Monday, December 30, 2013

What Matters Most

It is almost the end of another year -2013 will soon be memories.  I like to spend the end of the year organizing and re-arranging, which starts as I begin to pack away all of our christmas decorations.  As I carefully packed each ornament away, I am reminded of so many years of rituals, traditions and old friends that have contributed to the specialness of the holidays.

In 1985 I began a tradition of inviting friends over for a tree decorating party and although it was not planned, I have many decorations contributed to our tree from dear friends over the years.  Recently our grandsons have been the primary decorators and they love to hear the stories as I give them the special ornaments to hang. And in my mind, the stories and the parties live on.

Both of our daughters were home for Christmas, Jenn from New York, and Liz here with her husband and 3 sons.  The holidays are always made brighter with family and I am thankful again for mine.  We shared meals together, made cookies and worked on our christmas puzzle.  (A family tradition that pulls us quietly together as we reassemble the picture as shown on the box.)  We spent Christmas morning at Liz's house savoring the excitement of young boys enjoying another Christmas.

And now, Jenn is back in New York, Liz is celebrating with her husband's family, and I am organizing and re-arranging in anticipation of the new year.  My library of books is beckoning me to look at what I have yet to read, my writings are patiently waiting my return.  I have wonderful things ahead of me in 2014, but I wrap up this year,  knowing that I have lived the year loving and loved.  And that is what matters most.

Life is Always Good!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Good Memories

Jim and I took Sunday off from working on our house to drive to Brown County, Indiana.  We have wonderful memories of going to Nashville and wanted to check it out again after all these years. We walked through shops and made some small purchases, but our goal was to go to the Brown County Inn for a bowl of French Onion Soup.  We were not disappointed.  The Corncrib bar looked the same as we remembered, our favorite beer was on tap and the soup was beyond delicious.

After we left the Inn, we drove through the state park and ended up at Ogle Lake.  We walked to a shelter where someone had left a fire in the fireplace.  Jim and I quickly gathered up some wood and soon had the fire blazing and we sat and talked and enjoyed the beautiful day with the wonderful fire.

A lot of our conversation started with "remember when…." and we both would recall something that we shared from our past.  It is so fun to have this sharing of our lives together - sharing Good Memories from a Good Life!

Life is Always Good! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Cold Day

I have been waiting for a cold day because I promised Fynneus a trip to Starbucks for a hot chocolate.  He has decided that he should have an adult size drink and was anxious to order a Tall from their menu.  He had 2 old gift cards that I had given him a couple of years ago and wanted to do his school work while we hung out at Starbucks.

The temperature today barely made it to the mid 40's so I picked Fynn up after school and we headed for Starbucks.  He got his tall hot cocoa and a donut and a nice booth to work on writing and math.  I wrote math problems on our food bag and he wrote words on a blank sheet of paper from his book bag.    We did speed writing, and regular writing.  He counted by 10's to 370 and added numbers in his head when I gave him problems to solve.  He thought of 3 words that rhyme with ice (dice, mice and rice) and told me stories about his class room, his brothers and his mom and dad.

As I write this, Jim is in the other room reading Fynn a story about a baseball player, the fire place is blazing and I am thankful again for A Cold Day!

Life is Always Good!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Beautiful Sunday

Our plan was to slip away for a couple of hours today to drive through the country and soak up the beauty of fall.  For some reason we could not tear ourselves away from our renovation projects so we spent most of the day working on the kitchen and new plumbing.

But lucky for us, the trees in the neighborhood and in our own yard are so breathtakingly beautiful that all we have to do is step out our own back door to be surrounded by the beauty and the bounty of fall.

A beautiful Sunday, and all I have to do is breathe it in.

Life is Always Good!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Seeing Potential

Just a few short months ago we bought a house in southern Indiana and have been busy redesigning the interior.  It was built in the late 70's or early 80's and desperately in need of some TLC.  Jim and I are very good at imagining improvements and so we bought this house knowing that some work was ahead of us, but that it would be so satisfying/fun to make this home fit us!

So walls have come down, the kitchen disassembled, and floors ripped up.  Everything that would fit in the basement has been hauled down and we are keeping only the bare necessities around us.  Walls are being painted, sometimes more than once when the color just doesn't "feel" right.  The ceiling is getting a new life as we remove beams and add a coat of fresh white through out.

