My Own Yoga Room

photo (14)I have dabbled in doing Yoga for years. I first bought some VHS tapes and tried to do it at home. That didn’t last long. The YMCA that I have a membership to started having Yoga classes several years back so I did a few here and there. I can honestly say I never really “got it”. I always felt like I wasn’t getting a “real” workout. I wasn’t sweating my ass and at the end of class I was supposed to lie there and do nothing. That was the hardest part of the damn class-my mind works on overdrive all the time, I must do, go, constant-I don’t “BE”, very well anyway. I stopped going. 

Then two years or maybe three I started back and hit the Yoga really hard. Aside from the weird breathing and noises this one instructor had us make, I was liking it and feeling like I might be “getting it”. Then life happened as it always does, and sidetracked me away from doing something good for me into doing for others. Ahh life of a Mother!

But this Fall I decided to try Bikram Yoga in a town about 25 minutes from where I live. Bikram is Hot Yoga: .   I really liked it but hated it was so far away and decided I enjoyed more of a variety of Yoga. But I loved the Heat! So I decided to turn a room off from home office into a Hot Yoga Room. I filled the two windows with Styrofoam  to keep the heat in, painted the walls, bought two heaters and humidifier and decorated. And Voila’-My Own Hot Yoga Room! I purchased a Bikram CD but prefer these websites: My Yoga Online and I love this Gal! I use my room about 2-3 times a week and also attend Yoga and Pilates at the Y on other days. I think a real live community is important for my Yoga/Fitness/Health experience as well.

Yoga room flags yoga photo (13)And Me after Hot Yoga!

photo (12)So I have found my workout-the peace, clarity, strength and the sweat!


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Megan Currie Love

I stumbled upon this video last week and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. Who knew Yoga could look like a dance straight form her heart into mine.

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An Open Letter To My Mom

May 10, 2014
The Eve of Mother’s Day
An Open Letter To My Mom,
It will be 15 years at the end of June since you have left your worldly body. I know some might say things like: “my heart aches each day for the emptiness and lack I feel each year she is not here to celebrate Mother’s day” or “it feels just like yesterday that you were here, I miss you so!”
In 15 years a lot has happened in my life. My children have grown into teenagers, they eat a lot. They drive me nuts at times, not turning their jeans” inside right” before they throw them into the wash! My husband and I are still married, who d’a thought! He is my best friend. I have been challenged in more ways than I ever thought possible-Yes, even more than losing You when I was 29 and you were 50. I’ve gotten fat, we have another dog.
But perhaps the reason my heart doesn’t ache every day, every holiday, ever sad Mother’s Day without you is because… well, I guess I made a choice a long time ago, not to let it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, through the years I have had my moments, my wailing cries, asking God “Why Me?” Why MY Mom?! I have been pissed when I can’t just call you up to ask you about that recipe or where those pictures are? I want so badly to tell you about what Mimi did or how well she is doing! I have been envious when I see my friends with their Moms still in their life and feel angry that you are not.
But you know all this, don’t you? You know about the times I have wept and felt furious at the loss of You. You know about the pool we put in and that my “real” father died. You know my life is blessed, but far from easy.
I know you don’t wonder how I know this and it isn’t our little secret. I feel you Mom. I feel you in the wind on a warm summer’s day. I see you in the Tiger Lily’s on the side of the road. I smell you from the fragrance of an old worn book. I hear you in a song on the radio, and I SEE you at night in my dreams….
Mom, I wish you were still here in your body to share Mother’s Day with me. But alas, I know you were tired and it was time to shed that old skin and stretch your wings into lightness and love, where there would no longer be pain.
So tomorrow I shall celebrate you, My Mother, with my own Motherhood. I will be grateful for my sons and my husband, and one day where maybe, just maybe I won’t have to do laundry! I will feel the warm breeze of spring on my face and smile with lightness in my heart! I will listen for songs on the radio that spark a memory or a feeling that reminds me of you. I won’t be sad, or sorry for the loss of you, I will feel gratitude for having you as MY Mother for as long as did. I certainly wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for you.
But you already know all this, don’t you? Happy Mother’s Day Mom! May you continue to be ever present in my life until we meet again someday!

