Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday Thoughts

 The weekends are tough, the weekdays are tough.    There is always something to remind me of Rick.

Just when I think all those loose ends are tied up nicely, a few more show up.  Almost two hours on the phone today with one company, making one change.  Nothing should be this hard to do when you are in the throes of grief, but technology has made life very very complicated.  This too shall pass.

A cold front came through this afternoon.   The dogs and I sat on the back deck, listening to the rumble of thunder, feeling the wind change from warm and muggy to crisp and cool.  The yellow and red leaves swirled as butterflies flitted in the bee garden.  I will start our yearly conversion of screen porch to green porch tomorrow, hanging thick plastic over the screen and then slowly moving all the plants from the deck  in the next few days.  

This September is almost gone, this year is almost gone.  2020 will haunt me forever.

Be kind this week, remember to breathe, listen to music, look at something beautiful and at least once a day, laugh out loud. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

A Day of Change

 I decorated my front door for fall and got out my fall flag.  I am continuing with old traditions and making some new ones as well.  This creating a different life is strange at best.  Tropical storm Beta came through yesterday with over 3 inches of rain.  We needed the rain.   But if was a rough day emotionally for me.

I usually spend most of my day outside and though I did walk in the rain and do some chores, being indoors more than usual triggered some tears.  It's ok.  The good thing about crying alone, no one sees that ugly face with all the tears streaming down.

I am still meditating every  morning at 7:00.  I truly believe to bring about change, we have to be the change.   I also turned in my resignation to work yesterday.  That was bittersweet.  December I would have been there 15 years, but the desire to teach and give is no longer with me, at least not for now.

I hope your weekend is filled with peace and hope and kindness.  


Monday, September 21, 2020


 I promised information about studies that were done on meditation and violence ( war and conflict).

In the the 1980s there was a group of meditators in the Middle East that decided to meditate to end/slow down the violence of the Israel/ Lebanon War.  When the results of the study were in, levels of conflict were reduced on those days when meditations were done.  Yale University in 1988 decided to do 2 1/2 years of subsequent studies and just like the previous ones there were significant reductions of violence with each study.

From the Power of the Collective by John Hagelin, in 1993, 4000 participants in Washington DC meditated with the intention to lower violent crime in the DC area and they too achieved results much like those done with the Yale study.

Through the years more than 60 studies have taken place showing how meditation can can reduce violence and conflict through out the world.   That is why I am encouraging all of you to start a meditation  practice if you don't have one.  I believe something as simple as 5 minutes daily, breathing, sitting still and just thinking the word peace as you inhale and kindness as you exhale can calm the turmoil in our world.  It will certainly calm you.  I do this practice every morning at 7:00, but you find the time best suited for you.

I set my alarm for 10 minutes, but 5 is fine too.  For those minutes, you sit quietly and breathe.  Yes the dogs will bark, the phone will ring, your nose will itch, etc.  Just keep bringing your awareness to that inhalation of peace and exhalation of kindness.  Your day will be better I promise.  I know many of you pray, but meditation is different, it takes you inward and that peace and kindness will start with you.

If you set the alarm on your phone or clock, you won't have to worry about the time.  Meditation is good for your physical body, your spirit and your mental health.  It's free and in the scheme of things, five minutes can change your life and maybe many other lives.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Projects and Invitations

 Rick had three projects that we had talked about since spring that we wanted to get done before the year was over.   The first one, get the pump in the well so there would be water at the barn and the honey house.  The second one, get a tin roof on the chicken run and fix a shed for the mower and tiller.  The third one, repair the barn which had been hit by a couple of storms in the spring.

The week after he died, I made a promise to him that I would make sure his projects were done.  My nephew Haven and my brother Ricky got the pump in the well a couple of weeks ago.  Yesterday, Haven, our friend Fred and our neighbor Snow got the roof on the chicken run and built a shed.  My goal is to have the barn fixed in the next couple of months, hopefully in November. 

Rick and Haven had started the pump project the weekend before he died, but the heat was unbearable that fateful weekend and it just wasn't meant to be.

Every day I talk with him,  reminding him of how much I love and miss him, but also letting him know that those things he wanted to fix are being fixed.  

The hydrangea photo that I am using tonight was my surprise yesterday.  We had planted that bush two years ago and it never bloomed.   I had told Rick back in the early summer when everyone else's was blooming that I could not figure out why mine would not bloom.   Yesterday when we were working on the chicken pen I looked out across the fence and saw something blue.  Yep, that hydrangea was blooming.  I like to think it was Rick's way of telling me he was happy that I was getting his projects done.

On FB a few days ago, I invited my friends to start meditating with me every morning at 7:00, setting the intention for kindness and peace to spread across our country from coast to coast.  Someone had asked me how do you do that, well this is how.  Set a timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes, begin to breathe and with each breath think of peace and kindness filling every heart in America.  So tonight, I am inviting all of you to join me, each morning at 7;00 or anytime you can to help shine the light and move the darkness.  Tomorrow I will share the study of a similar meditation project that was done in the Middle East and the amazing results they had.

