Friday, August 2, 2013

The End

The time has come to start my new blog to coincide with my new life. I must laugh. Actually it is just changes in my same life!
Put it on your desktop or in favorites if you like. I am having a little trouble with the layout/format but I will keep working on it.
Love to all!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Seafood lunch

In this cute, out of the way restaurant on CB Hwy, Fish Bites. This is the view from my booth. A frosted case of cheesecakes is actually the big blue thing, but I didn't dare take another pic. I ordered something I had to ask how to pronounce, sriracha shrimp. The cute server with the curly hair just brought it so I'm diving in.

Monday, July 29, 2013

From a novel

According to my thinking, one important thing to do when one moves to a new place is to join the library as I did last week. Being in this temporary setting and without obligations gives me time to get into a good book. So after the trial period to prove my trustworthiness by checking out and returning two, I am over half way through with my next, one that I grabbed off the shelf at closing time because I liked the cover. Sometimes I like the insight and wisdom of writers as they tell about their characters, which I am sure are facts they have discovered about themselves. This quote spoke to the girl/woman I am. " are a girl as long as you allow life to happen to you. You become a woman when you start living according to your own instincts, intelligence and desires. You're a woman when you take hold of yourself." From the mind and pen of Natalie Brown in her first novel "Lovebird."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The First Week

So far, Wilmington is even better than I imagined. Perhaps next week when the closing of the Greenville house finally takes place, and I pray it will, I will begin my new blog about being back at home in this sunny little Southern city near the Atlantic Ocean. But for today, I will just tell you about returning to the church of my early childhood. It is First Baptist with the tall copper steeple that still reaches to the sky and the ancient doors where we greeted Mr. Gregory before leaving for home at noon. Probably my daddy had something funny to say to him.  For decades I have wanted to sit inside that church again, to revisit that part of my life, to see the massive pipe organ, to walk through those doors. I was not disappointed. Although it seemed smaller now that I am bigger, it was not so different from my memory, and I felt gratitude for the ones who maintained its architectural and historical integrity. The first hymn of the morning was the old favorite Holy, Holy, Holy. I thought how the first time I probably ever heard it was right there, sitting between my mommy and daddy, listening to them sing. I was a squirmy child during sermons though, but  my daddy wisely kept me quietly occupied by playing with my fingers and letting me twist and tug his. When today's service was over, I waited by the big, dark doors to greet the current pastor, a really nice fellow. I told him how I went there when I was a child, and I felt quite small as the words came out.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wilmington Cupcakes

At Whole Foods. Cute!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Last cup of joe

In this fondly remembered mug in this old house. Goodbye to much. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


This time next week, Lord willing and the creeks don't rise, I will be a resident of Wilmington. I have been wanting to move there a long time, especially for the last five years, and recently everything has come together nicely. Today only a small percentage of work is yet to be done, and that is up to me. great... After discarding, planning and paring down for so long, I find there is still so much stuff whose fate I must decide. Big, medium and small stuff. In fact it seems that all the stuff has some sentimental attachment and hard to part with. I think I have spent too much effort in laying up for myself treasures on earth.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A quotation for Independence Day

from founding father Patrick Henry.

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government, lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."

Monday, July 1, 2013

On the way to where?

My old plug in GPS has seen better days. Apparently somewhere in its life cycle, it was programmed to take me to an end point, home perhaps, but I am not sure where that home is as I have not been the sole owner of this GPS. Every time I enter an address, I hear Gypsy, the female voice ask,  "Do you want to go (for example) to 123 Elm Street "via your final destination?" At first I found it creepy. I didn't know the final destination was she referring to. Now when I use it, I am reminded of all the places I want to go before I reach my final destination of Heaven, and yes, whatever I type in will be one of them. When I have reached that place I most recently entered, I hear, "You have reached your via point." I hope to have many more "by way of" places to go before reaching my truly final destination.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

But I want it!

