Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Last week I went on a trip. 

This lush green-ness is the kind of beauty I miss now that I don't live in the south.

This is Toccoa Falls.

Also Toccoa Falls.
I went to school at Toccoa Falls College, and this week was Homecoming. Since my graduation was 20 years ago, (!?) I decided to go back for a little visit. It was a fantastic trip - I got to see old friends, I got to take in the beauty, I got to visit with a kid from my church in Colorado that goes to school there now, and all-in-all it was a grand time. 

I lived in Athens, GA for 10 years, and I also got to visit there. I went to my favorite restaurants, and a couple new ones. I visited with old friends, and got to drive around the beautiful campus without the distraction of 100,000 people clamoring to get into the football game. :)

And I went to church.

I went back to church and got to visit with friends I haven't seen in a long time. In fact I would call these people family. They adopted me into their family when I was living across the country from my own family. They had me over for family lunch on Sundays, and made sure I had a place to go for Thanksgiving if I wasn't traveling to my own family. 
I had such a great time seeing them and catching up. 

My soul is full.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

today by the numbers

over 600: the number of students that got up and sang for Grandparent's Day today

about 500: the number of Grandparents that attended

4: the number of golf carts that we used to transport Grandparents from "alternative parking" (the terrible field out back) up to the building

6: the number of birthday presents I got today

2: the number of my parents that were there today - not for me, of course, but they were there nonetheless

21: the number of risers that were handled (man-handled) in the process of tearing down after the morning program, setting up for lunch, tearing down lunch, setting up for the afternoon program, and then cleaning up

60: the number of blissful minutes that was my massage after the day was over. Best. Decision. Ever.

Happy Grandparent's Day!

Sunday, September 7, 2014


This is where I was this weekend.

What a beautiful place to spend a weekend! High School group went on a retreat this weekend, and we went to a camp up in the mountains. The weather wasn't that great on the way up there, but as you can see, Saturday was gorgeous! This was free time - most everybody went canoeing or kayaking. It was fun to watch the kids gather out in the middle of the lake on their canoes - they called a "lake party". :)

I love a retreat. 

The opportunity to get away from regular life and retreat somewhere is wonderful. We retreated from all kinds of things. But most importantly we pushed on toward others. We studied the book of Ephesians, and spent time with God.We pondered what He wants us to do with our lives, and we prayed about it. That is an important question when you are in high school, but it's also an important question when you are a ways out of high school. Like me. :)

I am so blessed to be able to retreat, and to retreat with such a great bunch of high schoolers. 

I am grateful.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I got a massage this week.

Its the first week of school, and I had a kink in my neck for about 3 days. I'd had enough of that, so I called and set up a massage.

As I was laying there, smelling the essential oils, while she kneaded the stress and knots out of my shoulders and back, I was thinking about touch. And I came to the conclusion that I need to be touched. It was very healing to just be. To just lay there and have her rub the stress out of wherever.

Regular life makes stress and knots and kinks and gets everything all bound up.

And as she worked those out this week, I thought about how lovely it was to be touched.

And it is not the working out of the stress and knots that was the relief - it was the touch.

I think we humans are made to be touched, and when we spend time in solitary, something it missing. I think my cat feels the same way. I say this because she won't let me get ready in the morning without sitting on the floor for a few minutes petting her. If I don't do it, she yells.

So maybe she knows those essential things in life: food, water, touch.

Friday, July 4, 2014


These are the roses in front of my house.

The lady I bought the house from last summer, Jennifer, had done amazing work on them and they looked and smelled WONDERFUL all last summer.

I am NOT a rose expert.

But, I am willing to put in some work to have nice roses. I like the colors, I like the smells, and I like how nice they look in my front yard.

But they do take work. I'm not sure I understood the amount of work that would be involved when this summer started. And, my mom actually did the trimming last fall and then trimmed them again in the spring so I haven't even done any of that work.

But I do stand out there every couple days and water them all. I trim the roses that have bloomed, and I cut off unproductive limbs so the other ones can produce more. I bought Rose Food, read the directions and made sure they were fed. When I went out of town I had to leave dad with instructions on watering them.

And all of this work is being done really by default. I "fell into" it, by starting to care for the roses before I had any clue about what was involved. Just jumped right in there. But now because of the work I have beautiful roses.

There is work to be done, for sure. But I think they are worth it.
Smelling pretty,

Friday, June 6, 2014


I went to a funeral today.

A sweet friend of mine, who was about 6 years younger than me, passed away last week. Her funeral was today.

She had fought cancer for the past 4 years, and that gave her time to spend with her two beautiful girls. I think they are now about 6 1/2 and 4.

As her husband talked today at the funeral, he said that this was the end of a fight that they were told they would not win. But I think Heather won today. She always had her eye on heaven, and was one of the most hopeful people I know. Even in the midst of chemo, and cancer treatment, she was hopeful She was NOT hopeful that she would get better, but she was filled with eternal hope she had because of her faith in Jesus.

I am so very sad for her family that does not have her here anymore, but so relieved for her. That her fight is over. That she doesn't have to go through any more chemo. That she is in heaven. That she has the fulfillment of the ultimate hope now.

Heather, thank you for the time you were here, and for the hope that you spread, no matter your circumstances.

Until Heaven,

Friday, May 23, 2014


This is a picture of what I put on my wall over my desk at school.

I had the bizarre circumstances of finding out what one of my parents said about me in an anonymous survey. I will say it was unflattering, to say the least. In fact, it was the opposite of those 4 words on the bottom: impatient, unkind, harsh and negative.

