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


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


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


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


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.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Old Survivor

She is an old soul.  Winter ice and cold, summer's droughts have tried their best to kill her, but she survives.  She once stood eight feet tall, last year's drought and heat took her down to less than three feet, but she is a fighter.

At least twenty years ago, we were having lunch with  Rick's mom.  Rick's birthday was coming up in a few weeks and she asked what he wanted.  Rick cheerfully replied, " a shrub."  She asked again and he said the same thing.  For his birthday he got a shrub, this beautiful rhododendron.

I love this plant, her beauty and her strength.  I hope she survives another twenty years.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Water Is Life

Yesterday was interesting.  I had not slept over 2 or 3 hours a night since I had been on the steroids.  I felt really bad yesterday morning but had promised Jordan he could stay with me until I left for work after lunch.  I made it through the front door at work, that was as far as I got.  My co-workers put me in a chair, my friend and co-worker Fred parked my car and brought me home and stayed with me until Rick came home.   That is how quickly vertigo, migraine and nausea hits with menieres disease.
Poor Fred,  I tossed my cookies on the way home.

Finally the nausea meds made me sleep last night and a couple of hours today.  I did go in and teach this afternoon.  Very slow, gentle classes, lots of breath work, life can be interesting.

Still on the steroids for a couple of more days and hopefully this two week bout/flare up with menieres will be part of my past for a long time.  I had gotten rather cocky, almost a year without a flare, I began to think I was bullet proof.  But heat exhaustion and dehydration a couple of weeks ago taught me a valuable lesson.

I said all of this to say this tonight.  To remind all of you as well myself, these bodies we live in are mostly water.  For function and health we have to hydrate.  Summer is fast approaching, don't wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Start the day with a glass of water, take a glass to bed with you.
And at every point in between hydrate.  I have had a rough two weeks because I didn't do what I knew to do.  Even for the teacher, transformation can be difficult.  Most nutritionists tell you to drink the equivalent of half your body weight in ounces daily.  More if you are in the heat.  First signs of dehydration is usually headache and fatigue, thirst comes later.

Water is life.  Water helps the blood flow, the heart to work, the digestive tract to function, the brain to do its best.  Water is life.  Repeat that many times daily.  Water is life.  It will even help your metabolism.  Water is life.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Top Secret

Jordan spent the morning with me.  He is working hard on a top secret project, a Mother's day surprise for his mom and his Nana.  Will show you the completed project in a few days.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Healing and Joy

My sister Nell made the fruit bowl for me for Christmas, the salt and pepper shakers were my grandmother Mamie's and the vase belong to my mom.  A table full of love tonight, greens and yellow for healing and joy.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Life Is Good

It has been a very good day.  I got an email from a friend that I had not heard from in some time.  I saw several old friends this evening for dinner.  We visited our nephew at his new home and spent some time with Rick's sister.  These are the "big rocks" the things that matter most to me.

The sun came out today, the cold weather is starting to fade and my garden is growing by leaps and bounds.  We have green tomatoes!  The blueberries are starting to ripen and my hens are laying again.
Life is good.

We are working hard on our show for our next gig.  The gears are starting to move toward our next CD.  We don't move full speed ahead anymore, we take life as we should, one day at a time.  Usually it is one breath at a time.

Another Sunday rolls around, may peace fill your hearts, know that you are worthy of love and joy.
Life is good.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Anniversary

43 years ago today, Rick and I married.  Some said it would never last,  we said it would never end.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

Incredible classes today, full of love, full of peace.  Many new faces, and the last two say goodbye who have been a part of this last group of students.  Amazing individuals, everyone of them has touched my life deeply, I have been transformed by being their teacher.

Next week starts a new group, new dynamics and personalities. That is the nature of my job, of where I work.  Flexibility is more than bending and twisting the body.  The spirit and the  mind have to have flexibility as well at work and in living.

Chilly weather visits us tomorrow, only in the 50's but I am sure by next week the 80's will be back.
Tomorrow I go for a haircut, time for a change.

I hope your Friday starts your weekend on a good note.  May your weather be fair, take time for yourself, share a smile and spread some kindness.  We all need kindness, don't forget it, you'll reap what you sow.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mamie's Garden

The picture tonight is part of my "Mamie" garden, named for my dad's mom.  She taught me gardening in the most amazing way.  Her yard was full of flowers, not a blade of grass, just stepping stones and flowers.  Out back she had herbs and fruit trees and then down a dirt road, a vegetable garden. Every inch of dirt that she could possibly grow something in, she did.  Containers were the same way, she recycled before anyone knew the word.  She had plants in cans, old kitchen containers, slop jars, tires, whatever held dirt, she used it.

If we had a cut, scape, burn, bite, cold whatever, she had  something for it.  Lard was used for cooking as well as doctoring.  I wish I had had the good sense to write down everything she did.  She used clean white sheets to dry fruits and vegetables on to eat during the winter.  She could tat lace, crochet, quilt, knit, embroider and she loved to work crossword puzzles in the newspaper.

Family members have told me for years that I am just like her.  I hope so.  My mom was exceptional and she too learned a great deal from Mamie, but never in my life have I ever met anyone else like Mamie.  Hard times and being poor never stopped her from being giving and kind.  She died when I was in my early 20's, I still miss her so much.  The plants in my Mamie garden came from her yard.
They are most precious to me, worth more than any amount of money.

I am grateful tonight for the strong, yet kind women in my life, my mom, Mamie and my two older sisters.  All four helped to guide me, to love me.  I am a lucky woman.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Butterflies Welcome

My butterfly bush has truly blossomed this week.  The butterflies and bees are loving it, so am I.
Hump day tomorrow, an early class then off for the day and a visit with Louis.

Be kind, be loving and spread the joy.

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1

May 1...the fifth month of the year, how did it get here so fast?

May 1....our 44th anniversary is May 5th

May1.... Mother's Day is this month, I really miss shopping for my mom

May 1...gardenias bloom this month

May 1...a beach trip is planned

May the whole world looked like technicolor

May 1...May Day, did you celebrate?

May will be out by the end of the month, Jordan can't wait

May 1...blueberries are starting to ripen

May 1....graduations, weddings, vacations, what a busy month

May 1...fresh fruits and veggies, I am in heaven

May 1....cookouts and home-made ice cream

May 1...2017 is almost half gone

May 1...long flowing dresses and skirts, my choice of May clothing

May 1....take a deep breath, this month will be gone before you know it