Sunday, July 23, 2017

I Love You More

When I left my friend Louis yesterday my heart ached, I knew he was beginning his  transition.
This morning his friend James sent Rick a text, Louis had died.  I felt it in my heart when I awoke today, I knew that yesterday was the last time I would see him in this life.

It is hard to explain grief because it is different with each loss.  In many ways our friendship with Louis was so different than with other friends.  We met just a few short years ago under tough circumstances, both undergoing treatments in an infusion room.  He had beat cancer several times in his life.  He was a survivor in every sense of the word.

When we met, it was as though we had known each other our entire lives.  We bonded sitting in those big green chairs while chemicals filled our veins.  There was a camaraderie in that room.  Several of us sat and became friends, encouraging each other, praying for each other and grieving as our friends passed.

Louis and I were the last of the group.  We spoke to each other almost daily.  He and his nephew Steve and friend Bert came to our house, shared meals with us and our families.  This past Thanksgiving as Louis and Bert left the house that evening I had a sinking feeling it might be the last holiday we spent together.  Louis was getting frail.

Christmas came, we celebrated with a conversation on the phone.  After the first of the year, hospital visits became a common occurrence for Louis.  We would drop by the hospital,  talk on the phone, we both knew in our hearts time was short.  A few weeks ago, he was moved to a hospice care center.
We would visit and hope for the best.  Some days he was unresponsive, others  weak, yet so happy to see us.

A couple of weeks ago, we dropped by and he was sitting up in the bed.  Eating a meal, laughing, visiting with family and friends, it was a day I will never forget.  As we got ready to leave, he told me he was going home next week.  His nephew Steve walked us to the door and out into the hall, Steve, Rick and I knew that by some grace we had been given a gift.

The the past two visits it was obvious that day had been a gift.  Louis was losing weight, becoming so weak and then yesterday, I knew what was next.  No matter how much you prepare yourself for someone's death, there is no preparation.  That loss hits hard and heavy.  Loss is loss, losing those you love is a transformation that is the most difficult.  I hear his voice in my head, I miss his hugs, his calls, his laughter and his kindness.  We ended each call and visit with me saying I love you, and then he would always say, "I love you more."

The picture tonight is one at his house.  He was a great cook.  He loved having friends over for lunch and dinner.  Tonight, I would love to have one more meal together, to hear him say one more time, "I Love You More."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Peace,Joy, Kindness

We visited Louis today.  I don't think I have ever seen anyone so thin.  I sat and talked with him about  our friends.  I told him about Jordan going to the state swim competition next week.  I told him how much I loved him.  There was no response.  No movement, no sound.  I think my friend is about to make his transformation.

I am drained tonight, and rather sad.  Tomorrow is Sunday.  May we all know peace. May we all know joy as well as kindness.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, July 21, 2017

One Last Bloom

I walked through the back yard yesterday and smelled a sweetness I thought had gone for the summer.  I was wrong.  Our big gardenia bush had one last bloom.  She was small but her fragrance filled the hot humid air. We have never had blooms this late.  Summer's transformation has started.
The days are shorter and spring and early summer blossoms are fading.  This one was such a gift.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Little Red

Our chickens all have unique personalities.  This is Little Red, she delivers a fresh egg every day.
She will actually come to you if sit quietly and talk to her.  The other chickens are not so trusting.
Today they were all pecking and when they saw me taking pictures all but Little Red scurried away.
She posed for me.  She is a little beauty and her eggs are delicious.

Jordan spends the day with us tomorrow.  I am sure there will be adventures.   I have brain drain tonight.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Two Gifts

Two gifts, that is how our day went, two gifts we received from friends.  Not gifts in the traditional sense, but gifts of time, calls.  The first call came this afternoon from our friend Ann.  She is a fellow songwriter that we have know over 20 years.  She has helped us book gigs and make many new friends through the years.  She is effervescent, her personality and laugh makes you happy just to share space with her.

Our second call came from our friends Tom and Judy, there are health issues in their lives right now so for them to take time to call and talk with us made us glow with happiness.  We spent most of the conversation with them laughing.  That is the really nice thing about friendship, it is a thread that runs through your life.  You go for months without seeing or talking with each other, but it doesn't matter.
You just pick up where you left off.

The gift of time is the most valuable one.  Life goes fast. But the  moments count.  A call, a card, the connection is made, the gift delivered and there is joy and love between humans.  Tomorrow give a gift; a call, a hug, a smile, a kind word.  Free gifts, make someone's day.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Do No Harm

I started the new group of students on the first yama today, ahimsa ( do no harm).  We talked about what is harm to your self, anger, jealousy, negativity, hate, self-doubt.  To have compassion for others you have to have compassion for yourself.  As we moved through the asanas I encouraged the class to practice "do no harm."  We can truly be our own worst enemy.

Some of the poses were easy, others more difficult.  That was the plan so they could react with kindness when challenged.  I was proud of this group of young men, did I mention they were all male today?  They laughed and encouraged each other and no competition.  By the time class was over, they understood how self harm comes in ways you never even think about.

Tomorrow as you go about your day, practice ahimsa.  Remember those negative thoughts do harm.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, July 17, 2017

It Has Been A Monday

Almost all new faces in classes today.  Funny how a week changes everything.  Sometimes I feel as if I am on a merry-go-round, students change so fast, it all becomes a blur.

I came home from work to pick up Rick for our class in Sumiton.  He was in a panic.  At some point today while we were working, the air conditioning stopped.  Temps are in the mid-nineties for the rest of the week with a heat index over 100, not a good time to lose the cool.  Thankfully Rick fixed it while I went and taught the class.  Whew!  Much Gratitude.

Storms moved through again this evening.  It has been years since we have had this many summer storms.  Thunder and lightening are becoming almost daily events.

I am drained tonight.  Time for a few minutes of down time and then bed.  Don't forget to spread some kindness tomorrow, we all need some.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Love

I love Sundays.  I have loved them since I was a child.  I love the fact that usually Sundays are slow and laid back.  Once in a blue moon we do book a gig on Sunday or there is some function to attend.  Most Sundays are for us, the dogs and family.

I have done a little gardening today, washed yoga blankets, lunched with my sister.  All the monsoons we have had for the past few weeks have moved away.  Our grey skies turned to blue today and Ol Sol came out in all his glory.  Those rays felt great on my skin as we walked the dogs this morning.
The biggie, the humidity dropped too.

Sometimes transformations are mundane but wonderful.  After weeks of rain and storms, our day of sunshine has been wonderful.  Of course it is mid-July so the heat will build, that is no surprise.
That is why you wear cotton or linen clothing in the south, nature's air conditioning.

Mid-July, August is already breathing down July's neck.  Someone told me they had already seen Christmas stuff in some of the craft stores.  Please give me a break!  I am so not ready for Christmas  in July, but that seems to be a trend.

