Love and Loss

The white-hot days of summer have passed, leaving in their wake the changing leaves and the sharp bite of chilly nights and breezy cool days. This is my favorite time of year, bringing unbidden memories of new school clothes, new teachers, new activities and new challenges to face. There always seemed to be a newness about this time of year, a chance to set new goals, to accomplish ever higher aspirations and to open the book of life to a fresh, new page and begin writing.

I miss those innocent days of childhood when my most burdensome worry was to finish my homework, make it to the pep club meeting or find a date and a dress for the upcoming school dance. Those days seem very far away from me now with three grown sons, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. I relive the various stages of my life through each of them and the experiences they share with me bring precious memories of my life in similar circumstances.

And yet, with winter’s icy grip slowly driving the warmth from my days and nights, I feel a sense of deep contentment. For me, the long, cold nights and the chilly days give me a reason to read, to write and to contemplate the mysteries of those complex relationships which are the threads woven into the tapestries of our lives. Each thread has it’s strong and weak points and depending on the skill of the weaver, may either contribute to the richness of the design or be part of the fringe which strengthens and frames the outer edges of the tapestry.

As I sit here on this cool, fall day writing, I think of my three sons. Those three threads upon which the tapestry of my life was begun. They each, in their own way are special to me. They are tall, strong and handsome in much the same way their dad was at the same age. They have naturally inquisitive minds, a passion for life and an independence of spirit which I treasure. Each and every one has played his part in the creation of my own tapestry. Certainly, at times, the picture has changed, yet no thread has unraveled or been lost. Each change in personality or life’s direction has added threads of it’s own, bringing depth and color to the overall scheme.

I love each of my sons and as they head down the paths of life which they have chosen I would tell them…gather your threads where you may. Create your own tapestry in rich and loving detail. Your lives each began with two single threads woven together. You are each the creators of your own destiny. My contribution was that tiny thread of life which was nourished by my body and my soul. I might ask that it be used with love and compassion to refine the richness of the whole picture but I can make no demands. Use it or throw it away as you wish but always know that your threads will be there deep within the intricacies of my own tapestry. They are running fine and strong throughout the changing landscape of my life and will forever be a part thereof.

The Winds of Change

Have you ever been going about your day just skipping along taking care of one thing or another and then all of a sudden feel the pressure change in your ears?  It’s a peculiar feeling where there’s a sensation of pressure build up and then all of a sudden there’s a release and everything sounds hollow for a few seconds.  I’ve always wondered what causes that and if anyone else felt it too.  Maybe it’s the barometric pressure doing something hinky…I don’t know.  Something like that is occurring in my life right now.  I feel a gradual building up, to what, I’m not sure.  I have a sense that when I finally reach that peak, that release…it is going to be a fantastic and scary and fabulous change in my life.  I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it!

So many things are happening that seem to be a prelude to a shift in my reality.  I came to the realization, probably a little late in life, that I create the world I live in through daily acts which are like drops of water filling a container one at a time.  The container is this body I live in and the acts either add to or take away from the persona that is being created.  There is a growing consciousness in me that this “golden” stage of my life will be exactly what I make of it. Thinking about the approach of the new decade, I am excited and energized for what may come.  I look forward to the endings of the old things and the beginnings of the new!

One of the things I’ve noticed this year that is different is the absence of the seasonal depression that I have suffered through for the past twenty years.   I have to wonder if it has something to do with the new, little joyful spirit who has joined our family.  We lost Muffin back in April and Jasper and I tooled around on our own until Labor Day.  Then we were blessed with Kady.  She has brightened our lives and lifted our spirits!

As I come to the close of this year and this decade, I give myself over completely to the season and my upcoming trip to spend the holidays with my family.  I love this time when I can escape from work and spend time baking goodies and getting gifts ready for all the pieces of my heart who live in Virginia.  I can’t wait to get there!!

Merry Christmas!!

The Circle of Life

I recently attended the High School Graduation of my grandson, Ethan.  What a handsome young man he has grown into.  Having my picture taken with him after the ceremony was exhilarating and bittersweet all at once.  How is it that this little bundle of sweetness and smiles in 2001 is already in 2019 so much a man?

