Saturday, July 31, 2010

Listen to Your Heart

I believe we are born with the answers. I think that the wisdom we seek, the answers we search for are all within our hearts. I think as children we automatically listen to our instincts, we trust what our hearts tell us. But our thoughts and beliefs are shaped at an early age. Many of us are taught not to question, to accept whatever is told to us by those who are older, smarter.
In school, it is not the children who question who are held in esteem, it is those who study and repeat the answers that have been taught for centuries.

As life goes along, we bury the ancient wisdoms we were born with. We figure out the norm, and that is what most of us strive for, different is usually not good or better. We begin to settle.
And usually if we are very honest with ourselves, there is a tugging at the heart strings.
We hide and try to forget the dreams that fueled us as children, we become what is expected of us.
Each family has a different take on success, but those aspirations are ingrained in us early.

For women, we are usually encouraged to please, and men are usually encouraged to succeed.
One of my high school teachers told me that I would be a good secretary or housewife. Don't get me wrong, I consider my self a housewife, even though I have worked since I was 15 years old.
But, I was a lousy secretary!

My dreams have always been pretty simple, in my heart I believe that I am here to sing, write, and be creative. It has been an uphill battle my whole life. Even now, when I meet new people and tell them I am a yoga teacher and singer/songwriter I often get a raised eyebrow.

To be honest, I have not always followed my heart, I think there are very few who do, especially every day. But if I could give advice to anyone, it would be to listen to your heart, it don't give bad advice. Marianne Williamson's quote, " 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." I think that sums it all up.

I believe we are not frightened by who we are, but who we could have been. My goal is at least for a little while every day to listen to my heart, to be honest with myself, and if only for a moment each remember my dreams, and pursue them. I encourage you my friends, to do the same. Listen to your heart.

Friday, July 30, 2010


I believe in celebrations. I think that when good things happen, if you don't acknowledge them and show some gratitude then eventually the good doesn't come much anymore. Tonight we celebrated our niece Samantha's acceptance to the Physical Therapy Program at Wallace State.
She is a single mom, and has worked really hard. So, we got her brothers and their spouses and children and her parents to come over. We kept in simple, that is what she wanted, hot dogs,
chocolate cupcakes, and a toast with champagne. The kids had a great time, blowing bubbles,
playing soccer, picking flowers. Earlier in the day, Rick had found all of James' wrestling figures he had when he was kid, and his son Stone, was so excited when we gave them to him. As always, there were few bumps and bruises, that happens with a 7 year old, a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a 2 year old, but it was nothing that a kiss and an ice pack couldn't take care of.

Celebrations, recognitions of good things are so important. A lot of people get to the point they just say stuff like, it's no big deal, it's my birthday, just another day. It is a big deal, it is the day you were born, and there is no one else like you on the face this planet! Celebrate!!!!!!!
You got a raise, a promotion, a pat on the back........Celebrate!
Some times, I just light a candle, place some flowers in a vase, and say a short prayer of gratitude just because we all made it . A celebration of just being alive, being healthy, and a roof over our heads. Somedays I feel like a celebration just because I am breathing.

A celebration doesn't require a lot of planning, expensive things elaborate trimmings. I have celebrated with Hostess Twinkies, one year we celebrated New Years with a friend who had stopped drinking alcohol, we had water and humus. Sometimes, we can't be there in person, so make a call, celebrate with a note, an e-mail, a card. Acknowledge that good happens. It will generate more good.

So tonight, there were hot dogs, lemonade, cupcakes and oh yes, deviled eggs. The house rang with laughter, and good memories were made. And that my friends, is something worth celebrating.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Most of us have a scar or scars, usually they are small. Maybe reminders of some childhood
mishap, possibly the chickenpox or measles left behind a souvenir. But then sometimes there are big scars, from traumas like falls, bike accidents, etc. Some are from tragic instances, almost unbearable to mention.......and that is just childhood. Becoming adults can bring scars of even more horrendous beginnings. Sometimes when we see scars, we turn our heads in shame and pain, because to look at them reminds us of what that human must have endured to have those scars on their bodies. These are just the visible scars.

Then there are the scars that no one sees. The ones that have ripped hearts and souls to shreds,
that have left spirits so weary, no joy is left only a hollow stare from eyes that no longer trust anyone. These are the scars of hate, of degradation, of seeing the human condition so mistreated there seems to be no redemption. The scars of loss and grief fueled by the fear of never being loved again.

Wars bring scars of both kinds. The wounded come home with scars on the surface as well as those hidden. Soldiers face the fear of stares rooted in pity and piety, while below the surface the battle still rages with memories that sweep the brain like a tsunami or hurricane.

