face as often as it use too.

As stressful as today has been, there has been a goodly amount of laughter as well. So the yin and yang, the balance is as it should be. I am ready for a hot cup of tea and my warm cozy bed.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Blog

Sometimes I read my posts, and think oh wow........I do not write much in the way of entertainment.....the reason though, that I write much of what I write.......I know that there are many who suffer, who are hurting, who are searching.

I don't claim to have answers, just thoughts. My thoughts come because of how I spend most of my days, teaching yoga at a drug/alcohol rehab center. My students teach me more than I ever teach them. They share their thoughts, their feelings and views on life. They talk about their struggles, but also about their victories. We laugh and cry, get angry sometimes and wallow in guilt.......but everything they share with me.......teaches me a lesson.

I go into class some days full of myself, and those are the days I learn my lessons in humility.
I walk in, thinking that my life is difficult and overwhelming, that is when I hear the saddest story I have ever heard in my life. Some days I stand in the class room and wonder why I am there, and that is when some one tells me that I have helped them to make changes in their life.

I share my thoughts on this blog, hoping that the words I write are words that some one needs to read......that maybe just one thing will comfort, will inspire, will give hope or encouragement.
During my life, words that I have read have inspired me, to pursue my dreams, to have courage, the written word has lifted my spirits, brought a smile to my face and made me think. I have spoken before about how important words, how powerful words are. I want my words to have meaning and substance, not to be shallow and thoughtless.

My blog may not be cute, or amusing. My blog may make some of you uncomfortable and stir feelings that you had pushed into the darkness long ago, or it may remind you of things forgotten. My blog may cause a tear to fall or a smile or maybe make you swear. It is my blog....
my thoughts, my reaching out to anyone I can help. My blog.......comes from my heart.
My blog is....... my transformation, my information.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Award

I received a Stylish Blogger Award from Life 101 yesterday. I've never gotten one of these before so I wasn't sure how it worked. Rick was kind enough to explain. So here goes -
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award... thanks Rick.
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Pass the award on.

7 Things About Me
1) I have been blogging less than a year.
2) I am a singer/songwriter....I co-wrote a number one song in Europe on the Indie charts, also a number 7, 10 and 16. Currently have a song on an MTV Reality show in Canada.
3) I am a yoga therapist at a drug/alcohol rehab center.
4) I am an artist and jewelry designer.
5) I was a model, have been in magazines such as Seventeen and Runner's World.
6) I find others much more interesting than myself.
7) I have five dogs.

I'm going to pass the award on to:Belle her blog is Tales From A Loser, but I promise you,
Belle is no loser.

Thanks for reading, thanks for following my blog.........blessings and love to you all.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Frozen Images

There is still snow on the ground. Much of it has melted, but it is amazing how much is still here. It has been quite beautiful this week, but the natives are getting restless.
Alabamians are not use to snows that linger.
Cabin fever hits hard and fast........cannot tell you how many times in the past few days I have heard the phrase"cannot wait until spring."

So I thought I would share a few frozen images with you tonight.......the roll of of barb wire, I love the textures and the symmetry of the circles.......the red leaves are the persistent remains of the huckleberry, beautiful colors against the snow.......the frozen droplets, looked like jewels hanging on the branches.

I'm not rushing spring. I know that the earth needs the darkness and cold of the winter, she needs the rest.
This is when she gathers her strength, her energy if you will so that come spring, she displays her colors and scents and bounty. I love this time of dormancy, of bareness. There are no pretenses in winter, what you see is what you get.

The days are getting longer, and though there may still be days of frigid air, in a few short weeks here in the south, colors of spring will begin to appear.......yellow daffodils, soft yellow greens of tiny leaves ready to burst forth.......but for now the earth rests and that is how it should be.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I believe that every day is a miracle. Everyone I know has experienced a miracle in their lives whether they acknowledge it or not. Albert Einstein said, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
I have believed in miracles my whole life. Some days, just getting out of bed is a miracle. I think when we begin to acknowledge the every day miracles in our lives, we experience change.

Most of us are walking around thinking that their only miracle would be, if they won the lottery or got the job of their dreams, or met the "one". We fail to see the miracle of dealing with unbearable pain or loss. We fail to notice the miracle of good health every day, or the miracle of people around us who love us.

For many years I have read about A Course In Miracles, this year I have decided to order the course and began the journey. It is 1188 pages, three volumes, daily meditation and a workbook exercise, quite daunting when looked at as a whole, but I think doable. This year more than ever I want to live my life as though everything is a miracle. I want my perception of the events that take place in my life to be one of daily miracles.

