Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another beautiful day! I walked early this morning before sunrise and then settled into my new chair for a morning meditation. The trees are blooming here and the birds are singing magnificently all day long and I cannot help but feel gratitude for my life.

I drove to Rossville today to close out our temporary PO Box, and felt so very thankful for our new home. Thankful that we are settling in and thankful that I am close to Liz and her family. I love everything about my new life in Tennessee. I love that I am here - right where I am suppose to be.

I love watching my life unfold and I love looking for Joy in the unfolding. I can think of nothing better than looking for Joy every day.

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I like to always do something productive each day and actually have a hard time relaxing if I have not accomplished some kind of chore before the end of the day. Today was no exception and when Jim got home, I asked him to help me with some things that I couldn't (very easily) do by myself. So with the chores out of the way, it was time to relax.

It was in the low 70's today and we began our relaxing evening sitting on the patio with a fabulous new black beer that we recently discovered. The beer is Xingu and it is very dark with a chocolate overtone. It is very smooth and it set the tone for a wonderful and relaxing evening.

Next, I made fresh ice tea for dinner with soup and sandwiches. At the last minute I spread a picnic in front of the fire place, and since it was beginning to cool down, I asked Jim to "build" a fire (which means turn the switch). We sat on the floor, with our simple dinner, and enjoyed immensely the ending of our day.

I love taking the time to soak up the Joy that is my life. I love, at the end of the day, looking back at the things I accomplished and relaxing into the evening. And one of these days I just might convince myself to spend a whole day relaxing - now that would be Joyful!

Here's to the Journey!

Monday, March 29, 2010

3 Big Questions

Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus spent the night with us and we had a wonderful time. They are always a Joy to be with and thrilling to listen to their hearts. They often say or ask things that are so unexpected that we are at a loss for words. This visit was no exception.

Tucker is 6 years old and getting more independent by the minute. This weekend he asked me to put his shoes on him and I looked at him startled. He has not asked me to do this in a long time. Then he quickly added "For a hug and a kiss!" So all day and night, when he need his shoes back on, he asked me to help, and I got lots of hugs and kisses! JOY!

Rollin, who is soon to be 5, spent some time with me just talking about angels, about his brothers, and about the wind. The wind was blowing and whistling and howling around the house, and we could hear it as we talked. One time, as it seemed extraordinarily loud, Rollin asked "How can the wind howl when it doesn't have a mouth?" A question I have never answered before. So we talked about wind, and how it moves, and how it makes sounds, and he seemed satisfied. But his question let me see a little of how his inquisitive mind works.

Then, sweet Fynneus, who had just enjoyed a wonderful breakfast with all of us, was feeling grateful for Poppa helping fix breakfast. After I washed the honey off of his fingers and cheeks, I told him to go tell Poppa how much he loves him. So, Fynn hopped down from his chair, ran to find Jim in the kitchen and asked very clearly "Poppa, how much do you love me?" Jim's answer: "I love you Big!"

Joy is the wonder of a child.

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Over the years I have met two women that I have had such a bond with, that we swore we were sisters. (Maybe in another life?!) I met my beautiful friend, Pat, about 7 years ago when we moved to Florida. We bonded immediately, and then introduced our husbands to see what their reaction would be. They became great friends, and would often sit back with smiles as Pat and I were lost in our conversations of this and that. Although I have only known her a very short time, we often introduced ourselves as sisters. It felt that good.

Dena is my other beautiful friend that I have bonded with in a way that I imagine you bond with a sister. I met Dena when I was 14 or 15 years old and I thought she was the most beautiful person I had ever met. She actually became my sister in law for a while, and has moved in and out of my life sporadically. We may not see each other for years, yet when we do, the connection is always there. I saw her recently when I went north to visit family, and I was awed (again) at how beautiful she is.

While living in Florida, I gave advice to Pat about painting her house. She was going to try painting some rooms along with trim, etc, so I helped her sort through colors, but then she did all the work. She did a wonderful job, and it was a Joy to help someone with something that comes so natural to me.