Needless to say, this took my by surprise. And my first impulse was to defend myself, and point out why I am not those things. OK, I freely admit to impatient. I am not the most patient person. I own that. I pray about it. I ask God to develop more patience in me. But unkind???? Harsh???

OK, I'm stepping away from defending myself, and taking this as an opportunity to become a better person. I put the opposite of those ugly 4 words above my desk, as well as the verse that is above them.

And now I am grateful.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be better. I am grateful to focus on these things, rather than the negative.

And I am SO grateful that God sent me a couple parents RIGHT on the heels of this thing to give me some wonderful words of encouragement. There were three different parents, in the span of a week, and they were so supportive, and told me how much their kids LOVE to have me as their music teacher, and what a great job I am doing, and how much they LOVED the concert.

So I am thankful that God sent me that encouragement to spur me on to become better. To focus on the good, and what I WANT to be.

And that I didn't get fired. :)

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Last weekend I went with some friends from church to serve at the local Rescue Mission. We served dinner.

The mission serves dinner 6 nights a week to anyone who shows up. The only requirement is that you are in the door by 5 pm, and you sit through the message. Not a sermon, really, but more of a bible devotional or encouragement.

My friends and I passed out drinks, refilled drinks, handed out plates of food, and talked to people.

I often forget how good it feels to serve someone else.

I sometimes get so wrapped up in my own little world that I forget about the blessing of serving others. I get blessed, and I would hope they do too.

Anyway, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve. And I am grateful for the Mission and how they help people on a daily basis.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

an era

This is my director.

Donald P. Jenkins has led the Colorado Springs Chorale for 47 years.

Even though I've sung under his direction for the past 7 years, he has been doing it much longer. In fact, today at the concert he said he's been directing choirs since 1953.

Today I sang. I sang my heart out. I sang to the best of my ability. I sang in German like I've never sung in German before.

And it was amazing.

It was a blessing to sing wonderful music, accompanied by a wonderful orchestra, directed by a legend.

Thank you, Don, for the music.  Even though this was the last, I will remember all of the concerts we've done together.

For the music,

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Well this week has been Spring Break.

I am grateful for the break, but more than that I am grateful to be feeling better.

About 5 weeks ago, I got pneumonia. Didn't get sick, didn't catch anything, didn't come out any other sickness. Just...WHAM! Pneumonia.

So I got the drugs, and an X-ray to confirm, and spent a week getting better.

Felt great for a couple weeks, and then caught this nasty virus that went around school. I got it, but a bunch of other students and staff got it as well. And THAT was awful! It was the sickest I've been in several years. Even considering pneumonia!

So for the past 2 weeks I've been taking drugs for that, and doing breathing treatments, and just generally breathing.

Finally, I think I am better. I've gone a couple days without doing a breathing treatment, and besides my regular allergies, I'm feeling "normal". As normal as I usually am.

I just want to say that I am grateful to be better! I guess sometimes it takes feeling poorly to be grateful for health.

Here's to breathing.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Well, it is winter for sure. I have shoveled the front of my house several times in the past few days.

And I have never been so grateful to have mittens.

This is the first time I have ever owned mittens. I never understood mittens at all - I just never had mittens in my life. Oh, I have had gloves - when I moved to Colorado, I quickly realized that it behooves you to have a pair of gloves in every coat pocket. It gets COLD here people! Especially to someone who grew up in northern California, and then lived in Georgia for 14 years.

But now I have mittens.

I guess mittens weren't a part of my life growing up, so I never realized how great they are.

A few weeks ago, a friend came to church wearing a fleece, no coat, and mittens. I told her that I liked her mittens. She said her husband bought them on Etsy. So that afternoon, I went on Etsy, and searched "fleece lined mittens". HOLY COW! Mittens can be cute too! Mine are made out of recycled sweaters, and the inside is fleece lined. Every time I've shoveled in the past couple weeks, I've worn my mittens. It's amazing - the only way you can feel like you are outside is on the face. Everything else is snuggly warm. Unbelievable!

I am grateful for mittens. And for warm hands.

And for spring, if it ever comes.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


The other day I fell over. In the middle of a 6th grade class.

I am fine, but it really was a funny experience.

I had walked around behind my piano to pick up a book that I dropped (this is making me sound clumsier by the minute...) and when I headed back around to my stool, my leg got wedged up next to the edge of my stage. Since my momentum was already headed to the right, and my feet were essentially stuck, I slowly fell over on the stage. Actually, it was more of a slow fall/sit/roll over onto the stage.

So, there I am, laying on my right side facing the class. But I couldn't see them at all.

Because I was laughing.

I was just thinking about how ridiculous it was that I just fell over in class.

Someone in the class said "ooohhh, oh no."

One of the boys laughed.

The rest of the class shushed him, and he relied, "But SHE'S laughing!"

I was thinking that I had to get myself up, so I rolled over on my back and was going to sit up, then stand. Right about then, another one of the boys said" I'm so confused. I want to laugh, but I feel like I should ask if you're OK."

That made me laugh even more.

I did get up, and told them I was fine, and explained how my feet got caught. Someone then said "Yeah! You fell over in slow motion!" And I laughed some more.

But In all of this, it was a good laugh. I laughed, they laughed, and we laughed together.

It occurred to the today how good it is to laugh. Not AT anyone, but just to laugh. Together. Even today, I think about this incident that happened 2 or 3 weeks ago, and I STILL laugh.

Laughter truly is good medicine.

I hope this gave you a laugh. :)