Growing up in a fundamentalist church, miracles were taught as the know, instant healing of horrible disease, the loaves and the fishes, water into wine. But even as a child, I had a feeling in my heart that miracles were so much more than that. A miracle for two year old great nephew, Jordan walks into my house, his eyes aglow with love and joy at seeing me........ a snow that has lasted and sparkled like millions of diamonds on the ground in Alabama since Sunday..........friendships, the kind that you can go for months, years without seeing each other, and the love is always there.......the fact that one hundred year old oaks grew from tiny acorns........the rain falls, the sun sets, the stars shine, and the sun comes back up the next day.

Tonight my wish for all of you........miracles, big ones, little ones, great ones, insignificant ones,
may you experience a miracle every day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sacred Idleness

"work is not always required......there is such a thing as sacred idleness" - George MacDonald
I love sacred idleness, it is something I try to do daily, the moments that I experience it......wonderful! I cannot remember a time (until her illness) that I ever saw my mother do nothing. Stillness for her, was an evil to be avoided at all costs. In my mother's eyes, being lazy, doing nothing.......was as sinful as theft or alcohol. I can remember my dad begging to her sit down and just spend time with him.......she never did.

I know when my world is going too fast, when I am overbooked and stretched to the breaking point, my prayer becomes I just need a little time to do nothing. I learned, thankfully through the years how important sacred idleness is for your spirit as well as your body. I know, I do tend to push it, but oh how I love it when I experience it!

Sunday and Monday we were pretty much snowbound, and it was great.......such a gift! I sat and looked out the windows and watched the birds and the deer, I did a lot of breathing, I drank many cups of hot tea.........I experienced, I relished my sacred idleness! I thought of many things I could/should do, but you know we just don't get snow that often and I let myself enjoy it.

I feel as though I have been on vacation........rested, peaceful. I bet many of you, feel guilty when you have those moments of sacred idleness, put that guilt aside and let your spirit and body have what it needs, what it craves. Take five minutes before you go to bed, turn off the tv, computer, radio, etc and just sit in sacred the same thing when you get up in the news, no tv, no e-mail or FB, take five minutes for sacred idleness. It's not evil, it's not is nourishment for your spirit, your body and your mind. Work is not always required.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Buried Dreams

Today is the 1-11-11...........those numbers look magical to me......all those ones! I bought new boards for my vision boards, normally I do mine in March the week of my birthday. But, I feel
energized, hopeful these past few days and I am ready to begin my new vision for my life this year.
Yes, I have already done my What Do I Want list, have you???????

So, if you don't know what a vision board is, just a simple board with pictures, words, phrases, poems, anything that signifies the life you want, just glue it to the board. Look through magazines for photographs of the life you want to live, the things you want to achieve, the places you want to go, the "vision" if you will of the life you want this year. It doesn't matter how far fetched, how different it is from your life now.........begin to excavate those buried dreams.

Dig deep. Dig down to find those dreams, what were they?????? why did you toss them away, too much work, too silly, too big? and make sure they are your dreams......not those that your parents or spouse or friend wanted for you, find the dreams that you yearned for.

Buried dreams....we all have them. Maybe we buried them because of fear, did you not think you were good enough, smart enough, talented enough? How many lives changed, how many of us took a different path because of fear? Did you bury your dreams because of family, of responsibilities, did you let everyone else's dreams bury your own?

A vision board can help you find the dreams you buried years ago.........allow yourself to dream again. As you glance through magazines, or papers or junk mail, what catches your eye?
Is it a cruise down the Nile? Maybe you thought you would be the next Dior, or Monet, maybe you dreamed of being an astronaut( go to space camp). Just take an hour, collect pictures, maybe you see the word Dream or the word Possibilities or the word Change or a phrase like
"Live Large" or "go for it".......anything that grabs your attention, that tugs at your heart.

Is there a photograph of a beach house, or a cabin in the mountains, or some exotic place you want to visit, put it on the board. And then........hang your vision board where you can see it every day. Mine hangs in the laundry room ( I do a lot of laundry) Look at it every day, and let yourself begin to dream again, let yourself rediscover the old dreams and think about some new ones.

Mine those buried dreams. There's an old saying about looking for diamonds, searching the world over, and they are right in your back yard. Let yourself remember........what did you dream about when you were eight, what did you dream about when you were sixteen or twenty-five......when did you stop dreaming, when did you bury your dreams?

