Breathe In, Breathe Out

breathe in

In honor of-

  • All the lives lost due to terrorist attacks, violence and suicide
  • And the loved ones that mourn their losses
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance

One quick word about this- there shouldn’t have to be a day or a week or tribute flags on profile pictures. I’m not against any of these things. I understand and support all of them. My point is that it shouldn’t take a horrific act of violence to get anyone’s attention.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is one day, this year on Friday, November 20th, to honor all transgender people who were taken from us too soon. This is a problem of epic proportions and we need more than a day to bring awareness. We need more than a week. Click on the link to find out more. You will see a list of people who were killed. Way too many lives have been lost.

Suicide doesn’t play favorites. Instead it can be found in all walks of life. Anyone from celebrities to ever day dads can  battle demons none of us can imagine. If you need help or want to help out, you can contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Trevor Project supports LGBTQ youth in crisis.

Please keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers. But also, don’t forget. This isn’t something you think about for one day. Let’s keep this in our hearts and minds for longer than a day or a week. It’s up to the living to make a difference.

“You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will be as one.”  -Imagine, John Lennon

This post is working double time as part of Writer’s Quote Wednesday and BeWoW. If you are unfamiliar with these great challenges, click on the names to check them out!


Keep On

mlk perserverance 10.14.15

The past few weeks I have drifted and I have been pushed farther away from my blogging world that I am comfortable. I felt the distance growing as days turned into weeks and it was all I could do to eek out a post or two. I was behind in reading all of my favorite blogs. Photographs taken for upcoming photo challenges sat unused in their folders on my desktop. Post ideas fell by the wayside. I was not happy with the direction things were heading but I felt helpless.

I can give you all the excuses- I was preparing my house for my oldest son along with his family to move in indefinitely. I was needed to watch the baby. I had to attend my other two kids’ college family weekends. I had meetings. My best friend moved within days of my oldest son moving in. The list goes on and on.

Are these valid reasons for letting my blog drift away? Some would say maybe. Others would shout yes, lending me a supportive presence. And there could even be the ones who would just look at me with “that” look. The truth of the matter is that although I can understand where the maybe people and the shouting yes folks are coming from, I know that I’m in the camp with the LOOK people. It was their thoughts that echoed in my mind every time I thought of my blog.

Just in case you aren’t on that team, I can fill you in on what their messages were.

“If it’s important to you, you will make time for it.”

“You can’t sacrifice yourself completely to help others. You need to put yourself and your needs first occasionally.” 

“You are sending out the message that your ‘stuff’ is not as important as everyone else’s. if you don’t value it, then why should they?”

Let me be clear. My blog, among other pushed aside things, was not forgotten. In fact, it weighed heavily on my mind. Blog posts were writing themselves in my head—repeatedly. The mini-tantrum I threw when I was unable to fit a notebook that I couldn’t even find to purchase so it didn’t matter anyway into my purse because I forgot the bag I usually bring when I’m away and didn’t have a scrap of paper to scribble on was as much for my own sanity as anything else. After a drought, words were coming back to me and I didn’t want to lose them!

As I was trying to get back on my feet after the Kris scare and find a routine, I looked to my Blogging U classmates- Colleen (Silver Threading), Ronovan (Ronovan Writes) and Hugh (Hugh’s Views & News) for motivation, inspiration… And there they were, just as they have been since we all met in our blogging classes.

Until recently I was a regular participant in Writer’s Quote Wednesday, hosted by Colleen, and Be Wonderful on Wednesday, hosted by Ronovan. These challenges are both really awesome- separate, if quotes are more your thing than being wonderful or vice versa, and combined, they pack a bigger punch. Quotes have always inspired me and Colleen has taken this challenge to an even deeper level, which although I sometimes fail to meet, absolutely LOVE! And Ron’s BeWoW- encouraging bloggers to fill the blogosphere with positive thoughts combined with the quote bring even more meaning to both challenges.

