Monday, July 31, 2017

Oral Surgery Day

Today was oral surgery.  I closed my eyes and the next thing I knew Rick was in the recovery room and I was getting a wheel chair.   The pain hit on the way home.  Now I know why they tell you to pick up your prescriptions on the way home.

Soft foods and liquids for a week.  I am so glad I have a Vitamix.  I can make smoothies all day long.
Between the pain meds/anesthesia  my thought process is very slow.  I think I should call it a day.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Our Path

I think the path to our house is an inviting one.  Stones, and timbers and moss, edged with ferns and impatiens and the trickle of a little fountain by the steps guide you in.  Many times I walk that path and find joy in its earthy beauty.  I come home from a long day and I look down at those stones and know I am home.  Some days as I walk those stones they tug at my heart and I don't want to leave.

Those stones have felt the tiny feet of our nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and even great great nieces and and nephews.  They have felt the love of our siblings and our parents as they walked to our front door.  Friends have brought joy to our house stepping on those stones.  Those stones have felt the burden of grief that we have carried coming home from the funerals of loved ones.

Through the years we have talked about upgrading our walk, making it look more updated and newer, but now I see that walk as an old friend.  Some day when I no longer walk it, maybe someone else will see it as old and broken and build their own.  For me, I want it to lead to our purple door forever.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Last One Standing

We opened a bottle of champagne tonight and toasted the memory of our friend Louis.  We both expressed our gratitude that the universe brought him into our lives.  We toasted his friendship and our love for him.  We are so lucky to have had him in our lives, even for a a few short years.

Life gives us gifts.  Sometimes we accept them, other times we don't.  Sitting in those big green chairs while the chemicals ran through our bodies, it would have been easy to have ignored all of those around us.  I could have withdrawn, thought about my troubles, become obsessed with my illness.
I am so thankful that our little group chose to reach out to each other.  We chose to face what was going on in our lives and acknowledge those around us.  We made friendships, knowing that they would not be long ones.

Louis and his smile, his faith and love for his fellow man brought us together.  Our bond was a gift.
Tonight, I am the last one standing.  I won't let my friends down.

Friday, July 28, 2017

No Thoughts

Monsoon rains again today.  The weather guys swear we are going to get a break this weekend from the heat and humidity, we shall see.

Tonight my thoughts are nowhere to be found.  I think I should just drink some tea and go to bed.
Rambling accomplishes nothing.

Sweet dreams, good night

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Schedule Change

Some days are going to drain you no matter what you do.  I have been so stressed that my shoulders are aching.  This too shall pass.  Nothing major, just little stuff that appeared out of nowhere and demanded my attention at that instant.

Storms moving in tonight.  We shall see how Calliou does with his new crate.  Fingers are crossed.
I had to tell my students today, no yoga next week.  That was a toughie.  I am having oral surgery on Monday to fix the dental issue that cropped up a few weeks ago.  When the oral surgeon found out I taught yoga , he nixed my schedule for next week.   Seems a bone graft can shift if not allowed to set and if it does then it has to be redone.  I will be home reading a few good books next week if anyone is interested.

My hot tea awaits.  Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


After my early morning class, it has been a day of rest for me.  It has had its moments.  For the past couple of months we usually went to visit Louis on either Wednesday or Friday.  I woke up this morning thinking I should call Bert or Steve and check on Louis.  Then it hit me, Louis does not require me to check on him any more.  Not an easy moment.

Jordan and his mom are on their way to Auburn for state swim competition.  Louis was proud of him.
He was always telling me to tell Jordan the only person he had to beat was himself.  I called Jordan today and told him how much I loved him, how proud I was of his hard work and then I reminded him of what Louis always said.

Grief is exhausting.  But I have had enough in my life to know it won't kill me.

My cup of hot tea awaits.
Goodnight Sweet dreams

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Class today was about moderation.  I know you are thinking well of course, you teach at an addiction rehab center.  But actually it was based on the 4th Yama, Brahmacharya.  Brahmachary is often translated as celibacy, its real meaning is to stop wasting one's energies.  Over indulgence in anything can be destructive, too much work, play, exercise, food, drink, sex, the list can go on and on.

To understand moderation or balance you have to practice awareness of being in the moment.  We remind ourselves, the past is over, the future is yet to come, all we have is this moment.

When we think about the energy we waste daily, all the worry, the stress of trying to achieve perfection, the pursuit of material goods, trying to be thinner, younger, worrying about what others think of us.  That list could go on and on as well.

I reminded the class of the two questions I ask them daily; what time is it?  now
where are you?  here.     If you can ask those two questions through out the day it will be easier to stay in the moment, to practice balance of the inner and outer lives, to calm the mind. Our energy is precious, it is our life force, our chi,  don't waste it, it is not without end.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tough Day

It has been a tough day.  I appreciate all your love and good thoughts and prayers.  I miss my friend very much.

The sunset coming home tonight took my breath.  The colors had not been that vibrant in a long time.
I couldn't get to a spot where I could take a picture.  The sun and horizon were shades of red, orange, and everything in between, while the clouds were indigo and purple and gray and a tiny bit of bright blue.  When I saw it, I told Rick "Louis is saying goodbye."

My tea awaits.  I am ready for it and bed.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

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


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


"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

Saturday, July 8, 2017


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


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

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 cream, fire works, American flag

July 1...summer is official

July cold watermelon and lemonade

July, white and blue

July 1....Independence Day

July, beach or mountains?

July 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 tea on the porch

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