Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year Blessings

December 31, 2015, last day of the year.  I have spent much of the past few days thinking about the good and the bad of this past year.  We lost good friends and family members.  Rick and I both are working jobs we love.  We played our songs, wrote some new ones.

We haven't taken a vacation, but hope to remedy that this coming year.  Our family has expanded with the birth of Easton, our great, great nephew.

There are friends that we love dearly, and we have not spent nearly enough time with them. Same goes for family.

Our dogs are well, and so are we.  Stopping treatments was the best decision for my health I could make.  My Smartvest is amazing.

As always, time has moved way too fast.  I took a deep breath, and 2015 came to a close.
This weekend, vision boards will be completed.  Christmas decorations were taken down today.
I miss my tree.

I pray blessings for all of you this New Year, may we be kind, joyful and healthy.  May we treat others as we wish to be treated, may an abundance of peace fill our hearts and our world. May we all know happiness. May we all know we deserve love.
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Questions and Answers

" There are years that ask questions and years that answers." -Zora Hurston

And then some years, there are questions and answers.   Hoping this last hump day of 2015 has been a good one.  Enjoy the rest of the year...and I hope it brings you the answers you seek or the questions you need to ask.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I Am Ready

December is almost gone.  The years keep spinning by so fast it makes me dizzy. If stomping my feet and yelling stop it would work, I would do it. That just seems to make it spin faster.

My class was full today, mostly new faces.  It is that time of year, when our population begins to expand.  Many promises are made during the holidays, the new year brings hope of change and better days.

Finally the weather feels like December, not April.  There were blue skies today, a crisp breeze and talk of freezing temps this weekend.  I say, bring it on!  My boots and sweaters thought I didn't love them anymore.

I am still dealing with the gunk, but am better. Today was one of those days when I felt great for about two hours, and then I began to fizzle out.  I think it is a test of endurance now.

Tomorrow is my last class of the year, Monday will bring my first classes of 2016.  I am ready.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, December 28, 2015


'Your job is not to judge. Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something.  Your job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken and to heal the hurting."  - unknown

I love this quote, I write it on my board at work monthly.  I share it on FB often.  I remind myself of it so frequently because I feel that it speaks to me personally.

As 2015 is ending, I am once again building my vision board.  Looking at my life, my needs as well as my wants, but mostly looking at what I feel is my purpose.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Musings

It has been a strange Christmas holiday, with moments of joy, fear, sadness and relief.  Being sick has played a part in the off kilter of the season, but the weather has played the largest.
Record breaking warmth, floods and tornadoes have kept us all on high alert...more storms, rains and flood warnings to come tonight and tomorrow.

We did our last family celebration tonight.  Will be glad to be back to the routine of work tomorrow, glad to see my students, glad to be back on the mat teaching.

Starting to gather our pictures, words, etc together for our vision boards.  I love thinking about what I want to accomplish, to pursue for the new year.  That will be our New Year's celebration this week, along with taking down the Christmas decorations.  I am always sad to pack away the lights and snow globes, to take the tree outside.  I will miss the old Santas smiling down at me from the mantle.

Sending you blessings of peace and joy this last week of 2015, think about the good, put the bad in perspective and remember to count your blessings.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, December 26, 2015


I realized this morning that every muscle in my neck and shoulders hurt, and I am thinking what is going on with me today.  I remembered how stressful our drive home through the storms and flooding  was last night, how tense Rick and I were during the drive and what a relief to make it home.
Then I knew why those muscles were so sore and painful, all that stress.

Stress is a proven health destroyer.  No wonder people love yoga so really does help.
Last night as darkness loomed, the rain was pouring and the roads were no longer visible because of the rising waters, Rick kept looking at me, saying just breathe, it will be ok, just breathe.
He was my teacher, because until he told me to breathe, I didn't realize I was holding my breath.

Today has been restful and peaceful.  Our friend Fred came over, we grilled steaks and talked about what we would like to accomplish this coming year.  I hear a hot cup of tea calling my name, I am already in my pjs.

