Thursday, November 30, 2017


Still painting Christmas cards.  It is a process.  Layers of paint,  base coat, then details one at a time.
They look so simple, but I promise they are not.

Classes today were based on the third yama, Asteya ( non-stealing).  All religions speak of the morals of not stealing but often we steal without even knowing.  Are you always late, people are always waiting for you?  Then you are stealing their time.  We all know takers, those who take and never give.  Well that is stealing too.  And what about those who drain your energy, you know the ones I am talking about.  Once you leave their presence, you are completely drained.  They stole your energy.

There are many ways to steal, to rob.  We rob ourselves of joy, by constantly striving for perfection.
We rob those we love by not returning their kindness. 

Today is the last day of November.  Tomorrow start December with kindness, spread joy to those around you and remember to be grateful.  One last month in 2017, make it as kind as you can. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Hump day...early morning class, hair cut, painting Christmas cards.  It has been a busy day.  When darkness settled in tonight, the moon was magical.  Thankfully the clouds are moving in and rain is on the way. I know, I know, I do love the moon so very much but we have hit a bit of a dry spell and with all the fallen leaves around, we need rain.

November is saying his farewells, December will rush in and she too will  be gone in the blink of an eye.
This 2017 has been an interesting year, at times unending and then whoosh, almost gone.

Tomorrow on the last day of November 2017, do something remarkable.  Be kind to strangers, spread joy to all those you meet, shine your light of love so brightly that the darkness that threatens hides in the corner in shame. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


We began classes on the yamas  ( morals) yesterday.  The first one, ahimsa, do no harm.   The second one today, satya, truthfulness.  I teach these classes as a way to help the recovery process.  For the first one, we focused on not harming one's self.  The obvious ways are with drugs and alcohol, but then we venture into more complicated ways of doing harm, especially to one's self.   We can harm ourselves with negative thoughts, anger, self-criticism, hate, jealousy.

With satya or truthfulness we  recognize how we create veils of self-deception or lying to ourselves.  With drugs and alcohol there is the thought in the user's mind that what they are doing is not harming anyone but themselves.  There's that veil of self-deception.    Often we lie to ourselves because of ego- issues.
We think we are not strong or that there is no way anyone can help us.

The students seem to really enjoy the classes, especially when they can understand the connection with yoga and how it can help them live a sober life.

My commute for the past couple of days has been difficult.  I travel on narrow winding country roads.
Last night there was a horrible accident just a few miles before home.  Three ambulances and rescue teams worked in the darkness.  Today on my way in to work, another horrible accident.  This time a truck flipped, more ambulances and rescue teams.  So unsettling, I hope all who were involved are ok, but things did not look good in either instance.

Ready for my cup of hot tea.  Tomorrow is my early class.  I love to see the sunrise.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Monday, November 27, 2017

One Thing Remains

I used this quote on my board today.  I can't say anything tonight that's better.  Remember be kind.

"Now that we have learned to fly in the air like birds, and dive in the sea like fish, only one thing remains...
to learn to live on earth like humans."   - George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Busy Time

We drove over to a nearby Christmas tree farm today and got our living tree.  Usually we don't get our tree until mid-December but it seems our calendar is filling up fast.  So the tree we got today will sit in the front yard  for at least a couple of weeks.  Next weekend Saturday and Sunday are already on the calendar.  On Saturday we spend the afternoon with friends in Birmingham and on Saturday my siblings celebrate Christmas.  The next weekend Jordan has a swim meet in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama.  Wow, things are already spinning.

It has been a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  Thanksgiving Day was all that we could ask for, family, friends and food.  Friday and Saturday and today have been productive yet rather restful days.

I brought home yoga blankets and mats from work.  They have all been washed and cleaned, ready for classes tomorrow. 

My cup of hot tea is waiting, tonight I am having red zinger.  No matter how busy and hectic your Monday is, don't forget to be kind.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Early Traditions

Before I decorate our house, before we put up a tree, I do arrangements for our parents graves.
My folks did not decorate extensively, but they loved Christmas...the tree was their biggie, that and sending out Christmas cards.  They were old school.  The tree never went up until a couple of weeks before Christmas, it went down on New Year's Day.  Rick's mom loved the decorations, on Thanksgiving afternoon her kids and grandkids would meet up at her house and by dark, her yard was a Christmas fantasy and her tree was decorated.

Since our parents are gone, I figure the least I can do is put a little Christmas cheer on their graves.  I guess for some it might seem silly, but in some weird way I feel that they know and love that I do it.
Today, I place silk holly and poinsettias and plaid ribbon arrangements on their graves.  I always cry.  Holidays are tough without them, no matter how many years they have been gone.

