Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Introducing................

...............John Wayne!

I never thought I would be friends (I mean real friends) with a dog. - yet here he is. Jim says my change of heart is not extraordinary - but that it is extra ordinary! I agree. I think being with our grandsons has prepared me for fostering a friendship with John Wayne. He spent last night at the vet and I must admit that I actually missed him. Me????? Missing a dog?????? Extra Ordinary!!!!!!!!

So we are off and running on this new adventure - and who knows where this ride will take us!!!!!

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Love of a Good Man!

I love that Jim is so much a good man! Through and through, without question! A good man!

......and to prove it, for christmas this year he gave me a gift certificate for a pedicure. Then he gave a gift certificate for a pedicure to Jenn and to Liz so that all 3 of us could have time together. A special time, of laughter, talking, sharing stories, books, etc. So I sit here tonight with green toe nails. (Yes - I let Jenn pick a color for me) and I am delighted with the results. An afternoon with my daughters, the love of a good man, and the best looking toe nails - EVER!!!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Spending Time

A day filled with family is always a day to remember! So we have filled our day with everyone together for the day after Christmas. Liz and Thad and their sons spent Christmas night with us so that we all could savor this beautiful holiday, and this beautiful time together. Spending, savoring, relishing, and embellishing time together! Life is that good!!!!!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

I have opened my heart this Christmas, and Jim and I now have a new puppy in our home. We have named him John Wayne and he is the most calm puppy I have ever known. I have been hesitant for a long time about having a dog in our house, and although Jim is an avid animal lover, he has always been considerate of my feelings - so we have been with out a dog in our family for about 10 years.

Now the time feels right. I know there are some lessons to be learned, teachings to be taught - and I don't mean for the dog. This is going to be a wonderful opportunity for expansion for myself in areas that I never dreamed possible. I have always thought it strange that dogs (and most animals) have always been attracted to me. Jim is the animal lover, yet dogs would usually come to me first and try to be my friend and I would shoo them away. Now I am letting myself love this dog the way he loves me - and while it is a new feeling, it does feels natural.

And of course, John Wayne has taken to our whole family like a duck to water. He loves our grandsons and Jenn & Liz. He sits by Thad's feet, cuddles in Jim's lap, and follows me around the kitchen. His gentleness to our family touches my heart, and makes me glad that we have welcomed him to our family.

Tonight, as the family was playing games, Fynneus said: "I love John Wayne." Rollin piped in and said "I love John Wayne too, and he is my best friend." Fynneus agreed about the "best friend" part, and I smiled a big smile that only comes from an open heart!

I love my family (including John Wayne) and I am so glad that this Christmas has found us all together, savoring the good times.

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Spirit

It's only two days now until Christmas and I feel the calmness settling in. The shopping is done and everything is wrapped. So I am ahead of schedule. The reward is an early arrival of the peacefulness that is truly Christmas.

To me, Christmas is really about family. Spending time together. Being present for each other at this time of year. I love the sound of laughter as it fills my house. I love watching presents being opened. I love the special foods we will prepare - some old favorites and some new creations. I love the music playing on the iPod. I love the stories we will hear of New York and Tennessee. I love our lives that we celebrate at this time of year.

The Spirit of Christmas is right here - bonding us together with love, with memories, and with a promise of more to come. I would not trade this ride for anything in the whole wide world - this is the ride I was destined for and it just gets better and better!

Here's to the Ride!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry & Bright!

Jenn came home tonight to hugs and kisses and a "Coming Home Christmas Party!" I love having our family together - it makes everything Merry and Bright!!!

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The best concert of the year!

Tonight, when Jim and I took Tucker home from spending the Sunday with us, we were treated to a concert by the Douglas Family. Thad on the guitar, Liz on the vocals and dear sweet Fynn on the mandolin! (as well as some awesome break dancing - head spins, back flips and more)

Jim and I have been to 2 really great concerts this year in Memphis, but this one was, by far, the bestest, and most awesomest, EVER! Indescribable Joy! Everlasting Love!

Here's to the Ride!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Off to the concert.....

I am writing early tonight because the Trans Siberian show starts at 8 and I know I will be home late. I am so excited to see this turbo charged Christmas concert! I love how things work out. I wanted to go, and tickets were given. Life is so very good when we let go!

So, off we go to Beale Street. Taking comfort that there is Joy in letting go!

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Family Blessings

Liz came over today and Fynn gave me a hug AND a kiss on the cheek! These things do not grow old. I count myself blessed for every moment spent with family! And Jenn will be here in just 4 more days - let the blessings pour forth!

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Jenn gave me my Christmas present early - two tickets to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Fed Ex Forum in Memphis.

This is the kind of gift I would have given myself, so when she called to tell me what she had done (as the show is prior to Christmas) I was overjoyed at the attention paid, - my likes, my ramblings, my preferences.

And so I marvel - at my life. As I wait for the manifestations, as I sit watching only my breath, as I see beautiful things unfolding in my life - I marvel.

Here's to the Ride! ........and it really is a marvelous ride!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Looking for a puppy.......

Jim has finally decided (almost) that he is ready to commit to having a dog in the family. He is truly a dog lover, and we probably don't have one yet because I am not the dog lover that he is. Yet, I realize that a dog would be good for both of us - actually, people with dogs live 3 years longer than people without dogs! Still.....is 3 years worth it??????

I can picture in my mind Jim playing with his dog. Taking the dog for a ride in Red Fred (his truck). Watching John Wayne movies with the dog snuggled in his lap. Playing fetch indoors and out. Teaching tricks - and excited to show me what the dog can do. Walking around the neighborhood and chatting with all the neighbors with his dog in tow. (Jim is the social butterfly in our family) And then........if the dog is really really good - taking his Sunday afternoon nap with the dog snuggled at his side.

Oh yeah! I can picture all of this! And I know that a cute little puppy is probably in our future. As well as an opportunity for me to be a little more flexible and maybe become a "dog lover" too!

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside!

I walked this morning under clear star filled skies, a temperature of 15 degrees and who knows what the wind chill was. I made my 3 mile hike and was happy to get back home and wrap my hands around a delicious cup of coffee.

I spent the rest of the day mostly cleaning house, and happy to be inside. I had errands to run, but I have put those off until tomorrow, and just enjoyed the beauty of my home. I made creamy tomato basil soup for dinner with my homemade artisan bread. I opened a bottle of Marrietta, and listened to Christmas music with Jim.

And now, after a warm bath, snuggled in my jammies in front of the computer, and just 3 more sips of wine left, I am already anticipating my walk in the morning. I am looking forward to running those errands, bundled in my coat, scarf and leather gloves, and listening to Frank Sinatra sing.........Baby It's Cooooooooold Outside!!!!!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Christmas Tradition

Every year Jim and I snuggle on the sofa, wrapped in each others arms and watch Christmas Vacation! We have watched it every year since it came out, and every year we sit and laugh out loud.