On Wednesday as I was struggling with painting my family room. I had one long wall that was not cooperating (with my intention) and was covered with streaks. I was feeling a little down when I thought "Dena would know!" Dena is an expert painter, and has given me advice before. So I shot an email off to her late Wednesday evening, and her answer was waiting for me when I got up on Thursday. And of course it was the right answer - I now have a (mostly) streak free wall.

And so today as I thought of the many women in my life, and especially of Pat and Dena, I was tickled at our little connection through painting. And I was thankful to have this wonderful bond, that goes much further than painting, and that survives years and decades of our lives.

Here's to the Journey!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I have a Gratitude Journal that Jenn made for me. It is heavy bond paper bound in blue suede leather and is only 4 inches by 5 inches. It is a beautiful book, and I keep it with me always. I have recently re-committed myself to writing daily the things in my life that I am grateful for, and as I write I really try to Feel the gratitude in my soul.

It is a very simple thing to feel gratitude and appreciation and as I take the time to truly express my feelings of gratitude and appreciation by writing them in my Journal, I began to find more and more things to be grateful for. More things to appreciate. I find myself looking in wonder at the dark morning sky and feeling grateful. Listening to the birds sing as I take my morning walk and feel such appreciation for the beauty of their songs.

Truly, Joy is learning to appreciate everything that is presented to us in this life.

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring is springing for us! Tonight we went to the local nursery on the town square to pick out our tomato plants. I found some beautiful basil, Italian parsley and cilantro to begin my herb garden. Jim found some pepper plants and a jalapeno plant and now we have the beginnings of some amazing fresh salsa planned for this summer.

Joy is growing a garden. Joy is the beauty of watching the garden grow.

Here's to the Journey!

Monday, March 22, 2010

One of my earliest childhood memories comes from when I was 4 years old. We, my two brothers and me, were riding with Dad to pick Mom up at the hospital. She had delivered baby number 4 and boy number 3. When she got in the car with Kenneth, who was only a few days old, we were all peering over the back of the seat to get a look at this "baby thing". To this day, I recall that he opened his eyes while I was looking at him and stuck his tongue out at me. My Mom told me that it meant he liked me a lot. I like to believe that.

Yesterday, Kenneth would have been 51 years old yet he passed at the young age of 22. I am startled to think of him being 51 and can only imagine him as a little brother barely past his teens. Before he passed I got to see glimpses of the young man he had become and I feel blessed for those memories.

But I have more memories of all 4 of us kids playing together, tag, cowboys and indians, climbing trees, eevy ivy over, ice skating, bike riding, jumping off the shed when Mom said not to and so much more. And I recall laughter. I recall fist fights and name calling, hair pulling and shin kicking. And I recall love.

I feel blessed to have known Kenneth for that short time. I feel blessed that he comes to me now - in the wind, in a thought, in a touch. I know now that he really, really did like me and I like to believe that he is one of my family's guardian angels.

Thank you Kenneth! with love.

Here's to the Journey!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It is Sunday night and we are back to just the two of us. We had great fun with Rollin staying for 3 nights, but are also happy to be spending quiet time on a Sunday night before the busy week begins tomorrow.

This evening Jim and I made our once a month trip to Barnes and Noble. We enjoyed our Starbucks and the Godiva cheese cake again and then perused shelf after shelf of books, journals and sketch pads. I then talked with one of the managers of B&N and they asked me to start a book club. So far, they have had little success keeping one going, and they told me they would like to work with me to start a club. I am so excited and intend to do some exploring about bringing together a book club that would feel good, would help to create Joy in the lives of others and myself, and hopefully explore the power of thought, including the law of attraction and the power of living in the now. This will also help to begin to fulfill one of my goals which is public speaking - Me & public speaking - something I have always wanted to do.

Of course, this made me realize that I have been so busy working to organize our house, that I have spent little time writing. So my goal - starting tomorrow - is to write for a minimum of 2 hours a day. That is a very short time for someone who loves to write and I think it will be the incentive to dig in and get going with my book. I love thinking about my book, now I need to get all of those thoughts down on paper. Two of my favorite Joyful activities is reading and writing. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day for all the reading I want to do. Now, I will find that I run out of hours writing too.