Wishing you all peace, rest and calm tonight, joy and laughter tomorrow.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

In the midst of flooding and tornado warnings, Merry Christmas from Empire, Al.

My 2015 Christmas card.

Hoping that Mother Nature will calm down in the next few hours.  It is scary out there tonight.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Cookies

Even though the lung gunk has hit me hard, the Christmas cookie baking must go on.  Jordan, Daisy and Breeze and Joy,  did a great job today.  The cookies were awesome.

Santa will be happy tonight.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

May We All Be Safe

This eve before Christmas Eve has been different.  I went to Urgent Care this morning, bronchial infection, sinus infection...thankful that it was not the flu or pneumonia, the doctor discussed both.

It is 72 degrees at 11:00 pm, we are under a tornado watch until 4:00 am. There have been deaths and destruction in our neighboring states this evening.  Nothing like wrapping Christmas gifts sick and watching weather updates.  It will be a long night...but saying prayers for those who lost loved ones and their homes.

I hope that you are all safe, warm in your beds, waiting to celebrate Christmas.  If you are in our neck of the woods, keep your weather radios by your bed, know your safe plan of action.

Wishes and prayers of peace, joy and love tonight...may we all be safe.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Love and Peace

My students were quiet and very much withdrawn today.  Many of them had gone through trauma counseling before yoga class...they were emotionally bruised.  Breathing, awareness, and gentle compassion was the order for class.  They had to be reminded, as we all do, that they/we are worthy of love, joy and peace.

In this season, this holiday of love and peace it is important that we remind ourselves...we are worthy of love, we are all worthy of peace and joy.  The rush of the season, the hectic schedules, the push to buy the perfect gift, to create the perfect holiday these make us forget  what this season is about.
It is about light shinning in the darkness, about love for all,  and peace.

Take a few moments and breathe.  Take a few breaths and send love to those around you.  Take a few minutes to hope and wish and pray for peace for everyone.  And if given the opportunity, hug someone.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Stormy Monday

Rain has been pouring since this morning.  A cold chilly wet day, but I must say the Christmas lights are so beautiful in the rain.

At my community class tonight, my students brought me gifts...I am so touched by their kindness.
It is such a wonderful group, all ages, men and women, many of them have come to my class for years.  We have seen each other through tough times, so many of them have had life changing illness and circumstances.

Have you written your letter to Santa? There's still time.

Wishing you all great joy this week, hoping that kindness will touch all your lives.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Cards

I have painted Christmas cards all day.  This is the last batch, my hands and my neck are kinda stiff and my husband Rick says, "fun ain't cheap."

I can't believe Christmas is this week.  I am awfully excited about the Christmas full moon.
Though, our weather guys say we won't see it because of all the storms headed our way.
I hope they are wrong.

Our local paper did a story about my cards today.  It has been rather exciting, hearing from friends who saw the story.  The writer, Dale Short did a great job.  It is a little embarrassing too, all this hoopla about my little hand made cards.

My cup of hot tea awaits, I need it desperately tonight.  I am tired, physically and mentally.
I will post my card later in the week.  Wishing you all a week of joy, a week of peace.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Here's the link to the newspaper story

Saturday, December 19, 2015


 Four December birthdays celebrated tonight, two nephews, two nieces.  A table full of soul food was consumed, ham, greens, mac and cheese, beans, sweet potatoes and turnips and corn bread. Desert was red velvet trifle..

Food and is good.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Night Nuggets

Finally, my energy has come back today. The past few days, something had just sucked it right out of me.  I try to notice what is taking place with me when those energy drops occur.  Sometimes it an over loaded schedule, sometimes not enough sleep or food or water or exercise.  Honestly, this week it has been all of the above.  But, it's the week before Christmas and the excitement is building.

Tomorrow we celebrate birthdays for those nieces and nephews born in December.  Just an old fashion southern supper...and birthday presents wrapped in birthday paper of course.  I love it when the house is full and laughter fills the room.

