Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Essence of Who You Are

Last photo from Johnson City I promise.   This is how I transform on the weekends, this is my joy.
I have been performing since I was nine years old. This is who I am.

In my classes at work, I often ask my students if they remember what they enjoyed most as a child......what was their passion.....what did they want to be when they grew up.
And, if they could spend their days doing anything at all.....what would it be.  It is amazing how  many don't remember their dreams, they don't remember what gave them joy.

We grow up, get on a path that often has no real meaning to us......it is just a way to make a living.  I understand that.....I like a roof over my head and three meals a day as much as anyone.  But you can still take your dreams, your passion, your joy and bring them into your life in small ways. You can still hold on to the essence of who you are.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

One More Time

One more time, this was also at Johnson City Folk Festival......on the Farmhouse Stage.  So much fun, so much good music, and incredible surroundings.....and good food.
Wish you all could have been there.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Good Life

Johnson City Folk Festival, Johnson City, Tn.
An awesome gig!  Got to hang with lot of our music friends, and see an old friend.
Beautiful place, great music.....you should all make plans to go next year.

In the meantime........wishing you all a Monday that is smooth sailing, a week that is easy and peaceful.

Goodnight Sweet dreams.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


We had played three gigs in 24 hours, we were tired, but realized we needed a few snacks and some bottled water to take back to our hotel room.  There was a Walgreens nearby, we pulled into the parking lot and headed for the door.  As we walked toward the door, a young woman , clearly in distress, approached us.  She had been to an after hours clinic across the street.  She had an infected tooth, her insurance would not cover the antibiotics she needed, she had no money.  Yep, I gave her the money for the meds......no it was not a scam......I watched her go to the pharmacy and hand over the money.  I hope that if I were ever in that circumstance someone would do the same for me.

I have had similar situations happen to me time and time again.....I think I have a knack for being in the right place at the right time......or maybe I am just an old softie.  I once had a young child, maybe three years old, run up to me as I walked into a store in a different state........he jumped into my arms, hugged me tight and screamed when his mom pried him from my arms.  Rick says folks will tell me their life story in the blink of an eye.  I just think the world is starved for kindness and people sense it when it's there for them.

My cozy bed is calling to me, I hope your weekend has been a good one.  May you have a Sunday that is full of peace, and may we all experience a little kindness.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Invitation to Rain Dance

Since Jordan was around two years old, we have taught him songs, from every genre of music we know.  One of his favorite songs to sing when he walks with us on the trail.......It's A Great Day to Be Alive.  He sings it at the top of his lungs, and when he is really happy, he has been known to make up a couple of verses of his own.

I heard the song on the radio today and smiled.......for the rest of my life, anytime I hear that song.....I will always think of Jordan and how much fun it is to walk the trail with him.  He also sings She's A Lady......to his big red dog, Lady.  When I am down, all it take is a few minutes with Jordan to brighten my day.  Amazing what a six year old can do for your spirit.

It's Friday night, I hope that means for most of you a week end break from your normal Monday through Friday gig.  Once again the weather guys are teasing us with the threat of rain.....it is so dry and dusty here......I hope the fall monsoons set in.  Ya'll help me do a rain dance!
Goodnight, Sweet dreams.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


There are days, I see so much pain in faces that I hurt physically just from seeing it.  There are days that I see fear, and self-loathing and my arms are not long enough to give a hug big enough to help.
I come home, bone tired, wear of body and spirit.

But even on those days, there are bright moments.  Seconds when you see a sparkle in someone's eye, or the first real smile spread across their face, and then you tell yourself maybe just maybe you helped.

This has been a week for many good byes......I watch them leave my room, fearful, hopeful of the life they will soon start......of the pieces that they have to pick up.  I understand the words, pray without ceasing......I do it everyday, many times at night when I wake up and think of someone or see their face.  Prayers that they are happy, they are healthy and safe.....prayers that they find the life they so desperately crave.