Joy is weaving my day with beautiful, creative, and wondrous words.

Here's to the Journey!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

We are heading into night number 3 for Rollin sleeping at my house.

This morning, we got out our flashlights and tromped through both of my attics. We were looking for Angels and critters, such as snakes or lizards. We did not find any critters, (good for me) and we had such fun looking in all the far corners of the attic. And even though we could not see the Angels, we were sure they were there - always watching over us and our home!

Then we "moussed up" our hair for a trip to town. I gave him Jim's hair brush to use and explained to him that Jim and I share all of our stuff because we are married. He then asked me "Well, why don't you have any kids?" So I told him the story of how Liz and Jenn were once our baby girls, but that they grew up, so now we don't have little kids living with us. And that with each of his birthdays, he was doing the same - growing up. He told me he was looking forward to riding his bike to different places, not just up and down the driveway, by himself.

Later I took him to Starbucks for a "Life is Good" lesson. We sat and talked while he sipped his organic apple juice and I my Americano and both of us nibbled chocolate grahams. I asked him what he would be doing if he was an elephant, and he said that he would be looking for me because I would be an elephant too and he would want to be with me. So I asked him what he would do if he was a firefly, like Ray in the current Disney movie, and he said he would be looking for me, because I would be a fly and he would have to save me from the Frog. This is Rollin - always loving me.

Tucker and Fynneus joined us for a little while this afternoon and we wrapped our day up with a game of tennis at our old apartment complex and then pizza at the Memphis Pizza Cafe.

But I must admit that it was I who got the "Life is Good" lesson. For I realize that I am so blessed to be loved by so many special people in my life. Life really is really, really good!

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rollin is spending 3 nights with me. He made a wish in a wishing well for 3 nights with me, and I can't not grant his wish. Tonight is night number 2, and we are having so much fun together. We went to the toy department at Target today and he made me write down a birthday list for him. He's going to be 5 in just a couple of weeks. Tomorrow he wants me to patch his favorite pair of pants so that he doesn't have to give them up, and then we are going to go play tennis.

There is great Joy in granting wishes for my grandson. He loves me more than Christmas and his birthday - both. He told me so!

Here's to the Journey!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chairs, Chairs & More Chairs

I have spent the last 2 days painting. Jim and I found some beautiful wooden chairs for our dining room. The only problem was that the chairs were black. But I knew this would not be a problem. So I contemplated for a day, just looking at the 6 chairs, and then on Wednesday morning I jumped in. First a good sanding in the garage, then a nice primer coat. A trip to Home Depot landed a creamy white color, and I headed home for the first coat. My goal was to match the legs of my dining table. I finished the first coat yesterday, and it was not even close to the right color. Another trip this morning to Home Depot resulted in a beautiful "off" white that was a much closer match and I headed home for the second coat - with a delicious starbucks in hand.

Now the chairs are all lined up and I will let them cure for a couple of weeks. And just to keep everything looking fresh, I just finished the second coat of paint to the legs of my dining table. Now everything matches perfectly, and I am feeling very content. I loved watching the transformation - right before my eyes.

And all day long as I painted, I smiled to think how beautiful my dining room is going to be. What fun we are going to have in this room sharing meals with family and friends. Sometimes........Joy can be just a new can of paint!

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I love being married. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Jim stopped by this morning, on his way to check out a job for AT&T. I felt blessed to see him again after sleepily seeing him off this morning as I started my morning walk. When he came walking through the front door, I felt like this was a wonderful opportunity set before me. So, not to let a "wonderful opportunity" pass me by, I took full advantage of this unexpected visit.............. and then continued my day with a smile seemingly plastered on my face. I cannot stop smiling as I think of Jim - with all my love.

Joy is Love! Love is Joy!

