04 November 2017


Back in June I signed up to take an online art course - Ever After 2017. It started in July with several lessons by different artists each month through October.  I started off doing pretty well.  I was a little slowed down due to those pesky headaches, and a lack of the proper supplies.  Once I got started, I really enjoyed it. And then the headaches and other stuff slowed me down again.

Now it's November and I'm just starting the work from August.  Yep, I'm three months behind.  But it's still fun.  I have until the end of November to either complete all the assignments or download them to work on later.  I suspect I'll be downloading a lot!

The thing about it is, I'm really enjoying learning different techniques and using new materials.  I'm really disappointed that I wasn't able to stay on schedule, but I've learned a lot.  I'm thinking it's time to stop trying classes and just get in there and play.  

I suppose this is just a reminder to myself, to keep going, even if I have to go really, really slowly.

What's happening in your world?

Thanks for stopping by, 
love & blessings


03 November 2017


Do you ever feel afraid?  Not that shocking fear like oh there's a spider, but the deep dark fear that hides inside and keeps you from doing things?  Things like eating in a restaurant by yourself, going on a trip alone, introducing yourself to a stranger at a party?

I do.  I feel afraid all the time.  I only go to drive through fast food places, I might go on a trip once every two or three years, but it is very hard for me.  I feel fear just walking the hundred of so steps to my mailbox to get the mail.  

I don't know where this fear comes from.  I've felt it most of my life.  I even spent 3 months in my house many, many moons ago unable to barely open the front door to get the mail out of the box by the door.  I'd been driving to work one day and just turned my car around and went home.  I didn't leave for months.  I just couldn't.  

That crippling anxiety has kept me from doing so much in my life.  I wonder if that is why I'm alone.  Being scared just to walk through a grocer makes going out to meet people so difficult.  It's hard to make friends (much less get a date), if you can't look people in the eye.

My current biggest fear is that I'll never have any of the dreams I had for myself as a child.  The last one I'm down to that is even remotely possible, is to live in the country/mountains, surrounded by nature, not buildings.  It is something that I've wanted for so long, and I've looked into it many times, including making a couple of offers on property.  But they never worked out.  

Now, with my health getting worse, I'm terrified I'm going to live in the city townhouse for the rest of my life.  Not being able to see the stars at night because of too much light noise, the only wildlife being birds, squirrels and chipmunks. The sounds of bass thumping from cars and the nearby gym, cars honking and traffic on the nearby highway, my lullaby.

I'm not okay with that.  But I'm terrified to try.  I can barely hold a hammer or screwdriver.  I have very little life skills, and pretty much no country living skills.  I can't even climb a step ladder without someone here in case I fall again.  If I moved I'd not have any family (or my favorite handyman) near by and obviously no friends.  (Of course, I don't have any friends nearby now so that probably shouldn't factor.)   

So, what do I do?  Do I keep looking for a property in the mountains that I could be happy in?  Do I stay here and try to figure out how to adjust to not having any of my dreams come true? 

I don't know and I think that makes the fear worse.  It makes me more afraid of spending the rest of my life alone and dying that way.  

So, I don't know what I'll do, I just know that I have to figure out how to fight the fear.  I guess first, I need to figure out which one to fight.

Do you have any fears you're fighting?

Thanks for stopping by,
love & blessings

02 November 2017

a favorite thing...

Since my blog title has my favorite things as a part, I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite things today.

I love to read.  I've always loved to read.  Whenever my family couldn't find me, they new to look in the darkest corner of the room furthest from where everyone else was, and they'd find me there with a book.  I'd sit on the floor with my back to the window to get as much light as I could to see the words on the page.

I read everything I could get my hands on.  When I was working, I'd read on breaks and lunch hours.  Even walking to the break room to get a drink from the soda machine, I'd have my nose buried in a book. (Until it was commented on that I should probably not do that as they were paying me to work, not read.)