While Rick watched the Alabama/Auburn game ( our team lost) I began painting Christmas cards.
It is a slow go, painting each and everyone by hand, I have to start early. It's a tradition that I will do as long as I possibly can. 

Enjoy your Sunday.  May we all know peace, kindness and joy.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Daily Transformation

This morning we slept in...until 6:30.   I made a big Irish breakfast, we walked the dogs and as Rick loves to say, we laid low.  Our nephew Haven and his wife and son came by and Rick shot their family Christmas pictures and then we took a short nap.

This afternoon we made a run to the craft store and I bought paints.  While Rick watches the Auburn/Alabama game tomorrow I will paint Christmas cards. Can you believe November is almost gone?

Today was a transformation day.  A day of rest, of looking at our day planners for the next few weeks and reflecting on this past year.  All over coffee this morning.  The past few weeks our schedules had been on overload.  My body was screaming slow down.  There were moments we stopped for a few hours, but not many.  After this weekend, the madness will start again, but hopefully the bodies will be rested and spirits restored.

We all need transformation days.  The days when nothing big is taking place, calendars can be cleared, and silence can be experienced.  The most unexpected event today, hundreds of crows flying across our property this afternoon.  The sound was eerie, and the sight was straight out of the movie, The Birds.  Maybe this was their day of transformation as well.

Driving around this afternoon, many had already taken their fall decorations down and yards were transformed into Christmas fantasies.  I struggle with this whole Christmas before December thing.
If you are on the road this weekend, safe travels.  But, no matter where you go or what you do, remember to be kind.  Kindness is our daily transformation.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

It has been a Happy no-stress Thanksgiving.  I have learned to make lists and time-tables.
Cooking for a crowd is hard work, but no where near the stress it use to be.  But then again, holidays are not nearly as stressful as they once were.  For that I am thankful.  As one of my co-workers left yesterday, she looked very stressed, I thought oh no hard day.  But she was stressed about today...3 different family events to  Why do we make it so hard?

I always tell anyone who is invited to our house for a holiday meal if it is too stressful, if there are too many places/people to see, check us off the list.  I remember how miserable those times were.  Trying to please and  make everyone happy, and you end up miserable and resentful.    Holiday should be celebrations, not stressful situations.

I am sure there are many who are shopping this evening, or making plans for the AM tomorrow.
I may do a little tomorrow afternoon, but if not I know there will be plenty to choose from before December 25.  When did things change?  As a teenager I always asked for a little cash so I could go to the after Christmas sales and load up.  Christmas shopping was done the week or so before Christmas.  But of course, it was not the business it is now and we were not showered with gifts.

I am stuffed and tired and filled with gratitude tonight. I think about my parents and grandparents today, I miss them.  But I am grateful for all that they taught me and the love they so freely gave.
I know I am a lucky woman but I am always grateful.  Life is good.  Be kind tomorrow, smile and spread some joy.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Pre-Thanksgiving Thoughts

I taught three classes today.  One this morning at 7:00 and then went back this afternoon at 2:30 and taught until 5:30.  In between I got the house ready for the crew coming for lunch tomorrow.  Tonight I did some food prep, but the clock will awake me at 5:30 in the morning and it will be all systems go.  I have lists and have checked them twice.

Some of my students are going home for Thanksgiving, others are not.  The ones who stay are at peace with it, some are happy about it.  Each cottage will cook a turkey dinner tomorrow and the students who did not go home will have our staff for support and fellowship.  As a soldier once told me, there are worse places to be for the holidays than an addiction center.  The same soldier told me it was his first Christmas in seven years that he had not slept on the ground somewhere.  It's all perspective isn't it?

My brother and his family will all come for lunch tomorrow, so will our friend Fred.  This will be the first Thanksgiving without our friend Louis.  I miss him so much.  Last year he brought his famous slaw and crawfish dressing.  Yummy!  There are still days that go by and I wonder why he hasn't called me.  I miss his voice and his laughter.

My bed calls my name, so does my cup of hot tea.  But, I am grateful tonight, for friends and family, for a roof over my head and plenty to eat.  I am also very grateful for my job, for the opportunity to teach the incredible students who walk into my room and who change my life daily. And I am also grateful to those who read my blog, you humble me.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

We All Need Love

An emotional day in class.  A holiday week, students leaving and coming.  Grief, trauma and every emotion you could ever possibly feel.  I am grateful for my warm and cozy bed tonight.  I need the rest.  And yes, I am sharing more fall color with you all tonight.

