Friday, February 28, 2014

Turn the Page

I truly value every day, and I can say I try very hard to never wish time away.......but this February has been a cruel month and I am not sorry to see this page of the calendar turn.
It has been a sad month, filled with anniversaries and birthdays of loved ones passed. I have experienced more sickness from treatment this month than I have in a long time.  It has been unusually cold and snowy  and rainy here in the south.  I have worked extra hard to keep my spirits up, but several of my friends are dealing with illness right now.  So there, I have whined, thrown my pity party.

But, I have to say there have been good moments too, our gig last week, Valentine's dinner with friends, lunch with friends.,   It has been yin and has been life......and in the scheme of things, all has been as it should be.  It is cold and rainy tonight, but we are promised a couple of days of warmth, tomorrow and Sunday.

Here's to a new day and new month tomorrow.  May an abundance of good health and joy
visit us all these few weeks, wishing sunshine and blue skies for everyone this weekend.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Weekend Wishes

Today has been the best day I have had since treatment on the 14th of this is such a mystery, these infusions and the aftermath they leave behind.  I wish I had answers or could find someone who had far three years and no such luck.
I admit, the past few days I had been down and yes, I know it could be so much worse, and yes I know I am lucky.......and yes, this too shall pass.  I need an attitude adjustment. :)

But, there were blue skies today and sunshine......and I am grateful.
Tomorrow is Friday, the last day of February.......may your weekend be full of sunshine, may there be warmth and signs of spring to give you hope, may you laugh out loud every day.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


The first daffodils of spring, blooming in the freezing cold today and promptly moved to my kitchen window sill.  I have been a little down today, but when I see those daffodils my mood brightens.

In a couple of weeks, time will move to Daylight Savings and before we know it, winter will be no more.  Spring 2014 will find us all, I hope she is a beauty this year.....full of color  and clear blue skies.

With temps in the teens tonight, it is a wonder anything is blooming, but Mother Nature is a tough old broad.
I hope daffodils bloom in your neighborhood soon.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Believe

Classes today were based on communication, intuition and spirituality.........yes we can teach all of that and so much more in a yoga class. many of us have difficulties speaking what we think and feel, or speaking before we think......or not listening.
But, when we bring awareness to those issues.....when we breathe and move and meditate on them, we can bring about change.
Many don't believe in intuition or think they have none......but it's about trust.....trusting yourself, listening to that inner voice and understanding that the answers we seek, we already know.
An addiction center might  not be your choice for finding your spirituality, but seeking your higher power is not always done in church.  Finding a connection with spirit, comes when you 
are comes when you can finally be still and listen and trust.
As a teacher, I don't always get the same benefits from class that my students do, but I love teaching the class I taught today.......I get as much or more than the students do.
Several in the class will be leaving soon, they have been sheltered, and taught skills that hopefully will serve them well when they enter the real world again. I have said countless prayers for these students and those that came before them, every day I send them love and blessings for the life they seek.  
My classes leave me exhausted, there are days I am not sure I can make it home.....this is not a job for the faint of heart.  But, I believe in what I do......most importantly, I believe in those I teach.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Warm Tender Hand

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solution, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds
with a warm tender hand."  - Henri Nouwen

A warm tender hand, a loving hug, a gentle smile........let the healing began.  May we all have that person in our lives.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mississippi Music

I promised a picture, here we are in Frenchie's Friday night.  The crowd was awesome, a full house, and the food was , can we say INCREDIBLE.

If you are ever in Kosciusko, Ms. do yourself a big favor and eat there.  The shrimp and grits were the best I have ever had.......and I have had wonderful shrimp and grits in many places.  Fried chicken and waffles looked good too.

We had so much fun, I hope they ask us back soon.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Why We Do What We Love

I know sometimes that our friends and family think we must be crazy, after all Rick and I are not "chicken springs" (spring chickens) we have a comfy cozy home......why do we load Ingrid with so much sound equipment and instruments that there is barely room for us and our for hours, unload, set equipment up, play our music for two hours, tear it all down, reload Ingrid and go home.