Here's to the Journey!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today was my lucky day! Liz and Thadeus came for dinner tonight with Tucker, Rollin and Fynn. I had the most wonderful time sitting down to eat with all of them. It is so fun to have family over. And even more fun to watch their eyes light up as I serve warm from the oven Ghirardelli brownies topped with Heath bar ice cream. Joy in a dish!

Joy is sharing good food with the most wonderful people in the whole wide world. And hearing them shout as they load up to drive home - I love you Nanna!!! - I love you Mom!!! - I love you Sandy!!!

Here's to the Journey!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My 3 grandsons came to spend some time with me this afternoon. The youngest, Fynneus, followed me into my laundry room and happened to spot my dust mop. He told me that he "loves" to mop. So I handed the mop to him and told him to go work on my living and dinning room wood floors. Soon Rollin and Tucker were wanting a mop too, so I gathered up 2 more, and away they went. Mopping the wood floor like you wouldn't believe. They were happy and singing, and every few minutes I would have them trade mops. They loved the trading part, and were very sweet to each other when it came time to switch.

And this is how they are about everything in life. Wanting to experience it all - at least once. Sometimes they may not like the "new" thing, but they at least want to try it and then they file it away in their hearts, and they will know next time if this is something they like or dislike. That is special. I often forget that it is good to try new things, to try everything, to look for new experiences and all that life has to offer.

So after they scrubbed and scrubbed my beautiful wood floor, Fynneus did a little break dancing for us and headed off to the "pink" bedroom for his nap. Rollin and Tucker and I played charades and rummaged through my Florida sea shells again. That is what Sunday afternoons are made of. That is what Joy is made of.

Here's to the Journey!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

This evening we went to the movies with Liz and all three boys. It was a Disney movie, with wonderful blues and cajun style music. The boys were dancing in their seats as soon as the movie began. They all have a love of music, and it doesn't matter where they are, when the music moves them, they move. And I love to watch that moving.

Joy is beautiful music that moves the soul and just won't let those feet stand still on this wonderful journey!

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, March 12, 2010

As I walked this morning in the pouring rain, I saw 2 beautiful deer laying in an open field. Watching closely, but not moving as I passed by. Later in the day, the sun made an appearance amidst white clouds floating by. And I am reminded by these simple things how much Joy I have in my life.

I drove to Bartlett today to meet a hypnotist. He helped me find some answers and he helped me to see the beauty and Joy in my life. I am grateful for the assistance offered by those I meet, who impact my life in ways unforeseen and who confirm, correctly, my love of life and my love of self.

Here's to the Journey!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today when I walked down our short drive to the mail box, I walked through a swirling vortex of leaves. They were circling round and round the driveway and actually hit my legs as I walked by. Later as I looked outside, I saw the wind swaying our big pine tree in waves of motion.

I love to see the movements caused by wind and I love feeling the wind against my whole body. I am still new to the Tennessee climate, and not sure what to expect weather wise. But I do love the changes of the season. The memories of snow and cold that are quickly fading with just a few warm days under our belts. The barren trees starting to get little buds all around them. And our local nursery beginning to stock gorgeous flowers and ferns.

These beautiful beginnings of spring are worth the long wait of winter. To finally hear children out playing, to see adults standing outside now that the days are longer and warmer - yes, this is what we all have been waiting for. This is Joy!

Here's to the Journey!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The weather in Tennessee has been getting up to the low 70's lately. I can hardly wait to see the trees and flowers blooming and to plant pretty flowers by our patio.

Joy is Spring in Tennessee!

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring River Fish Stories

We spent two beautiful sun filled days on the banks of the Spring River in Northeast Arkansas. Tucker caught more fish than we could keep, and I had lots of time to read Journey of Souls. Jim spent most of his time on Saturday in the middle of the river fly fishing. It is beautiful to watch the rhythm of the fly fisher, and Jim has a perfect rhythm. On Sunday we went to the Mammoth Springs State Park which is where the Spring River begins.