And then there’s Hugh. Did you know that I won his Charity Christmas Tree Topper Challenge last December? Let’s talk about inspiration! He challenged bloggers to write about what is on top of their Christmas tree and in return he donated to Alzheimer’s research. The challenge was a huge success and I was honored to be chosen to write a guest post on Hugh’s blog. No, Hugh, I have not forgotten. I just hope the offer has not expired! And after an absence of sorts, I visited Hugh’s blog to find that he has kicked off Hugh’s Photo Challenge, one that I look forward to taking part in.

That Ronovan’s prompt for this week is “Perseverance” is quite timely for me. I see it as a sign. I could have let my blog lay there, shoved aside and somewhat forgotten, gathering dust (as it did when I first created it) or I could push through and just do it. I knew I wasn’t ready to let go of Dandelion Fuzz, not by a long shot. I might have been crawling there for awhile….and to some extent, I might still be but at least I’m moving forward. Of this I’m sure- when I sat down this morning to write this post I was tired and I was pushing myself to JUST DO IT. As I’ve sat typing, complete with interruptions which could have derailed me for the rest of the day- one call from school to pick up a first grader with possible pink eye and one cry out from a baby who woke up from his nap alone and needing assistance- but I didn’t and that’s largely due to Hugh, Ronovan and Colleen and their unknowing shove from behind. THANK YOU!

All of their challenges are open to everyone, so please take a look at their blogs (links are sprinkled throughout this post) and jump in! You’ll meet a lot of cool people and hopefully be inspired to join in.



dyer change

I’m triple dipping again this week by linking up Writer’s Quote Wednesday, Be Wonderful on Wednesday and Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Perspective.

Everyone’s perspective is unique. It’s their own view of things based on their own circumstances, experiences and even their state of mind at that exact moment in time. But because it is so subjective, it is also something that can be changed. Nothing is set in stone. I’ve found that as I work on looking for the positive in everything, my perspective has been altered. Sometimes all you have to do is take a step back and look again and you’ll find that everything is quite different than you previously thought. Hopefully it turns out to be a good thing!

Peeking in between the trees.

Peeking in between the trees.

bw crib


Someone is busy in the background.

Someone is busy in the background.

Forever Young

forever youngsleeping beej

I took this picture yesterday. It’s out of focus and the angle is off. But looking at it calls to my mind all the feelings.

Yesterday was a tough day. There wasn’t much “wonderful” to be found. Baby Beej is now 9, nearly 10, months old. While he has turned teething into a major event- please note that he has exactly 1 (count it- ONE) tooth, he decided to walk this week. He can only make a few steps before he either sinks down to his hands and knees or stands frozen with his arms raised catching his balance. It’s tiring work for a baby, soon to be an early toddler. Teething is kicking his butt- he’s drooling buckets and swatting at his ears as if there are gnats fluttering inside. And he’s sworn off food. The only thing overshadowing his teething event is the incredible awful food experience he hosts at each meal. It begins with him letting out piercing screams, raising his fists in the air and flinging his head back to thump resoundingly against the wooden high chair. If we dare to sneak a spoonful in during these fits, he has taken great pleasure in spitting it out. If he even sees the spoon being lifted, he has mastered the skill of knocking the spoon so the food splatters everywhere.

So, yesterday it was just him and me. Daddy was at work. Mommy had a meeting. While I find I have more patience with him than I had with his father as a baby, I found myself at my wit’s end. Finally, I did the only thing I could think of. I pulled up my Grey’s Anatomy playlist on my phone, picked up his solid 22 lbs of pure baby boy and got my baby bounce going. We stood by the kitchen window, listening to our favorite songs from GA and staring out the window watching the leaves flutter in the breeze and the sunlight reflect off the cars as they drove by, keeping time with the music.