A Christmas tradition wrapped in laughter in each others arms! JOY!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Surprise Kisses

I have been snuggled on the sofa with Tucker on my left side, Rollin in my lap and Fynneus on my right side watching Christmas movies. This is true Joy. And every once in a while - Fynn will pop up and kiss me on the cheek! Without doubt - this is the good life!!!!!

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Personal Growth

A beautiful day of expansion! A day of growth! A day of releasing! A day of allowing! A day of acknowledgement!

Let the manifestations begin!

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Extraordinary Day

A walk under the stars. A steaming cup of looooove. A goodbye kiss from Jim. Quiet meditation. Steaming cup of looooove and chocolate cake for breakfast. A trip to pick up Godiva Chocolate for stocking stuffers. Lunch with Fynneus - and kick ball too. A kiss on my cheek from Fynn after a game of Operation. Dinner with Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus. A hug from Liz. More kisses from Jim.

Living from the Heart! Living from Joy! Living life extraordinary!

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An Ordinary Day

I feel so excited today! Like something wonderful is happening, or is gonna happen. I keep thinking I should tell Jim "Guess what happened today......." But it really was just an ordinary day. A beautiful walk this morning. A steaming cup of loooooove. Quiet meditation. Wonderful breakfast of spinach, eggs, feta & tomato. A little Christmas shopping. Some Christmas music and candles glowing. Icing a chocolate cake. Kisses and hugs from Liz and Tucker and Rollin and Fynneus. And yet.............

I am so excited!!!!

Taking in life and feeling anticipation for all the good that is coming my way.

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Building Joy!




I have not written for two days, but that doesn't mean I have been neglecting Joy in my life. On Sunday Rollin and Tucker joined Jim and myself for a trip to Big Mill Pond State Park. It was noon when we arrived, so I put Jim and the boys to work to build a fire and I set the picnic table for lunch. As we ate, we stood by the fire trying to keep warm (36 degrees this day) and moved in and out of the smoke.

After lunch, Jim and Tucker and Rollin hiked to the restrooms and filled four plastic glasses with water and hiked all the way back to our picnic area to put out the fire. In the meantime, I made the fire even bigger in an effort to warm them and myself before we set out for the 3 mile hike to the Fire Tower. I admit it was very cold, but I am so glad we spent this day outside.

After we made it to the fire tower, we climbed on rocks - shown above, and looked for caves where animals might be hiding. We watched deer move towards our path and then spook and run away. We pitched rocks, sat on logs, marked our trees (all the boys) and occasionally stopped to just listen. It was a glorious day. On the drive home, Rollin drifted off to sleep immediately, and Tucker sang until he too fell asleep.

As for me, I have been reflecting on the Joy of this one day - spent in nature. It nurtures my soul to stand among trees and look at the sky. It lifts my spirit to see deer - in their beauty - enjoying the gifts of nature. It builds Joy in my life that sustains me until I can again stand by the trees - or under the stars - or in the wind. Taking in life!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Parade


Jim and I went to the Christmas Parade tonight with Liz and her boys. It is so good to be with family this time of year. A friend, who has 4 children, joined us, and we watched 7 beautiful children race for candy, clap for the bands, and be thrilled and delighted with the lights and floats.

I am thankful to be here sharing Christmas Joy with people I love.

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Little Boy After My Own Heart!

Fynneus spent the afternoon with me and he is so adorable. He asked if we could go to Starbucks and Barnes & Noble. My two favorite places! Of course he has been to these places with me so many times. Usually he can't remember Starbucks so he will ask to go to the "Life is Good Place". With this wonderful attitude, when he asked for pancakes for dinner tonight, I could not refuse him.

We promised Fynn a trip to Bass Pro (one of his favorites) and after dinner we went to Memphis to play at the sports store. And play he did. They have all kinds of games set up that are just perfect for a little boy who is into hunting, fishing, and remote control things.

Yet, when we left this store, (with all the games and boy stuff) he asked if we could please go someplace else. I told him yes and asked where he wanted to go to which he replied "Barnes & Noble please".

Yes! This is my grandson! Boy through and through, and at 3 years old stealing my heart constantly!

Here's to the Ride!




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Beauty


I love Christmas time. I love to decorate our home and watch it come to life with lights and candles and pretty red things. I love bringing out my Christmas dishes for the whole month of December and I love mailing our Christmas cards.

But my favorite thing is decorating the Christmas tree. Jim and I put the tree up last Sunday along with all the colored lights. I have had white lights on our tree for the past 20 plus years, so this year we are getting out of the box and putting some color into our lives. We did not put any decorations on the tree until today when Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus showed up and they REALLY, really wanted to help decorate the tree.

As I was in the kitchen preparing dinner (using our beautiful Christmas dishes) Jim got all the red bulbs out for the boys to hang. Jim let the boys hang them where ever they wanted without interfering. You've got to see this tree - not one bulb is higher than 4 feet (that's about as high as Tucker and reach, and many (most) are clumped together, sometimes 2 on a single branch. Only the bottom 4 feet of our 9 foot tree has ornaments. Yet when the boys stood back to survey their handiwork - I don't think they even saw the top of the tree or all the bare spots. They only saw the beauty of the ornaments they had put in place.

I remember a time when I was so picky about these kind of things. Decorating our home has been a passion of mine. But now, my Joy is seeing beauty through someone else's eyes. It may not be perfect, but I have to admit - It is beautiful.......and it will make you smile. I promise!

Here's to the Ride!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Time to Read

It's funny sometimes how I will buy a book and then put it on a shelf without looking closely. Then something happens and I remember I have that book and that now would be a good time to read it. That happened today. I saw this author's name, Iyanla Vanzant, in a magazine and remembered I had her book and now was the time. I am still reading the introduction, but I know I like it already.

I love to read and often will read a book 2 or 3 or more times. Sometimes consecutively. On my second read I usually begin to high light the words that catch me. By the 3rd or 4th time I am still finding new things and usually promise myself one more read. And then there are books that lay on my shelf for months or years and then all of a sudden it's like they are begging to be read - and I know it's time.

So I'm going to quit writing here, snuggle in my favorite chair, and take the time to read the book that is calling me now.

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Standing in the Wind

I walked this morning against a strong southwest wind. At times it seemed like the leaves blowing down the street were racing me. Clouds moved quickly across the sky, but I caught glimpses of the moon, stars and Venus.

Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus came over this morning and we headed straight to the ball field by our house for a little baseball. The wind was still blowing hard as we each took turns catching, hitting and pitching. Rollin showed me how he likes to stand in the wind and I did the same. As dark clouds rolled in we walked home just in time to miss the afternoon downpour.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent inside so I am grateful, at the end of the day, that I did not pass up the opportunities to be outside. I am glad I stood in the wind with Rollin.

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Diamond Day!

After all the excitement yesterday, I still slept like a baby last night. Thankfully the day sped by so that now I am sitting here with my new diamond - my beautiful wedding ring set.

And I am thankful for the ride of my life!.........I love you Jim!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stone Blessings

After weeks and weeks of searching for my lost diamond, I finally chose a diamond from the jewelry store tonight. They are setting the diamond in my wedding set and we can pick it up tomorrow evening.