Sometimes when I interview young people in the midst of their emotional crises, and I toss out a question about their parents, they will say something like, "They gave me everything I wanted." What could a child want? I ask myself and sometimes them. It must be pretty hard to be a kid of today's media and be bombarded with advertisements. It must be tough to be a kid and taught to believe that your immature, temporary cravings are more important than your parents right to set limits and disciple you. Poor young people. They are just as victimized by getting what they think is their heart's desire as their poorly skilled parents who want to believe they are doing the right thing by giving it. I have come to believe that those two little words "I want" are most damaging to the individual psyche as well as to relationships. But in this "culture of the individual" as I have heard the times of today called, the right to get what we want is a commonly held belief, and childhood is only the beginning.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


When I was a child, I went to church because my parents took me with them, and our friends were there. It was always fun and full of joy and laughter. Then I followed the tradition with my children. Now that I am an independent sixty-something, I am motivated to go on my own, but more and more I appreciate church for what it is, a worshipful, sharing fellowship of believers. Maybe because of the laid back feel, a Sunday evening service has always been my favorite, and as I left home tonight for the three minute drive to church, I thought of what a blessing it is to be able to participate in this weekly event that many churches have abandoned. In the evenings, when I was maybe eight to ten and television was still new, my mother and I regularly watched Vespers, a local fifteen minute show presented by a pastor at a large Charlotte church. It opened with organ music of The Church's One Foundation, then Dr. Heaton, seated behind a desk, would speak some wise Biblical words into the camera for his audience. What a fitting way to bring a close to the day.

Friday, June 21, 2013


After a refreshing green tea smoothie from Starbucks in the nice Orlando airport, I am on board a Southwest flight for home. Since we were in the second seating group, I am now in my place and watching the interesting mix of other passengers looking for a seat. Of my two full days, one was spent at a Disney park and the other in bed with food poisoning. Yuck. Good news is that the sickness was short lived. There was still a lot to enjoy. Jess and family were staying at the Floridian, a grand and lovely hotel with amenities to die for that we also were able to enjoy. And it was so much fun to be with the three darling little boys.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Almost midnight and almost ready for bed. I have been cat-proofing the house and packing my belongings for this last spring trip. Tomorrow night this time, God willing, we will be in Orlando in a comfy Radisson bed, one day of visiting with Jess and family behind us. Thank goodness for flying and not having to make that one full day drive to Disney again this year. It will be worth the pat down in security and long wait at the gate. Though I haven't learned how to make the most of it, I will have my new NOOK with me to pass the time. It was high time to get an e-reader, so I took advantage of B&N's weekend deal.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

catching up

Fifteen or so years ago, I was in love with words. I kept pen and paper with me at all times to scribble down any cool ideas to ponder, chains of words that painted a pretty picture, and just random thoughts. It was sort of an intense brain game that I wisely let go. I now allow my words to flutter away like spring butterflies and hope they may pop in for a visit another time. I think I was motivated to put my words out there, to blog, by my fascination with the English language, but I found that it was often hard work to write what my mind wanted to say.  Often I ended up with words that took on a life of their own or an oversimplification of a bigger issue. I can't imagine what a novelist goes through as I had a hard time managing my hundred and fifty or so words! Now where was I going with this? To those who love me and check my blog occasionally, I apologize for becoming a lazy writer. And photographer. Not to mention taking the easy way out by using that blogger app. I will try to do better.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

George is visiting.

I just noticed the red letters on the side of this dollar bill and the words "Track this bill" around the circle on the left. It looked official, and I decided to go to the website and follow the instructions. My job was to say where I got George and describe the condition it is in. Though the bill was placed in circulation in 2006, only four owners have traced its location so far, the furthest from me being Delaware. I suppose it was an interesting thing to do.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


This sunny morning begins the third full day at Santa Rosa Beach. The house we are calling home for the week is a new one in the neighborhood of Watersound West, which is probably built to be more ecologically friendly than a traditional single beach house. The kids have enjoyed the big curvy pool, riding their bikes, and the trips to the beach. Yesterday we all went to Destin and took an evening cruise not too far from shore, but far enough to see dolphins at play. It got off to a rocky start that the captain blamed on a north wind, but most of it was smooth and pleasant. Some pics from the day.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wyatt at bat

He hit a home run last time.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Something to think about

Sometimes it seems that life is short.
Days are another story. Some pass quickly, but others drag out and seem long.
Either way they contribute equally to our final number of days.
Psalm 90:12 tell us to “Teach us to number our days . . . .” For a person who lives to eighty-five, that number would be roughly thirty-one thousand. That doesn't sound like a whole lot to me. It just makes me aware that I need to spend my time the best I can. Actually counting the days seems to make the days count! Here is a website to do just that.

