Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Roses

December and March are huge birthday months for our families.  This week both of our moms would have celebrated their birthdays.  Rick's sister's birthday is this month,  a couple of  nieces, a great niece, a nephew, a good friend's.......see what I mean, birthdays o'plenty.

Since our moms have died, I try to always place flowers on their graves in December, in remembrance of their birthdays as well as Christmas.  Yesterday we bought red silk roses, baby's breath and red plaid ribbon.......I arranged their flowers last night, and placed them on their graves today.  I suppose to some it would seem silly, that gesture of silk flowers......but it is the only thing I can do now for our moms.......a bouquet of Christmas roses.

I have dreamed about my mom and dad a couple of times this week.......the dreams were so real and vivid.......I heard their voices, saw their faces.  I thought that I was with them.  I think it is because I have been sick this week......Rick is a great nurse.....but I miss the nurturing of my mom and dad.

Tomorrow is the first day of December, this week is treatment #36.  Tonight I pray blessings of peace, joy and good health for you all.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Recipe for Life

Appreciation for the good days, gratitude for the good days.........meditation for every day.......and tolerance for the difficult days.  Pity parties are allowed, but there is a time limit.  Imagination with a dose of realization helps.  The love of friends and family and pets is a daily need......wants must change from day to day.  Being outdoors is a necessity.....a piece of dark chocolate is a pleasure.
Cool water, fresh food, drama allowed.  Do what you love, at least once a day.
Don't be afraid to live......believe in yourself.  One breath at a time, one day at a with all your heart, even when it hurts.  Tears, just like laughter, heal......laugh out loud daily....cry when you need to. A hug, a smile........can change your world and someone else's.
This my friends is my personal recipe for life.....feel free to throw in a pinch of this and that.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, November 28, 2014


a quote for you all this Friday night......

"In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity."  - Albert Einstein

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I Am Grateful

Today was just what I needed.......friends, family, food and laughter.  It has been a tough week, actually I have not worked because of the meningitis, but am so much better today.
My heart overflows with gratitude tonight.  I hope you all felt as much love and joy as I did today.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thank You

"If you only say one prayer in a day, make it "Thank You".  - Rumi

I remind my classes almost every day, without gratitude, there is no joy.  I often hear complaints from those around me about their lives, but I can promise you matter how bad you think your story is, there is one which is worse.  It is so easy to see the bad and close our eyes to the good......and there is good all around us.

Tomorrow is very most favorite holiday.....I love this day, because there are no expectations of gifts......just food and fellowship.....( and laughter if you are at our house).   I hope that you live in the moment tomorrow, that you enjoy your meal, and the fellowship of your friends and family.  If you go shopping, play nice with the other shoppers and those who are working.....and remember, once upon a time......this was a holiday, not a shopping day.

Thank you all, for spending a few minutes of your time, reading my blog.  I appreciate it.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014


What I have called the "dreaded serum sickness" and what has now been defined by the new doc as aseptic meningitis hit about 3:30 this morning, it has been a bear.  So, now I have missed two days of work am hoping like heck I get to go tomorrow.  This is not how I had my Thanksgiving week planned......take a breath, a nap and work through it.  Last year the stuff hit me on Thanksgiving morning, maybe it has run it's course for this week.  Doesn't matter, life goes on, even when I am on the couch.  And I am much better tonight.  Plans are always subject to change.....that is life.

Tomorrow is hump day......let's hope it is a tiny hump and we all skip right through it.
goodnight, sweet dreams

Monday, November 24, 2014


It went well with the new doctor today......he confirmed the diagnosis, explained the aseptic meningitis I am having, was kind and compassionate, spent a good two and a half hours with me, and accepted me as a part of his study.  I hope and pray that as a part of this study I help someone else.
Yes, treatments will continue......#36 takes place next week.

My transformation today........I received answers and hope......this transformation for me was major.
I hope your Monday brought you answers and hope today, if it did......remember to be grateful....if not, find something to be grateful for anyway.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Night

I would be the first to admit I live a strange life........last Sunday night, we were on stage in Muscle Shoals performing......tonight, I have painted the guest bedroom.
I have also spent the past hour filling out paper work for my doctor's visit tomorrow.  This is a new doc, a research doctor actually who is an immunologist, pulmonary and rheumatoid specialist.
I have waited months to see him, I am excited and a little apprehensive.

I do know this, just his suggestions in the past couple of months have made a major difference in my life.  For the first time since treatments began, I worked a whole month without having to take time off for sickness.