On our walks this week,  everything is so lush that it looks like the old technicolor movies.  We now have paths covered in moss. Old trees, rocks, barn wood, there is moss everywhere which I love.
Our massive dogwood in the front yard has moss covering her limbs.  I am not sure if that is good or bad, but it is beautiful.  The picture I shot this morning is of Jordan's favorite dogwood limb to climb.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday night.  May our Monday be uneventful, yet full of joy.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Baby Hosta

Baby hostas are blooming.  These are about the size of a small saucer and are offshoots from big ones.
They were a nice surprise this morning.  The rain and heat have made our place seem tropical.

Jordan did great in the district swim meet today.
He will be in state competition in a couple of weeks.
We are so excited.  I cooked his favorite meal for dinner this evening.  We celebrated with meat loaf and mac and cheese.

Enjoy your Sunday.  Blessings of peace and joy to everyone.  I am a wee bit tired tonight.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Tree Snake

The storms that have moved through the past few weeks have left fallen trees everywhere.  Yesterday morning as I walked the dogs this one had fallen across our path.  At first glance, ( I did not have my contact in) I thought it was a BIG snake.  That got my heart rate up in a hurry.

We saw Louis today.  Once again, he has slipped into that place between here and there.
Last Friday was such a gift, I hope I am wrong but I think that day was his goodbye.

The weekend has started.  Jordan has district swim meet tomorrow.  We are hoping he goes to state.
He has worked so hard.  Keep your fingers crossed.




Thursday, July 13, 2017

Safe Place

Storms rolled in last night after we went to bed.  Heavy thunder and pouring rain drove the dogs into a frenzy.  Taz and Calliou panicked while Hook ( who is deaf) slept through the ordeal.  We now have a crate for Calliou, we hope it gives him his safe place.

I often do a safe place meditation for my students and they love it.  I wish that it would work for the dogs.   It seems that is what so many of us ( human or not) want isn't it; a safe place.   Maybe one day the world will have a safe place.

My classes were packed today.  My body is tired.  Time for a cup of hot tea and bed.  ( my safe place)
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Reading

Thanks to one of my blog world friends Julia, I bought a new book last week.  Julia had recommended a book titled, "Energy Medicine."  I will be the first to tell you it is no easy breezy read.  I find it fascinating.  Since I do quite a bit of work with Charkas, meridians and use Reiki this book is a perfect read for me.  I even took a free on line class today offered by the author, Donna Eden.

I started in the early 70's, reading and studying about energy, health, nutrition, and yoga.  I was starving for information and read everything from Gaylord Hauser to Carlos Castaneda to Buddhist teachings.  I was a sponge.  Often I was reading 2 or 3 books at a time.  I still do that.  :)
Right now I am reading Energy Medicine, Several Short Sentences About Writing, The Rise and Fall of Alexandria, I know quite a variety there.

I constantly encourage people I know to read.  Rick and I often buy books or gift cards to book stores for birthday gifts.  Our gifts might not always be someone's favorites but hopefully we plant seeds.
Thankfully  Jordan shares our love of books and when we give him gift cards to book stores he is excited.

I have loved reading since I was a small child.  I am grateful for that love that my mom and older siblings instilled in me.  Our house looks like a library.  Put me in a book store with a credit card and I am dangerous woman.  The only other place that I am that dangerous, a shoe store.

Goodnight, Sweet Dreams

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Teacher Thoughts

That time of coming and going at work again.  I have said goodbye to students this week.  This has been an exceptional group, I will miss them so much.  As a teacher you want the best for all your students.  You want them to learn, to accomplish and to succeed.  Sometimes that does not happen.

Most of my class were newcomers today.  Some of them had never done any type of yoga, some are polished yogis.  The new comers are often fretful.  The ones who have had some sort of practice are surprised at my teaching style.  I teach yoga, breath work and meditation as a tool to help them in their recovery, it's not an exercise class.  We do move, we practice our asanas slow and gentle.

My philosophy is simple, if my students understood relaxation and knew how to relax they would not be using drugs and alcohol for relaxation.  Drugs and alcohol are numbing, breath work, asanas and meditation teach you to feel, to go inward and be in the present.  It is hard work, to become sober, to look at your self with truth and honesty, to accept responsibility for your choices and actions.
To remember who you are, who you once were and who you can be is earth shattering.  It takes time and energy.

The building I teach in is always full of energy, good and bad.  I walk in somedays and feel beaten before my classes ever start.  The sadness and fear can be palatable.  But there are also moments of joy and celebration, of confidence in finding one's self.  Sometimes a student will tell me they feel human again.  I can tell when the sparkle appears in their eyes, that life is improving.

Time will tell about this new group.  Will they embrace my classes? Who knows.  I teach what I know with as much love and kindness as I have in my soul.  The students choose whether to accept or reject it.  I am tired and drained tonight.  A much needed off day tomorrow.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, July 10, 2017

Difficult

"Thinking is difficult, that's why most people judge."  - Carl Jung

I love this quote.  Not judging is difficult, but's it an important path if you are searching for peace.  Daily, I have to remind myself not to judge.  Judging others takes you down a path far from kindness and joy.  It creates self-righteousness and a false sense of importance.  

Tomorrow, share kindness, spread some joy and do your best not to judge. You will sleep  better tomorrow night.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Chakra Boots?

I know this might sound so very strange to many of you, but old habits are hard to break.  I have already done inventory on my fall/winter clothes/boots.  Yes, it is barely July, but I spent most of my adult life in the fashion industry and that is what you do in July.  I had told myself that living here in the south I really should not buy any more boots.  Rick had bought me a pair of Toms for Christmas last year and my old ones from years past still looked great.

But, a friend shared a link with me on FB today for Chakra boots.  They are basically just suede ankle boots with the Chakras embroidered on them in beautiful rainbow colors.  I think as a yoga teacher I really need them.  As a musician they would look so cool on stage and on dreary winter days they would make anyone who saw them smile.  I think I might just have to buy them.  If I do I will post a picture of me wearing them.  :)

Our friend Fred came over this evening for dinner.  He is friend, sound guy, work place friend, Fred is family.  We sat and talked about our next cd.  We should start the recording around the first of September, getting excited about it.

The weekend is pretty much over.  No rain today or for the next few days.  It will be good to see blue skies and feel the sun on my skin.  Be kind this week, give a hug or two, spread some joy.

For those of you who might want a pair of Chakra boots, here's the linkYeswevibe.com/products/colorfulchakra

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Transformations

We saw our friend Louis yesterday.  A week ago he didn't recognize us and could not speak, yesterday, a different story.  Walking down the hall to his room we could hear laughter.
We could hear Louis talking with others.

As we walked into his room, there he sat, in his bed, holding court.  His nephew Steve and two of his friends were there.  He waved as we walked in.  We stayed for about 20 minutes or so.  Laughing, actually rejoicing with Louis, our friend is back.  We don't know how or what happened, but for now there is much gratitude.