I'm not big on resolutions, and honestly I am not your average goal setter.......I mine dreams,
I see visions, I make a Want List. It works for me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowy Images

Normally on Mondays I teach four yoga classes, back to back. Because of the weather, I didn't make it to work today or my class that I teach at a local community center. I feel rather off center.
We hiked in the woods today, the air so clean and crisp, it has been like a vacation......I admit
I have been really lazy.

Rick is watching the National Championship football game tonight and I have watched a couple of videos on line that I had wanted to see. It has been a nice, uneventful day.

The photo of the old house.... the house was built in the late twenties. It is at the back of our property and the barn is behind it. We are converting the old house to a writing studio for Rick, with an art studio for me. It should be completed by early summer. This is my first attempt at multiple photographs, so forgive my very basic layout. I just wanted to share my day with you all and let you have a glimpse of our rare but beautiful snow.

The dog in the photo with me.......that is Blackie Bear. Right now, he is lying on the floor as I type this blog, snoring loudly. The road, that is my road home.....and all those beautiful bare trees, in just a few months will be green. Thanks for letting me share my day, Good night, Sweet dreams.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


It is a cold snowy night here in Empire, Alabama......everything is covered in a soft white blanket and the flakes are still coming down. I so love the peacefulness of fresh fallen snow and the stillness that it brings. I've watched those fat lazy flakes drifting down, and then there would be times when it looked as if confetti was being poured from the heavens. Tonight is a gift.

We are never prepared for snow here in the south, at least not in Alabama. There are no snow plows or "snow emergency" plans, now hurricanes and tornadoes that's a different story.
Our snow plans are pretty much, go to the grocery store, buy milk and bread and hope the power doesn't go off.

Rick and I learned valuable lessons during the blizzard of '93........we were without power for almost a week, there were several days when the temperature in our house hovered around 25 degrees and Rick's beard had ice crystals in it. At that time, our house was total electric.....not anymore, now we have gas logs in the fireplace, a gas stove, a gas auxiliary heater and a generator! We learned our lesson well. At one point, we both had so many layers of clothing on our bodies we could barely move.......we sat in front of the glass French doors in our dining room
because that is the south side of the house, hoping that the sunlight streaming through the panes would warm us. At that point, we looked at each other and laughed, because at the same time,
we both said"we look like homeless people."

Our state has pretty much shut down for tonight and tomorrow. Schools are closed, roads are closed, I think it is a safe bet I will not be going to work tomorrow. My great nephew Jordan has already called to tell me of his plans to roll "aunt Rick" in the snow tomorrow. Jordan is two and snow is a big deal for him. This "aunt Rick" thing, not sure how it happened but in his thoughts
we are both aunts. We'll work it out when he is older.

Tonight all is quiet( as quiet as it can be with a 100 pound dog snoring beside me) I am grateful... it is warm and cozy in our little cottage, the power is still on, the snow falls gently outside and a cup of hot tea is waiting for me.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

In A Second

How quickly life can change. I read about the shootings today in Tucson, so many lives changed in seconds. A childhood friend of mine, her husband died in a plane crash this week, once again lives changed in seconds. We played a wonderful gig tonight, it was magical but all around us there were lives in tragic circumstances.

It happens so quickly doesn't life, and then suddenly everything changes in the blink of an eye. Even if we live to be 100, life is short and sadly most of us won't make it to all comes down to what I talk about so often......Living in the now, making the moments count, making every breath matter.

My friend's husband, had flown their plane to NYC to visit their daughter, he was coming home to celebrate his 60th birthday on Monday, everything changed in seconds. All of the victims in Tuscon, lives changed in seconds. We all are guilty......of going through the motions, of spending much of our time, everywhere but here, everywhere but now.

I have had a great evening, we played to a full house, the audience loved us and I am so very grateful. Earlier today, I had let myself project, and lose sight of all that's important, but in a matter of moments, I took a deep breath and brought myself to the place I needed to be. Years
ago, I would have stayed in that projection, and tonight would have gone so different. Thankfully I am learning, some of those lessons have stayed with me.

Tonight I send love, I send healing energy to those, no matter where they are, who have suffered loss and pain. Their loss, their pain......their lives are changed forever, and I can promise you, without love and caring,they won't make it. Love to us all.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Night to Remember

One of the most wonderful weekends I ever spent was in Helena Ark. We were there for the King
Biscuit Flour Hour Blues Festival. My friend, Tommy worked with a newspaper there and we had played for several venues, we loved visiting and performing there and we made the drive often.