And so I add this wonderful little stone to the things in my life that I am grateful for. I know that the diamond is not love, but it represents so many years that Jim and I have been together. It represents our life to me and I am grateful for the replacement stone.

In about 4 weeks, it will be exactly 37 years ago that Jim gave me my engagement ring. It was my birthday and only 4 months before our wedding date. He brought me a dozen red roses, which absolutely thrilled me and then surprised me at dinner with this beautiful ring. I was so excited I kept pinching myself to be sure I was wide awake. I remember getting up a dozen times in the night to turn on the light and look at my beautiful sparkling diamond. I had never owned anything so beautiful!

Now, all these years later, I am hoping I can sleep tonight as I wait for my new diamond. I am hoping that I can speed through the day tomorrow so that I can at last feel my ring on my hand - and see the sparkling again.

I am grateful for this beautiful life - blessed with this little stone!

Here's to the Ride!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Number 2

Today we celebrated Thanksgiving with a wonderful feast. There is so much in my life that I am grateful for, and dinner today was just icing on the cake. Liz, Thad, Tucker, Rollin and Fynn joined Jim and I for dinner and I am so appreciative of all of our time together.

Today as I thought of the blessings in my life, I realized the thing that I am the most grateful for is my relationship with Jim. Our love for one another has culminated in this day! Everything in my life has been built on this love for each other and I stand in awe of our Journey.

The dreams and goals that we shared together. Our daughters and the family traditions we created to mark our time together. And new traditions continue as our family grows and changes which makes this Journey even more meaningful.

I am blessed beyond words, but I am most grateful for this beautiful love in my life. My husband, my lover, my best friend. I love you Jim!

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Breakfast

We began a new tradition today: Thanksgiving Breakfast. That is what I love about the holidays and time with family. We can do it however we want to. I think it is important to make the holiday celebrations fit our lives and that is what we are doing now. Thad works this afternoon but is home tomorrow afternoon, so our Thanksgiving dinner will be on Friday - and this means two days of thoughtful thankfulness.

We will have wonderful food together - and we have two days of expressing our thankfulness. Life is Good.

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Music to live by

Today I hooked up Jim's reel to reel tape deck and stereo that he bought while in the Service in Okinawa. The music recorded on these tapes were recorded between 1970 and 1972. I met Jim in 1973 and he had all this wonderful music that he and his buddies had shared while serving in the military.

Tape Number 12 is worn thin because I think I listened to it almost every day for the first 10 years after I met him. The music includes Bread, Three Dog Night, John Lennon, Neil Diamond, Tammy Wynette, Blood Sweat & Tears, The Carpenters, The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, Carly Simon, Diana Ross and so so so much more.

Today, after not hearing this music for more than 20 years, I played Number 12 again. Joy! Joy! Joy! I still sang along to every song. I couldn't help dancing to some of them. I use to always clean my house to this music, and I had a strong desire to clean today. This music is so beautiful, and it appears to be timeless too. Beautiful music makes this ride so very Joyful!

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The thing I liked the best about today was........

Rollin spent the day with me and we practiced singing Rudolph and Frosty. We enjoyed a hot chocolate at Starbucks. Played Thomas Train at Barnes & Noble and walked around Carriage Crossing counting green reindeer. We checked out a Teddy Bear and a Cookie store. We saw the Christmas train up close and we made funny things with silly putty.

We rode bikes. We chatted with the neighbor kids when they got home from school. We watched funny videos on TV. We made the best hot dog ever and we squirted whip creme on our peaches. But most importantly, we laughed out loud many times during the day. That is what I liked the best - laughing with my grandson.

Rollin liked walking and counting green reindeer the best! He told me so!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Time of Thankfulness

It is Sunday and Thanksgiving is only a few days away. I love this time of year, and the reminder of all that I appreciate in this life. Today was absolutely gorgeous, and it is so easy to be appreciative on a day like this - a week like this.

But my goal, on this Journey of mine, is to be appreciative every day. Appreciation and love are identical vibrations. When I appreciate, I love. When I love, I appreciate. Therefore, I want to bask in appreciation of all that is past and all that is future. But I especially want to be in full appreciation of each precious present moment.

As I wrap up my day, I am eagerly looking forward to tomorrow and the many moments of appreciation that will fill my day.

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Perfect Walk

Jim and I just returned from an evening walk. The moon is full, the sky is clear and the air is brisk. A perfect time for a walk, and a perfect time to share our stories of the day. This is Joy! This is living life in the moment.

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friends in Tennessee

An evening with friends - dinner, wine, laughter, conversation. It's all good.

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beginning a Beautiful Day!

I was surprised to find that it had rained last night when I stepped outside this morning at 4. The stars were blocked from my sight by expansive grey clouds, but still I looked. I was rewarded as I completed my walk and headed up my driveway, a break in the clouds showed one lone star. I paused to look at this one star and to feel appreciation for the beautiful day ahead.

I love that early morning feeling of a wonderful day coming. I love to be in the stillness listening to my breath, knowing that this moment is so very good. I love the cool crisp air that makes my skin tingle, and my heart sing. This time, this quiet, this moment - so, so good!

Here's to the Ride!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Remembering the Ride

I have spent some time this week organizing my closets and unpacking my Christmas "things". I love the holidays and I am looking forward to putting up the tree, taking my christmas dishes to the kitchen, and sending out Christmas cards.

As I walk through the local stores and hear Christmas music, I smile. When I walk into the cold brisk air, I am thankful to be here, to enjoy the seasons of Tennessee. There is something about cold weather at Christmas time that just seems to fit. Today I was looking at sleds at Target, and a store associate asked me if I needed assistance, I told him No, I am just waiting for snow.

As I looked at the sleds, I remembered sledding with our daughters in Indiana and Michigan. I remembered tubing in Valparaiso and flying down that hill with Jenn clutched in my arms. We did it again at Muskegon State Park, in full view of Lake Michigan, Jenn and Liz, older now, flying by themselves.

I remember cold winters and blizzards. I remember snow ice cream and hot chocolate. I remember picnics by the fireplace and I remember this wonderful ride with great Joy.

Life is Good!

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Day at the Park


Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous day so we packed a picnic of fried chicken, potato salad, ice tea and chocolate cake and headed for the Smokey Mountains. And what a treat for both of us. We drove through mountains and valleys, watched deer in the woods, hiked along a mountain stream and sat by the woods to enjoy lunch. The beauty of the outdoors is so amazing. I took time to sit by the stream and meditate. Jim took time to do a little fly fishing while I sat beside a mountain reading a book. Does it get any better than this??!!

On the way home we stopped at an antique store and I bought a pair of perfect crystal candle holders. Last night as we ate dinner, I lit candles in the new holders and remembered the anniversary weekend. I love the reminder that burning candles in these holders will bring to us. There is always Joy in remembering this fabulous ride that we are on together.