Who knows what the future holds, but the transformation that took place in that room in a week's time was remarkable.  One friend left this world and another one, at least for awhile is back.
I learned long ago there are no explanations for most of the transformations that take place in our lives.  They are gifts from the universe.  We work for them, strive for them, pray for them.
Sometimes if we are lucky, we get them. They are not always good, not always bad, but it seems there is a reason for them all.

Wishing peace for all of us tomorrow, wishing joy, and always wishing kindness.

Friday, July 7, 2017

RIP My Friend

I found out a couple of days ago that one of my friends from work was very ill.  I  thought for the past few days she was on vacation.  I got the really sad news first thing this morning that she died last night.

I mourn her death on so many levels.  My respect for the work she did with our patients was off the charts.  My caring for her as a friend who greeted me each time she saw me, no matter how busy she was, how she shared her artistic talents with me, ( she was an incredible photographer and I am lucky that she gave me two of her photographs.)

I mourn for the patients who will never have the opportunity to have her as a counselor.  Her story was hers to tell, but I will tell you this, for those women who came through our program who had been abused; she was their greatest friend and advocate.

I  heard her voice in my head all day today.  I mourn the fact that we were always talking about her coming for a visit to our place and now that will never happen.  I mourn the loss of her humor and her take no prisoners/no bull attitude.

No one will ever fill her shoes.  Tonight, I hope she found her happy place, tonight, I hope she knows how much she was loved by all of us who worked with her.

RIP Deborah W.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Solutions

For years I tried my luck growing eggplants.  Each time there was disappointment.  My oldest sister Nell who is a farmer extraordinaire suggested I plant them in pots.  She never fails me!
There will be eggplant on the grill this weekend.  I am so excited.

A busy day tomorrow.  Appointment with eye doc, a visit with my friend Louis, and a monthly run to Costco.  It is all good.

We have been at wit's end these past few weeks.  Our collie is terrified of storms.  We had bought a thunder vest, tried sedatives, music.  They all sorta worked, as long as we were here.  Yesterday storms came through with horrible thunder and lightening.  He left the house ( through the doggie door) and escaped somehow over our fence while we were at work.  Rick found him when he got home, dripping wet.

A friend who spends his days working with dogs suggested putting him in a crate.  There is one on its way from Amazon.  Keeping our fingers crossed that this gives our sweet beautiful dog some peace.

Tomorrow is Friday, the start of another weekend.  Didn't we just have one?  I hope there is sunshine, peace and kindness for all of us.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fuchsia Canopy

Last  night Samantha and Jordan, Stone, Breeze, Daisy and Joy came over to our field for fireworks.
At 8:00pm it was 80 degrees with 82% humidity, I kid you not.  Welcome to the south.

But, the rain and the heat have given us a summer of incredible lushness and beauty .
Our crepe myrtles are as tall as oaks and dripping in ruffled blossoms.  They have created a fuchsia canopy.  It has been a short week.  I thought today was Monday.  Holidays do that.
Enjoy your Thursday, I hope life treats you kind.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Making the Challenge Easy/July 4th

 By the way, for all you Americans I have a 4th of July challenge for you.  Before you go to bed tomorrow night, read the Declaration of Independence.  Remind yourselves of what the foundation of this country really is.  In case you are not sure where to find the Declaration of Independence, here is
the link  https://www.archives.gov/founding.../declaration-transcript


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Early 4th Celebration

We did a small family gathering today.  An early 4th of July celebration if you will and it was a hit.
Ribs and smoked butt, baked beans, corn on the cob and potato salad and peach cobbler and ice cream, and there was enough that everyone took some food home with them.

As always at our gatherings it is all about the kids and in true fashion, the kids had fun.  I looked at this picture and was astonished by how much they have grown since Christmas.

I am exhausted, but it was worth it.  At one time it seemed the rafters shook with laughter.
A cup of hot tea and bed are calling to me.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July 1

July 1...ice cream, fire works, American flag

July 1...summer is official

July 1...ice cold watermelon and lemonade

July 1...red, white and blue

July 1....Independence Day

July 1...vacations, beach or mountains?

July 1...fire flies, June bugs and humming birds in a frenzy

July 1....bare feet every day

July 1...fresh corn and ripe tomatoes

July 1...juicy peaches

July 1...heat and humidity

July 1...six months left in 2017

July 1...days are getting shorter, but no one knows it yet

July 1...ice tea on the porch

July 1...time to slow down and enjoy life

Friday, June 30, 2017

Six Months

June 30, six months of 2017 are gone at mid-night.  Is it just me?  Does anyone else feel that this year is almost an oxymoron?  It feels like the longest year ever, yet  six months have disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Blue skies made an appearance this afternoon after floods this  morning.  Our county made the tv news in Birmingham because of our floods.  Thank goodness we live on top of one of the foothills.
We still have ponds in our garden.  Our tomato crop has been so wonderful, but all this rain will soon destroy it.  So it goes.

I talk about the weather often, but I do because it is such a great teacher.  It is constantly undergoing transformations here in Alabama and you can't control it.  We humans love to be in control of all things and the weather laughs at us.  She can be a cruel teacher but also one filled with beauty.

Rick is attending a writer's seminar this weekend.  It has been strange being alone this afternoon, but my house cleaning has been full speed.

I hope this holiday weekend gives you time to do the things you love with the people you love most.
Celebrate America's birthday and remember even with all her warts, there are so many good things about her. Also, to my Canadian friends  Happy 150th Birthday!  Enjoy your celebrations no matter where you are, stay safe and spread the kindness.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Energy Shift

Today the weather changed, grey skies and rain drops and it seems it will continue for the next few days.  Our bodies feel those changes.  Everyone who came to class today felt the changes in their bodies or spirits or both.  All the upbeat energy from the days of sunny blue skies shifted.

Even the dogs seemed a little down today.  None of them like to go outside when it's raining and when the thunder and lightening began, nobody was happy.  The chickens didn't even complain about being left in the chicken house today.

It is pretty amazing how all living things are in tune with the universe and each other.  We might not admit it, but we are.  Energy is energy and any time there is a shift, we know it.

Tomorrow is Friday, the last day of June.  2017 is half over.  It seems like we have been living in this year forever, and then there are days that remind me of how fleeting time is.  Tomorrow do at least one thing you love.  Don't forget to spread some kindness.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wednesday with Jordan

This week is a transitional week at work and the next couple of weeks will be as well.  More of those goodbye days and hello days, the nature of the job.

It has been a beautiful day.  Early morning class and another one this afternoon.  In between, Jordan spent some time with us and I got a haircut.  It has been another busy day.

When I asked Jordan what he wanted for lunch today, he asked for spaghetti.  It seems no one at his house likes  spaghetti so our house is the place for home made spaghetti.  When the sauce was cooking he walked in the kitchen and told me "that smells so good."  We also made lemonade.  He left happy and full.