I need my warm cozy bed, I need some rest, and probably a few prayers myself.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Energy Shift

Nothing like a new haircut to make a woman feel better......the only thing that can top it in my book,
a new pair of shoes.  Taz agrees.  There was an energy shift in my life today.  I felt it around noon.....
my body feels better, my spirit is lifted......I am grateful.

Maybe it was the haircut this morning or the fact that I am finally catching up on my class work......but it felt as though the universe itself got a tune-up.  I hope that everyone felt the good energy.....may it spread to where ever you are tonight.

When I woke up this morning, I realized that Taz had brought me a gift and placed it  on our bed......one of my favorite Jack Rogers sandals.  She does seem to have a leather fetish.
She doesn't chew or destroy......she lays across the leather, makes cooing noises and licks it.
Though I only wear a  size 5 shoe, it is almost as big as she is.  Our bed is three feet off the floor......I can't imagine how she jumped that high, with the shoe......but she did.

I hope the transformation that I felt today will come your way soon.......maybe we are all ready for the change of the season.......
goodnight, sweet dreams

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Live Like Water

Some days are just stressful.......no matter what you do......things are not in your control.......that is when you have to live like water, and go with the flow.  Today was one of those days.  Serum sickness is still around, but manageable with meds........Rick and my brother Ricky's blood pressure has been high......arrived at work and the power was off......I took my test for my class, my mind went blank.  I have done a lot of deep breathing, but I think my shoulders are still touching my ears tonight.

When you think of living like water, it makes good sense......it's just not always easy.  Water takes the path of least resistance, it can cut through rock, it has great strength, it can be gentle or destructive.
I personally like going with the flow, but some days my brain just won't wrap around that thought.
But today, I made myself do it.......go with the flow.  The guys got their blood pressure down, I did a very slow yoga class in a room with windows opened, and I can retake my test, and hopefully today is the last day of sickness.....enough of this pounding headache, nausea and dizziness!

This is a yoga life style......you breathe, eat healthy, drink lots of water and do your best to go with the flow......some days you are successful, some days you are not.....it is the yin and yang....and tomorrow is another day.  :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy Autumn

September 22.......fall will be here in a matter of minutes......well the autumnal equinox at least.....and tomorrow will officially be the first day of fall.  Just in time the temps fell, no rain, but the temps fell.
It is my favorite season.....one of change, of color, clean crisp air, earthy foods, warm cozy clothing and boots!

This fall season I need more than most........I need the change, the rush of energy and the rich brilliant colors.  I am ready for it.

HAPPY AUTUMN!   Go find some red and gold leaves, carve a pumpkin, bite into a juicy red apple,
smell the smoke.  Enjoy this heady mix of richness, wrap yourself in a warm sweater, drink a cup of hot cider and yes, go ahead......jump into a pile of leaves.  Spend time in the warm afternoon sun and relish the cool nights.......it is the season to be outdoors.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Low point today.....serum sickness hit, we had a really good gig with all our songwriter buds
and I didn't make it.  I have sung with every type of lung infection that you can imagine......but this stuff leaves me unable to function.  You could say that I am rather down tonight.  I feel better physically tonight, but out of all the years I have performed, the gigs I have missed.....well, you could count them on one hand.

Goodnight, sweet dreams

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Nutrition Class

I decided to expand my mind a little bit.....I signed up for an online course, Nutrition and a Healthy Lifestyle.  The first class was all facts and figures and rather depressing. It seems since the year 2000, most of us in this country are getting larger......in the south where I live, our obesity rate is at 30 percent and growing.  It seems our consumption of processed foods, high fat, high sugar and our thirst for soft drinks ( an average of 53 gallons a year, for the average person) is taking us down the rabbit hole.  Scary stuff.

Rick and I eat very little processed or fast food......about the only time I  drink soda is when the serum sickness hits and I sip ginger ale.  But as I look around when I'm shopping or out and about, I realize that we are not the norm.  Our county, is poor not only economically, but health wise......I want to do something to help.  I teach free yoga classes, I talk about food, healthy eating habits.....but honestly, most of those who come to class are already pretty healthy.