Our childhoods are pretty much out of our control, but at some point afterward, we become the ones who determine what we do with those days. Perhaps accepting each day as a valuable gift and living it out as such leads to the end result, wisdom. "Teach us to number our days" - why? - "that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

But the question remains. Is life short or long?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Flip Flops

There's nothing like a great pair of flipflops. Last year I got a pair  at Whole Foods that I have loved because they fit my feet perfectly. Okabashi. I finally found a pair for this year. Yea!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dandelion 2013

The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of The Lord blows on them.
Isaiah 40:7

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

bad times

Unlike the deranged nuts who slaughter random people out of their crazed thoughts, I think whoever set the bombs off at the Boston Marathon were taught to hate and fear. Another person in the news recently who must have similar beliefs is the Philadelphia doctor who has slaughtered and dismembered healthy little infants who were of viable age and who survived his abortion attempts in the later stages of pregnancy. Though he is on trial for killing only seven, he has actually murdered thousands of babies. What horror both scenarios conjure up! In contrast, consider the exhiliration of completing a marathon or the joy in taking your newborn home. We who generally care about and respect life find it hard to think of more despicable acts than the ones we have learned of this week, but we are becoming more acutely aware of the evil around us.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Chopper sighting

Aunt Margaret is OK, just uncomfortable. Not to worry.  But I did take her to the ER today.  After parking my car, I noticed a helicopter above. I watched it fly in,  hover loudly, then land on the ground right near me. Then a guy was rolled out and rushed into the trauma bay where staff was ready to treat him. I know because I accidentally followed him in. It was the wrong entrance for me so I was quickly ushered out. Then once again as I was leaving I saw the helicopter coming in to land. This time I snapped a pic with my cell phone. In order to post to my blog, I downloaded the blogger app. This is my first attempt at using it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Backyard Stuff

What's in that nature preserve of a backyard? Lots of pretty little things that people may trample underfoot, but Sandy Cat doesn't miss a thing.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Love this quote.

Age is not all decay.
It is the ripening, the swelling of fresh life within
that withers and bursts the husk.
George McDonald

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Scenes from McPherson Park Today

Our little art group decided to do a plein air get together today and met at this nice park. The weather was so gorgeous; a great day to be outside.

Treetop in Spring

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Road to Wilmington

"In the South, perhaps more than any other region, we go back to our home in dreams and memories, hoping it remains what it was on a lazy, still summer's day twenty years ago."
Willie Morris

A few years ago I knew I wasn’t at home.
If asked where I was from, I would be pleased to answer, “I'm a Carolina girl.” Having lived only in various cities and towns of the two Carolinas made me feel content to call the entire big area home. But in my sixties, with my life slowing down and my now middle aged sons and their families not living nearby, I had time to contemplate the concept of home as well as seek where it might be. Lovely Greenville, my most recent and longest stopping place, is a great place to live, but it began to feel less and less like home.

I had read about Southern writers, and that central to all of their good stories is a “sense of place.” Surely there was a message in that for me. I tossed the possible meanings of that little phrase around in my head. What did I have to learn from those three little words? After much soul searching, I realized the answer is Wilmington, my birthplace, the seat of my earliest memories, the backdrop of my family’s funny and loving stories. It is the warm and friendly coastal town I have been tethered to during all my busy years of roaming about the rest of the Carolinas, the place that has always been in the back of my mind as where I should eventually return.
One of these days a potential buyer will stop by this house I have lived in for almost sixteen years and find it exactly what their family needs. When that happens, I will go home. I am thankful to “a sense of place” for helping me find my way.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Deeper Meaning

Sunday night before last, our church had a speaker, a Christian Jew who talked about the Christ in Passover. I found it fascinating, and have been wanting to comment on it. Since there was so much information, I am just going to focus on the matzo crackers that are fresh in my mind from eating some at work yesterday. Every Passover our Jewish psychiatrist brings them in along with some butter as a way of sharing her heritage and customs with us. Rather than my trying to explain, I copied this info from another site.

