Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Long Day

A very long day.  Because I had a doctor's appointment at nine this morning, I taught my early class without coffee or breakfast.  Believe me, I drank a lot of water.   Finally around 11:00 I ate.  Rick and I noticed on the way into Birmingham that the car was driving strangely, pulling to the right, a distinct shimmy, not good stuff.  We had made an appointment for new tires to be put on the car this afternoon, thank goodness we did.  It seems that one of the belts on the right front tire had broken.

The tire folks were amazed that we had not had a blowout on the interstate.   We picked the car  up this evening and all was well.  What a relief.

The best part of my day...I got to see my friend Louis.  He was my chair buddy for the almost four years of treatments that I took.  He has become a part of our family.  We both had doctor appointments this morning so we got to visit.  He has not been feeling well so it has been awhile since we saw each other.  If you have a spare prayer say one for Louis please.  He is one of the most gentle kind souls that I have ever known.

My hot tea is ready, my bed is ready and I am ready for both.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

True Balance

One of my students came to class early today.  It had been a tough day for him.  He told me that he was trying to figure out how to create boundaries in his life.  One of his toughest to figure out, separating work from home life.

He is not alone, I know many ( and a lot of them are not in rehab) whose lives are all about work and nothing else.  It is hard for them to understand that what they do is not who they are.
We talked about hobbies ( at least he had one, many do not) and how he needed to spend more time outdoors.

I admit his job is stressful and people's lives depend on him.  But we talked about the airplane rule.
You know the one, when the air masks drop put yours on first, then help others.  But it's the same in life, you have to help yourself/take care of yourself first, then be there for others.  The hard part, you can't help everyone.

He loves yoga so I have encouraged him to find a class when he goes home and to continue to nurture himself.  I explained to him that it is difficult for me sometimes, to leave work at work.  But, I have learned for my health, happiness and personal relationships I have to set boundaries also.

Talking to me today, refreshed some good old memories for my student.  He began to recall some things that he did in his youth that he loved doing.  Hopefully, he will pursue those things that once brought him joy and he will understand what true balance is.  After all, true balance is just that place where work, life, and relationships each have a roll in our life and that none of them take precedent over everything else.

Monday, August 29, 2016


The heat and humidity continue in Alabama.  Our peppers are thriving, as I wilt.
Monday is almost over, I hope your week started smoothly.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Recap

Every morning as we drink our coffee I pull up my trusty weather app and give Rick my weather report.  I give him the weather in San Francisco, Ireland, Sedona, Telluride and then Alabama.
It drives him crazy, because we are still in the midst of one of our hottest summers on record and all of these places are having lovely cooler temperatures. I keep telling him we need a vacay and I try to entice him with the weather info.  Sadly, it is not working.  What can I do?

This has been a busy work weekend for the home.  Working on the screen porch, clearing closets, and of course, washing the yoga blankets.  But, Rick did a great job on the new steps and rescreening the porch.  We are ready for fall breezes and coffee on the porch.

Can you believe we are at the end of August?  Summer is almost gone and before we know it 2016 will be too.  This is looking to be a very busy week for me.  My day planner is jammed for the next few days.  I will have to remind myself to breathe.

Hoping we all have a smooth transition into September this week.  New moon brings new opportunities.  May we all have peace.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


August has been a month of reflection, regroup, home maintenance and thinking about where we are and maybe where we are going.  Because of the heat and the fact that both of us just cant take it like we use too, we don't book any gigs for August.  I miss playing this month, but loading and unloading equipment, setting up and then performing is brutal in the August heat and humidity.  I know, we are just whinny babies.  :)

But, the gigs are coming , booking for the fall and that is not easy, living in the football capital of the free world.  We have come to accept that football rules the southeast and that includes high school and college and that music plays second fiddle to pigskin. :(

We have figured out the title of our next cd and most of the songs that will be on it.  Can't wait to get started on recording with our buddy Fred, the amazing sound/producer guy.

I watched the PBS special tonight, The Highway Men concert that took place in Long Island in 1990.
Waylon, Willie, Kris and Johnny, those guys wrote the songs that made me love country music.
It is a wonderful show.  If your public television station airs it, be sure to watch.

Enjoy your Sunday, as always I hope it is filled with peace.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Yin and Yang Walk

There are always surprises when you walk our trails through the woods.  Some of them are scary, BIG spiders and their webs, the occasional poisonous snake, etc. but then most are quite beautiful.
Today I got the spider web in the face, but then I saw the first beauty berries of the fall season.
It was a yin and yang kind of walk.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


A day of hellos and goodbyes, students leaving and entering, emotions run deep on these days.
The fear, sadness, excitement, joy, anger, guilt...every emotion you can imagine I saw on faces today.