I know that this time of year can be depressing.  It is easy, to let the hype of the season create an unrealistic picture of holidays.  I have found that you have to pick what is important to you and let that be your celebration.  Often family traditions are not what we need to create a holiday of peace and joy.  Compromise is a skill that is highly useful in these times.  Pick a couple of things that are important to those around you and decide on a couple that are important to you as well.  Don't overload, over extend, over book, or over spend.

My family and Rick's have learned that getting together means just as much the first or last of December as it does on the 25.  Food and fellowship are what we seek, gifts are the not focus, at least not for the adults.

My neighbor and her grandson brought me Christmas cookies and a new tea cup today. The cookies are the most exquisite I have ever tasted.  She loved the card I painted for she and her husband.
We had a grand visit.

I hope your weekend gives you joy.  I hope that regardless how hectic things become, you take a few moments to breathe, eat a Christmas cookie and laugh with a child.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hugs For Stress Relief

The changing of the weather from day to day is taking its toll on my body.  Yesterday it was 75 tomorrow it will be 50 and rumor has it that by Christmas almost 80.  All of these fronts coming through are tough on everyone.  If you suffer from chronic pain, any change in barometric pressure will tap you on the shoulder.

Plants are blooming that usually don't bloom until late January or February.  But at least people who live out west are getting rain and snow.  Hopefully the water levels will rise and their drought conditions will disappear.

More cards to paint, cookies to bake and Jordan spends the day tomorrow.  Who knows what sort of fun we will get into.  Don't forget, no matter how stressful the next few days might be...breathe, have some fun, hug someone, maybe hug several someones.  Is it true that hugs keep stress at bay?

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Clone Me

"I promise that I shall never give up, and that I'll die yelling and laughing."  Jack Kerouac

I love this quote, and I would like to add that I would probably also be saying, breathe, just breathe.  My students tell me that should be on my tombstone...breathe, just breathe.

Not all class days are serious, sometimes we spend the whole time laughing. I said something a few days ago that at some point in my life I should retire, one of the students said, "not until they figure out how to clone you."  Oh my, I can't imagine more than one of me.

I have painted Christmas cards all day, the first batch gets mailed out  tomorrow.  I need an adjustment and a massage.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tuesday Thoughts

Painting Christmas cards, about this time each year I tell myself I am crazy, and swear at some point never again.  How quickly I forget.  I do love the fact that there are friends who collect my cards, who have them framed and use them as part of their Christmas decor.

I came home tonight and my Christmas decorations had been rearranged.  I smiled, Jordan and Anthony, our two great-nephews had been over this afternoon and decided they did not like my arrangements.  They love the snow globes and the Santas.

My class was full this afternoon.  Some of the students had been in trauma counseling earlier today, they  needed to let go of the stress and fear. We actually did a class for chronic pain, often trauma and grief counseling is so intense, the students experience physical pain.

Tomorrow I am home, no classes.  I will paint and then complete my Christmas shopping.
By the way, have you all seen the moon this week, extraordinary!
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday Musings

Storms blew through last night.  A large limb hit the roof of Rick's truck, but the local body guy can fix it.  It has been in the 70's for a week, but a front is moving through the next few days, in the 20's at night this weekend.  Finally, Christmas weather.

Classes were fun today and tonight.  Letting go of stress is so easy when you know how.  The new moon is shinning extremely bright tonight, but so are the stars.  What is it about winter nights, the stars always seem so much brighter, the moon so much bigger.

Christmas carols are playing on the stereo.  I love Christmas music, for our last song in class tonight I played Tori Amos singing What Child Is This.  So peaceful and beautiful.

My cup of hot tea awaits, my energy is dropping.  Time to say...
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Big Tree

Finally, tree is decorated.  Let the card painting begin.

This is a tree we had two years ago.  Out in the yard it looked much smaller.  It's a big tree.  I am a tired decorator.  Jordan is concerned that it might not live when we replant it.  I assured him, we have done this many times, not only do they live, they thrive.

