Monday, December 31, 2018

Snow Flag for the New Year

December 31,'s almost gone.  2019 is waiting in the wings, hoping that he brings good health, great joy and much love and kindness to everyone.  And I hung my winter/snow flag today so hoping to see a little snow as well.

Happy New Years to you all.

Sunday, December 30, 2018


A dear friend lost her husband just before the holidays.  She shared this quote with me tonight, it goes on my board tomorrow.

"There are four things in this life that will change you. Love, music, art and loss.  The first three will keep you wild and full of passion. May you allow the last to make you brave."  - Erin Van Vuren

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Cold and Damp

We have had such a rainy season moss is covering anything that doesn't move.  Usually we see all sorts of fungi in the spring, but it abounds this winter season as well.

A mostly sunny day but rain moved in again tonight and will stick around for the  next two or three days.

I love moss and we have so many varieties in various shades of green now, it is delightful to walk each morning and see what the cold dampness has brought. 

I know that many suffer from the dark days of winter.  Rick is not a fan of the cloudy days but there is beauty even in the grey damp cold.  You just have to look a little harder and wear warm clothes.

It may be hard to find beauty on a cold damp day, but it's there.  If you deal with winter light disorder, there are things you can do to help.  Wear brighter colors, keep live flowers in the house, spend time outside as much as you can, and if needed use special lights in your office or home.  Try to eat seasonal food, plenty of citrus, root veggies, dark greens, apples, nuts...continue to hydrate well, heated dry air not only dries your skin, but your respiratory system too.  And remember, spring will come, sometimes she is early, sometimes late, but she always comes.

May you have a peaceful Sunday and may you dream of warm sandy beaches.

Friday, December 28, 2018

December 28

Started taking down my Christmas decorations today.  I love our decorations, the way they make the house look magical...I really hate taking them down.  I will so miss the glow from the Christmas tree lights and the Santas on the mantle standing guard.  But by the end of the weekend, all will be back to normal and we will welcome the New Year.  Normally I leave everything up until New Years, but I go back to work Monday. 

Yesterday we got around 6 inches of rain, and it was almost balmy today.  Cooler tomorrow, then more rain and then really cold air comes back.  The weather certainly does a dance here in Alabama.

I have spent a great deal of time the past few weeks thinking about 2019 and the things that I want to accomplish.  2018 was a really productive year in many ways, but there were some spaces that were left empty.  Sometimes life just throws curves.  I know that there are some who live their lives with a single driven purpose, who dance their dance regardless and often I wish I did that. 

So, here we are, the last few days of December, the last few days of 2018.  Enjoy your weekend, be kind to those around you, don't forget to laugh out loud.  All the transformations that took place in our lives in 2018 added to our journey, I hope those transformations that greet us in 2019 give hope, kindness and joy to all.

Thursday, December 27, 2018


In this season of peace, I give you one of my most favorite quotes about peace.

"Peace is all around us and within us.  Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed.  It is not a matter of faith, it is a matter of practice."   -Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Boxing Day

I have taken the week off from work, some R and R was greatly needed.  Rick's younger sister's husband ended up at the hospital yesterday morning with some heart issues, today he got a stent.
He is doing well and should be home tomorrow.  We went over and spent a little time with them today.  Though they missed Christmas day, the annual Watson family gathering isn't until Saturday so they should be all festive by then.

Tomorrow rain, like 2 to 5 inches for the next couple of days is moving in, so it should be a good day for getting the house in order.  Rick is working this week, so he will be in and out.

These days after Christmas are one of my favorite parts of the holidays.  The decorations are still out, the mood is still festive but now I can be still and enjoy the beauty of everything.  Last night before we went to bed, I turned out all the lights except those on the trees and we sat by candlelight/tree light just enjoying the silence and beauty of the lights.  While we were out and about today, people just seemed less frantic, moving slowing and smiling.