When I was taken out of work and put on disability, reading was what kept me alive.  I couldn't watch much tv or movies, or listen to music because the sound and flashing screens would send my pain over the edge.  But I could read.  

I submersed myself in stories that I'd wanted to read for years and had never taken the time, or stories I wasn't sure about but what the heck, right?  I would push through the pain to take a quick trip to the library and bring home close to 20 books each time.  Thick books, thin books, it didn't matter.  All I did was read.

The one caveat was that it had to be fiction.  I have a very hard time with non-fiction books.  Mostly I get bored.  I don't know why that is but it is very rare that I can pick up a non-fiction and actually finish it.

So fiction it is... I still read alot, but not like I did.  The constant pain and numerous medications over the years has done something to my cognitive function and I can't process as well as I used to.  I read much slower and it takes me longer to get what I am reading.  Now I seem to stick to the same authors and even re-read the same series over and over.  

That was a long and rambling way of telling you that I love books.  My most recent new read was one I didn't even know was coming until release day.  I saw someone post on Instagram that they were getting read to start it.  I went to the book store the next day and bought my copy.  I so rarely buy books anymore, but I knew this would be a keeper and be re-read often.

Alice Hoffman takes us back for a visit with the Owens family, in her newest book, The Rules of Magic.  This time we learn about the aunts from Practical Magic, Frances and Jet, and how they became the women we loved.  I read this in less than 24 hours and went through the full run of emotions.  I loved this book and can't wait to read it again.

If you haven't read Practical Magic, I highly recommend that you do.  If you have read it, but have yet to read The Rules of Magic, may I suggest that you get right to it.  If you've read neither...what are you waiting for?

Both books are full of real life magic (not the made up kind Hollywood likes) and raw emotion, with realistic concerns that everyday people go through.

To me, Ms. Hoffman is a master storyteller and I am so grateful that she shares these stories with the rest of us.

Seriously, go read this...

That's all for today.  I hope you are having a good one.

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings

ps...top picture from the archives, bottom from my Instagram - still can't find that danged cord.  xoxo


01 November 2017


Hello November...

It is weird to say, but I'm glad Halloween is over.  I think I jumped the gun a bit this year and overdid my indulgence.  Normally, I decorate for Halloween on October 1st.  This year, I started in the middle of September.  And now...

I'm just ready for pumpkins, fires, candlelight, cozy blankets and autumnal rest.  I am ready to put away the skulls, jack-o-lanterns, spiderwebs and creepy/scary stuff.  I usually leave Halloween decorations up until November 3rd, but I've already started taking things down and I've only been awake for a couple of hours.

I had to search my photo archives to give you the image above. (I'm still trying to find that gash darn connector for my camera so I can download the loads of pictures.  I even tried just removing the data card but I don't have a slot on my computer that it fits. Time for a new camera?) It is from 2009, a pot of pansies I had at my front porch at the old cottage.  Gosh, sometimes I really, REALLY miss that little old house. 

I can't seem to settle in here at the newest townhouse.  I'm not sure why.  I've been here for almost six months and still don't feel home.  Do you know what I mean?  I haven't figured out what to do about that, yet...

Thanks to all those who visited and commented this past weekend for Magaly's October Heart-Bits.  Just as last year, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the wonderfully kind comments you all left me.  Storytelling is something I've always loved.  I constantly seem to have stories running through my head, some I've written out, but most just play out in my brain until it is time to let them go.  Even though they seem fabulous in my head, when I start putting them down on paper (or computer screen), they seem to get warped.  There has always been a slight disconnect between what's in my head and what comes out and that has made writing (something I've always wanted to do) difficult.  

So when I do these little challenges and the work is well received, I get goosebumps and little zings of joy spin through my body.  So, again, thank you!

Well, I suppose I'll run along.  These decorations aren't going to put themselves away. 

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings



27 October 2017

October's Heart-Bits with Magaly, 2017

Hello and welcome to my little corner of the interwebs.
Today is October's Heart-Bits with Magaly, 2017 and I'm bringing just a few words to the party.  I hope you enjoy them and that you have a look around all the others joining in the fun.