Tommy was involved with the Blues Festival, so he invited us to spend the weekend. Buddy Guy was one of the headliners, so was Levon Helm and Jessie Mae Hemphill and Robert Jr.Lockwood.
I actually got to sip a little whiskey with Mr. Lockwood and Miss Jessie gave me some tips on how to keep a man happy. (involved dancing and high heels) just being backstage with all those great musicians was the experience of a lifetime. But it got even better.

On Saturday night after the show, Tommy said he had a night to remember lined up for us.
I am standing there thinking, it can't get any better than this, but knowing my friend, I knew it could. We got in the car with Tommy and his girlfriend and started to drive, now it was close to midnight and we were in Mississippi Delta country and cotton fields surrounded us. Soon, we were actually driving through cotton fields and there in the middle of nowhere was our destination........... a shot house. Tommy looked at us and said, look these are my friends, everything will be fine and you are about to hear the best blues in your life.

We walked in the shot house, and we were the only pale faces there, but Tommy was greeted with hugs and handshakes, and soon we had one of the best seats in the house. And my friend did not lie, the band was the best group of blues players I have ever heard, and the singer........never before or since, have I heard anyone as good as was as though we had found the crossroads, and everyone who had ever signed the contract was there performing.

This was in the eighties, and my life was quite different then.......I went to the bathroom and was offered up quite an array of goodies to partake of, life was real good. We stayed until the sun came up and the last note was sung. I knew when we left that cotton field I would never experience anything like it again. Many times I have talked about the magic of my life, I truly have lived some moments that were gifts.........Delta Blues, cotton fields, a shot house.......a night to always be remembered.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cage Rattled Thanks

Tonight I write this blog as a thank you........for those of you who voiced your comments on last night's post and for my friend who called and rattled my cage this morning! I think for most of us it is in our nature to want to help our fellow man, for me ever since I was a kid......I wanted to change the world, to do anything I possibly could to make it better, to do anything I could to help someone.

I just lost sight of the now last night.......I am still battling some inflammation in my lungs and the first week of the New Year means an overflow at work, I came home yesterday overwhelmed
with a loss of faith in myself and what I do. But thanks to Belle and Charlene's comments and my friend's call(who ask if I had lost my f**king mind, ha ha) I quickly regained my vision of the now and found my mind!

What would we do without the love and support of friends? even friends we have never met, yet who share their thoughts and feelings and lend their support in hard times. I would be the first to admit that every once in awhile, my cage needs to be rattled, my rear could use a kick......most of the time I prefer hugs and kind words, but what I prefer and what I sometimes need can be very different. Isn't that true for all of us?????

So, to those of you who rallied, (and ranted) thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will do the same for you sometime.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Facing Reality

Wake up and face reality, my mom use to tell me that all the tells me that occasionally too. I spend a great part of time giving as much energy and love as I possibly can to my students at work. But a week like this one shows me, that in reality, it is not about me and my giving, it is about the choices that each one makes.......and honestly, when it all comes down to it, in the end I am not so sure I make any difference at all.

I think that when I am with them, I make a difference, maybe make their situation a little better, a bit more bearable, but I am not sure that what I teach stays in their hearts. I hold on to a thread of hope like I do tonight, hoping that there are some who take what I give to heart, that some how some way I have helped someone have a better life....... but life is hard and the problems that were there before are still there.

Every day living is fast and furious,throw in drugs and alcohol, trauma and horrors, anger and it just too hard to let it go, is it really easier to be swallowed up and drown in the quicksand? What is the difference in the one who makes it and all the others who don't?

Tonight, I feel as though I am in the movie Ground Hog's Day.........I keep thinking what, if anything can I do different, can I make a difference? The one thing I know tonight.......I know nothing, I am at a loss, struggling, asking what can I do? Maybe my reality is, I do what I do for me......right now, I can't find any answers.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I am rereading Wayne Dyer's book, The Power of Intention. It is one of my favorites and each time I read it, I learn something new. One of the lines that always grabs my attention......What you think of yourself is what you think of the world. That is such a truth and I see it in my students
every day. It plays out in so many different ways.

For the person who does not/can not love themselves, there is not much love in their hearts for anyone else. For the person who is bitter and angry, they see the world as a place full of untrustworthy souls. For the person who has no hope, they see the world as hopeless. For the one who has given up on themselves, they have given up on the world. For those who feel nothing but pain, they see nothing but pain.

I remember once in class talking about that I expected good experiences no matter where I went.
I have to admit, it is very rare for me to have a bad experience when I travel. When I was in college I read the book, As A Man Thinketh....there is a line in that book, nothing grows from corn but corn, nothing grows from nettles but nettles. It seems there is such an incredible order to the universe, simple but miraculous.........weeds produce weeds, corn produces corn.
Is that such a difficult concept? to think that we are our thoughts. If we see and think nothing but negative, it just makes sense that is all we will have in our lives.

