Monday, January 31, 2011

Anticipating Spring

After the beautiful weekend, I have begun to dream of spring time. I raked leaves from all the flower beds and I am making plans for the spring planting. It feels good to be in Tennessee and to experience all the seasons again because spring time has always been a favorite of mine.

I love to see the budding of new growth. To see the trees flower and turn green right before our eyes. There is a wonderful feeling of new energy as all of nature springs into action after the winter break!

While I know that we have a few more weeks of winter here in Memphis, I do know the joy of anticipating spring.

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Mornings

I love Sunday mornings because there is never any hurry to get out of bed. I still wake very early, but I do not open my eyes. I lie there drifting back and forth between sleep and awake and let thoughts and day dreams drift through my mind. I take my time feeling gratitude for the day that is coming, I feel great appreciation for the many blessings in my life. And I think about that first great cup of coffee I will have.

And then eventually, I stretch and reach and open my eyes - and there it is: A beautiful Sunday morning again!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A day in the woods

Today was a gorgeous day with temps in the low 70's, and clear skies full of sunshine. Liz and her family joined us for a day at the Big Hill Pond State Park. We passed a little stream that flows off the lake and the boys were excited to see a place with rocks where they could cross the stream. So Liz stayed and watched her boys playing excitedly in the water while Jim and I hiked to the fire tower.

I love looking up at the trees. I feel so small in this vast forrest. Of course, after climbing the tower, we can see for miles across the tops of the trees and the view is completely different. The feeling is different too. But, it doesn't matter if I am standing among the trees or above them, they always bring me Joy! That's why I love a day in the woods!

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Got Mail?

This afternoon I walked out to get the mail and realized that I had mail for two days! I love when my days are so wonderful and exciting that I forget to check my mail box! This is my Joy!

Here's to The Ride!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bringing Joy

Liz attended her last photography class tonight so all the boys came to have dinner with Jim and I. It is so fun how they can fill an evening up with laughter and tons of energy. They walked with Jim and John Wayne around the neighborhood. They played fetch in the back yard. They watched Little House on the Prairie with a short break for peaches and whip creme. They bounced jumping beans on our floor, and shared their knock knock jokes with me.

And all the while, I can't help but smile - inside and out- at the Joy they bring to our lives!

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Coffee & Life

Coffee is like life - You have to add your own flavor!

I love coffee and I love life!!!! Rich, creamy and oh so wonderful!

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Feathers and Presence

It started snowing this afternoon and as night fell, the snowflakes became bigger and now they look like feathers falling from the sky. I am already excited to walk in the morning. I hope the snow keeps coming and that I get to walk in that white blanket of silence that envelopes our neighborhood! This morning, I walked in the rain - but snow creates that breath taking silence that I am looking forward to!

I continued my writing practice today. I woke this morning thinking how often we have to be reminded of something for our mind to grasp it. I realized that it is good to be reminded. For in our remembering we pause, and in our pausing we are present. So I remind myself to remind myself to remind myself to breathe as I write. And presence is felt!

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Feeling Happy

Although the reader can not tell this, I am writing a little earlier than usual tonight. I have a date with Jim to watch the old True Grit. Jim loves all the John Wayne movies, and I am hoping to watch this through his eyes. I am resistant when he watches old movies, and I want to give attention to myself tonight to determine what I am pushing against. ...........Plus, Jim wants to introduce our John Wayne to the "real" JW.

It is Monday, and Mondays always seem to hold the promise of good things to come. I walked this morning under a misting sky and thanked my Angels for the opportunity to view the beauty of the morning. I sat in meditation, breathing slowing, in and then out. I drove by the beautiful offices of the company that is going to hire me and I wrote the chapter on Joyful Living for my book.

And still, anticipation fills me. It feels good to be excited. It feels good to be happy. It feels good to be healthy. It feels good to be here!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Filling my Day

Saturday slipped by so fast that I did not write my blog before my computer shut down for the night. Today is slipping too quickly, but I want to put a few words down before I call it a day.

I have had a wonderful weekend, and we just got back from having dinner with Liz and her family. I had a long conversation with Jenn today. I spent time touring Memphis with Jim, I completed my 21st day of writing practice, I enjoyed an hour of meditation this afternoon. I gave time to reading a couple of books, I watched some football with Jim, played fetch with John Wayne and now at the end of the day I know I have filled it completely with that which matters to me. I feel so blessed to be right here - enjoying this life.

Life is so very good!

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Our three grandsons spent the night with us last night. After getting Jim off to work this morning, I had the luxury of spending one whole hour in meditation before the youngest of the three came wandering out to where I sat in the living room. I held him for a little while and soon the middle one came climbing onto the big comfy chair with us. Just a few minutes later, the oldest one came close smiling his sleepy morning smile.

