• Current Reading List

    Peaceful Action, Open Heart - Thich Nhat Hanh*** Eat, Pray, Love*** Peaceful Living - Mary Mackenzie(daily reader)*** The Vein of Gold - Julia Cameron (this is a read a chapter a week type book)*** Dubliners - James Joyce*** Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring - Jean Watson*** The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Volume I***
  • Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.
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Happy New Year

The sun is shining…and that is how I am feeling. (well emotionally at least..I am also the teensiest bit hung-over). The sun symbolizes joy and hope and new-ness for me today. I am most grateful for this sunny day to start a new year and a new decade. Reflections on this year just past bring a lot of joy and a lot of sorrow. This has been a year of many many changes in my life and I feel a lot of gratitude and a lot of pause. Yes pause. There is a yearning in me to create space – a container to hold and honor and rejoice and mourn many of these changes that have happened over this past year. These changes seem innumerable (though really they are finite and I am exaggerating) so I will only list a few. All of these things listed here are monumental to me – though some of them may seem trivial compared to others. Each bears a depth of emotional convolutions. Some I have blogged about, others you will just have to guess at. Each has had great weight in my life:

  • Reconnecting with my older sister
  • Death of my older sister
  • Getting to know my youngest nephew
  • Starting a New journey of health
  • Releasing 69 pounds and still releasing
  • Running two Races!! (5k & 5 miles)
  • Registering for a half-marathon!!!
  • Falling in mad love with my husband again (I never fell out mind you…I just fell in deeper and in a different way)
  • Short hair-cut
  • creative efforts
  • fishnet
  • Wine
  • Clinical at Vanderbilt

So much to say about each. So much change. pain. sorrow. joy. wonder. My intentions were to blog about my hopes and goals for the upcoming year. Instead I will rest in this pause. Close the container.


Cut like a buffalo

“you know i look like a woman but I, I cut like a buffalo”

These words, from a song by the Dead Weather,  beloved Jack White’s latest endeavor, speak volumes about how I feel today. Take these words to mean what you like, and in the context of the song they may not mean what they mean to me – but you get my drift. For me, these words symbolize how strong and powerful and beautiful I feel today. I feel alive and grateful. I ran the majority of 4 miles this morning (did 5 miles twice this weekend) and I am ready for my 5 mile race this Turkey day. I have this song on my running playlist. It makes me stretch my stride and feel like I can run for miles and miles. “I am strong, powerful, and beautiful…I can do anything.”

Now I realize that this post is quite along a different track than my last few. But this time of year, I like to meditate on all that I have to be grateful for. This is so much the more poignant for me in the face of recent and ongoing grief. That pain is still there…although it is no longer consuming my days. A lot of this is helped by the fact that my husband is home and he loves me so very well. His love is so supportive and foundational. It was there even while he was gone, but it was . I have beloved friends that love me and family that love me very well. Loved well. That is such a good feeling.

Something else I am very very grateful for this year is my body. Basically that is what this post started out to be about…but the love and gratitude I feel generally for my world are very intrinsically linked to how I feel internally about myself. I am so grateful for the ability to look in the mirror and see good things about myself (even when I am naked!). To be able to move.and not huff and puff when taking a few extra steps. to run up stairs. to even contemplate running FIVE MILES. As you can read from previous posts (if you are so inclined), I have always thought of myself as the “fat girl” that couldn’t engage in sports or active activities. afraid of looking foolish, of being behind, not being able to keep up. Now all of that stuff doesn’t matter. I am not that girl anymore. I am active. I am increasingly fit every day. I am a runner of races. (well, the plural will be accurate after Thursday). And want to hear a secret I don’t like to share with many…. I have released 66lbs. That is a small person. I say release, because everytime I “lose” weight, just like with anything else I lose, I seem to look for it until I find it again. So now I am not losing, I am releasing.

and today I am so very grateful.


Seriously, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. For those of you who read the post preceding, you might be thinking right now that I am a wack-job, or at the very least I have mercurial mood-swings (which may be true every now and then, but not now). But, no, that is not the case.

Yes I met with my sister. Yes it was fine…good actually – and surprisingly I feel at peace. Not beginning anew, but at peace. I have desired this for so long that to actually feel it is truly amazing. Lifting of the veil of darkness that is self-created and feeling connection on a human level.

