by the fire, day 2

My Future…

It’s October 11, a lovely autumn, Sunday afternoon.  I’ve just come in from sitting on my patio, drinking tea while quietly reading my bible.  And I feel guilty.  I feel guilty because my life is good.  And I shouldn’t for God has blessed me.  With so much going on in the world today, so much suffering and poverty, I have to ask myself how can I help?  I don’t like to give to large charity organizations.  Personally, I do not feel the bulk of the donations actually go to those in need.  So I do so locally; in different ways, different situations.

Yes, life is good.  And I am thankful beyond words.  My past, which was quite difficult, keeps me aware of where I do not wish to return.  But I suffer anxiety because of it.  I’m anxious about the future…on all levels.   In a little over a month, I’ll undergo a minor surgery which will have me on crutches for about a month.  And I’m not looking forward to that.  Actually, I’m secretly whiny because of how inconvenient it will be and will render me “helpless” because I’m so busy.  Ugh, the irony!

I’ve been longing to read the bible lately.  Sad to say, I don’t immerse myself enough in the word of God.  In different ways, I’m being directed to read the books of Jeremiah and Wisdom.  So I dusted off my bible and I flipped through it.  I noticed notes I’d written, highlights I’d made.  And on the back of the very last page, I read something that I’d written and it really struck a chord with me.    It reads, “So do not be ruled by your dreams; do not fret over the future.  Just as God has blessed your past, as you are living the present with Him, so He will safeguard your future.  Live in the peace to which you have been called.  Dedicate yourself to thankfulness.”  Hmmm…so I went on to read Chapter 1 in both Jeremiah and Wisdom, and tossed in a Psalm for a little extra boost.

Life IS good.  Thank YOU, God!!

Birthday Season!

happy-birthday_0024554720416_10207000653921477_2806368008658362113_nWhat a wonderful life I’ve had!  I only wish I’d realized it sooner. – Colette

Yes, today is my birthday!  And I type this with the biggest smile.  Those of you who know me well, know that I LOVE MY birthday.  The one day I can be selfish without feeling guilty because it’s all about me!  And I do start my own personal celebrating about two weeks before and wrap it up about two weeks after.  A birthday season, if you will.

But I am choosing to acknowledge this birthday without it being about aging.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem admitting my chronological age, which is 48.  But I am choosing to celebrate things I am most proud of and my accomplishments in the past year.  No longer going to celebrate just because I am still here.  Yes, it is a privilege to grow old and I am very thankful to God for that.  But aging is optional!


Let me set the tone from the very beginning.  I DO NOT like summer.  But as time goes by, I’ve learned to accept it as a cycle of life.  Also, in the back of my mind I know this too shall pass!  There are only three things, that I can think of off the top of my head, that I like about summer:  mimosa trees, crepe myrtles and my birthday.

My birthday is in a few days.  And I am one that firmly believes in celebrating birthday weeks and month.  See, my birthday is all about me.  The one day in every year that’s all about me and no one else.  I enjoy it.  It makes me happy.  Hey, I’ve made another year.  But from now on, I don’t think I’m going to celebrate the chronological age that I am.  Not that it bothers me to state my age.  I think I’ll start celebrating the past year’s accomplishments and successes!  A celebratory time of reflection of my life during the last year.

Mimosa trees and crepe myrtles you ask?  Well, mimosa trees because I’m reminded of my grandmother whom I love dearly.  She had four mimosa trees planted in a row.  And I climbed every one of those suckers!  I always think of her when they bloom.  I thank God I was a kid before today’s current technology.

Crepe myrtles are the rainbow of beauty that unfolds in the hottest of summer days in Louisiana and around the southern states.  They burst forth with color and are resilient through these 100 degree days, never wavering!  Just like us southerners!!!  With all that color around, how can one simply be anything but happy.

So, summer is not my favorite time of year.  But after my birthday, in a few short days, I’ll be waiting patiently for LSU football to begin.  It’s one of the few things in life that truly make me happy and angry at the same time, much like summer.  Geaux Tigers!Lavender_Crape_Myrtle_Lee_Ann_Torrans-1-of-6

Decades 2015, A Musical Timeline

20150516_135516Impressed.  Impressed with what, you ask?  Impressed with the outstanding showcase of local talent. And where do I begin?