I wish that we could embrace all of these scars. They serve as reminders, seen and unseen, that
those who have them have survived. They are road maps of where we have been, souvenirs of
people and places we have encountered and lived through. They are usually not thought of as things of beauty, but I have begun to see them in a different light. I saw a magazine article a few years ago and it featured nude photographs of women who had survived breast cancer. Some had had reconstruction but many just wore their scars. Those were some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. Because of my job, I see the physical and invisible scars daily. I feel quite a love for those scars and the people who have them. They remind me of how small and insignificant my petty day to day problems are. I know it may seem strange, but I see great beauty in many of these scars because I know the ones who wear them have come through the fires of hell on earth. They inspire me with their courage.

So whether your scars are visible or not, large or small, remind your self to wear them like a cloak of priceless fabric more precious than jewels or gold and silver. That whatever the pain and suffering that brought about those scars, you are here as a testament to the human spirit.
There is a reason you were scarred, great or small and your light, your energy glows brighter because of it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I watched the movie, Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman. It is a great movie, wonderful script. There is a line in the movie when Harvey(Dustin's character) says he is in transition, when asked where he resides.

I think we are all in transition in some area of our lives these days. Some of us are moving, probably downsizing. Maybe there are those of us transitioning relationships. I know that there are many who are in transitions in their jobs/careers. Some of us, as we age, are in transitions of health/lifestyles.

Random House dictionary gives the meaning of transition as" passage from one place/stage to another". So, that means I have been in transition my whole life. My resume is long, very long.
I have shifted from one place in life to another, it seems almost yearly, sometimes monthly.
Maybe that is what most of us in the baby boomer generation do. I think transition could almost be our mantra. We have studied, experimented, tried, so many lifestyles and trends that our parents would never have dreamed of doing.

My father's nickname for me was Gypsy. Am not sure if that marked me, or he just really knew
me well, but I have often felt like a Gypsy most of my life. Though we have lived in one place many years, I love to travel, and I think would have liked to have lived in some different places.
I have moved through several careers and usually never looked back. I like to pack, and I actually pack pretty light. I can drive for hours on end and not get tired. I think a life in transition describes me pretty well.

I think of transition, not only as passage, but as growth. Stagnation for me is the worst of sins.
I need the growth of spirit, of mind, of creativity. I love the phrase, I am in transition. And when you think of it, as our bodies age, we are in the greatest transition of all. Don't look at it as journey's end..........just transition.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Living in the Vortex

I think we must live in some sort of creature vortex. It seems every day brings new life to our surroundings. We have a young deer who drinks water from our bird bath daily, lots of fat sassy frogs, hummingbirds who will buzz you in a heartbeat, a pregnant deer who stays close to the apple tree. There are wild turkeys who meander through the field, hawks, raccoons, rabbits o'plenty.
I once saw a mountain lion take 3 leaps across our garden one snowy winter's day. Most nights you can hear the hoot of an owl that lives down below the barn. In the fall, there are geese who fly down to the pond for respite on their way farther south. There are wood hens, wood peckers,
doves, blue jays, blue birds, always a parade of birds at the feeders. Today, there was a lazy old turtle who found his way into our yard.

And then of course, we have our 5 dogs, Blackie Bear(a 97 pound lab/chow mix) Astro, another almost 100 pound lab mix, Taylor, the dump dog(who knows what her lineage is) Charlie(some sort of Benji shaggy dog) and then there is Buddy(wacky little corgi mix) . I can't leave out the chickens, Blue Boy the Rooster, Speckles, Red Wing and Little Red.

And last but not least, the assortment of chicken snakes, and various others who live on the property. It seems they all know they are safe here, there is food, shelter and water for all.
I guess they have some sort of creature Craig's List , that posts if you are in the Empire, Al
area, visit the Watsons! You'll love it there!

When I was growing up, my friends always wanted to come to my house. My parents never seemed to mind how many kids were around, there were always snacks(usually a chocolate cake that my mom had baked. After Rick and I built this house, it seemed that most of our nieces and nephews and their friends wanted to come here. I can't tell you how many weeny roasts we have had in our back yard! So, if there is some sort of vortex that sends out greetings and ya'll come, maybe I just inherited it from my folks. I do love it, when friends visit and they talk about how comfortable they feel here.