Rain moving back in tomorrow.  Today was blue skies and sunshine, but the humidity was building.
It is normal weather in Alabama, hot and humid.

My cup of hot tea is ready, so am I.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Deepest Fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us."  -  Marianne Williamson

I love this quote.  I tell my students daily that they are way better than they will admit, that their goodness outweighs the bad.
I think most of us know that deep within us there is goodness and incredible power, but we hold back.  

Maybe we think we are not worthy or that there is something wrong in recognizing your worth.  What ever the reason we should never be afraid to let our light shine, never  hide our talents or as the parable was taught, don't hide your candle under a bushel basket.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday's Thoughts

I met with the oral surgeon today and scheduled the big event. Looks like an extraction of the post and then a bone graft and then in a few months an implant.  Deep breath. My transformation, the oral surgeon and his staff were so calm and supportive that my dentist phobia did not appear.

Rick and I went by to see our friend Louis while we were in Birmingham today.  I don't think he recognized us.  His transition seems to be on its last leg, time will tell.

Not working today has made my week seem out of kilter.  There will be adjustments.

My class tonight was wonderful.  All the students were in such a great mood.  The room was full of laughter and joy.  There were hugs aplenty as everyone was leaving.

A long day and I am ready for bed.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Expect the Good

The gig went well last night.   Not a big crowd, but an attentive and appreciative one.  Our friend Skip Cochran opened for us and our friend Fred Miller did sound.  Surrounded by friends, doing what you love, what more could you ask for?

Today was rest and recovery.  Two thirds of the way through our show, the Meniere's/vertigo/migraine kicked me, triggered by the lights.  I have learned to always keep a bit of medicine in my pocket.  I finished the show, but was sick all the way home.  Life is interesting with chronic disease.

The sun came out this evening, just in time to give a dazzling sunset.  Temps will be in the fifties tonight and low humidity.  The next couple of days will be heaven.

Tomorrow I see the oral surgeon and find out what comes next with the broken tooth saga.  I know there is an implant in my future.

I see the evening sky in my window.  Streaks of peach and soft blues light up the horizon and I am humbled by the beauty.  Nature has a way of reminding us what is important doesn't she?

This is the last week of June, spread some extra kindness and joy this week.  Expect the good in each day, in each person you meet, you will rarely be disappointed.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mamie's Star

Mamie's Blazing Star bloomed today.  I am a happy camper.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Blowing in the Wind

We went out early this morning to do errands.  More storms from Cindy moved through this afternoon, more to come after midnight.  This afternoon after the storms, we practiced for our gig tomorrow night.  It is at one of our favorite places to play.  A coffee house in Cullman, Al called Berkeley Bob's.  A real California, old hippie coffee house, we love it!

Our garden looks like a war zone.  Tomato plants, flowers, everything is lying on the ground because of the winds and rain.  Sunday will be repair and cleanup.  We have been lucky so far.  Around us, trees and power lines have been blown down.  Holding our breath and hoping that after tonight, we have seen the last of "Cindy".  She has been a tenacious little wench. She has been much like a child in the midst of what Mamie use to call a "hissey fit".

The last weekend in June, can you believe that July is so close you can smell the fireworks?
I hope your weekend is a good one.  Here's to joy, to kindness, to peace.  May we all have some of each, may we all share what we  have.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Storms

The rain is still coming down.  We have had tornadoes and warnings today.  The first happened when Rick was on his way to see his doctor.  There was damage in the Birmingham area.  I thought maybe things had settled down.  I was wrong.

I had been at work five minutes when our director was walking the halls telling everyone to get the patients to their cottage/basements and for all of us to get to our safe place.  Twenty minutes later, we had an all clear.

I set my room up and waited for my first group.  They were upset, frightened by the storms.
I assured them, their safety was first and if they were not comfortable being in my room I would take them back to their cottage.  We did some breath work and they began to calm down. They decided they wanted to move a little, so we did some simple poses.  I showed them the weather app on my phone and let them see the radar.  We then did about ten minutes of relaxation.  I got them up and they went back to their cottage.  They all told me that the class had helped to calm them.

My next group sent one lone patient to make sure I was there.  They were all nervous as well.
I took extra pains today to reassure, to calm, to let them all know their safety came first.
When class was over, again the group told me how grateful they were that I came and was there for them.

The weather guys are saying storms through tomorrow, with flooding.  I am exhausted.  I know how quickly storms appear here, how scary they are and how deadly they can be.  I am so ready for bed.
If you are in the path, stay safe.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Updates

My tooth/loss has ruled my life the past 48 hours.  The impression was made this morning, I picked up the flipper this afternoon.   It works!  It matches my teeth perfectly, and I can sing and speak without a lisp.  A big sigh of relief.

The tropical rains moved in around lunch.  The rain has not stopped.  Not pouring, just slow and steady.  The weather guys are saying it might be nasty tomorrow.  Nasty as in tornado nasty.
Holding my breath.

It has been a jammed hump day.  What a week for transformation.  The loss of a tooth truly transforms your day.  Monday we meet with the oral surgeon.  I have a ways to go, but I am hopeful.

I had hoped to see Louis today.  But two trips to the dentist and work took all my time.  Looks as if Sunday or Monday will be the soonest I can visit him.  His friend Bert told me today that he is holding his own and that is a good thing.

I hear the rain falling.  After last year's heat and drought I still can't complain about the rain.  We still have more trees to cut down that died.

Tomorrow is Thursday.  I hope that we all get some sort of good news tomorrow.  I hope that each and every one receives a little bit of kindness and joy.  Spread the joy, share the kindness.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tooth Saga

The past twenty four hours has been interesting.  Yesterday was awesome, no migraine, vertigo and the eye infection is clearing up nicely.  ( oh yes, I had an eye infection as well)  Nice dinner last night and then I had my nightly little square of dark chocolate and the tooth saga began.

The tooth that came out is in the front, it had a crown with a post.  The post and tooth broke.
I now have a post with no tooth.  Tomorrow I get an impression made for a flipper.  A fake tooth that will keep me presentable.  Monday I meet with Rick's oral surgeon to see what lies a head.
We know there is an implant down the road but hoping for no bone graft.  We shall see.

Life truly is full of surprises.  I am hoping that the flipper takes care of the lisp that has occurred because of the missing tooth.  We have a gig Saturday night. Teaching today was interesting.
I had to make light of it, what else could I do? I admit I shed quite a few tears this morning.
A tooth implant is never in the budget and Halloween is still a few months away.  The missing tooth does make an unforgettable impression.

Interesting weather head toward us, a tropical depression seems to be building in the Gulf.
Lots of rain, some storms.  At least we live in the hills, those who live along the coast will deal with floods, say a prayer and send good thoughts.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, June 19, 2017

Blue NIght

For some reason, hydrangeas are not fond of my "green thumb".  The oak leaf ones grow wild here and are beautiful, but I love the big masses of the blue ones.  My brother Rick on the other hand can grow blue hydrangeas like crazy.  He sweetly lets me come over and gather armloads.