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Little History


Jim and I spent the weekend at the Maple Grove Inn Bed & Breakfast in Knoxville. The original part of this home was built in 1799 with additions made over the years. It was a single residence until the early 90's when the current owners turned it into a B&B. It is beautifully tucked down the long driveway, part of which is shown above, and sits on 15 acres of rolling hills.

This beautiful (and we're told haunted) home was the perfect place to celebrate our lives in Tennessee. To be in a home with these deep roots and to marvel at the beauty and simplicity of the architecture of so long ago. To climb the stairs that many have climbed for the past 200 plus years, feeling the wood banister firm and strong beneath our hands. To look from the second floor windows at the beauty of the trees and grass and hills. To savor the bounty of a gourmet breakfast in a dinning room that must be over flowing with memories of family, laughter and wonderful food.

This weekend Jim and I joined the history of this home with our stay there, just as we have joined the history of Tennessee with our living here. Our own personal history is altered as well and we remember with Joy the Ride that brought us here!

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A time of celebration

Jim and I are celebrating our one year anniversary this weekend of living in Tennessee. This has been a swell ride!

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Big hearts - big sky!

Today my grandsons and I looked at a beautiful blue sky speckled with wisps of white clouds and we all agreed it is so wonderful to look at the sky. We talked about the kinds of clouds we like. We talked about why the sky is so blue, and we talked about how we all would love to float up and touch the clouds.

And I am grateful that I have grandsons with such big hearts that they will stop with me to see the beauty of our Tennessee sky.

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Listening to laughter


Today as our grandsons played and laughed, I marveled how the sound fills our big house. No matter what room they are in, what floor they are on, or if they are outside playing, their laughter echos over and over. Their squeals of discovery, their joy in the moment, their delight in each other. I am the first to hear and I find my self smiling as I listen to the laughter of these beautiful boys.

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Finding time - spending time.

This morning after Jim left for work I settled into my meditation chair for some alignment time before beginning the day with our 3 darling grandsons. But it was not to be. Tucker came looking for me about 5:30 and I took him to my bed and tucked him in on Poppa's side. Then I snuggled down on my side of the bed and said a silent thank you for the 5 minutes I had alone this morning. But as the day began with all 3 boys vying for my attention, I said thank you again for this wonderful life that is full of laughter, full of love, and filled with activity.

Joy is finding time for quiet in the early morning - Joy is spending time as fast as possible.

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A New Time

I did not set my clocks back last night before we went to sleep, so I woke this morning to the old time, yet realizing that the new time had gone into effect. But I patiently waited for my clock to read 4:00 am and I climbed out of bed for my morning walk. I do not walk on Sundays because that is what we call our "lazy day". But this morning I felt like the stars were calling me and I could not bear to stay in bed and miss the beauty of the starry sky. So I walked and I hummed, and I smiled, and at exactly 4:00 am the new time, I was back home climbing back into a warm and cozy bed.

As I drifted back to sleep this time, I was grateful for the beauty. And I was grateful that I did not miss that hour we gained in the night. Instead, I spent that wonderful hour gazing at stars and basking in the cold morning air. Joy is not missing a minute of this wonderful ride!

Here's to the ride!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Savoring Time

I came home from Liz's house today to find Jim grilling potatoes and steaks and building a fire in our new fire pit. I threw a fresh loaf of artisan bread in the oven, opened a bottle of Marietta Old Vine, and the rest is history.

A wonderful dinner. Me and Jim snuggled by the fireside. Lazed on the sofa watching a movie together. A stroll around the neighborhood - by Jim's invitation. Gazing at the stars! Wrapping up the first half of the weekend. Paying attention.

There is much Joy in the little things in our lives. There is Joy in time spent, Joy in attention paid, Joy in history made together.

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Telling our stories

Jim came home late last night and couldn't stop talking about his wonderful fishing/hunting/fishing trip. And it was good to see his vacation through his eyes and hear his words. But this morning as we returned to our normal schedule, he off to work, and I on my jaunt around the neighborhood, it suddenly seems like it hardly happened. So we tell our stories, fish tales and hunting dogs, interviews and movies, hotels and country restaurants, reading and diamond searches, and we remember the days spent. Life is good with stories to tell and this ride is remembered with each story told

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Only the sound of my breath

For those of you wondering about my "Total quiet", Jim went on a 3 day hunting/fishing trip. He will return later tonight, but in the meantime I have enjoyed this time alone. However, most of my Joy comes from the fact that he loves me so very much, and that he will return soon. Under that peaceful umbrella of Love, I have enjoyed this alone time.

I love being alone and walking through our house, especially in the evening. With beautiful lamps lighting each room. With a glow of candles and the smell of incense, I walk peacefully from room to room, blessing our home, blessing our lives, blessing our loves.

I love sitting quietly to read - no TV, no music - just the sound of my breath and the sound of our beautiful home as it also sighs with pleasure. And I feel so loved. I feel enveloped with Joy.

So I have enjoyed these days and nights, but now I long for Jim to come home. I am ready for him to take me in his arms and we will enjoy the sound of our breath together.

Here's to the Ride!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Being Present

I often try to be present through out my day. I try to watch my breath, to be still, to savor moments that fly by so quickly. And when I am present, when I am still, and my breath moves consciously, then I see differently, I feel differently, I love differently.

My life is an amazing Journey and I am grateful that I am learning to be present for the Journey. The best way to enjoy the ride is to be here, in the moment, present, fully!

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Feels like an Angel

My grandson, Tucker, explained to me that "gas" at the dentist feels like you are flying. So I asked him if he felt like an Angel when he was flying, and he said yes. That's kind of how it feels. It makes me want to go to the dentist! But even more, it makes me appreciate these children who appear as Angels in my life.

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wings and things...........

Tonight I have been crafting bat wings for Rollin's Halloween costume. And I have been thinking how grateful I am to be here in the middle of all this fun. It has been a very long time since we spent Halloween with all of them and we are looking forward to seeing them enjoy a holiday tradition that always brings pleasant memories of our own childhood and memories of our daughters' childhood.

Of course Jim is looking forward to scoring some good candy come Sunday night! I am looking forward to kisses and hugs from a Ninja, a black bat, and a black eyed baseball player. Savoring the ride and knowing that Life is good with wings and things!

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bubbles........

Tiny bubbles
In the wine
Make me feel happy,
Ah, they make me feel fine!

It has been a beautiful day and I am wrapping it up with a wonderful glass of wine.
I am enjoying this ride!
I am enjoying this life!

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A walk in the wind.

Last night as we tried to sleep, we heard the wind blowing and howling around the house. The front door was whistling at times, and I kept waking to the sound. I was excited to hear the wind and could hardly wait for 4:30 to roll around so that I could walk. The sky was dark with clouds when I left the house and I could not see the moon or stars. The wind was so strong that at times I had to brace myself to hold my balance. Yet, walking in the wind is one of my favorite things to do. I feel so blessed to feel the wind push against my body. To feel it brush my face and blow my hair straight back. I always feel close to something that is bigger than me when I stand in the wind. I feel so alive in the wind.