So, it's a good thing, this vortex of welcome, that welcomes creatures of every kind, humans included. Ya'll come.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mamie's Flowers

My paternal grandmother, Mamie could grow anything. My very first memory of her is holding her hand and walking through flowers that were taller than me. No grass grew in her yard, there were stepping stones that meandered through the flowers and what flowers they were! Daisies,
violets, carnations, peonies, red poppies, blue cornflowers, mums,zinnias, glads, white creamy roses that smelled sweet as candy, yellow roses, pinks and reds, tulips, daffodils, bleeding hearts, fox gloves, gardenias, every flower that could possibly grow in the Alabama dirt, grew in her yard.

The amazing thing, she would let me gather bouquets by the armfuls! I never left her house when flowers were blooming that I didn't take some home.

She did another kind of flower too. Every year for memorial decorations, she made these incredible tissue paper flowers, that were just a profusion of color! The stems were pipe cleaners, and after she would fashion all these exquisite paper blooms, she would dip them in melted paraffin so they would not fade in the rain and sun. I can still remember the smell of that hot wax as she carefully dipped each flower.

Then there was her herb garden out back, if you ever went to her house with a cut or bite or some ailment, she had the cure. I can't tell you how many poultices were wrapped around my limbs, or what sort of strange smelling concoctions were poured down my throat. I wish had
known how important her knowledge was, how I wish I had taken notes! She taught my mom
several things, and she passed them on to me, but I know so much was lost, taken to the grave with her when she passed.

Memories of Maw maw Mamie's flowers are forever etched in my mind. Her talents were so many, midwife, tatter, crochet, quilter, Gardner. Her love of living things, her creativity,
but most of all her love and kindness, those are memories I carry with me. The love of flowers,
well, I am passing those on to my niece Breeze......every time she comes to the house, we walk down to the garden and gather flowers, each spring she comes and helps me plant. Breeze is only 5, but I know that Mamie watches over she and I, because our flowers grow with joy!
I have plants that belonged to Mamie, and someday I will pass those on to Breeze. Mamie's legacy, my legacy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I was born on a Sunday, maybe that is why it is my favorite day of the week. Today was a great Sunday. I slept in, until about 7:15, had two cups of coffee, listened to some classical music, went for a walk, had waffles, read both Sunday papers, took a long nap, picked blueberries, and tonight took a long hot bath. This has been a perfect Sunday! It was the end to a really good weekend. The gig was a good one last night, and tonight as I sit here and write, the rain has finally come! A nice long steady rain, I stepped out on the screened porch, even though it is muggy and warm, the sound of the rain on the tin roof, the freshness of the rain on the dry soil, Heaven!
I hear the rain, such a wonderful sound. When 100 year old oaks look tired and droopy, you know you need rain, I can almost hear the trees and all the animals rejoice as that healing elixir falls from the sky. I know that in the morning everything will look fresh and revived, the flowers will continue to bloom, the leaves on the oaks will be supple and green. Rain........the perfect ending to a perfect Sunday.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Tonight, I played a songwriter's in the round, with Rick, Skip Cochran and Steve Norris. I was a little nervous going in, these guys are so good, but you know once I got on stage, we did the sound check, and the lights went on, all was good! I am so lucky to do the things I love. Yoga, playing music, writing, life has been kind to me. And the fact that Fred Miller is the best sound man in the business, thanks Fred! It is just so much fun to play and sing, the only way to describe it is joy.
I feel absolute joy when I sing........and just like with yoga, I feel that I share that joy. I know I am not the best singer you will ever hear, but you get a piece of my soul each time you hear me. So to my friends, who got to come to the show tonight thanks, and for those who didn't make it, we will meet on down the road. Thanks to those of you who couldn't make but sent your love, and energy!
It will be awhile before I sleep tonight, lots of energy flowing right now.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tender Mercies