We sat and talked and told jokes and all of a sudden, Tucker smacked me on the forehead and said "You are blessed!" Then Rollin smacked my forehead and said "You are blessed!" We laughed out loud and I "blessed" all three of them, but in my heart I was saying, yes, I am truly blessed indeed!

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Training Session

John Wayne has certainly changed our lives. He has such an eagerness for life, for exploring, for listening. But I swear he is specifically trying to teach me to feel the same way. Occasionally, when I am standing in the back yard with him waiting for him to do what he has to do, he will pause, tilt his head straight back and look at the sky and the trees. And then he looks at me as if to remind me to enjoy this beauty set before us. He will stop as he hears the birds chirping - as though he is drawing my attention to them as well - wanting my attention given to the beautiful sounds.

Today, as we stood in the back yard, together looking at the sky, listening to the birds, and enjoying the falling snow, I realized that I am the student in this training session.

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Soul's Journey

I am currently re-reading Journey of Souls. I am on the chapter of how we find our soul mates in this or past lives. It makes me think back to when I was a young girl and I described how my husband would look, how old he would be, and how much I would love him.

I marvel to think that as young as 12 years I knew he was coming. No, I didn't know his name, and I did not know how I would meet him, yet my confidence did not waver. Even when my Aunts laughed at me when I described this man I would marry, I did not waver, I knew he was coming.

And it was an acquaintance who introduced us. Nobody special. Jim asked me out and I said OK. No stars, no fireworks, no real recognition that I can recall. Yet, on that first date he drove me to Valparaiso to the place he would start work on Monday. This was the place I drove to when our first daughter was ready to be born and I picked him up on the way to the hospital. We drove to Michigan for dinner and drinks that first night. A state we would live in for ten years and where both daughters would graduate from high school.

There were many firsts with Jim and as I look back now, I see the synchronicity of this life together. How each action has built the next action. And I marvel at the Journey our Souls have made. I revel in this love we share for each other - this true love that bonds our Souls together for eternity!
Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Ritual of Writing

I am continuing my writing practice each day, and the letters are finally getting easier to make. Today is number 16 in my count to 40 days of practice, so I am not quite half way there. I have made changes to all of the letters I write, so it has been challenging at the very least, exhilarating at the very most. As I grab a pen to write, my brain wants to do it one way, and my hand wants to do it another way. So I am learning patience with myself. As I sign my name for a credit card purchase, it becomes a slow process as my brain tries to convince my hand of the new way to write my name.

My journal writing has become (first of all, legible) a lesson in discovery. Turning each page "landscape" instead of "portrait" with no lines to guide me. Leaving a margin on the left, top and bottom. Sloping my lines of words upwards - ever so slightly. Looking up the meaning of letters so I understand why I struggle to make them this new way.

And in the end, pages and pages of letters, words, signatures, yet so much more. I feel like I pour my heart into these letters now. I identify a part of me every time I practice the letter A. I sit taller as I practice my I's and my T's. I catch myself pausing to breathe consciously as I write my T - h's. I understand that I am growing (at least on the inside) as I practice this ritual of writing.

I am changing my writing..........and my writing is changing me.

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, January 17, 2011

That's why we're here....

Tonight Tucker, Rollin and maybe Fynneus are beginning their wrestling practice at a High School in Memphis. They are all excited. Thadeus has ordered shoes for them and they have been practicing their moves for the past week. Tonight they get to try them out and Tucker asked us to come and watch! I asked Jim if he wanted to go tonight and his response: "YES! That's why we're here!"

Joy is living in Tennessee so we can catch these special moments! I love it here!!!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Weekend of Giving Time

Sunday is coming to an end, and it has been a wonderful day. A wonderful weekend.

Joy is time given to each other!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Working Wood

Jim spent time this afternoon working in his wood shop and I am happy to see his attention to an old hobby. Through the years he has made many things for our home and family and it feels right to hear the sander or the saws or the drill whirring in his shop. He is currently working on a fly tying table for his den. I helped a little as he cut and sanded, but mostly, I just smiled as I went about my day, listening to the sound emanating from his work area!

Life is good with a wood worker in the house!

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Best Day of the Week

I don't really know why, but Fridays always seem to be the best day of the week. Maybe it's knowing the weekend is here and the daily routine is changed. Maybe it's knowing the work week is behind me now. Or maybe it's just knowing that I get two relaxing days with Jim.

The best day of the week is when I know the weekend is the next day!