Thanksgiving week........I try to make every day one of gratitude, and Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays.  I am so sorry that it is being turned into a shopping event.  I spent 25 years in the retail industry, my belief is this.......if every Thanksgiving day/Black Friday shopper had to work retail those days......I bet it would all come to an end fast.

I hope your Monday is traffic, no stress, no worry.......actually, I hope that for the whole week.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

What If

What If

What if our religion was each other?
If our practice was our life?
If prayer was our words?
What if the temple was the Earth?
If forests were our church?
If holy water- the rivers, lakes and oceans?
What if meditation was our relationships?
If the Teacher was life?
If wisdom was self-knowledge?
If love was the center of our being?

a poem by Ganga White

Friday, November 21, 2014

Collie Grunts

Spent the day buying food for our Thanksgiving lunch.  Saw some old friends and enjoyed an incredible blue sky and warm sunshine.  Will be in the 70's by Sunday and now the weather guys are saying we may have a few snow flurries on Thanksgiving, Alabama weather, gotta love it.

Calliou just came in to say hello, he has been outside and smells of woodsy smoke.  His fur is so soft, he is like a 90 pound teddy bear......he thinks he is the size of Taz, who weighs about 6 pounds.  He is forever wanting to sit in my lap.  He doesn't want me on the computer, he wants to play......he is now speaking in Collie grunts.

I think, Calliou is winning this battle tonight, time to pet him and get ready for bed.  Wishing you all a Saturday that is fun and worry free.  Calliou has grunted in agreement.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Success for me depends on what I am doing at the time.......if it is music, success is singing the song and having someone come up afterwards and tell me how much that moment meant to them.  Maybe it transported them to a memory or place, or just resonated with them, that is one success for me. That's why I write songs and sing.

Teaching success varies was an extremely successful day.  I had students who are new this week, with PTSD.......when I start savasana or relaxation at the end of class I always watch my students, making sure they are comfortable.  For the past couple of days, I knew these guys were struggling, white knuckled struggling, every muscle in their body tense.  Today, I watched as the  knuckles unwhitened,  muscles softened, breath slowed........they were relaxed......SUCCESS!  As they left my room, there were smiles and many thanks.  This is why I teach.

When I was younger, I thought success would songs on the radio, being famous, etc.
It is interesting how time changes everything, how values change, what becomes important.
Sunday night, I was a very successful singer/, I was a very successful yoga teacher.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nutrition, Health and Lifestyle

Class is completed,  certificate earned ( with distinction) and ready for the next one.  I had forgotten how much I loved to learn and study.  Though I do get a little crazy with tests.  But I have been reading about health and nutrition for over 40 years and the thing that thrills me the most, my niece Samantha ( Jordan's mom) has acquired that interest also.

I have always known it in my gut, but as the years have gone by, the more I have studied and learned,  I found out that if we want the best health we can have.......we have to participate, we have to often take matters into our own hands, and figure out what is best for us.  We cannot rely on others to have our best interests at heart.  ( in life, health, career or anything else)  Blind trust in the medical profession does not get you the best care.

My transformation, fueled by a chronic illness, has been one of hard work, persistent digging, always questioning, and searching for answers.  We can not be satisfied with the status quo, not when it comes to our health, nutrition and lifestyle.  Don't be afraid to question, and never let someone rob you of your hope.  It ain't over until the last breath is drawn.  I still believe that we can create more than one blue zone in this country.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sacred Space

" Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again."  - Joseph Campbell

I often do a meditation at the end of my classes where I talk about finding your space, a place where you feel peaceful and safe.  It is yours alone, no one else can go there.  When the world is spinning out of control, you can find yourself in your sacred place, you can find peace, and direction and answers there as well.  It is a simple place to find, you close your eyes, focus on your breath and think of a place where you feel safe and peaceful.  It can be a real place or one you dream of,but it is yours alone and the authentic you is always there, waiting for you.

