2014 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Goodbye 2014 – Let it Go


LettingGoBlog2014And …. there it goes, 2014 will be history in a few short days. Regardless of how you reflect on the past year? It’s done. over. Kaput. Kapooey. Out the window. Gone.

So I say goodbye to some good times, now just part of my good memories held dear to my heart.

In order to move on to the New Year? there are some things that will not be allowed to travel with me. I am making a conscious choice in “letting it go” … you may want to read my disclaimer before continuing..

Disclaimer…. This is my “whitespace” it always has been. It belongs to me… my thoughts.. my ideas.. my memories and my opinions. ”  If you find it offensive, too opinionated? or even a little self-righteous? then this may be your cue to discontinue reading.. and that’s perfectly okay too. really.”

Now, getting back to “Letting it Go”….. (sorry, I know most of you are already singing the “Frozen” song LOL)

There are some things that I need to let go, simply because they are heavy, too heavy to carry around every day..I just end up exhausted.

There are the things that just simply make me sad. Sad to dwell on, sad to think will be different. It’s not… and it is .. what it is.

There are dead relationships… I had hoped for a resurrection.. but live things don’t keep a bad smell. Cause & Effect. and required my shovel.

There are grudges that I have let go 100% – 2015 is a new slate. What others do with theirs against me? is not up to me.. or my fault.

There are expectations that I will no longer set myself up for, but focus on what is real.. today real.

There are those that I will no longer make excuses for. Your deal.. not mine. – own your own mess.

There are those opinions of others about me… frankly, they are none of my business.

There are words I said to myself that needed to be in a trash can…yeah, I bagged those up and tossed them the other day. – yay me.

There are the hurts from my inner circle that ran deep. People live with scars everyday.. it’s a reminder that you survived, but more importantly, that  you don’t want to be that kind of person..ever.

There are those friends that let me go. It’s okay.. Seasons change. People change.

There are things I didn’t accomplish in 2014.. regrets are not traveling into my new year. it’s over..gone. 2015 will have enough challenges all its own.

There are the days I thought I would just simply die of a broken heart.. but yet it still beats. (parenting isn’t for cowards)

There are those feelings that I had to own…check.

There are those feelings that I owned that didn’t even belong to me? had no business owning.. double-check.

As usual… I make no resolutions for the upcoming year. Yes, I had a few meltdowns in 2014, and I’m sure next year will have its own lot full of troubles? but I enter with an empty suitcase, room for some new things like treasures.. things that really matter.. not people or things that don’t. Sound a little selfish? maybe? but I have to own that too.

I have found that I am more of a survivor than I realized, more fragile in some areas than I thought, and way more determined than I imagined to make the most of what I have…

thanks 2014….

















The Gift of Friends


There are no greater gifts in this life, than good friends. Old friends, new friends and lifelong friends that have become a part of my tapestry. Friends are not limited to acquaintances, but sometimes include your family members also. I have been blessed with an assortment of all of the above. They are my gifts that come in many different wrappings but uniquely treasured the same. Some have a few holes in their paper, some of their edges are worn and to be quite honest, some have had a lot of their pretty wrappers stripped away. There are those that are close to perfect with tight edges in their wrapping, bows that match perfectly and paper that anyone would be envious. Yet, no matter the wrapping, the gift is on the inside, the hearts of my friends. I have included a few of gifts from past, present and future just as a reminder.. It is never in the gift itself, but the thought that will always mean so much more.


I wear this pin every single year, for the past 5 years… each bead is hand stitched in this tree. I receive compliments every time I wear it.. I smile and say “A good friend made this” which is always followed by “wow, that is amazing”.  There is a lot of care and time invested in this treasure.. you can’t replace either.


It’s a Christmas gift bag…. just a bag, but it came to me by my nephew when he was only three. It reminds me of the simple times we shared just playing and reading books. He will never know the empty space he filled with giggles and love..many years before I became a mom. He will always be little in my eyes..the same little boy who would only let me do for him…. “no, I want “neece” to do it..” I still see him covered in chocolate frosting from cupcakes, all the while hoping I could somehow manage to not mess up his clothes before his Mom picked him up… I still smile when I use this little bag.


Longaberger baskets…. I have never owned one, yet always admired those of my other friends’. This one came to me filled with more love than I could have asked for. The gift was for me and my daughter – Who knew that they would become so much more than a neighbor. Genuine, a blessing to me and my family. (I have already asked if I can adopt them)


Yes, everyone knows that I LOVE Snoopy! What a thoughtful gift that my friends know me so well. I have seen Snoopy items close to this one in stores, however, this one happens to be more special because it was made especially for me. time spent with me in mind. How amazing is it that you can be acquaintances… then through the time you share, develops into what you know will be a lifelong friendship.. Unexpected Blessings… can you say awesomeness?!!!!!