Love is
Sighs on the wind
Feathers on skin
Stars rending
Hearts mending
Words like stone
Hitting to the bone

Love is
Fists hitting
Slaps missing
Tears streaming
Fears screaming
Words like stone
Hitting to the bone

Love is
Candles in flame
Voices with no shame
Herbs scattered round
Power flowing from the ground
Words like stone
Hitting to the bone

Love is
Light and fire
Death and desire
Wanting and hating
Killing and mating
Words like stone
Hitting to the bone

Love is
Soaring to the sky
Falling from so high
Crashing to the ground
Our souls scattering round
Words like stone
Hitting to the bone


Thanks to Magaly for hosting another wonderful gathering.

thanks for stopping by!
love & blessings

07 October 2017

October Fun

It's that time of year again.  When we have fun with words and parties.

Will you join me in participating in October's Heart-Bits with Magaly 2017?

Party starts October 27th.  Hope to see you there.

love & blessings

ps...I do plan to be back here before then.... :-)

09 September 2017

a few random thoughts...

Hello again, my dears.

This is not the post I'd originally planned to share today (actually, two days ago), but I wanted to be here.  So here I am.  

I've misplaced the cable that connects my camera to my computer and cannot download my pictures.  My camera is loaded with photos of art I've made, scenes from my last trip to the mountains and many other things that have caught my eye lately.

Yesterday, I headed to the farmers market and stocked up on fruits and veggies.  I probably over stocked really, but I just get so excited around all that good healthy real food.  Afterwards, I loaded up the crock pot with pinto beans, experimented with a peach cobbler and made this chicken.  The chicken was delicious and I've already taken another package of chicken out of the freezer to make more.  

The pintos are for chili I'm planning to make on Monday when it's cold and rainy (Irma effect).  Today is football (Go HEELS!), knitting (Scoreboard 2.0) and roasting tomatoes, some to freeze and some for the chili.  And some time in the next few days, I'll be putting up applesauce and cooking green beans or maybe freezing some of them.

I've walked this morning, cleaned up the patio (we had new fencing put up last week and everything had to be moved around) and a few other piddly things.  I'm getting a new dining table this weekend so I have to take everything out of my dining area until the table is in place.  Then I can maybe move some things around it.  It is a big old farmhouse table (like the Walton's had) from our mountain house.  I've wanted that table since the first time I saw it.  I'm so excited to have it be mine!

I'm going to sign off now.  Football has started and I need to get busy with the rest of my day.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  And I hope you will take a minute, where ever you are, to say a prayer (to whomever you pray to) for the safety of everyone on this planet we call Earth.  So many things are happening everywhere - fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, monsoons, etc. - too much tension for our souls to have to bear well.  Personally, I pray for peace in our hearts, minds and souls for every being on this earth.  

Thanks for stopping by, 

love & blessings


04 September 2017

Lessons Learned (long)

These past 11 months have been a mixture of the usual and the unusual.  I fell into the well again.  This time I fell in earlier than usual and stayed there longer.  No matter what I have done, I have not been able to break this pattern.
Just after the first of the year, I was offered an opportunity to move.  The new option was a much smaller community that I was already familiar with and knew several people that lived there.  The house would be about the same but different layouts and the bonus of a garage.  At first, I was shocked and couldn’t even contemplate moving again.  It would mean having to pack up everything I own (and I own a LOT) and selling my place. 
I guess I didn’t really give it much attention.  I was so deep in the well that barely any light reached in and I couldn’t rouse myself for heavy thoughts.  In the middle of February, I received a phone call saying they needed a decision.  Uh…WHAT!?!? 

Yeah… So, I made a pro/con list.  I wrote down everything I could think of big or small.  There were a lot of pros on the list, many more than the cons.  However, one item on the cons had a much heavier weight to it and so needed to be counted as more than one item.  I reviewed the list, slept on it, reviewed it again and tried to contact my “best friend” to get some additional insight.  I could never get in touch with her.