Today was the first day in almost two weeks I have not had a migraine.  But tonight as we were eating dinner, a front tooth which was capped broke.  All I want tomorrow is my front tooth back.
This too shall pass.

I am ready for bed.  Have I ever told you how fearful I am of dentists?  Ugh.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Froggy Day

He did such a cool job on his mom and nana's Mother's Day gifts, Jordan knew he had to  do something special for his papa.   Last weekend he had spent time with his cousins at Daisy's birthday party.
Rick had gotten a shot of him and his cousin Anthony wearing grass skirts and leis doing the hula.

We went to the craft store again, got a picture frame and a couple of funny figures he could hot glue on the frame and we were in business.  The figures were a frog and an owl.  He painted a frog on the card and wrote some funny phrases inside like, Happy Froggy Day's,  I Ribbit You.  My brother, Ricky who is papa loved it.  Happy Father's Day to all!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bounty Begins

The bounty has begun.  As always it starts small, but it will grow.  All the hard work and effort is worth it.  Tiny cherry tomatoes, peppers, squash and of course blue berries.  Life is good.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Aging

We drove into Birmingham today to see our friend Louis.  There was a flicker of recognition but then it was gone.  I am losing my friend.  He is frail and skin and bones.  At least for a moment he knew who we were.

Across the street from the facility that Louis is at are older homes and as usual, mostly older people live there.  I laughed out loud as I saw a small white haired woman working in her yard in the heat of the day.  She looked to be in her eighties.  I laughed because my mom use to do the same thing.
I would call her each morning ( before she became ill)  and tell her not to go out in the heat of the day to do her gardening.  She never listened to me.

Another Rose of Sharon has bloomed, well actually all of them are blooming now.  All but two came from my mother's garden.  The one I am sharing with you tonight was her favorite.

Transformation  of the aging human body, especially in its final stages is a tough thing to watch.
I don't know how many more visits we will have with Louis but I will cherish each one.
Sending love and kindness to all of you tonight.  We humans need it now more than ever.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Old Maid

This afternoon's class was on the third Niyama, Tapas or discipline.  Yin Yoga seemed perfect for a lesson in discipline.  Holding the asanas for three minutes each gave students an understanding of the phrase "surrender to the pose."  They all fell asleep in savasana.

A happy surprise as I walked through the garden this morning.  The first zinnia was in bloom, or as my grandmother use to call them, old maids.

A day much like life today, good and bad.  Good class, a beautiful flower and a migraine with vertigo.
So it goes.

I hope your Friday brings a weekend of joy.  Don't forget to share some kindness.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pick Me

Blueberries are not as plentiful as they were but they are hanging in there.   Hump day is almost over.
Will pick Rick up at the B'ham airport around 10:30 tonight.  Storms moving in tomorrow, but no relief from the heat and humidity.   It has been a long day.  Spread some kindness.  Picking more blueberries tomorrow.  Enjoy them while we can.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Happy Flowers

My parents loved gardening as much or more than I do.  They especially loved day lilies and iris.
The iris bed took up half their front yard, the day lilies took most of the back.  The iris were beautiful, but the ones that I transplanted from their yard years ago don't bloom.  They had black, purple, blues, pinks, yellows almost any color of iris you can imagine.  The iris always seemed a rather subdued. The lilies, pinks, oranges, yellows, reds singles and doubles,  were happy flowers, full of energy.

The lilies are blooming for me. I walk out in the mornings and am constantly surprised by what has appeared from my parent's garden.  This morning was no different.  I looked at the lily with gratitude and love.  Thankful that like a ray of sunshine it spread some warmth and joy my way.

Tomorrow spread some joy. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday Monday

A very long Monday.  We got up at the crack of dawn, how's 3:15 for you?    Rick left for the airport at 4:00 and so it began.  The hot muggy summer that Alabama is known for arrived today.  When I walked the dogs the air was so humid my skin was damp.

I taught classes this afternoon and tonight.  In the middle of class tonight, the skies opened up and rain came pouring down.

The dogs and I are ready for bed.  I hope your Monday was a good one.  Mine was fine, I just miss Rick.

Spread some kindness and joy tomorrow.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Weekends/ Begins

The weekend has gone by in a flash.  So has the nice sunny weather.  The monsoons return tomorrow.
Usually Mondays do not bother me, but I am not ready for Monday.  Do you know how it feels when you have been so busy, you don't feel as though you had a weekend?  That is how it has been for the past few weeks.  I need a slow three day weekend.

I hope your week starts with kindness and ends with joy and somewhere in between there is a great deal of love.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Daisy's Birthday

Today was our great niece Daisy's tenth birthday.  She had a luau at the pool complete with grass skirts and leis.  Jordan and many of her cousins came and I dare say, all those kids had a great time.
Honestly, the adults had fun watching the kids.

This afternoon we went to see our friend Louis.  He is so frail, but his spirit is strong.  Tomorrow is Rick's family reunion.  Another very busy weekend.

Sending love and kindness to you all tonight, spread it all around.  May peace surround you like a blanket tomorrow.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Summer Bounty

At the beginning of the season there were doubts about the blueberries.  They have redeemed themselves.  They are plump and juicy and sweeter than last year.  I have already put five gallons in the freezer and we still have a few more pickings.  We have had smoothies and sometime in the next few days there will be pancakes and poundcake.  We have to be grateful for the bounty.   And yes, we have shared.

It has been a busy Friday, shopping for a couple of birthday gifts and practice for an upcoming gig.
Blue skies and low 80's,  and low humidity, but it won't last long. Rain moves in Sunday.

I hope where ever you are tonight, you get a glimpse of the full moon.  Know that it shines on everyone you love, enjoy its glow.  Spread some kindness this weekend.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I love this quote, hope ya'll enjoy it as well tonight.

" A wise man never knows all; only a fool knows everything."
- African Proverb

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hook's Friend

I walked out on the deck today and Hook was staring at the railing. I sat down on the step to see what he was looking at, and there was this little critter.  Taz or Lady would have pounced on him, but Hook was just looking at him, trying to figure out what to do with him.  After I snapped his picture he scurried away making sure Hook did not decide to toy with him.

After about five days of rain, the sun came out this morning and it has been perfect weather.
It was nice to feel the sun on my skin and breathe dry air.  Weather transformations can be awfully nice.

My hump day was a good one.  Here's hoping that Thursday brings more sunshine.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

My Old Friend

As most of you know, I love my plants and I truly love to garden.  When I am stressed, working in my plants becomes a meditative practice of sorts.  My hands get dirty and I don't care.

I share with you tonight, one of my oldest and most beloved plants.  She is a bleeding heart.  She belonged to my grandmother Mamie, passed on to my mom and then to me.  I have given cuttings from her to many friends and family members.  She is easy to care for and responds to love.