Friends1Some of my specially wrapped friends had gathered some dust. These are ones that remain your friends for life, however, life gets a little busier than you anticipated, and well.. we all do it, time goes by and you just don’t see them. How blessed I was with this gift of handmade dish cloths. Beautifully stitched, and durable – just like this friend. I know that these will last a lifetime, just as this friendship will. – Maybe you have one of these friends? Take some time to do a little dusting.. even if it is just to say hello. Our friends are our greatest treasures, no matter what season you are in.


The last photo I include came to me many years ago…. I see this gift everyday, it is a reminder that no matter how much “time” passes, this friend remains. Months on end go by at times before we get a chance to chat, but when we do? It’s just like time has stood still and we pick back up where we left off, she is that kind of friend – a timepiece, one that gives me her time, regardless. I am truly blessed to know her.

Your gift may not be pictured here from past or present, but the thought is the same.. never take for granted the gifts you receive, the friendships you receive, and the thoughtfulness in what you give to others. Some of my greatest gifts have been a kind word of encouragement, a hug in the grocery store or just a quick note to say hello. Take time to be a giver of good gifts to your friends, and never take what you receive lightly.

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17







The Season of Giving


SeasonofGiving2Twinkling lights and sounds of the season fill our senses early in December, my favorite time of the year as I go about my busy day. The season of giving has arrived in full force. This year is no different from ones past, the busy time of baking, shopping and filling our calendars with scheduled Christmas events. I have always seen it as a magical time… I just love everything about it.

There are so many lists to make, gifts to buy and cards to be mailed, it is all a part of the month of December. The time seems to fly and we get really busy, often times a little too busy.

The first reminder that it is the season of giving, is that of the bell-ringer with the Salvation Army. The red kettle and the notion that a little goes a long way.  I think of it too late, but one year I will sign up for a station and appreciate it even more the following season.

There are blurs of lights as I drive at night, everything is glowing and bright, I think I enjoy the lights as much as any child perhaps. Lights of all kinds…and yes, I love the tacky decorations as well, lighting up the night, making any landscape something a bit more special.


We continue on our way enjoying every part of Christmas, entertaining friends and relatives, catching up with folks we haven’t seen in some time. Office parties are underway, a full schedule of events and our weekends are full, it’s a busy time.

I am reminded to slow down, and be more aware of the season of giving. The gifts that can’t be purchased online or in a store, the gifts that give more than their monetary value. The season of giving includes our time, the offering of peace to a stranger, or an extra prayer for the person holding the cardboard signs. It is a season to give more of ourselves than we expect to receive.

Regardless if it is a small monetary gift, a tag from a giving tree, picking up a few extra gifts for Toys for Tots, or a charity of your choice? It is the season of giving, a great opportunity to give of ourselves. What if for just this year we offered more grace and more compassion to those on our journey. December passes much too quickly, and so does the feeling of hope that it brings, here’s to finding a way to make it last much longer through the upcoming months.


Dad and Banana Pudding





Banana Pudding

It’s that time of year again… taking requests for favorite foods and especially desserts. It is during these times that the memories invade every pot and pan I clang in my kitchen, every measuring cup and every shuffle through the special recipe box. My heart always goes back to home, my childhood place of memories. The smells of my Momma’s kitchen, the visuals of my Daddy testing everything and eager to make his own special creations. I miss it terribly..I miss them more.

Most of our holidays were spent traveling on the busy highways to  West Virginia and Kentucky. We visited, trying our best to split our times between his family and mine. I don’t think it was ever enough for either side. Sometimes it felt like we spent more time in the car than anything. I don’t miss that part.

The one year that my parents came here for Thanksgiving was one of my most memorable. The weather was warmer than usual, so much that we ate outside on the picnic table. Daddy had wanted Banana Pudding that year, so I made the largest one ever. We had eaten so much other foods, that it was left untouched. Sometime during the night, he got up for a snack – Banana Pudding. He said it was the best he had ever eaten, so much that by the next morning, all we found was a spoon and an empty bowl. We laughed about him eating the entire bowl many years after..it is still mentioned every time I make it now.

So, this year… the bananas have been purchased and once again, I will remember how much he loved it and I will probably have tears when preparing it – good tears… good memories. Every taste, I will see him smiling over eating all of that Banana Pudding by himself.