Two days after the ‘we need a decision now but no pressure’ call, I received another call saying now we REALLY need a decision.  So…I dived in and said yes.
I called my realtor, went under contract on my house within 10 days and packed up.  On May 14th, I moved into my new place. 

Within 20 days, I was ready to move again.  There are a lot of reasons why, and I’ll get into that another time.  But let’s just say that con that had so much weight?  It was much, MUCH heavier than I’d given credit to. 

We will call this, lesson one.

I’ve been making the best of things here.  I’m walking again as I feel safe in the community and know that if I have a fainting/falling issue, someone would be there to help fairly quickly.  I’m very much enjoying the trees and having a small wooded bit behind my home.  And I love having a garage.  I store my excess there instead of having tubs stacked hither and yon in my house proper.  I was also able to set up the guest room as my studio and have it actually useable.
For the past couple of years, my family have been trying to sell our home in the Southern Appalachians.  My grandparents bought it 30+ years ago and I have so many wonderful memories of holidays and vacations spent there.  I’ve always loved the house and the location and even offered to buy it from them many years ago, but I couldn’t afford their asking price. 

Now, it is being sold.  It is under contract and should have closed in early August.  That was pushed back a week and then another week.  Now we are waiting to hear when the closing will be.  And honestly, some are wondering if it will even close.

To take advantage of my last chance of spending time there, I took myself off at the end of July for a short visit.  I had such a marvelous time, I extended my stay by a few days and would have stayed longer but I hadn’t taken enough of my prescription medicines with me.

I felt such peace whilst there.

It was a mental peace, an emotional peace, and a spiritual peace.  Surprisingly, it was also a physical peace.  I had no breathing issues (this is a new thing I’m dealing with), I hardly had to blow my nose the whole time (at home it is many, many times a day – TMI!).  The most important change I noticed was a bit of lessening of the constant pressure/pain in my head.  I’ve had such never-ending pain with these headaches for so long, even the slightest lowering of pain is noticeable and wonderful.

It was simply – my place.

For many years I’ve avoided going up there unless someone else was with me.  The reason why is too long to explain here, but I wasn’t comfortable being there alone. 

Until now.

I should have gone many times.  I’ve had years that I could have spent any amount of time up there I wanted.  Lots of wasted years.
When I returned home, I realized that was where I needed to be.  I NEED to be in the mountains. 

We will call this, lesson two.
A week after I returned from the mountains, I received a text from my “best friend”.  Yes, the same person I wasn’t able to get in touch with months ago when I needed her.  Her text was basically saying how much she missed me, thought about me all the time, wanted to talk to me all the time and how I’m so important to her life and always will be.

After a flurry of texts between us where we “caught up”, I got a call and we started talking about the eclipse.  She was telling me how, many months ago, she’d reserved a hotel room someplace in Georgia that was in the path of totality.  She talked about how it was such a big event and she wanted her two youngest to experience the whole thing and was taking them out of school to take them to view it.  I wondered out loud if our mountain house area was in the path and she looked it up and said it was.  We quickly made plans to head to the mountains (she could save those hotel fees) and have our own little viewing party.

Long story short? 

The mountain house town was in the 99% and another town 20 miles away was in the 100% so she took her kids and paid an exorbitant amount of money for a hotel room for the night before the eclipse and left me at the house alone – with no car.

Side note: she did say I should come with them, but I couldn’t as I had someone coming the afternoon of the eclipse to pick up a piece of furniture to bring back to my house.

Late Monday afternoon, I get a text saying traffic is stopped on the highway and the hotel had a no show and was going to let them stay there that night and they would be back the next morning.

Now we are at two nights alone with no car.

Tuesday morning, a text comes in saying they are on their way.  Two hours later they show up (it was a 20-minute drive) and the youngest is not feeling well.  After about two hours of doing nothing but fidgeting she says she thinks it’s time to go home.  We were supposed to go on Wednesday, although I was possibly going to stay since my mum might have to come up for the closing at the end of the week. 