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Giving Time

Fynn and Tucker spent some time with me this afternoon while Rollin went to the dentist. But the dentist didn't take long, and soon Rollin and Liz joined us. So my afternoon was given to reading to Tucker. To Rollin on the computer. To Fynn napping on Poppa's side of the bed. To conversation with Liz.

Moral of the story: Time given to family is the best time of all.

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Training Humans

Puppy class number two tonight - and John Wayne has us climbing baby gates to get through our house. He has us standing outside in the cold waiting for him to pee. He has us scooping poo into the garbage can. He has us tripping over chew toys. He has us buying all kinds of dog stuff. He has our family room cluttered with balls and rawhide bones.

I think it's all going pretty well. Jim and I are being trained into very good pet owners!

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, January 10, 2011

First Snow

We had our first snow fall of the year. I walked this morning in total quiet with a blanket of white covering everything - even the trees. Traffic was slow and muted this morning with the snow, and my walk was more peaceful than ever. I made my laps around the subdivision and was happy to get home and shake the crusted snow from my clothes and shoes. After a steaming cup of coffee, I was ready for my day!

This afternoon I snapped the picture of this tree in our back yard with clumps of snow hanging like strips of cotton on its limbs. Tucker, Rollin and Fynn have the beginnings of a snow fort in my front yard. Foot ball is playing on the TV in the family room. My back yard is covered with John Wayne paw prints. My dryer is buzzing as it dries out the last of the snow suits. And I am humming "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

Just another day of beautiful miracles. A day of miraculous joy!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Let it Snow......

Jim and I have spent a wonderful Sunday together. Jim's secret French Toast recipe for breakfast. A trip to Starbucks. A saunter through the Antique Mall. A walk thru Home Depot for some wood glue. Chinese for lunch - including live piano. Sharing the last of Christmas chocolate.

.......then it started to snow! We added a few layers and headed outside for a night time walk. We came back covered with snow, smiling from ear to ear, and thoroughly enjoying our "lazy" Sunday!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Writing my name

I have given much of my day to writing today. A 5:00 am walk this morning. Two short 15 minute meditations, John Wayne up at 7:00, breakfast, etc., etc., etc., then escaping to my office to do my writing practice. Which actually became spread through out the day as we meandered through our Saturday routine. Coffee at Starbucks with Rollin, who spent the night with us. A trip to Petco for more fun stuff for John Wayne. Pushing Rollin on a lumber cart at Home Depot, then delivering him safely home tonight to his family.

And yet, I feel like I have been writing all day long. Writing words that look unfamiliar as I try to make my letters different. Writing my name, as printed on my birth certificate so many years ago, and feeling a familiarity, a bond to those letters that name me.

There is Joy in connecting with my own history. I did that today with the simple practice of writing my name.

Here's to the Ride!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Writing Practice

I give time each day to a writing practice. I have decided to change my handwriting - because I can, and because I realize that my writing needs a little re-vamping. As I slow my hand to make my letters with more precision, my writing looks like that of a young girl, just learning cursive after years of printing. My letters and words are awkward, my lines go all over the place, some times the letters are correct, sometimes not so much.

Still, I love the challenge of changing the way my brain wants to automatically make these letters. Letters that I have written since first grade, letters that I see and read each day, letters that fill my dozens of dictionaries. It is funny to watch my hand resist this new motion, wanting to go to the familiar, automatically falling back to my old style if I lessen my attention in the slightest way.

So my writing practice has turned into another opportunity to be present. As I laboriously clutch my fine point pen, as my shoulder and neck tenses, I take a deep breath, relax my grip, soothe my shoulder and neck muscles, and slowly breathe life into my writing.

Here's to the Ride!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Today Jenn and Liz gave me a copy of the first year of my Blog published in a hard cover book. I am over whelmed with Joy to see my blog in print - in hard cover.

As I read the first few months this afternoon, I was taken by surprise at all the wonderful things that have happened over the past year since we sold our house in Florida and moved to Tennessee. I was amazed at the way I expressed myself in my writing, and the Joy in my life. That Joy continues, as I continue this Journey. I do not always know where I am going, but I always know that it will be worthwhile and that there will be joy or some small miracle in my day.

This is another day of miracles, visiting Liz and the boys. Liz and the boys coming to our house for dinner. John Wayne learning to sit as I fold my arms. Jim climbing the puppy gate to kiss me. All miracles. All in my day.

Here's to the Ride!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Miracle Notes

I just finished reading a book that encourages the reader, as they make changes, to keep a log of miracle notes so that she remembers where she has been. I like this instruction. So often we get to "there" but have forgotten many of the miracle steps that led the way.