The whole house smells of pine.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, December 12, 2015


We had dinner with my friend Kaye, her husband Jamie and her dad and all his friends tonight.
Kaye's mom passed away this year and they are now having to create some new traditions.
It is tough, those first holidays after a parent passes.  You miss the old traditions but you know, they won't ever be the same.  You hold on to the memories and forge ahead on a path that you just didn't think you would ever have to take.

Our friend Brian was there tonight also.  His wife Mary passed away this year too.  It was so sad to not see Kaye's mom Nila or our friend Mary.

So this holiday season is like so many, there is the joy and there can be sadness.  Thank goodness for our memories and let us remember to make the most of this season.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, December 11, 2015

Two Weeks

It was 70 degrees today.  Hard to think that Christmas is two weeks away and the air conditioner kicked on.  Welcome to the south.

I decorated the house today.  I don't do a lot of Christmas decor but I have Santas that sit on the mantle and snowglobes and wreaths.  Tomorrow Jordan and Samantha will come over and we will decorate the tree...and possibly bake some cookies.

I am late this year, but Christmas cards will be painted in the next few days and mailed as well.
Still a bit more shopping and then the wrapping.  I have been known to wrap on Christmas eve.
It's just the way I grew up.  My mom shopped in December, the tree was decorated a week or two before Christmas, cards were sent out a couple of weeks before Christmas.  Nothing about Christmas took place at our house until December.  I love the frenzy that creates.

Since we wait about decorating the tree, I don't take it down until New Years and even then I hate to see it go.  I love sitting in the dark at night with the tree lights on listening to Christmas music.
I will bake an Irish fruitcake, make some biscotti and our traditional Christmas cookies.  If it cools down there will be hot spiced cider.  Some times I make candy.

Remember, to enjoy the holidays.  Don't let the frenzy and hustle and bustle get to you.  Smile at strangers and take time to smell the fir trees and maybe grab a kiss under the mistletoe.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, December 10, 2015


There are all kinds of tears.  Tears of joy, of grief, of relief, of sadness, of anger, of release, of pain.
Yoga can trigger tears, even in those of us who are very slow to cry.

When yoga triggers the tears it can come as quite a surprise to the one who is crying.  After all you think, who cries in yoga class.  But it happens and more often than you think.  Women cry and so do men.

Yoga brings about release...of emotions, pain, memories.  It does so when you least expect it.
Words are not necessary, the movements, the breath, the stillness can all be catalysts that open the flood gates of tears.

Tears in yoga class bring sweet release.  If you have ever known the feeling of weight being lifted from your shoulders, that is the sensation that tears in yoga bring.  Afterwards there is an incredible feeling of lightness, peace and no stress.

There were tears in class today.  There was a release of stress and fear.  There was peace and joy.
I wish you all could have been there.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Waiting List

My plans were to get many things accomplished today.  My day planner was full, the list was long.
Life has a way of making fun of plans sometimes.  A couple of things were done, but those that I thought were the biggies, they are still on the list waiting to be marked off.

What happened?  I just ran out of steam, some time around noon my energy dissipated and I was left like a deflated balloon.  I knew I had been pushing, but I thought just one more day.   It seems my body decided today was rest day.  At least these days I am smart enough to listen, in the past I would have ignored the fatigue, and in a couple more days would have been very very sick.

So I have read, watched a little tv, cooked a great dinner and spent time on the couch.  Walked the dogs and looked at the bare trees and cloudy skies.  I feel much better tonight.
A few years ago I would called this a wasted day, but never again.  The body and the spirit have to rest and recharge, today was my day to do that.

That list is still in the day planner, it will be carried over to tomorrow and maybe even the next day or the next.  It's ok, it will all get done eventually.
Goodnight Sweet dreams

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Lights

My students came in the room laughing today.  It is wonderful when they come in, happy and smiling.
Class was full of good positive energy.