This holiday week, share the joy, spread some kindness and remember to practice gratitude.  Love your family and friends even when they may be difficult to love.   We all need love.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Fall Obsessed

Last year we had no fall.  We were in the middle of a heat wave and drought.  The leaves just turned brown and fell to the ground.  I wore a jacket just a few times during the fall and winter.  This year, we have fall!  We have cooler temps, frost last night and color.  Fall is my favorite season, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I am obsessed with fall colors.  Mother Nature has made me so happy the past week or so. 

Walking the dogs this morning made me want to skip.  Even though we had storms over the weekend, there is still plenty of color.  I am sharing the colors around me with all of you tonight.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gratitude and Jokes

My sister Pat had Thanksgiving lunch for her family today.   She is always kind and invites Rick and me.  It was fun and loud and lots of great food.  Pat has great-grandchildren and they love to tell jokes.  They are ages 6-9 and they informed me today that they had books filled with jokes that they loved to read.  Their favorite joke today,  " Do you know how the tree gets on the internet?  He logs on."  They told that joke to us several times and each time they howled with laughter.

Of course Rick told them his infamous Easter pig joke.  " Do you know what goes hippity hop through the mud?  The Easter pig!"  They loved it.

So tonight I am grateful for a loving sister who includes us in her gatherings, for children who love to laugh, and for a table full of food.

This week is Thanksgiving.  There are many who do a gratitude ritual each November.  They find something each day of November to be thankful.  I am glad for that ritual, but honestly, we should find something everyday of the year to be grateful for.  I encourage gratitude in my classes.  Without gratitude, there is no joy.  Some days are hard and  maybe there seems to be little to be grateful for.  On those days, be grateful you can breathe and as you start to think about it, you will be surprised at all the little things you remember to be thankful for.

Tomorrow, be kind and be grateful.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Secret

We picked up Speckles new house today.  It's a sweet little chicken cottage with room for a couple of more hens.  Tomorrow we set it up and move her in.  It was a team effort to get it off Rick's truck.  Jordan, Sam, Rick and I  shared the load.

Next on the agenda was grocery shopping for Thanksgiving .  Fresh turkey, lots of produce and plenty of apple cider and pecans and sweet potatoes will fill our table this Thanksgiving Day.
Food is stored and ready for the prepping which starts Wednesday when I get home from work.

Rick completed his project of converting our screened porch into a temporary green house for all our plants this winter.  He watched bits and pieces of the Alabama game and occasionally I heard him yell Roll Tide.

Once again it has been a busy day, but the holiday season does that doesn't it?  The secret, know when to stop.  Once upon a time, I did not know when to stop and even now sometimes I forget.
But most times I remember, take a break, drink a cup of hot tea, pet the dogs, take a nap.

Life is short.  The holiday season is upon us.  Remember the secret, know when to stop.  Nothing has to be perfect.  People want smiles, kindness and joy...not perfection.

May your Sunday bring your peace.

Friday, November 17, 2017


I usually don't work on Fridays, but since we had our gig at the museum last night, I took yesterday off.  Late night, early morning, packed classes = tired.

Rick has worked on winterizing our screen porch today.  We are going to use it for out potted plants.
I think it is going to work out great.  He has done a good job and I know that he  is tired tonight.

Tomorrow we get a new chicken coop/pen.  We are now down to one hen, Speckles.  Wild life of some sort has done away with the rest of chickens.  This new home for Speckles should be much more secure and safe.

My cup of hot tea awaits and then a warm cozy bed.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Painted Sky

We had an awesome gig tonight.  We truly love playing at The Comer Museum in Sylacauga, Al.
It is one of our favorite places to play.  After all, what goes better together than art and music?
Driving through Birmingham the sunset painted the sky in such vibrant colors we gasped.
It has been a very good evening.  We are both tired and sleepy. 
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Work News

An article about the facility where I work was published this week in the Washington Post.  I am so proud to be such a small part of this incredible program.
Click here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Good Day

The last three chakras in our class today.  Throat Chakra, all about communication.  Speaking your thoughts, expressing your feelings, and listening.  Then we moved to the Third Eye.  Wisdom and intuition.  How many times have your trusted your heart, your gut?  or maybe you didn't and regretted it.  And then we came to the Crown Chakra.  Our connection to spirit, finding our higher power. Understanding that meditation gives the brain rest, much like sleep rests the body.  And realizing that prayer and meditation are not the same.  Prayer, we are talking, usually asking.  Meditation we sit in silence and breathe, ready to receive...answers, wisdom,  guidance, clarity and peace.

