Wednesday, July 31, 2019


My two favorite carpenters, ( Rick and Jordan) finished the construction of our new chicken domain today.  Well almost, we still have to hang the protective netting across the top and install the nesting boxes and then....the girls get triple the space they have been living in.

Jordan was beside himself today, Rick taught him to use the power drill.  I taught him how to make fig preserves yesterday, he uses a power drill today.  I think the kid may have learned some valuable skills.

It's been a good week.  Today we say good bye to July, hello to the Black Moon and tomorrow we welcome August.  And a little rain fell on the farm as well.

Be kind, spread joy.
Goodnight Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A Path Any Could Have Taken

I think a couple of our best programs at our facility is grief and trauma.  I tell my students, I tell my friends and family, it is important that you tell your story.  To heal, to move forward, you have to tell your story.  If you do grief or trauma counseling, you tell your story.

Today a couple of the women who had finished their last day of group trauma came to my class afterwards.  It is always obvious.   Their faces show shell shock, their eyes show tears, their body language shows surrender.  I put aside my plans for the lesson I had planned to teach and instead taught a yoga class on love, on opening the heart.

If you are in an addiction program, there is not much self love in your life.  In fact there is a great deal of self-hate, guilt and anger.  Today I encouraged my students to open their hearts to love and healing, especially self-love.  To share love, to love others, you have to find love and compassion for yourself.

The women came into my room in tears, they left with smiles.  I hope they left with the understanding that they truly were worthy of love, joy and peace.  I talked with them about that feeling of being invisible,  of no one seeing you or hearing you.  I reminded them of their strength, after all it takes guts and strength to come to rehab.  It is not for the faint of heart.

Daily I see students who have lost their way.  Their spirits have withered and they think their hearts are beyond repair.  I look at them and see their beauty, their strength, their incredible minds.
It is my job, my purpose if you will to show them who they are, to remind them of their value. After all they are humans, someone's daughter, son, father or mom.  They are people you know who have taken  a path that any of us could have chosen.

Tomorrow is Wednesday, I wish you much kindness.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Fig Preserves

We have an abundance of figs.  I dried some last year, but this year I thought I might make fig preserves.  I called my sister  Nell and got the basic recipe, then I did as I always do and tweaked it.   I made lemon ginger fig preserves.  I set aside one jar today that we could sample tonight.
I had some Brie and Carr crackers.  All I can tell you, Rick and I ate half a jar of the preserves.
( it was our dinner)  For my first time making them, I think I did ok.

The true test will be when Jordan comes over tomorrow.  He loves figs.  We will see what he says. I might have to make another batch in a couple of days.  Don't want those figs to waste.

A few clouds in the sky tonight.  We are hoping, seriously hoping for rain. 

Hot tea awaits. 
Goodnight, sweet dreams

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Cool and Soothing

 The Rose of Sharons are still blooming.  This pure white one greets you as you walk up to our front door.  She might just be my favorite.  She sits amidst the ferns and impatiens, cool and soothing in the heat.  Those nice days in the 80's didn't last, neither did the low humidity.  Today the air has been hot and heavy, yet this beauty never loses her crisp coolness.  I wish I could deal with the heat like she does.   This is the last week of July.  May kindness fill every day.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Tomato Lottery

We got to spend some time in Muscle Shoals yesterday and last night.  Heard great music, saw old friends, that's about as good as it gets.

Today has been a get'er done kind of day.  Clean the house, do the chores, all that kind of stuff.
I am so tired this evening, I thought today was Sunday.  I realized a little while ago, nope, tomorrow is Sunday!  Maybe there will be some rest time tomorrow afternoon.   I remembered this afternoon that my class is over and because it is, I regained almost two days of week personal time.

Crops this summer have been all or nothing.  We have hit the tomato lottery, and the pepper and blueberry one as well.  The apple trees and pear trees and peach tree were loaded, but then just like last year heat and drought hit.  All the fruit fell to the ground.  But the figs are starting to ripen and they are plentiful.

It will be an early night.  We were up way past our bedtime last night.  Enjoy your Sunday.
Be kind, Be joyful.