The holidays are upon us,  I am already seeing the stress on faces and hearing it in voices.  It is easy to lose yourself in the maddening crowd and the push to overspend, over eat, over drink, over work and over do everything else that we do to create a holiday experience that exists mostly in our imaginations.  Before you tumble down the slide of fake snow and forced gaiety, find five minutes.......( even if you find them in the bathroom) close your eyes, breathe slowly, and imagine being alone in the most peaceful place in the world.  Let your pulse slow, your breathing become even, and notice all the details of your sacred place.......the colors, the sounds, the smells, the textures of everything around is your place, your space and when your find yourself getting lost......go there.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Birrrrrh, It's Cold

A polar blast has hit today, record lows tonight and tomorrow. Weather guys are saying we will break a hundred year old is chilly willy.
I hope where ever you are tonight, you stay warm and cozy.
I am still a little tired from the gig and then teaching today.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Good Gig

An ol' cold rainy day.......any other time, it would have been the perfect day to stay home, sit in front of the fireplace and drink hot cider and play with the dogs.  But today was a road day, a gig had been booked for some time......a good gig, in a musician's  mecca......Muscle Shoals.  We had a great time, our host, Max was an awesome singer/songwriter, an audience eager to hear our songs was the icing on the cake.

I had worried after yesterday, that the serum sickness might try to rob me of this gig.........thankfully it did not.  We had a did good, as our friend John use to say, we had fun as our friend Stevie use to advise.......but now, time to get some rest and listen to the rain.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Humor.....some days it is the only thing that gets you through with a chronic illness.  The serum sickness hit out of the blue this morning on the way to the grocery store.  As sick as I was, I couldn't help but many people do you know who carry a barf bag in their purse, yoga bag, car or husband's lap top case?

I am better tonight, but serum sickness is so sneaky, hits out of the blue, when you least expect it.
We have a wonderful gig tomorrow night.  We will be playing the Shoals Songwriter's in the Round, at Muscle Shoals.  This is our first gig in the Shoals area, the musical history of the Shoals is so's like playing Carnegie Hall!

Hope your Saturday has been a good one.....may your Sunday bring peace, no worries, and great joy.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, November 14, 2014

Stories to Tell

We visited our friends Charlie and Yvonne today........they are older and Charlie's health is not great, but they are a joy to spend time with.  Charlie was a press secretary for a congressman for many years.  Yes, he does have some stories and none of them are boring.  Yvonne is charming and witty and they still host a live local tv show.  I sat and listened to them today and marveled at the life they have shared.  If Rick and I make it to our 80's I hope that we are still that vibrant and interesting.

On one of our visits awhile back, Yvonne gave me a gold bangle bracelet that Charlie had given her when they were in DC.  It is one of my most treasured possessions, I wear it often.  I think of her and Charlie and what their lives must have been like in their younger days .  As we were leaving today, Charlie said something so poignant......he was telling us how much they loved our visits......and then his voice changed.......he told us that one of the things about growing older, that people did not visit you as they did when you were younger.  There was such a wistfulness in his voice.

It is sad that our culture does not celebrate age and the wisdom and knowledge that comes with it.
Charlie and Yvonne are two of the most engaging people I have ever met.  I love spending time with them.  I learn something every time I am around them.  If you are reading this tonight and you avoid
spending time with those who are older, shame on you.  Their lives, their experience and passions are vital and important and you my friend, are missing out on so very much.  Everyone has a story, and those who have lived a long life.......have many stories to tell.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Lucy said it best.......

" I'd rather regret the things I've done, than regret the things I haven't done."    - Lucille Ball

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hump Day

Yesterday it was 78 degrees here with blue skies and it was in the 40's, cloudy, windy and cold......the s word is being discussed by the weather guys for Sunday and Monday.  Just flurries, but for Alabama in is a big deal. We skipped most of fall and dove head first into winter.

I am getting excited about Thanksgiving.......just like last year, I am cooking lunch for friends who have no place to go, for family members who want to come.  We had such a good time last year, even though the serum sickness hit and my niece Jayna had to come and help me cook.  Hopefully that part will not recur......keeping my fingers crossed.

We have a really good gig this weekend, The Shoals Songwriter's Showcase on Sunday night and yes, it is in Muscle Shoals.  We have been practicing like crazy.

I don't teach on Wednesdays.  It's my day to let my body rest, play catch up on house duties and just hang.  It is the perfect hump day.  Where did this week go?  I hope your hump day was as good as mine.  Enjoy your Thursday......remember to do something kind for yourself and someone else.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I Cry

I tear up often on Veteran's Day.......I cry for my dad, who could not speak about WWII at all, I cry for all those Veterans through the years who left families and friends to serve their country.
I cry for those who didn't make it home and for their families.
I cry for those who did come home, for the memories they can't erase, the guilt they carry,the nights they don't sleep and the pain that will be with them forever.
I cry because no matter how hard I try, and what I do, there are some that I can't  help.....that no one can help.......
I cry because the words Thank You seem so small and insignificant to someone who is willing to give their life for me and this country..........yet no other words come close.