For the most part hellos work out well, the goodbyes are difficult.  You want them to go and live the life they were born to live, to carry their peace and joy and hope  with them.  But you know there is fear.  We talk about the fact that the bad times will still come but hopefully they will be faced with confidence and knowledge.  Life is different sober, sometimes you lose friends, people you love, jobs, sometimes you lose everything and you start from the bottom.  If you are lucky, you have a support group, not enablers but those who love you and can be strong.  You learn the true meaning of one day at a time, one breath at at time.

During the last ten years I have taught thousands.  I wake up sometimes in the middle of the night and see someone's face.  I might not remember their name,  but I know their face and I say a prayer for them and hope that life is treating them kind.

One of my students told me today that every time he came to my class he brought the whole day with him.  I told him I knew and that everyone else did the same thing.  I laughed and told him I was a tough old bird, I could take it.  I learn a lot from my students and I am grateful.

Blessings of peace to all tonight, don't forget to breathe.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Glimpse

After I got back from teaching my early class this  morning, Samantha came over with her dog Lady and we and all the dogs walked.  It was hot and humid, but as we walked the trail I looked up and caught a glimpse of color.  Somehow seeing that touch of fall color made the heat and humidity more bearable.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Good Day

I watched transformations take place in class today.  I had a full room with several new students all brand new to yoga.  As they walked into class there was confusion, fear and maybe even a little anger on their faces.  I talked with them, explained that class would in no way be what they were expecting and that I felt they would enjoy it.

I did a yin class, slow with simple poses and as always savasana was yoga nidra, twenty minutes.
When I opened the blinds and turned on the light the group slowly began to move and sit up.
The students helped me roll up the mats and put things away.  One by one the new students came to me and told me how much they loved the class and what a wonderful experience they had.

I knew from their faces and their words that their time left at the center would be different now.
They had found moments of peace, the "sweet spot" some of them called it.  They realized that what they were looking for was obtainable.  A break from chaos, is what we all crave and many look for that break in drugs and alcohol.

Numbness is not the answer and there is no drug or substance that you can put in your body to numb the pain that so many feel.  For many of my students it is the first time in their lives that they have sat in silence and simply breathed and let themselves feel anything other than pain, anger, guilt and remorse.

As always I am tired after teaching, but that is ok, I am tired after performing too.  I think when you use your energy doing what you love it leaves you with a good kind of tired,
My hot tea awaits, I hope your day was as good as mine.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Musings

Ok, the weather guys built my hopes, they predicted last week that we would have lower temps, lower humidity and a moment of fall would grace us.  Nope, no way guys.  Coming out of class tonight, the humidity is thick and sticky, it was in the 80's....somebody messed up.  And once again almost a 100 degrees by the end of the week.

Great classes all afternoon at work and tonight an awesome class at the community center.  Days like today make being a yoga teacher so much fun.

I am still dealing with the stuffy nose, sore throat bug that I caught last week and now the cough has started.  Ugh.  Not sure if is cold or allergy, but I did have a fever over the weekend.
Going to bed early tonight.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pretty Maids

Even though the heat and humidity are their peak right now, there is a change in the light and color.
The humming birds are in a feeding frenzy, and there are butterflies and dragon flies everywhere, they  know fall is waiting in the wings.

The garden is looking sad, a few peppers and zinnias (old maids) are standing defiantly while everything else has wilted and died.  It always seems that the zinnias get brighter and stronger and more beautiful toward the end of summer.  They refuse to
go out with a whimper.  They are truly pretty maids in a row.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cookies and Storms

Still not 100 percent, maybe by tomorrow.  At least the fever left this afternoon.  I had planned to bake Jordan cookies to celebrate his first week back at school, I will bake them tomorrow.  It is probably just as well, he did not need to be around me the past couple of days.

More storms swept through this afternoon, the kind that brought constant flashes of lightening and roars of thunder.  Calliou sat in my lap, all ninety pounds of him and panted.  Of course Taz was there too and the new dog, Hook, he is deaf so thunder is of no concern to him.  He slept through most of the storm.

Another early night, a nice cup of hot tea.  Wishing you all a peace filled Sunday.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, August 19, 2016

Lazy Friday

I think I might have picked up a  little bug at work this week, I have felt it today.  So it has been low key and laid back.  We had planned on going into the city today, but maybe tomorrow.