I am also reminded that I am now that Momma in the kitchen, making the things for my family that they enjoy, memories that will belong to my daughter one day. I hope that her memories are as fond as some of ours. She will remember seeing the special apron from her dear Aunt Moe, her daddy sneaking a deviled egg out of the refrigerator and the sounds of the Thanksgiving Parade blaring from the television.

Make memories with your loved ones, whether they be large or small. Little memories often become big ones later in our lives…ones that are sparked by a Banana Pudding.. or fixing cinnamon toast because it was the way mamaw did it. Be thankful that you have a table of your own to prepare, dishes to wash after your labor in the kitchen. Home. I have always said that it is not so much geographical as it is in your memories. Make good ones… tell stories of holidays past and never take one moment for granted. Remember your loved ones with smiles and treat your living ones with kindness. It’s usually one of the few times that we share a meal, a dessert or just a little bit of our time.

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours.




No matter how much open space is provided for our horses to roam, they sometimes feel the need to test the boundaries…. they must have them, not only for our sakes, but for their own safety. Day in and day out they graze in the same area, come in to be fed at the same time every day, and know our voices when called. Then there are the “other” days.. when they are sure the grass is greener somewhere else, just beyond the place they are supposed to be. They are well-behaved animals for the most part, and usually don’t cause too much trouble. They know their boundaries, but sometimes they are just a little too tempted to venture out of their safety zone. They are curious about what lies beyond this space and can’t resist the taste of the undisturbed green pasture.

How many times do we wander just the same? A new space, a new friend, a new place to visit for a while. There is so much to explore not only for these lovely creatures, but for us as a curious people. So we venture out, beyond what is routine, put ourselves out there, hoping to graze in a fresh open space. For the most part? we gain something… something new that breaks the day in day out ritual. So we test the boundaries, grasping the good stuff along the way and making the most of a new adventure.

I have found this to be true so many times in relationships.. I have some really great ones, an awesome circle of friends and family. They have been constant, a safe zone – no need to set boundaries, I know and trust this circle. It is where I am most comfortable in any season of my life. These are my treasures, my fields of fresh grass, and I have no need for flagging them off with orange ribbons.


These friends corral around me regardless of the sunny skies or storms that occur. If one is out-of-place? I am pretty sure I am aware of it. Sometimes, they wander a little close to the outside fence, doing their own thing but never feeling the need to totally leave my space. They are all different in personalities, quirks and issues, yet they choose to stay. Good friends and family that know me, but love me anyway! They notice when I linger to close to the outside fence… they see when I am needing to be led back safely for my own good. That’s what you do for those you love.. you keep them safe, and you encourage them when they need it most and remind them why the boundaries are important.


Boundaries are healthy, but they are a lot of work. It would have been so much easier to just let the fence go, tend to it another day, but I’m sure it would have cost something more in the long run. I am learning to appreciate boundaries so much more these days. I am hard pressed to set them at times, but sometimes they are necessary. I would rather impose fences than walls, since walls are often too permanent. So, I set boundaries, place my flags accordingly and respect the reasons they are there.

boundaries4Not everyone is capable of setting boundaries, fence boundaries are much more compassionate than stringing barbed wire – that’s something entirely different – painful with the intention of causing harm. What kind of boundary would you prefer?  Choose wisely my friends, that kind of boundary is a double-edged hurt – you are sure to be on the giving and receiving end of it.

“Good fences make good neighbors”

– Robert Frost

A Story Behind the Sale


Lazy Saturday mornings mean yard sales and flea market adventures for us. I like to look at everything, whether I am buying or not. I definitely don’t like to have a yard sale myself. I enjoy more talking than I do selling my junk anyway. I’ve never been one capable of selling anyone anything… school fundraisers, down to girl scout cookies my Dad would end up selling for me. He could sell an Eskimo an ice-cube.. literally.

This particular yard sale adventure stayed with me the entire day. I browsed things I didn’t really need.. passed on buying things I had no room for. Somewhere in between? I met some folks, exchanged light hearted conversations and mainly went on my way. My husband found a replacement for a basket I had lost which was a great find being that it was a nicer one than I had originally. The lap tray and basket was amongst the items being sold to make money for a long-awaited missions trip. How could I not pass that up? The book was a quarter.. I gave him a dollar, although I already had read it.. and have the movie? who cared? I’ll find a use for both. Books and more books,  know they get tired of waiting on me to dig through stacks of books and they usually end up walking ahead of me out of boredom. It was a small sale..but bigger implications.