Friday, July 26, 2019


Sometimes I have to pinch myself, I can't believe how lucky I am, how blessed I am.  My friend Christine is one of the most incredible singers you will ever hear.  As big as her voice is, her heart is bigger.  What a show tonight.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Sun Bird

My great great nieces Kay Lynn and Payton and their brother Parker gave me this delightful chime for my birthday back in March.  I absolutely love the configuration...the sun, a bird, a candle and a bell.  It hangs on our back deck by one of my lemon trees.  It makes me smile each time I look at it.

Hope you have a wonderful Friday.  Be kind.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Celebrate!  I completed my course today on the Prevention of Chronic Pain.  I am proud to say I finished with a 94.   I did a happy dance.

I learned so much in this course.  I started it because of our Pain Management program at work, but much of the information has been helpful to me personally as well.  I know that this class has helped me to be a better teacher and person. I think knowledge does that regardless of what you do or what you study.

Jordan and Rick and a friend worked on completing the chicken pen today.  It looks great.
I can't wait to see the chicks when they move into their new place.  Just a couple of more days and they will move into their new digs.

My cup of hot tea awaits and thankfully so does my bed.
Good night, Sweet dreams

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Last year she bloomed a couple of blooms, the year before she was covered.  This year our persnickety bougainvillea has decided to be prolific again.  She is a stunner.

Monday, July 22, 2019


My daily quote today. 

"If you don't transform your suffering, you'll transmit it."
-Richard Rohr

Sunday, July 21, 2019


One more week of class, two more tests.   Looking at this photo this evening is calming, know that the ocean is there on the other side of the dunes.  Jordan wants to go to this beautiful place, I want to go back.  Now to convince Rick that we need to plan a trip.

The weather guys are saying things like cold front coming through this week.  I am skeptical, but hopeful.  Daytime temps in the 80's with night time lows in the 60's sound delightful.

Can you believe July is almost over?  School starts here in a couple of weeks. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Matt's Destiny

This afternoon we drove north to attend the wedding of a friend.  We have known Matt for several years.  We met him when we played a folk festival several years back and every time we ever played at Berkeley Bob's Coffee House he always came.  When his family's home was destroyed by tornadoes we were there to help them celebrate their new home.

Today we celebrated a new life for Matt.  A while back he met his Destiny.  A beautiful young woman whose spirit seems the perfect match for him.  Today they said their vows during one of the sweetest ceremonies I have ever attended.  Matt and Destiny ( yep, that is her name) just glowed with happiness.  His eyes teared up as I gave him a big hug.  Along with Rick and me, Bob Keefe and his wife Geri who owned the coffee house all through those years, we were there to cheer this wedding on.  As Bob said, we were all coffee house family.

As we drove home through the rain this evening we both were glowing too.  It is so uplifting to be in the midst of happiness and joy.  As I hugged Matt and Destiny goodbye I told them Rick and I celebrated 45 years together in May, I hope they get their 45 years and more.
Congratulations Matt and Destiny.  May life always treat you kind.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Classes and Chickens

Busy Friday, lots of laundry,  my online class with test, and then the 4H rep came by to check on Jordan's chickens.  You could tell the rep was impressed with Jordan's knowledge and skill set with the chickens.  And he spoke several times about how healthy the chickens were.

Next  came the shots, so Jordan helped catch the chicks and then hold them while they received their routine vaccinations.  I laughed and told Jordan he is now a professional chicken farmer.

I have two weeks left on my class.  It is amazing how much I have learned and how much I already knew.  I was nervous about being too old for a college class so this has helped my self-esteem as well.
I am a much better teacher for taking this class.  The class?  Prevention of Chronic Pain: A Human Systems Approach.  It has not been easy and I admit I have shed some tears.

Tomorrow will be busy with errands and then a wedding to attend tomorrow afternoon.  More class hours and another test to do Sunday.

Here's to a weekend of joy and kindness.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Teacher Success

Thursdays are draining. I spend about two hours with my Pain Management class.  I love teaching these groups.  Today the class dealt with lifestyle and how it affects those with chronic pain.
We talked about, ways to make the changes that would make lives easier.  We covered diet and nutrition, how to get a good night's sleep and movement.

I watched remarkable changes take place in a couple of the students today.  At times the class was quite serious, but then we laughed a great deal.  I also took healthy snacks so as we talked about eating and working on a healthy body they got to experience healthy food.

I watched students move in ways they thought were impossible.  They left armed with knowledge and confidence.  I felt successful as a teacher.