Today is Boxing Day if you live in the UK.  Last year, our great niece and nephew ( who were living in London at the time) brought us candy from the UK, it was so tasty.  We celebrated Boxing Day last year with our candy, this year, just a nice up of tea and biscuits.

I hope your Christmas  was a good one, we are getting ready to do our vision boards and think about our goals and a plan to meet them for 2019.  2018 has been kind to us, I hope 2019 continues that path.  Get some rest, enjoy your time with family and friends and if you are like us, about to face monsoonal rains...stay dry.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas 2018

Our 2018 Christmas card, Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Baking Christmas Cookies

Breakfast with my brother Ricky and his family this morning at 8:00.  Then his grandkids came over and made Christmas cookies.  ( his kids use to do that)  We took a well deserved nap, then carried presents to Rick's sister Mary Lois, my sister Pat and my sister Nell.  Then home for Christmas fettuccine and It's A Wonderful Life.  Busy day.

I enlisted the help of my great niece Daisy to help me with the baking today.  She loves to cook and for an eleven year old, she is awesome.  We came over right after breakfast and got the dough ready, cut out the cookies and placed a cookie sheet full of cookies at each kid's chair.  Then she got all the sprinkles, pearls, stars place in little bowls so that everyone could decorate their cookies any way they wished.  We had a grand time.  We are still sweeping up sugar crystals tonight.

Christmas Eve will soon be over, I hope your Christmas Day is full of joy, full of peace and full of love.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sunday Thoughts

All the gifts are wrapped.  We go to my brother's house next door for breakfast in the morning.  8:00 am, but Sam has to see patients tomorrow,  I think her dad and brother have work to do as well.
But, we eat a hearty breakfast and hopefully they will all get home early tomorrow afternoon.

Rick and I will visit our older sisters tomorrow, leaving gifts for their families.  Christmas afternoon we will drop by and say hello to their kids and grandkids. 

I am finding that fatigue is a trigger with the meniere's  flares.  It is hard to find a balance in this holiday season, but we are working at it.  I teach acceptance of change daily, but I know from personal experience, it is very difficult, especially with health issues and aging.

I hope that regardless of how you celebrate the holidays, that you find time for peace and solitude.
 I hope there is a place where you can experience the gift of silence as well as the merriment and fellowship of family and friends.  Even the holidays require balance.

If you are traveling this week, safe travels, treat others as you wish to be treated and at some point look up, and see the beauty of the winter sky.  The moon has been a gift this week.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Jordan's Decor

Rick and I, my brother Ricky ( Jordan's Pawpaw) helped Jordan with his Charlie Brown tree and yard decorations today.  We had a great time.  We all declared it was the best tree ever!  I don't think we could claim to be professionals, but it sure was fun.

Friday, December 21, 2018

No Agenda

Rick finished up his column this morning and we decided to do our grocery shopping and the last of our Christmas shopping.  It was pouring rain, 40 degrees with bitter wind straight out of the north and we didn't care.  We had a great time, we drank hot peppermint mocha coffees from Joe Mugs while we shopped for gifts.  We took the long way home.  Though we got a great deal accomplished, there was really no agenda.

This evening, I made hot cider and we watched The Shop Around the Corner . Today was one of the least stressful days I have experienced in weeks.  Tonight, we did our gratitude ceremony and celebrated the Winter Solstice.  We were hopeful about the full moon tonight, but the clouds still cover the skies, maybe tomorrow night we will see moonlight.

The very last card was mailed today.  A couple of presents wrapped, more tomorrow and then I start working on cookie dough  for Christmas Eve.  My brother Ricky's grandkids come over after breakfast on Christmas Eve and make Christmas cookies, their parents did it when they were kids.  I hope this is one tradition that will continue, they are really good cookies.

December 21, only a few days until Christmas, only a few days left in 2018.  May we all experience joy in our hearts tomorrow, may  we all be kind.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Christmas Tree

Rainy and cold, so Rick picked up Chinese for dinner.  It was so very tasty. 