Anyway, I digress. Back to simple things that make me happy.

1. Being a kid with my husband. Yesterday evening we flew our kite. Love love. Soul nourishment. Running in the park in my barefeet and my suit pants that I never changed out of after work. I shed the jacket and the shoes along with the adult Jennifer and just played. Gusts of wind and soaring then diving crashing. Running and laughing. We played again today. Badmitton of sorts in the backyard. Not scoring, just playing.

2. Feeling the fall air. I seriously could live outside right now. I want to erect a tent in my backyard and pretend I am 10 again. I want to pile up in blankets on my front porch swing and dwell in the crispness of the air. Air that’s redolent of pumpkins, the spice of crushed leaves, and the soft gentleness of change. I am especially loving riding my scooter right now. I took it out twice today. Once with a destination, once without. I love the smells as I am riding. freshly mown lawn, the fire of barbeque grills, dryer sheets, and cooking smells are just a few of the delights of my nose. The wind feels incredible (though a bit nippy now, I am going to have to start wearing gloves) and I try to ignore the random sensations of wetness from I know not where. I feel joy.  When I feel like this, not much can get me down. I was riding behind an SUV when I felt some random wetness on my face (not nice)…but then it seemed like rain. Learned something new: if you use your windshield wiper fluid and a cycle is behind you – they get a bath. So, I see this is happening, and I slow down a bit to avoid the deluge. But this lady is continually using her spray for like 4 blocks! Then we get to a stop sign and she is still pumping it out. What the heck! Then she starts using the rear sprayer! Okay, seriously? I then notice that she is watching me in the rearview. I know tend to think that the world is all about me all the time, but seriously! So I start laughing. Normally this would piss me off, but today I just find it uproariously funny. I am shaking my head and laughing all to myself and she is still watching me in the rearview…and guess what? She stops the spraying. Whether it was about me or not, it was very entertaining.

3. Getting nods and waves from cool motorcycle dudes. This happens when I ride the scooter. It makes me feel kind of cool….even though a part of me feels a wee bit like a fraud because a motorcycle is in a whole nother class…but still.

4. Masala Tea Spice. I am sipping a glorious chai as we speak. Soul happy seriously.

5. Lovely friends that make me smile and like to play funsies.

6. Silly cats

7. Fresh fig eaten right off the tree.

8. Seriously there is more but now my stove is beeping its damn head off and I must away. smiles.

Hello Spring!

As I write this, I am sitting on my screened in front porch reveling in a beautifully sunny spring day. I feel like a lumbering bear aching to shake off the lethargy of winter and leap into the brilliance of this day. Wait..that fog I feel might have something to do with the antihistamines I have been taking all weekend due to a severe allergic reaction…, whatever. But there is something to be said for the current of energy that draws me up and out, an energy that has lain dormant and is now so eager to burst forth and bring life and color to a world that has been draped in the sullen grays of winter. My kitties sit with me on the porch,  and we all lift our noses to the air to breathe in the redolence of spring air.  I feel my spirit awaken with the renewal that comes in the spring. Energy that is vibrant and palpable and urges me to get my hands and feet in the dirt (which I plan to do very shortly). The birds in my yard are just as excited as I am…robins gossiping and quarreling over this and that tidbit of nesting material, chickdees chirping happily and even a brilliant cardinal graces the branches of a nearby tree and sings to the glory of spring.  Ah, there is my friend the woodpecker eagerly assessing the tree in front of me for tasty morsels coming out of hiding to the freshness of this day.

I can’t help but wonder if any of them miss their old friends…the two great silver maples that once graced my yard. They are with us no more, as we chose to have them cut down a few months ago rather than risk having a smashed house due to their brittleness and age. I certainly will miss them, but am grateful too for change, for the sunlight that now dapples the yard where once was only shade. The trees are still with us in the form of wood chips that now mulch my yard. And though the birds cannot rest in their boughs, perhaps it will create and environment of flowers and resting places for worms that will be almost as satisfactory.

Back to this beautiful day! How the blossoms have sprung up overnight! Yellow, white and pink and the new new green of tender leaves. My yard is carpeted with tiny twinkling blue and purple flowers and dark green clusters of wild onions. This simplicity and stability of the changes spring brings truly makes me happy and grateful for the abundance of mother earth. It is times like these that I feel the most connected, the most loved and the most connected with goddess.