Something that I have found.......if someone comes into your life, classroom, workplace, etc. and they see nothing but the bad, they take control quickly of the energy and thoughts of all around have to seize control , and establish a positive atmosphere or it all goes down hill.
You can't allow that energy to dominate and expand.

So what does all this mean, well, if you find yourself in a bad mood, or a place where the darkness is beginning to spread, change your thoughts. Breathe slowly, remind yourself that you control your reactions, stop grabbing onto those thoughts that destroy, and hold onto and nurture those which allow you to live life to its fullest. Call a friend(the one who looks at the bright side)
e-mail someone who lifts your spirits, repeat the word peace or love over and over in your head,smile at someone you don't know, tell someone you love them, take a walk and breathe fresh air. Remember..........corn=corn..............nettles=nettles.............yourself=world.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Mantra

There is a quote by Robert Frost, "anything more than the truth would be too much" and every time I read it, it is like a slap across the face. Don't you think we all tend to over analyze, over think ourselves sometimes ? We let ourselves believe that a trait or belief or feeling is going to last forever, but really it's there just as long as we allow it to be. We "read" and second guess other's actions and behaviors around us and that takes us into a world that exists only in our heads.

I think we are bombarded by so much more than the truth, every day. The media seems to thrive on taking a simple truth and over indulging until it is no longer recognizable. A normal/true serving of food or drink has been super sized into a serving that would nourish three instead of one. A "true" means of transportation, (meaning an automobile that is average, comfortable and fuel economy) has been stretched into gas guzzling, big is better monster vehicles.

How would it be to just live true? To get up, eat only until we are full, move because it feels good, drink when we are thirsty, work at what we love, spend time with those who nourish our
spirits, use our creative energies, breathe slowly and deeply, laugh daily, cry when we are sad,
and let those we love know we love them, sleep when we are tired and let go of all those things
that we have beat ourselves up about for years.

Anything more than the truth would be too much..............I think this maybe my mantra for 2011.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Food Chain

A couple of mornings back, Rick and I were walking the dogs down through the woods and we saw a woodpecker at the top of a pine. We walked on down to the barn and about ten minutes
later walked back through the woods towards the house......we heard the woodpecker, a screech and looked up and saw a hawk with the woodpecker in its claws. But we spooked the hawk,
and he released the woodpecker, both flew away in different directions.

Living in the country is a daily lesson in the food chain. We have battled raccoons and opossums....they thought that we had opened a KFC just for them. I can't tell you how many chickens we have lost to the 'coons and 'possums and hawks.

This past week coyotes have invaded............the first time, a few days ago, my sister-in-law saw one carry my niece's kitten into the woods, a couple of nights later one of our black labs, Astro
tangled with a couple and the next night, Buddy (my Mom's little dog we inherited) was attacked. Both dogs survived, we never found the kitten.

We try to live a peaceful existence with all the wildlife in our neck of the woods. It is difficult
when the wildlife decide to feast on the domestic. Not sure how to solve the coyote issue. ( I know what you hunters are saying, don't want to do the gun thing)
We put an electric fence around the chicken yard and that took care of the 'coons and 'possums.

Rick once saw an owl swoop down and carry our neighbor's cat away. We have lived here in the woods so long, that it is easy to be complacent about the wildlife. We see the deer, and the wild turkey, but there are also the snakes, and wild boar, small black bear that live up river and once I saw a wild panther cross our corn field in two leaps.

So, for the past few days I have been much more alert on my morning walks. I make sure the dogs stay close. I love living in the country, but there is violence in nature......when the setting is so serene it is easy to forget the lessons of the food chain.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dinner with Friends

I cooked dinner for a few of our friends tonight.........friends that we had not had a chance to see during Christmas. It was a typical southern New Year's meal.......ham, hoppin' john, collard greens, roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary, cornbread and an apple tart and plenty of sweet tea.

It was the perfect way to start a new year.......plenty of good food, friends and lots of laughter!
There is nothing better than hearing the room fill with laughter and good conversation, the stress of the holidays behind us, and hope for an abundant New abundance of good health,
happiness, and peace.

I am tired, still not 100 percent, but the hugs and love that friends brought into our home tonight was good for my spirit. Besides music and yoga, one of my other Give me a home filled with friends, and a kitchen full of food, I'm in heaven!

So forgive me, but I am very very bed and pillow are calling my name.
Good night, Sweet dreams.