It ain't about the money........ask any singer songwriter and they will tell you,  ( if the fire burns in their belly) that it has nothing to do with the money.  (though we do love those ASCAP deposits).  We do it, because we have to, it is a part of our DNA, of who we are as humans.......we do it whether anyone listens, we do it because if the songs aren't played and sung, then something dies within us.

I endure monthly treatments, days of side effects from them, just so my lungs will function and I can sing, play and teach.......just so I can live, not just breathe.

We have friends who do a couple of songs now and then, maybe share a stage with someone, but until you have experienced the bone tired fatigue of lifting speakers, and loading equipment, ( in four inch heels, with make-up) and then singing your heart out for and hour or just won't get it. It is some ancient primal call within us.......this need to share our songs and tell our stories.

We played to a full house last night of strangers, it's easy to play to your friends they love you no matter what.  Strangers may not even be kind.......but they were to us last night, they loved our music, our songs.  Their love and kindness fed the beast within us, filled our needs and gave us one more reason why we do what we love.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sleep Beckons

A very long good day.....Rick's book signing was a hit, our gig was awesome......we are beyond tired.  There is no place like home and your very own bed. The folks in Mississippi were wonderful.
Will give details and post some pictures tomorrow night.
Sleep beckons and I am willing.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cherished Gifts

Today has been my best day since treatment last week, though even today I spent couch time before going to teach for a few hours.  If you are still at that place in your life where your energy is boundless, where health issues are someone else's.......I envy you.  All I can tell you, is please don't take your energy or health for granted.  Both are priceless gifts that should be cherished.

My classes today were based on the third chakra, the solar plexis, the energy point that deals with confidence, self, and transformation.  It seemed the perfect class for my students, being at an addiction center can take away all your confidence, and change or transformation can be terrifying.  Finding one's self through the jungle of addiction is something of a miracle.

Several students came up to me after class, telling me how much yoga was helping, how they loved class.  Seeing their faces and joy in their eyes always assures me, I am in the right place, on the right path. Knowing that my knowledge can help, that my skills can encourage makes my difficult days more bearable.

Thank you all once again for you thoughts and prayers, for myself and my friend Louis.
Blessings of joy, and good health to everyone.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Thanks for all the prayers and well many of you know, treatments can be a bear.
Normally, I do my treatment on a Wednesday and I have four days to recover before going back to work.  Because of our weather last week, I did treatment on Friday, and foolishly went back to work on Monday and Tuesday......last night was not a good night. Yes, I have learned my lesson......and it didn't help that Friday was Valentine's Day and after I had been at the hospital for most of the day we went out to dinner.......I know, but after spending Rick's birthday and Valentine's day at the hospital.....I just wanted things to be normal.  So, confession is good for the soul......there you have it.

I am just like so many of you, I push when I shouldn't.....and we pay dearly for it, don't we?
So once again, thank you for your kindness and love.  I do have a a favor to ask of you all tonight.  My chair buddy, for the past three years, is not doing so well......please send him some of that incredible love and healing energy when you can.  Some of you may have remembered his picture that I posted, his name is Louis.

Today has been a couch day, and I feel much better tonight.  Blessings to all of you.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Under the weather

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. –Alice Walker

This is Rick posting on Jilda's behalf. She's not feeling well tonight so she asked me to put something up for her. I love this quote and I knew she would too.
Happy Wednesday.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Today is the soonest that I have gone back to work after a treatment.....mistake.
Normally my treatment is on Wednesday, and I go back to work on Monday. This past week the treatment was on Friday (because of the snow) and I went back today.......I am feeling the difference that two days make.

But, the classes were good today, my students missed me, and I missed them.
Tonight in celebration of February being heart month, we did a class on the heart chakra.
We opened our hearts physically and emotionally, we showed compassion to ourselves.
I am about to show myself compassion and go to bed.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Celebrate Ordinary

Yesterday and today were couch days, pretty typical after treatment......the energy just goes somewhere else, it eventually comes back, it takes a few days.....for life to get back to ordinary.

I use to avoid that word was the last word that I wanted to associate with.  But these past few years, ordinary has become magical. Ordinary days are the days that keep life as it should be. I mentioned to a friend today that I think we all crave ordinary.
As our world seems so focused on big, better, fast and faster.....we see and hear about the
"glamorous" life that we are missing out we push, and worry and fret......and think that the unimportant, the ordinary is not worth out attention.