Tender Mercies, those two words soft and sweet. I think they hold a different meaning for each of us. It's the title of a great movie( one of my favorites) and the title of a song by Eliza Gilkyson.
For me, tender mercies are those moments of such exquisite kindness and love that it takes your breath. A couple of years ago, on Halloween, we were driving through Ms on our way home.
I remembered that it was Trick or Treat time and we had no treats at home, so we stopped at a Dollar General in a small town. It was apparent that we were in a low income area, much like where we live here in Alabama. As I walked through the door of the store, there was a young couple in the checkout line, with a small son, maybe 2 or 3 years old. When the little boy saw me, there was such a flash of recognition in his eyes, his face lit up, and he smiled from ear to ear.
Then without a single word, he ran to me, threw his arms around me and gave me the biggest, sweetest hug I have ever had. His parents were in shock, and began to apologize, but he continue to hug me, holding ever so tight. All I could do was hug back, because I felt I had been touched by an angel. It was electrifying, loving, such a powerful hug and neither the little boy nor I wanted to part. The parents finally pulled him away from me, and as I looked at him, there were truly tender mercies shinning in his eyes. By the way, I am as white as milk toast, and this little boy and his family were African Americans. I have thought about that moment so many times, wondered about the child and his parents. It was a moment of true love, of kindness and sweetness like I had never felt, before or since, something that I wish I could share with everyone that I meet. My wish tonight, is that each of you in some way find your tender mercies, and that not only you find them, but you share them.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I love to connect. Most call it networking, but I think of it as connecting one person to the next.
When I meet someone new, my brain goes into overdrive as I try to figure who else in my life they need to meet and how they can benefit from said meeting. I think of all these lives as circles that overlap, I love introducing folks and seeing the light flicker in their eyes as contact is made with each other. Right now, I am connecting a couple of friends with music, but then also taking that connection down another path, which will lead one of them to a motivational speaking engagement.
I love it! I have a day planner that is filled with names and numbers, everything from a perfume store in San Francisco that sells only rare perfumes, to a clothing manufacture, to the owner of a small television network, to our friends who raise llamas. Everyone I meet has a story, and there is some one down the road who wants to hear it. People are fascinating, no matter how humble or how grand their lives are and it is important that those connections be made. I think the connection story is what really intrigued me to write a blog.........I loved knowing that anyone in the world at some point might read my blog and want to connect with me. So tonight think about your friends, and how you might be able to make some connections yourself.
Who knows, you might connect the next Lennon and McCartney, or Lucy and Ethel. It's exciting isn't it?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Magic Tree

There is the most beautiful dogwood tree in our front yard. My dad planted many years ago.
It is the first thing you see when you come into our driveway, it is tall, but the beauty of this tree,
the branches start almost at the abase and spread upward. The tree is round, with so many branches, it seems like long loving arms reaching toward the heavens. In the spring, when in full bloom, it looks like a huge white cloud. In the summer, it is an oasis of cool green shade, in the fall it is bonfire of reds and oranges, and in the winter, red berries decorate it and serve as food for birds and squirrels.
When my niece Samantha was 3 or 4 years old, I taught her to climb "the magic tree". The limbs were strong, and low and she was fearless as she made her way to the top. We would sit for hours, and make up stories about the tree. There were wonderful talking animals who called the tree home(they were also circus performers). Each time we sat in the tree, all those incredible animals would visit us and amaze us with their feats! She and I would make up stories about each creature, giving them names and voices, and each day they would share their adventures with us.
As she grew older, her love for the tree and its magical inhabitants slowly faded. I wrote the stories down, and one day I will put them in a book for her. But a couple of days ago, her son
Jordan spent a few hours with me and I introduced him to the magic tree. He is more cautious than his mom, he climbed a couple of limbs and was content to just sit and listen to the wind and feel the breeze on his face. He is only two, but he already seems to understand the tree is special. I can't wait until he is ready to hear the stories, climb to the top and hang out with him.
I am sure he will have his own magical friends that live in the tree and I cannot wait to meet them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Transformation of Friends

It took a long time for me to accept that many friends are not for a life time. My mom always told me that I let every one who ever come through the door into my heart and that was a foolish thing to do. I am actually softening the sentiment that she said. Many of my friends I have had since
I was five or six years old, we don't speak day to day, but the times in my life when I have needed them, they have been there. The first time I remember losing a friend, I was around twelve.
My family had moved to Chicago for my dad to find work. We had settled in, a nice old neighborhood, a good school, a sweet church. I was singing in a folk group at school, singing at church, had experienced my first kiss, I thought life was pretty good. But, my parents missed Alabama and so we moved back home. Just as I had let go of missing my southern friends, I was back with them, and then I was missing my northern friends. But things settled down, back at my old school, with friends I had known my whole life. One day after school, someone called my mom.
My friend Eric who had a motor bike had been killed in an accident. That's when I begin to really sit up and take notice about friendships. Some of my friends that I had known for years, moved away. Some just outgrew me. I was a slow bloomer. I went to high school and made more new friends and drifted away from some of my old friends. Through the passing of the years, I lost more friends to death, to moves, to the changing of our lives. But you know it still hurts to lose a friend, no matter the reason.
As my careers blossomed and changed, I realized that I was working in areas where friends were coming and going faster than ever. Maybe it is a trend/sign of our changing world. I still have friends who have been me with for years, but there have been many that have come into my life for only short moments. The caring, the joy, the friendship has been intense and the loss has been just as intense. I think about many of them often, wonder how they are, what is going on in their lives. Sometimes through the years I have tried to reach some of them, but to no avail.
Life is strange, and friendships, no matter how long or how short, are magical gifts. I have lived a charmed life I suppose, there have been so few that I have met who have "vexed my spirit".
Most, have given me love, joy, kindness and just the incredible gift of allowing me into their lives.
I hope that during their life time, some where down the road, they think of me and just for a fleeting moment, there's joy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Good Morning