A brand new week, start it with 5 minutes of meditation filling your heart with peace and kindness, it's free and it's something we all could use.


Thursday, September 17, 2020


 Jordan's Nana came over and sat with me awhile this evening.  We took the dogs out back and watched them play and talked about how the season is changing.  Tree leaves are starting to lose their vibrant green and the light is becoming more golden.  There was a nice breeze that blew across our faces.  We will still have warm days ahead and then there is Indian Summer, but the temps are dropping a few degrees and it sure feels good.

When I walked the dogs this morning I saw goldenrods blooming.  I miss our bees.  They love goldenrod blossoms though Rick always fretted about the bee's relationship with them.  It seems goldenrod does not make tasty honey.  I took a picture of the golden blooms and thought of course of Rick.  It was a friendly competition we had, looking for the first blooms or signs of any season.  I often won but I would always console him by reminding him my photos were never as good as his.

I hope this day has been a good one for all of you.  Please continue to spread kindness, be grateful and look for beauty.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Two Months

I was sleeping soundly last night, truly resting and in the middle of my slumber, Taz sat up in bed and started to bark.  I picked up my phone and Taz and walked into the living room to see what was going on.  I looked at my phone, 2:21 is the 16th...two months since Rick passed....2:21 am  the official time of death on his death certificate.  Neither of the big dogs barked just Taz.  She has slept in our bed since the the first day we got her.

Two months, for many that might seem like a short time.  It's an eternity for me.  Yet, life goes on and the world around me continues to spin.  The anger and hate and fear that constantly broke Rick's heart continues around us.  Nothing has changed, everything has changed. 

It occurred to me last Saturday as I was having dinner that for the rest of my life, most of my meals would be eaten alone.  I still cook almost every meal, I just call Sam and Jordan and they come over and pick up the leftovers.

I know that there are many who miss Rick, who loved him.  But their lives have continued in pretty much the same way as before.  I will carry him in my heart forever and mourn his loss until the day I die.

 I only hope he didn't die in vain.  That maybe on some level, his sense of empathy, his compassion and kindness for all humans touched and changed someone's life.  He believed in caring for the old, the sick, the downtrodden, he believed that we are our brother's keeper, he believed in women's rights,  that Black Lives Matter, in science, in journalism, in truth, that every one was equal. He wasn't big on religion, but he loved the words in red. He was a veteran and he kept in touch with many of the men he served with. He believed with all his heart if you treated all people the way you wanted to be treated, then you had lived a good life.  Rick Watson lived a good life. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Friends and Surprises

Daily I am astounded by the kindness of friends.  This afternoon UPS brought a big heavy package to my front door.  I saw that it was from our friend James who lives in California.  We met him in LA about 14 or 15 years ago.  He was one of those gentle souls that you just wanted to sit and talk with.
We were at a music convention, hundreds of singer/songwriters pitching their songs to the tv and movie industry.  Meeting James was a breath of fresh air that week and we continued to stay in touch.
It turns out as our friendship progressed, not only was he an awesome singer/songwriter but an incredible artist as well.

Today that package was a gift that brought tears of joy, one of James' paintings which now sits on my mantle.  Suddenly this little cottage I call home had a new energy, a feeling of joy from this beautiful painting.  It had been an out of sorts morning.  My brother Ricky and Jordan went to the feed store with me and helped me load 200 pounds of seed and feed for the critters and then we unloaded those same 200 pounds when we got home.  Much to my dismay, I realized I had forgotten to purchase a 50 pound bag of laying mash for the chicks.  Another trip tomorrow.

Then I came home and took Taz to the vet for her yearly checkup.  Normally no big deal, but we have two local vets and one was sick, so my vet was seeing his "patients today as well."  What is usually a 20 minute visit turned into over an hour of waiting.  Thankfully, another friend, Mary Jane called, she lives near the vet and she came and visited with Taz and me.  And brought me delicious chicken salad for my lunch!

I got home, tired and cranky but lunch and a quick nap took the edge off.  Did I mention very little sleep last night?  Wild critters moving across the property ( deer and coyote) kept Kodak and Hook on "protect momma mode" most of the night.  Protect momma mode, means lots of barking.

And then UPS knocked on my door this afternoon.  Chicken salad and an original art work, I am blessed with incredible friends.
 Here you have a James C Leonard original.

Friday, September 11, 2020


I have learned if you don't try to control, things go as they should.  And trust me, that is such a hard lesson and even now there is that urge that springs to life in me some days  and I think, I can fix this.
Ha!  And the universe just sits back and laughs.

I talked to a friend/counselor this evening.  It was a conversation that was such a healing balm for my soul.  She and I are truly on the same spirituality plane and as I related my butterfly stories, my conversations with Rick, my need to be by myself , she understood. 