So that was my day today.  I am still dealing with the fatigue, I am beginning to think it might be some sort of bug or virus.  Tomorrow is hump day, a very early class for me.  Thursday evening is our gig at the art museum.  May we all know peace tomorrow, may we all know kindness. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Brick Wall

It's one of those evenings when the brain has been drained, not even a photograph to share tonight.
My body has hit a brick wall. 

It has been a good Monday, but my fatigue levels for the past few days has been bad.  Not sure why.
Continue to spread kindness this week, it seems to be in such short supply.  A little joy would be nice too.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Yellow Jacket

Getting stung on the leg by a yellow jacket was not on my calendar for today.  What did I know?
We were walking with Jordan and our other great-nephew Anthony when Hook found another nest.
Rick and I are trying to get the boys to safety, I am yelling run, and the next thing I know one of those little beasts has stung me.  Better me, than the kids, but my leg throbbed for over an hour.

I thought it had gotten cold enough to put those babies to sleep, but temps climbed to 60 degrees today and they came out of the hole.  And Hook probably dug around their nest too. We have never had a digger.  Hook loves to dig.  I figure at some point a tree will crash into our house because he has dug it up.

We practiced our show today, I am drained.  But, I was drained when I got up this morning.  Don't you hate it when you get up tired?

I hope your Monday is uneventful and the most stress you will experience is smiling too much.
Spread some kindness, there is a shortage.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


I always think of my dad on Veteran's Day.  Just a young farm boy from Hull, Alabama sent to battlefields in Germany and France as an Air Force Medic.  He never talked about the war, never mentioned it.  We never knew he was a decorated hero until after his death.  I went to the VA to see about getting help for my mom and the ladies at our local VA office told me about his medals.
His name was Jim but everyone called him Sharky.  He was loving and kind and honest and hardworking.  He died in 1991 and I miss him daily.  Thanks to all you Veterans tonight, for your service and sacrifice.

Friday, November 10, 2017

My Transformation Today

I love performing, I love playing guitar, writing songs and singing.  Sometimes I have meltdowns during practice.  I am my toughest critic, I know that.  But, here's the deal about our music...I never want anyone to say we are not good enough.  It's ok if someone doesn't like the type of music we do, if my voice grates on them like nails on a black board,  but it is important to me that we do our best.

Today was a long practice, and somewhat meltdown moment.  I had to remind myself to practice what I told my students yesterday, Ahimsa.   It means do no harm.  We harm ourselves in so many ways, with drugs, alcohol, too much food, too much stress, too little sleep, not enough water, too much caffeine, too much sugar,  too little rest, negative thoughts, hate and jealousy.

As we practiced our set today, and I was struggling with new guitar parts I started to mentally beat myself up. I grew angry with my lack of ability to play what I wanted to play.  I realized that I was doing harm to myself and Rick, because he thought I was angry with him.  The anger was towards me.  Here's what I had to remember, creativity comes from love, all good things come from love.
Once I settled down, and became kinder toward myself, the piece I was struggling with got better.

My transformation today; remembering to be kind to me, to treat myself the way I try to treat others.
This teacher is never too old to learn and I am grateful for that.  So tomorrow, be kind to others and be kind to yourself.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Open Heart

This was a week of transition for many of my students.  Several left for home and other continuations of treatment and then of course there were several new students.  These weeks of hello and goodbye are extremely draining. But that is the nature of what I do.  These past twelve years I have taught thousands.  I know some have died, others have relapsed, but then there are the ones who  are living their lives, the lives they were meant to live.  Change is painful and breaking old patterns is difficult but it can be done, is done and that is what gives me the energy and courage to continue to work.

Our classes were on the heart chakra today.  Compassion, kindness and love were the topics as we opened our hearts with movement and breath.

Tomorrow is Friday, lots of rehearsal time tomorrow for our gig next week.  Plans are to go hiking on Sunday with Sam and Jordan.  I hope your Friday is the start of the weekend you need.
Hug, spread kindness and share joy.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Golden Fall

Fall returned today.  Yesterday it was near 80 degrees, today the temps have stayed in the 50's.  It felt great when we walked the dogs and the colors seemed to have intensified over the past 24 hours.

A hair cut today and life is good.  For me, a haircut is a game changer.  I can be sick, down in the dumps, whatever but if I get a good haircut, just bring it on.

Classes tomorrow will be on the heart chakra.  The day will be all about compassion.  May your Thursday be filled with compassion, continue to spread kindness, it is what the world needs now.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

3rd Chakra

Classes for the past few days have been on the chakras. Starting with the root, moving to the sacral and then today working on the third Chakra, the solar plexus.  We have moved from the element of earth to water to fire.  Third Chakra is my favorite to teach at work because it is the energy of transformation, dealing with ego and confidence.

