Thursday, May 27, 2010

Today has been very exciting as we plan for our mini vacation this weekend. I began the day by picking up Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus and we went straight to Starbucks. The boys spent the rest of the day with me, and then Jim took them home after dinner and dessert. So delightful!

Now I am scrambling to get the suitcases packed and the house cleaned. I always clean house before we go on vacation because I love the feeling of coming back to a beautifully clean and organized house.

And now as I put the final touches down, I am reminiscing about when we lived in Madison, Indiana. We moved there in 2002 and lived there for 15 months before moving to our home in Florida.

The time in Madison was an adventure unlike any before that. We rented the first floor of a house built in 1846. It was located on Main Street, within walking distance of the grocery, theater, restaurants and all kinds of shops. And, if you drove to the top of the hill, you would find Walmart, the big Kroger store, Staples, Dairy Queen and all the new stuff that was coming to Madison. But down on Main street, where we lived, all the buildings were from the 1800's. We were a block from the Ohio River, and Jim and I use to take our morning walks at 5:15 in the morning for a mile east along the river, and then a mile back. That was the only time that Jim joined me for my morning walks. And, we had some good times there.

We will be seeing our wonderful friends, Jim and Margo. (Actually staying in their guest house which is also from the 1800's) They are the ones who introduced us to "good" red wine and taught us to enjoy a glass to love songs by Sinatra, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke and others. Jazz and blues to the sound of St Germain, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, BB King and so many more. (When Jim and I cook together - with a glass of wine in hand, love songs on the iPod - we ALWAYS think of Madison and our good friends Jim and Margo!) We use to take trips with them into Louisville shopping, discovering fabulous wine stores and restaurants. But they also showed us the fun of living in a small town like Madison. And we have missed them and the quaint little town.

This is going to be a great weekend. Life is good with good friends!

Here's to the Journey!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Life is so Good!

Today I went to Kathy's Nail Salon for a wonderful pedicure. It is so relaxing to have some one take care of your feet. I took a book to read, but mostly I sat with my eyes closed, enjoying the deliciousness of the moment. we are - beautiful toes, and a wonderful attitude about life. Does it get better than this?

Of course it does!!!!! Jim worked late tonight, but called on his way home, and I headed to the kitchen. Spinach and cheese ravioli with a (partially) homemade tomato sauce. Toasted bread and Plungerhead Old Vine Zinfandel. My good friend Margo, whom we are going to visit this weekend, recommended this wine and since I am only 5 minutes from the best wine store in town, I had to take the challenge. And now I am basking in the afterglow of a couple of glasses of Plungerhead. So good! If you like red wine - you really should try this one.

Jim and I sat down to a candle light dinner. Billie Holiday singing all of her old love songs, and good vibrations all around. Life is so good.

Joy is pretty toes, a good glass of wine AND the man I love across the table from me.

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My First Letter to God

Dear God,

I love that You adore Me!



Here's to the Journey!

My letter was inspired by the book, Write it Down, Make it Happen, written by Henriette Anne Klauser. Her book is very inspirational - if you want to write, which I do! Most of the book is about setting and achieving goals and ways of writing to facilitate your life.

Chapter 15 is titled Writing Letters to God and in it she encourages the reader to write letters for assistance, such as finding something lost, or asking for help in dire situations, or just appreciation. I finished reading this book last night just before bed, and I was so impressed with this suggestion. I had NEVER thought of writing to God. I have written so many things, but not ever a letter to God. And it just sounded so intriguing. And as I thought of the first letter I might write to God or Source (as I like to say sometimes) I could only think of these words: I love that you adore me.

When I say or think those words I feel like I glow. I feel special, I feel loved in a non-physical way that envelops my entire soul, and I feel oh so Joyful. For I have learned through the years of my life that God's love/Source's love is unconditional. God adores me! And that is such a delicious feeling!