First of all, let's take a look at the matzo itself. They look about like a typical saltine cracker, although they are a little darker, and about six inches square. When you look at the ingredients on the box, you will find it says: "wheat flour, and water." That's it, nothing else in there. Jesus told his disciples to "watch out for the yeast (leaven) of the pharisees" (Mt 16:6). Yeast, or any type of leaven in the Bible is symbolic of sin. So by eating unleavened bread, the Jews are symbolically removing sin from their lives.
Jesus was the only one without sin (Heb 4:15). So, the matzo is representing His life without sin. When they make the matzos, they roll out the dough, and make rows of holes in it, to help it cook. Jesus too, was "pierced for our transgressions." When it is cooked, and it is roasted to cook it, the dough between the rows of holes become brown strpes, while the dough where the holes are remains beige. Isaiah said of Jesus that "by His stripes we are healed." (Isa 53:5).
So, in everything we see looking at the matzo, there is a reminder of Jesus' body, sinless, striped, pierced for us. But that's not all.
As part of the Passover meal, there is a plate with three unbroken matzos on it. During the course of the celebration, these are stacked up and placed into a white linen bag, kind of like an envelope. Then the middle one is withdrawn, the other two being set aside. These three represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Of the three, only the Son is brought out where man may look upon Him.
This middle matzo is broken in half. Jesus too, was broken for us. Of the broken matzo, half is wrapped in a linen napkin. This is called the afikomen. Well, after Jesus had died, Joseph of Arimathaea came and asked Pilate for His body. Then "he took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth" (Mt 27:59).
Sometime during the meal, the father, who is the leader of the Passover celebration, takes the afikomen and hides it. This is symbolic of Joseph who took Jesus body, "and laid it in his own new tomb that he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed" (Mt 27:60).
However, it doesn't stay hidden. At the end of the meal, all the children (12 and under) are sent in search of the afikomen. Whoever finds it brings it to the father who unwraps it. He holds it up so all can see, and he says "the afikomen has been found." God, the Father, didn't allow Jesus' body to remain wrapped in the linen either, He unwapped Jesus and brought Him back to life for us. He too has been brought out for all to see so that as He is lifted up, all men might be drawn to Him (John 12:32).
The child who finds the afikomen gets a prize. Of course, we know, that whoever finds the true afikomen, Jesus the Christ, finds the true prize of eternal life.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Oh what a beautiful day!

Spring temperatures have arrived a few days early, and I am so glad. I am even welcoming the perceived longer days that started with DST last week. Winter has its charm, but it the excitement of the advent of spring when everything seems to start happening. Yea!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"...and the difference is you"

Fifteen years ago when I came to work where I am now, there were many new people to meet and become friends with. One was Elaine, a quiet, methodical secretary who over the years I came to enjoy and appreciate. Elaine loved to sing, and besides singing in her church choir, she occasionally sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Greenville minor league baseball home games. Elaine sang at the computer when she was putting in doctor orders. She sang when she took the patients outside on pretty days. She sang in the evenings for the patients giving them mini concerts. Elaine's easy, pitch perfect, sensitive voice was the best medicine we had, and our patients had ways of saying so. In the evenings when she and I sat across from each other at the nursing station desk, I often chimed in with her. After all, I knew those Dinah Washington songs and favorite old hymns as well as she did! Once she asked me, "How do you know our music?" I don't remember what I said, but it was my music too, and besides I didn't know music had color. Eventually our sixty-fifth birthdays loomed ahead of us, and we started talking about retirement. When should we stop working, how much money would we need to live on, and what would we do with our time, we pondered. We did officially retire, but within a few months we both came back to the familiar old place to work as we were needed, which turned out to be quite a bit. Sadly Elaine recently developed a fast growing tumor to the brain. I would have liked to have sung What a Difference a Day Makes with her one last time, but it was not to be. Today was her last. I would like to have told her she did make a difference in the lives of the many people she touched with her music, but now she has gone on to sing in that great heavenly choir. She must be loving that.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Last week was the hubby's birthday so I made him a cake, chocolate with white frosting, quite good. It had been a long time since we had had a nice cake, one that looked so pretty under the class dome on the cake stand in the kitchen, and the two of us enjoyed every bite so much that I decided to bake another cake this week. I chose to try a carrot cake, only a half cake, one layer. We really didn't need all those calories! That was a good call. It turned out heavenly, positively blogworthy. I made a few changes to the recipe that go unnoticed to the palate, unless noticeably better: sugar was half brown and half organic from WF, flour was one half organic whole wheat, oil was cut two thirds and replaced with applesauce. The icing was purely sinful.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