The next table was full of stuff I didn’t need, but I look anyway and say hello. I notice the hand crocheted potholders. What I notice is the stitch – the “shell” pattern that I had watched my mother crochet more times than I could count. I used to be able to do it myself, but over the years had forgotten. The woman was older and friendly and told me they were .50 each. I sifted through the colors and noticed there were many to choose from. I told her that I knew the work that had gone into them, and they were very well made… then came her story.

“My sister is a Nun and makes these for me… I send her the yarn and she divides them amongst the convent and they make as many as they can.” She goes further to tell me that she had another sister.. a twin that had recently passed away with cancer. “I’m so sorry” I replied. She pauses long enough to gather her thoughts to continue that she made her sister a promise that she would look after her children as much as she could. By this time, I am noticing that this is not just a sale..this is a stolen moment in my day that I can’t walk away from.

I am thankful for my sunglasses as I notice her lip starts to tremble. This woman has no idea that I will cry like a drop and roll fire drill. She tells me that she sells the items to keep her promise to her sister and help her nieces and nephews as much as possible. The potholders were more at that moment than yarn, they were treasures… a kind soul keeping her word to make a difference despite her loss.

I could hardly tell my husband the story walking to the car (thankfully, he knows I will cry easily) after I told him, he said you never know what people deal with. “I would have bought them all” I said.. he lovingly reminded me I wasn’t capable of saving the world, even though I already knew it… but I do know that with every use of those potholders? the woman will be visible..her story..her grief.. and though she may not realize it? She made a difference to me, just because she shared her heart.

How many times have I rushed through my everyday, not noticing the obvious? People need hope…encouragement. EVERY day. I hope that I offered her some, although in a small amount? I will look for her again on my next trip… and the next. Another story behind a sale? It stayed with me the entire day. Never stop looking for treasure…. sometimes it’s not in words, but in something as simple as even a potholder.

When Pictures Speak a Thousand Words


Sometimes words are not necessary, and I love Words!!!! Reading and writing… even running my fingers over a braille note card to feel the letters. I have found that I love pictures as much as I love words, at times they speak much more than I could ever attempt to write. I am learning to see my surroundings differently, still pictures that are more of a silent storyteller. I am not a photographer by no means, but I do enjoy taking pictures, as much as I love to tell a story. These particular pictures speak without words…some are easy to explain, some go much deeper than my words. Pictures really do speak a thousand words… maybe even more.

I begin with the photo above….. sitting in my pew at church, I see it…. a couple “sharing” a single Bible, my heart had an “aaaah” moment. I wondered how much more this couple had shared through their time together? Joy? Pain? Compassion? Whatever the answer was? I knew that in this stolen moment…they were unified, one…..strength for the journey being poured from the pages. I also remembered thinking? wow…. how much I want this moment for me and my own husband in our later years. Love in the most simple, yet complex form.


Although I didn’t actually take this photo? It still speaks. (okay, and it’s my cute niece) Wonder.. how awesome to see everything through the eyes of a child? Everyday brings its own treasure and discovery. The world outside to her is “tangible” … She feels it through the window pane. May we never lose the ability to see our world and the good in those around us. Dream….Wonder…. Believe. I am determined to see beauty in all things, removing the harsh scales that cloud the vision I once knew. Find your inner child today…if only for a moment.


Home… a country road… a photo that not only invokes images, but all of my senses…the smell of wood stoves burning, the crisp mountain air in the fall…the leaves crunching beneath my feet. I can no longer go home without the ache of knowing that many of my loved ones, are no longer there. Home is no longer geographical as much as it has proved to be a place in my heart. Home is what you carry with you, a part of who you were, who you are and what you hope to become… More importantly, it will be what you will leave for someone else….their home, their memories. Make good ones.


I took this one just because I happened to have the camera. It has become one of my favorites. It says.. I love my Daddy. It doesn’t matter that her Daddy is not looking at the camera, I know how he feels about her as much as I know my own soul. It was her unspoken words to me at this moment that makes my heart melt. “He is mine..and I am his” nothing more relevant than her smile. She knows… The joy of being a Daddy’s girl. I already know….I am blessed that she has this bond even longer than I did. They are also mine…my heart.


Of course, I didn’t take this one either… but it was one of my most favorites of my nephews. Brothers that adore one another…. Sibling rivalry may come, but this bond will be lifelong..regardless. Their lives will always be a tapestry with one another, good and bad…regardless what direction their lives take – they will always be anchored. Knowing this already, that they will not always agree or see things the same? I know one thing to be true..they will be solid as stone for each other when it really counts.. I promise. They are the only two people in their mothers’ world that know what her heart sounds like from the inside. They are their father’s anchor to what is important. I see parts of my heart in this picture, the part that I am too far away from in miles. Siblings don’t always adore one another…but when they do? well… it’s a soul space. No matter how many pictures you take.. you see it.