The funny thing was that I also felt like I needed to sign my full name to the letter. Although I always go by Sandy, I felt that in using my full name - Sandra - I opened myself, I left nothing hidden. And if you are writing to God/Source you might as well be honest because you can't hide a damn thing! This I know. I am lovin' the Journey!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Slip Sliding Away

Yesterday our lazy Sunday turned into a family Sunday. Jim, whom I adore, let me sleep until 9:00. But once my feet hit the floor, I was ready for action. I quickly called Liz and invited her to drop the boys off on her way to do some running. While she was at the house, Jim invited her and Thadeus back for chops and brewskies. Happily she accepted and we had a wonderful dinner Sunday night.

Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus spent the afternoon soaking in our garden sprinkler, eating strawberry popsicles on the patio, and making paper airplanes which I found instructions for on the internet! It amazed me how much fun we all had with these paper toys. Tucker and Rollin also learned a new trick of doing summersaults over my living room ottoman, and proudly showed mom and dad. And while I normally don't allow too much activity on the living room furniture, this was too good to not share. They are natural acrobats - thats for sure.

Rollin, who was trying to whistle while we were flying our airplanes in the family room, (It was 90 something outside and just too darn hot to play outside) told me he wanted to take a class to learn how to whistle. I am not much of a whistler myself. My brothers - all three of them -have given me whistling lessons in the past, and I have just decided some of us were born not to whistle. But I love Rollin's attitude.

So today, as I was sorting the mail, I found a flyer for classes. I haven't checked out the schedule yet, I don't even know what is offered, but I have always wanted to learn to speak Spanish. (for my trip to Spain) As I laid the paper aside to look through at a later time, I thought of Spanish lessons. And I thought of whistling. I think the Spanish will definitely be easier for me. Joy is learning something new.

Here's to the Journey!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fishing Buddies

Rollin spent the night with us and we all took a little fishing trip today. Joy is going fishing with 2 of the cutest guys in the whole wide world and.......... having some good quality reading time!

Rollin snapped my picture while taking a break. I love to read outside, and today, even though it was 89 degrees out, it felt good to be outside reading. I told Rollin that if he got bored with fishing, that I would read to him. He told me he would "never ever get bored with fishing". And he didn't. He wasn't ready to leave when the fishing group was breaking up, and we had to convince him that fishing was over for the day. He loves fishing, and I like to believe that he also loves spending time with us. This is Joy!

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today I spent most of my day writing. Which is what I love to do. I even made a trip to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy of a fabulous book I am reading (about writing). I want a copy for Jenn and Liz. I love sharing books with my daughters. In fact, we just returned from having a fabulous steak dinner with Liz and Thadeus and I returned with a copy of a cook book for making quick bread. I am going to shop at Amazon later tonight and get bread cook books for all of us.

I was looking at my stack of unread books and I have some from Jenn and from Liz that I have moved to the top of my stack. I plan to make some reading time on a regular basis so I should be ploughing through these fairly quickly in the next few weeks. We also have some travel time ahead of us, which is perfect for reading.

Rollin is spending the night with us because we have a fishing picnic to go to with the Midsouth Fly Fishers tomorrow. Jim and Rollin are going to have a joyous time fishing (catch and release) and I will have a joyous time reading. Life is good. Life is especially good with a good book in hand.

Here's to the Journey!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today I started reading a book about writing and setting goals to get things done. The book recommended that you go some place to write a list of goals. I went to Starbucks for my iced Americano and then headed to the lake I use to walk around every morning when we lived in the apartment.

I found a nice bench at the top of the hill, next to a group of trees. I sat there and wrote out 100 things I would like to accomplish in this life time. The sun slipped behind dark clouds, and just as I finished the last goal, I felt a rain drop on my arm. I gathered all my things and headed to the car making it just before the sky open and poured the heavens out on Collierville this afternoon.

But I came home with a list of ideas and goals, some wild and some of which I had never pondered before. But I came back with a strong belief that I can be, do or have anything I want. Now.....what do I dare to dream? I think I will be adding to my list tomorrow forI cannot stop dreaming these dreams.

Here's to the Journey!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kiss the Cook!