But the ordinary is the glue, ordinary is substance.....those days make us appreciate  the extraordinary ones.  The ordinary days form who we are, what we become.....they define us.
Those are the days we fight our battles, love those around us, and work our daily jobs.
The ordinary prepares us for those moments that are fleeting, the moments that carry us to the moon or to the pits of despair.

These days, I celebrate ordinary........they are important days.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Darrin and Herbert

Today was Rick's brother Darrin's birthday.  Darrin died a few years ago, and honestly I tell people often that he was my brother, not my brother-in-law.  I was his big sister, he confided in me, talked about his dreams and his fears.  He died much too young, with a future that seemed so bright, his candle blown out by a life he was not ready for.

My oldest brother Herbert's death anniversary is tomorrow.......I miss him so very much, eight years since his passing.  He was a typical big brother, protective, loving and kind.  He loved life as much as anyone I have ever known.

Rick and I have talked about our parent's deaths and the sadness in our hearts, but losing siblings in many ways was more difficult.  Deep down inside, I knew our folks would not be with us forever, but I never thought about our siblings dying.

A rough day for both of us, my typical day after treatment, plus our remembrances of our brothers.  Tonight, sending love to Darrin and Herbert......we will always love you.....we will always miss you.

Treatment #26

Treatment #26 and Valentine's Day.........the treatment should have been Wednesday, but with the snow and the road closings.....well, it was today.  We had already made reservations with friends a few weeks ago......nothing was going to mess with my Valentine's Day. Seems we are getting in some kind of weird timing with the treatments, first we spent Rick's  birthday at the treatment center, now Valentine's Day, next month is my birthday let's hope March is different.

We had dinner with our friends, Jonathan and Diana at one of our favorite places to eat and play......Local Color Cafe.  We listened to Rick Carter and his friends play an amazing show.
It has been a great Valentine's Day......but, I had to be at the hospital this morning at 8:30, and it is now past mid-night......I am way past exhausted.

I hope all of you had a Happy Valentine's Day.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Perfect Snow Day

This is what we woke up to this morning.....around six inches of snow......and sunshine.

Most of the snow has melted this evening,  the day time temps were in the 40's.
But we had a wonderful morning, Jordan and his mom, Samantha came over.  We hiked in the snow, played with the dogs and Rick made waffles for breakfast.

It was the perfect snow day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


The snow started just a few hours ago, the weather guys are saying maybe 7 inches by morning.  It is the good kind, wet, sticky big flakes, no wind, but some lightening.

As snow always does, it brought a peaceful silence and ethereal beauty.  Typical Alabama weather......should be in the upper 60's by Monday.  We will enjoy this gift, who knows when it will come again.

More pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sun Dance

Our weather has become some sort of "Hotel California" and snow last night, melted this afternoon,  pouring rain tonight, more snow tomorrow......and almost 70 degrees by Monday.

My treatment has been cancelled for tomorrow because of the weather, hopefully, we reschedule for Thursday or Friday.

Classes were wonderful today, one of those days when awareness  and the understanding that there is much more to yoga than poses, was the norm.  The energy in each class was palatable. It was a good yoga day.

Here's hoping that the coming storm shrinks to nothingness and that we all see the sun soon and feel its golden warmth.   Time for a sun dance.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Winter Storm

well, we have gone from a winter storm advisory to a winter storm, not snow.
Things could be really interesting by this time tomorrow.....will keep you posted.

It is starting to rain, suddenly tonight, precipitation on a tin roof is not a happy sound.
We have done all the preparation, clothes are washed up, house is clean, the pantry is full,
the generator is storms don't give you that warm fuzzy feeling like  a couple of inches of snow.

A few brave souls came to yoga tonight, I think everyone is so gun shy after the winter storm a couple of weeks ago, no one wants to chance being stranded.