I hope your Friday gets your weekend off to a great start.  Have some fun and always be kind.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

3 Treats

Today has been quite a day.  I had an acupuncture appointment, then Rick and I had eye doc appointments and we had the "Kid".   We decided to treat Jordan to all his favorite places in Birmingham today.

While I was at my acupuncture appointment, Rick and Jordan went to Starbucks for his first treat.
Nope he doesn't drink coffee, but he loves their birthday cake pops.  That was treat #1.

They picked me up at the acupuncturist and then on to the eye doc.  Jordan amused himself while we saw the doc by taking pictures of us with my phone and then adding strange and wacky add ons, like Rick with a bouffant hair do and me with Elton John sun glasses.  Of course by now we both have eye pupils the size of dimes and the appointment is over.

Now for treat #2, did I mention that the eye doc was at the mall?  For Jordan's second treat, we visit the LEGO store at the mall and he builds 3  mini characters.  By now it is past lunch time and the three of us are hungry.

Treat # 3 we take Jordan to his favorite Birmingham restaurant, Nikki's West.  It is an icon in the city, serving up the best meat and three ever, plus incredible Greek seafood.  On Wednesday one of the specialties is blackened tilapia, yep, Jordan's favorite.

By now we still are an hour from home, we are all exhausted and my eyes are still not normal.
I call work and take the afternoon off.  On the way home, Jordan makes up names for his 3 LEGO people and then continues with tales about their adventures.  The three of us laughed so hard our faces hurt.

You might say, we had a really good day.  Rick snapped the picture just as Jordan put food in his mouth.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Screen Porch

Rain moved in a little earlier tonight.  We often go out and sit on the screen porch just to smell the freshness and listen to the drops falling on the tin roof.  We did tonight for a few minutes.  Building that screened porch is one of the smartest things we ever did.  It gets used 12 months out of the year.
When the kids come, it is their private space.  They play games, do crafts, eat and laugh there.

Rick uses it for his writing office.  I use it for solitude and respite.  All three of the dogs love to go out and sit and wait for the squirrels and chipmunks to run across the yard.  Often in the mornings we drink coffee there.  We play classical music that floats across the neighborhood.

In the winter months, we put heavy vinyl over the screen, set up a small heater and it becomes the perfect green house.

The only thing I would change, I wish we had a fireplace on it. 

Monday, July 15, 2019


Today's quote on my board.

" Our life is frittered away by detail.  Simplify, simplify."
-Henry David Thoreau

This is what I'm striving for, working for.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Look Up

Normally when I open the front door, I look straight ahead or to the left or right.  This morning when I opened the door I looked up.   Towering above me was a persimmon tree that was only about 6 feet tall when we built our house.  Beside the persimmon tree is the first Christmas tree we ever planted, a white pine.  That pine stands about 40 feet tall now.

Looking at those trees made me smile.  Those trees stand tall and strong and they are beautiful year round.  They give food and shelter to many of the critters who live here.  They give us precious shade on these hot humid days.  We love our trees.

It has been a wonderful laid back weekend.  We both have spent time together, apart and doing things we enjoy.  I hope this new week starts with much love and kindness for us all.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Morning Taz

Taz loves to sit on the back of the sofa while Rick and I have our morning coffee.  She appears to be related to a cat.  The higher she can perch, the happier she is.

Often she climbs up on her blanket, and catches a morning nap while we sip coffee.  Hearing her snore is so funny.  Little dog, big snore.

We went to Jordan's district swim meet today.  He qualified for state competition on all 5 categories.
Our great-niece Breeze qualified in 2.  Looks like we are going to state!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Me Time

It has been awhile since I had a "me" day.   I gathered some flowers for bouquets this morning, walked the dogs, chatted with my sister and niece.  This afternoon I spent a couple of hours at the hair salon.  I can tell you this, I needed a "me" day.  For the first time in a few weeks, I actually feel rested and refreshed.   WooHoo!

I teach self-care daily, but it is difficult for me to practice.  I am doing much better than I have in the past.  Old habits die slow.

The rest of the weekend is agenda free.  I cannot remember the last time our calendars were empty.
The weather guys say tropical rains are headed our way for the next few days.  I hope with the rains the temps drop a few degrees.  But there have been times in the past the rains came and the heat never backed off.