On Sunday Jim and Thadeus picked up our new grill. It is both charcoal and gas with an extra gas burner So tonight (along with a glass of wine) we had rosemary (fresh from the garden - do you see it in the background?) garlic and olive oil chicken. Squash and zucchini with a vegetable rub mailed to us from New York (thank you Jenn!!!) and buttered & grilled corn on the cob. Talk about wanting to kiss the cook. You cannot even imagine a dinner like this and not feel Joy. top it off, I just received (via Amazon and the wonderful UPS delivery guy) a new CD with the teachings of Abraham: Law of Attraction Directly from Source which are the teachings of Abraham set to fabulous music. So we sat on our newly arranged patio, candles blazing, lights glowing (I think I was glowing too!) and enjoyed dinner to the teachings and music of Abraham. Life is good.

Life with a fabulous (sexy) cook is soooooooo verrrrrrrry goooooood!

Here's to the Journey!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Feeling of Gratitude

I am grateful for this magnificent day.
I am grateful for my loving family.
I am grateful for my beautiful home.
I am grateful for those who love me.
I am grateful for the teachings of Abraham.
I am grateful for my healthy body.
I am grateful for my Angels.
I am grateful for this Journey of Joy!

Here's to the Journey!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sculpting Our Lives!

Yesterday, Jim came home very excited about a subject for my Blog. He was helping Thadeus re-roof their house, and as he stood on top of the roof and saw the life they had "sculpted" he expanded. He saw their freshly mowed yard with a very orderly garden. A group of peach and apple trees, a neat shed that stored the bikes and family stuff, and he felt gratitude for the beauty of Liz's life. And he wanted me to write about it. Then he went on to explain how Jenn and Josh are doing the same things. "Sculpting" their lives in New York. Painting the new apartment they just moved into, organizing, calling us for advice, and again, Jim expanded. He saw the beauty of Jenn's life.

And while I cannot write Jim's story, I felt great elation at his growth. Sometimes as parents, we want our children, even though they are responsible adults, to always do things the way we want them to because as parents "we know what's best". Our parents were that way, our parents' parents were that way, and so we carry on that unbearable torch. But last night I heard Jim talk about the beauty of his daughter's lives. I heard him see with an eye that in the past has been guarded and protective. I saw his break through of expecting and seeing good things in the lives of his daughters. And for a while we dropped the torch. I wish we could say that we will never pick the torch up again - but time will tell. But in this moment, the beauty of their lives and the beauty of their choices makes us stand in awe. And if we can hold back and never ever again tell them what we think they should do - we know they will be alright. For they are stunning in their beauty and in their brilliance.

Jim's excitement over my blog made me realize that my Journey of Joy has impacted him in very profound ways. In ways that I could not have anticipated months ago when I began. In the beginning, he was very skeptical of my "blogging" and now, he always reminds me, before I go to bed, to blog if I haven't already done so. Often he wants to read my blog, and it makes him smile. Occasionally he reads and is perplexed. But always, he is happy that I am writing. Happy that I am looking for Joy and happy that we are on this Journey together.

I am happy that we have "sculpted" this wonderful life together. Grateful that we are co-creators in this dance of life. Life is good!

Here's to the Journey!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Before and After.............

In March I painted the kitchen/family room the same color that was currently on the walls, I wanted to define the lines better and make it look fresh. But yesterday as I walked into the kitchen at 6:00 am, without realizing it, I said (out loud) "I do not like the color of this room". So by 7:15 I was busy painting it Bedford Beige.

Every time I walk into the room, I can't believe the difference. It looks so bright and so spacious - just the way I like a room to look. The new color is one from our Florida house, and although it looks very different at this house, it feels lighter - it feels more joyful. So here are some after pictures..............

And I am feeling better and better and better................

I find it amazing to watch the transformation of a room. Even as my body is aching with climbing the ladder again and again, I see joy and beauty and I cannot and will not stop.

Maybe this is why I like to paint my house so much. Although I will stop when I have every thing painted the color I desire, it truly is inspiring to watch the change happen right before my eyes.