more notes

The past couple of workdays have had me spending time with two adolescent girls who have had some hard knocks during their life so far. Both of them said they have been made fun of in school, one for being poor and having to wear the same dirty clothes over and over. The other one, who is really quite beautiful, was teased because of her small stature and mixed heritage. They both struggle with relationships with their mothers, one of whom is physically abusive and the other being neglectful. Girls really need the acceptance and appreciation that only their own mother can give. An angry boy may come to us, and pretty soon we learn that he does not even know who his father is or else his father has rejected him. Life is hard at best, but we humans do better when those most important early relationships are present, ongoing, and hopefully healthy, and as a result our sense of self worth is able to develop.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

As to the previous post

"Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you."

I Thessalonians 5: 13-18

Saturday, February 23, 2013

happiness may be a choice

As I have mentioned, most people in a hospital such as mine are very depressed. Maybe my ears just perk up more when I hear the word, but depression is a widely publicized problem that is now treated commercially from a menu of multiple pharmaceuticals. It has been studied and categorized and is recognized as a potentially fatal but curable disease.

There's a good documentary ("happy") on Netflix about the opposite of depression, which is of course happiness. As it turns out, happiness has had its own scientific research. Now that we have the official results and not just opinion, I would like to point out the obvious. I might add that I took notes on the movie so I can perhaps turn it into a group topic in the future.

So, according to scientific studies, who is happy? Here are the answers:

People who don't seek their own happiness but who care about things that are greater than themselves.
People who recover from adversity, who keep close connections with the family and friends, who lift each others burdens, and perform acts of kindness.
People who have gratitude and cultivate compassion.
People who connect with the natural environment.
People who accept what has happened in their lives, as acceptance is a part of healing.
People who focus on intrinsic goals (personal growth, relationships, desire to help others) rather than extrinsic goals (money, image, status). Once our basic needs are met, money doesn't provide more happiness.

One of the happy men who was interviewed said this. "My life is a loan from God. I want to give it back with interest."

Interacting with nature and with other generations, getting physical exercise, counting our blessings, caring about and helping others, and having some variety in our lives can be ways of getting to happy. As we get there, our brain changes for the better. Happy people are more productive and live longer.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

relationships can hurt

Over the past close to thirty years, I have had the privilege of delving into the lives of strangers and asking personal questions that, aside from the current situation they find themselves in, no one else would dare to ask. I still find it both fascinating and an honor. Primarily due to insurance companies running things, treatment in the twenty-first century requires that we gather information and start the help as quickly as possible. So early in the conversation when I am helping to identify stressors (last straws, precipitators) I often cut to the chase and give a clue that relationships seem to be the biggest stressors/problems to us humans. I don’t think I have ever had a patient say that there was not a difficult and painful relationship issue that preceded their extreme depression (or whatever). There is nothing more important to people than relationships, and of course the ones we love and put our hope in the most bring the greatest joys and the greatest sadness. Also however, would be the next level, peer groups, social friends, and even superficial acquaintances. We are all important to each other. Change or remove a relationship, and we can feel stranded, lonely, and sad, sometimes profoundly.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

notes from work

Psychiatry is never dull, and usually my days are busy, like today. I did a few interviews, and in a nutshell, without divulging confidentiality, here is a rundown. One was a woman who had a delusion that included facebook and just about everyone in the world, including the governor, many entertainers, everyone in her old neighborhood, the FBI, and they were all involved in an evil ring of conspiracy. It can be interesting talking with people as they describe their delusional thoughts, because the listener thinks…yeah that could happen…yeah that is possible, too, then whoa…they have stepped over the line into the realm of the not possible. Another was a very nice young adult with the bad disease of alcoholism. Another was a young adult immersed in the pathology of an overbearing parent to the point of total helplessness. It reinforced my belief that one of the most loving thing we can do for our children is allow them to struggle through some hard times when they are growing up so they can develop some coping skills and self confidence. After all…life isn't that easy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Snow today!