Incase you are wondering, I did not post last night.  A migraine complete with vertigo and nausea hit me in my last class.  I  made it home and found my bed.  Better today.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Happy Sunday

I have Rose of Sharon trees all over the yard, in many colors.  I have white, pink, purple and a variegated one.  When they bloom, you know hot weather is here.  Feeding the birds this morning I saw a flash of purple in the greenery.  Ms. Sharon was making her appearance.

We have had a restful day, other than picking blueberries and laundry.  We needed this day of rest and peace.  I hope your Sunday gave you what you needed as well.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

How

Another busy weekend.  Life is interesting isn't it?   Sometimes time goes at the speed of light and then  it moves like thick molasses.  I can tell you this, it seems the older I get, my days are speed of light and not so much molasses.

People often ask me how can I do all that I do.  Honestly most of the time it doesn't seem that big of deal, but then there are days when I ask myself how/why are you doing this.  I think there are a couple of reasons, I believe in a life of purpose.  I believe we all have a reason for being here on this planet and if you want to be happy, then life has to be lived with purpose.  Another reason I stay so busy, I do the things I love.  I love my job, I love being a singer/songwriter, I love gardening, I love painting.

I have a friend who is a monk. He spends his days spreading peace in the corners of the earth where there is little peace.  He says he gets through the rough days, one breath at a time.  That has become a mantra for me on so many levels, one breath at a time.  Because I am a lung patient, my life every day is one breath at a time.  Because I work at an addiction center and think that the last story I heard was the worst and then the next day I hear another one, it is one breath at a time.  Because I am a singer, yoga and meditation teacher, life is one breath at a time.  It is a good mantra to live by.

So when life moves at the speed of light I remind myself to breathe, and I ask myself two questions...
What time is it?  Now.   Where am I?  Here.  Be here now and breathe.  And that my friends, is how I do all that I do.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday, Good and Bad

It has been a busy day.  I am ok with that, but the humidity is building and when the air gets thick it is quite difficult for me to breathe.  So, a busy day means more energy and when it is hard to breathe, every thing you do requires more effort.  This too shall pass.

With the rains, this summer is so different from last.  All around us, there is lushness. Flowers are blooming, the trees are so green they seem to dazzle.  As the green becomes more apparent, so does
 the death of so many of our trees from last year's heat and drought.  It is sad to see them, brown and withered, in the midst of the lushness.

We spent time with our friend Louis today.  He is close to making his transition.  He spoke my name and that was the first time he had spoken today.  His body is shutting down.  Since the first time we met, we have spoken almost daily.  It hurts so much to think of not being able to pick up the phone and talk with him.  My prayer now, is that he does not suffer.  He has suffered  so much in his life and he is such a fighter, but most of all, he is a good friend.

I hope your Saturday brings you joy.  Tell those around you, you love them.  Life is short.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 1

June 1...2017 half gone

June 1...summer time

June 1.... weddings

June 1....Father's Day

June 1....flowers every where

June 1....hot humid days and nights

June 1... time for long flowing skirts

June 1....ripe peaches, watermelons and tomatoes

June 1....bare feet

June 1....school's out

June 1....vacation or staycation

June 1....BBQ, grilled veggies, lemonade

June 1...fresh herbs

June 1...long days

June 1...fire flies

June 1...time to slow down

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Zeus Excitement

I taught an early morning class.  Jordan arrived a few minutes after I made it home.  We have had a fun work day.  We painted five flower pots.  We picked a gallon of blue berries.  He helped cook dinner.  And we had a Zeus the rooster incident.

This morning after we had picked berries we came in for ice cold watermelon.  There was a nice breeze so I left the back door open.  Jordan decided to read his book in the TV room and I was gathering up laundry when I heard a strange thump.  I walked into the great room and there was Zeus.

He seemed quite comfortable walking around the house.  I yelled for Jordan that I need assistance.
In the meantime, Hook and Lady ( Jordan's dog) had come into the house .  They both normally do not even look at the chickens, but I suppose with Jordan and I getting a little excited trying to get Zeus out of the house they got excited too.

Now I have Lady by her collar and Hook by his.  I am now trying to restrain almost two hundred pounds of dogs. Jordan is getting Zeus out the back door, when Lady's collar comes off in my hand.
Hook goes ballistic and grabs Lady's collar out of my hand.  It is like a three ring circus/zoo.  I open the front door, Hook goes out the front.  Finally Lady begins to calm down, Hook has dropped her collar and is calm and Zeus is out in the back yard where he belongs.  The rest of the day was incident free.

That was my hump day, how was yours?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Happy Bougainvillea

I love bougainvillea.  We had a soft pink/yellow one for a couple of years, but it just didn't make it through this spring.  I found a coral one.  It's vivid and happy.  She is thriving on our deck and every morning when I step out the back door she greets me.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Memories

My father never spoke of his experiences in the war.  He told me once that he was a medic and never spoke about it again.  After he died a friend who was in the war as well asked what my dad did and I told him that he was a medic.  My friend's eyes teared as he told me what my dad experienced.
Daddy was on the battlefields and it was his job as a medic to take care of the wounded, to try to get them away from the battle.  But he also had to decide who might make it and who would not, so he, according to my friend had  to sometimes leave the dying on the field.  I knew then why my dad would never speak about the war.

When my mom was sick and the expenses were mounting, the hospice nurses told me I should check with the VA to see if there was any help available.  When I went to the local VA office, they told me all the battles my dad had been in, the medals that he had won.  I was shocked.  The woman asked if I had never seen his medals and I told her we did not even know about them that my dad refused to talk about the war.  Her eyes teared up, she had heard similar stories.

In my years growing up, as the Viet Nam War raged, my dad and I had stopped watching the evening news  I could not bear to watch and neither could he.  He knew intimately what those young men were facing.

As the years went by, my dad and I would talk about love.  His whole philosophy became the words in red, spoken by Jesus.  At that point in my life, church seemed hypocritical and I told him my thoughts.  He looked at me and told me he understood, that I would have to work out my own salvation just as he had.  His personal salvation had become a message of love.

I have thought of my dad so many times today on this Memorial Day.  He had so much respect for Memorial Day, it was personal for him.  So tonight, if someone in your family died in the service of this country, I appreciate your family's sacrifice, your loved one's willingness to give all.
Thank you, and somewhere I know my dad thanks you.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Thread

I have worked at the addiction center for twelve years.  Through those years I have taught ( it seems unreal) thousands.  I wonder so many times what happened, did they make it or did the addiction win and take their life?  Sometimes  I hear from one of my former students, letting me know that all is well.  Those little notes make my heart soar.

At our gig tonight, was a former student.  He was in one of the first groups I ever taught.  He is doing well.  He is like most of us, there have been hard times and loss, but he stayed true to the course and now he is helping others.  He sat in the front row tonight, all smiles.  After we did out set, we had the opportunity to chat and catch up.  Times like these, I know that I helped someone.  I know that I made a difference in someone's life.