I told her I was not ready to leave but if she felt she had to go, then she should.  She spent the next three or so hours packing up, asking me every 10 minutes if I’d heard from my mum (so I’d know if I would have a ride home) and talking about cleaning.

When she first asked I explained that it would be late in the day when I heard from my mum.  I told her this repeatedly.  I also asked that she run me to the grocers before they left so I could have plenty of water (the tap water was very metallic tasting).  Eventually she was done, and just left for her 6 ½ hour drive (what should only take 3) with a sick child who very easily gets car sick. 

And no, I didn’t get that ride to the store.

I received a text that they’d made it home about 4 hours later.  (She said she’d put the wrong route in her GPS hence her thinking it would take 6+ hours.)  Oh, and she wanted to know if I’d heard from my mum cause she’d come back and get me if she needed to.  Right.

Night three, alone – no car.

She texted the next day to ask if my mum was coming up.  I replied that everything was fine.  I’ve had one other text that I’ve not replied to and haven’t heard another peep from her.

If I’d had a pad of paper with me, I’d have written her quite a scathing letter.
Instead, I reflected on our friendship of 13 years and I realized something.  She is a user.  She is a person who takes what they want from people and gives back only enough to have the person willing to let her take from them again.  The times I really needed her, she was never there.  When this first occurred early in our friendship, I (and she encouragingly) attributed her behavior to the influence of a third party.

Now I know that was never true.  It has always been her way.

Over the past few years, I had told myself many times I was done with her friendship. 

Now things are crystal clear.  I am D O N E. 

We will call this, lesson three.

And what a lesson it was.
August and I have not been friends for many, many, many moons.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever liked the month of August.  It has always been too hot for this cold weather loving heart.  It signaled the start back to school, which was never my favorite place to be.  And then there was the name that my father gave it when I was young and lived summers with him – Austerity August.  Yes, he named the months that he said we couldn’t spend money for things. (Stingy September, etc.)   Well, except for his rounds of golf.  His many, many rounds of golf. 

Anywho, my real loathing of August began in 1983 when my grandmommy died quite suddenly.  Since 1983, August has taken many souls from my life.  All of my grandparents died in August (all within the same five-day span over 20+ years), my beloved beastie – Dylan (my black lab), a man I met only once but he touched my soul so deeply I felt I’d known him for centuries – Papa Edgard, and several friends of my family.  Then, of course, there are things the likes of Katrina and Harvey, which deeply affect this tender-hearted empathic medium.  So many souls passing so quickly…  So much devastation and the grief singing through the air.

Every year, I begin in June or July to worry as to what August will bring.  This year, when I arrived at the mountain house at the end of July, I felt compelled to try a new tactic. 

I made friends with August.  I did this publicly (on Instagram) and therefor set my intention not just within myself, but sent it wide to the universe so it couldn’t be missed. I set up a little altar to welcome August and Lughnasadh on the first.  Every day, I consciously focused on August being a good month.  I did things that would make it a good month: sketching, reading, painting, witching, creating, walking, eclipse watching, etc.

Now, I’m happy to say, August and I have made friends.  We’re not besties, yet.  But we can enjoy each other without anxiety and with appreciation for what we have to offer.

That makes lesson four and brings us to the end of this series of lessons.
(I’m planning to try that consciously focused method whenever the well starts to deepen and hopefully it will help me stay out of it.)
I’ve been a very neglectful blogger, even in visiting.  I’ve started making the rounds again and trying to see what everyone is up to.  I truly miss it when I’m not here visiting with you lovely souls.  I think I stopped writing because I felt I never had anything to say.  My life for several years now has been quite boring, filled with the ravages of chronic pain/health issues and little else.

Well, I’ve been doing a lot more, and I have lots to share.  My life seems to be filling itself up and I am quite happy.  I hope to continue to fill it even more and keep having things to share here.

Thanks for visiting (and sticking with me),

love & blessings