So tonight, if you are a Veteran or are still serving.......Thank You

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Gratitude Quote

A quote for this Monday night

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not, remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for."   - Epicurus

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Night Ramble

We watched  the Walter Mitty movie tonight with Ben Stiller.......I know, it has been around awhile, but I have never been a big Ben Stiller fan and well, you know how that goes.  For some reason it seemed like the movie to watch glad we did.  It was the best thing I have ever seen Ben Stiller do, a wonderful adaptation of the story......a really beautiful funny film.  Shawn Penn as a Life photographer was awesome.

I haven't taught a class since Tuesday, so glad to be going back to work tomorrow. My energy is back to normal today, a few moments of serum sickness, but so far nothing bad.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

Already the second week of November,  last week as I drove home from work I saw houses already decorated for Christmas........I'm thinking did we do away with Thanksgiving?  and radio stations playing Christmas music......this is beginning to feel like a Twilight movie, jumping from Halloween to Christmas.  I suppose there is just not that much money to be made on turkey and the fixin's.
I am sure there is a hefty profit in Halloween costumes and candy and decorations and then of course, Christmas brings a spending frenzy.  It seems the only emphasis on Thanksgiving anymore, is the Black Friday that follows it.  How sad is that.

Wow, I fell down the rabbit hole......but Christmas decorations the first of November tend to push my buttons.

Wishing you all a happy work week, enjoy your Monday.....may the traffic gods be with you.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blue Zone

Cabin fever hit this morning........I had not left the house since coming back from treatment on Wednesday.  We did an early morning trip to grocery store......then it was nap time.
The highlight of my day........we picked a few of the remaining apples off the big tree and I made an apple pie this evening.  Today, my life in the fast lane would have made a turtle laugh.

I am reading the book, The Blue Zones by National Geographic writer, Dan Buettner.  Pretty interesting stuff, about the areas of the world where people live the longest and are healthy.  Since my philosophy is quality of life, not quantity, this book has been most interesting.  There is a Blue Zone in California, Costa Rica,Sardinia, and of course the most famous one, Okinawa.  There are several common threads in these communities, the people are active, eat lots of fruits and vegetables,nuts, and beans, drink lots of water, have a strong sense of family and community, spend time outdoors, limited intake of meat, little or no processed food.

It is an easy interesting read.....if you are interested in your health it makes sense to adopt these habits that are found in the "blue zones."  There is nothing complicated about the lifestyle of these people, actually much of it comes down to common sense and moderation.  Living to be 100, still active, and in good health is appealing, and it can be done.  Wouldn't it be great if every state in our country had a blue zone?

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Gift of Love

Transformation comes in surprising ways......yesterday was difficult.... the day after treatment, physically and mentally out of sync.  I call those days lost.......and sometimes it  makes me angry at myself that  for the past three years I have experienced so many of them.

Around 4:30 yesterday afternoon the phone rang, I recognized the number as a local florist in Sumiton.  The sweet young woman calling, said  they had a delivery for me and asked if I would be home for awhile.......about an hour later, a knock on the door and there was the most beautiful vase of flowers. I could not imagine who had sent them and quickly took a  look at the card.

When I read the card, I cried.........some of my students at work had sent them. I could not believe they sent me flowers......I can't remember the last time a florist brought flowers to my door......
So the pity party ended, and I reminded myself of how much I had to be grateful for.......I will never forget their kindness and love.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Moon

A full moon tonight.....I often write about the beauty of a full moon, there is nothing like it.
But I also love the fact that knowing  the full moon shines on all of us, there is a connection, much bigger than the blogging world.  We are all illuminated by the light of the moon, adorned by its brilliance and humbled by its majesty.  I love to think about the power the moon has, its pull on earth and its tides.  I truly understand how tribes worshiped the moon, stars and sun........the power of light and darkness, of warmth and cold.

So where ever you are tonight, enjoy the beauty and magic of the moon.....may we never take its light for granted.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Treatment #35 today........the infusion room was not so busy today and for the first time in many months, there seemed to be no sadness nor tears.  All day you could hear chatter and laughter, even the nurses seemed to be less stressed.  As always, my friend Louis was there speaking to everyone in the room......he calls me the queen of the infusion room, but trust me, he holds court and it is his kingdom the moment he walks in.  I always sit in the same big green chair, he tells everyone it is my throne.