This journey I am on is not for the faint of heart. What I once thought was normal has been swept away by an ocean of tears and will never return.  A part of me, of who I am has left and now I have to navigate this path for the me that has been left behind. 

I am grateful that Rick pushed me to write this blog .  Honestly I thought he was crazy when he suggested it.  My reasons for writing now are so different than they were years ago when I started.
This transformation information is my healing and sharing my story will help if someone else finds themselves walking the path I am on, they will know they are not alone. 

I know friends and family worry about me spending so much time alone, but right now it is what I need.  Face to face conversations are still exhausting, phone conversations can be that way too.
For now, spending time outdoors, tending to the farm, taking care of all my critters...that is my connection to Rick and  my way to process the roller coaster ride I am on daily.  I know the people who love me are only a phone call away and that is safety net, my life line.

Please continue to be kind, to treat those around you the way you wish to be treated.  Life is tough, but people who care make it better.

Thursday, September 10, 2020


 This path that I am on has been glorious and horrific.   The grief and loneliness and sadness, those are horrific transformations you never wish for, but if you live long enough you will experience them. 
The glorious parts have been the love, kindness and goodness that has been showered on me by friends, family and strangers.  I can't tell you how many hours I have spent days on end trying up loose ends, telling the same story over and over to strangers.  Some of them were just doing their job, professional but no empathy.  Others offered love, condolences, kind words and prayers and hope.
Friends and family have called, helped me on the farm, listened to my tears and sobs. Been there when I needed answers and been there when I just needed to know they were there.  Countless emails, messages, cards, letters all came just when I needed them.

Today when I walked to the mailbox there was a package from my friend Christine.  She and I are in the same club, no you don't want to join, it's the widow's club and there are so many of us. Music brought us together and it is a friendship that I cherish. 

For those of you have read my blog for a while, you know that I teach meditation, breath work and yoga at an addiction center.  I have spent the past 20 years of my life encouraging and teaching the importance of breath work.  I know it is easy to forget to breathe, especially in times of stress.  Since Rick's passing I have had to remind myself daily to breathe, Christine's gift  will serve as a daily reminder to breathe.

She sent me the book by Thich Nhat Hanh," this moment is full of wonders."   It is filled with his calligraphy and wisdom.  One of the first pages,  breathe my dear.  There are sections on mindful walking, looking deeply, letting go and being here....I will read this book often.
Tonight in these stressful times, breathe and remember" this moment is full of wonders. "
Be kind to your selves and those around you, even strangers...

Monday, September 7, 2020

Labor Day 2020

A different Labor Day today, just the dogs and chickens and me.  I bought a small rack of ribs and cooked them, made a small bowl of potato salad and baked beans....all foods that Rick loved.
I sent most of it over to my brother Ricky's house for him and Nana and Sam and Jordan to enjoy.
I ate a rib and then took the meat off one and shared the morsels with the dogs.  There is a great deal of new and different every day.  It is a process, this grief.  It comes unexpectedly and it can get ugly.

I appreciate Labor Day.  My mom and dad, brothers were all blue collar workers, union members who worked hard every day of their lives.  Rick's family was the same.  None of us are afraid of a hard day's work and I am grateful for that ethic. 

I hope you all have had a weekend that brought joy and kindness into your lives and I hope you shared that with others.  Let's be kind to each other the rest of the week.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Bee Surprise

It's still very hot and humid here.  There is much to be done but I'm having to wait a bit until the weather cools down.  Rick had plans to build a new shed for the mower and tiller and to add a roof to the chicken run.  And there is some work that needs to be done on the barn.  My nephew, a friend and a neighbor will help me in a couple of weeks with the shed and the run and then maybe in October we can tackle the barn.  One nice thing about being on the farm, I'm exhausted when I go to bed at night.
I don't sleep the whole night but I get a decent night's rest.

I walk the dogs down by orchard which is where the bee hives were.  Yesterday I spied a really tall plant with purple  flowers, when I got closer it looks like some sort of thistle . The thistle here is usually a dark purple and much smaller.  This plant is about eight feet tall.
Whatever it is, it is beautiful and I have never seen a plant like this here on our property.

I call it the bee surprise, or maybe it's a surprise from Rick and the bees.  It's beautiful and purple is my favorite color, so it's a gift.

Many days I am on auto-pilot,  I still miss him so and I know I always will.  But I'm here, so I get up every day and do the best I can.
I hope you all have a good weekend. Be kind, be safe, be well.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Bee Garden

It's a full moon tonight, my second one without Rick to walk out on the deck and watch it rise.
It is so beautiful, be sure and take a peek, it will make you smile.
The zinnias know that fall is coming, they always get brighter and more beautiful as the summer starts to fade.  Once again the bee garden was full of butterflies, finches, dragonflies and humming birds, you can feel their energy, for me it is healing.
Today is also the first day September, let's make a promise to each other to be kinder this  month.  Let's make a promise to let go of the fear and anger that seems to permeate the world around us.
Now let's make and keep those promises.