The moment you realize you are capturing a part of your friends “forever” and anticipate the wonderful memories that are still to be made. When you experience the first “beach” wedding and pay no mind to the wind in your hair or the sand in your shoes. The look on a Daddy’s face seeing his little girl happier than happy.. and the simple lyrics to a song that says.. love comes in circles, and love takes its’ own time.. bending and breaking, not taking a straight line”


I end this blog with a photo from our local Relay for Life. It is and has always been one of my favorite words in picture. Without it, well I don’t even think beyond that statement. It is not an option to live without it. If you have never attended one of these events.. you should. Only standing beside the ocean, have I ever felt so small in comparison. It was a humbling experience. Everyone has been affected by this horrible disease in some way or another, but watching the survivor’s walk? Hope becomes more than a word.. more than a picture.. it becomes life. There is nothing better than seeing hope in action. This is real. As my mom would say… “this is where the rubber meets the road” kinda real. It is also one of the best things you can share… beyond photos, beyond words…

Taking pictures of our surroundings does not always require a photo lens. Sometimes it only requires our attention to capture the image and developing them in our hearts. Yeah, that’s the best kind.





And here we are, changing from one lane to another, inward and outward changes that I cannot prevent, and not at all sure that I even want to. Detours bring a new road to my world. I am not sure if I am capable of making the drive, but the car is still moving and I feel I have been moved from driver to passenger. I have motion sickness and feel the need to just be still. Life can be so “loud” at times and I’m adjusting to the noise.

I do not adapt well to change, I never have. I like routines and planning ahead, and knowing what is around the corner as much as possible. Somewhere along the last few months the detours began to appear so profoundly that I could no longer find my way. This type of traffic was very noisy…my ears began to feel the piercing. Go here, no, go there? Is this the right way? I’m not sure this feels right? What if I choose the wrong path? So what do you do? you follow the detour signs as best you can, and hopefully reach your destination without being totally lost and your cargo intact.

I have found that on this journey, there will be some that feel the need to get off on another exit, take a different route and wish me well on my way. There will be some that leave me stranded beside the road. There will be others that continue to follow me in the same direction.  It doesn’t make them right or wrong, it means we all drive differently and need different scenery. Not everyone enjoys the busy interstate, or an old country back road, yet we all have to drive in order to reach our destination. The key is to respect the drivers….share the road… and remember that road raging never ends well.

Detours are usually for your safety, sometimes they last for months or at least until a new road is available. Sometimes the road has been damaged to the point you have to make time for repairs. It is frustrating to change the route that you have driven so long. I love the familiarity of an old back road! No surprises, and you just enjoy the feeling of home… then I realize that there is more to my journey than a familiar road, and the detours are there for a reason.

So as you see me driving down my new direction, can you throw up a friendly wave and toot your horn.. life creates enough potholes already. I surely don’t want to be one for you.

Safe travels on your journey my friends! And by chance, if we see one another stranded because of detours..may we always make an effort to pull over.








Some days your heart speaks through different images of creation, whether it be sunsets, blue skies or like today? Songbirds. I hear only the songs this morning stirring outside of my span of quiet. I knew they were close by? but was content to listen long before I decided to get up to take a look.

They seem to know that I am here, listening and taking in every note. Birdsongs…thankful that I am stirred this morning, bidding me to keep a song in my heart, regardless of the intruding noises that attempt to invade my soul space.

It fills the crevices like an ointment, soothing the raw edges left over from weary moments. In an instant, the song comes and I have to go to my iPod for lyrics. Sometimes a song is all you need. I find that music speaks what the heart struggles to say at times. Sing on little songbirds….count me in to follow your melody with whispers of harmony from my soul.

Lyrics from “Birdsong” by Jessie Goodman

Sittin right here at my window seat

I listen to the rain and the birdies sing

I hear..

God speak to me

And he said….

“Birds know how to sing – in the rain

Sittin’ right here and I call my friend

And I start sharing what I’ve been singin’

And he says.. Well this is what somebody told me..

Did you know? Birds know how to fly

Even with a broken wing

It doesn’t matter how fast you fly

It doesn’t matter how loud you sing

But it matters how hard you try

No matter what life may bring……

See I’ve been broken and I’ve been rained on

But I keep hopin if I just hold on

Then I’ see

Who I’m meant to be.

Cause I know.. I was born to fly

And I was made to sing….

So I’m sittin’ right here at my window seat….

Keep singin’ right here at my window seat….


May I never lose my love for song……


19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.