I am ready for a long winter's rest, my warm cozy bed is calling.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Change in the Weather

A winter storm advisory.....issued yesterday for our neck of the woods tomorrow and Tuesday.
It has been an interesting winter, because for the first time in many years, we have had an actual winter........I hear complaints daily, but for me I have enjoyed this gift.  I love the seasons, all four of them.....though here in Alabama, we rarely have four.  Most years, we have a very short spring, a very long summer, a short fall and a few winter days. I am trying to savor what each day brings and be in the moment, enjoying the chill in the air, the warm soups and stews, the feel of a wool sweater and the looks of a great boot.....and yes, appreciating every snow flake that dares to fall.

I know my friends in the east and the north think I am crazy, but your winters are much like our summers, too much of a good thing.

Our think tank musical group met today,  so much talent......and they are friends and was a great meeting today.  We all get so excited about our music.
Though even at the meeting, talk of slow creativity caused by the dreariness and cold weather.....we have to remind ourselves, this too shall change.

Sunday night, it's always a time for me to get ready for the coming week, making sure my blankets and yoga mats are clean, our laundry is done, the house is clean, the pantry is stocked.  This week is treatment week, so all my cozy throws are clean, my pjs are ready to lounge in, my books are ready to read.  Wishing you all a brand new week to start the things you have been meaning to do, to do one thing good for yourself, to take five minutes and breathe......may the weather gods smile on us all.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Music Belongs

A friend shared a post with me on Facebook tonight........"Music belongs in public schools."
I agree with that post.  Thanks to an incredible music teacher that I had in the seventh grade, my life changed forever.

Emily Aull of Stockton School, Chicago, Ill took notice of a skinny shy southern girl and helped me find my voice.  In a school where I knew no one, and culture shock hit me daily, Ms. Aull showed me a path that I have stayed on my entire life. She taught me that my voice was just that, one else's.  Through music, I found my confidence and passion and a gift that I have cultivated my entire life.

I cannot imagine my life without music.......theory taught me mathematics, leaning folk music and its history created a love for things and places that are different, playing guitar and piano instilled determination, singing taught me freedom.

Music has taken me to places I would never have gone, allowed me to meet people that were life changing, broadened my views and my world, let me express emotions and feelings that I didn't know existed.  Music has created dreams and the opportunities for them to come true.
And more times than I care to remember, music was the constant in my life that encouraged me to go on, to never give up.

Music belongs not only in public schools, but in our daily lives.

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Good Day

I think this winter and its cold gray days has subdued many of us.......record cold for us here in the south, record snows for others east and north of us. Today, the sun came out and though the birdbath is still frozen  and there is talk of more snow tonight, it seemed warmer.

Rick and I met our friends Kaye and Jamie for lunch today in Birmingham, we met at one of our favorite places, had platters of tasty fish tacos and enjoyed each others company.
It is always good to see friends.....we talked about books we had read, of the coming spring and our hopes for a bountiful harvest of food and flowers......and we laughed.....out loud.

The four of us needed this day......of sunshine, laughter and reminded us that even in the cold......we could find warmth with our friends......and bask in each other's love and joy.  We greeted each other with hugs, we said our goodbyes with hugs......nothing that the local news media would find interesting but for was a good day.

Wishing you all at least one good day this weekend.......hopefully, two.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Coffee and Birds

I saw a robin today.....the first since last summer.  My mom always looked for the first robin of spring, she insisted that when you saw a robin, spring was just around the corner.  So, I saw a robin and we had snow flurries.......I think Mother Nature is confused.
I know that birds are nesting now, this morning after I filled the bird feeders,  a cardinal swooped down on a piece of Calliou's hair lying on the ground.  The cardinal looked so happy with that long collie hair in his beak, who knows what decorating thoughts were going through his head.

There has been much activity at the feeders these past few days, I swear the birds are inhaling suet.  Every morning there are dozens of birds on the ground, in the bird bath, and flitting from one feeder to the is a wild dance of greed and hunger.  There is constant chatter and song, I wish I knew what they were saying.

The finches have arrived, I hear their songs and see the vivid yellows and purples as the males
gulp their seed......watching them is very much like seeing planes land at an airport.....they fill the perches on the feeders, while others wait their turn on tree of them must be the air traffic controller, there is an order to their chaos.