I feel like my Journey of Joy Blog is a journal of miracle notes. I look back and see where I have been, the steps I made, the Joy I allowed, and it opens the way for more forward movement, more steps, more Joy.

Making miracle notes demands presence. I have to give attention to notice the miracles, I have to be present. My blog has helped me to learn to be present. I will never notice my joy, my miracles, my beauty if I resist being present. But each day, as I sit at my computer, with the intent of writing a Joy or a Miracle of the day, presence fills me. It stills me. It gives me clarity. And then I weave the words, trying to describe the day. Checking my dictionaries, defining Joy, defining miracles, defining presence. And yet there is no absolute defining of this life, this Joy, these miracles. It is all miraculous. That is the miracle.

So I will keep writing and I will keep remembering, as I move through my day, to capture those miracles by being present - by giving attention!

Here's to the Ride!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Puppy Lessons

Tonight Jim and I attended our first of three puppy classes to learn how to train a puppy a/k/a John Wayne. However, I think that John Wayne is actually training us to train him. A life circle - we train him, he trains us, we train him, he trains us!

The instructor is a man who has worked with animals all of his life, and who has great respect for the animals he works with - and all animals in general. He told us that having a dog is a luxury. I have never thought of it that way, but now that I heard the words, I can process them into a meaningful belief.

We do not Have to Have a dog! So having John Wayne is a luxury, or maybe a better word is a blessing. As I look at all the things in my life that I take for granted, I see that I am surrounded by luxuries, a/k/a blessings. So thank you John Wayne for the puppy lesson. You have helped me to count my blessings.

Here's to the Ride!

Monday, January 3, 2011


I walked this morning underneath stars and a dark black sky. It really is the best way to start the day! Then I spent hours practicing my hand writing. I read the book by Vimala Rodgers, Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life, and I have been inspired, like so many, to change my writing style. This 56th year is going to be full of exciting changes, and this is just one of many to come!

Day 3 - new changes creating opportunities to be flexible. Lovin' the ride!

Here's to the Ride!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Day After

For me, the day after New Year's always brings another new beginning. My birthday is the second day of the year, and so I find two consecutive days of introspection and inspection.

This year, as I begin my 56th year, I feel blessed beyond dreams. I have so much to be grateful for, including family, health, husband and so much more. However, my gratefulness extends beyond the physical to the personal growth, expansion and the contrast that I experienced during my 55th year. I am at peace with all of my life decisions. I am at peace with the road that has led me to here. I am at peace with this number that signifies nothing -yet encompasses everything.

I spent my day in nature. Jim and I packed a picnic and hiked some trails at a local park. We detoured off the trail for a while, and as my mind raced at not knowing where and which way, I realized that Jim had no qualms about where and which way. He knew! No doubt, no second guessing, just moving through the woods, following deer tracks. When we came upon about 2 dozen deer, again, he knew we were going to do this! I relaxed my mind, and trusted that even though I had not wondered woods like this, for Jim it was the most natural thing to be doing - and it was certainly more fun that a track that thousands have walked.

I believe life is like that. We can stay on a path that everyone has trod, or we can forge our way in the forest. I have always assumed that I chose the path less traveled, but I was reminded today that my protesting often leads me away from that less traveled path. It takes courage to choose a different path. Yet there is Joy in leaving the well known trail.

This 56th year will offer me many paths. I intend to be open to the new ways. I pray that if I waver, strength will be provided, courage will be given, and new trails will be mine. This year is going to be a great and joyful ride!

Here's to the Ride!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day 1/1/11

Today has been so busy it has hardly felt like the beginning of a brand new year. Darrin and Tyler left this morning, and then we took Jenn to the Airport at 1:00. Liz and her family went home after spending the night with all of us, and we returned home to John Wayne.

Having John in the house has changed the texture of our home. The added responsibility, along with the added joy makes everything here feel different. I believe that the difference and a new texture will be added to our new year as well. I am looking forward, with great anticipation, to wonderful and exciting things this year in our lives. And while I do not make new year's "resolutions" I have set some intentions for this new year.

I intend to be more flexible - in my thinking, my body and my beliefs.

I intend to be open and receptive to all good and joy and to allow these to fill my everyday living.

I intend to love deeply and to be loved deeply.

I intend to be present for this 56th year of my life.

I intend to infuse Joy into every aspect of my life.

I know that many changes are ahead of me this year. I want to embrace these changes knowing that they are a manifestation of all that I have dreamed and planned last year. I release and forgive all the past. I move forward with great expectations and confidence in the dreams I have dreamed - in the life that I am living! Happy New Year!

Here's to the Ride!