Friday, July 31, 2020


It's been a day. This morning was spent dealing with more and more paper work and phone calls.
This afternoon we had a rough storm, torrential rain and gusty winds.  The power went off.
I reported the outage and waited.   My brother's wife, Deb came over to check on me.  As I walked her out the door, we both looked up and saw a tree limb dangling on my power lines.
At that moment an Alabama Power truck came by and Deb flagged him down.  He saw the immediate issue and then realized that other limbs were on the line as well.
He spent over an hour, cutting and removing limbs off my power lines.  When the power was restored I made sure I gave him a shout out on social media.

Between the phone calls, and the storm and the outage I have definitely cried a few tears.  This evening I cooked my first meal since the day Rick died.  Samantha has had grueling days this week on her new job with home health care and spending her off day helping me.  I made one of her and Rick's favorite meals of roast chicken and vegetables.  I truly love cooking and being back in the kitchen today was soothing and healing.

This healing/grief process is so complicated.  There are moments that I think I am stronger and things are getting better and then the flood gates open and there is a monsoon of tears falling down my cheeks and I realize I am still a basket case.  There are still so many friends that I want to talk with, but a conversation takes an incredible amount of energy. 

After the storm I walked around the property picking up small limbs and with each one telling Rick how much I miss him.  I am grateful for all who read this blog, maybe at some point in your life my words will help some of you.  But, what I am going through these days....I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  I find myself singing that old song from the 60's Turn, Turn, Turn.  You know the one that the words are from the Bible, for everything there is a season.  This is quite a season.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


I have always made lists and used a day planner.  I am grateful for that, especially now.  It is overwhelming all that needs to be done.  Each morning I am trying to only put 3 or 4 things on the list and get those done by the end of the day.  It would probably help if I didn't cry so much.

At first I didn't think I could write this blog anymore, but I think it is helping the grief and the healing.  I wish I were more computer literate, Rick loved technology and I admit I have tried to avoid  it for the most part. 

I talked with his bee mentor, he is coming for the bees tomorrow evening.  I love them and I will miss them so much, but Rick was just teaching me and I know I cannot
care for them the way he did.  His bee mentor's name is Ricky so I think it is fitting that they go to live with him.  He will love them and care for them and he has promised to bring me the honey from Rick's hives when he harvests.

Hook and Taz seem more settled today.  Kodak misses him, but he's only been with us less than a year.  Hook and Taz are old family members.  I am grateful for these dogs, I talk to them, hug them and feel their connection to Rick.

I called this blog Transformation Information because I wanted it to be a link to students that I had through the years as well as blog friends.  With Rick's death, writing these words are helping me through the biggest transformation I have ever gone through.  Maybe in some way, my transformation will help some of you.

Thank you for your love and kindness, your prayers and energies, thank you for being there.  I wanted to add the photo of the zinnias, to let you know I still see the beauty around me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


We are living in the land of limbo here on the farm.   The chickens have stopped laying.  Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's the fact that a few weeks ago Rick had asked one of his friends to adopt our rooster because he had become aggressive  with the kids and he came by Saturday and took him to a new hen house.  But the hens are still very loving and attentive so maybe it's just the heat.

Have you ever seen a dog cry?  I had not, not until yesterday.  Hook goes to the window a dozen times during the day watching for Rick to get out of his truck.  Yesterday I sat down beside him and when he looked at me, a tear rolled down his cheek.  The broken pieces of my heart broke into more pieces.

I am in the throes of the paper trail now.  Calling and changing things like bills to my name, trying to make decisions and hoping that I am doing what Rick would do.  I keep watching for him, to walk through the field from the barn or the honey house.  I keep waiting to hear his voice or hear his laugh.

Jordan spent the morning with me.  He's finally eating and speaking to me, but won't talk about Rick.
There is not a manual for this stuff, not really.  This is fly by the seat of your pants and hope you don't mess up stuff.  Walking through darkness, catching glimpses of light that is how my days have been.
This grief is so different from that of losing my parents and brother.  I have lost a part of me.