Tonight the air is calm and I know we will sleep better. But truly, I would give up a good nights sleep to hear the wind and know that tomorrow I would again walk in the wind.

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spending time......mindfully.

Today my oldest grandson, Tucker, called and invited me to his house. When I got there he ran out of the house and all the way to my car to hug me. He recently lost his second tooth and all the way back to the house he told me his story. When we got inside he quickly seated me on the sofa, ran to get his phonics book for my review and began to read to me. I spent the rest of the day with the boys and I have been invited back for tomorrow. There is no better way to "spend" time than with grandsons! This is Joy.

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Natural Beauty


Jim and I spent the weekend at Tennessee State Parks. Saturday we stayed at Natchez Trace State Park and on Sunday we visited Pickwick State Park. We are learning that we love being outdoors, in the woods, hiking trails, sitting by the lake.........standing still and listening to the wind in the trees.

On Saturday we spread a blanket at the top of this hill overlooking the lake but surrounded by beautiful pine and oak trees. On Sunday we sat on a stone bench at the top a Shiloh Indian Mound that was built over 750 years ago. Both times we sat in quiet meditation and appreciation for the beauty of our surroundings. The beauty of Nature. The beauty of time together. The beauty of shared love. The natural beauty of life.

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, October 22, 2010

TGIF!

It's Friday and Jim and I have the whole weekend to play.

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Beautiful Fall Day Celebration!






Rollin spent the afternoon with me while his brothers went to the dentist. I had a carrot cake in the oven when he arrived, and we quickly made plans for him to ice the cake. Of course, once he finished the icing and had licked everything clean, he wanted to decorate the cake. It wasn't anyone's birthday, but he insisted on flowers and candles. So we decided that we would celebrate "A Beautiful Fall Day".

When his family came to pick him up, I packed up five pieces with flowers and candles and sent them home for dessert. When they light their candles tonight, they will be celebrating "A Beautiful Fall Day" and this wonderful creation that Rollin and I made will bring Joy to them and serve as a reminder to all of us of the beauty of this day!

It's so easy to see the beauty of the day with grandsons to help you look! Pointing the way! Enjoying the moment! Loving the ride!

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wonder Years!

I have spent the afternoon with Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus. I learn so much when I spend time with these magnificent little boys. Before they went home this evening, we gathered flashlights, put on our jackets and hiked around the neighborhood. Looking at the moon, telling stories, shining our lights on beetles scurrying across our path, then checking out paw prints in the sidewalk. Everything is so fascinating to them that I can't help but get caught up in the wonder of their moments.

Earlier this afternoon they played in the sand with some of Jim's tools that I let them use. They were so grateful and excited to have "Poppa's tools" to play with. They created all kinds of things in the sand with the Joy and enthusiasm that only children seem to have.

I learn so much from these little guys. These truly are the wonder years for them and for me.

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Coffee and roller skating = a day of Joy!

I met a friend for coffee this morning and we didn't stop talking for two hours -straight. I am enjoying this Tennessee ride!

Tonight Jim and I joined the Douglas clan for Family Skate Night. I'm not much of a skater, but there is Joy in sailing around the roller rink. There is even more Joy sailing around the roller rink with family!

Here's to the ride!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kayaking in Tennessee





























Jim and I went Kayaking at the Big Hill Pond State Park in Pocahontas, Tennessee. This is a man made lake as you can see by the stumps and trees protruding out of the water and we had to navigate our kayaks around these obstacles. I was amazed to see the stump above with full fall color in the middle of this lake and could not resist paddling close enough to get this fabulous picture.

Jim paddled around fishing and I took the opportunity to read a wonderful book that I had brought along just for this setting. I spent some priceless time in the middle of the lake meditating. I have discovered that meditating when I am outside, surrounded by the beauty of the Universe, sends my soul soaring and fills me with Joy. I feel so connected to Source, to God, when I sit in nature watching only my breath. I came home feeling revived, refreshed, re-energized. Life is good riding the kayaks in Tennessee.

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Blogging Anniversary!

Today marks one year of writing my Journey of Joy Blog. I looked back at my first blog in which I made clear that it was with more than a little trepidation that I began the challenge of looking for, creating, and writing about Joy in my life every day. As I look back now I see that I missed writing many days, but I know in my heart I saw Joy every day of this past year. Not a day goes by that I do not pay attention to Joy in my life. I catch myself pausing in my day to take in the Joy, to savor the moment - a beautiful sky, a touch from Jim, a smile from my grandsons, a conversation with my daughters - so much Joy!

And still, some days I feel like I fail to describe Joy. I look up the definition again and again and I look for words to compliment the word Joy and I feel inadequate in my description. I affirm over and over that Life is Good - yet how do I write this "Good". How can I make others see in my heart and feel the feeling that grips my belly. I want you to feel the intensity of Joy that I feel when I am standing silently at four in the morning and gazing at the stars. I want you to feel the intensity of the smile when any of my grandsons say "Nanna, I love you." I want to describe accurately the intensity of Jim's love for me. So I keep looking for the words. Beautiful words to weave around my Journey of Joy.

As I wrap up this first year of Joy blogging, there is no more trepidation. I am confident now that Joy will show itself to me everyday. I promise myself that I will write my Joy as often as I possibly can, but most importantly, I will look for Joy in every moment of my life. Because we all know The Joy of the Journey is in the ride! Enjoy the ride!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's almost been a year...........

I have many thoughts going through my mind tonight. Tomorrow is my one year anniversary for my Journey of Joy blog. I have been thinking about the Joy that I have experienced this past year, and where this Joy has led us. I am amazed and delighted at my many discoveries of Joy. Learning to look for Joy seems to create so much more Joy in my life and I can hardly wait to see what the next year will bring. I know that writing this blog has changed my life. Writing my Joy, almost every day, has been a blessing to me and I hope to others as well.

I truly know that Life is Good! I truly know that looking for Joy makes a very Good Life indeed!

Here's to the Journey!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Music to my ears....

I'm sitting at my computer and I hear Jim, in his far away office, strumming his guitar! It's the best sound I have heard all day!

Joy is soft guitar music soothing the day's end.

Here's to the Journey!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Looking for my diamond..............

Late yesterday afternoon as I was tying on my tennis shoes for a trip to the gym, I lay my right hand over my wedding diamond, a habit I have had for many years of just checking the ring. I realized immediately that the diamond was missing...........

I have searched and searched since yesterday, and so far no luck in finding the diamond. Many times today I have seen a sparkle on the floor, and as I get closer, I realize it is just some glitter that Rollin scattered yesterday when making a love picture for his mom...........

Today I have felt my hand many times, only to find an empty spot where my rings have been for so many years. Jim gave me the diamond for my 19th birthday and we were married 4 months later. And while this diamond is small and may not have much value to a fine jeweler, this diamond is priceless to me. I do hope I find it.......