Ethan 200164581689_10213978950607904_597004319614566400_n

He is so tall I feel somewhat like a hobbit standing next to him and am grateful that he has good personal hygiene….and I also wonder how this picture is in my phone when my phone is in my hand….hmmm.

Looking at these pictures gets me thinking about the interesting correlations between different members of my family, different generations and time periods.  The most recent one came on Father’s Day when my granddaughter Hanna posted this picture of her dad, my youngest son…Justin

Isn’t he a handsome lad….Father’s Day 2019.  Well that picture made me think of one of my dad from about 1969, 50 years earlier.Dad

They do look alike.  Hey dad, Happy Father’s Day…sure do miss you and wish you could have known your grandsons after they were grown.  I know you’d like them!  That youngest one is a lot like you….

Then there was this earlier set of pictures that really caught me by surprise.  The first one is of my Mom (Sally Varner) and her brother Virgil up in Creede, Colorado sometime around the year 1940.10710992_10202547581870830_5602840272574596761_n

Then here, more than sixty years later is my little Savannah Nicole….10413413_10202547583030859_2847675808475690783_n

That is uncanny….makes me believe in re-incarnation!

This last one is interesting as well.  It is a chalk drawing done by one of mom’s close friends when I was a baby.  I still have the original drawing.  In comparing it to my baby pictures I could see some resemblance but I didn’t feel I had the reddish hair she drew.251340_1822911572598_1312077_n

This picture was drawn in 1954 or 1955.  Here is a picture of my granddaughter Veronica who was born in 2009.255730_1824628335516_1433177_n……is that some sort of precognition?

I suppose the point I am trying to make with all of this is how much there is around us that we barely take time to notice.  One day I am holding a baby boy in my arms and it seems the next day I am standing next to his armpit…lol. Time passes by us so quickly and there is so much that escapes us because life is so frantic and chaotic at times.  I read this wonderful book by Eckhart Tolle titled The New Earth.  The lesson from that book that I carry with me and practice every day is to…  Fully experience the present moment because that is all you truly have.

When did my hair get so gray?


Goals 2019


These are the things I am working on this year.  I am excited about the books I am reading, the stage my remodeling on my house is in, my feelings about my life and where it is heading.  I feel like I am stretching my brain with the concepts in You Are The Universe by Deepak Chopra and Menas Kafatos, PhD., and 108 Steps to Be In The Zone by Ethan Indigo Smith.  My streaming TV won’t work in the morning for me to watch the news which I think is the Universe telling me that I need to work on my neuroplasticity.

I am encouraged by the lifting of my yearly spell of depression and actually feel as if I managed to alleviate it somewhat.  I will continue to strive forward and upward this year and be the happiest and healthiest I can be.

Fur Bunnies

SleeperI had a moment today while I was sweeping the floor here at the store when I was completely overwhelmed with the thought that I was probably collecting the last vestiges of my little Tinker’s time here on earth.  She was such a prolific shedder that whenever I would sweep the floor I would have fur bunnies rolling around.  Lord I miss that little stinkerbug.  Every once in a while I think I catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye….even four months later the ache and the grief are so raw that I hesitate to talk about her when my customers ask where she is because I don’t want to break down and cry.

Muffin and I have entered into a new chapter in our lives…about a month ago I went to the Humane Society and picked up Jasper.Jasper

What a ray of sunshine this little guy is, full of energy and attitude!  He is really bringing Muffin out of herself and I hope the cats are going to forgive me for upsetting their routines so much.  Hopefully they will decide he is just a very loud and active playtoy!

The View Out My Door


The view out my door

Just a few glimpses of blue among the clouds and rain today.  It reminds me that no matter what is going on down here at ground level, up above those clouds it is a bright, sunshiny day.  I hold on to that thought when I feel battered by the winds of change or turmoil.  The sun will always rise and the moon will continue along it’s ever changing journey across the sky. Hold fast and have faith.  The only certain thing is that every day is a new opportunity to shape your perceptions of life and happiness.


I dreamed this morning that Tinker came back.  A little dirty and skinnier but alive and wiggly and happy to see me.  I was so overcome with relief that I lay down on the ground and just hugged and hugged her.  Then I woke up.

Tinker and her biscuit

Oh how I miss you Tinky….

Mornings with Mom

In a conversation with mom this morning while I was having coffee with her, she asked if I had a fire at my house what would I save.  I didn’t have to think long, the most precious things I have at my house are my pets.  As long as they’re safe I’m good.