Take care of yourselves, be kind, wear masks, be safe, be well.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

You Don't

Tonight I made myself a cup of hot tea.  The first I have had since Rick passed.  It was such a simple ritual, one we did nightly, drinking a cup of hot herbal tea before bed.  His favorite was honey lavender and I would sometimes have red zinger, or rose or maybe peppermint.   
Tonight it seemed that hot cup of tea was calling my name, wanting my hands to embrace the mug and let it's warmth soothe my soul.

My life changed on July 16 and every day the ways it has changed add up.  To say I miss him, that only skims the surface.  I am rather lost right now.  Covid 19 changed normal for most of us, but this has erased my normal forever.  These days I am trying to create some ritual of living that makes sense to my broken heart.

I know all you blog followers loved him.  You loved his pictures, his words, his human kindness.
He loved you all as well.  He would spend hours sometimes just reading and catching up on your blogs.   I confess, I have not been that diligent and I will do better, just give me time.

Take care of yourselves, be kind to each other.  No matter how many years you live, life is short.
One of my favorite quotes I have used on my board at work for years, " you think you have time, but you don't."  I have found out the truth of those words.

Stay well, wear your masks,  and above all be kind.  I will write again soon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Living the Dream

If anyone had told me that last Wednesday would have been my last day on this planet with Rick I would have laughed, and asked what the punch line was.
It has been a week, a second, a decade, a lifetime.  It has been hell, tears, pain.  It has been laughter and love and memories.
He had not felt well for some time.  And we would talk about his needing to see a doc, but he was so worried about me catching Covid 19, we kept putting it off.  The weekend before the heat and humidity was brutal and as always our to do list here on the farm was a long one.  On Saturday I think he might have suffered heat exhaustion or maybe heat stroke.  That night was a long one and on Sunday he still felt bad.  We used ice packs and lots of fluids.  On Monday he went to see our local urgent care doc.
He had a bad prostate infection, dehydration, but no evidence of virus showed up in the blood test.
We called our family doctor on Tuesday and made an appointment for Thursday to come in for tests and blood work.
On Wednesday he was better, we walked to the barn, checked on the bees and chickens, but we cut our walk short, the heat was getting to him.  We came home, he rested and I cooked lunch.
Lunch was one of his favorites, fresh corn, fried greed tomatoes and purple hull peas, and he ate better than he had in a few days.
That afternoon I cut his hair,  ( because our family doc has a beautiful NP and he didn't want her to think he was a shaggy old man) :)    He showered,  our nephew Haven called, and our friend Wes called.  By dinner he was not feeling as well and after a few bites  he wanted to study for  his upcoming Bee Masters exam.
We went to bed and he fell asleep.  Around midnight, he woke me up saying he couldn't breathe.
We got up and went to the couch.  Things got worse and I called 911, I began CPR.  The local first responders came and they took over, then the ambulance crew came and they took over.  After 40 minutes or so, he was carried to our hospital in Jasper and the doctor told me what I knew the moment I started CPR, he was no longer with us.
I am living in a cloud of shock.  Right now I am functioning on auto-pilot.
I have lost someone who has been in my life since I was 15 years old.  It has been a magical life, full of love, good times, music, travel, incredible friendships.  I have lived the dream with him.
If anyone ever asked how he was, his response was always the same "living the dream."
It was the truth.  We lived the dream.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020


The heat and humidity has been almost unbearable today.  This evening something the weather guys called an upfront came through and the temp dropped about 10 degrees.  South of us there is rain and the low that caused the rain in the south created a cooling wind for us.  Wow.  I know I am such a geek sometimes.

Rick is still not feeling well so we will do another call with our primary doc in the morning and hopefully get him better.

Neither of us have had much sleep the past couple of nights, fingers crossed tonight we sleep.
Be  kind, be well, be safe.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Mossy Walk

With all the rain, heat and humidity the moss and mushrooms are taking over the farm.
The good news, the ferns that Rick got in the woods and we planted in stone planters out front are thriving.  As I fed everything in planters this morning, I realized our walk way to our front door has become a mossy path.  The moss and the ferns out front give everything a fairy like quality.  I like it.
Be kind tomorrow, stay well.