172048_1701493691800_2654571_oShirley Ann Woodward

My Mom


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I went to dinner the other night with one of my oldest friends.  We have been friends for 31 years. We have been through boyfriends, babies, crazy families, mental illness, marriage, cancer and death in those 31 years. That is a lot of life lived. It occurred to me after we had dinner  that it is almost as if we went to war together; only she knows what our childhood was like and only I know hers-truly, truly knows and let me tell you it was alike war at times. Oh yes, we had some wonderful times and opportunities and created cherished memories. But we also shared some experiences that I wouldn’t wish on anyone and I dare not even mention them here at the sheer horror of it all. Sometimes I cannot believe we made it out our our teenage years alive with the stupid decisions we made, but we did-just barely and not unscathed. We were parenting ourselves. We had no one to guide us , and the ones who tried we didn’t listen to. We were pretty young girls with a need for acceptance and desire to “fit in”, not unlike every young girl today.

But we are older now, 42 and 43 and have lived much life. We are wiser now (most days) and stronger still than we dare to believe. But if I could have a conversation with my 16 year old self I would tell her to stop worrying about “fitting” in and march to the beat of your own drum and don’t waste another minute on concerning yourself with what others think of you. I would tell her to remember the  dreams you had for yourself to be at age 11, because that is probably where your passion lies when you are an adult. Trust your instincts, think big and out of the box, dare, try, fail. Try again.

When you are 12 and you have found a “Best Friend”, you have absolutely no conception of what being friends for 31 years looks like. It is just about writing notes and going to the Mall on Friday nights. (Oh wait my friend’s Mom wouldn’t let her go to the Mall on Fri nights;-) You have sleepovers and call boys on the phone, dress up in crazy clothes and walk the neighborhood.  But then something happens, and it is in the blink of an eye-time happens, life happens, happiness and heartbreak happens and you find yourself looking back on 31 years of friendship shared some years in different states yet still shared.

It is an extraordinary thing to have friendship with a person that is 3/4 of your lifetime. I feel so very blessed to have shared so much life with my dear friend. She knows all of my deepest, darkest secrets, my joy and my sadness and loves me anyway. We spent a childhood together that at times was not easy, but we never would have made the lives we have made for ourselves now with out each other, and for that am grateful.


8th Grade Auburn Recreation Football Cheering


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Cold Crunchy Salad

They call me the salad queen during the summer months because I always bring salads to  BBQ’s and get togethers. I can’t help it, I love to come up with new recipes for salads instead of the same old thing! This recipe is by far the one salad everyone ask me for the recipe for! I use to bring it to parties with little recipe cards for that reason! It is so easy and so yummy! I know there are a lot of versions out there in recipe  world but so far this is my favorite! I got it from a friends Step Mom about 7 or so years ago!

Cold Cruchy Salad

3/4 Cup Canola Oil

1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Cup Sugar

2 Oriental Flavor Packets (from the Oriental Ramen Noodles you crush up)

1 Bag Broc Slaw (salad section at grocery store)

1 Bunch of Scallions (diced)

1/2 Cup Sesame Seeds

1/2 Cup Slice Almonds

2 Bags Oriental Flavor Ramen Noodles

Mix the oil,cider vinegar,flavor packets and sugar together in a bowl. Add you Broc Slaw, and scallions to it and toss. Then add your almonds, sesame seeds and crushed ramen noodles, Toss once again and Serve. Keep refrigerated. Easy Peasy and I promise you will be “The Salad Queen” of the party!!!!</p>

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Izzi-our 3 year old lab. Favorite hobbies include: Jumping on people,getting into the trash, shedding, eating poop, and rolling in anything dead. But isn’t she cute?? Good thing!

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Check out my new posts!