One of my favorite movies is "It's A Wonderful Life."  I love that movie because there are so many truths in it.  The greatest truth in that movie, we truly are connected, we really do make a difference in how people's lives evolve.  We all matter.  Each of us is a thread in the tapestry of one another's lives.

I am grateful for that gentleman tonight, who sat there and listened to our music and smiled.  I am humbled that I helped him when he was down.  I tell my students so often that they inspire me, that they teach me way more than I teach them.  I am a lucky woman. I am grateful to be a thread.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Grill Master

 A gig tomorrow evening, storms for the next couple of days, and I will be working on Monday, we decided to celebrate Memorial Day this afternoon.  We bought a new grill a few months ago and Rick now thinks he is the Grill Master.  It was awfully good food.

Lots of rehearsal time today, worked in the garden early this morning, rest this evening.  My favorite Britt shows come on Public TV tonight.  It has been a great Saturday.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Have a peaceful Sunday, remember the reason we have a Memorial Day.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Busy Friday

A picture perfect day.  Mid-eighties, blue skies, fluffy clouds made the past few days of rain and chilly winds fade away.

The last weekend of May.  June arrives in a few days, the year will soon be half gone.  It has been a strange few months.  January and February were so warm, it seems we should be somewhere in fall.  Yet, there are several months of hot weather to come.  I heard today, the Hurricane folks are saying we could have 3 or 4 big hurricanes.  I am not surprised.  Last weekend at the beach, the water was entirely too warm for May.

We have rehearsed most of the evening for our gig Sunday night.  I hope we have a good crowd, but you never know.  Holiday weekend, rain moving in...audiences can be fickle.  This is Kristin's first time playing Birmingham, I hope she gets a big audience.  She is an incredible artist and we are so lucky that she asked us to open for her.

Taz and Hook have both been my shadows today.  It is interesting, these doggie personalities.
One day they belong to Rick, the next, they are all about me.  Calliou seems to tolerate us both equally.  He has a cat personality, he thinks we are here to serve him.


My cup of hot tea awaits.  It has been a busy day.  It is a holiday weekend.  For those of you on the road, safe travels.  For all of us, take a moment to remember those who have given their lives in the service of their country.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wreath

Last week when I shared the photo of all the things Jordan had created for his mom and grandmother for Mother's Day, I forgot to show you what he made me.  OOPS!

Isn't the wreath on my front door beautiful?  He did a great job.  We have decided he will be making everyone a Christmas wreath this year.  :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Service

As I taught the Chakra classes yesterday I spoke about how important service is in the quest for spirituality.  I explained that when I taught about giving to your community many think that I speak of giving money but that is not true.  What I teach, what I talk about is way more valuable than money, it is your time.

I looked at my students and told them that there is great need in every community.  There is a need for tutors, mentors, people to read to the sick, help care for the elderly's lawns, drive people to the doctor, help with home repairs.  Once you start looking and asking the needs are overwhelming.
I have tutored disadvantaged kids, prepared Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and every Monday night I teach a free yoga class at a community center.

I explained that if you want to experience true joy, be of service.  Do that service with a heart full of gratitude and don't expect anything in return.  You will receive much more than you will ever give.

Service along with some kindness and a little joy will change you.  It will change how you look at other humans, at your neighbors and your community.  The needs are great all over the world, but do your part in your own back yard.  I believe if each of us helped one person around us each day our vision of our world would change.  Kindness just expands as it is given.  It is time to be the change we want to see in our community.  Change starts with one, kindness and love starts with one.
Be that one and see the difference.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday Catch-up

Last summer drought and heat, so far this week, monsoonal rains.  The weather is never dull in Alabama.

I did the final class on the Chakras today.  I teach the Throat, Third Eye and Crown Chakras in one class at work because of time constraints.  I love teaching this class especially because these three are so spiritual.  My students loved the class today.

I have finally recovered from our beach trip.  Sun, the ocean and Jordan and Anthony were loads of fun, but the five hour drive did a number on my back.  Yoga, ice packs and Advil made it better.

Tomorrow is hump day.  We have a major gig this weekend at a really great venue in Birmingham, Al.  It is a listening venue, Moonlight on the Mountain.  We are opening for an amazing artist who plays Irish harp, Kristin Rebecca.  If you live in the area, please come catch the show Sunday night at 7:30.  You won't be disappointed.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, May 22, 2017

Summer Gardenias

The gardenias bloomed today.  No matter the date, it is now summer.  Magnolias, gardenias and honeysuckle and oak leaf hydrangea all in bloom, it is summer in Alabama.  The air tonight smells heavenly even with rain falling.  The house smells of gardenias as well.  I love them.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Beach Time

We spent the past four days in Destin, Florida.  Our friends, Wes and Deidra's baby girl got married on the beach so we were there for the event.  When Sam and Jordan heard we were going to the beach there were strong wishes that they could go too.  Our nephew Haven and his wife, Alesha and their son Anthony went as well.  It was fun being with kids at the beach.  Our morning strolls turned into excursions, a simple trip to the outlets turned into an adventure and meals were exciting as well.

We are both exhausted tonight and hate the thoughts of returning to work tomorrow.  But we promised ourselves and the kids there would be a next time, and hopefully more of the family could go.  Start this week off with peace and kindness.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams




Saturday, May 20, 2017

Weddings

One of our best friend's daughter got married this evening.  It was an outdoor wedding and as all weddings are, it was beautiful.  The minister who did the ceremony was a good friend as well and his words were so touching.

There is something about weddings that is both happy and sad.  You see the bride and the groom full of love and hope, you see the parents usually happy but maybe a little apprehensive about the future of their young ones.  You see the grandparents, often frail, and just thankful they lived to see their grandchild's wedding.  You hear the vows and it is a reminder of how strong those words are you uttered so long ago.  You know the couple  will have good times and bad and you hope they make it through.

Our wedding, forty three years ago was so different than the one we attended today.  We drove to the  minister's house, changed clothes, said our vows, put our tee shirts and shorts back on, hit the local 7-11 for Boone's Farm wine and a pack of Twinkies and headed to the beach.  We were fearless and knew in our hearts that together we could make it through anything.  So far we have.

I hope your Saturday has been a good one.  I hope your Sunday is one of peace.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Friday, May 19, 2017

Shopping Day

Sometimes you just have to shop, and then you get a gelato and rest.  It has been a fun day, hanging with Jordan and Sam.  Never a dull moment with those two.

Hot dry continues, hoping for rain tomorrow, we are still in a drought.  Rumors of record lows next week, that wacky weather.

Since I took yesterday off, I thought today was Saturday.  I kept looking for my favorite shows on PBS tonight.  Rick finally looked at me and said "today is Friday."