Now that I think back on that, I find it pretty remarkable.  Is this an indication of the simplicity of the life I have created for myself?  There are plenty of things in my house that I am fond of and would probably miss but in the event of a catastrophe I would leave them with never a backward glance.

Fortunately, because of my work circumstances, most of my photographic history is there in files, on the computer and on a flash drive which I keep in my purse.  Now because of Facebook there is also a medium for saving photos.  So I think I can put that particular worry to bed.  I might take a little more care to make sure I’ve copied the most recent stuff to my flash drive though.

I love these mornings with mom when we can talk about our plans for the day, world events, what is going on with family members, etc.  I know in the future I will look back on this time as one of the particular treasures of my life.  Life is so short and unpredictable, I have been so blessed to have this time.


On November 11, 2013 I began my meditation journey.   At the time I had high blood pressure, smoked, drank every day and was seventy pounds overweight.  Living in mom’s house while working on mine, I was dealing with a lack of privacy and solitude and baths!  The bath thing was especially difficult since I have, all of my adult life, loved to take a hot bath before I go to bed at night.  I was living in mom’s basement which only had a shower….and I hate showers!  Having just moved to Kentucky and started a new business and not having a place of my own, I was really stressed out.

I started with Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Series just thinking I would do the 21 days and see if it made me feel any better.  Four years later I own almost every one of their 21 day challenges and I meditate every day.  This has become such an integral part of my life that I cannot imagine going without it.  Has it made a difference in my life?  Absolutely!

The most immediate difference I saw was a feeling of being able to find a place of stillness every day.  One of the ways that I have evolved over the past ten years is that I love solitude and I really struggle when I have none.  Meditation gave me that small amount of solitude I could reside in each morning.  Where I could be alone and still and quiet.  What a blessing in a chaotic existence!

By March I was ready to quit smoking (again) and I set a date of March 24th which is dad’s birthday.  I was absolutely committed and there was no question of failure.  I meditated in the morning as well as when I came home from work in the evening. Evenings were when I most enjoyed smoking.  It worked, I quit cold turkey and I was irritable and miserable enough during that first month to promise myself that I would never pick up another cigarette.  To date, 3 1/2 years later I am nicotine free and will be for the rest of my life.

There have been so many benefits over this period of time.  I eat healthy, get plenty of sleep and I am working on quitting drinking and losing weight.  I feel more in touch with myself, I am happier, I am less likely to take any crap from anyone because I believe in myself and what I am worth.  I know I deserve the best that life has to give and I take the time to be present in the here and now which is the only way to truly live.  I am me….I am enough….I am worth it!  Namaste


Time is a funny thing….as I was on the way to work this morning I had this picture in my mind of Becky and me folding clothes.  It’s funny, I think that only happened one time when John and I had returned from Colorado and were staying with Becky and Vernon until we could move into the house we had just bought.  I had a basket of clean clothes to fold and Becky was helping me.  Now that she is gone, one of the times I always think of her is when I am folding clothes.  What a precious soul she was….I couldn’t have asked for a better sister-in-law.  I will always miss her.


I guess the reason my mind had wandered back to the past was because we lost Glen Campbell yesterday.  I listened to a couple of his songs and, as always happens when I listen to classic music, I relived moments in time when I was a teenager and hearing these songs for the first time.  I find it amazing how easily and clearly I can recall exactly how I was feeling back then.  These moments that I have lived that are precious to me and so accessible.  It only takes the smallest thing to trigger that rush of feelings and memories that put me back in touch with me at different stages of my life.

That’s reassuring to me as I grow in age and in wisdom (I hope), just knowing that I can revisit those special times in my life with people I miss.  It has also been a comfort to me in my estrangement from my oldest son to be able to remember him through the different stages of his childhood.  For the first four years of his life he was my buddy, my closest companion.  He was the best big brother Adam and Justin could have asked for and I will forever be sorry to have lost his presence in my life.  I have been blessed to be able to be a part of Sterling and Lexy’s and Keegan’s lives, his children and grandson, and treasure any small moments in time I have with them.  Those snapshots in time will forever be with me.

Handsome guysLexy and Keegan 2016

I see my little buddy looking back at me through those eyes…….