The forecast for today was snow though early on it didn't seem cold or gray enough. Then it came suddenly, and the sky became white as big flakes started falling and swirling. Now, an hour later, only a few teasing snowflakes dot the air. At least I got this pic through a back window to remember today's short-lived wintry weather.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is...

Two prairie dogs kissing. Straight from yahoo news yesterday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

at another hospital

The hubby had outpatient surgery today, a laparoscopic hernia repair. He did great, and we were in and out in less than six hours. I was impressed with the efficiency with which St. Francis was run and the competence of everyone who attended to him. A nice touch was a brief devotional that was piped in about nine a.m. I took along a dusty-on-the-shelf book, Being the Body by Charles Colson, to read during my down time and found it very well written and more interesting than Rachael Ray and whatever else was on the NBC channel on the TV in the waiting room. It was so good that I will finish it! At post op time, the nurse caring for the hubby said I looked familiar. As it turned out, I was her psych clinical nursing instructor several years ago. It was a treat to catch up with her. All in all, it was a successful morning.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Good lists to be on

The guys on the local talk radio station tonight were talking about what occupation would match the profile of a psychotic killer. Top on the list would be a ___. Well it really doesn't matter, because at the bottom of the list would be a nurse. This is a good list to be at the bottom of, but we are at the top of one list, the most trusted profession.  Nurses are innately caring people. We are also trained to and expected to help, and we are held to high standards of accountability. We aren't perfect, but in this world today, I am glad that we are valued.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Traffic was terrible this afternoon!

My usual drive home from work was stretched from twenty-five minutes into an hour and a half today. Why there was so much traffic, I never knew, but it was bumper to bumper all the way down Church Street every other road I was on. There was only so much to do in my car as I inched along, so why not take a few pictures out or through the window. I saw a guy in another car doing the same. You may see the long lines in both directions of the road pics.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

That's Entertainment

In my efforts to keep the house clean, I have turned to watching television. Better make that streaming Netflix, my new favorite thing. Last night I enjoyed an educational hour of Food Matters, which just happened to deal with one of my favorite topics. I have discovered the witty, fast paced Sports Night, a sitcom from the late nineties, and some fabulous British mysteries. Then there was the adorable French flick Romantics Anonymous and the French documentary about the chapel Matisse designed. Some heartwarming independent films engage me when I have time, and of course I have been glad for the many reruns of the always clever, never boring, well written Psych. By the way, its seventh season starts this month. I realize that not everyone will have the same tastes that I do, but there is something for everyone, even a nerd like me.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

An Arty Thing

On yesterday’s cold morning, I joined with a group of kindred spirits at a cute coffee shop downtown with the intended purpose of discussing or actually doing art, the painting and drawing kind of art that calls me to perform. The location was perfect, and if not for the well dressed, well scrubbed people and the gluten free items on the menu boards, it could have passed for a place from the sixties. A pony-tailed middle aged guitarist was sitting on a folding chair, strumming and singing well some well-loved folk tunes of the era. People were lined up for earthenware mugs of steaming hot coffee or tea and sweets to go with them and enjoying the convivial atmosphere. A little boy being watched over closely by his daddy was quite curious about the musician, a couple of individuals were sitting in overstuffed chairs with their laptops, the mother and daughter entrepreneurs were graciously serving everyone, and the nine of us were sitting right outside the door in an overflow area laughing and talking and having a grand time. The few hours passed quickly. I was sorry to see it end, but in another two weeks we will have our third get together. Never mind my limited talents, I like being part of this group.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


A Chinese proverb: When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.

I got a small bunch of ranunculus today, and to extend the worth of my penny, took a photograph. American saying: Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wisdom from their Creator

It was strange to see so many springtime robins on the hospital grounds this week, but you couldn't miss them. There must have been at least a hundred. Whether on the ground or in the trees, they were so noisy, and it sounded like they were sending distress calls to each other. Maybe they were. It was the same on Monday when I was there. We could even hear them through the closed windows as they chattered and screeched. Mother Nature imparts a wisdom on creatures that we will never know, but it is clear to me now that they sensed that bad weather was on its way. Strong winds could can rip their nests from under them and heavy rains could drown their young. Today the crazy bad weather came, unpredictable with brief high winds and vicious rains, and an ensuing drastic drop in the temperature. I hope the robins were prepared, and that they will be chirping happier songs when I see them next. To update: On Friday it was quiet. No distress calls. The few robins I saw seemed content.

