Wednesday, December 29, 2010


...............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! 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!