It took this country many years, and many people dying before we and our government  realized how bad tobacco was for our health.  I am not sure how long it will take, before we realize how our diet of processed foods, sodas and lack of fruits and vegetables is creating disease in our bodies and slowly killing us.  I understand that in urban areas obtaining fresh food is difficult and can be expensive.
But living in rural areas, fresh food can be grown in your back yard.   It is a hard battle, processed and fast foods are loaded with sodium, sugar and fat.......all things that appeal to our taste buds.

We have fooled ourselves into thinking we don't have time to cook, or prepare fresh wholesome food.
I encounter people every day who do not know how to cook.  If you can read, you can cook.
Our lives, and the generations to come depend on healthy diets.......yes, our life expectancy is great, but mostly because modern medicine can keep us alive.  Is that what we want? To gorge ourselves, destroy our joints, our hearts, our bodies......just so medicine can keep us alive.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Night

Mr. Serum Sickness came to call this afternoon......he had knocked faintly on my door a couple of times this week, but the meds kept him away.  I have to admit, this evening's visit has not been as
bad as those in the past.  I am tired of any of his visits......I don't wish him on anyone else......I just want him to go away forever.

But, on a better note.......my classes were good today and Jordan spent the afternoon with Rick.
When I came home this evening they were on the screen porch building cities with wooden blocks.
They had also been down to the river......and Micky D's.........I am not sure which one had the most fun, both were beaming when I walked through the door.

Wishing you all a weekend of good times.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Road Trip

Rick, my sister Pat, her daughter Jayna and I took a short road trip.  Went to Memphis, spent some time on Beale St, saw Graceland, the Peabody, and my favorite.......ate at Corky's BBQ.

It was a fun time, I needed to go someplace other than the doc and work.  I am very tired tonight, and it's good to be home......but, we had much fun.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Banana Rain

We planted this banana tree 31 years ago......some years we have actually had  a small
stalk of bananas.......this past winter was so cold I figured we had lost the tree.
It is a tenacious plant.......it grew slow this summer, and no stalk of fruit......but the leaves are beautiful.....especially this morning with shimmering drops of last night’s rain catching the light.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Busy Day

A packed day........practice for our gig Sunday, vocals exercises,
 walk, laundry, cook, clean, teach classes, and start my on line nutrition class.

A long day......treatment fatigue is still dragging on, but the good news......so far, no serum sickness

A fun day.....Samantha ate lunch with us, Jordan came for a visit this evening

wow, no wonder I am ready for bed.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, September 15, 2014


Ok, I spent a great deal of time on the sofa the past four days since treatment.......and one of my most delightful pleasures was reading O magazine.  There is a column called Dare to Recharge, that struck a nerve with me.  Because of that column, I did much more resting and me time......I made smarter decisions and truly thought about my wellness and recovery.

I will share with you all a quote from this column, this one, slapped me in the face.

"If you don't want to burn out, stop living like you're on fire."
- a quote that Brene Brown says was a priest's advice.

I talk with my classes about stillness and self-care almost daily......I write about it almost daily.
That quote put it into perspective.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Jordan's Treasure

We visited our friend Asa,  yesterday.......she sent us home with a box of books and assorted odds and ends for Rick and I and my niece Jayna to sort through.  She gave me several bird books and a pair of binoculars and also included some books about the solar system and stars for Jordan.
I gave Jordan the binoculars and books yesterday afternoon.......he was beside himself with joy.

The persimmon tree in the front yard is loaded with persimmons and there were butterflies every where sipping on the nectar of the ripe persimmons.  Jordan went out to investigate up close with the binoculars.  As he was "spying" on a large blue butterfly, a large orange and black one started to chase him.  I had never seen anything like it.  The butterfly finally decided to rest on his arm......Jordan freaked.  What a strange and fun event.