Legend has it that many years ago this area was experiencing a severe drought. An Indian Chief sent out a scouting party, including his son, to try and locate some water. Before finding water, the Chief's son died. When the scouts began to dig a grave for him, water sprang forth from the ground and has continued to this day. Mammoth Springs was named after the brave Indian son who went looking for water to save his people. The spring naturally spews 9 million gallons of water an hour. And even though we could see the water bubbling, and falling, it was hard to fathom the amount of water coming forth that created this beautiful river that ran for miles and miles.

Jim and Tucker fished again on Sunday while I sat on the banks and continued reading my book. It was the perfect weekend and it was a Joy to spend time with Tucker and to focus only on his words, thoughts and actions.

And although I was "tested" a little this weekend, I think we all survived just fine. Tucker loves me very much and is VERY aware that I don't like to touch bugs, frogs or fish. However, on Saturday afternoon, with complete exasperation for my lack of "fishing skills" he told me "I need someone with me who it not afraid to touch slimy things!!" I explained to him that I had "assisted" him more than I normally would assist a fisher person. He told me that I just needed some practice. However, we were in luck when a few fishermen stopped by and helped Tucker when he was in dire need of assistance. In my heart, Joy is having friends and family, and even strangers, close by who will touch slimy things for my grandson so that I don't have to. For this I am eternally grateful. Joy is not touching slimy things.

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, March 5, 2010

To my beautiful friend, Madalena, I am so happy for the wonderful adventure that you have chosen. I am remembering you with a BIG smile today. I so admire your courage and your spirit. I look forward to hearing the successes of your Journey!

Blessings, my beautiful friend.

Here's to OUR Journeys!


A weekend with Nanna

Tucker is spending the weekend with us to go on a fly fishing trip. We will leave tomorrow morning at 5:00 am (ugh) and head for a beautiful river in Arkansas. Jim and Tucker have been tying flies, packing up their fishing poles, and enjoying their "guy stuff" together.

I, on the other hand, am not a fisher person, so I am packing plenty of good books for a day on the banks of the river.

This is our first weekend to go exploring since moving to Tennessee, and we have been waiting for this! Our hotel is next to a state park and the weather is suppose to be beautiful all weekend. And even though I do not fish, I am happy to go along. I am happy to spend the weekend with Jim and with our grandson. I am happy that I will have extended time to read, uninterrupted with house work, and I am happy that I will get to spend most of the day outside. (I really, really, really hope it is warm)

Joy is exploring my world with people I love!

Here's to the Journey!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Today I painted the hearth room from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. This room includes the kitchen, an eating area, and a sitting area by the fireplace. It is our favorite room in the house. I have some of Jenn's art work hanging. I have a wonderful Himalayan Salt Lamp that Liz gave me for my birthday, and the room just feels good.

As I worked today, I had such a sense of Joy. I was so happy all day long that I just kept smiling as I worked through my day. I was happy for all the people in my life. I was happy to be writing a Joy blog. I was happy to be beautifying my home. I was happy to be in Tennessee, I was happy........................And to top off this perfect day, Jim came home and offered to fix dinner while I took a bubble bath. He brought a fabulous glass of wine to me, (my favorite - Old Vine by Marietta) and served up a wonderful yet simple dinner of garlic bread and creamy tomato basil soup. And all through dinner I smiled at all the Joy in my life. Life is so good.

Here's to the Journey!

Joy is someone loving you so much that they are counting down the days until they come to visit you! Only 31 days left!! I love you Rudy and I can't wait to see you in Memphis!

Here's to the Journey!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Today I continued my quest to mark my territory. I painted, scrubbed the grout of my tiled floors, and caulked and sanded walls and trim. I dropped everything when Liz called and asked me to come and "hang out" with her and the boys. Within 2 seconds of walking in her door, I had 3 boys hugging me, and my heart sang with Joy.

But tonight, as I checked my emails, I was taught a lesson in Joy. I received an email from my Mom informing me that my Aunt Thelma's 66th birthday was today. So I called her to wish her a happy birthday. She had her last of several Chemo treatments today. The doctors and nurses threw her a birthday party including a gold and silver boa and a tiara for her bald head. They brought her a sheet cake to share with the other patients and her family and she went on and on about her wonderful day and how much Joy she was blessed with. And as she spoke, I remembered visiting her in December when I made my trip north. She had just had her second leg amputated, and was in tremendous pain in the hospital. Yet she made us smile. Her sense of humor boggles the mind under these circumstances.