My drive home is so beautiful and peaceful now.  It is dark, the stars are out and Christmas lights shine and twinkle through the woods.  There is magic in Christmas lights, especially those on country roads.  They might not be as creative or as sophisticated as some but they have heart.

Rick's mom and her neighborhood use to do Christmas lights big time.  None of them had much money, but those lights had heart.  We placed holly on his mom and dad's graves Sunday.  I thought of how much she loved Christmas.  I hope she is some place celebrating Christmas every day now.

Goodnight Sweet dreams

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Cookies

Christmas cookies are a tradition that many of us cherish.  I have made Christmas cookies as long as Rick and I have been married. My first Christmas cookies were made for a 4H project when I was about 10 years old.  They were rather sad sugar cookies but I won a ribbon and that was enough to spur me on.

After Rick and I married, I learned to make biscotti ( several different varieties) including cranberry orange, chocolate spice, and almond.  But the cookies that our nieces and nephews love, the ones they ask for, the ones they and now their children help me make every Christmas is a Swedish spice cookie.  They have ginger, cloves and cinnamon in them and the whole house smells like Christmas when we bake.

I never know how many kids will be in my kitchen baking cookies.  Last year, Jordan invited his friend Ella to come bake cookies.  Then on Christmas Eve, Jordan, Anthony, Breeze, Daisy and Joy decided to bake.  I have learned a secret.  The kids don’t really enjoy mixing the dough as much as they love to decorate.

Now, I buy dozens of jars of glittering colored sugars, sprinkles, and all sorts of cookie decorations.  I spread them across the kitchen table in little bowls, cut out dozens of cookies and place them on cookie sheets and let the bedlam begin.  Usually you can’t see the cookies for the piles of sugar and sprinkles , but that is ok, the kids love them.  We turn Christmas music up loud, and dance around the table.

Four years ago, I got a call the week before Christmas that I was to see a  new doctor  before the  new year. Many tests had been run and I had no clue what I was facing or if I would have another Christmas.  The kids sensed that something was amiss that year.  It seemed as though they knew, those cookies and our time that day had to be extra special. Never have we danced so wild, laughed so hard and covered cookies with so much sugar as we did that Christmas Eve.  There was such a frenzy, the Christmas tree leaned on its side!

Since that Christmas, I have never fretted about the floor covered in sugar, or a Christmas tree falling.  That Christmas, those cookies, that phone call, gave me my transformation for the holidays.  I truly understood that all the gifts, all the worry, all the stress was not important.  What was important, at least for me, was time with family, friends and making cookies with as many generations as I could.

If I could share something with you this Christmas, it would be this.  There is no perfect holiday, until you think there might not be another.  Then, they all become perfect, the flaws, the goofs, the spills, the cookies with an inch of sugar on top.  Enjoy the moments, live within your means, spend time with those you truly want to spend time with and laugh as much you can. 

This is my column for the December issue of The Leaf.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Siblings Lunch

Today was our siblings lunch...and spouses are always welcome.

The years are flying by, my siblings and I are still young at heart, but our bodies have dealt with the years.

It was so much fun.  So much laughter.  Missing our oldest brother who passed just a couple of months after our mom.  Our brother Glen and his wife didn't make it today, he had surgery this week.

Today would have been our mom's
98th birthday.  She would have loved having us all together, eating and laughing.
Happy Birthday Momma.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Not So Perfect

Christmas shopping, an excursion for Jordan's Charlie Brown tree, it has been a busy fun day.
Jordan spotted his tree early into our outing, but his mom and Rick wanted to go deeper into the woods and look at more trees.

Jordan was adamant, the tree he wanted, the tree that to him personified the spirit of a Charlie Brown
tree was the first one he saw.  And it truly had the CB spirit, tall and leggy, one sided, a tree no one would love but Charlie Brown.  I was proud of Jordan for sticking to his guns.

I see its lights tonight shinning through the woods.  I love our tradition and I hope that if Jordan has a child in years to come, they will do a Charlie Brown tree also.  The tree sits on their front porch like a beacon. The decorations look a little worn and tattered, but they have that same CB spirit as the tree.