Today, Jordan and his mom and granddad,  spent the afternoon gazing at planes up in the sky, birds in the trees and squirrels running across the yard.......he has discovered a whole new world through those binoculars. It was the best gift a six year old boy could ever get.
Before they went home yesterday, he also had to read one of the books to us......The Night Sky.
He will never forget Miss Asa and her wonderful gifts.

I know Asa was just clearing out some stuff she no longer needed........but it proved that one man's junk is another man's treasure.  Jordan hit the jackpot yesterday.  Though you can't see the butterfly that was chasing Jordan in the picture below, it is obvious he is dancing with something.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Memories......have you noticed that they come and go when you least expect them?  Sometimes they are triggered by a sound, a smell, a song.......a memory can be an exquisite, delightful experience or it can stir up fear and sadness.

The memory of my very first watch floated across my brain today.  My grandmother, Mamie bought it for me as a Christmas gift in the 60's.  It was one of those really big, mod ones.....a clunky leather strap and a big silver face.......each time I wore it, I thought I was so cool.

I think what started me down this path........I heard the song yesterday, The Way We Were.
I know it is probably a chick song, truly, a chick movie.......but I think the song itself
nails the power of memories.

All my life I remembered how the back yard of Mamie's smelled......a mix of damp red clay, coffee grounds, herbs, and flowers.  I had never smelled that mixture of scents anywhere but her backyard.....until, about 15 years ago when our dog Charlie ( who has passed over the rainbow) came to live with us.  Every few months, he smelled exactly like Mamie's back yard........how strange was that?

I hope if your memories come knocking this weekend, they are the good ones.......if the bad ones come along, just let them pass on by.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Autumn Sunsets

One of the things I love most about autumn......the sunsets.  This one tonight was breath-taking.
I hope your Friday was an easy one.......I hope your weekend is filled with good things, good times and the people you love.

And ......I hope your sunset this evening was as beautiful as mine.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don't Give In To Your Fears

I am so excited!  We have a change in the weather coming this weekend, it started today with rain and by Sunday highs will only be in the low 80's.   I know silly me......but I truly love autumn.

I have written about one of my most favorite books before, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.  There is a wonderful interview in O magazine this month.  I think Oprah loves him as much as I do.
 I use quotes from his writings often, and I can't tell you how many times I have read The Alchemist.

If you have ever had a dream, you should read this interview.  He talks about our fear of failure and how it keeps us from living our calling or purpose.  In The Alchemist, he writes, "don't give in to your fears.  If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart."

My transformation information tonight........"don't give in to your fears."  So what if you fail, so what if you fail more than once.........your dreams, your calling, your purpose........worth so much more than a couple of tries.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Treatment #33

The lessons continue from the big green chair......treatment #33 today.  The room was crowded this morning, but familiar faces, my friend Louis, and my beautiful nurses were there.  There was sadness there too......news for some was not so good today......how do you find hope, when you are given none?  But my friend and chair buddy Louis said it best "focus on living, not dying".

The brand was switched for the drip today, and I received two bags of fluid .......and tonight I am cautiously optimistic.  I have felt different this evening......not so drained and feverish......that is good......so far, no headache.  Only time will tell, it is my understanding the serum sickness can hit anywhere from the day of the drip to 14 days later, and I can testify to that fact.

I appreciate all your prayers, and good thoughts......I will go through each day the next couple of weeks hoping that this is the answer.....if it's not.....then back to the drawing board.  There are still more options, more ways to skin this cat.  :)

So I will enjoy that beautiful moon's light, take it easy the next few days and spend some time with the dogs.  My lesson from the big green chair today.......enjoy each day....it might be your last.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Strangely Calm

I am strangely calm tonight.......tomorrow will be my first treatment with a different brand.  Usually, I am full of dread the night before.  Can you blame me?  After two and a half years of serum sickness/side effects.....but I have contacted a new immunologist and following his recommendations the brand has been changed ( seems the old one was notorious for issues) and a bag of fluids will be given before the IVIG is started.