A few weekends ago, myself and my sister and her sons, met up at our local community theater, The Fox Theater.  Years ago, it was the local cinema.  Today, it’s primarily used for productions put on by the locals.  And by “locals” I mean the central Louisiana area residents.  Every year, there is a major production casting very talented locals.  There’s also a kids play during the summer.  My nephew has participated in many of the children’s plays.  They are always entertaining, and the kids seem to have THE best time!

I admit, I was a bit skeptical.  Oh, the Facebook feeds of those who had been to see Decades 2015, A Musical Timeline, raved at how good the show was.  I even work with one of the participants, Dr. Jamie Ducote, DVM.  He loves to sing.  So much so, he’s traveled around the country trying out for multiple tv-based talent shows.  After watching his performance, all I can say is he CAN sing.

We decided to attend the very last show.  Many people were going back for seconds.  I figured the performers would give it their all at the grand finale.  And besides, it was approximately 3 hours long.  And the last show was a matinee.  That would work for me.

We showed up a bit early because it was general admission.  We’d “heard” it was pretty loud, so we opted for the second to last row of seats.  I’m glad we did.  It was pretty loud.  But once the lights lowered and the crowd hushed, songs I’d grown up with as a child and loved as a teenager began, one decade at a time.  And memories flooded my mind as I listened to and enjoyed every minute of the performance.

I was floored.  Yes, it was amazing.  The talent was extraordinary and they showed up for EVERY note!  I swear, if I closed my eyes, I heard Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, Patti Labelle and many, many more greats from the 50s to the 80s.  The stage was simple, yet effective and the costumes were quirky, but cute.  Dr. Ducote as a Beatle was a treat!  I did not leave disappointed.decades

A Quick Visit Enjoyed

In May of 2014, I traveled to Ireland for the first time.  It had been my soul’s desire for 30 years.  If you know me, you know that my soul loves Ireland.  I can’t put it into any more simple words.  Although, it IS my plan to write more about Ireland and my love of it!  Stay tuned….

I was traveling with a group of college students from NSU.  On the trip, I met a lovely young lady; one of many.  She was super sweet and sugary nice, intelligent, shy and spiritual.  It was her first trip abroad, and she was excited.  She talked about pursuing her PhD; Trinity College, in Dublin, being one of her options.

Once we returned, I found myself connecting with most via social media.  I also collected phone numbers so we could stay in touch, mostly by texting.  I’m primarily on facebook, so I was able to stay in touch with some of the kids and professors.  I anticipated their postings and pictures of the trip, getting to enjoy it all over again through someone else’s eyes and point of view.

Ashton and I kept in touch, having lunch occasionally.  One day, she told me she had looked into interning abroad, Ireland being an option.  Imagine my excitement for her!  She eventually firmed up the details and she leaves in early June.  I’m so happy and excited for her.

We recently had lunch to pinch in one last visit before she leaves.  I gifted her with a book, Enough Is Plenty, written by Felicity Hayes-McCoy.  It details a year’s worth of living through the seasons on the Dingle Peninsula, beautifully illustrated with personal photos.  Ashton plans to visit Dingle.  I wanted to whet her whistle and encourage her to live in every breath and moment of her stay in Ireland.  I hope it worked.  I think it did.


Inspiration.  It comes in many shapes and forms; people, places, things, phrases.  This last week has spawned mountains of inspiration.  So much so that I’ve got to get the ideas, words and images out of my head and onto “paper” before I go insane.  Hmmm, isn’t this a good thing for creativity?  We’ll see.

My inspirations this week have prompted me to take the leap of faith and begin this blog.  I certainly don’t know what I’m doing or where this is going.  And that’s OK!  As William Shakespeare wrote in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,

“And as imagination bodies forth

The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen

Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing

A local habitation and a name.”

Therefore, the habitation I’ve chosen is a blog, and the name I’ve chosen to give to my imagination is Selfie Notes.  Stay tuned….