It was a good morning, my great nephew, Jordan spent it with Rick and I. We fed the chickens, we fed the dogs, we fed the birds, and we fed the deer. We ate grapes right off the vines, picked pears, walked to the barn, watched a couple of kid's shows on PBS. Climbed the magic tree, ate breakfast, chased each other, chased butterflies,........all in about two and a half hours. It was a jammed packed morning, and needless to say when his mom came to get him, he did not want to go home. I had to take a short nap before I left for work! But it was great fun and I am so happy that he loves to come to our house. He called tonight to tell me, good night sweet dreams.
I think I will sleep soundly tonight. Rick is making me a cup of rose tea, and I hear my bed calling my name. Good night, sweet dreams.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Callous Fingers

It's probably not something that most women would want, but I love the callouses on my fingers!
They are there because of playing the guitar, and I wear them with pride! They are the result of hours of hard practice, quite a few tears, some angry moments and a pity party or two. I have played at the guitar for years, but about six months ago I decided I really wanted to learn to play.
I have no desire to be a lead player(at least not right now) but my goal is to be a good solid rhythm player. I have a ways to go. But there are moments when I know I am on my way. It is an incredible feeling when that happens, to know that I am playing music, not just making sounds on the guitar. I still get nervous playing in front of folks, but that's ok. It is the journey that makes us who we are and shows the stuff we're made of. Saturday night, July 24, Rick and I, our friends
Steve Norris and Skip Cochran are doing a writers in the round at Berkeley Bob's in Cullman and I am so excited! Playing live, keeps you honest, keeps you on your toes and keeps me happy! Steve and Skip and Rick are great guitar players and I am honored to be on stage with them. They are also wonderful songwriters. I think they let me play because I am a really good cook, and when we are working sets out, they come to the house for dinner!
But back to the callouses, I also have them on my feet( is this too personal) and that is from teaching 15 to 20 yoga classes per week. I am always barefoot, and I am proud of those callouses too! I once complained about the look of my hands to my good friend Kaye, and she set me straight by telling me that my hands were my tools and that I should be proud of the wear and tear that they showed. She is right, I use my hands for gardening, for my art, for my jewelry making, for guitar playing, for yoga, for hugs and patting folks on the back.
I wear my callouses with pride.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Staying Focused

For some, it is such an easy task. They figure out what to do, where they are headed, how to get there, and then nothing stands in their way. I have always known what I wanted to do/be, but I have let myself be sidetracked my whole life. I try to figure it out, do I not want success, am I afraid of success, what the heck is wrong with me???????? My whole life it seems, I have put everyone else's wants, needs and wishes ahead of my own. Is this a female thing, a southern thing? I know some of the answers, well, if I do this, so and so may not like it or me, if I do that, some one may become angry or walk out of my life. Every day I tell people to live their dreams, to go after their dreams and not be afraid. I know what my dreams are, and to some extent I have followed them. But you know the truth of the matter is, I can be out there working hard on my dream, and the phone rings, my life is on hold and I am spending my time, my breathe, my life on helping someone else achieve their dream. So many times, I have pursued dreams only to let some one else take them away. To allow someone to belittle my goals, to rob me of working toward my dreams, to let what someone else thought, someone's opinions steal all that is dear to me, what I was placed on this earth to do. Honestly,
I know where this started, and now I don't think I have the energy to spend the time and money on the therapy that it would take for me to rid myself of all the baggage. So where do I go from here, every couple of weeks I write out a list of "What Do I Want" and there it all is in black and white. It is a slow extraction, but bit by bit, I am hanging in there. I don't mean to whine, my life has been magical, but just like many of you, I have allowed so many distractions veer me off my path. I think what I feel is common(God I hope it is and I am just not this crazy). I wish sometimes that I could clone myself, and let my clone work as hard for me as I do others. But in the end, it is my responsibility........ to stay focused, to work towards my goals, my hopes and dreams........and of course in the meantime, encourage all of those around me! Thanks for letting me vent today, I needed it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hitting A Wall

Interesting phrase, hitting a wall.......tonight, I have hit a wall. Emotionally drained, physically drained, the wall was hard. A good night's sleep will help, maybe a cup of hot rose tea. Thoughts are scattered, and words are hiding........good night, sweet dreams.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