Tomorrow we will finish our shopping and then I wrap.  Breathe a sigh of relief.
Colder tomorrow so that should really put us in the Christmas spirit.

The dogs are a little confused about the Christmas tree.  It blocks their view of squirrel and deer patrol.  But they have learned to wriggle their way around it.  I hold my breath every time we leave hoping Hook won't take it down while we are gone.

Tomorrow is Winter Solstice, we celebrate the longest night with our gratitude ceremony because we know the light begins to grow with each passing day.
As I write this I can smell our tree.  It is a lovely ice blue cedar and the smell has not weakened in a week indoors.  It is small and not perfectly shaped but it suits us and our little cottage.

During these next few days, don't forget to breathe, don't strive for perfection and always be kind.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Powder Santa

 Santa is everywhere, even in the powder room at the Watson house.  Rain moving in, it just makes the Christmas lights sparkle and become more magical.  Painted the last card today.  Breathe a sigh, a big sigh of relief.  So excited there is a full moon this weekend, makes the holidays extra special.
Dealing with another bout of vertigo tonight, peppermint tea and bed.  Be kind, after all tis the season.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Welcome Santa

 The tree is up, all the decorations are out, and the last of the cards go out tomorrow.  Time to wrap gifts  and then enjoy these next few days.  The past few days we have spoken with friends and made plans for the new year.  Visits are a top priority for us in 2019, it has been ages since we have  visited so many of our friends and that is sad.  It seems everyone is in that constant rush, I am so ready to slow my journey down a little and really smell the roses.   I made this Santa wreath many years ago, but I still love to display it.  Painting my cards has reminded me of how much I love to paint, I have missed it.   Enjoy your hump day, spread some joy, be kind.

Monday, December 17, 2018

More Christmas

One more Christmas decor picture and I promise no more until I do the tree.

The sun came out today and blue skies were stunning.   Everyone was in a better mood.

But, I am so happy, we are suppose to have snow flurries this weekend.
I am doing my happy dance.

All my classes were packed today.  I am tired so ready for bed.

Enjoy your week.  Be kind.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Bits of Christmas

 Almost done with my cards, will finally be able to decorate my tree soon.  I can't believe I use to do all my stuff and my mom's too. 

I hope your weekend has been a good one.  What is it now?  9 more days til Christmas????

Wishing you all a week of kindness and great joy.  Enjoy my humble decorations.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Me and the Big Guy

This evening was Rick's office party for the paper.  It was so much fun, employees brought their kids and grandkids, the food was tasty and even the big guy, St. Nick showed up.  I know he was the real deal because when I told him what I wanted for Christmas, he agreed I had been a good girl and should get what I ask for...we'll see.  I ask for a vehicle, an Outback, doesn't have to be a new, but I gave specifics.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Stockings Hanging

Lots accomplished today, more cards painted, some shopping done, tree is now in the house ( not decorated yet)  all the inside decorating is done, and the Christmas dishes are out!

Tomorrow I get my hair cut, and we have a Christmas party to attend at the paper where Rick works.
I have been wanting to eat at this place for ever and the party is there, can't wait.

Sharing my mantle decor with ya'll tonight.  I call it Stockings Hanging.  Instead of flowers, I always use fresh greenery it makes the house smell so nice.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Season of Love

We decorate our tree tomorrow!  Sent out the first batch of cards today, to those who are far away, painting the second batch to send out Saturday and hope to finish up our Christmas shopping tomorrow.  Yes, I save almost everything until December, for me, it just adds to the fun.

Rain moving in again tonight, these cold rainy days are perfect for cider and coco and hot tea.
While I worked this afternoon and evening, Rick shot pictures of the local Christmas parade.

I hope your week has been a good one and I hope the weekend brings you whatever you need. Some need rest, some need joy, some need kindness and this is the season we all need love.