I am optimistic and hopeful......I have to be.  I have been told the treatments are "life sustaining", if I stop them, then I am an open target for infections, colds, flu, pneumonia, a sort of bubble girl.  But the serum sickness/side effects are so bad at times, I cannot function.  I am going into this, expecting the best.  Only time will tell, the next few days, and couple of weeks will be interesting.
Will keep you posted.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams  

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Full Moon

A full moon.......moon salutations in every class today and tonight.
A  full moon......clouds swiftly floating by
A full moon......lightening waves and bolts
A full moon.....let's go howl
A full moon.....the same one shines on all of us
A full moon....is a gift
A full moon.....my favorite celestial viewing pleasure

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Night Gratitude

My sister Pat and her daughter Jayna,  came to visit today......they brought me gifts.  I think they knew I needed some cheer......a new pair of blue jeans, and my favorite lemon hand cleanser did the trick.
Sam and Jordan came over and my brother Ricky, two of my wonderful friends called, an e-mail or two.......I appreciate them all.  It is the little things that make you appreciate life and the fewer good health days you have......the more you appreciate them when they knock on your door.

We have two gigs this month.......Johnson City Folk Festival and The Bankhead House.  We played Johnson City last fall, it was awesome, so excited to be asked back.  The Bankhead House is a local gig that we do with The League of Extra Ornery Songwriters.......it is a pretty cool gig too.  So good things to come later this month, which makes up for treatment this week.  My fingers and toes are crossed, hoping with all my heart that the changes the new doc suggested work......I am not sure how much more serum sickness my body or spirit can take.  My quality of life has been on a downward spiral, we have to change directions soon.

It has been a busy couple of days, yoga mats washed, blankets, washed, cds to burn, class notes to write.  There is a great deal of prep for classes, yep even yoga classes.

Here's hoping for a week of good news, great joy, much love, peace and good health......blessings to you all.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Moon Musings

There is thunder in the distance, the clouds are moving swiftly tonight.......they dance across the almost full moon, threatening, teasing the earth with shadowy glimpses of the September moon.
As much as I love seeing the moon, I am hoping the clouds maintain their march and bring rain to the parched earth.  A cold rainy spring, a mild summer and then heat and drought came in August......
The leaves and grasses are withering and dust is everywhere.  We need the rain.

A hot dry September happens here in the south fairly often.......ninety degree heat in September feels much warmer than it does in August.  The day the page turns and September appears, I mentally prepare myself for fall.  The heat of summer should not compete with fall clothing, pumpkins and crisp apples.

I bought root vegetables at the produce stand today......fresh beets and sweet potatoes......tomorrow's lunch, roasted with olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and maybe some fresh rosemary.......a feast to welcome the changing of the seasons.  I wish the apples were ripe.....I'd make an apple pie.
Wishing all of you, a peaceful, restful Sunday......spend it wisely.
Goodnight Sweet dreams

Friday, September 5, 2014

Football Fever

In the fall, if you live in Alabama or most any other southern state, weekends are dedicated to football.
Friday night there is high school football, Saturday afternoons and nights, it's college.  There are displays of team colors in grocery stores, local department stores, and even McDonalds.  Face Book becomes a battle ground for fans, showing their loyalty for their favorite team.  I figure there must be more prayers prayed on Friday night and Saturdays in the south in the fall than any other place on earth.......because each team believes God is on their side and the fans believe it too.

I am not sure what or when I changed about football.......at one time, I yelled like everyone else.  But, I found I didn't like myself much when I watched a game......I didn't like the emotions or thoughts that were in me.......I didn't like the anger, or angst that I felt......so I had to step away.  It's not that I am trying to pass judgement on anyone who loves their sport, who is a fan.......it's just that I began to understand what the Romans must have felt when they cheered on their favorite gladiator.

I know that there are millions who would disagree with me......who would talk about the scholarships, the spirit of camaraderie, the physical fitness, the confidence, the drive and ambition that sports gives to athletes......the joy it gives to their fans.  I understand and am much aware of that.  I am also aware that very few athletes make it  to the professional ream, and even when they do.....even fewer have longevity and success.