In the meantime - I am so happy that I am still married. I am glad that a lost diamond does not end this relationship of love and respect. I am glad that, even though the ring was a "symbol" of our love, it is not our love. Our love goes much deeper and is much stronger than any diamond..........

Joy is a love that can outlast diamonds.

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Was it real.......



I feel like I am still getting settled from our vacation and at the same time like it happened a long time ago. I watch a slide show each day of all our pictures, and smile inside and out. I look at the sky and remember the mountains that we gazed at just a few short days ago. And I am happy. I am at peace. I am filled with Joy again!

Here's to the Journey!


Monday, October 11, 2010

I have to share this.......

Last night of vacation. We drove all day and ended on the Beach in Old Orchard, Maine. Jim is smoking his last vacation cigar and talking on the cell to Jenn. Reminiscing our past two weeks and preparing for the lobster dinner we will be having later that evening. This is the good life! This is my life! And I love it!!!!!!!

Here's to the Journey!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A long time coming........






Jim and I have waited a lifetime to visit the east coast. We were not disappointed. The beauty of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York is beyond words. Although I collect dictionaries, I cannot find the words for this beauty, this majesty, this miracle. Someday I will know the words and I will tell everyone. I will write it, I will shout it, I will make others feel it! Life is so very beautiful.

Here's to the Journey!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

At the top of the world.

Last Sunday Jim and and I took the gondola up Mount Killington then hiked the rest of the way to the peak. We were over 4000 feet up and enjoyed a panoramic view of Vermont. A lady saw us sitting out on this ledge and asked to take a picture with our camera. I'm so glad she did. This beauty truly was breathtaking and we sat there without talking for quite some time. Both of us just soaking it in.

Last night as we drove home from Liz's house, Jim told me that he misses looking at the mountains - And I absolutely have to agree with him.

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Last vacation day.........

We are leaving Maine early tomorrow morning and driving straight to the Boston airport. This has been the most amazing two weeks of discovery and beauty - EVER!

Jim and I enjoyed a Maine lobster dinner late this evening before checking into our hotel for the final night out. We began the day in the mountains of Vermont, crossed over to the mountains of New Hampshire, and before the day was over we were walking by the Atlantic ocean - hand in hand - taking it all in. At least trying to. I have dozens of pictures, and I hope that they have captured some of what we have experienced over the past two weeks. It is so beautiful here.

I have a new appreciation for this beautiful country of ours. I love being a part of this time space reality and I love being a part of this beauty.

Life is so good.

Here's to the Journey!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's a beautiful life!

We have been driving through the mountains since last Thursday and loving every minute. Tomorrow we are going to be heading out of the mountains and moving closer to the airport. Jim and I enjoyed lunch at a road wayside just so we could continue to gaze at the mountains. We stood by the car and ate sandwiches and drank cokes with our eyes fixed on the mountains facing us.

I want to find the words to describe the feeling of standing in this grandeur. Jim asked me if I thought I could get tired of looking at mountains and I cannot imagine ever tiring of seeing such beauty.

And yet I am beginning to look forward to going home. For there is much beauty there and I know I will appreciate that beauty even more for all that I have experienced these past days.

Life is so beautiful!

Here's to the Journey!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vermont........

We have spent the day touring Vermont. We found the second highest mountain, Mt. Killington, and rode a gondola to the top of the lift and then climbed the rest of the way to the very tip top. Someone offered to take a picture of Jim and I sitting on the edge of the mountain and I can't wait to post it when we get home. It was amazing to sit at the top of what felt like the world and look out over the beauty of the earth. There were only more mountains for as far as we could see.

As we drove thru mountains today and sat at the top of Killington, I have been trying to think of words to describe the beauty of this place. Last week I bought a Websters dictionary at an antique store. The dictionary was printed in 1934 and I search through it for the right words - and they do not come. Amazing! Beautiful! Breathtaking! Gorgeous! Yet none of these words describe the gold and red and green we see looking at the forest. It doesn't even come close to describing the feeling of touching the top of a 100 foot pine tree as we climb the mountain. I stood in the forest today by the Quechee Gorge and layed my hands on the bark of a tree. A tree that has been there for more than 80 years. With deep grooves in its bark. With years of growth and beauty and strength. And I marvel at such beauty. I feel just a flash of the strength that stands before me. And I think of how lucky I am to enjoy this right now.

And I think back to pieces of God. All of this beauty that has at times stopped both me and Jim in our tracks, surrounds us completely. And I know that I am a piece of this too. I know that I am blessed for seeing this. I am blessed for feeling this.

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Color Tour

Jim and I drove north on New Hampshire Hwy 16 along the Androscoggin River all the way to Errol, NH. The mountains and the colors were breath taking. We stopped and took several pictures and watched closely for moose and bears. There is a "bear alert" posted for this area, and signs are posted every where that say: "Brake for Moose - it could save your life." We are going to Washington Mountain tomorrow and then are heading south to wrap up this week.

This area is so beautiful. I am so grateful to experience this beauty, this expansion.

Life is good.

Here's to the Journey!

Mountains........at last!!!

Yesterday we left Freeport Maine and drove across the state to New Hampshire. As we neared the White Mountains, Jim turned the driving over to me and what fun! The road was winding and lined with all the fall colors. We drove by mountain streams and lakes and at times we could see the mountains on all sides, and sometimes they completely disappeared in the mountain mist. It was the most beautiful drive that I have ever made! When we crossed the NH state line we stopped at a rest stop and information center. (nestled in mountains) They had a flyer that simply says (in big green letters) I love it here! And all I can think is ditto, ditto, ditto!!!!!

We are going to explore the White Mountain National Forest today. We're packing a picnic and we'll be stopping at the store for rain ponchos. Although it is rainy, it is still gorgeous - and I'm so glad to have seen the beautiful East coast of Maine and now the mountains of New Hampshire. Life is good!

Loving it here! And with a big sigh of happiness.....MOUNTAINS!

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tonight I am in York, Maine. It has been a whirlwind week including Brooklyn, Manhattan, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Plymouth, Boston, Salem and now York. We are driving along the coast and enjoying the cool weather of Maine. The trees are coming into color, and the scenery is beautiful. We went to the ocean today and watched waves crash over the rocks. We stood in the wind looking at a lighthouse perched at the top of an island flashing its red light for any would be boaters on this turbulent ocean. We are gathering post cards to mail to loved ones, we are eating clam chowders at all the local pubs and restuarants and we are searching all of the antique stores and used book stores for old dictionaries. And we've only just begun.



Life is good here on the northeast coast.



Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stars, Stars and more Stars!

I went to the Memphis Planetarium today with Liz, Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus and got to see what the sky looks like without street lights shinning in your eyes. The stars and planets are so beautiful and it was a wonderful experience to see them all at once.

When I walk in the mornings, I try to find the darkest spot and then gaze skyward. Sometimes I block the light with my eyes in an effort to see more stars. The Planetarium doesn't let you miss a star! They are all there for your viewing pleasure and it makes me want to drive out of town where there are no lights, and look at the heavens! I wonder if Jim would like to take a 4:00 am drive with me sometime............