We have worked on our music, reworking a song we started awhile back, organizing songs,  deciding what will be on our next cd and beginning to book concerts for the fall and winter.  So if you would like to book us or know someone who might, send us a note.  We are fond of saying, have guitars, will travel.

Even the dogs have been lazy today.  Storms rolled in late this evening, which seems to be the routine this week and tonight it is hot and sticky.  The clouds have hidden my beloved full moon again.
I feel cheated.

Rick has made me a cup of hot tea, just what I needed tonight.  It is Friday, I hope your weekend is off to a good start.  High school football started here this week.  Why can't they at least wait until after Labor Day?

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Weather Forecast

Full moon tonight, but clouds and storms rolled in this afternoon, so the moon is hidden.
I got my Farmer's Almanac weather forecast for late fall early winter...the prediction, cold and wet here in Alabama.  After the heat that we have had this summer, anything with the word cold in it sounds ok to me.  I love boots and sweaters.

If you can see the  moon tonight, enjoy its beauty.  The past couple of nights it has been breath taking here.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My quote for the day has become my mantra.

"The only thing that is constant is change."  - Heraclitus

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hitting the Wall

There are days, thank goodness not many of them, but once in a blue moon I just run out of give.
I hit the wall and have to stop and rethink where I am going and how I will get there.
Today has been one of those days.

You think that you have it figured out, you think that maybe by now, you might just know what you are doing and then you realize  that none of it is working.  The goals haven't changed, but the paths that you thought were so clear are just not leading anywhere.

Tomorrow is a sit down or maybe walk around and figure out kind of day.  I know there are answers and solutions and new paths out there.  Soon, the stars will realign, the phone will ring, an email will come and all will be fine, this too shall pass.

Ready for bed and a cup of hot tea.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, August 15, 2016


I taught Warrior classes today.  We talked about strength and courage when life is hard.  I used this quote from the book by Jack Kornfield, "A Lamp in the Darkness."  It is also a great reminder that no matter what you are going through, you are not alone, some one else has or is going through the same thing.

"The warrior in your heart says stand your ground.  Feel the survival of a thousand years of ancestors in your muscles and your blood.  You have all the support you need in your bones."

- Jack Kornfield

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Happy Dance

Interesting day.  I had been washing my yoga blankets and when I went to do the final load, no water.
No water in the laundry room, kitchen or water.

It seems our main blew about a half mile from our house, water tomorrow.  In 90 degree heat and humidity no water  is interesting.  I suppose in the morning I will drive the 12 miles or so to my sister's house and "borrow" her shower.  I think my students and friends at work tomorrow would appreciate that.  We always stock a case or so of bottled water for emergencies, so we and the dogs and chickens are staying hydrated.

I think back to when the tornadoes raped our whole state a few years ago.  We had no power for two weeks, no phones and were without water for three or four days.  So our afternoon without water is not such a big deal in the scheme of things.

Oh, wait a minute I hear a sweet  noise.  I think I hear the sound of water running through my pipes.
Happy Dance, I can shower tonight!  Gratitude for the water guys who came out on Sunday afternoon and fixed our main.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Free Download

There was a recent article in Prevention Magazine about how Yoga Nidra helps you sleep.
In the past few years much has been written about the benefits of Yoga Nidra, how it helps PTSD and anxiety.

For probably ten years now, I use Yoga Nidra at the end  of each of my yoga classes during savasana.
Our friend and my co-worker Fred came over this evening and helped me record my newest version of Yoga Nidra.

If you are interested in experiencing Yoga Nidra, my newest version will be on my website Monday.
Just go to and download it for free.  It is about a twenty  minute meditation, don't listen to it when driving.  :)

Goodnight, sweet dreams

Friday, August 12, 2016

Weekend Begins

Friday night, it seems like a good time for Chinese.  It has been several months since we had Chinese food and since we have a great restaurant about 12 miles away, Rick has gone for take out.
I know, we should have just gone out, but sometimes take out just feels right.  Maybe kick back, watch a good movie and just like that, it's Friday night date night.

We both have consumed massive amounts of fruit the past few days.  Grapes and Cherries, we just can't get enough and they are so good this season.  I hope the apples and citrus season will be this good.

The rains and clouds have played havoc with our meteor viewing, but I read an article today that even though this event has the most per hour, there are more events to view this fall with much brighter and larger meteors.  We can only hope.

It's Friday, the weekend and really no plans, but that can change in the blink of an eye.  We bought a new grill yesterday so I bet tomorrow we might just try it out.  Have a great weekend, summer is quickly coming to an end.  Enjoy these last few weeks of sun and warmth.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Counting Breath

Meditation class today involved counting breath.  Counting breath is a wonderful meditation to try if you are new to meditation, you have anger issues or anxiety or your thoughts race through the brain like a fast train.