I went to a high school reunion many years ago......I sat and talked with one of the guys I graduated with, who had been a local football hero.....he lamented to me that night, that those times were the best of his life.  I thought that was one of the saddest things I had ever heard.....to think that someone truly felt that life as a high school football player was his peak in life.

It is a long season here, and there are always hearts broken, and dreams shattered.......and of course, there are victories and tears of joy.  And I suppose, somewhere twenty years down the road, some one else will grieve because their time in the spotlight, on a Friday night or a Saturday afternoon will be the highlight of their life.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Some days it seems I don't have much transformation information to pass along.......that is because there are days that I am waiting for my own transformation to take place, waiting to see my own light at the end of the tunnel.  I can tell you this, it is most difficult to see the light at the end of someone else's tunnel when you can't see your own..  Yet you know in your heart, your light is there, just not visible yet.

I thought a great deal about faith the past few days, about having the faith the size of a grain of mustard seed........that is very little faith, a tiny amount, hardly any to speak of.  Through the years, I kept the faith, a great deal of faith.......in mankind, in goodness, in the universe, even in God.
As the past couple of years have gone by, I understand how faith is lost.......how faith can dwindle down to a mustard seed or smaller......or even disappear.  That's when the faith of others comes into play.

The faith of others, their love and caring and concern can carry you when yours has been swept away.
I have missed a great deal of the work the past few months because of this "serum sickness."  There have been times when my quality of life has not been at its peak or even mid-point......and doubts have flooded my head and heart.  This week my students have kept the faith for me, they have held me and comforted me and let me know in no uncertain terms that they are there for me.  My friends and work family have done the same and I am overwhelmed by their outpouring of love and support. They have all kept the faith......even when I did not.

Tonight my transformation information is this.......if someone you know has lost the faith, carry it for them......let them know that even at their weakest, they are still loved, they are still a valuable human, that they still matter.  Faith the size of a grain of mustard seed is tiny in its size, but powerful in its ability.......that tiny bit of faith for someone when they have none can change their life and restore their faith.  Pass it on.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Nesting Urge

So after I had my normal Wednesday's doctor appointment, Rick and I stopped by my favorite furniture store to look for a new sofa.
I found one that will look good in our great room, ( now to convince Rick).  With dogs in the house, it seems we go through sofas more than the average family......but with a 90 pound collie.....and before him, a 90 pound lab/chow and a 70 pound lab.......well, you get the picture.  It is time......for a new sofa.

Now, if the serum sickness will leave long enough for me to paint the walls......we will be nested nicely for winter.  Isn't it weird when you have the urge to nest?  I just want to paint and spruce everything at once.  I think it's a good sign, it has been quite some time since I had the urge to nest and spruce.  Our home has always been nice and comfy, now it's a little worn and shabby, a few new feathers will be just what it needs.  :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Honor Your Body

Finally, I was able to teach my classes today......it felt so good.
Still not 100 percent but much better today......I am grateful.
Thank you all for your thoughts and healing energy and prayers.
My transformation information for tonight......appreciate your good health, don't take it for granted, even the treatment for illness can make you very very ill......honor your body.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1

September 1......again, another round of serum sickness, hit on my way to work today UGH!!!!

September 1.......hot and humid,  yet not enough rain, leaves dropping from the trees

September 1.......Labor Day, I had planned to work

September 1.....fall brings change

September 1......can't wait to smell burning leaves

September 1......sweaters, boots, all things snugly

September 1......crisp sweet apples......and cider

September 1......California grapes, sweet potatoes, hot savory soups

September 1......colors so rich and vibrant I want to paint every room in the house

September 1.....here in the South, well, the SEC.......football becomes king

September 1.....treatment week, so not looking forward to it, this will be number 33

September 1.....Taz needs a sweater, we have to shop

September 1.....fall is my favorite season, it gives me hope and energy