Morning coffee and bird's the best way to start your day.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Transforming Living Space

I have found myself nesting this winter, and when not nesting, I was thinking about be honest it has been some time since I have had the energy or want to,  to spruce up the house, to rearrange, to recreate our living space.   It started back in the fall, when I cleaned out the book shelves.......that slight itch, to transform and change the old home place.

It has grown stronger these winter months, that need, that want to cozy up this place where we live.  I have cleaned out closets, cabinets, and will be the kitchen pantry.
And then, I think a visit to the paint store will be in order.  I love to paint walls......I even love the prep work, you know all the taping and moving stuff around.  Painting walls for me is work that is mindful, calming, meditative.....each slow stroke of color brings peace to me.

Seeing the transformation of painting a wall,  smelling that fresh coat of paint.....and knowing that our little world will be much more beautiful brings a smile to my face.  I am feeling adventuresome, looking at metallic washes for the bedroom and a deep ebony for the kitchen will be interesting to see what takes place these next few months.  I will keep you posted and maybe even post a few pictures.  One of the benefits of living in a small cottage.......not so hard to redecorate.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


A better day today........lots of new students......interesting to see their faces after class.  Many of them told me they had taken yoga before, I warned them I teach quite differently than most.  I am big on breath work and relaxation.  I teach yoga as a tool that can help in their recovery process, I teach to point them inward, I teach to help them find stillness and peace in the center of their storm.  I teach them, because I love them.

It seems every day locally or nationally, there is news of someone's death because of one decides when they are children that they want to become an addict.
But there are days, because of where I teach that it seems so widespread, that it can become overwhelming, numbing........frightening.

I tell myself that if I can help one person, if I can make a difference in someone's life.....then my life will not be in vain......I have done more than just take up oxygen. is our reason for being is our purpose.  I have friends who do mission work here and abroad, friends who volunteer and work diligently for their personal causes........we all do what we can do......we do, hopefully, what and where our heart leads us.

I have given a great deal of energy today and yesterday.......the out of sorts I believe that I have felt is just my body telling me to rest.  Tomorrow, no classes......tomorrow, I rest.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Little Off

Some days things just seem a little can't put your finger on what it is exactly but you know......something is not right.  Today has been that way, I feel out of sorts, and not sure what is going on.  I have acted as though all was right with the world, taught my classes,
and "gone through the motions of the day"......but still there is that feeling of all not being in balance.

Maybe you have had a day like this, nothing bad happened, nothing has really gone wrong.....yet, there is that nagging, tugging feeling........hopefully a good night's sleep will take care of the willies.  To all of you tonight, stay warm, stay safe, good night, sweet dreams.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy Ground Hog's Day

I love Ground Hog's Day.......the movie and the actual day.  I figure that fuzzy wacky creature can predict the weather as well as we can......and Phil, who is the official groundhog saw his shadow today.......six more weeks of winter.

It is pouring rain tonight, and thunder and grandmother Mamie always said if you had thunder and lightening in December, January or February it would snow on the same day the next month.  She nailed it in January......let's see how February 6 goes (thunder and lightening on Jan. 6) and March 2 .

The Farmer's Almanac is usually pretty accurate in its weather predictions.  When you think about in years and centuries past, there were no satellites up in the heavens, no radar or weathermen.......just common folks being very alert to their surroundings and changes in nature.....intuition and physical sensations played a part as well.

So we have the next six weeks to see if Phil was correct.......I know most would love an early spring and summer......but this winter for me, has not been bad.  I love winter clothes, and foods and a fire in the fireplace......the bareness of trees, the technicolor sunsets and clear starry nights are worth the cold.......and living here in Alabama, the heat and humidity in summer  are as distasteful to me as the cold is to others.
So tonight, Happy Ground Hog's Day......and never fear, spring will come .

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February 1

February 1......a very short month

February 1.....Valentine's Day, love is all you need

February 1.....color your world with red and pink

February 1.....any chocolate consumed this month has no calories

February 1.....treatment #26

February 1......Ground Hog's Day, heaven help him if he sees his shadow, we may all eat ground hog stew

February 1......President's Day, Happy Birthday to Abe and George

February tulips are much more romantic than roses

February 1......the color purple, amethyst stones for you birthday babies

February in the south, flowers begin to appear.....daffodils, crocus, forsythia ......a reminder that spring will come again