Begin by breathing deeply in through the nose, then exhaling through the mouth a couple of times.
You count your breath silently in increments of ten, setting a timer for 10 or 15 minutes.
Close your eyes, inhale 1, exhale 1
inhale 2, exhale 2
inhale 3, exhale 3
inhale 4, exhale 4
inhale 5, exhale 5
inhale 6, exhale 6
inhale 7, exhale 7
inhale 8, exhale 8
inhale 9, exhale 9
inhale 10, exhale 10

slow even breaths, see how it works for you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Busy Hump Day

Always a busy day when Jordan is here.  Things to do and places to go.  That's been the kind of day we have had.

We keep hoping for a chance to see the meteor showers, but the tropical low that is spinning around in the Gulf of Mexico just keeps sending the clouds and rain up our way.  If you live where the stars are shinning I hope you are able to see some of the showers this week.

We found a great deal on a grill today thanks to my brother Ricky.  This weekend there will be food on the grill at the Watson house.

Time for hot tea and bed, my energy has gone home with Jordan.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tuesday Trauma

Most of my students had spent the day in trauma therapy, they were ready to rest and restore.
Tear stained faces and slumped shoulders are the norm after a day in trauma.
They needed TLC.  Warm cozy blankets were passed out, soft music played and the most gentle of stretches were done.  Afterwards eye pillows and more blankets and 20  minutes of savasana, when I opened the blinds faces had undergone transformations, smiles appeared.

Part of the class stayed for  meditation.  One young woman talked with me after class about how she had seen friends transformed by yoga and meditation, she wants that same transformation.
We talked about healthy lifestyles, healthy eating, drinking lots of water.  She is ready for a change.  That's a big step.

We have a tropical system controlling our weather this week.  There are waves of thunderstorms and monsoon rains that appear out of the southeast and then a few minutes later the sun will shine.
The air is so heavy with moisture that when I walked the dogs this morning my skin felt as though I had just stepped out of the shower.  No sweat, just that much moisture in the air.

Early class in the morning and then a day with Jordan.  School starts next week and he  is getting all the Rick and Jilda time he can.  His swim meets start again in September, so he and his mom have watched the Olympic Games all week.

Ready for a cup of hot tea, and bed.  5:00am will be here before you know it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Promise of Fall

This morning as I walked the dogs, it felt as though the heat and humidity was sucking the life out of me and them.  As we neared the barn I kept thinking this too shall pass, fall will come.
Something golden caught my eye, it was this beautiful gold and bronze leaf in a heart shape.
I felt it was a sign, another promise that fall would come and the heat and humidity would fade into the shadows until next summer.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday Thoughts

Rick and I went to a family visitation at the funeral home tonight for my nephew's wife's grandmother.  As we were standing in line to speak to the husband and son and daughters I thought about how our family had dwindled since we first married.

The first few years we were married both our families seemed gigantic.  Each holiday and gathering grew larger and larger. And then the deaths began, grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents and siblings.  I realized that more of our family members are dead than alive.  A sobering thought indeed.

When you are young you really do think that death is far far away and with each passing decade, with each friend and family member that dies the realization that death is not so far away becomes clearer.
Life goes on but the changes and the emptiness remain.

But on a much happier note, so glad to report that our new dog Hook seems to have made a smooth transition into the household.  Taz and Calliou are more hospitable to him and he is learning the rules of the Watson house.   Taz is still and always will be queen and Hook has accepted that.

Wishing clear night skies this week for the viewing of the meteor showers, a stress free Monday and an easy work week.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams


Saturday, August 6, 2016


I won't miss the heat, won't miss the humidity as summer begins its slow fade, but what I will miss is its bounty.  That has been the goodness for me of this summer, crops have been plentiful and I am so grateful, but fall brings a different crop and hopefully one that is as bountiful as the summer has been.

I snapped the photo of what Rick picked this morning.  A few tomatoes, squash and peppers and they will continue dwindling until frost.  But what a summer it has been and we are grateful.

Friday, August 5, 2016

No Stress Day

A different kind of day, no stress just hanging with Rick and Jordan.  We drove into Birmingham for Rick's eye exam, checked out the Galleria Mall and then went to Jordan's favorite restaurant, Nikki's
West.  It is the best meat and three you can imagine, all fresh vegetables, seafood flown from the Gulf of Mexico, home baked bread, everything is yummy.  The three of us ate way more than we should.