And for tomorrow I will have an even greater appreciation as I take my walk. I will know that there are so many more stars than my eyes can see - but that doesn't make it any less breath taking! Every single time!!!

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, September 17, 2010

On the Patio!

I had such an amazing day. I did some writing this morning, but then, because the breeze was so nice, and the day so beautiful, I spent way too much time sitting on the patio - soaking it all in.

I love these kind of days. Not too hot, windows open, breeze blowing gently, birds singing, butterflies dancing in front of me - I could not drag myself into the house. I sat there meditating, reading, visualizing and just looking at the sky and the trees. Life is so good on the patio!

Then to top of this gorgeous day, the Douglas family (Liz, Thad, Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus) joined us for dinner and drinks on the patio.

I'm telling you........Life is so very good on the patio!

Here's to the Journey!

Overflowing Joy!

Many times I plan to write in the evening, and although I spend my day writing, I usually hold off writing my blog until the end of the day. Yesterday was no exception, but I did not make it back up to my office. Jim and I went to an old car show, which was interesting and we saw some cars that we had never seen before, and then we had dinner and decided to take in a movie.

When we returned home (late) I knew that my blog would have to wait, but thankfully, Joy in my life doesn't have to "wait". I can invite and allow Joy in my life every moment of every day. Writing this blog has made me acutely aware of noticing Joy. I find myself humming and smiling just because. I always carry pen and paper (even at 4:30 in the morning when I am walking) so that I can catch the Joy of words as they come to me. I find appreciation of so many little things in my life that I use to not notice. With appreciation comes love and with love comes Joy. Some days I feel myself overflowing with appreciation, with love, with Joy.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Here's to the Journey!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Slam Dunk!

We just got home from Liz's house. Jim baked 2 apple pies today, so we delivered one to the beautiful Douglas family! Thad was working, but he will get some later, I am sure.

Tucker and Rollin wanted to show me their newest skateboard tricks, and Fynneus wanted me to play basketball. Soon we were all playing basketball and a foul was called on me for grabbing Tucker and hugging him so that he couldn't make a basket. These rules are too restrictive for Nanna - basketball should include lots of hugs!

Playing with our grandsons --- this is Joy.

Here's to the Journey!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus spent the night with me last night and all of this day. We had a wonderful day and I am pleasantly exhausted. They amaze me with their energy and their excitement for life. I amaze myself when I spend time with them and catch their energy and excitement.

When they leave our house, if feels so very quiet......so very empty. But I know it won't be for long. They will be back soon. Filled with energy and excitement, and I will again know the Joy of living close to family and being loved so very much.

Here's to the Journey!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Family Treasures!

I was downloading pictures from my camera last night, and found this one taken while Jenn was here. I thought that I only had 3 or 4 pictures on the camera so imagine my surprise when this one popped up. We had been bike riding all morning, and Liz and Thadeus took us all to lunch at Gus's Chicken in old towne Collierville. The waitress took our picture as we all awaited our chicken dinners.

I relish this time with my family. I love that our family has grown to include Thadeus and our grandsons. I love that Jenn can get time away from the busy-ness of New York and her work there to visit us in the mid-South. I love that we all enjoy and treasure our time together. We will not all be together again until Christmas, so this picture has to hold me over.

I will treasure this family picture and I will take Joy in knowing that Christmas is only 102 days away!!!!! JOY!

Here's to the Journey!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Seeds for the future



Jim and I spent the weekend in Mountain Home enjoying the beautiful scenery and time with fishing friends. On Saturday we woke to thunder, lightening and rain, but by 8:30 the sun was breaking through so we all continued on with our plans to kayak, canoe and fish the White River. (My plan was to "read" the river) This is one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever been on, and my kayak seemed to sail so smoothly. Jim kept stopping to fly fish so I moved swiftly ahead. I stopped on the banks and sat in the sun to read a book that I had packed - just for this occasion. Then I finished my trip paddling all the way back to our cabin just for the sheer joy of the movement through the water.

Sunday we woke to fog so thick that we could not see the river from our cabin, so the day's trip was cancelled and we headed home. I had planned to take my camera on the Sunday trip, so I missed getting the pictures of the beautiful landscape of the White River. However, I did get seeds for the beautiful plants covering the resort office. The owner of the resort had several names for this plant, but I just saw beautiful. So next spring, when the time is just right, we will start this gorgeous plant at our house and remember that wonderful day of Kayaking!

Here's to the Journey!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pieces of God

I am currently reading a book by Wayne Dyer. In this book he encourages us to look at ourselves as a "piece of God". I like this suggestion. I am a "piece" of God/Source. When I look at myself that way, I feel differently. When I look at my surroundings in that way, that everything is a "piece" of God/Source, then they all take on a new meaning.

Jim is a piece of God/Source. Jenn and Liz are a pieces of God. My grandsons are pieces of God. The big pine tree in my back yard is a piece of God. That huge golden spider that hangs in my backyard when it is dark is a piece of God. (which is going to make it harder to squish him when the time comes!) The grass, the stars, the air the rain - all pieces. And somehow, this is all very reassuring. This universe is a friendly place, meshed together as pieces of Source Energy. Everything brought forth to be a piece.

There is Joy in being a piece. There is Joy in acknowledging all the other pieces too!

Here's to the Journey!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Once upon a time.......

I went to a library in Memphis this afternoon to hear an author speak about her book. The interview was recorded for a local radio show in one of the sound studios in the basement of the library. The author wrote the story of her childhood, and her book tour is to encourage each of us to tell our own story. To be honest with ourselves.

I have always wanted to tell my story. And I want to tell the story with humor and compassion. I want to weave the tale that has lead to this life I am living. To these beliefs that I am believing. And to this love that I am loving. My story - my living!

One Sunday morning, a long time ago....................

Here's to the Journey!

Apple Pie and Family.........

Last night we met Liz and Thad and the boys at the BMX track, but it was raining like crazy and everything was cancelled. So they followed us to our house and we sliced the remainder of the apple pie into seven pieces. Everyone loved the pie and Tucker was amazed that Poppa had made the pie by himself. (I explained that I wasn't even in the kitchen while the making was going on) So the boys get to see a different side of Jim. The side who would be a gourmet cook. The side who maneuvers a kitchen with ease. The side who knows instinctively how to turn out good food. And I marvel at the many sides to each of us, yet love this side that we all share - loving apple pie and loving family.

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My first poem...

As I walked this morning, I thought about how long I have wanted to write. I thought about this passion I have for writing and tried to trace it back to a "beginning". I remember always reading, always spending my school lunch break in the library looking for a book, or just sitting and reading. I loved when teachers would give us writing assignments, and I also loved memorizing my papers to present them orally. My first writing that I can recall occurred in fifth grade. The school was holding a contest for the best poem for Mother's Day. This is what I wrote:

Words cannot explain
what my Mother means to me,
Words cannot explain
why her love is so sweet.
Words cannot explain
why I love her so dear,
Words cannot explain
so I'll have to shed a tear.