My favorite Beatle was George Harrison. He always seemed so down to earth, spiritual, and kind. And as most of you know, I have always had a soft spot for guitar players. Today, I got to spend a couple of hours with his sister, Louise. It was an incredible gift. My friend Edie Hand had a book launch/signing in Nashville for her newest book, Women of True Grit. Edie and her friend, Tina Savas co-authored this wonderful book of true stories about 40 women who have lived remarkable lives. Louise was one of the 40, and she came down to Nashville for the event. She lives in Branson, Mo. and has a tribute show called Liverpool Legends that she is producing there.
She shared some great memories of George with me, and Louise herself is such a special woman, filled with kindness and joy! Today is a day I will cherish for many reasons........I made new friends, I saw friends that I had not seen in a few months, and I met the sibling of a childhood hero. In 1962, I was ten years old, when Love Me Do rocked the charts, but I loved the music. As I grew into a young adult, the Beatles changed music forever, I am so glad that I lived through the metamorphosis of rock and roll, that I heard those songs that my generation identified favorites, Eleanor Rigby and Something. I never got to see the Fab Four live, but meeting Louise today, she shared moments with me of what it was like in the beginning. I'm grateful for those tidbits, for just a moment I knew what it was like to be there. I had a great day, wish you all could have been there.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bliss and Joy

My friend, Steve W. called me today. The moment I picked up the phone I could hear the happiness and excitement in his voice. His dad had passed away a few weeks ago, and I had been a little worried about him, but his life is coming together nicely and that is good. He is one of the most incredible musicians I have ever known, and it had seemed for awhile that his music had faded into the sea of life, which can be an easy thing to happen, speaking from experience here.
But the music gods have smiled on him, gigs are coming his way, and the joy that only a creative experience can bring is back in his life. I wish that every day, all of us could have that joy, that happiness, and excitement in our lives, that creative energy that when it is flowing runs like the Amazon River with no boundaries. I have had those moments of bliss, and they are the moments you live for. We all have experienced them in some form or other, and we carry them with us when life is beating down and it seems all joy has disappeared. But deep down inside, the memories of infinite bliss linger and gives us the strength to go on. So tonight, for my friend, Steve W. may the joy you feel today linger on and fuel you to bigger and better things, and for those of us that may be a little low on the bliss and joy.......... may the well spring eternal, and even when it doesn't flow endlessly, may we never forget the feeling, may we always press on.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Harvest Time

Today, we harvested tomatoes, squash, okra, peas, beans, corn and then just as my mom taught me many years ago, I did a soup "mix" for the freezer. This winter, when the wind blows out of the north, I will take a container out of the freezer, mix it with what ever vegetables are on hand and maybe a little meat......and we will have a feast of vegetable soup and a hot skillet of corn bread. The best meal possible on a cold wintry night! We have also harvested blackberries, peas, corn and prepared those for the freezer. Lots of work, but so worth it!!!! As the crops continue to be ready, we will harvest and store for the cold months. The apples and pears will be dried, some will be made into jelly or preserves. It is a good feeling, this storing of food for the dark months. I suppose it is that connection to our ancestors , mine must have been those who gathered. Lord knows, I have never wanted to hunt and kill. A nice hot bath is calling out to me, and then an hour or so of guitar practice. A long hard day, but a good one, it is harvest time.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grunts from the Bear

Blackie, the Black Bear( he is actually a black lab chow mix) has just sat down beside me at the computer. He is grunting and snorting, he does that when he is ready for bed. His bed is in the floor on my side of the bed, he won't go to bed until I go. He is my strange guardian angel. He follows me from room to room, when I take a shower, he sits in my bathroom and waits for me. He weighs 97 pounds, every time we take him to the vet, all the girls that work there want to keep him. He loves children and women. He loves to be asked if he is a bear, when that happens, he talks back, and does a little dance. I tell him every night, he is my favorite dog. He knows.
So, since he continues to grunt and snort, this is a short blog tonight. Good night, sweet dreams.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Open Doors

Doors open when you least expect it........ seems you can go for months, years, maybe, just waiting for a door to open. You wait, you pray, you worry, you fret and then, when you let it go and just decide what ever, it happens. During my life, many incredible doors have opened for me, some of them I was smart enough to walk through, others, well, there were some that either I was too afraid or not smart enough to walk through. I am starting to see some doors beginning to open, a crack here, a crack there. Now I have to figure out which ones are the ones that I really want to walk through, and will they open wide or will I have to push! It is too far down the road to make wishy washy choices, too many years have gone by to be afraid, and time is moving so fast that I know I no longer have that many doors in front of me. So, I give myself the same advice I would give anyone........take a deep breath, it's ok to be afraid, take a leap of faith! if I make a mistake, it won't be the first, most likely will not be the last, but the next door I walk through might be my last to open, and then what.........if I don't go through will I spend the rest of my days questioning what if, and if I go through and it's a wash, and here is where I have to remind myself of my friend Charlie Brown's favorite saying, NO GUTS,NO GLORY!
So there you have it, when the door opens, I go through!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Worst of Times