I wish I could see my own transformation as easily as I see my rooms change. As I reach for my own alignment, as I look for Joy in my life, and as I deliberately practice the art of allowing, the transformation seems much slower. As though the changes to my life are sometimes in slow motion. Yet when I look back to the beginning of this Journey of Joy, I am amazed at the progress/transformation. But I have to look back to see this. I have covered hundreds of miles in the past several months alone. I have discovered the secret to days and days of ecstasy. I have found healing for my body, love for myself, and Joy in each and every day. Now that is transformation! This really has been a Joy ride - and I can't wait to see where it takes me tomorrow!

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rollin and Fynneus spent the night with us last night, and I met Liz at 6:45 this morning at the intersections of Hwy 57 and 192 and she headed northeast to Indiana. Tucker has spent the week with his Meemee and Pawpaw and Liz is headed up there to pick him up and to drop off Rollin.

It was so thrilling to see the boys this morning. They were sooooo sweet and cooperative as the alarm went off this morning. I set it per Rollins instructions, and precisely at 6:30 am the rooster started crowing. Rollin, who has been waiting for weeks for me to set the alarm clock for him told me that "it really is annoring" and I am hopeful that he won't ask me to set it again - although we do have other sounds to choose from that may not be so "annoring"!

I came back home to an empty house and decided I could not tolerate the color of my kitchen/family room any longer. So with a steaming cup of coffee in hand, I started taping, priming and painting. As Jim walked in the door at 5:00, I was wrapping up my day. He poured me a glass of wine and I relaxed in the jacuzzi as he smoked a cigar on the patio.

Joy is changing the color of the kitchen from "Mississippi Mud" to Bedford Beige. And although Bedford Beige sounds like a creme color, it is one of the most pretty greens I have ever painted. Joy is changing colors! Life is good with beautiful colors in our home!

Here's to the Journey!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Life on the Patio

For the past couple of weeks, Jim and I have been working on our outdoor patio. We have missed the outdoor life of Florida, so we have been anxious to get the new patio in order. We have been using the patio a little, but mostly amid chaos. So last evening we finished hanging the outdoor lights and arranging some of our wicker furniture. Tonight, at twilight, I stepped out to take a look, and even though the light was fading, it felt so good to see it all put together.

We have two more azalea plants blooming with both light and dark pink flowers. I have colorful citronella candles to ward off mosquitos. We have palm trees, wind chimes and outdoor wall hangings from our Florida home, and now it is beginning to feel very comfortable.

Tomorrow I think I will plan a dinner on the patio. A glass of wine, lively conversation, and the man I love sharing it all with me. Life is good! Life on the patio is especially good!

Here's to the Journey!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fynneus spent the night with us and slept alone in the guest bedroom until 5:45 this morning. Then he crawled in bed with me just as Jim was getting up for work. Fynn snuggled in my arms and 20 minutes later Jim came back to kiss me good bye. He quietly whispered "I love you" and Fynn, who we thought was sleeping, whispered back "I love you too". Jim and I looked at each other with huge (HUGE) smiles of adoration on our face for this beautiful gift lying in my arms.

My Joy today will be spending the day with Fynneus. And he has already asked to go to Starbucks! Life is Good!

Here's to the Journey!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Moments of Joy!

I just returned from the gym. Jim and I both belong to a beautiful gym which is only 5 minutes away and I absolutely loved going there today. I have missed several weeks with all my painting and helping Liz with the boys. (And yes....I know those are just excuses) but I was so excited to go today. I took my iPod, my Bose headphones and rocked out to music that wouldn't let my feet be still. The time flew by, and soon I was sitting in the steam room with a wonderful grin of Joy on my face.

Of course, Starbucks is on my way home, which just added to my day of Joy and now it is almost 4:00 and Jim will be home soon. I can't wait for him to wrap his arms around me, as he does at the end of each work day, and Joy again envelops me.

We will be going to a Tee ball game in a couple of hours to watch Rollin play. I feel like everything I have done today has built moment after moment of Joy.