Goodnight, Sweet dreams  From our Christmas Pig and Chick.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Frozen Beauty

A busy day, card painting, taking care of Jordan ( not feeling well), and work.  I am a wee bit tired.
Another picture from our frozen fog was beautiful.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Frozen Fog

Last night we experienced a weather event that rarely happens here but when it does it is beautiful.
We got up this morning to frozen fog.  All the trees, the leaves on the ground, everything was covered with a dusting of light ice.  Not an ice storm ice, but almost as though the winter fairies had sprinkled sparkles on everything. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

December Color

We planted our blueberry bushes because we love to eat the berries, but the rewards have been even greater.  They provide flowers in early spring, then yummy berries and beautiful colorful foliage in the winter.  They are incredible plants and so easy to grow.  We love our blueberry bushes.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Rest in the Darkness

45 cards are now drawn and waiting to be painted, that will start Tuesday or Wednesday.  We visited our favorite tree farm today and got our tree, a beautiful blue ice cedar which we will plant on our farm after New Years.  It smells heavenly. It will be a few days before it is decorated, but that's ok.

Another cold rainy day, but you know like these days.  They give me a great sense of connecting to mother nature as she rests  these next few weeks.  I like that feeling of slowing down, going inward during the cold dark days and then the explosion of energy as the season changes moving toward spring. 

I think that as humans it is important to feel a connection to nature, to be mindful of the darkening of the days as a time to rest and contemplate our lives.  Then as days grow longer and brighter to know and embrace the possibilities of all things new and reborn, of growth.

I hope this week brings a greater sense of peace and hope to all. I hope that we remember we are spiritual beings experiencing a human form and that we all belong to the human race.
May we all be kind to each other.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Labor of Love

Rick worked at the newspaper all day.  I washed my yoga blankets for work and then I started working on my Christmas cards.  I do the sketch on each one first, so I have sketched 40 cards today.
Tomorrow I lay down the water colors and then the acrylics and then I add the special finishes like pearl, gold or silver.  They are a labor of love.

It has rained constantly all day.  A very cold pouring rain, so for my snack this afternoon  I had hot tea and fruitcake.  Dinner tonight was comfort food at it's best, chicken and dumplings.

I have gone two days now without migraine/vertigo and nausea and no meds.  My heart is full of gratitude.  Hopefully the shots have fully kicked in and I will have smooth sailing for many months.
This Menieres can be such a beast.

We are already in our pjs and I think Rick just put the water in the tea kettle.  Can we say early bedtime?   We are such party animals.

May we all feel peace tomorrow, may we all know kindness and love.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Little Giant

I was beyond excited today, our favorite produce market has reopened.   The Little Giant Produce stand has been in my hometown of Sumiton since before Rick and I married ( we've been married 44 years).  This summer the young  man whose father had started the business  announced that he was closing the store.  I did not take the news well.  This market has sold the freshest produce you can buy all these years.  When ever possible they buy from local farmers ( yes they have bought from us) and they go to the huge farmer's market and Birmingham and  hand pick what they sell.

The young man's dad had died and his heart was just not in the business.  But a young family had moved into the area and they have opened the market.  The new owner had grown up in a family market business and loved it and was thrilled to reopen Little Giant.  Today as we walked in, my first words were "I am so glad you have reopened."  While we were there other shoppers came and exclaimed the same thing.  I hope nothing but good things for this young couple and their venture.
While we were there he talked about the how he loved the community spirit that the market provided as well as the fresh produce.

So we left with bags full of fruits, vegetables and nuts.  We were almost giddy.  Oh yes the original owners had carried the best ever fruit cakes each holiday season, they had them in stock today. I admit one came home with the Watsons.

I know for many people they think that produce is just fine at the local grocer.  I promise there is a difference and once you have the freshest to be found , it is hard to settle for anything else.
We feel the same way about our meats that we purchase.  The town also has a family grocer with their own butcher who hand cuts all the meat and poultry.  We are spoiled.