I read an article by a very high power attorney a few days ago. She talked about how the most difficult part of her job, was how close she became to her clients. That as a divorce lawyer, she often saw people at their worst, at the low point in their lives. But she was there for them, when they needed someone to talk with, to listen to them. And she made sure she did her best to help them on the path of their lives. That rang such a chord with me, no, I am not an attorney. Just a yoga teacher at a rehab center. But like said attorney, I see people at some of their worst moments. I try, through yoga to show them a way to find peacefulness, to live healthier lives, to understand that no matter the darkness, there is light and love within them. It seems my days are filled with other people's turmoils, their worst of times. And even though I see many at their lows, they find places in my heart. I know, it may sound cheesy or corny, but I see in their faces and hearts, the lives they want to live, the people they want to be, and I love them for that.
It seems almost every time someone leaves the center, they take a little piece of my heart with them. But that is ok, because I think maybe if they know, a piece of me goes with them, then they understand compassion, and kindness. It is hard to be loved, when you feel unlovable, it is hard to have self-esteem, when the self is looked at as worthless. But maybe, when you know you are loved, even by your yoga teacher or attorney, a small light begins to shine in your life. And when a light or glimmer of hope shines on anyone, changes can take place. We all have at one point in our lives, faced the worst of times and if we look back, and we think about it, someone's kindness helped get us through. It's time to let our lights shine.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Good Day

A good day is different for everyone. For me, a good day was a day like today. I heard from an old friend, I had a great night's sleep last night, my yoga classes went well today, my dogs were glad to see me when I got home this evening, dinner was simple but good. My plants that had almost died while I was on vacation, are surviving. I spoke with one of my friends at work about how important it is to celebrate milestones, he had a major milestone in his life this week and he celebrated with a tattoo. It is so easy when life is good to take it for granted. The good unspectacular days tend to go unnoticed and they are just as important as the big days! Of course there have been Big Days in my life that sadly, I let slip by with barely any notice. The past few years, every so often, Rick and I do a gratitude celebration, sometimes it is for the big things, but often, it is for the little things. I look back at some of life's moments that I should have celebrated, and I let them slip away. Now I try to find good in every day, and those days when great things happen, well there is just more to celebrate. So I am thinking, maybe I need a tattoo, I had planned on getting one for my 50th birthday, and you guessed it, the day just slipped by. And after talking with my friend today, maybe the only reason I should get a tattoo is the fact that I am alive and I should just celebrate all the good days that I have had in my life.
It never hurts to have a reminder of a good day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Balance Transformation

Once again, it is that bringing life into balance thing. I never knew how exhausted I was, until I took a vacation this past week. I am really like the energizer bunny, I can go on and on, but I do hit a brick wall sometimes. We got to Telluride on Saturday afternoon, Saturday night I collapsed in the hall way of our room, a combination of fatigue and altitude sickness. But oxygen and a good night's sleep, plenty of water, and I was better on Sunday. On Monday morning I took a restorative yoga class, a gentle hike, lots more water, a nap, and more good food. On Tuesday, another class, more time in the steam room, another hike, more water and good food. Today I went back to work, taught 4 classes back to back. I could feel the difference in my teaching, I was a much better teacher today, because I had rested and recharged my batteries! The beauty of the Rockies, was food for my soul. I truly believe, if you need healing of any kind, nature lends a guiding hand. I think being outdoors, fresh air, sunshine all bring healing. After all in the days of consumption, time at the seaside or in the mountains was the recommended medicine. It is all about balance, and most of us are always out of balance, too much work, too much fast/bad food, too many places to go, to much to do, lots of soda, never enough water,
not nearly enough fresh fruit and vegetables. We come home to tv, laundry, homework, ball practice, dance, soccer, band, etc. We're making our kids as stressed as we are! What a legacy,
most of us boomers grew up, having dinner with our parents, not much tv, time out doors with friends, and slow Sunday afternoons. We have passed on never ending, never rest, never slow down, never stop and smell the roses to the future generations. No wonder, children have panic attacks, and are depressed, we have taught them well! I chastise myself pretty often, in my heart I know when I need to bring balance into my life, and in the past couple of years every few months I take a long hard look at what is going on in my life and try to figure out the best way to
balance it all. ....... I have learned to say no, that's a biggie, and I love my Sunday afternoon naps!
Small steps bring balance, breathing, nourishing food, fresh water, walking, sunshine and fresh air, it's vital for any of us to survive and thrive. So tomorrow, 5 minutes, walk outside, breathe deeply, drink a glass of water and eat a piece of fruit. Balance!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Culture shock, back in Alabama, HOT weather, muggy! It was 73 degrees in Telluride yesterday, on the 4th of July, the temp dropped to 35 with rain, first time I ever watched 4th of July fireworks and wore a coat! Telluride, was all everyone had told me it would be, the beauty was breathtaking, and my photos will never do it justice! But there was more than just the beauty of nature, there was the beauty of the people that we met. The pace was slow, and the words I heard so many times, It's all good, seemed to be the theme of everyone who lives there. It was the vacation that I needed, a different place, a slower pace, surrounded by blue skies, mountains that climbed forever, people from all around the world, and great food. But it was good to get home, to see my dogs, pick tomatoes, water my flowers and tonight sleep in my bed.
Good night, sleep dream, the transformation of rest comes next!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