Life is so very good.

Here's to the Journey!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Joy is playing marbles with Rollin and Fynneus and Liz on a lazy, rainy, Monday afternoon.

Rollin called me three times today to invite us over to his house and I couldn't and wouldn't turn him down. Jim and I went late this afternoon and of course we were welcomed with kisses and hugs. Then they invited me to play marbles while Jim helped Thadeus install a new fan in their classroom. How can a Monday be any better than this?

Here's to the Journey!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother's Day to Remember

Mother's day is always a day of memories for me. We have two beautiful daughters that have enriched our lives more than I can say. Last year I spent the weekend in New York with Jenn. This year I am living in Tennessee and I spent the day with Liz and her family.

I really do love being a Mom. And even though we have transitioned into the "empty nest" phase of our lives, and I no longer guide my daughters on a daily basis as I tried to when they were so young, I love the relationship that I have with them. I value their love for me and my love for them. I so admire the women they have become. I admire the Mom that Liz has become and the love and compassion I see in her as she raises her own young sons. I admire Jenn following her dreams as an artist, and leaving the familiarity of family to go towards what is so important to her.

I use to always think that my daughters were beautiful and fabulous women in spite of me, but now, with my own maturity, I realize that I really did contribute in a wonderful way to them being the women they are today. And for that I am so grateful. And they both have contributed to the woman I have become. And for that I am grateful.

I love you Jenn! I love you Liz! Thank you for sharing this Journey with me!

Here's to the Journey!

Friday, May 7, 2010

It is late Friday night and I have missed a whole week of blogging (practically). But it has been a fun week. I have spent a lot of time with the boys and with Liz this week, but I have also taken time each day to read and/or listen to The Law of Attraction by Esther & Jerry Hicks.

I will be going to Chicago in June to a seminar by the Hicks and can hardly wait to go. I feel like I want to soak up every word I can before I go so that I will be in sync with what I hear that day. But in all of this, I am reminded that Life is so good and that we have a choice in creating this good life. I love attracting good things into my life, and I am grateful for the contrast that I have lived that allows me to enjoy this life today. Life is good!

Here's to the Journey!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I stayed up late Sunday night and finished painting the stairway that Jim and I started that morning. We allowed part of our Sunday to be "lazy" and then we felt like we had to get some chores done. I knew that today I would pick up Tucker, Rollin and Fynneus, so I wanted these chores out of the way.

I took the boys to Johnson park this morning. They rode bikes and scooters, then went roller skating, then played on swings. We came home and had lunch, made homemade banana pudding, rode bikes again, and played tennis. When Jim came home, I packed them, and the banana pudding up, and sent them home to their mom and dad.

I love the role of Nanna. It was so much fun to show them how to make banana pudding. It would have been much easier to just make this myself, but instead, I got out 3 cutting boards with butter knives, and showed them how to cut up 2 bananas each. Then they took turns layering vanilla cookies and bananas and they were delighted with their contribution. I know they will enjoy eating it tonight, after dinner, and they will be so very proud that they made this delicious dish. We always feel so good when we help, when we create. I love allowing this creation in my home and in my kitchen. They are coming back over tomorrow, I wonder what we will create this time.

Here's to the Journey!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Still painting.......................I painted the laundry room yesterday, but the color was so light that even with a coat of primmer I had to give it 2 coats. But I took a little breather and Liz and Thadeus came over for a fish fry of blue gill that Thad caught on a lake here in Tennessee and a family "sleep over". It is so good to spend time with family, and I reminded myself several times today that's why we are here. So good.

I also took a breather and purchased tickets to see the Zac Brown Band at the amphitheater at Mudd Island in Memphis. I heard this band for the first time this week when (my favorite shopping place) Amazon, delivered a CD to Jim. It reminded us so much of our time in Florida, we have to go see them. And I find myself humming all day long as I paint:

I got my toes in the water,
Ass in the sand,
Not care in the world,
A cold beer in my hand,
Life is good today!
Life is good today!

Here's to the Journey!