I am proud of Jordan and Samantha for seeing worth and beauty in the not so perfect.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, December 4, 2015

Busy Weekend

A nice ordinary day.  Just what I needed, what Rick needed.  Household chores, grocery shopping, a long nap...all good things.

Tomorrow, Christmas shopping, getting a Christmas tree and then tomorrow afternoon we hike through the woods with Jordan for his Charlie Brown tree.  We started the Charlie Brown tree tradition with Samantha, Jordan's mom.  Hiking through the woods, looking for the saddest little pine we could find, then bringing it home, stringing lights on it, home made becomes beautiful.
Of course, after all that, we make cookies.

Sunday, my brothers and sisters and I get together for our Christmas lunch.  We found that once our parents had passed we needed new traditions, the old ones just didn't make much sense any more.
So now, the first Sunday in December we and our spouses go to my sister Pat's house for lunch.
No gifts, just comfort food ( beef stew, cornbread and slaw) and lots of laughter.

A jam packed week-end, but hey it's December...time to see friends and family, eat tons of food
and relive old memories and make some new ones.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, December 3, 2015

An Honor

I had the honor tonight to speak to our local American Legion group about yoga and PTSD.
I looked across the audience at the men and women who have served this country.  I saw faces weathered and worn, young and hopeful and sad and broken.

I spoke about how yoga can help with PTSD not only for those who have been in combat but also those who might suffer with PTSD from other causes.  As I was leaving a young woman approached me and told me how much yoga had helped her  PTSD.  She was no longer having nightmares.

My students at work often tell me how much yoga helps them sleep, how it eases the night terrors, helps with depression and anger. In  my classes today, I had three students who had been sent to me from their trauma group.  As they walked in, it was obvious they did not want to be there, but when class ended all three told me they would see me Monday.

I am fortunate.  A few years ago my employer sent me for a training program called Yoga Warriors.
A yoga program for active military and vets with PTSD.  It was an opportunity of a life time and it has served me well.  I love teaching the classes.

I am very tired tonight. Today was another one of those hello/goodbye days and then my speaking tonight.  An emotional day.  Hot tea awaits me.
Goodnight Sweet dreams

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Last Color

Walking the dogs in the rain this morning, I spied the last of our fall color.  Something about the rain and the light made the colors glow.  The earth seemed so serene in the morning chill.

Wishing you all serenity and peace tonight.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 1

December 1...a thunderstorm tonight, weather lore and my grandmother Mamie....thunder in December snow on that same day in January...we will see come January 1

December 1...24 days til Christmas, Holy Smokes! cards to paint, decorations, gifts, tree, lights

December 1...still waiting for winter

December 1...I love Christmas carols

December 1...the last month of the year 2015

December 1...driving home tonight the Christmas lights glistened in the pouring rain

December time

December 1....Christmas cookies

December 1....lots of December birthdays, today was Rick's mom's, my mom's will be Sunday, Rick's sister's is coming up, and several nieces and nephews.

December many Christmas movies to watch

December 1...I want snow

December chocolate, spiced cider

December I received my 10th anniversary pin at work

December 1...I miss my mom and dad

Goodbye November

The last day of November, Rick and I both saw doctors today, hopefully it will be a awhile before we see them again.

My appointment was one of those long ones involving me donating a portion of blood for tests.
By the time we left UAB I was starving, my yogurt breakfast was long gone.  We stopped by Nikki's for fish and vegetables and as soon as we got home, a short nap helped to revive me.

I taught my evening class, that doctor's appointment today got in the way of day classes.  It's ok, I will make it up to them this week.

A warm muggy night.  It is one of those falls, when our weather is warm and balmy for a few days then freezing for a couple. Sweaters one day, shorts the next.

Christmas lights are up and glowing, I love their reflections in the rain.  I think a tree will be found for the Watson house this weekend.   I am sorry to see my pumpkins and fall decorations say goodbye.
Goodnight Sweet dreams