Monday, July 13, 2020


We got three inches of rain yesterday. Suddenly the moss and the mold and mushrooms are every where.
This morning was heaven, only 68 degrees.  That's a rarity by Wednesday it will be around 75 for a nighttime low and a daytime of high of 96, and oh yes the humidity will be a guest at the party.

It's been a slap hazard sort of day.  You know, one of those when you start something and then you have to do something else and then it becomes like a train wreck of dominos or like those circles on the log in my photo tonight.  You take a deep breath, do what you can do and figure out the rest tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, be kind and be well.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sunday Thoughts

A day of rest today for both of us.  Rick overdid  it in the heat yesterday and I think became dehydrated.  So for him it has been rest and lots of fluids today.
For me, I have read and worked with some new water color paints that I bought.  I love them, they are very vivid and luminous, made in France and get this, have a honey base.
Storms moved in and this afternoon has been so much cooler.  But this is only mid-July and I am sure there is much more heat and humidity to come.
A brand new week.  Our numbers here are still rising daily, so are our deaths.  Wear your masks, keep your distance, wash your hands and please be kind.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

French Marigolds

I write about the zinnias so much, but I also love French marigolds.  This year I grew mine from seeds and they are lovely.  I am one of those strange ducks that loves the scent of marigolds, and like the zinnias they bloom until frost.  These tonight are some of my favorites.

Friday, July 10, 2020


I have spent the past couple of days painting our new mail box and our street address sign.
We are known for our blueberries and our bees so that's what I painted.    I didn't realize until I started  but the mail box is not smooth, it is covered in tiny ridges.  It is always interesting painting on texture and a black background.
Hot humid weather ( dog days) hit this week, low to mid 90's  and heat index of 100 or more.  It is summer time in Alabama.
Ya'll be kind, stay well.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

A Pitcher of Limoncello

A pitcher of limoncello sunflowers, the perfect bouquet for summer.  Every time I see this on my kitchen table, I smile.

Take care of yourselves, stay well.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Bob's Zinnia

It was Christmas in July at our house yesterday.  Our friend Pamela Whitworth from Tennessee sent us two books by Douglas W. Tallamy, "Bringing Nature Home" and "Nature's Best Hope."  Tallamy writes about conservation starting in your own back yard.  Cannot wait to read both these books.

Then our friend Robert H. Miller ( Bob), from Scottsdale, Az sent me the most beautiful piece of art.
Bob is a gifted artist who has so kindly given us pieces of his art since we first met.  I have a painting of one of our roosters that Bob did several years ago that hangs on the wall above our dinning table.
Yesterday he gifted me with "Zinnia".    He will never know how much his gifts mean to me.
His talent is so amazing and I an honored that he has shared his works with us.

I am overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of these two friends.  We met Bob through the blogging world, we met Pam in Nashville through our music.  I love that life brings blessings when we least expect them.  I think that is what blessings are, gifts of love when we need them most.
They don't always have to be actual gifts, sometimes they are hugs, smiles, a call, a note but they show up out of the blue and they leave you with  a better appreciation of the human race.

This life is short no matter how long you live.  It can be difficult but it can also sweep you off your feet with joy.  It's important and now more than ever that we all reach out to each other. That we share our blessings daily.  I believe there is only one race, the human one and we need each other to survive.  Kindness and service to each other will keep us alive and help us to thrive.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Bottlebrush Buckeye

This morning walking the dogs, Samantha and I gasped at the same time.  A few feet ahead of us was something neither of us had seen before.  At first glance we thought it was a giant caterpillar on a plant, but as we got closer we realized it was a large beautiful bloom.
When Rick got home from work I took him down to see it.  He said he thought it was some sort of buckeye.  He used his trusty app that identifies plants and sure enough, it was a bottlebrush buckeye.
So beautiful and unusual. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Limoncello Sunflower

Last year for my birthday, my sister Nell gave me Limoncello sunflower seeds as part of my gift.
I loved them.  They are smaller sunflowers, much shorter than most we plant.  The color is a true lemon.  I think they might be the happiest flower on the planet.  I planted them everywhere this year, in the garden, in the melon patch.  The first one bloomed today.  I can't wait to fill my big blue pitcher with these amazing flowers. 
It has been a good day.  Just looking at this photograph tonight makes me smile.