And I won!!!!! I won a complete meal at McDonalds - Cheese burger, french fries AND a milk shake! (Keep in mind that back then, McDonalds was a big deal - and it was way, way before happy meals!)

So here I sit at my computer, hoping to write something meaningful today in my book, and I smile at this small poem and at the encouragement I received to pursue my dream.

Maybe I will reward myself today with a complete meal at McDonalds - and take with me the encouragement I felt all those years ago - Yes! I can write! I am a writer! I have won awards for my writing!

Here's to the Journey!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Joy In This Moment

Jim is downstairs baking a homemade apple pie. We stopped at an orchard in Illinois yesterday on our way back from Indiana and picked fresh apples for this pie today.

I am taking a few minutes to write in my book, but to also "capture" this moment of Joy. I feel so very blessed and at peace with this moment. I have tremendous gratitude for the beauty of this moment. The windows are open and a gentle breeze is flowing through. The sun is laying low to the west of our house, and we are catching the last remnants of its rays. And in this moment I feel Joy for my life. I feel Joy in feeling this moment - right here - right now. This magic moment.

Here's to the Journey!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Joy In The Morning!

This morning the sky was so black, the moon and stars so bright.........This is my morning Joy!

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another day surrounded by family, including Granny Great. Life is so very good!

Here's to the Journey!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Having a lovely day..............

Our week with Grandma Dierdorf is winding down. Our last day is tomorrow and all 3 grandsons begged to spend the night with us so that they don't miss a minute of her visit. I am so grateful that the family wants to be together. Tonight as we all enjoyed a chocolate dessert (thanks to Jim) we went around the table and each of us said what we were grateful for. It was beautiful to hear the love in our little family. Life is so very good!

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Journey of Joy for Sandy.com

Sometimes.........it's harder than I want it to be.
Sometimes......the beauty of the morning stops me in my tracks.
Sometimes......my heart breaks.
Sometimes........I can see clearly.
Sometimes.......I cannot find my way.
Sometimes.......I wish.

Always.......I love. Always......I care. Always......I am just me!

Here's to the Journey!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sharing the love.......

I walked this morning at 4:30 and again reveled in the beauty of the new day beginning. Clouds covered the stars, yet occasionally the moon would shine brightly through, grabbing my attention. And so I stopped to gaze at the sky, and to marvel at the beauty. And to comment aloud at how beautiful the new day is.

And the beauty continues! Rollin helped me make the beginnings of homemade chocolate ice cream to share with Granny Great. It has to chill overnight - but sometime early tomorrow afternoon, we will all sit in the kitchen, surrounded by love - eating the best ice cream - EVER!

Life is good with good ice cream to share!

Here's to the Journey!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Time Well Spent.

Granny Great reading a bedtime story to our grandson. Life is good!

Here's to the Journey!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A wonderful day with family. Telling old stories, remembering good times, and looking forward to even more.

Life is Good!

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Learning Joy

My mother-in-law is coming tonight to spend a week with Jim and I. We all have never done this before, and it is with a little trepidation that I await her arrival. But I know, there is Joy in being with family, and there is Joy in spending time with the woman who loved the man that is my husband long before I ever met him.

I know I will learn more Joy this week. My wish is that Sarah will see the Joy that is our love together!

Here's to the Journey!

Evening Time

Jim and I took a walk this week around the lake where we use to live. As we were rounding the eastern side I looked up to catch this beautiful sunset that took our breaths away. We both stopped and enjoyed the beauty of the day ending and again marveled at how quickly the earth is moving for the sun to fade out of sight so fast.

Now, I have just completed my early morning walk. This morning as I stopped and looked at the stars (I just can't help myself - I love to gaze at the sky) I said out loud - This is so beautiful. Thank you for this beauty!

Life is good - Whether it's the beginning of the day, the end of the day, or high noon, I am surrounded by an unfathomable beauty!

Here's to the Journey!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Jim!!!!!

Today is Jim's "real" birthday, although we started celebrating last Sunday while Jenn was still here, we are finally wrapping up the day. All of our wonderful and beautiful friends have sent cards, email and called Jim today, and he has had the most fabulous day.

I stand in amazement of this man whom I met when he was 22 years old. Today he is 60 and I feel like the years have swooshed by faster than I can comprehend. I feel blessed to have spent all these years with him, making our Journey together. Many times traveling the road less traveled, but always traveling together.

Liz and her boys joined us for a wonderful birthday dinner followed by cherry pie. We are now headed down to meet friends at Su Casa for a night of Karaoke and one more chance to sing Happy Birthday. (not me - someone else - Hopefully!) A few margaritas, a few cold beers, and we will continue this Journey of Souls that we intended from the beginning.

Happy Birthday Jim! I love you will all my heart!

Here's to our Journey!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This man knows me......


Jenn left for NYC early this morning. And, because Jim knows that I have had a lump in my throat all day, he brought me yellow and white roses this evening to elicit a smile. He succeeded, of course. And now I sit here thinking about how much I love my family.

Joy is loving someone so much that leaving feels unbearable.

Joy is someone loving me so much they try to make it bearable.

Here's to the Journey!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Family!

Today we had a birthday celebration to remember. We celebrated Jim's B-day with everyone at our house! Life is so very good with our family together!!!!










Birthday Table.




























Here's to the Journey!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Life is always good with family!

We had a full day of family time today. Liz joined us after breakfast and we spent the day together at the Collierville Square, lunch at our house and then nap time for the youngest ones, followed by swim time at Lifetime fitness.

I adore having Jenn, Liz, Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus with us. And tomorrow, we will be celebrating Jim's birthday a few days early and Thadeus will be joining us too. Life is always good with family.

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Family Night!

Tonight Liz, Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus joined Jenn and Jim and I for pizza and family game night. We all polished off two large pizzas and quickly prepared for a fun game of charades. Everyone is such "great actors" and we all had belly laughs before the night was over.

Tucker is spending the night with us because he wants to carve his name in the tree fort that is in our back yard. Jenn is downstairs reading him a bed time story, and I am feeling so blessed to have this loving family all gathered here in Tennessee right now.

Life is so good!

Here's to the Journey!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Friends.....

Today a wonderful friend joined me for lunch at my house. I made my artisan bread and a delicious summer salad. We topped it off with some of that home made chocolate ice cream and double chocolate milano cookies. Combined with two solid hours of not stop chatting before she had to make her way back to work. As we hugged goodbye, my heart was singing with the Joy of this wonderful friendship we have cultivated here in Tennessee.

Joy is having friends to share the ride!

Here's to the Journey!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Celebrating Number 7!







Tucker will be seven years old tomorrow, and we started the celebration early at our house tonight. The above Razor rider spins like a roller coaster and everyone had a blast on it tonight. Tucker was thrilled and his appreciation spilled from him with every ride he took.

And yes - that is homemade chocolate ice cream on Fynn's face. Joy is not missing family birthdays and having Jenn here with us too. Joy is fun in the streets of Tennessee!

Here's to the Journey!