We talked about breaking old habits or patterns, creating new behaviors.  I reminded the students that they had already begun a major transformation in their lives by coming to an addiction center.
I pointed out that in so many ways being there was an incredible opportunity that very few receive.
They have the ultimate luxury of focusing on themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, their wants and needs.  So many of them have such poor self-esteem, liberation from old fixed patterns can be frightening.

The most awesome thing about today's class was watching faces light up as we talked about transformation.  They are ready, their wills are strong and their confidence is growing. The next few classes will be most interesting.

Finally our heating/air conditioning is fixed.  The brand new unit was installed today and it is working great.  When I left for work this afternoon, it was 80 degrees in the house and with our high humidity today there was no comfort.  Coming home tonight and walking in our front door was a different story, cool comfortable air and as tomorrow's cold front comes through, we will have heat as well.   I am so grateful.

Stay hopeful, be kind and spread joy tomorrow, be the neighbor and friend you would like to have.

Monday, November 6, 2017


Taz is the only dog who gets to routinely sleep on her blanket on the sofa.  Calliou and Hook occasionally sneak a spot on the love seat.   This morning when we got up, Hook had claimed the love seat and was snoring when we walked in the great room.  He's deaf, so he never even knew we were there.  I have to admit, he looked so sweet and comfy I had to take his picture.  He knows no stress.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hope and Beauty

The saga continues.  Because our old heating/cooling system is ancient and is enclosed in a closet in our house things got complicated.  Also,  the closet housed our hot water heater.  So the new system will not fit in the closet with the water heater, the water heated had to be relocated.  Here's the deal, our house is small, 1200 square feet, every inch of space is allocated.  After a stressful night and morning we decided we could move the water heater into the pantry.  My brother and his son, who are plumbers extraordinaire spent their Sunday afternoon  helping us.

The heating/cooling guy will be here Tuesday or Wednesday to install the new system... I will keep you updated.  There have been tears and laughter at the Watson house the past 24 hours.

On a happy note, fall's beauty continues here.  Every day the colors just become more intense.
And there is hope of cooler temps this week, after storms come through the next couple of days.
Tomorrow may our week start with hope, peace and kindness.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fun Times

This picture of us popped up on FB this morning.  I had forgotten about it, but it is one of my favorite photos of Rick and me.  Taken a couple of years ago at an art in the park festival in Jasper, I think it captures who we are as singer/songwriters.    It was a fun day, but then it is always fun when we get to play music.  We have a gig coming up on November 16 at an art museum.  We love hanging with those arty types!

The past couple of days have been a bit stressful.  Our heating/cooling system died and a new one is being purchased.  Needless to say a chunk of cash is leaving the Watson house this week.

Enjoy your Sunday.  May you find peace and share joy and be kind to others.

Friday, November 3, 2017

November Warmth

The full moon shines through the lace curtain on my window behind the computer screen.  It is a night that is way too warm for November.  Today has been warm and humid.  This is the beginning of our second tornado season.  Some years it skips us, but this warmth is scary.  You can almost hear Mother Nature whisper, " you will pay for this warmth."

Walking the dogs this morning fall color seems to have decided heat be damned.  The color is deceptive, you look at the trees and think oh I need a sweater and then you walk outside and think I will never buy another sweater again.

I hope this first weekend in November is a good one for all of us.  May we each feel another's kindness and don't forget to spread some joy.  About the picture tonight, I love the shades of red in the fall, they make me happy.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Look Down

A few days ago I wrote about looking up.  This morning as I walked the dogs, I looked down and there was another gift.  This one, a tiny wild violet.  We have them by the hundreds in early spring but never have I seen one bloom in November.  Look up, look down, be mindful and aware.  There are gifts everywhere, including the full moon tonight.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November 1

November 1...leaves are turning

November 1...the month of Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday

November 1... full moon tomorrow night

November 1...where has 2017 gone?

November 1...anniversary of my mother's death is this month

November 1... hopes for a real fall and winter this year

November 1...time to paint those Christmas cards

November 1...Jordan's first fall swim meet, no longer 50 meters, now 100

November of our favorite gigs coming up this month

November 1...falling backwards with time this month ( I am not a fan of DaylightSavings)

November 1...I love Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

November Christmas decorations at our house until December, thank you

November 1...November is bittersweet, it holds great sadness but also wonderful joy

November 1...always grateful, no matter the month