The nurses talked about how long they had been at the infusion center, one has been there since before her son was born ( and has known Louis the whole time).  Her son is a freshman at Auburn University now.  There are bonds and friendships formed by those drips and big green chairs, I know.....the nurses seem like family now.

A full moon tomorrow night, and there was a ring around it last night when I drove home from work.
I have said it before, but there is just something special about the night sky in the fall and winter and the sunsets are much more colorful.  This weekend we will do a gratitude ceremony, there is much to be grateful for at the Watson house.

I am weak and shaky tonight, the bed is calling my name......
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


What a difference twenty four hours can make.  Yesterday morning I had gotten up, went through my morning routine and as I was making myself a sandwich for lunch, the serum sickness hit.  Rick was in Birmingham, my brother Ricky (  who lives next door) was at work, I was home alone. I took my meds and thought I will be fine.....but it progressed, so I took more meds.  I called Rick just to let him know I was sick and ask that he call my workplace and let them know I couldn't make it.

Lying on the sofa, ice pack at the back of my head, waiting for the nausea meds to work......hope deserted me.  Rarely in my life, have I ever lost hope but I did yesterday. I lay on the sofa, Taz at my feet, Calliou on the floor beside me......and sobbed.

Finally the meds kicked in, and I slept for a few 7:00 last night I was able to teach my community class.  I so glad I made it......I had a packed house, students that had not been in a while, and an old friend showed up.  I felt their love and concern.

This morning, I told myself it was a new day and that no matter what, I had to go on. Just before lunch, my phone was the call that I had been waiting for......a doctor who specializes in my disease had kept me on his waiting list for a couple of months, his nurse called to tell me he could see me in February......I swallowed hard and expressed my gratitude for the appointment and reminded her that if any cancellations came up to please call me.  In about thirty minutes the phone rang was the nurse......someone had just called and cancelled their appointment for November 24, because it was Thanksgiving week.  She asked if I wanted it.......I choked up and told her that if he wanted me to come Thanksgiving day I would.

Twenty four hours after losing hope.......I found it again.  I have expressed my gratitude over and over today to anyone who would listen.  So that was my transformation......tonight if you have lost your hope, please don't give's waiting for you, just around the corner. Tomorrow is treatment day and for the first time in a couple of years, I don't dread it.......I have hope.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Intuitive Mind

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Good Memories

The flannel sheets went on the bed today........I can't wait to snuggle in tonight.  This morning I could smell the smoke in the firepit from our fire last really is autumn.  This weekend has been like so many others......I pick and choose where my energy goes. Yesterday, we did a weenie roast and hayride for Jordan and our other great nieces and nephews.  Ten kids, 12 and under.......the backyard was an amazing place, full of activity and laughter.  They all arrived around 3:00pm, my energy left around 5:00pm, and I am still looking for it today.  But, it was quite a bit of fun.

I love the fact that kids want to come to our house.....and even better, they don't want to leave.  I learned this art from my parents, our house was the house that all my friends wanted to come to.
My friend, Debbie told me, she remembers coming to my parent's house when we were in high school during the Christmas mom and I were making candy.   Debbie told me, she had never felt so much love.  One of Jordan's class mates and her mom came yesterday......her mom asked if it was a birthday party or something special.  I laughed and told her, we did things like this reason, just food and fun.

I have come to realize that when I am gone, all that will be left of me are the memories that others carry in their hearts........when it is time for me to go, I want to leave good memories......the kind that my family and friends will hold in their hearts forever.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 1

November 1......treatment  #35 this coming week

November 1.......fall came in with a vengeance, today was cold, but beautiful

November 1..... Thanksgiving, I find it a much easier holiday than Christmas......I mean, what could be better, a big meal with family and friends

November 1......two months left in 2014

November in the firepit

November spiced cider

November 1....reminds me to be grateful every day, not just Thanksgiving

November 1.....I can't believe radio stations are playing Christmas carols

November 1.....finally going back to real time, thank goodness it will be daylight when I get out of bed tomorrow

November 1.....this week is the ninth anniversary of my mom's death, sometimes it seems like yesterday, sometimes an eternity

November 1......frost and freezing temps, bring on the snow please

November 1....sitting in front of fireplace, listening to music, drinking morning coffee

November 1.....the sunsets are breath-taking, the night sky poetic