I talked with Aunt Thelma a year ago January when I was up north. Aunt Thelma attended my baptism when I was 5 years old. She always told me that I looked like an angel in my white baptismal robe. She has always told me that I am beautiful. After talking with her, I felt compelled to write a letter to her telling her that I considered her one of my Angels. At a time in my life when I felt I had no where to turn, she provided food and shelter. I lived with her and her family for a short time after meeting Jim. She always loved me, and she has never judged me.

I see now that Aunt Thelma is an Angel to many people. Her Joy, her Laughter, her Love permeates all that know her. I feel blessed to have had this wonderful person in my life. And even though I don't see or talk to her often, I know that my life is more Joyful because of her.

Life is Joyful with people you love.

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Marking My Territory

Today I began marking my territory. Until now, we have always either designed and built a new home or remodeled an existing home. Either way, a lot of blood sweat and tears, (aka hard work) went into the home before we declared it truly ours. This home in Tennessee is different. It does not need any remodeling - yet I must do something to make it mine. So today I began the task of painting. Beginning with the trim in the master bath, I applied a fresh coat of paint, and as I painted, I felt that I was beginning to "own" the house.

I have always liked to paint. I am not an artist, and have trouble drawing a stick person. But I do love to paint a room. I have a file of color palette's for most of the past 25 years of house renovations and construction. I have colors from our Michigan, Indiana and Florida homes. Each color tells me a story of a connection to a house, and the memories that I made there with my family.

I have been known to paint a room, and immediately go back to the paint store for a different color. But usually, when I take my time choosing a color, it is a color that makes me feel good, and somehow lasts. So tonight, as I crawled around the master bath on my hands and knees, learning the contours and crevices, the nooks and crannies, I felt Joyful knowing that soon, with my paint brush in hand, I will have touched every square inch of this house. I will have marked my territory here in Tennessee, and it will be mine - filled with Joy and laughter - for a little while.

Here's to the Journey!

In March, 2009, I took a class for Level II Reiki. I had completed Level I the previous November and have felt that this introduction to Reiki was a turning point in my spiritual growth. At the end of each session, our instructor, Patricia, gave each of us a special stone to mark these wonderful occasions. I carry my stones with me most of the time, and had them tucked in my jeans pocket on moving day 3 weeks ago. When I emptied my pockets at the end of the day, I realized that I had lost the stone that was given to me for the second class. It is a beautiful light green stone and I always carry it in my right pocket. I remembered at the end of the day, pulling a piece of paper from my pocket and fleetingly recalling that something may have dropped as I was loading things into my car. I felt a twinge of sadness knowing that I had lost my special stone that marked a new direction in my life. I decided I would just continue to cherish the lesson of Reiki, and release the stone.

However, last Friday I went to our apartment to turn over the mail key. I had already turned over the other keys and could not access the apartment at this time. As I was driving to the apartment complex office, I intuitively decided to check the grass by the sidewalk where I was loading on moving day. And there, laying in the grass, 2 and 1/2 weeks later was my Reiki II stone. I cannot describe the Joy I felt at seeing this stone laying there, undisturbed, and unnoticed by all the people that had walked by it.

I thought of this story today as I was getting dressed, and carefully putting my stones deep into my pockets, and I felt very grateful that I still have my symbol of Reiki that I can carry with me every day. But even most importantly, I love that these stones remind me of the power and the symbols of Reiki, and I know that I am blessed with this wonderful life sustaining energy that is Reiki. And I remember with gladness the Five Reiki Principles:

Just for today, I will not be angry.

Just for today, I let go of worry.

Just for today, I will be grateful.

Just for today, I will be earnest in my work.

Just for today, I will honor every living thing.

Here's to the Journey!