As we let the music wash over us, I felt his body relax and before long that 22 lbs felt like 50! I felt the smoothness of his chubby thigh (along with some dried sweet potatoes that I missed during clean up). His soft, silky curls, which alternate between small curls, loose locks and straight depending on the day, tickled my chin. And his little fingers clutched the sleeve of my shirt, as they always do when I hold him.

I stood there a little longer than necessary, just savoring it all. He’s walking now and I know that these moments will become fleeting. This song came to mind because having three grown children, I know how quickly time flies and I realize the importance of holding onto that feeling. Bob Dylan wrote this song, Forever Young,for his children over 40 years ago. The lyrics stand the test of time and hold up today to be as true as the day they were written.

This post is a contribution to- Be Wonderful on Wednesday hosted by Ronovan Writes, Writer’s Quote Wednesday hosted by Silver Threading and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Touch hosted by Cee’s Photography. Thanks to Ron, Colleen and Cee for hosting these great challenges! Be sure to check out their blogs along with all the interesting challenge participants!

Music = Peace

musicMusic plays a major role in my life. I could go almost any direction when it comes to music but today’s post is about my latest endeavor and what it means to me.

There’s something about music that is powerful. At least, for me it is. It has always been part of my life. I grew up listening to my dad sing. He passed his love of music on to me. Ever heard “For every situation there’s a suitable line from a song” ? That’s my dad. But I’m getting off topic here.

Last week, for the first time in ****ty years, I sat down at a piano. I’ve wanted to begin playing again but I lacked two things- motivation and a piano. I’ve been talking about taking it up again with a music teacher friend, who has strongly encouraged me to do so. Last week, I bit the bullet and ordered the book. piano booksSo far so good. I took my book in to show my buddy, John. He nodded his approval. And then I went all stammering and awkward. “So, now all I need is…..,” my voice trailing off as I looked at him pleadingly with hopeful Kat eyes. Being John, he was slow to respond, knowing exactly what I was asking/not asking. Finally he let me off the hook. “A piano.”

I smiled, nodded quickly and winced. (Was he going to actually say no?)

Of course he said yes! He told me I could use the piano in his back room anytime. Woohoo!Today will be my fourth day of playing. He advised me to start back at the very beginning and that’s what I’ve been doing. It hasn’t been easy but I feel it coming back to me day by day. There are some times when my fingers just refuse to cooperate and I do get frustrated. I might be a little tough on myself. And I’m self-conscious as all get out! (Every time John pops in, my hands freeze. He says he’s not listening but I don’t believe him.)

I wanted to start playing the piano for a few reasons. One was that I couldn’t ignore that itch, after listening to my kids play their instruments for the past 15 years. (I know, it’s been a long itch to ignore but 3 busy kids and life were a huge factor.) Another was that in exactly one month’s time, my husband and I will be empty nesters. I will have time. Next, there is the creative outlet. While I have my writing, it is often music that inspires me to write. I’m hoping that playing with ignite my thought process and soon I’ll be back in the writing saddle again. (And that sentence, if nothing else, should speak to how badly I need something!!!)

And then there’s the calming effect. When I played the piano way back , I remember it serving a dual purpose, outside of the obvious benefits from learning to play an instrument. It could be an escape when things just got to be too much. Concentrating on what I was playing would take my mind off everything. Playing also allowed my mind to wander. When I played songs that I knew by heart, I was able to just let go and let my thoughts go wherever they wanted. Regardless of how I felt going into a practice session, I came out much more relaxed. I sure could use some of that right now.

I think it’s important for a person to have that outlet. It doesn’t necessarily have to be creative. Whether its building something, organizing your office, painting….. just to have that thing. I believe that it helps to keep you grounded and keep life in perspective.

Today I will be finishing up Book 1 and tackling the first song in my Greatest Hits book- Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley. We’ll see how it goes. And while I’m practicing, I can also work on mastering my claustrophobia.

practice room

What do you do to relax, rewind, rejuvenate?