I hope you all have the opportunity for "me" time this weekend.  It feels really good.
Be kind, be grateful, spread some joy.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Plow Memories

You can tell looking at the picture that the old plow doesn't get used much anymore.  These days  most of our gardening is done in containers and raised beds.  It's just easier on the joints and with the two of us, we don't plant the field like we did when my parents were alive.

I love that old plow.  The last time I saw my dad down in the field, he was teaching Rick to use the plow to harvest sweet potatoes.  It's one of those memories etched forever in my brain.

My dad picked up one of the sweet potatoes, laughing as he told me, " I'll make a farmer out of that boy yet."  Little did I know in six months my dad would be dead.

Sometimes when I walk by that old plow, I swear I can still hear my dad laughing.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


The following quote has been on my board for a couple of days.  It has started many conversations.

" Two signs of not knowing your worth, you settle and you tolerate."

I wish I knew who said this, but a friend sent it to me and she didn't know.   It is a powerful statement.   Knowing and understanding your worth is life changing.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Pretty in Pink

Every spring when I resow the flower garden I just mix all the seeds together and sow them with wild abandon.  I never know what is coming up, where.  I buy several packs of mixed seeds so there  are always surprises.  This year I have had some of the most beautiful pink zinnias.  Each one seems to be more beautiful than the next.  I had to share them tonight.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Change the Energy

The heat just keeps on coming.  We have had triple digit heat indexes for about a week.  Even the nights are hot and humid...I am envious of those who live where the air is cooler.

My community class was so much fun tonight.  Everyone was in such a great mood.  Sometimes I go in and think I cannot teach one more class, but the group comes in and brings amazing energy .  Suddenly I find myself energized.   We humans are like that.  There can be a grumpy group and someone can change the whole dynamics with a smile and kind word.  The reverse can happen as well.  A negative angry person can cause a whole group to lose heart and see nothing good around them.

Be kind tomorrow.  Be the person that brings good energy into every room you walk in.  Brighten someone's day with a smile or kind word or hug.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Sunday, July 7, 2019


It has been a very good day.  It rained, a much needed, greatly appreciated rain.  We had good friends visit and play their songs and share a meal and laughter.  This has been one of those days you call good.  I go to bed tonight with a heart filled with love and gratitude.  Oh yes, the blazing star bloomed.

Saturday, July 6, 2019


She bloomed this morning.  She actually bloomed most of the winter on screen porch/green house.
I smile every time I see her out on the deck, such a happy flower and color.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Back to School

I am taking an online course through the University of Minnesota on Prevention of Chronic Pain :A Human Systems Approach.
Many times the lectures have been so far above my head but I have stayed the course.  I have learned so very much and am able to apply it to the classes that I teach at work.  Four more weeks and so far my lowest test score has been an 87.  Actually the class has helped me manage my own health issues better.

The philosophy of this class is an awareness that medicine only plays a very small roll in our health.
Self-care involving body, mind, spirit, nutrition, education and more plays a major roll in health.
The choices we make daily affect our health.

My brain is mush tonight.  I took two exams today, went to the acupuncturist and Costco.
That cup of hot tea is calling loud and clear.
Goodnight, Sweet dreams

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Independence Day

A few years ago a friend sent me a 4th of July, somewhere between the BBQ and fireworks, read the Declaration of Independence.  I did, and have every July 4th since.  I urge you to do the same.  Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Lemon Drops

A much better day today.  I love feeling normal!   My oldest sister Nell always gives me seeds, plants, etc for my birthday.  I have an incredible hawthorn tree in the back yard as well as a walnut tree and apricot tree too.  We have apricots that will soon be ripe.

This year she gave me seeds.  There were several packages of sunflower seeds  including some I had never seen before.  Those sunflowers are now blooming, taller than our backyard fence.  There are vivid orange ones, but my favorites are what she called lemon drops.  I cut several for a bouquet today.  I am sharing them with you tonight.  I love mixing herbs in with the flowers.  There is basil, sage, rosemary and mint in this bouquet as well as tiny old maids.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Miss Dahlia

Last night was a vertigo issue, sorry, it was not pleasant.  Today has been better and fingers crossed it will stay that way for a few days.  My oldest sister Nell gave me this dahlia for my birthday last year.
Isn't it beautiful?  She is thriving this summer.