Sunday, July 5, 2020


Sunday morning abundance, also 3 quarts of honey.  We work hard, but the rewards are so worth it.  Some years the harvest is plentiful, some not so much.  This year the eggs, fruits and veggies are wonderful but our bees have struggled.  We won't have enough honey to last through winter, but we will enjoy and be grateful for what we have.

Be kind this week, be well.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!  My great great niece Peyton, great niece Kay Lynn and great great nephew Parker gave me the little bird house last year.  It has become my favorite table decoration.  Way too cute to hang outside.  More zinnias have bloomed, the colors just keep on coming.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Patricia's Flower

We visited our friends Dennis and Patricia awhile back.  Dennis has a sawmill and gave Rick some lumber for bee hives.  Patricia has the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen.  She shared flowers with me.  This one bloomed today and for the life of me I can't remember what it is.
I have to call Patricia and tell her about the blooms and find out what the plant is.
I made caprese salad tonight with fresh basil and tomatoes from our garden, dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Served with rosemary chicken and for desert, banana walnut bread.  It was the perfect summer supper.
It has been a good day.  We spent the day on the farm, doing chores.  The bees have discovered our zinnias and today when I picked flowers for the house, bees and dragons flies danced around me.
Tomorrow is our Independence Day.  Often we have had lots of family and friends over and I have cooked ribs with all the trimmings.  Maybe next year we can do those big celebrations again.
Be kind,  be well.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Southern Humidity

We live in the south eastern United States, north central Alabama to be exact.  Our summers are hot and humid, most days you feel the dampness on your skin the moment you step outside.  ( and I don't sweat)  Winters are usually mild to moderate.  If we are lucky we have some semblance of fall and spring, many years we don't.  Tomorrow the dog days of summer start, hot sticky days and nights that seem to have no end in sight.
In years past, we have had friends who have made the mistake of visiting us during July or August.  They are usually from places where hot means an occasional 85 or 90 degree day with little humidity.
They usually don't come back.  Now the ones from colder climates who visit during fall, winter or spring want to move here.  They think how wonderful it must be, rarely any snow or ice, nice moderate temperatures.  We always tell them to come back in July and August.
A few years ago we were at the Phoenix, Az airport.  Everyone was complaining about the heat.  It was a 100 degrees but no humidity.  We laughed. We encouraged them to visit Alabama in July and August.
Our friends in Ireland who have visited Alabama in late summer call it the "hot country."
It's the humidity that makes our summers so brutal. But it is also why everything is so lush and green.  It's the humidity that makes us guzzle gallons of ice tea each summer, why long flowing skirts and dresses are so much cooler, and ponytails are appropriate hairdos for three year olds to 80 year olds.  I think the humidity is why southern women are known for their "big hair".  You reach a point where you just don't fight the humidity anymore and the hair gets bigger and bigger.
Tomorrow starts the beginning of our holiday weekend here, the 4th of July.  Stay safe, wear those masks, distance wash your hands.  Be kind, always, be kind.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Butterfly Bush

I dead head our blooming shrubs and plants daily.  It can be tedious and taxing, but the pay off is great.  More blooms and a longer blooming season are the results of dead heading, as are healthier plants.   My butterfly bushes are a prime example, the blooms just keep coming.
Today is July 1, Happy Canada Day to our friends up north. 
For my American friends, especially those who live in areas like I do where the daily Covid 19 positives and deaths are rising, mask, distance, wash your hands.
Be kind, be well.