We made it home, Rick left to check on a friend's mail who is out of town and Jordan and I settled in to watch a movie.  Soon Calliou and Taz were climbing over us on the sofa, we heard a boom of thunder and realized a summer storm was coming.   Soon the rain was pouring, I popped corn, we had some fresh grapes and all was good with the world.  The nice thing about Hook, the new dog's deafness....thunder does not freak him out.  He slept through the storm.

I hope your weekend has started as well as ours.  Just a few more before summer ends, school begins here on the fifteenth. In the blink of an eye, this year will be gone.
Have a wonderful Saturday, stay cool and hydrate!

Thursday, August 4, 2016


Because of where I teach I hear more sad stories than you could possibly imagine.  I hear regret, guilt and profound sadness.  But occasionally I hear remorse for something that could so easily be fixed...remorse because that person is leaving the next day or in a couple of days and today was the first time they had decided to take my class.

A young woman came to my door this afternoon and asked what time class started, she said that her counselor had insisted she come.  As we talked, she informed me that she had been urged many times to come to my class but she was so busy with her schedule she just couldn't make it.  She has been there 13 weeks and will be leaving Monday.  Her counselor made her come today.

We talked a few more minutes while other students walked  in and I told her that I was glad she came and hoped that she enjoyed the class.  An hour later as we finished the class, she sat up and groaned.
I ask what was the matter.  She looked at me and told me she was so sorry, she felt so stupid that she could have attended my class 39 times and she came once.  There was such regret and remorse in her voice.

I just told her it had happened before and she would not be the last.  Once the same thing happened with a young man, he was visibly shaken when he realized what he had been missing.
About six months later the young man walked through my door again, he said I relapsed and I am back, but I will not be missing your classes.   That was a few years ago, as far as I know, the young man is still sober.

It is difficult for most to understand how something like yoga can  help with addictions.  It is the process, the breath work, the meditation, and the  commitment.  It is learning to calm the mind, find peace with in, to eat healthy, awareness and finding self-love and worth and the building of confidence.
So many think that yoga is a few stretches, but the asanas ( stretches) are just the tip of the iceberg.
And I as I love to tell my students, everyone thinks they know how to relax, especially those who use
drugs and alcohol for relaxation but when they experience relaxation ( yoga nidra) at the end of class the word relaxation takes on a brand new meaning.  On my website, there are some relaxation/meditations that I give to my students.  They are free for any of you to download with my blessings.

And so it goes.  Rick is fond of saying that every day is a school day, it is.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Busy Hump Day

Jordan is better today, must have been some little bug.  Now all three dogs are sick.  The new dog, Hook brought Kennel Cough home from the Vet's office and now Calliou and Taz have it as well.
And since Lady, Jordan's dog is here a major part of the time she probably will have it too.  Ugh.
Can we say meds for all?

We were placed under another heat advisory today, highs in the upper 90's with 80% humidity, August has arrived.  I am past wilting.

The annual meteor showers have started, Rick saw a few last night.  The major event is supposed to take place August 11 and 12, an average of 200 meteors an hour.  Should be quite a sight to behold.
I can't wait.

Early classes on Wednesday mornings are going well.  They are actually for the staff and it has been fun to teach and educate them about yoga.  The ones who are coming seem to love it as much as the patients.  I am thrilled that our directors decided to do this.  I think it will make a difference in the stress levels of those who come.

So ready for a cup of hot tea and bed.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Making It Through

Jordan spent the day.  He had been up since 2:30 this morning with chills and fever but no other symptoms, his mom will call the doc in the morning.   I made his favorite foods, home made ice pops,  lemon aide, but he ate like a small bird.  Usually when he is this sick, it is strep, but he had no sore throat today.  We will see what tomorrow brings.

Storms rolled in around noon, so we both took a nap and then  Rick came home and I went to work.
Then his grandparents picked him up.  It takes a village.

My class was small and no meditation today.  That was ok, I was tired and ready to come home for dinner and bed.

Some days it seems the only transformation in my life is making it through the day, but that in itself can be quite transforming.  Hump day tomorrow and early morning classes.  Time for bed.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1

August 1... hot and sultry

August 1...counting the days until the temps drop into the 80's for highs

August 1...bought my first new sweater today, I am optimistic

August 1...figs are ripe and juicy

August 1... school starts in a couple of weeks

August 1...hummingbirds are in a feeding frenzy

August 1...days are getting shorter

August 1...meteor showers for the next couple of weeks

August moon tomorrow

August 1...summer will be gone before we know it