John Denver

I loved John Denver and his songs, and that was before I met Steve W. who played with John and Steve became one of my best friends. I loved it when John sang about his beloved Colorado, but I never really got it until this week.........I have been in Telluride, Co since Saturday, and I have seen the mountains, and blue skies, and all the beauty that he sang about. John has been in my thoughts often this week, we lost such a treasure when he passed, and the state of Colorado will never again have anyone who sings about its beauty with such love. I always fantasized about being a backup singer with John, singing his songs to this day brings joy to my heart! tonight is my last night in Colorado, John's spirit is still here, his songs will live on, and tonight I leave a little piece of my heart here as well.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Yoga Student/Teacher

This morning, for the first time in a long time, I was a yoga student, not a teacher. Here at Mountain Village where we are staying, they have a wonderful yoga teacher, MaryAnne.
I went in as a student, never telling her that I taught........and as always, I got exactly what I needed. Deep hip, back and leg stretches, using the wall and props, her voice was kind and soothing, she watched over her students showed each of us what our bodies needed and how we could get there. When class was over, I felt great! just like my students, I was glowing when we left the room. It seems it is so hard for me to find the time to do my personal practice, but it is magic, and now I just have so much more to give my students. My cup has been refilled. I am going back tomorrow.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

4th of July, I love the 4th! Besides being America's birthday, it seems to be the one day of the year when we all are united. I think this is the one day, when it doesn't matter if you are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, Christian or not. On this day, we are all Americans who love our country warts and all! We all eat pretty much the same food, BBQ, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, most of us wear red, white and or blue! We wave the flag, listen to patriotic music, and watch fire works. We spend time with our family and friends, for this one day our differences are cast aside and we are that rag tag band who fought for freedom and won!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mountain Fever

Mountain fever, not what you I sit in Telluride, Co. on top of a mountain , surrounded by beauty that just cannot be explained. Flowers are blooming, the air is clean and crisp, and the stars are shining brighter than I have ever seen. Of course, I have also just had 20 minutes of oxygen, feeling a little light headed. Today, I feel as though I am in a movie, because everywhere I look, it is just that incredible. They say the mountains here are much like the Swiss Alps, and as I looked around on the drive up the mountain I did feel a little bit like Heidi.
and I did have the urge to yodel a time or two. This is a place that I wish I could bring all my friends and family, so perfectly serene, peaceful, it is heaven on earth. I do have Mountain Fever, the urge to come back soon and I haven't even left!

Friday, July 2, 2010


Imagine how life would be without labels. Think for a moment about yourself, all the labels that you wear, that have been placed on you. Male, female, son, daughter, mom, dad, sister, brother,wife, husband, doctor, teacher, musician, plumber, addict, alcoholic, the list could go on forever. So, now imagine yourself with no labels...........none what soever, just allowing yourself to be......... and breathe. It is quite freeing, to do that, allow yourself, the luxury for just a few minutes each day, no labels. It is life changing. So tonight, take 5 minutes, no tv, just maybe some soft music, sit quietly and breathe and just for those 5 minutes, let go of all the labels........just be.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Energy Depleted

Sometimes, the energy just is that way tonight. Brain fog has rolled in and any thought process I might possess, well it has left the building. Of course the kidney stone that is trying to make its way through my body might have something to do with all of this. Hopefully tomorrow night will be better.
Good night, sweet dreams.