Gratitude and Hope

This morning I woke up, got my coffee and engaged in my morning routine of sitting on my front porch swing with my kitties (they avidly stare and smell out the screen door) where I meditate and read for a few minutes. Gratitude is what came to my mind and heart this morning. Such a crisp autumn day (required a blanket to be out on the swing) and I thought of all the abundance in my life, and all the things I have to be grateful for. A little song we used to sing in church came to my mind “count your many blessings”, but its funny, when I used to sing that song, I used to feel like I was supposed to be grateful, when I wasn’t and that generated a lot of shame in me. Today, the feeling is very different. I don’t have to be grateful because I am supposed to as a good little Christian girl. I feel grateful because I am blessed, because I feel the presence of my Higher Power in my life, and her love for me.

This is also very different from the way I had been feeling for the last several weeks. Fear has been the predominant feeling. Fear of economic instability, fear of not having enough, not being enough, not enough, not enough, not enough. Fear that is my favored candidate doesn’t win that the US is going down the tubes. Fear of war, fear of hate, just fear bouncing all over the place.

Speaking with friends, colleagues and my brother, I discover that many others are feeling this way too. The media is cultivating it, and I was swept up in the frenzy. I, like many I have spoken with, had to take a step back from the world of the news for a while, and I have found that my level of serenity has increased, while my fear has drastically decreased. Taken its place is this feeling of gratitude. While I was thinking of all this today, a poem by Emily Dickinson kept floating around in my mind:


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

I do feel hope today. In an aside, I visited the Democratic HQ here in Nashville this weekend, and was able to do so with a feeling of hope for the future. It was a very good feeling.

Elephant parade

There is an elephant parade occurring on my roof right now. Actually they are doing more than parade, they are two-stepping and Stomping as well.

okay, so there aren’t REally elephants. But there are six men up there, and it sure sounds like an elephant parade. I am getting  new roof. Reminder to self – I am grateful to be getting a new roof, grateful to be able to fund a new roof, grateful my porch will cease leaking. Needed that reminder to help me deal with the cacophony of bangs, stomps, and grating noises that are reverberating off my walls.

I would like to have something poetic and meaningful to say, but I dont at present, so that is that. It is fabulous enough that I have blogged two days in a row.

Back in the Work Force and Biting off More Than One Can Chew

I have been MIA, its true. Just so much to do during the final days of my time being unemployed. I make it sound sooo dramatic don’t I? That’s me!

SO, I am officially 3 days back into the workforce. I feel glad – but mostly because I now desparately need money to pay bills. Bah humbug! I went back to a previous job of 6 years – but will be working prn until I find my true calling…..okay that would be a little more drama. However I am looking into options that will allow me to use my masters, that will broaden my horizons, and that I will like. Maybe a big order, but hopefully not. I have my fingers crossed for a nursing faculty position at a local community college.  The interview was a BIG DEAL for me, as i have never done anything quite like that before – but I enjoyed the challenge, and actually enjoyed the interview. So I am hopeful.

But it felt kinda funny – funny and good – to go back to the old job. There were so many faces that were glad to see me and welcomed me back with genuine enthusiam. It made me feel good. There may be downsides too, but for now I will focus on the present and what is good about having the job – like some degree of financial security!, and the ease of stepping into an old position and not having the stress of learning a new job. So I have some gratitude.

Now, as for biting off more than one can chew…..I decided to do quite a few projects during my time off – which didn’t really completely come to fruition, but I am getting there. Hubby says the lawn project might be finished by 2019. haha, bah humbug once again. You see, I decided to till up my front lawn and cover it with mulch. I also have grand visions of a water fountain, arbor covered in clemetis, stone walkways and a stoned seating area. But for now I have mulch. Thank goodness for hubby! I had no idea how much work it would be to till, cover with newspaper and then cover with mulch my sizeable front lawn. I think I tend to have a grander view of the end product and a not always so realistic view of the work entailed. Which is probably all for the best, as otherwise I probably wouldn’t have started the project. Okay, so to give me some credit, I did downscale my original grandiose landscaping ideas, which included similar visions (but with a berry garden) for the side yard.

Sooo, I hope to have pictures soon. Well, at least I hope before the year 2019.