I am still so new to this-I am not sure why when I post on one of my pages it doesn’t show up in “New Posts”. So this is me telling you to check out the
“Life” Section and my “Recipe” section of my blog! New post there!!!

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What I Wish I Would Have Known…..

 I have been corresponding with some friends lately who are interested in photography and I have had the pleasure of advising them on what cameras to purchase:) I enjoy watching them grow as they have watched me grow since I was given my stepmothers Nikon D80 back in 2009 after her passing.

I wanted to share with you a few things I have learned. (I totally need to get my blog going again but this Note will have to suffice)

When I got my camera I was impatient to get my pictures to look like my favorite photographers! So I jumped into using my PhotoShopElements 7 (a smaller,lighter version of the big expensive PhotoShop) I had no clue and the learning curve was HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Knowing what I know now-I have realized instead of starting at the beginning -Getting To Know My Camera and taking good photos FIRST -I jumped into the middle and stupidly thought well I can make it look right in PSE. WRONG!

So if I had to do it over again-this is what I would do!

Get a good DSLR with a “kit” lens (which is usually what is in the package deals when buying a starter camera like a NikonD40-D90) And READ YOUR MANUAL, and then READ IT AGAIN AND AGAIN! Keep in in your camera bag so you can refer back to it!!! I mean it!!! There is so much to it! (I was taking a workshop online back in Sept and Ben came in the room to listen is for a bit and he looked at me and said, “Mom, you can’t do Algebra but you can do this?” I had to laugh! It is true-this stuff is confusing, Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, White Balance! It is not easy-especially for someone like me who does not use my the Left Side of my brain much! So hang in there! The only reason I didn’t give up at trying to understand all of this is because I had/have this passion for Pictures! I love pictures! And I have a passion to be good at it! So I have stuck it out and still have SO MUCH MORE to learn-like tons!

The next thing-STOP USING AUTO! I mean it-even if you don’t have a clue about A,S,P,and M modes. My reccomdation-Put it atleast on A (Aperture) and set the Fstop to 2.8-3.5 and start clicking-(assuming you are taking pics of people) I think you will see a dramatic difference in your photos! Take your camera everywhere! And try to take pictures every single day even if it is of the dog or a can of soda-shoot something!

The internet has by far been my biggest teacher!!!! You Tube has tons of how to videos! Blogs are also another great way to learn-but you have to want it-you have to be willing to search and read and try! Websites like The Pioneer Woman, EveryDayElements, The Coffee Shop Blog, and The Texas Chicks Blogs and Pics  are great places to start! I would also recommend paying the $25.00-$100.00 bucks to join sites like ClickinMoms, Rock The Shot, and Love That Shot!  It is well worth the money!!!!The info those sites have to offer has been immeasurable to me! I learn something new every day!! (which is good because like I said I still have so so so much to learn:)

When I had my 35 mm camera I used a lab to print my pictures. I never did to take that course I wanted to to learn to print my own photos which lead me to where Digital Camera Photographers do there developing-“the Digital Darkroom” ie-photoshop, lightroom,picnik,picassa etc. We used to have darkrooms, now we have computers! Use them!!! I gaurtanee that all professional photographers use SOMETHING  with their photos. I get frustrated when I hear people say, “oh I don’t like the look of an edited photo”. The best edited photos are the ones where the viewer can not tell it has been edited! (which is hard for me on Clean Edits not to do too much!!!) It is a fine line. Anyway, start with Picnik it is free! Then do a trial of PSE10 or Lightroom3-free for 30 days! And keep reading, watching tutorials, and taking pictures!!!

Finally, I just wanted to say don’t be discouraged. In Sept I said to myself, “I am going to learn Manual Mode if it kills me!” Well, some days when I am shooting in Manual-I totally get it and feel so proud of myself because I am getting good pictures!! Yay me! And then the next day I start clickin away and I suck!!!!! So I go back to my blogs, boards and forums and keep reading….

Hope this helps! I always like to give back;)



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