Monday, January 28, 2013

a life he influenced

Rob sent me the news that Dr. Woltz, the obstetrician who delivered him as well as Trip and Stuart, had died. I remember him well. As I read his long and glowing obituary, I could tell that his almost ninety-nine years were full of joie de vivre and that he was loved and admired by many. He may have been surprised to know the impression he made on me. During those prenatal visits, he was not only checking the health and progress of my baby and me but also shaping some of the ways I behave today, especially my future nursing career. I was a naive twenty year old when I started seeing him during my first pregnancy, but I remember that at each visit, he was positive and smiling and fully engaged with me. Then at some point, as I was sitting there talking, trusting and unaware, he would stand, and with a few positive words he would quickly end the conversation, then happily usher me to the door. At some point during the visit, he would reassure me with, "You are perfect!" Though I am sure he said that to all the girls, it was still good to hear. Twenty years later when I became a nurse, I remembered the way Dr. Woltz had treated me when I was his patient, and I emulated him. I listened well, validated the patient, and often I would find a way to slip in the word perfect. Then I would end the session quickly on a positive note. So not only did he deliver my babies, he taught me some valuable lessons that endure with me until this very day. He was my doctor but also my teacher.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

snowy trees

After being the worst one in my watercolor class, I had some success today with this one color, one brush, negative painting. Right when I was about to give up!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Not so bad

I used to love Cathy whose comic strip life ended a few years ago. Most women could relate to this cartoon character as she struggled with her diet and relationships but especially that detestable dressing room mirror.  The agony on Cathy's face and her exclamations in the bubbles (egad!)showed that trying on clothes in stores was just too exasperating. Most women know that dressing room lights can be harsh and cruel, exaggerating every little line and lump of cellulite.


Today I was in Marshall's. I wandered about looking for something I couldn't live without and chose some clothes to try on. I pushed my cart to the dressing room area, got my number card (six), found a spot, hung my clothes, and soon realized something was different in there. I didn't look half bad! The lights were soft and flattering. All the clothes I tried on were just right. How wonderfully odd. As some great jazzy music played, I danced around and found that I was enjoying that tiny space a little too much. So I managed to get myself and the clothes together, and headed back out. As the pleasant, young attendant was taking my stuff, I told her, "That is the best dressing room I have ever been in!" She smiled and said she liked it too.

Too bad Cathy has moved on. I would like to tell her I found a dressing room not to hate!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Yard Today

If big trees shade your property, you, like me, probably have a high maintenance yard. After many years of figuring out what to so with the many twigs, limbs, and leaves, I decided to use the yard waste pick up service offered by the garbage folks. Every two weeks when I take it to the curb, I pat myself on the back for making such a wise decision. It has been such a sunny and pretty day, a good time to roll the can around to the back yard and fill it up, I thought. As I picked up tree litter, I noticed that some plants seem to think it is already spring. This sedum had stuck some leathery little leaves up through the ground and layers of leaves.

The Lenten rose was blooming. When does Lent start this year? And there are patches of the curly, green weeds that usually don't show up for another six weeks. More potential filler for my smart yard waste can.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A great find at Fresh Market today were some exquisite spray roses for only five dollars a bunch. I bought two, one bunch in an orangy-red and the other an antique pink. With them now in their vases, I feel like I am in a fine British home

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Warm January Day

Who knew that the planned trip to Conway would be during this beautiful, warm January weekend. How lucky could we be! We managed a quick trip to the Boardwalk at Myrtle Beach yesterday and got our feet wet in the cold surf.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

British Influence

As the third season begins, I am finally getting into Downton Abbey, thanks to Netflix. Three leisurely viewings of the first show along with a serious study of the characters, actors, setting and times gave me all I needed to get started. Then I watched in succession and with fascination the other six episodes of Season 1. What a surprise afterward when I started hearing my own thoughts in an English accent, but I can’t say I didn’t love it.