Spread a little love and kindness tomorrow.  Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Rocky Welcome

Many years ago, when Rick worked as an installer for South Central Bell one of his customers gave him two ancient rock planters.  Rick knew I would love them.  They flank our front steps with rugged beauty.  Our very first step is a hand cut rock from 1927 that was a wedding gift from the groom to his bride.  They built and lived in the farm house on our property.  Not only did he build the house but the barn as well.  When we built our house, Lilly was still living and she loved that we used her stepping stone for our house as well.

Those rock planters are always filled with flowers.  Usually impatiens in the spring and summer and pansies in the fall and winter.  I love that you are greeted with history as you walk up to our front door.  People always comment on those planters.

I took today off.  I missed a few days this month because of the flare up of my menier's but I felt a little extra rest was needed.  Sometimes a mental health day is as important as a physical one.

Tomorrow is Friday, I hope the weekend is full of joy for each of you.  Remember to be kind.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday Musings

Small intense classes today.  Those can be as draining as large ones, maybe more so.  It is hot and humid and I am drained tonight.  Between my morning class and the afternoon classes I gardened, did laundry and all things in between.

Even the dogs seemed drained this evening, heat and humidity takes its toll.

I got an invitation today for my cousin's 50th wedding anniversary.  I laughed when I saw their wedding picture on the invitation, they look like kids.  I was their junior bridesmaid, so I would have been maybe 14.  I remember their wedding.  I was so nervous, I did not want to mess up.  Fifty years, I hope that Rick and I make it to 50, just 7 more years to go.

Today was hump day, here's hoping that the rest of the week goes as smoothly as the first part has.
Don't forget, treat the folks around you the way you want to be treated.  It's all about kindness and joy.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mamie and Johnnie

This coming Sunday is decoration/memorial where my dad's parents are buried, Mamie and Johnnie.
Some of my best childhood memories involve them and their house and gardens.  I made the flower arrangement so that it would look as if I had gathered flowers from Mamie's garden.  The vase is a chalk painted mason jar with twine.  Mamie would have loved it.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Flowers

Before the heat and drought of summer hits, everything always looks so lush.  My favorite time, late spring, early summer when flowers are at their most beautiful.  

It has been a busy Monday.  Hope your week got off to a good start, keep the kindness going.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Project Complete

Mother's Day gifts are completed.  Jordan signed his hand painted cards for his Nana and mom.  He wove them each a wreath out of grapevines, added silk ivy and flowers, painted picture frames and decorated them to match the wreaths.  He had worked for three days on his secret project.  Nana and mom were thrilled.  Jordan was a proud nine year old.

It has been a good day.  It was memorial day where my parents, brother, and most of my mom's family are buried.  We had lunch with my sister Pat and her family.  I stopped by my oldest sister's Nell to give her a birthday present.

The day has been flooded with memories.  I  miss my mom.  I loved buying gifts for her.  She loved presents.

I hope that all of you have had a good day.  Those of you like me, who have fur babies or nieces and nephews and no kids of your own, know that you are loved.  For you moms, Happy Mother's Day.
I hope it was filled with love.

Start tomorrow with joy, spread some kindness.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Always With Me

This came across my timeline on FB this week.  It resonated with me on many levels, I hope that those of you whose mom's have passed find comfort in these words tonight.


The day my mother died I wrote in my journal, "A serious misfortune of my life has arrived." I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my mother. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam, I was sleeping in the hut in my hermitage. I dreamed of my mother. I saw myself sitting with her, and we were having a wonderful talk. She looked young and beautiful, her hair flowing down. It was so pleasant to sit there and talk to her as if she had never died. When I woke up it was about two in the morning, and I felt very strongly that I had never lost my mother. The impression that my mother was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my mother was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my mother is always alive in me.
I opened the door and went outside. The entire hillside was bathed in moonlight. It was a hill covered with tea plants, and my hut was set behind the temple halfway up. Walking slowly in the moonlight through the rows of tea plants, I noticed my mother was still with me. She was the moonlight caressing me as she had done so often, very tender, very sweet... wonderful! Each time my feet touched the earth I knew my mother was there with me. I knew this body was not mine but a living continuation of my mother and my father and my grandparents and great-grandparents. Of all my ancestors. Those feet that I saw as "my" feet were actually "our" feet. Together my mother and I were leaving footprints in the damp soil.
From that moment on, the idea that I had lost my mother no longer existed. All I had to do was look at the palm of my hand, feel the breeze on my face or the earth under my feet to remember that my mother is always with me, available at any time.
- Thich Nhat Hanh, in "No Death, No Fear”.
Artwork: Anna Silivonchik

Friday, May 12, 2017

Pinky

We have had many mandevillas  but never one that has bloomed so profusely.  Every morning we step out on the deck and there are more buds and more flowers.   Wow.   Just had to share another picture with you all tonight.

I hope your Friday has been a good one.  Find some joy this weekend, spread some around and be kind.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Glass Pitcher

Years ago my dad gave me a small rectangle glass pitcher. He and my mom lived next door to a car wash, and it seems people were always tossing interesting stuff from their cars. One morning as he walked their dog he saw a squatty little chunk of glass on the pavement. He thought it might be something I would like. He was right.
That little pitcher and a gag Christmas gift were the last two things he ever gave me. The pitcher was always intriguing to me. The size and shape were unusual, yet familiar. And why and how did it end up on the pavement of a car wash?
My dad died a few short months after giving me the pitcher. Its importance grew by leaps and bounds. I have now owned it for over twenty-five years.
It sits on my kitchen counter reminding me of my dad. Some days I feel it is his watchful eye making sure all is well. It has been a vase, a vessel to transport water to my houseplants, and water to the dog’s bowl. Most days it just sits on the counter.
In the beginning, I kept looking at that little pitcher wondering why there was such a familiar connection with it. It seemed to have been a part of my past even before my dad gave it to me. I asked family members if our grandparents or anyone else in the family had owned a pitcher like it.
No one else felt that sense of deja vu that I felt.
Several years after my dad had died I was home sick with the flu. I thought maybe some old television comedies would make me feel better. I began channel surfing and found one of my favorites – I Love Lucy. It was just as I remembered funny, silly, predictable but comforting.
About half way through the show, Lucy was making breakfast in the kitchen with Desi. He asked if there was any orange juice. Lucy went to fridge and when she turned around, there it was. My little pitcher, full of orange juice. I felt I had reconnected with an old friend.
I knew deep in my childhood memory banks that Lucy episode was stored.
That is why the pitcher always felt familiar, why it felt it was a part of my life. I laughed out loud that morning, marveling at the power of memory.
My family had watched so many episodes of I Love Lucy together. It was one of our favorite shows. I thought about the connection of pitcher, show, laughter and the love of my dad. Who knew so many seemingly unconnected things were connected.  Isn’t that how life is? We live in a universe full of ripples, and sooner or later we all are touched by some of them.