Although the house needs a complete make over, it has some good points too.  It is only 7.8 miles from our daughter Liz and our grandsons.  It has a fenced in yard so that John Wayne can romp to his heart's desire, and we have wonderful neighbors on all sides.  We are close to shopping, home improvements stores and The Pie Kitchen.  Starbucks is only 2 miles away and on the way to Liz's house!  But most importantly, it feels GOOD to be here!

For a while longer we will be "roughing it" but in just a few more weeks, we will be sitting by the fireplace, reading the Sunday paper, drinking fresh brewed coffee and congratulating ourselves for seeing what could be!  Seeing the potential of this little house making up feel Home Again!

Life Is Always Good!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Dance With The Sun

I love closing my eyes and facing the sunlight straight on.  Feeling the warmth of the sun makes me happy. Today I sat by the pool, facing the sun of course, with eyes closed as the sun danced across my body.  It was such a feeling of delight as I actually felt the sun rays moving over my skin with warmth and brightness.

Although I did not sit long in the sun,  having done so brought a new feeling of awareness and appreciation for the beautiful days of sunshine.  I shall enjoy dancing with the sun this year and allowing the sun to dance with me.

Life is Good Here!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


We are surprised to realize that we have been in Louisville for almost 8 months now. We are still learning our way around and looking for a neighborhood to settle in.  We have done a little hiking and fishing but mostly sightseeing every chance we get.

We are so enthralled with how "green" Kentucky is.  Everywhere we go the landscapes are such vibrant colors and overflowing with beauty and life.  Driving some of the interstates is breath taking at times with the rolling hills that resemble mountains and the rock cliffs that have been cut for the road to wind through.  We spent one evening watching the sun set at the banks of the Ohio River and often we just take off on a country road to see where it will lead.  Not surprisingly, it always leads to something fun, something beautiful and something we will remember.

Tonight we are trying a new restaurant - there are over a thousand of them in Louisville - so we will always have an adventure when it comes to eating out.  But tonight I am meeting Jim for a glass of wine and dinner as we plan our next adventure into the lush-ness that is Kentucky.

Life is good here!

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Art of Happiness

Two weeks ago I attended a Public Teaching in Louisville by His Holiness The Dalai Lama with my daughters, Jenn and Liz and my niece Rudy.  It was a wonderful experience that led to us actually being introduced to The Dalai Lama and shaking his hand.

As I reminisced with Rudy as to the many events that led up to each of us personally meeting His Holiness, the memories that flooded my mind were so amazing.

Four years ago when we moved to Tennessee, my daughter Liz mentioned that she was reading The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama.  She asked me if I had ever read the book which surprisingly, I had not and didn't think too much about it again.

Ten years ago we moved to Florida and I met Pat, a beautiful woman who became  my best friend.  We joked often that we really were sisters and had been separated at birth (although her Dad would not admit it).  Pat has a beautiful family, and her son, Jim, just so happened to be head of security for the Dalai Lama's visit to the US.

30+ years ago- We Were blessed with the birth of our daughter, Liz.   So this year as I was trying to decide what to give her for her birthday, I discovered the the Dalai Lama's visit was going to be May 20th. Remembering that she had once spoke of his book,  I quickly purchased 2 tickets, and with encouragement from Jenn and Rudy, purchased 2 more.  Then I downloaded The Art of Happiness to my Kindle.

40+ years ago I met Jim, who must have been a rambling cowboy in his last life.  He always wants to see what is around the next corner, over the next mountain, and in the next state.  So it was Jim that moved us to Michigan, then back to Indiana and from there we "retired" to Florida.  Since then we have lived in Tennessee, North Carolina and now Kentucky.  But each of those states have netted us wonderful friends whose friendship we cherish.  So Jim, in a conversation with Pat's husband Rich, mentions that we are going to see the Dalai Lama, Rich fills him in on his son's duties with the State Department, and before you know it my Jim has quietly made arrangements for the once in a life time meeting.

So here I stand, all these years, later, with 3 people that I love and cherish, posing with the Dalai Lama.  I am still reading The Art of Happiness and trying to practice it in my daily life.  But I know that some where along the line the Art of Happiness has found me.