I hope your day has been a good one.  Even though it is very cold and rainy, it has been a good day.
The dogs were not happy about walking in the rain, but they got new beds today so tonight they are nestled in new cozy beds.  Enjoy your weekend, be safe, be kind.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Momma 101

Today would have been my momma's 101 birthday.  She died in 2005 and I miss her daily.
She was strong, a woman who came of age in the depression and tough.  But she was also beautiful and loving and kind.

Happy Birthday Momma!  I  miss you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Hump Day

The interview went well today, it should be on line by the weekend.  When it's posted I will send a link through my blog.  It is part of our county heritage association, they are interviewing several people from each town in our county.  It was fun recalling how the small town of Sumiton was in the 50's and early 60's.

The house is decorated, the cards are waiting to be painted and soon the outdoor decorations will be done.  The finale will be the tree and presents.  We are getting there.

A class of new students today.  They were eager and happy to learn something new.  All were asking when they could come again.

Hump day is almost over.  Time for rest and hot tea.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Christmas Stuff

It is starting to look like Christmas at the Watson house.  For the past few years I decorate the house first, then the outdoor stuff and finally the tree.  For me it works, working in shifts with the decorating is how I get it done.  For years I tried to do everything in one or two days, I got it done, but I was one cranky woman.

Today I did the great room and Rick's bathroom.  Tomorrow I will do my bathroom.  Later in the week, we will work outside and the weekend brings the tree and the painting of the cards.

The shots/infusions have kicked.  Two days without symptoms...I can not express enough gratitude.

Tomorrow I am being interviewed for an on line magazine about growing up in my hometown.  I will post the interview when I can.

I hope this first week in has brought love and kindness into your lives this week and I hope you share it with others.  I believe we reap what we sow.  May our seeds be those of joy, love and peace.

Monday, December 3, 2018

It Goes On

Back to work today, very tired tonight so I am sharing a wonderful quote with ya'll.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life:
It goes on."   -Robert Frost

Sunday, December 2, 2018


My siblings celebrated the holidays with lunch today.  Since our mom died, we meet every year on the first Sunday in December and have lunch at my sister Pat's house.  We no longer try to get the whole family together, there are so many grands, great-grands and great,great, grands it is impossible.
Even one brother and his spouse couldn't make it today.  But I am always thrilled and grateful for whoever makes it.

I realized today that my some of my siblings are in their 80's.  Where has the time gone? and how did we age so quickly?  But there was good food and laughter and hugs and that is all that mattered.
December is here and I can already hear the grains of sand tumbling through the hour glass.

Enjoy your week, be kind.  Front row, my brother Lynn, sister Nell and Pat.  Back row, Lynn's wife Gwyn, my brother Ricky, me and Ricky's wife Deb.  Of course my Rick took the photo.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

December 1

December 1... Rick's mom's birthday is today, my mom's will be on the 7th...the holidays are not the same when mom is no longer with you

December 1...rainy and warm, we moved into our little cottage on this day 35 years ago, Auburn and Alabama were playing in Birmingham and a tornado swept over the stadium, we have two tornado seasons in Alabama, lucky us

December 1...Prototype Christmas cards are drawn, now I have to decide which design to go with and paint

December 1...lots to do, making lists, checking them twice...decorating, shopping, wrapping, cards and cooking to be done

December weekend time to go look for a tree

December 1...Christmas music on the stereo, I like the offbeat as well as the traditional

December favorite part of Christmas, making cookies with the kids on Christmas eve after we have had breakfast at my brother's house

December 1...Christmas Eve night, Rick and I open our gifts to each other, have some champagne, get ready for a long winter's nap

December 1...Rick's sister's birthday is also this month, so is my nephew Haven's, his wife's Alesha and our niece Jayna

December 1...This coming week, we will do our yard decorations and then I start in the house.  The tree is is the last thing I do.

December 1...last month of the year, 2018 has moved so quickly

December 1...I hope we have snow sometime this month